Iran Protests, Regime’s Infighting, and the World’s Obligation 

Written by
Shamsi Saadati

Iran’s nationwide uprising continued Monday, with oil workers going on strike and holding anti-regime rallies. In parallel with the mounting and expanding unrest, the clerical regime’s infighting and contradictory remarks of its officials increased.

“In recent incidents, some [regime insiders] played the enemy’s game. It is such a pity to witness some equivocal statements in support of the current unrests and rioters,” Ahmadreza Shahrokhi, Khorramabad Friday prayer leader, said on October 7, as reported by state TV.

Protests are broadening, showcasing a volatile society, and laying bare the regime’s failure to quash what many believe is Iran’s democratic revolution.  The regime is indeed in a deadlock, and this became evident during the heads of three government branches’ meeting on Saturday, October 8. They failed to offer a solution despite the uprising’s existential threat to the regime.

“The heads of the three government branches underlined national unity for the continued development and progress of the country and considered it necessary to maintain calm for economic activities and businesses,” read their statement, as reported by State TV.

This statement comes at a time when authorities open fire on unarmed protesters, disrupt people’s businesses with internet blackouts, and continue squandering the national wealth on terrorism and nuclear and missile programs.

At the same time, the statement shows that the crisis-riddled regime is bereft of any solution as protests engulf the country. According to IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of Staff for the regime’s Armed Forces on October 8, the “enemy zealously pursues spreading chaos.”

By enemy, Bagheri and other officials refer to the Iranian people and their organized opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The MEK-affiliated Resistance Units have played a leading role in recent protests, which has been acknowledged by authorities, including Bagheri.

“The very few scenes of chaos in some parts of the country, and the enemy’s focus on the ethnic and religious minorities, all indicate the enemy has waged a full-fledged war on [the regime]. In this war, the evil [MEK] and other terrorist grouplets act as the enemy’s pawns,” Bagheri was quoted as saying on the state-run Entekhab website on October 8.

Iranians indeed consider the ruling theocracy their enemy, as crimes of an occupying force pale to what the mullahs have done to the Iranian people in the last four decades. While the regime brutally oppresses protesters, officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, have been praising them, confirming that the regime has no enemy but the Iranian people.

But as protests continue to persist, some officials call for more violence. “If security forces neglect their duties [in oppressing protesters], they should be held accountable,” MP Ismail Kouthari was quoted as saying by the Entekhab website on October 10.

Khamenei has declared war on the Iranian people and his regime will step up suppressive measures as protests pose an existential threat to the regime.

There has been worldwide condemnation of the regime’s atrocities and many statements in support of the Iranian people’s revolution. These are necessary but insufficient. But the international community should go beyond condemnations and statements. It should recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-defense and overthrow the regime in its entirety. Any delay in recognizing this right would allow Iran’s clerical regime to continue its human rights violations while enjoying impunity.



Iran Protests, Regime’s Infighting, and the World’s Obligation  

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