Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, November 4, 2020—As Iran braces for the first anniversary of the biggest nationwide uprising since the 1979 revolution, regime officials are in constant fear of the resurgence of protests across the country, issuing warnings and ramping up security measures.
In the same vein, Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei once again revealed his fear of possible turmoil in televised remarks on Tuesday, in which he highlighted the importance of protecting the regime’s “security” and warned about the uprisings and the role of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in inspiring and leading protests in the country.
Silent on the pandemic
While the country is plunging into the worst state of the coronavirus pandemic and cases and casualties break new records every day, Khamenei did not say a word about the biggest health crisis of Iran’s modern history. But his silence spoke volumes and made it clear that more than 140,000 deaths means nothing to him.
Instead, he tried to take advantage of the ongoing turmoil following recent terror attacks in Paris to take a jab at French officials for hosting MEK members.
“What kind of a government is running France? What is this policy? This is the same policy that has hosted the most ruthless and savage terrorist of the world in its country,” Khamenei said, adding, “[The MEK] are not normal terrorists. When their refuge is Paris, how can [French authorities] claim to defend human rights and freedom?”
Khamenei made these remarks while one of his own diplomats is currently on trial for attempting to bomb an opposition gathering in Paris in 2018.
Khamenei’s fears from December 2017 uprisings to today
Since nationwide uprisings in December 2017, and especially after the November 2019 uprising, Khamenei has not made any milestone speech without discussing his regime’s security and express his terror of social protests and the role of the MEK in keeping the flame of resistance alive across the country.
This is because the December 2017 and November 2019 protests proved that the regime’s huge efforts to bolster its security apparatus and suppress any dissent have proved futile. Khamenei know well that the desire for regime change in Iran is beyond anything that his security forces can deal with, and his regime is on the verge of being overthrown.
After the 2017-2018 uprising, Khamenei made a speech in which he stressed that the MEK had planned and organized the protests months in advance, and he vowed to take revenge on the Iranian opposition. A few months later, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat was arrested by German authorities as he was plotting to bomb the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris. The attempt, which has been described as one of the most important terror cases in Europe in the 21st century, was a big scandal for Khamenei and his regime. The regime tried to use its diplomatic facility in Albania to stage terror attacks against the MEK on at least two other occasions, both of which were foiled.
In January 2020, less than two months after the November 2019 uprising, Khamenei once again underscored the role of the MEK in the protests.
“A few days prior to the [November uprising], the issue about gasoline, in a European country [Albania], a small but very evil country in Europe, an American figure [General James Jones] gathered with a number of Iranians [PMOI/MEK], and they started plotting against the Islamic republic. Their plan was played out in what we witnessed a few days later in the gasoline [protests]. People were angry about the gasoline issue. A number of people came out in the name of protests, and when others joined their ranks, while their numbers were very low, these deceived people came out with a plot and carried out that very plan; to destroy and torch government centers, popular sites and start a war. This was a premeditated plot. And when I say a few days prior to these events, they were re-checking their plans because they had previously blue-printed their measures, preparing their people,” Khamenei said.
Again in May, Khamenei voiced his concern about the growing influence of the MEK in Iran in remarks to a gathering of basij agents, where he described the MEK among the main threats to his rule.
“Everyone should be careful about the enemy recruiting members of our young society… I have always said that I believe and hope to have a ‘young and Hezbollahi’ government, meaning an effective and high-spirited government that can resolve our problems,” Khamenei said.
“In the early days of the  revolution we had youths… for whatever reason that their beliefs were not strong, they were recruited by groups that had mixed perspectives,” Khamenei added in a reference to the high popularity of the MEK among the Iranian society, especially following the 1979 revolution.
“You should not allow the enemy take advantage of your protests. They are waiting to use any such opportunity… The enemy will portray your protests over whatever subject as dissent against the state, and provide such an image to their viewers… Be careful of those who take advantage of these protests to pursue their objectives against the state,” Khamenei continued as he further highlighted his concerns over the powder keg status of the Iranian society and the MEK reporting such developments as a sign of growing dissent among the general public.
Why so much fear?
Khamenei’s never-ending prattle about security is related to the fact that nationwide uprisings in Iran are becoming more frequent and intense. Khamenei’s remarks prove once again that the regime has failed in its mission to strengthen its hold on power, and despite killing more than 1,500 protesters in November 2019, it has not been able to suppress the desire for freedom and regime change in the people.