In view of the state of absolute repression and the use of brute force in dealing with any form of opposition, could Iran’s ruling religious dictatorship be overthrown?
The regime celebrated the anniversary of the anti-monarchical revolution in February at a time when after ruling for 43 years with an iron fist, it is facing crises from all directions, most notably at home.
One of the regime’s greatest problems is the growing activities of Resistance Units, the network of activists supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The Resistance Units, which have been expanding across Iran in the past years, have played a major role in maintaining the momentum of rebellion across Iran and preventing the regime from establishing an environment of fear and suppression.
In recent months, the Resistance Units have carried out significant activities that have dealt significant blows to the regime’s apparatus of suppression and propaganda.
Statue of Qassem Soleimani torched
On January 5, 2022, authorities in Shahrekord, Charmahal, and Bakhtiari Province, unveiled a large statue of Qassem Soleimani, the eliminated commander of the terrorist Quds Force. The extremely expensive project was meant to glorify the regime’s terror mastermind, who played a pivotal role in shaping the regime’s policy of exporting terrorism to the countries of the region and cracking down on protests at home.
Within a few hours, the Resistance Units torched the statue, forcing the regime to cancel many ceremonies and events it had meant to hold at the site in the following days.
The semi-official ISNA News Agency reported, “In a brazen act, the statue of Lt. Gen. Haj Qassem Soleimani, unveiled yesterday morning, January 5, in the presence of officials in the Province in Hazrat Qamarbani Hashem Square in Shahrekord, was set on blaze last night by unidentified individuals.”
Mohammad Ali Nekonam, the representative of the Iranian regime’s supreme leader in ShahrKord, issued a statement on January 6, in which he called the torching of the statue “a crime” that “would increase Haj Qassem’s popularity among people.”
However, images and videos of the burning statue of Soleimani were largely distributed on social media and news outlets and welcomed by the people of Iran as well as the people of the region, who have suffered immensely at the hands of Soleimani and the terrorist Quds Force.
State-run TV/Radio disrupted
On January 27, the Resistance Units carried out a major disruption of dozens of TV and radio stations of Iran’s state broadcasting network. At 3 pm, local time, programs were stopped suddenly to be replaced by the images and audio of Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi, and NCRI’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi.
The disrupted sequence also aired visual and at times audio slogans of “Death to Khamenei” in a reference to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and “Viva Rajavi.”
A crossed-out image of Khamenei was also shown on numerous state TV networks. The images also show a video clip of Massoud Rajavi, who says: “Today, we still honor the time that we declared death to the reactionary. We stood by it.”
Reports from inside the regime indicate that more than 600 TV and radio servers were offline and destroyed during the disruption.
“Footage related to the MEK were suddenly aired at 3 pm local time on 14 TV and 13 radio stations, and we were caught off guard,” according to reports from inside the regime.
Ali Dadi, deputy chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), described the disruption as “extremely complex” adding, “The owners of this technology could exploit and damage the backdoors and features that are installed on the systems.”
The regime responded with frantic, albeit futile, efforts to hack and bring down the servers of the websites associated with the Iranian Resistance.
Three weeks later, the regime has been unable to repair the damage done to its broadcast operations.
Anti-regime slogans on the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution
In early February, another wave of activities by the Resistance Units shocked the regime as it prepared to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the mullahs’ rise to power.
On February 9, the Resistance Units used the public address system in Bazaar Reza, the main market in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city located in the northeast, to air anti-regime slogans. The slogans included:
- “Down with Khamenei, Viva Rajavi!”
- “Down with oppressors, be it the Shah or the [supreme] Leader!”
- “Down with Khamenei! Damn with Khomeini! Viva MEK!”
A song was also broadcast with this verse: “Rise up to uproot the enemy’s castle!”
On February 10, similar actions took place in Shahr-e Rey (south of Tehran), and Sarasiab and Fardis districts of Karaj, a major city located west of Tehran. Loudspeakers in crowded places played anti-regime slogans including:
- “Death to Khamenei, Viva Rajavi
- “Iranians are well aware and hate the Shah and mullahs!”
