Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, January 12, 2020—Students from different Iranian universities gathered for protest rallies for the second consecutive day. Despite intense security measures by the Iranian regime’s repressive forces, people gathered at several locations and resumed the protests they had started yesterday.
Protests began after Iranian officials admitted having downed a civilian airliner that was flying from Tehran to Kiev, Ukraine. The incident caused the death of all 176 passengers, most of whom were Iranian. Students and people who had gathered at universities who had gathered to mourn for the victims started chanting slogans against the regime’s incompetence. The rallies soon escalated into anti-regime protests, with the crowd calling for the overthrow of the regime and its supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
UPDATE—8:00 PM CET
Mrs. Rajavi hailed the brave people of Iran who have taken to the streets in many cities to overthrow the regime.
#Iran rises up. Hail to the brave people of Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Shadegan, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Karaj, Sari, Babol, Amol, Semnan, Shahroud, Tabriz, Qazvin, Zanjan, Shiraz, Urmia, Gorgan & Arak, who have heralded dawn of a #FreeIran with chants of “death to Khamenei”— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 12, 2020
In Tehran, at the crossroads of Azarbaijan and Rudaki streets, protesters tore down a poster of Qasem Soleimani, the regime's chief terrorist killed in an airstrike last week. The regime had tried to frame Soleimani as a national symbol and hero. Also at Rudaki, the protesters were calling for the overthrow of the mullahs' regime. "Khamenei have shame, let go of the country!" the protesters were chanting.
January 12 - Tehran, #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 12, 2020
"Khamenei, shame on you! Let go of the country!" the crowd chants as their protests target the mullahs' regime and the dictator himself.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/jporhN4m9L
In Tabriz, protesters who had gathered in front of the Medical Sciences University were chanting, "So many years of crime, death to the mullahs' regime!"
Meanwhile, in Shiraz, protesters marched into the night, chanting "Death to the dictator!" and calling for Khamenei, the commander in chief, to resign.
UPDATE—7:00 PM CET
The number of cities joining the protests continues to increase. In Mashhad, a large crowd gathered in Park-e Mellat and shouted anti-regime slogans. The protesters were chanting, "The mullahs must get lost" and "They killed our geniuses and gave us mullahs instead." The protesters also chanted, "Death to the dictator," calling for regime change.
The protesters also expressed their utter hatred for the Revolutionary Guards, which has had a prominent role in suppressing protests and killing dissidents. "You are our ISIS," the protesters were chanting in Mashhad.
In Tabriz, the protesters were chanting, "Be afraid, we are all together!" addressing the Iranian regime's suppressive forces that had come to crack down on the demonstrations. The protesters were also calling for regime change, chanting, "We don't want the Islamic Republic." This is a slogan that has become very popular over the past two days.
Protests also took place in Amol, where protesters were also chanting for the end of the mullahs' Islamic Republic. in Qazvin, the people gathered in Sabzeh Meidan at dusk. The people commemorated the victims of Wednesday's plane crash and chanted anti-regime slogans. Protesters clashed with security forces that had been dispatched to disperse them.
In Zanjan, the people started their protest rally in the afternoon. They were heard chanting, "Don't call me a seditionist! You're the sedition, you dictator!" Seditionist is the term the regime uses for protesters.
January 12 - Zanjan, northwest #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 12, 2020
"Don't call me a seditionist! You're the sedition, you dictator!" the crowd is chanting as the Iranian people hold the mullahs' regime responsible for all their miseries.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/4U6DTrZb5p
Mr. Shahin Gobadi, a spokesperson of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI-MEK), said, "The protest by thousands of Iranians in Tehran and a number of other cities last night and today, in which people were chanting slogans like ‘Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, resign, resign,’ makes it palpably clear that the Iranian people demand the mullahs’ overthrow.
"The protesters openly blamed and challenged the IRGC, the regime’s power base for decades. This marks vividly indicated a new phase of more defiance in Iran as the regime has become much weaker. In chanting against the Shah’s regime and the current religious fascism, the protesters showed that they reject despotism in any shape and form and democracy is the only way forward.
"The protests undercut the regime’s propaganda subsequent to the termination of Qasem Soleimani. Not only the protesters tore down his posters in Tehran and elsewhere, they also chanted 'Soleimani is a murderer, so is his leader (Ali Khamenei).' They condemned the shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner and lashed out at the regime for lying about it.
"In the aftermath of the November anti-regime protests in 191 cities throughout Iran in which the regime killed more than 1,500 protesters, wounded 4,000 and arrested 12,000, the tide has turned against the regime."
UPDATE—5:00 PM CET
New reports indicate that protests have spread from Tehran's universities to other parts of the city. A large crowd has gathered in the city's iconic Azadi Square and are chanting anti-regime slogans. The protesters were calling for regime change, shouting "The stupid leader is our disgrace" and "Mullahs must get lost."
Other videos show that despite the presence of security forces, people in Tehran's Azadi square are not afraid to chant "Death to the dictator," a direct call for the removal of Ali Khamenei, the regime's supreme leader.
