Analysis by PMOI/MEK
July 15, 2018 - A year ago, many would argue that the Iranian regime had entered an era of stability and flourishment, especially after Hassan Rouhani, whom some western politicians consider a moderate, secured a second round as president of the country.
Today, even the proponents and supporters of the Iranian regime agree that Tehran is in a precarious situation and is inching toward its total collapse. Nothing short of a miracle can save the regime, many believe.
At the heart of the regime’s problems is the escalation of nationwide protests, which began at the turn of the year and have continued in various cities despite the heavy presence of the regime’s security forces. At their surface, the protests are aimed at economic woes and deteriorating living conditions. However, almost all demonstrations quickly turn into political protests that demand for the overthrow of the regime and the death of its highest authorities. This is mostly due to the fact that the people of Iran have been enduring hardships under the regime’s authoritarian rule for so long.
So how did the regime reach this point?
First, the Iranian regime has been oppressing the freedoms of its people for four continuous decades. Dissidents and activists have been arrested, tortured and executed by the thousands. In the 1980s, the regime massacred more than 100,000 members and supporters of the PMOI/MEK. The people of Iran have been longing for freedom, and while the regime has constantly responded to their demands with violence and threats, this longing has not subsided.
Second, the regime’s economic and financial corruption has also taken its toll on the people’s livelihoods. Many authoritarian regimes try to dampen political repression by giving economic concessions to the people. Such is not the case with the Iranian regime. In addition to taking away all forms of freedom, the regime is also emptying the pockets of the people and stealing the country’s wealth. For many of the protesters that pour into the streets, the risk of getting killed by security forces is not worse than going back to their empty and desolate lives.
Third, the regime has squandered a lot of the country’s wealth and revenue on foreign intervention and its agendas in neighboring countries. This is not lost on the people of Iran, who see that while their lives continue to spiral into poverty, hunger and unemployment, their rulers do not hesitate to funnel billions of dollars into Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. The dissatisfaction with the regime’s meddling in neighboring countries can be clearly heard in the slogans that people chant during protests, such as “leave Syria, think about us!” and “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran!” But the Iranian regime’s violent meddling in the countries of the region has not only further distanced it from its own people, but it has also framed it as an enemy for the peoples of those countries. Today, in many Middle East countries, the people consider the Iranian regime as their main enemy, and their governments are joining forces to expel the Iranian regime from their land.
Fourth, the regime has banked on its exclusive dominion on the country’s media outlets to spread lies against the Iranian opposition and try to portray the situation that the people have no better choice than the mullahs. But as the regime finds it more and more difficult to censor the internet and communications, the people of Iran are finding the opportunity to educate themselves with views and opinion alternate to the extremist ideology that the regime has been diffusing through its exclusive monopoly over the Iranian media for four decades. Perhaps most important is that the people of Iran now have the chance to directly interact with opposition groups such as the PMOI/MEK and find hope that the future of their country does not have to be what the ruling mullahs have forced upon them for so many years. They also have the chance to see for themselves that the lies the regime has spread against the Iranian opposition have no basis, and there’s a true organization and resistance movement that is dedicated to restoring freedom and democracy to Iran.
As the regime loses ground to the Iranian opposition, the situation becomes irreversible. The clock is ticking for the mullahs.