By Jubin Katiraie
Over the past four decades, one of the cornerstones of regime’s strategy to remain in power has been to push the idea that there’s no other alternative for the Iranian people than the current regime itself, so the people have to get along with it anyway.
In line with the strategy, regime claimed that it had physically eliminated the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) as their only rival. But when the organization continued to exist and stabilize, the regime launched a propaganda campaign this time, claiming out of weakness that the MEK has no place among Iranian people and that people will choose the Iranian regime over the MEK anytime.
With this year’s January uprising, however, regime leader Ali Khamenei was forced to clearly point to the main threat the regime is faced with, warning that people’s uprising has been formed and directed by the MEK.
Khamenei’s inevitable confession actually rules out regime’s propaganda campaign claiming that the MEK has no place in Iran’s society and that people prefer the current regime over the organization.
Introducing the MEK as the most important threat to the regime was something that even Khomeini with all his power was forced to acknowledge as well, so he could unite his regime over dealing with the organization despite his propaganda campaign which deceitfully put the emphasis on the threat of ‘global arrogance led by the United States’.
Some believe that regime’s officially pointing to the MEK’s leading role in the protests has been aimed at setting the stage for a more extensive crack down on the uprising.
In response to such remarks, however, it should be pointed out that the regime had previously started oppressing and executing people under the pretext of ‘dealing with thugs and mobs’. So, the question is why does the regime need to justify its oppressive measures this time by attributing the uprising to the MEK?
If Khamenei’s acknowledging MEK’s role in the protests was intended to intensify the atmosphere of fear and oppression, then there was no need to claim that the detained protesters committed suicide in the prison, but they could simply execute them in public for having organizational links with the MEK.
Besides, at a time in which Iranian people and the international community have reached the turning point of ‘final confrontation with the regime’ and the issue of an alternative force that could take the lead and ensure the transition process is inevitably on the table, the regime shouldn’t have highlighted the MEK’s role.
The fact, however, is that acknowledging MEK’s leading role in the uprising is not aimed at scaring people of more oppression, but it’s to make the entire regime aware of the situation.
Khamenei wants to clearly and frankly define the main threat the regime is faced with, the same way Khomeine before him was forced to do and did, so the regime in its entirety could act united and figure out a solution for this existential threat.
But even if Khamenei refused to acknowledge MEK’s leading role in the protests, the January’s uprising proved in the best possible way that the idea claiming that people will choose the regime over the MEK was totally wrong, because if the regime was people’s first choice, then they wouldn’t have started an irreversible uprising in the first place. Secondly, the MEK couldn’t have taken a leadership role, either.
As the regime keeps getting weaker and weaker, its need to identify the main threat, namely the MEK, becomes more and more urgent, as the regime needs to line up its forces in one direction, so they can deal with MEK’s increasing threat effectively and without any confusion.
While the regime itself has put aside its propaganda campaign claiming that people prefer the regime over the MEK –resorting instead to such justifications like the threat of civil war or Iran’s disintegration to slow down the uprising’s accelerating speed– Reza Pahlavi claims that the Iranian people have not yet decided to say goodbye to the regime, and that the regime has still the chance to be the people’s choice.
the essence of January’s uprising was people bidding farewell to the regime in its entirety, a reality that Shah’s offspring seems not to have fully grasped yet, as he hypocritically evades answering the question about Iran’s future regime –apparently to leave the door open for monarchy as a hypothetical alternative– saying that it’s something that people have to choose, thus he even refuses to express his own viewpoints, something he has the very right to.
But when it comes to the issue of MEK, he not only doesn’t hesitate to express his views, but in all seriousness he even predicts the outcome of his so-called ‘democratic’ imaginary elections, in which people will choose the regime over the MEK.
But as far as people’s choice is concerned, the Iranian people put a historic big ‘NO’ in front of Shah and the monarchy system with their 1979 revolution. Likewise, they also rejected the entire mullahs’ regime with their January uprising.
The Iranian people have however not yet made their decision on the MEK, as the organization has never been in power, nor has it raced in a free election.
Shah’s offspring meanwhile ignores Iranian people’s two historic and recorded choices, claiming that people may still choose either Shah or mullahs. With regard to the MEK, however, he ‘democratically’ believes that people have definitely voted against them already!