The past years have seen a significant increase in the number of protests taking place across Iran. Many observers and analysts have tried to look at these protest movements in isolation, targeted at separate economic woes such as unpaid wages, high inflation, low pensions, and lack of access to water for irrigation. However, the recent weeks have proven that today, more than ever, Iran’s people are aware that their multitude of problems is linked to the evil nature of the regime ruling their country. And they are making it clear in their slogans that their problems will only be solved when the mullahs’ rule is overthrown.
A quick look at the process that protest movements have gone through clearly shows that the people’s conflict has escalated to the highest levels of power in Iran. Previously, while raising their demands, protesters called for accountability and the resignation of local authorities, such as governors, mayors, senior executives, and corporate figures linked to the regime.
Today, most protests quickly turn into anti-regime protests that call for the overthrow of the mullahs’ rule.
People have no fear of targeting Ali Khamenei in their slogans despite the risks associated with criticizing the regime’s unelected supreme leader. Neither do they fear regime president Ebrahim Raisi, who has gained notorious fame after making a career out of executing dissidents and opposition members. In fact, slogans such as “Death to [regime president Ebrahim] Raisi” and “Death to [regime supreme leader Ali] Khamenei” have become a mainstay of most protest rallies.
These slogans were the rallying cries of protesters during the demonstrations that erupted after a surge in the price of basic goods such as flour, bread, and cooking oil in early May. The same slogans were chanted during the protest rallies that took place after the Abadan Metropol building collapsed on May 23. And more recently, pensioners and retirees, are tired of the government’s continued refusal to meet their demands to raise pensions according to the growing inflation and declining value of the national currency.
Another important factor that distinguishes the recent waves of protests is the people’s fearlessness in face of the regime’s security and repression apparatus. The regime has taken extensive measures to prevent protests from taking shape, including internet censorship, the arrest and imprisonment of activists, and dispatching security forces to different parts of the country to crack down on protests.
In early May, as protests over food prices spread to many cities, security forces fired teargas and live ammunition at the protesters. But protesters resisted the crackdown and responded by targeting and raiding the headquarters of the regime’s repressive forces in many cities.
As the people of Iran strengthen their will to overthrow the mullahs’ rule, the regime’s apparatus of repression is gradually losing its efficiency.
And finally, the protests are coinciding with the growing activities of the Iranian Resistance inside Iran. Resistance Units, a network of activists affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), have been carrying out a series of activities that are keeping the spirit of rebellion against the regime alive. These activities include the broadcasting of anti-regime slogans in public places and the recent takeover of security cameras and servers belonging to the Tehran Municipality.
As a member of the Resistance Units told Just The News in a recent interview, these activities send a “message that all the oppression, all the criminals in the oppressive machinery of this regime, all their crimes now being exposed, their tools of oppression are being taken away from them.”
Indeed, in their protests, the people of Iran are sending the message that they are ready for change. And there is no force stopping them and their resistance movement.