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Iran’s regime ratchets up repression in fear of nationwide protests

Iran's regime fears the re-emergence of nationwide uprisings
Iran's regime fears the re-emergence of nationwide uprisings

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 5, 2020—One thing that has been appearing in the headlines Iran’s state-run newspapers is the explosive state of the society. Regime officials, leaders, and analysts are afraid of another round of nationwide anti-government protests looming on the horizon. The faltering economy, caused by the endemic corruption in regime institutions and officials and compounded by the terribly handled coronavirus crisis, has driven the lives of millions of Iranians into misery.

And despite the constant state propaganda blaming foreign enemies for Iran’s economic woes, the people of Iran know the true culprit is the regime itself. And this frustration with the rulers is showing itself in ongoing protests and the targeting of regime centers in many Iranian cities.

 

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Unsurprisingly, the regime has opted to respond to the current situation by taking new measures to cause public fear and empower its security forces in cracking down on protests instead of changing policies and steering the country in a direction that would benefit the wellbeing of all the people.

On Saturday, the state-run Mehr News Agency, affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), reported on the founding of new provincial and municipal garrisons to deal with youth who are in contact with “dissident and anti-revolutionary groups” and added that security forces have “identified new leads into support for anti-revolutionary groups and scoundrels.”

In a meeting with the Yusef Tabatabaei Nejad, the Friday prayer leader of Isfahan, Majid Mirahmadi, the deputy security assistant of the armed forces staff declared that any aggression to the “people’s rights” is the “red line of the establishment” and added that analysis by security authorities have uncovered footprints of support for anti-regime groups who are in exile.

Mirahmadi’s remarks were a reference to ongoing activities against the regime, which continue despite the regime’s efforts to intimidate the public and prevent protest movements from taking shape.

Tabatabaei Nejad stressed the need to take action against those who break “Islamic laws” and said: “Those who transgress the rights of the people must be dealt with through God’s verdict.” Regime officials usually make reference to God when talking about death sentences.

Tabatabaei Nejad also called for more repressive measures against women and said, “We should make the society unsafe for the few (mal-veiled women) and not allow them to break the norms in the streets and parks easily… The State Security Forces should be given more authority in dealing with those breaking the law and the norms. We should not be afraid of any hostile action in dealing with the violators.”

Tabatabaei Nejad had previously made remarks against women who do not abide by the regime’s hijab rules, which instigated a series of acid attacks against women in different Iranian cities.

The remarks come as women have taken a more prominent role in protest movements, as was seen during the November 2019 protests, and later in January 2020, when students held large demonstrations protesting the regime’s criminal shooting of a civilian aircraft over Tehran.

The regime is turning especially harsh toward women.

In separate remarks, Abolghasem Yaghoubi, the Friday prayer leader of North Khorasan, said, “Law enforcement forces must make the lives of rioters who have evil intentions unsafe… Mal-veiling or the refusal to wear a veil act like a virus in society, and we must confront those who do that… In addition to the engagement of the SSF and the judiciary in combatting mal veiling, the people must also get involved and enjoin good and forbid evil. We must also be sensitive to other viruses and not just the Coronavirus.”

In a statement, the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) declared these measures as a “pretext to further repress Iranian women and girls” and called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, and all women’s rights and human rights organizations to “condemn these repressive measures and to support the struggle of Iranian women for freedom and equality.”