Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, December 31, 2019—After Iran’s November uprising, which shook the ground beneath the feet of the ruling mullahs, the regime needed to put up a show of power and try to prove to the world, and to its own forces, that it still has a base of support in Iran.
The regime first tried to achieve this goal by launching pro-regime rallies in different cities. But the effort only resulted in further exposing the regime’s desperation and incapacity to keep its ranks together. The first such government-led show was on November 25, where the regime gathered a small crowd of its agents in Tehran to show their support for the regime.
The regime’s publications and broadcasting stations are renowned for amplifying numbers in favor of the regime when it suits them. Interestingly, in the case of the November 25 rally, they reported it as “tens of thousands” of people who have taken part in the event. This is while the regime has the habit of reporting regime events as “millions strong.”
Nonetheless, the regime tried to counter the continuing effects of the November uprisings in a supposed show of power in a rally planned for December 30. The mullahs had engaged in widespread publicity efforts, creating the impression that they would gather a very large crowd at Tehran’s iconic Azadi Square.
But what really took place was even more pitiful than the November 25 rally, which shows how much the regime has further fallen in the span of fewer than two months.
A small and pitiful gathering
Instead of Azadi Square, the regime chose Emam Hossein and 17 Shahrivar street as the venue for its event. It is worth noting that the regime usually forces soldiers, students, and government employees to take part in such events. But still, it wasn’t able to gather a large crowd, as evidence shows.
The venue was no larger than 100x100 meters, definitely not suited for a crowd of millions. In their coverage of the event, the regime’s state-run media only showed a 200-meter length of the 17 Shahrivar street.
Also worth noting is that Emam Hossein is one of the most crowded sections of Tehran. Many people pass by Emam Hossein in their daily commute at all hours. Given that the event was held on a busy working day, it means a considerable part of the crowd seen in the videos are not participants in the rally but ordinary people passing by to get to work or home.
Tehran is a city of 12 million. So why couldn’t the regime gather a substantial crowd of its agents, Basijis and their families to shout their support for the mullahs?
Since November Iran protests, the regime is in constant fear of the resurgence of protests across the country. During the uprisings, angry protesters attacked centers and buildings that symbolized the regime’s corruption and tyranny, and the mullahs only managed to maintain their hold on power through sheer violence of their security forces.
Therefore, the regime is forced to keep its forces in their bases and vital government centers for fear that angry protesters will attack them at any moment. In previous years, the regime usually transferred its forces from smaller counties, especially those surrounding Tehran, to the bigger cities whenever it had pro-government rallies. But again, fearing that it would lose hold of its control over these counties, the regime decided to keep its forces in their locations on December 30.
In a nutshell, the regime’s forces have become locked in their places and can’t move.
Therefore, Tehran's December 30 project yielded reverse results. The regime wanted to show power, stability and popular support. But its rallies only showed how fragile and weak it has become and it is now in a political and social deadlock. The regime wanted to intimidate the public and instill fear in the rebellious youth who have courageously challenged its security forces in the past months. But in truth, the regime only proved that fear has changed sides. It is now the security forces who can’t leave their bases in fear of the people of Iran, who will settle for nothing less than the overthrow of the regime in its entirety.