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MEK's Role in Iran’s Latest Protests Against Gas Prices

The Iranian regime's officials underscore the MEK's role in protests against gas prices hikes

Iran’s nationwide protests to gas prices hikes forced the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to hastily make public comments. Khamenei tried to terrify the protesters and defend the rising fuel prices. He described the brave youths who have shaken the earth under his regime’s feet as “hooligans” to justify employing brutal suppression. 

The truth is the recent protests in Iran are much deeper and severe than any protest the regime has experienced so far. In early 2018, when similar protests started against high prices, the regime’s Supreme Leader emerged in the scene after 12 days. However, this time he appeared after two days alone and ironically tried to control the situation. Notably, Khamenei addressed the MEK’s role in organizing and heading the nationwide protests in both speeches.

  

“They were prepared months ago. The media of the [Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)] admitted to this; they said, recently… to carry out… to organize riots, meet with this or that person, find individuals inside the country to help them fan out to the people. And that it was they who initiated this,” Khamenei admitted on January 11, 2018. 

At the same time, he did his best to conceal the MEK’s popular appeal by describing it as the third part of a “triangle of enemies” who carried out the 2018 uprising. However, Khamenei’s remarks bluntly underscore that the MEK is the only substantial threat to the future of the Iranian regime. During recent years, Mojahedin-e Khalq’s supporters inside Iran formed themselves in small groups known as “Resistance Units.” 

The resistance units enabled the Mojahedin-e Khalq to spread its domestic network across the country. They also play an inspiring role in the fed-up people of Iran in their struggle toward freedom and justice.  

“The [PMOI/MEK] … seek to launch a popular army, an army that will carry out their measures… In the middle of all the mayhem, suddenly, we witness an attack on a police station… Just two people are enough to be in such a crowd and actually do something. The [PMOI/MEK] has such two-person teams in all cities… Take into good consideration that we have more than 24,000 to 25,000 [PMOI/MEK] members in Tehran alone!” Ali Akbar Raefipoor, a figure said to be close to Khamenei, stated on June 17, 2018. 

It is worth reminding that Khamenei admitted that the MEK is the crucial factor in recent protests. This time he tried to conceal the MEK’s role by naming those aligned with the remnants of the Shah regime, toppled in 1979, along the Mojahedin-e Khalq. “Destruction and burning; these are not people’s actions. Hooligans are acting so. From the inauspicious Pahlavi family to evil complex of [Mojahedin-e Khalq]. They are continuously encouraging and persuading [youths] to employ this wickedness,” Khamenei said during his primary lecture on November 17. 

In this regard, the regime’s head of judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, who is known as a perpetrator of massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988 tried to horrify the protesters. “Distinguished persecutors across the country are emphasized that… They should firmly deal with hooligans… in cooperation with security forces,” Raisi said on November 17. 

“We can identify some of those who incited the people in the streets. We discovered that the detained people were in communication with the [People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK)],” the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said on November 17. “These people intended to create problems in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon with a preset scenario,” he ridiculously added. 

“The anti-revolutionary and the [MEK] are behind these moves,” the commander of state security forces Hossein Ashtari said on November 17. 

All these facts have proven that the Iranian authorities see the MEK as the only organized movement that poses a substantial threat to their rule. On the other hand, MEK’s domestic network of Resistance Units provided the most credible video of the protests that were posted on social media. Also, they raised the portraits of the MEK leadership in various Iranian cities. Therefore, as the regime’s authorities bluntly address the MEK as their sole alternative and archenemy, the civilized world should stand along with this organization as the real representative of the Iranian people’s desires. 

 

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