The recent #protests throughout Iran have demonstrated that Iranians are struggling with the realities of the systematic corruption of the regime and its impact on the economy, as well as human rights. International leaders from Europe and around the world are speaking out in support of these protestors.
Mass #protests are continuing. According to Amnesty International, over 30 people have been killed and around 1,000 have been arrested. Many of those arrested now face rape, torture, and even the possibility of being sentenced to death, according to various leaders in the Iranian opposition.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the deaths to date and the arrests of at least one thousand Iranians,” said the U.S. State Department in a statement on Thursday. “To the regime’s victims, we say: You will not be forgotten.”
Pavel Telicka, Vice-President of the European Parliament, also indicated that the protestors need support in view of the violent suppression from the Iranian regime.
“I condemn all the #violence that the Iranian authorities have committed in recent days against civilians expressing dissatisfaction with the regime,” said Telicka. “The demands that people call for protest are understandable. I have long pointed out that there are violations of basic human rights in Iran, executions are common. People live under a backward and repressive regime, [and] the prisons are full of political prisoners. That’s something we should not be indifferent to.”
Belgian deputy Gerard Deprez also issued a statement in support of the Iranian opposition, where he encouraged the citizens of Iran to fight for a better future.
“My colleagues and I in the #European Parliament have long been promoting a free, secular Iran, and we are very sympathetic to the democratic Iranian opposition led by Maryam Rajavi, who was a guest speaker at the Brussels conference on December 6,” said Deprez.
#Amnesty International has noted that videos and eyewitnesses’ testimonies have emerged on social media and media outlets showing or describing riot police and other security forces using excessive and unnecessary force, including firing ammunition at unarmed protestors, beating them with truncheons, and using tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators.
“Given the alarming scale of the current wave of arrests, it is highly likely that many of those held are peaceful protestors who have been detained arbitrarily and now find themselves in prisons where conditions are dire and torture is a common tool to extract confessions and punish dissidents,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director.
“The West’s policy of appeasement towards Iran must now come to a shuddering stop in the wake of these mass protests. The world now looks to the United States, European Union, and U.N. to show leadership and determination in backing the 80 million beleaguered Iranians who ache and pray for the removal of this corrupt and medieval regime. We must show our outright support for the democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin’s of Iran and their charismatic leader Maryam Rajavi. They are poised and ready to restore human rights, women’s rights, freedom, justice, and democracy to this long-suffering nation,” said Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association.
President Trump, Iranian Resistance groups, and others are calling for regime change.
“Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time,” said Trump on Twitter.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), recently addressed protestors, encouraging them to continue their efforts.
“The world hears you when you cry out that Khamenei must go. Every day, more people declare that they stand by your side…You should remain steadfast and exhaust the enemy. Our mission is the overthrow of the religious dictatorship. Our mission is to establish freedom, and this mission is certainly and most definitely going to be realized,” said Rajavi.
Others have noted that if Iran wants to prosper, the nation will need a new government that cares more about caring for its people than funding sectarian conflicts across the Middle East. Despite the booming global economy, Iran’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. Among the youth, it’s at nearly 30%. Despite its rich natural resources, years of sanctions have done significant damage to the Iranian economy. The regime can fund multiple military efforts throughout the region, yet many Iranians are wondering why they remain so poor, and yet their country’s governing members remain so rich.
Analysts estimate that the #Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controls approximately 15% of the GDP. IRGC linked organizations are active in a huge range of industries, including telecommunications, oil, and various other fields. Even if the regime’s religious leaders are pushed out of power, it doesn’t mean that the IRGC will stand down. Overturning the regime will take persistence, time, and effort. Yet these protests clearly have international support, which may take the Iranian people one step closer to regime change.