International conference in Ashraf-3 on June 20, 2020
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) will hold its annual “Free Iran Global Summit” online on July 17, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This event will be attended by thousands of supporters of the Iranian Resistance, along with hundreds of renowned politicians from all across the globe.
What is the core message of this rally, its impact on the Iranian regime, and the regime’s current situation?
The Iranian regime is riddled with crises. The regime’s 40 years of oppression and its institutionalized corruption and warmongering policies have resulted in nothing but misery for the Iranian people. These actions however have turned the Iranian society into a powder keg.
Following the sudden fuel price-hike in November 2019, the restive Iranian society exploded, a year after the previous uprising. Hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the streets. The Iranian people identified the regime as the root of all problems in Iran and unanimously demanded regime change. These protests quickly spread across Iran and shook the regime’s foundation.
Protesters attacked centers of suppression, including government centers, security outposts, and state-affiliated banks, gas stations and seminaries, particularly those affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Hundreds of buildings were torched or sustained serious damages.
To delay their downfall, the regime resorted to a brutal oppression. According to the reports published by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), over 1500 people were martyred during the nationwide Iran protests, while another 12,000 were arrested and over 4,000 wounded. The mullahs’ regime imposed an internet blackout to prevent footages of the Iran protests reaching the outside world. Along with the Iran protests’ extensiveness, the leading role of the MEK’s Resistance Units terrified the regime much more.
The state-run Fars news agency quoted Hossein Ashtari, the Commander of State Security Forces (SSF), as saying: “Our investigations show that behind the scenes, anti-revolutionary organizations and the MEK led these movements. The country’s security and law enforcement entities have identified these individuals. And God willing, they will be punished for their actions at the right time.”
The state-run Jomhouri Eslami daily reported on November 18: “The commander of the IRGC in Fars province says that the leaders of the riots had ties to the MEK.”
The regime’s brutal oppression during the November uprising temporarily quelled the Iranian society. But when on January 11, the IRGC admitted it had shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet earlier on January 8, another series of Iran protests began. University students were at the forefront of these protests. In their slogans, people targeted the regime’s top officials, including Khamenei as the regime’s Commander-in Chief and President Hassan Rouhani, and demanded regime change.
Although the regime was once again able to oppress protesters, people’s general and unprecedented boycott of the regime’s sham parliamentary elections in February showed the people’s conflict with this regime has reached an irreversible point.
Now after two nationwide uprisings, the regime is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the regime’s cover-up and inaction, the virus quickly spread across Iran/ It has so far claimed the lives of over 63,000 people. The mullahs’ regime criminal policy of herd immunity, while the regime has enough resources to keep people safe in their homes, confirms the regime has no intention of helping people and opts to use the COVID-19 as a lever of oppression. Yet, the regime’s own officials now warn of a “post-coronavirus” situation and that these measures could spark a new uprising. In this regard, Ahmad Naderi, one of the regime’s officials, told the state-run Resalat daily on March 7: “I am worried about the social and security outcome of this crisis. Soon, rebellions, much larger than the ones in 2018 and 2019 will happen.”
The regime’s warmongering machine
The export of terrorism abroad is one of the regime’s pillars of existence. In this regard, the IRGC’s extraterritorial Quds Force has been playing a key role in pursuing the regime’s warmongering policies. The elimination of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in January was a major blow to the regime’s warmongering machine. The ongoing uprisings in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon against the Iranian regime’s deadly meddling are another blow to this warmongering regime.
The regime’s malign activities, such as breaching its commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, the proliferation of ballistic missiles, and export of terrorism, have resulted in Tehran’s unprecedented international isolation. The United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal citing the Iranian regime’s malign activities, and since then it has been pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign against the regime’s illicit activities. Some recent international reactions to the regime’s malign behavior are:
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors called on the Iranian regime on Friday to stop denying the agency access to two suspected former nuclear sites and to cooperate fully with inspectors.
H.Res.374, a draft resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives which enjoys the bipartisan support of a majority of lawmakers from 41 states and 12 committees, was unveiled last week. This resolution calls for immediate action to counter the Iranian regime’s threats and “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.”
The U.S. presented a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council to ratify the unlimited extension of the Iranian regime’s arms embargo, which is set to expire in October. China and Russia are likely to veto the resolution, but the U.S. has said it will pursue a second plan if it is vetoed. There are reports that the U.S. Plan B is to activate the automatic trigger mechanism embedded in Security Council Resolution 2231. As such, all six previous resolutions would be re-enacted.
The Iranian regime engulfed with the crisis tries to oppress the Iranian society using any possible tool, even the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the regime’s lobbyists and apologists desperately try to pursue this narrative that there is no viable alternative to the religious fascism ruling Iran.
Therefore, the 2020 “Global Free Iran” summit will not only send a strong message of support and solidarity to the risen people of Iran. But it will also confirm that regime change in Iran is imminent. The democratic alternative is ready and capable of achieving it. So, the international community should stand with the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement.