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A year of uprisings and protests across Iran

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Feb. 12, 2019 - Year 2018 began in Iran with a nationwide uprising that lasted more than two weeks and encompassed all 31 provinces of Iran, spreading to more than 142 cities.

This uprising was a turning point in the 40-year struggle against the tyrannical rule of the mullahs in Iran. With all of its power, the clerical regime tried to prevent the spread of popular uprisings through suppression. The regime tried to create the impression that the uprising had been stifled from its onset.

But now, a year after the great uprising of the people of Iran, we are witnessing its continuation all across the country. Popular protests have spread to all segments of the Iranian society. The extension of the uprisings is testament to the fact that the regime is not capable of solving the slightest problems of Iran's society. To extend its rule, the regime relies on suppression, killing and execution.

This turning point showed that the regime has become much weaker and that there is no return to the conditions before the uprising; the regime cannot eliminate the factors that led to the uprising, as people chanted: “Hardliners, reformists, the game is over," and as the policy of appeasement proved to be a failed approach.

The regime is isolated not only inside Iran but also on the international front. During the 2009 uprisings, the appeasement policy came to the rescue of the Iranian regime, and silence by world leaders turned the tide in favor of the ruling mullahs and against the rising people. But the January 2018 uprising enjoyed the support of a leading opposition organization and a known alternative at the global level that had the ability to guide and lead the protests through an organized network of resistance units inside Iran. The organized opposition movement was also capable of drawing global support for the uprising.


The economic roots of the uprisings and protests

The dire economic conditions caused by the corruption of the ruling mullahs has plunged the lives of the majority of the Iranians under the line of poverty and prodded them towards protests.

“Inflation rate in Iran in 2017 was more than 10%. In 2018 it reached 29% and it will reach 35% in the current year”. (Tasnim news agency affiliated with IRGC’s Quds Force- Friday, January 18, 2019)

Ali Khodaee, a member of High Labor Council, said: “In December 2018, the minimum living expenses for a month reached 39,800,000 rials. Currently a wage of 14,000,000 rials for a family of three means only one quarter of their monthly expenses. (Mehr state-run news agency- January 14, 2019)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that Iran’s economy has entered recession facing a negative 1.5% growth. In year 2019, the negative growth will be 3.6%. Next year, the GDP will face a $97-billion reduction.

The head of Majlis (parliament) labor commission stated: “The textile industry, the main industry in Iran is devastated. 930 jobs related to this industry have diminished.”

Morteza Afghah, one of the economy experts of the Iranian regime, remarked: “One percent of the society enjoys $57 billion of wealth without even working and without paying any taxes.” (ILNA state-run news agency- January 8, 2019)


The continuation of the popular protests and uprising in 2018

In addition to January 2018 uprising, Iran has witnessed four other series of uprisings:

  1. The popular uprising in Kazerun in May 2018,
  2. The popular uprising of Tehran in June 2018,
  3. The popular uprising in Khuzestan in June and July of 2018
  4. And the popular uprising of Karaj, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and other cities in August 2018.

The number of protests and uprisings in Iran in 2018 has doubled in comparison with year 2017 and is encompassing all segments of the society: students, teachers, truckers, workers, farmers, defrauded customers of financial institutes affiliated with the regime and etc. These protests and uprisings will eventually overthrow the regime.


Resistance Units inside Iran

Without any doubt, the activities of the Resistance Units have been a determining factor in the continuation of the protests and uprisings.

The resistance units rise from the society and have a history of struggle behind them. So they cannot be eliminated and destroyed. Despite all the arrests and brutal suppression by the regime's security forces, they will grow and multiply.

In 2018, the Resistance Units have been active across the country. Their activities include leading and supporting popular protests and uprisings and setting fire to the icons of suppression such as banners of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini and regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, as well as the headquarters of the suppressive forces of the regime.

These activities has broken the atmosphere of fear that the regime has tried to establish and has encouraged the people to continue their uprisings.


The regime admits to the role of PMOI/MEK and Resistance Units in forming, organizing and continuing the resistance inside Iran

In his speech in January, Khamenei referred to the uprisings and said: “These were organized events. A triangle was active in this: the US and Zionists (planned it), a wealthy Persian Gulf country, and the (MEK/PMOI) that was ready from months before."

Fars news agency, affiliated with IRGC, wrote on August 5, 2018: “During the unrest of January 2018, Mojahedin seized the opportunities and recognized the capacities. Through Resistance Units they ordered the operations to begin. These units consisted of two to five members of Mojahedin."

“The MEK and its levers, meaning the ‘Resistance Units’, armed with the slogan of ‘wait for the day that we take up arms’ are inspiring the young generation," said Zare’ee an IRGC commander on July 27, 2018.

Hosseini the advisor of regime’s armed forces’ cyber war base said: “90% of the current strikes and the calls for it is the work of MEK. They have infiltrated all strata; the truckers and the bazaar merchants. They are guiding them." (Fars news agency- August 1, 2018)

In a political analysis, the state-run Baharestaneh website wrote on August 28, 2018: “Today, MEK has infiltrated all associations: the truckers, bazaar merchants, defrauded customers of financial institutes, teachers, workers,…They work as leaders. They have organized Resistance Units which can both multiply and replace leaders in the scene."

Ghaboos Nameh database, affiliated with the regime, wrote on September 19, 2018: “The enemy uses your negligence and organizes the youths. As they put it, they form 'Resistance Units.'"

Gholam-hossein Mohseni Ezhe’ee, a spokesperson for the regime's judiciary, said: “These days some people chant against the judiciary, government and the officials. Be careful! God forbid and beware of the presence of a MEK member among the crowd. The people will follow their lead."

Tabeen tactical think tank affiliated with the regime, December 30, 2018: “We must act seriously to confront the MEK. Their activities have seriously increased in recent months."