The tough stance of the U.S. has negatively impacted the already shaky economy, especially with the renewed sanctions, and Iranian currency has plummeted in value. Inflation has taken over the nation. The people blame the government for corruption and mismanagement, as well as for wasting the resources of Iran on the export of terrorism in the region. They are calling for regime change, and anti-regime slogans are increasingly heard at the protests.
Protests occur almost on a daily basis throughout Iran, and in an attempt to counter their effect, leadership calls the MEK the real enemy of Iran, not the regime.
On August 8th, during the impeachment of Ali Rabiei, the former Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, a member of parliament, Hassan Nowroozi, said, “One of the issues I want to emphasize is that some people say that the MEK are calling for demonstrations and so on. We stand against them until the last drop of our blood. But this does not mean that we should not see the problems in the country.”
Officials warned protesters to not allow the MEK to take over the rallies. In fact, the Friday Prayer Imam in Pardisan district of Qom said, “We want all the students of the seminaries, when there is a protest by the people, to take part in them and shout the slogans. Do not allow the MEK to change those slogans and seize the rallies.”
Iran security forces, who are actively trying to halt the protests have noted how quickly the slogans turn against the regime. Previously, the slogans took several days to change.
Despite reports in the 1980s and 1990s that indicated that the resistance was dead, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) report that the MEK’s reach is increasing, and they have infiltrated all the protests and demonstrations.
For many years, the regime has hunted members of the MEK, even the members who fled Iran. Multiple assassination attempts have been reported, some of them successful.
In Europe, the Iranian resistance is being tracked, with a focus on eliminating the threat to the regime. In France, the Iranian government called for the expulsion of the Iranian resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This call, however, was unsuccessful.
On July 14th, the head of the Civil Defense organization, IRGC Brigadier General Jalali, said, “The remarkable thing is that the entirety of the counter-revolution is designed around the MEK, so that they can topple the regime through using their security and anti-security capabilities.”
The MEK has been accused of using the recent truckers’ protests as a means to discredit the regime. Before he was impeached, Rabiei said, “Today, the enemies, and especially the MEK, have targeted the country’s social issues, which was very evident in the truckers’ issue. The truckers were right to ask, but in the shortest possible time, several networks were launched by the MEK in order to express their demands as protest.”
The Iranian people want real change. They’ve begun to demand the overthrow of the regime in its entirety. Downplaying the demands of the protesters, and focusing on the role of the MEK, is the regime’s strategy against the Iranian people’s call for freedom.