Protests in Iran continue to grow, as the nation seethes under the poor economic conditions and the increased spending on military operations, while little is being done to improve the lives of ordinary Iranians. Before the new U.S. sanctions came into effect, the Iranian currency already began its devaluing slide, thus bringing about more protests and calls for regime change.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect Maryam Rajavi noted that the protests are not going to stop and that the Iran from before December 2017 was not going to return. The reality is that she appears to be right, as anti-government protests and massive social protests continue throughout the country.
Iranian officials blame PMOI/MEK for ongoing protests
On August 1, Reza Hosseini, the advisor to the headquarters of Armed Forces Cyber Warfare in Iran, said, “We have to see what they did in the 1980s, that in the current vacuum, they have emerged again, they pretend to be victims, and coincidently, they are becoming the flag bearers and vanguards in some areas. The same MEK terrorist grouplet was occasionally pronounced dead in this country and its name was not mentioned anymore.”
He also noted that the group is not going away, but instead appears to be increasing its influence, both within the nation and internationally. The MEK is seen as the largest threat to the regime, because they offer an alternative to the regime’s repressive policies.
Security Forces in Iran see a change in tactics
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) also released a report on August 8, noting that the MEK is changing its tactics. In recent demonstrations, the slogans went from focusing on social and economic issues to anti-regime and anti-establishment slogans in just minutes.
Rajavi also promised that the disturbances will continue to spread. The U.S. government under the Trump administration has shown support for the protests and demonstrations of the Iranian people. While the Trump administration has not called outright for regime change, it is clear that their recent moves give tactical approval to such a move by the Iranian people.
“Over the past month, dozens of invitations have been issued both in cyberspace and offline to protest against the rising cost of living. Most of these were of foreign origin but were redistributed by people inside and outside the social media,” according to a recent Interior Ministry announcement.
It is clear that the regime sees the MEK as a threat to their ability to maintain their power. They call the members of the MEK/PMOI “The biggest threat”, thus showing contempt for them. Yet, by the amount of discussion by regime leaders about the Iranian resistance, it is clear that they are not dismissing the threat that it represents to their ability to prop up their corrupt government.