Iran regime’s struggle for the future continues despite a temporary subsiding of protests that began nine months ago. The regime in Tehran, desperate to maintain its hold on power, has unleashed a fresh wave of repression.
Executions and acts of terror are part of the regime’s tactics, with ethnic minorities such as Kurds, Balochs, and Arabs being primary targets.
The regime’s influence has even reached Europe, as France canceled a planned rally by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), raising security concerns as an excuse and concerns about violence instigated by the Iranian regime.
While negotiations between the regime and Western nations are ongoing, Tehran continues to suppress dissent domestically and seeks concessions through terrorism and diplomacy abroad, prolonging its grip on power.
Unfortunately, human rights and the fight for democratic change in Iran are often overlooked in Western dealings with Tehran. Despite the challenges, Iranians remain organized and anticipate the next wave of protests.
Adding to the regime’s challenges, Canada, Britain, Sweden, and Ukraine jointly announced on June 29, 2023, their intention to bring a case against Iran to the International Court of Justice.
The objective of this legal action is to hold Iran accountable for the tragic 2020 shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet that resulted in the death of all 176 passengers and crew. This development poses a significant risk to the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his regime.
Ebrahim Raisi, hand-picked by Khamenei to serve as the regime’s president, faces criticism for his incompetence. Critics attribute the increased protests and economic struggles to Raisi’s mismanagement.
Gholamreza Nouri, a member of the regime’s parliament, criticized Raisi’s false statistics and stated: “For instance, they claim that inflation has been controlled or limited, and the government presents a series of statistics in support of this, all of which are fabricated by government officials and those involved.
“They manipulate the prices of everyday household items, or they present 60% inflation as 40%. These statistics and figures serve the interests of officials and their reports.
“However, the true measure of inflation is what people witness on the streets, in the alleys, in the markets, and in their daily lives.
“Officials keep insisting that inflation is at 40%, but we can clearly see that it is at 120%. So, how can they claim it’s only 40%? The reality lies in what people experience firsthand, and playing with these numbers is not something that remains hidden from the public.”
Despite parole granted to some individuals arrested during widespread protests, the pressure on dissidents remains high.
Many who were released on parole have been re-arrested, leading to a 57 percent increase in arrests in June, with ethnic minorities being disproportionately affected. Iran’s foreign policy also faces challenges. The most important case is the regime’s nuclear case.
Reports of progress in negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program can be interpreted as signs of weakness.
Successful agreements in these areas would contradict Khamenei’s previous stance that regional defense policies are non-negotiable without a durable nuclear deal.
Dissent within Iran’s security forces has also become apparent. A conference aimed at formulating strategies to address expected protests was marred by news of internal disparities and divergences, leaked from the confidential gathering.
This led Khamenei to emphasize the need for cooperation and understanding among all levels of the security apparatus.
Recently, in a meeting with the regime’s scholars, Khamenei was forced to warn about the public hatred and reminded them that ‘saving the system’ is the most important priority and that the regime’s officials must use any modern technology to fight advertisements against the regime.
The emergence of a viable alternative (NCRI) to the regime poses the most significant crisis for Khamenei. Despite intense repression, civil society entities in Iran continue to demonstrate resilience and determination.
Protests about a post-theocratic future political system have gained momentum, with a demand for a fundamental change.
In response to the protests and demands for change, Khamenei has escalated repression, imposing harsher prison conditions and arresting activists and journalists.
As Iran prepares for parliamentary elections in 2024, the regime faces the challenge of low voter turnout, which further undermines its legitimacy.
Even supporters of Raisi in parliament acknowledge the widespread disillusionment with the government and parliament.
With a fragile reign and mounting domestic and international challenges, and an increasingly criticized chosen president, Khamenei finds himself in a precarious position while the foundations of the regime have become heavily shaky.