For the Iranian regime, repression has kept the mullahs in power. With the anniversary of the 1979 revolution this year, the Iranian people are clearly reclaiming the freedom that was snatched from them by the regime. When the shah was overthrown, it appeared that Iran was on track to embrace the voice of the people.
Instead, fundamentalism overtook Iran, with the mullahs leading the charge and criminalizing anyone that voiced opposition. Throughout the decades since, repressive measures by the regime have continued to be used to keep the Iranian people silent.
Calls for International Leaders to Listen to Iranian People
The MEK/PMOI is a group that has long stood against the regime and its fundamentalism. Over the years, this group has been accused of being terrorists and maligned by the regime in an attempt to destroy the credibility of the group. Instead, the Iranian people have embraced the MEK/PMOI, and it has become part of a coalition of opposition groups, known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, has called for accountability for the regime’s actions, particularly its human rights abuses. With the increasing number of protests throughout Iran, all of which are crossing class and economic lines, Rajavi has a message for the international community.
“The secret to our progress over the last 40 years of struggle against the religious fascism in Iran, has been persistence, perseverance, and paying the price of freedom…The most significant development in Iran was the outbreak of popular protests and uprisings against the mullahs’ regime. Everyone saw how terrified the mullahs were. They were particularly scared of the role of the Mojahedin in the uprisings. Despite the deaths and arrests of thousands of protesters and their torture, the uprisings and protests have continued to this date,” said Rajavi.
Throughout her speeches and appearances, Rajavi continues to call for support of the Iranian people and their efforts to achieve regime change. At the same time, she continues to encourage the international community to expel Iranian diplomats who are part of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), as well as labelling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and MOIS organizations as a whole as terrorist organizations.
Definance of the Iranian People Continues
As the corruption and repression of the regime continues to mount, the country’s economy and its environment have paid a huge price. According to the regime, unemployment stands at 27%. Official statistics from Iran must be taken with a pinch of salt because the government gets creative with its numbers. Those familiar with the Iranian economy suggest that the numbers are even higher.
The employment situation is critical and unlikely to improve with the pressure from renewed sanctions from the United States and Europe. When those sanctions were paused, the corruption of the regime and its leaders became more apparent.
“We are working diligently to make sure we support the Iranian people and that we direct our activity towards ensuring that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s malign behavior is changed,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November 2018.
Less than half of all working Iranians are in stable employment, and even that could be considered questionable when wages are not paid for months at a time. The price of goods and services are increasing, while the value of the rial is declining, meaning that buying power is disappearing for the Iranian people.
More Iranians are leaving the country to search for a life outside of its borders if they can manage it. The regime is in a precarious position, because it is being pressured on an international scale, but also from within the country itself. While the regime continues to spend on its military efforts throughout the Middle East, the Iranian people are struggling to feed their families.
Despite all the repressive measures of the regime, the reality is that the Iranian people have had enough. Now it is time to support them as their protests and uprisings lead to the end of the regime and a new era of freedom for the Iranian people.