The Iranian regime is facing a multitude of crises, including economic, environmental, and social issues that threaten its existence. Nevertheless, the most formidable obstacle for the regime stems from the persistent and unwavering determination of the Iranian people to achieve a free and democratic society, particularly following the 2017 protests. The continuing protests have fostered a culture of resistance and a rejection of the regime’s oppressive tactics, which represent a significant outcome. Consequently, the regime has resorted to repressive measures to combat this growing sentiment, including:
- The swift travel of the regime’s judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i to Iran’s Kurdistan region.
- Increasing security forces in various cities and conducting indiscriminate arrests.
- In a speech, the regime’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, threatened rebellious youths and warned them of harsh repression.
- Increasing pressure on women under the pretext of enforcing the regime’s dress code
Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’I’s rushed trip to Kurdistan
The Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, recently sent Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i to Kurdistan, fearing the continuing protests and their potential spread to other areas. In a pre-trip interview, Mohseni-Eje’i confessed to the regime’s fragile situation, stating that “as long as the people’s jobs, livelihood, and income conditions are not good, there will be no security.” It is unsurprising that he focused on regime security rather than social security, as would be the case in other countries.
Then four days after this trip, during a meeting of the regime’s Supreme Judicial Council, he called for faster action and planning to deal with those who threaten the regime’s psychological security, which he referred to as “the people.”
He urged regime operatives, including the morality forces such as the police, Basij, and mullahs, to be faster and more accurate in handling the cases of “evildoers” and those who threaten the regime.
Random arrests and raids
Following the latest round of protests in 2022, the Iranian regime has intensified its campaign of arbitrary arrests and house raids, justifying these actions by claiming to be targeting “thugs.” However, the regime has specifically targeted the impoverished province of Sistan and Baluchestan, which has been a center of resistance against the regime.
To justify its actions in the province, the regime has implemented a plan called “Raad 1,” which aims to target “crime centers” in the area.
The police chief of Sistan and Baluchestan boasted about the success of this plan, claiming that “1,118 people of all types of charges were arrested in 48 hours” as a result of “numerous and coordinated operations” throughout the province. He also stated that 126 weapons were seized during these operations, which represented a 100% increase from the number of illegal weapons seized in the previous year. It should be noted that similar plans have been implemented in other provinces, such as Alborz.
Threatening the youths
In the face of mounting resistance from the Iranian people against the repressive forces, Ahmad Vahidi, the regime’s Minister of Interior, has resorted to threatening the youth.
He stated that the regime considers the use of cold weapons equivalent to that of firearms and that anyone committing a crime with a cold weapon will face the same punishment as those who use firearms. This threat is yet another example of the regime’s attempts to suppress the growing unrest among the people.
Increasing pressure on women under the pretext of enforcing the regime’s dress code
Starting in mid-April, police in Tehran have increased their harassment of people regarding hijab laws. In a statement released in mid-April, authorities reported that over 150 commercial establishments had been closed within 24 hours because their employees failed to wear headscarves.
Ahmad Reza Radan, former chief of police in Tehran, had strict beliefs regarding morals and customs. In 2007, during his inauguration, Radan stated that women who do not wear the hijab suffer from “personality disorders and abnormal morals,” and that “inappropriate hijab damages moral security and threatens internal security.”
Radan served as the supreme enforcer of the obligation to wear the headscarf until 2014 and was known for his strict enforcement methods.
The regime chose him to force women across the country to comply with the mandatory hijab. On January 7th, Khamenei appointed Radan as head of the regime’s police force, further emphasizing the regime’s intolerance of women who appear in public without a headscarf.