Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei basically just admitted that the young people of Iran want regime change during a meeting with Basij militiamen, where he called for the formation of a “young and Hezbollahi” government.
These remarks came just days after the regime admitted to arresting two elite students (and holding them without disclosing their whereabouts for 26 days) over their support for the Iranian Resistance; something that Khamenei acknowledged in his speech.
So, how are these related? Well, the regime is obviously threatened by the increasing numbers of students who are rebelling against the regime and supporting the resistance, which is why Khamenei wants the young Basij members to engage other young people and bring them to support the regime.
Over the past few years, students have become even more outspoken about the fact that there is no hope for internal change from the regime, therefore they must be overthrown. As those students graduate and go out into the world, more follow behind them who believe the same.
Indeed the uprisings in December 2017, November 2019, and January 2020 had people chanting slogans like “reformist, hardliners, the game is over”, before calling explicitly for regime change and Khamenei’s ouster.
The regime is already outnumbered, so they want to swing the tide back in their favour with a loyal, young government. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has drawn a few conclusions from Khamenei’s actions:
- Iranian students represent the “political, social, and cultural aspirations” of Iran’s youth and believe in “overthrowing the mullahs’ regime”.
- Regime leaders know there is no desire for either of the regime’s factions in society
- The regime will probably dismantle the so-called reformist faction, which was only ever a ruse to pretend that there was the hope of internal reform
The NCRI concluded that the issue of regime overthrow has “reached a point of no return” if even the elite students of Iran, who could expect some progress have reached the conclusion that progress will not happen under the mullahs.
This is especially true is Khamenei thinks that the only way to move forward is to establish a “young and Hezbollahi” government, that will not oppose the supreme leader.
The NCRI said: “What’s for sure is that the strategy of the Iranian Resistance has reached a decisive and crucial point. Future events and developments will further prove the fact that the Iranian elites who said “no” to the clerical regime have chosen the real answer of Iran.”