On Wednesday, in a furious denunciation of Iran’s nationwide uprising, which has rattled the ruling theocracy, the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi perfectly portrayed the mullahs’ desperation.
Ranting about “showing no mercy” to the “hostile” individuals, Raisi and the attendees of a state-staged rally contumaciously expressed their utter fear, frustration, and hatred toward Iran’s organized opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) by chanting “death to hypocrites,” a pejorative term regime uses for MEK.
“The nation is willing to embrace everyone with open arms, but we will show no mercy to those who are hostile,” he said while calling the regime the “nation.”
Raisi’s anti-MEK tirade was the last in a series of remarks by regime top officials and state media against the principal opposition and the role of its “Resistance Units” network inside Iran, which has been acting as a major driving and steady force behind the uprising.
Tehran went ballistic following a bi-partisan conference in Washington D.C in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising and the organized Resistance movement. The conference was the last in a series of events in many Western capitals, featuring lawmakers and renowned politicians who expressed their support of a viable alternative to the ruling theocracy in Iran.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 17, 2022
The regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was also forced to break his self-imposed months-long refusal to name the organization by name, complaining that “our youth are not aware of the MEK’s history.” In a hysterical speech on December 18, Esmail Ghaani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) extraterritorial Quds force, also repeated the anti-MEK slurs while insulting Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs. Rajavi has been the keynote speaker of all the recent events in several European parliaments, Canada, and the United States, and as a Muslim, progressive female leader, she poses a threat to a regime that has been trying to push an extremist agenda on the country and beyond.
“In Washington and New York, they endorse Maryam Rajavi as the president of a democratic Iran,” Tasnim, an outlet linked to the IRGC Quds Force, wrote in this regard on December 28.
Nevertheless, this line is in stark contrast to other propaganda aired from Tehran to the outside world. On the one hand, authorities claim victory and that they have “wrapped up” what they consider as “riots.” On the other hand, they keep warning about the opposition’s role and the “upcoming seditions.”
The clerical regime victory rhetoric is a failed tactic to boost the morale of its demoralized forces, as they see that the uprising continues despite their utmost brutality, such as killing nearly 750 protesters and arresting tens of thousands more.
Besides, officials see that their efforts to deceive the public and the outside world that the current anti-regime demonstrations are limited to demands for some minor social reforms have failed. Many spectators consider protests have morphed into a full-fledged revolution, featuring “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to the dictator.”
“99.9% of insults and slogans target the supreme leader. Even [our forces] write comments on social media that this system is like the monarchy,” Alireza Panahian, a close cleric to Khamenei, was quoted as saying on December 23 by the state-run Heiat-online website.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 28, 2022
Raisi also acknowledged this fact by pathetically praising his mentor Khamenei.
“This system possesses a wise and unique leader. He cares about the nation. The enemy wants to target the leader because he is the main pillar of the sacred state. All the shortcomings are governments’ problems, which did not implement the leader’s orders,” Raisi boasted.
Khamenei’s “caring” for the nation is evident in the killing spree he has begun since the beginning of the recent uprising, ordering his thugs to murder over 1500 protesters in November 2019 and deliberately mismanaging the Covid-19 crisis to quell the restive society by calling it a “test” and “blessing,” and prohibiting the entry of accredited vaccines, therefore, killing over half a million Iranians.
As the regime’s highest authority, Khamenei has been overseeing the largest network of corruption and embezzlement through its 14 financial institutions and the IRGC. Khamenei’s regime has squandered the national wealth on terrorism as well as nuclear, regional, and ballistic missile ambitions, leaving the majority of people in absolute poverty and devastating the country’s economy.
Iranians have underlined in their ongoing protests that their first and foremost demand is regime change. In contrast to what the regime and its pundits try to sell, the current revolution has shaken the regime’s foundations. Low morale among security forces, defections, and warnings thereof are just public indications of a declining system. As state officials acknowledged, these protests are organized; otherwise, how could they persist despite Tehran’s heavy quash? This uprising is not limited to some reforms, Iranian people seek a fundamental change, and they expect the world community to recognize their right to self-defense and self-determination.