By Jazeh Miller
Iranian cities, such as Tehran, Qom, and Gohardasht, continue to see protests, that begin over the country’s economic free fall, but quickly turn against the Iranian regime. “Death to dictator” and “Death to Khamenei” are heard at almost every protest.
During last week’s Friday prayers, the narrative around the recent protests began to lean toward acknowledging the people’s legitimate grievances, but still attempted to halt the political dissent that has gradually spread amongst Iranian people.
The Friday prayer Imam in Qom said, “We ask all the revolutionary scholars in all cities to go to the protests and chant with the people. Don’t let the Monafeqin come and change the chants and exploit the protests for themselves.”
The official name the Iranian regime’s propaganda apparatus gives to the PMOI/MEK is Monafeqin, meaning hypocrites.
He continued, “Be with the people [protesters]. The people are with us and their protests are legitimate. Don’t you have grievances? They have too! Not every protest is anti-revolutionary… Everybody had enough of this predicament created by foreign blasphemy and internal hypocrisy.”
Former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, proposed a 15-point plan to exit the current situation, including listening to the protesters' demands. He claimed that as long as the narrative of moderation is alive, there will be no room for regime change.
Khatami has previously proposed similar solutions —without delivering — in an effort to increase hope for reforms from the inside. Khatami’s faction issued a statement during the January/December uprising, saying that the Iranian people have legitimate economic grievances and are entitled to legal protests.
In another statement Khatami, in reference to the protesters, said that even the youth that cried radical chants targeting the regime were not “Barandaz”, which is an Iranian term referring to someone who wants regime change.
A popular movement began among Iranian users of social media. They called themselves “Barandaz” in direct opposition to Mohammad Khatami’s remarks. Many Iranians who want regime change in Iran still call themselves Barandaz.
State-run Keyhan News, meanwhile, accuses Rouhani’s government of obstructing the legal system in its efforts to root out the corruption that has to lead to the economic downfall.
The Trump administration’s first stage of new sanctions went into force on Monday, so it likely won’t take much time before the next round of popular protests start.
With the so-called moderates and the conservatives in the Iranian regime attempting to align themselves with the protesters, they each accuse each other, but the Iranian people know better. They chant, “Moderates! Conservatives! The Game is Over!”