Thousands of protesters were arrested last January for participating in MEK-organised protests against the Regime in over 140 Iranian cities and towns, often chanting slogans like “death to the dictator”, which was virtually unheard of in Iran before then. Roughly 50 protesters were slain in the streets by Iran’s repressive forces, while at least 14 more were tortured to death in prison.
This is far from the first time the MEK has marked their fallen protesters, indeed resistance units have been placing posters in public places across Iran identifying the martyrs by name and reiterating the anti-regime slogans throughout 2018. The protests have also continued, with smaller but more frequent demonstrations.
In March, on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the MEK’s parent coalition, said that the Iranian people would lead “a year full of uprisings” in order to bring down the Regime and give power to the people.
Given the resistance units’ ongoing efforts, it seems that Rajavi was incredibly aware of the MEK’s plans to preserve the mainstream message of regime change.
The uprising that began in late December 2017, marked a dramatic turning point and the Regime was unable to contain it. This even led to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publically recognising the role of the MEK in the protests, something that clearly continuing the Regime’s previous claims that the MEK is a fringe group with little domestic support.
The MEK has been involved in numerous protests throughout 2018, from student demonstrations to labour strikes, but all share the common goal of Regime change. The people may appear to be focused on individual matters, like losing their jobs or unsafe drinking water, but they recognise that the Regime is to blame for all of it.
They are the ones squandering the Iranian people’s money on foreign wars and terrorism, but this will remain the case as long as the Iranian Regime is in power.
That is why the international community must step up to help the Iranian people by placing economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation on the Regime. This will help the Iranian people overthrow the Regime, but limiting the amount of help available to the mullahs from the outside world.