Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 30, 2020—The Iranian society is in any sense in a critical situation. Economic pressure, skyrocketing prices, and unemployment have embraced millions of Iranians. Those employed are not sure whether they will keep their jobs next month, and the novel coronavirus crisis has added to this terrible circumstance.
The main question raised in the society and even among regime officials is how long will the status quo stand? State media constantly warn about people’s patience wearing thin and the explosive state of the society.
Ali Khodai, a regime analyst, warned about the unbearable conditions of workers and eruption of possible nationwide protest. “Iranian workers that depend on their employer, in these pandemic days, are hopeless of unanswered demands and are waiting for ‘a moment,’” he told the Eteamd daily on October 28. “When the time comes… and while the officials are sitting on their chairs, they must beware of the arriving ‘moment’ and must be very concerned,” Khodai said.
All the while, and following similar trends from the past, regime authorities are stepping up crackdown measures to confront the powder-keg situation of society. This started in mid-October with the parading of people in the streets, humiliating and torturing them psychologically in public to intimidate and suppress the general population. These measures faced a wave of public outrage that resulted in a signed Security Document by the judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi which supposedly eases some of the regime’s repressive measures on the public. It is worth noting that the Iranian has come to understand that such tactics are aimed at misleading the public opinion.
Regime intensifies repression
Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei showed the mullahs’ true face and literally defended suppressive measures taken by the State Security Force (SSF). “The people welcomed NAJA’s (uniformed police forces) initiative to deal with thugs,” he said in his message on October 20.
He referred to the SSF’s humiliating measures to justify its repression by portraying rebellious and young protesters as thugs. Following Khamenei’s remarks, on October 18 the SSF tortured and killed a 28-year-old man named Mehrdad Sepehri in the city of Mashhad with tasers and pepper spray, and shot and injured another young man in the city of Esfarayen on October 22.
October 24 - Mashhad, northeast #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 25, 2020
A young man was tortured and killed by the police. His hands were chained to a pole and a police officer used a shocker and pepper spray on him several times. He died of suffocation in a police vehicle, according to a family member. pic.twitter.com/owHjaJp6g5
“The police are still fighting and confronting insecurity and disruptors of order and security, and terrorist groups and all those thugs that disrupt public order,” said NAJA chief Hossein Ashtari.
“How the police deal take action against thugs is very satisfying and should continue with authority… the police are the embodiment of the most meaningful system of the establishment,” said Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
Subsequently, different Iranian cities witnessed the wave of repression continued in the most violent methods, resulting in the execution of at least ten people in recent days. In the span of just 24 hours the regime hanged five people on Thursday, October 29.
October 23 - Esfarāyen, northeast #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) October 26, 2020
Young man murdered by the police as the officers opened fire. Footage from the scene shows that the police officers were assaulting the young man despite him suffering a gunshot wound. pic.twitter.com/ZtFnhc75xM
The Iranian regime now is facing a deadlock and has no choice but to increase repression. Fear over a possible eruption of new nationwide protests and social anger overflowing pushes the regime to intensify repressive measures. However, senior officials are forced to retreat immediately in fear of a wave of public backlash.
Such step backs for the regime will intensify Iran’s protests and render feelings of despair among the regime’s forces, once again forcing the regime to take even further repressive measures. This accelerating cycle will eventually lead to the very public outburst that the regime fears.