Celebrating fire festivities marking the last week of Iran’s calendar year, people in many cities across the country took to streets staging yet another round of protests challenging the mullahs’ rule.
People transformed this national celebration into a major uprising. This followed a recent call issued by a network based inside the country associated to the opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) encouraging people to take advantage of this opportunity to stage nationwide demonstrations. People from all walks of life have also issued letters and statements supporting this new initiative.
Prior to this event Tehran’s concerns focused on such an occasion providing the people an opportunity to stage a large number of pocket, hit-and-run protests throughout various areas of all cities and towns.
Following the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 nationwide uprising that caught the regime by surprise, Iran has witnessed a surge in over 8,000 arrests and more than 50 protesters killed in custody, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Greater Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi emphasized all measures are in action in regards to a variety of possibility forecasted for such an occasion, adding all forces are on full alert. Tehran’s main concern focuses on such protests avalanching into sweeping and uncontrollable storms.
Authorities insist people can uphold their traditional ceremonies on the condition of not disrupting public order. Interesting is how this regime hangs people and carries out lashings in public, yet now is thumping its chest about “public order.” Based on the Iranian regime’s terminology, “public order” is tantamount to the mullahs’ rule.
One should ask why such authorities are taking no measures to provide decent education, create jobs and the needed recreation needed for the country’s younger generation.
While claiming many people were killed and injured in such celebrations held in previous years, there is no action taken to resolve increasing air pollution across the country that is sending thousands of people to hospitals. Why are no measures blueprinted to prevent thousands of road accidents each year?
Iran has the highest number of deaths caused by road accidents in the world, according to the World Health Organisation's most recent report on road safety.
Iran’s authorities are facing a crackdown impasse, extremely concerned of opening fire on such increasing protests across the country. There was a time, however, that Iran’s mullahs severely quelled any dissent, such as the 1994 Qazvin uprising where authorities even launched rockets at protesters, according to former senior intelligence officer Saeed Hajjarian.
This year, however, protesters across the country are chanting “Death to (Ali) Khamenei” and “Death to (Hassan) Rouhani” targeting the regime’s supreme leader and president, respectively.
IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari specifically said, “the PMOI prevented us from taking measures to silence the recent Dervish Gonabadi protests in the northeast suburbs of Tehran.”
If authorities order forces to open fire, the uprisings will flare in an uncontrollable manner. If they refuse to open fire, the protests will spread gradually expand and engulf the entire country.
Tehran cannot deny the undeniable. Iran’s 80-million+ population is demanding change. Regime change.
Washington has realized the changing times and the Trump administration has been showing signs of intending to stand alongside the people. Further measures targeting the regime’s Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guards are necessary to support Iran’s uprising nation.
In line, Europe should build upon its recent pressures on Iran to significantly curb its ballistic missile program and meddling across the Middle East. These demands must expand and place the crosshairs on Tehran’s atrocious human rights record.
This is how the West can stand alongside the Iranian people and their organized resistance in the face of a malevolent regime.
This article was originally published by Forbes.