By Hamid Bahrami
News Blaze, November 8, 2017 - Following the U.S. new policy towards Iran’s regime, people are emboldened to rise up against the theocratic regime in Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The oppressed people of Iran whose life savings and pensions are being plundered by the regime have received the indirect but correct messages from the U.S. government that the era of appeasement with the regime has ended.
To overthrow the totalitarian regime in Iran, the middle-class plays a key role. Despite domestic repression and the regime’s vicious crackdown on popular dissent spearheaded by the IRGC, the middle-class has and will not hesitate to join the protests against the status quo.
In an exclusive interview with the VOA Persian Service, the former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich highlighted the following important fact: “I don’t think the Revolutionary Guard is weak enough right now for citizens to take them head-on without being slaughtered and you don’t want to recreate the 1988 Massacre.”
It is worth pointing out that the 1988 Massacre refers to the mass executions of 30,000 political dissidents in Iran, which according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran must be investigated.
Cumulative growth of anti-regime sentiment in recent months indicates people are ready to challenge regime suppression. In fact, hundreds of economic and civil protests have taken place across the country since the beginning of this year.
These protests started in response to corrupt financial institutions with close ties to the IRGC, the Judiciary and government authorities plundering people’s assets and life savings under the pretext of going bankrupt. In the meantime, the plundered protesters demanding answers are being suppressed by the IRGC.
After the U.S. designation of the entire IRGC pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, people have dared again to rise up against their oppressors. In an anti-regime protest, reported by Fox News on 23 October, thousands of Iranians gathered outside the regime’s parliament and chanted slogans like “Death to the dictator.”
In this regard, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, in a statement on 24 October, praised these brave protesters and called on the Iranian people to join and support them.
After Rajavi’s call, despite a tight security atmosphere in Tehran the following days, hundreds of people gathered in front of the UN Office to continue their previous protests. This is while in his remarks in the parliament, the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani claimed that the authorities have driven NCRI out of the country.
President Trump and some Iran experts have long argued that the theocratic regime in Iran fears the Iranian people most, who demand regime change.
Correcting three decades of failed U.S. policy towards Iran’s regime, it seems for now that the new U.S. strategy has shifted to end the era of appeasing the ruling theocratic regime.
Acknowledging that imposing sanctions and further restrictions on the regime are vital and effective, but considering the cleavage between the U.S. and EU on the nuclear deal (keep in mind that the deal provides needed political and financial leverage for the IRGC), it is naive to think that expelling the IRGC from the region is possible without undermining it inside the country.
Practical policy to undermine the IRGC inside the country should contemplate measures that get this repressive force and the entire regime paralysed by immense political, economic and civil protests.
Now, the legitimate question is how to get the IRGC busy with a domestic crisis.
Today, the regime is quelling hundreds of sporadic protests across the country. Thus, there is a strong potential for these popular civil and economic demands to form the basis of a coherent anti-regime demonstration. That is if these protests are to coverage into a nationwide protest movement. Such progress will get the regime and its repressive forces including the IRGC stuck in a perilous situation. The experience of the 2009 demonstrations in Iran prove the viability of this idea.
The NCRI has consistently been organising anti-regime protests inside Iran but the lack of international support combined with political expediency by the West in its approach to ongoing human rights abuses in Iran has provided the regime with sufficient leeway to crush popular dissent and suppress dissidents without fearing any economic or political repercussions.
Since the 1979 popular revolution in Iran, the regime has been condemned by both the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly for committing serious human rights violations on more than 60 occasions. But in reality, the situation continues to deteriorate.
In addition to all sanctions, there are two practical crucial options to defeat the IRGC.
First, recognise the NCRI as the driving force to undermine the Iranian regime and to bring about a democratic change in Iran that would eventually bring peace to the Middle East.
Second, refer Iran’s egregious human rights dossier to the UN Security Council.
So the question today should rather be why is the U.S. wasting time pursuing half measures.Anti-regime protests spreading across iran, says country's opposition
Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner, jailed for weeks in the Iranian regime’s dungeons, after filming a protest in Iran. He is a freelance journalist, a human rights and political activist. He left Iran recently and is now living in Glasgow, Scotland.