Here, we will look at Maryam Rajavi’s speech, focusing on her conclusions that this uprising was a way for the Iranian people to confront the regime in its entirety, not just the supposed hardliners or moderates and that it represents an irreversible turning point in the struggle for freedom and democracy; a struggle that will be won by the people. 

Maryam Rajavi explained that the November uprising was a showdown between protesters, mainly made up of young people and resistance units, and the whole of the regime, including both the suppressive forces and the government. 

She said that the regime declared a “red alert” at 2 pm on Saturday, November 16, one day after protests began after fuel prices were hiked overnight, which directed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to take control over the suppression of the protests and meant that all suppressive forces acted under the IRGC. This failed to bring the protests under control. 

So, Maryam Rajavi recounted, at 6:45 am on Sunday, November 17, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei rushed to the scene of the strongest protests to declare his public support for the price hike and issue the order for the all-out suppression of the uprising. (Make no mistake though, Khamenei is the puppet master in Iran and no decision is made without his say so. He’d private order the price hike and the suppression long before this.) 

After that, the regime deployed armored personnel carriers, tanks, and helicopters in some cities, including Khorramshahr, Kermanshah, Shiraz, and Mahshahr. 

Maryam Rajavi explained that the regime’s officials are still failing to admit the true extent of the protests, with the Interior Minister claiming that only 600,000 people took part in the uprising and that there were instigators roaming the country to start up the protests. 

She said: “Obviously, the regime understates the actual numbers and admits to just a small fraction of the reality. Nevertheless, in these limited accounts, they admit that an anti-regime fighting force in the scale of several hundred thousand rose up to fight and overthrow the religious dictatorship. This fighting force forms the backbone of the war of liberation to overthrow the regime.” 

She further explained that the regime’s “hollow invincibility” is shattering as the people realize their strength. 

Maryam Rajavi said: “Now, it is the regime which is permanently overwhelmed by fear. And this is the significant political and strategic conclusion drawn from the November uprising. The Iranian people and Resistance paid a heavy and bloody price to achieve this enormous and irreversible leap forward. Both the regime and its suppressive forces and also the people, protesters, youth, and resistance units passed a watershed moment. Now, a return to the conditions prevailing prior to the November 2019 is impossible.” 

In our next piece, we will look at Maryam Rajavi’s conclusions that the situation in Iran is explosive, that the resistance units have led the protest, and that the regime has previously tried to massacre Iranian freedom fighters.