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What makes Iran's November uprising different from previous protests?

Iran protests in November 2019 (File photo)
Iran protests in November 2019 (File photo)

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, December 18, 2019—Many analysts discuss Iran’s November protests, which erupted after the recent gas price hike. Many questions are on the table: How much was it predictable that Iran’s society triggers such an uprising? How long would it take for the Iranian people to reach this point? Is there any background or was it just a single incident that suddenly flashed? What are the differences between the November 2019 uprising and previous uprisings? What has changed in Iran’s society? What has changed in the Iranian regime’s rule?

So, the main question is, what has changed in Iran’s political and social structure?

Two different points of view

One can claim that the November uprisings were the same as previous uprisings that dealt blows to the regime and caused some challenges for the regime. But in the end, the regime saved its dictatorship and managed to quell the uprising by resorting to brutal, vicious and fatal suppression.

But a closer look shows that Iran’s future makers, the youth who have been subjected to suppression and terror, took part in the uprising in an organized manner. This force of change in Iran had gone beyond previous levels of protests and uprisings and reached a turning point. The result was deadly strategic blows to the entire regime. Those deadly blows even made the Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and its president Hassan Rouhani to explicitly support the oppression of protesters and put aside the show of rivalry between so-called reformists and hardliners to save the regime from collapse.

Both Khamenei and Rouhani called protesters thugs and praised Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Basij forces for “their services” in killing innocent protesters.

All the regime’s authorities are now unanimously saying that November uprising was “different from previous ones.”


The background of the uprising

What are Iran’s society features during the past 38 years?

1-            Unlike democratic countries, the mullahs have not left even one party or organization in Iran that could really pursue the political and social demands of any strata.

2-            The regime has not left any independent syndicate or union that follows the economic demands of workers, employees, farmers, etc.

3-            The regime has conducted such suppression in Iran that any freedom-loving person who wants to step forward for establishing freedom and democracy must flee the country. Moreover, the regime would confiscate the properties of those freedom lovers, harass or arrest their families, or even abduct or assassinate them abroad. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners in Iran, the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, and hundreds of Iranian dissidents assessed abroad are a testament to this fact.

4-            The price of political criticism or disagreement with the rule of mullahs is nothing less than being denied your own basic rights in the society, your future, your education and the opportunity for enjoying a proper job.

In such a country under the rule of mullahs, it has been impossible for the people to pursue their political, social and economic demands.


How early days of fighting against the regime paved the path for today's protests

Indeed, fighting against the regime was triggered in the 1980s from day one that the regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in Iran after the 1979 revolution. Khomeini, who was first promising that he would establish justice in the country, began violating the Iranian people’s basic rights day after day.

In the 1980s, the main fight was between the regime and opposition organizations, parties and groups. The regime used all its capacity against the opposition: military arsenal, imprisonment, execution, terror, and massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. However, MEK's fight against the regime did not settle down even for a single minute. Moreover, PMOI/MEK's continuous fight against the regime showed the path of freedom to Iran’s youth and paved the way for Iran’s society to step in the fight for their destiny.

What happened in November 2019 was the continuation of a path that PMOI/MEK started 38 years ago and has built up its strategy on it. In November 2019, the secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani had stated that protesters were following the PMOI/MEK agenda.

Now the people of Iran have experienced a lot during the past 40 years of dictatorship and have put all their experience into action to overthrow the regime and to establish freedom in Iran.