- “No to crowns and turbans, the mullahs’ days are over!”
- “Death to Khamenei! Damn with Khomeini!”
- “Down with Khamenei and Raisi!”
In Sarasiab, segments of a speech delivered by Mrs. Rajavi regarding the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime, and a speech delivered by Mr. Rajavi about the “heroic Iranian people overthrowing the regime” were broadcast repeatedly.
On February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, anti-regime slogans were aired from the loudspeakers of a branch of the Saderat Bank in Shahriar, west of Tehran.
The audio included slogans that called Raisi a butcher, called for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime, and hailed MEK leaders.
Banners of regime leaders torched in multiple cities
On February 15, Resistance Units in dozens of cities torched banners and posters of regime leaders installed in different cities on the anniversary of the 1979 anti-monarchical Revolution.
These activities took place in Tehran and in many other cities, including Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Kerman, Hamedan, Zanjan, Semnan, Gorgan, Shahriar, Zabol, Behbahan, Torbat-e-Jam, Sarbaz, and Kavar.
The regime holds 10 days of celebrations to mark the “Fajr Decade” up to February 11, the day the Shah regime was overthrown by the Iranian people. In these ten days, it spends enormous amounts of the country’s wealth on publicity, ceremonies, rallies, and other propaganda efforts to exude power and stability. But the efforts of the Resistance Units expose the regime’s fragility and the current state of Iran’s society, which is yearning for regime change and the establishment of a democratic and free state.
What are the Resistance Units?
In a recent interview, NCRI’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Mohammad Mohaddessin offered some insights:
“What has kept this illegitimate regime in power after 43 years is its practice of unbridled domestic crackdown. The religious dictatorship, with dozens of intelligence, military, and security institutions, has gone the distance to keep this notion of fear alive throughout the Iranian society that the regime is strong, and no internal or external force can stand against it.
“And the ‘Resistance Units’ are the sledgehammers that break this atmospheric crackdown. Each day in various parts of Iran, under a widespread network of surveillance cameras, right under the noses of thousands of overt and covert agents, they are groups of brave youths that take down the icons of this dictatorship. These Resistance Units are literally on the verge of bringing an end to the regime’s suffocating crackdown.
“Even the coronavirus pandemic, through which the regime sought to ground the entire Iranian nation, has not hindered their efforts. They’re also the driving force behind Iran’s nationwide uprisings, taking the initiative in various scenes.
“Through their actions, they’re sending a message to the Iranian society and the international community that this regime is loathed by the Iranian people. It is not a strong regime. This state, with all its technology and advanced weaponry, may imprison, torture, and execute us. However, it can no longer maintain fear in our hearts. The Resistance Units are saying: “This regime has to go and will go!”
“This network is now five years in the making. Thousands of young Iranians are active in many cities, towns, and villages across the country. They’re even carrying out their measures in broad daylight, encouraging people into rising up against the mullahs’ regime, and/or nuisance measures targeting the regime’s security institutions. Each measure by a Resistance Unit plants the seeds of courage into the hearts of hundreds of people. Each measure is a severe blow to this regime’s lifespan.
“The world’s largest conventional armies have been helpless against insurgencies. There are numerous examples throughout history. These members of Resistance Units are among the people and communicating with their locals, planting the ideas and mentality of being active and resistant in the face of the regime’s forces. In markets, schools, and at their workplaces… wherever there is potential for dissent, these activists are there to encourage the people to rise against the regime. They use social media platforms to inform the broader public.
“Even though this regime has to this day arrested hundreds of Resistance Unit members, their numbers are increasing by the day. It matters not how large the regime’s oppressive forces are. What is important is the fact that weapons and technology lack the will to overcome an organized force that relies on its people and has a legitimate objective. Such an entity is able to expand, and nothing can stand in its path.”