London, 02 Feb - Despite being the most repressive country in the Middle East and using absolute clerical rule to justify their medieval treatment of their citizens as the "will of God", the Iranian mullahs were simply unable to stop the people from protesting.
The protests, which began in late December over the release of a draft budget that would divert money away from the poor and into the military, quickly spread from the big cities to the smallest villages in every province and took on an anti-regime sentiment that none has matched since perhaps 1979. Millions took to the streets to call for an end to the Regime and the removal of the mullahs, explicitly calling out President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
This should not be surprising. It represents that the fact that the Iranian people are incredibly divorced from their corrupt rulers.
The mullahs responded, as usual, by sending in their suppressive forces the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to stop the protests by any means necessary. This meant that at least 50 protesters were gunned down in the streets and 8,000 were arrested, at least 11 of whom have now been tortured to death.
Unsurprisingly, this brutal crackdown only deepened public hatred of the regime and hardened the resolve for its ultimate overthrow.
Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association and former chair of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup, wrote: “I do not see any way in which the current theocratic regime can survive… The latest uprising has revealed the emergence of a courageous new force from within the heart of Iran's long-suffering cities; a new force, prepared to struggle for their rights and to fight for freedom and equality. This new force has, I believe, the capability of overthrowing the fascist mullahs.”
The Regime is also showcasing their fear of the main democratic opposition movement, the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK), by blaming them for the protests and attempting to have French President Emmanuel Macron take action against the MEK and its leader in France. Macron refused.
This means that even the Regime must now recognise that the MEK is the true alternative to the mullahs.
The Iranian people’s demand for regime change is being heard around the world, but while the US has responded favourably, it is now time for the rest of the world to do the same.
Stevenson advised that the United Nations Security Council adopt punitive measures against the regime for its crimes, most notably the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members, as the murderers hold positions of power in Iran.
He also advised that the international community demand the release of the protesters, warn against torture or execution, demand the restoration of unfiltered, public internet access, and express solidarity with the Iranian people.