Other reports from Yazd, central Iran, show that the people have poured into the streets despite the cold. The protesters are chanting, "Commander in chief, resign! Resign!" calling for the ouster of Khamenei.
In Kermanshah, the people are chanting "Death to the dictator," a slogan that has become all too common across Iran. In Babol, northern Iran, a large crowd of protesters are chanting anti-regime slogans. When security forces tried to disperse the demonstrators, they resisted and shouted, "Shame on you! Shame on you!"
UPDATE—4:00 PM CET
A new video obtained from Alameh University shows the students chanting "Death to liars," referring to regime officials who lied about the plane crash incident. The protesters were also shouting, "My dead brother, I will avenge your death."
"We are mourning 40 years of tyranny," one of the students said. "This is just a part of the crimes [the regime] has committed. All of those whose hands are stained with the blood of the people must resign."
In Kermanshah, the students of Razi University held a protest rally and were chanting, "Students will die, but won't give in to disgrace." When security forces attacked the protesters and tried to arrest one of them, the students resisted and shouted, "Shame on you! Shame on you! Let go of the student!"
UPDATE—3:00 PM CET
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed Iranian students who have taken to the streets for the second day.
Mrs. Rajavi reiterated the students' slogans calling for the overthrow of the mullahs' regime and called on the international community to support the Iranian people in their desire for regime change in their country.
"The time has come for the world community to acknowledge this truth that the ruling religious fascism does not represent the people of Iran and to recognize the Iranian people’s desire for the downfall of the clerical regime," Mrs. Rajavi said.
The time has come for the world community to acknowledge this truth that the ruling religious fascism does not represent the people of #Iran and to recognize the Iranian people’s desire for the downfall of the clerical regime #IranProtests— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 12, 2020
New reports obtained from inside Iran indicate protest rallies were held at Tehran's Khajeh Nasir University and Arak University. The students lit candles and sang songs for the victims of the airplane crash and protested the Iranian regime's crimes against the people.
1:00 PM CET
On Sunday, the students of Beheshti University (National University) in Tehran gathered in front of the campus and were chanting anti-regime slogans. “Today is the day of mourning. Defenseless Iranians are mourning today.” The protesters were also chanting slogans against the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the terrorist-designated military branch of the regime, whose anti-aircraft units downed the Ukrainian airliner on Wednesday. “The incompetent IRGC is the cause of the people’s death,” the protesters chanted.
The protesters also made it clear that they were not afraid of the regime’s security forces. The protesters at Beheshti University were chanting, “Be afraid. We are all together” and “Cannons, tanks and tear gas are no longer effective.”
On the previous day, the regime had dispatched security forces and fired tear gas on the protesters to disperse the crowd.
The protesters at Beheshti University also reiterated the demands that protesters have been chanting in previous months: regime change. “We don’t want the Islamic Republic,” the protesters shouted, rejecting the name that the ruling mullahs have put on Iran after the 1979 revolution.
The protesters were also chanting, “Commander in chief, resign, resign,” referring to Khamenei himself. “Death to tyrants, both the Shah and the Leader,” the protesters shouted, comparing the current leader of the regime with the toppled regime of the Shah.
The students of Beheshti University also made it clear that their enemy is the regime and no one else. “Our enemy is right here, [the regime is] lying that it’s the U.S.” In its propaganda, the Iranian regime often tries to portray Iran’s enemy as the United States and claims that this is a mindset shared by all Iranians.
A similar gathering was held at Isfahan’s Industrial University. The students were chanting, “The IRGC commits crimes, the leader supports it.” Here too, the students made it clear that they are fed up with the religious fascism ruling their country. “They’ve used Islam to ruin the people’s lives,” the protesters were chanting.
Students also gathered at Tehran’s Sharif University to resume their protests. The students of Sharif had held a similar gathering on the previous day.
At Tehran University’s Management School, students held a gathering and lit candles for the victims of the airplane crash.
At Karaj’s Pardis University, students gathered and mourned the death of the victims of the airplane crash. The students challenged the regime’s repressive forces, chanting, “Be afraid. We are all together.” The protesters also called on other students to support them.
In Damghan, northern Iran, the students of Damghan University held a protest rally. The protesters were chanting, “Commander in chief, resign! Resign!” and “Disgraceful basijis are the cause of the people’s death.” The Basij, the Iranian regime’s paramilitary repressive force, was broadly responsible for the suppression of the protests and the killing of civilians in November.
At the Alameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, protesters were chanting, “State TV/Radio is a disgrace.” State-run broadcasting organizations are in full service of the regime and its propaganda and never reflect the views and needs of the people. Therefore, they are often targeted by the people during anti-regime protests.
January 12 - Tehran, #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) January 12, 2020
Allameh Tabataba'i University
"State TV/radio are a disgrace!" in reference to the regime's use of state outlets to broadcast fake news & pro-regime propaganda. #IranProtestspic.twitter.com/Vh4GpWDnAo