State-staged Rallies and Rhetoric Expose Iranian Regime’s Pain Point

Written by
Mehdi Oghbai

A state-staged rally in Iran
The nationwide Iran uprising ended its seven weeks with the chants of “Death to the dictator” and “Death to [Ali] Khamenei,” referring to the regime’s supreme leader, echoing throughout Iran, forcing the clerical regime to resort to pathetic moves to justify its rule.

One of the regime’s ridiculous gestures happened on Friday, October 28, when it rallied its supporters in a dozen Iranian cities in a bid to intimidate protesters. Instead, Iranians continued their protests on Friday, and unlike the state-staged rallies, many people across the country joined popular demonstrations.

Iran’s ruling theocracy and its officials, who made much fanfare that Friday was the “beginning of the end of riots,” were forced to gather their hoodlums and make another hodgepodge on Saturday.

Since the beginning of what many consider Iran’s democratic revolution, the Iranian regime and its apologists in the West have tried to portray the uprising as “leaderless” and an amalgam of emotional reactions of adolescent masses.

Yet, the focus of the regime’s rallies in those two days confirmed the opposite. The main slogan of these shows was “death to the hypocrites,” a derogatory term Tehran uses to describe its leading opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Friday prayer leaders, known as Khamenei’s mouthpieces, reflected their master’s fear of the organized Resistance movement. Like the Johnny-one note, the mullahs spoke of the MEK’s danger.

“The MEK support these rioters,” said Rasul Felhati, Khamenei’s representative in Rasht, while acknowledging that “we might have this kind of riots again.”

Abdohossain Gheibshahi, Abadan’s Friday prayer leader, also acknowledged that the regime “has lost its patience” facing the uprising, so “the MEK should not be safe, and we expect them to receive heavy blows.”

“People should distance themselves from the MEK,” said Shahr-e-Rey’s Friday prayer leader, Ali Shahcheraghi, revealing the regime’s fear of the rising trend of youth approaching the MEK’s Resistance Units or supporting their goal of regime change at any cost.

Saturday’s pre-staged rallies showed another perspective of the regime’s failure. Hossein Salami, the commander of the terrorist Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), claimed in Shiraz that “Today is the last day of protests” and warned protesters not to come onto the streets.

“Dear university students, listen, we cannot tolerate actions out of [the regime’s] framework. Do you want to reach power beside the criminal hypocrites [MEK] who betrayed this nation? Open your eyes and stand with the [regime],” he blatantly said.

He received his answer from Iranians, particularly university students, in less than 24 hours. Brave Iranian youth and students staged anti-regime rallies across Iran while chanting “death to the dictator” and clashing with security forces. The regime’s oppressive forces opened fire on university students but failed to stifle their voices.

Slamming the MEK on state TV and Friday prayer sermons across Iran- Oct 28
“Loud cries and cars honking their horns in protest do not terrify me. I fear people resort to violence and those theorizing and confirming these actions by calling for ‘legitimate self-defense,” Ali Rabiee, a former Minister of Hassan Rouhani’s government, was quoted as saying by the state-run Etemad daily on October 29.

While posing as a “reformist,” Rabiee didn’t even get close to this question of what choice Iranians have other than legitimate self-defense in the face of the regime’s brutality, which resulted in over 450 deaths since the beginning of the uprising.

The Iranian Resistance has proudly urged the world community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-defense as the only solution to break the regime’s cycle of violence and decades of impunity.

The Iranian people are zealously continuing their efforts to topple the ruling theocracy that has deprived them of their fundamental rights. They are determined to earn their right to self-determination. The continuity of these protests in a country where the entire security apparatus is designed to quash anti-regime protests rapidly is the most substantial reason that this uprising is neither leaderless nor without a target. The regime’s endless efforts to slander the main opposition and its endeavors to topple the ayatollahs are other testaments to this fact.

The international community should respect the Iranian people’s will and support them by condemning the regime’s violence and recognizing their right to self-defense.

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