Iran Revolution: Mullahs and the Worn-out “Either Us or Chaos” Narrative

Written by
Aladdin Touran

The uprising continues to rage across Iran despite the systematic and brutal crackdown. The prospects for the clerical regime’s downfall become stronger as protesters are not yielding to any pressure. As people call out the regime in its entirety, the mullahs engage in propaganda to divide and quash the united national front.

Labeling the protesters “Elements of western governments” has become so cliché that even regime insiders no longer accept it, compelling the regime to find other ways to justify its brutality.

In an Iranian regime internal study in 2016 called the “crisis management quarterly report,” some regime analysts proposed some actions that could help the security apparatus to disrupt and dismantle upcoming unrest.

“Vulgarizing the protesters’ demands” ranks fourth among the 14 actions this study suggests the security forces should take in case of an uprising. In other words, while the Iranian people are calling for regime change, the mullahs try different strategies to smear people’s rightful calls and aspirations for a democratic country.

The recent nationwide uprising began following the morality police’s tragic murder of Mahsa Amini, a 22-years old Iranian Kurdish girl. During the first days of demonstrations, officials tried to paint protesters, particularly those in Kurdistan province, as separatists. This desperate effort failed as protests quickly spread nationwide. People in Khuzestan, Tehran, Mashhad, and elsewhere expressed their support for the people of Kurdistan and the city of Saqqez, Mahsa’s hometown.

When the regime failed to break this national unity, it resorted to the worn-out tactic of “either us or chaos.” While the clerical regime is responsible for millions of casualties in Syria by supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the mullahs and their apologists did not shy away from blaming the “foreign powers” for trying to turn Iran into “another Syria.”

“The enemy’s efforts to make Iran another Syria would no doubt fail,” MP Ebrahim Rezai said in this regard on October 2, as quoted by the state-run ILNA news agency.

“The enemy wants to make our country another Syria, and turn it into ruins,” Parviz Soury, a close figure to the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, claimed on September 29, as quoted by the state-run Jahan-Ara website.

This gambit failed miserably, because there is a viable alternative to the ruling theocracy, acting as the trailblazer in the fight for freedom and fulfilling the goal of regime change. In recent days, authorities from different factions didn’t spare any opportunity to attack the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and the leading role of its Resistance Units in protests.

“We can see the MEK’s role in the recent riots across the country. We can clearly see they are instigating riots in the name of Mahsa Amini today, as they did with Neda Aqa-Sultan’s name in 2009,” MP Ahmad Rastineh was quoted as saying by the state-run Mehr News Agency.

It is worth noting that the ruling theocracy has tried to vilify the MEK for four decades, painting the organization as a “grouplet” with little to no popular support. But the rising trend of youth joining the MEK’s Resistance Units has debunked the regime’s propaganda, forcing officials to acknowledge the MEK’s role in the recent uprising.

Many believe Iran is on the cusp of a revolution as millions of Iranians blame the regime ruling Iran for their socioeconomic problems. The more protests continue despite the heavy crackdown, the more people chant slogans such as “death to the dictator” or “death to Khamenei.”

When all other ploys failed, the regime had to use its last tactic: calling protesters “apostates” who “burn the holy Quran and mosques.” The mullahs and their propagandists tried to push the point that people’s sole demand, particularly women, is to get rid of mandatory veiling. They also labeled brave Iranian women and girls as “morally corrupt” and men and boys as “perverts” who benefit from the current situation.

“The enemy is trying to take religion from the people by engaging in such sedition,” Rasoul Falahati, Khamenei’s representative in Rasht, said in this regard, as quoted by his official website on October 1.

Iranian women have been struggling for equality for decades. But their demands are not limited to the removal of mandatory hijab. They want and should have equal rights in society, the right to self-determination, and an equal share of socio-political responsibility and leadership. In fact, they have been leading the Iranian Resistance movement and are frontrunners in the fight against the misogynous regime.

Joseph Goebbels once said, “Tell a lie that’s big enough and repeat it often enough and the whole world will believe it.” The mullahs have taken a page right out of Goebbels’ book. But with the age of enlightenment, these tactics no longer work.

Like a drowning man, Iran’s ruling theocracy is grasping at straws to prolong its evil rule. The Iranian people have shown their unflinching determination to topple this regime at any cost. Now, the world community should act more decisively and take concrete measures to help Iranian citizens take back their country, including the recognition of the right to self-defense and resistance, by any means, which would enable the Iranian people to determine their own future.

Back to top button