Anti-government protests have spread to 142 cities across the country and led to about 50 protesters being killed and an estimated 8,000 detained
The National, 23rd January 2018 - A FORMER Speaker of the US House of Representatives has criticised European nations for their response to protests in Iran and accused them of hiding from reality.
Newt Gingrich, who is now a White House adviser, was speaking after meeting representatives from the Iranian resistance The National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris. Thousands of demonstrators have been arrested following protests over unemployment and spiralling inflation in Iran.
He told The National: “The United States should adopt a strategy of maximising the ability of the protesters to organise and communicate, no matter what the Iranian dictatorship does to try to cut off their telecommunications.
“Some European countries have finally begun to admit and say publicly how bad it is, but there’s still a tendency in Europe to hide from reality if they think it’s going to cost them jobs.
“I think it’s likely it [the Iranian dictatorship] is not going to survive but you can’t tell when. Nobody could have told you five years after the Soviet Union collapsed that it was going to disintegrate. I’d be very surprised if the dictatorship survives another generation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they survived another four or five years.
“Our job is to apply the maximum pressure to recruit the young people, to empower the young people and do everything we can to help be effective and to help them survive.”
According to sources in the People’s Mujahidin Organisation of Iran (Mojahedin-e Khalq-e Iran, or MEK, the protests, which first flared at the end of December, spread to 142 cities across the country and led to about 50 protesters being killed and an estimated 8,000 detained. Many are said to have been tortured to death.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said: “The MEK prepared for this months ago and the MEK’s media outlets had called for it.”
Gingrich said: “The current dictatorship in Iran has been clearly sustained by fear and torture … Khamenei has suffered a tremendous moral defeat … the level of discontent in Iran and the level of rejection of the dictatorship is deeper today than any time before.
“The US administration has no illusion that there is a moderate wing in the dictatorship. There is an evil wing of the dictatorship and there is a pretty evil wing of the dictatorship and there is no innocent wing of the dictatorship.
“The governments of countries that have a sense of decency have to be called upon to condemn and to refuse to tolerate this kind of behaviour [by the regime]. For the first time in the last couple of weeks, I have seen European governments who historically would have done nothing finally feeling embarrassed and compelled to say something.
“The level of the regime’s fear from the resistance is growing for a practical reason. The resistance has survived. It has endured. It has continued with its mission and the regime has not been able to stop it.”
“The resistance is making a difference. The MEK is making a difference. I have no doubt that in the long run, you are on the right side of history.”
Gingrich added: “My prediction is that you will see more demonstrations. I suspect this spring and summer could be a very, very important time.”
Rajavi said: “Our people urge the United Nations and all governments to pressure the clerical regime to free those arrested in recent protests and hold them accountable regarding those who have disappeared.
“The United Nations must form a commission of inquiry to investigate the arbitrary arrests of thousands of people and the killing of prisoners under torture.”