The Iranian government has attempted to downplay the Free Iran rally, held July 9th in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, as a media spectacle funded by corrupt foreign governments and to portray the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI), the main constituent group of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as a terrorist organization that is loathed within Iran. But its aggressive use of its state-run media apparatus to smear the event and its organizers masks a growing sense of discontent among Iranian citizens and within the region.
Iran has faced factory closures and a widening economic crisis. Deferred wages have provoked labor strikes in several industrial and agricultural provinces. Increased political unrest has provoked further crackdowns, leading to a spike in executions. Iran’s inability to access frozen international assets and Europe’s reluctance to do business with Tehran have staved off any salutary effects that the 2015 end to nuclear sanctions may once have produced, and international human rights organizations are increasingly concerned about the state of women, workers, and prisoners in Iran, with high-profile political prisoners launching hunger strikes and appealing to the international community through letters.
As Iran’s economic problems mount and its neighbors grow increasingly intolerant of its interventionist policies in the Middle East, it finds itself in increasingly desperate circumstances both at home and in the world.
“[The Iranian government] is totally failing due to the fact that the people are suffering”, said the Reverend Daniel Delgado in an interview with The Media Express. “Whenever you take away the basic human rights of people, from worshiping the god they choose to worship, going to the schools they choose to go [to]…[that government] cannot succeed”.
The most recent attacks on Camp Liberty in Iraq have further
Regarding the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal and his condemnatory remarks on Iran’s regional policy, numerous commentators expressed their belief that this was a watershed moment for the Middle East.
Speaking of Iran’s condemnation of al-Faisal’s remarks, former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy said:
The extraordinary foreign support removes any doubt that the Iranian resistance is an existential threat to the clerical regime. Moreover, the Saudi capacity to unify Arab nations behind the resistance explains why Iranian officials, including Brig. Gen. Ramazan Sharif, the Revolutionary Guards Spokesman, accused Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other powerful Arab states of “flagrantly interfering in Iran’s internal affairs”.
These domestic and international problems have provoked increasing desperation in Tehran to avoid being replaced by a democratic government. The Iranian government’s increasingly weakened state coincides with the ascendance of the increasingly well-organized and viable alternative of the NCRI, a group that has prepared itself to implement a transitional government and oversee democratic elections in the event of the Iranian regime’s collapse.