The anti-regime protests began in Mashhad over a draft budget that would give more money to the suppressive forces and cut subsidies for the poor, but, with encouragement from the MEK, they soon spread to over 142 cities in all of Iran’s provinces.
The Iranian mullahs wanted to quash the protests, so they slaughtered at least 50 people in the streets and arrested more than 8,000. They even tortured some of these people to death in prison. There is no doubt that at least some of them are MEK members or supporters.
Brig. Gen. Rasoul Sanai, Political Affairs Deputy for the IRGC, said: The leaders and those inciting the protests in this city were from the [MEK]… In the 1980s, those who were leading MEK protests were mostly women. And now, the main chain of provocation and starting the protests were women… These were the MEK who would go to the cities in an organized fashion and were guiding the slogans… Directing attacks on military centres, like assaults on the State Security Force and Basij bases were part of the planning by the MEK. They even attacked the prisons, which means they have their hands in prisons as well.”
But despite the violent crackdown by the Regime and their Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the uprising is still continuing, with hundreds of protests or acts of civil disobedience being reported each day, and the MEK is still supporting the protests.
So why would the Iranian people and the MEK continue to protest? Because freedom is an ideal that they value more than their own lives. This is not just a fight for their rights, but for their children’s and grandchildren’s rights as well.
Acknowledging the MEK’s role
The Iranian Regime has long sought to portray the MEK as a fringe group in Iran, with little support from the Iranian people, which was criminalised in the 1980s. These protests show that the MEK is actually, as everyone but the mullahs could see, incredibly popular and powerful. Fringe groups cannot inspire that sort of prolonged uprising against an authoritarian Regime that reacts with violence.
The people’s uprising in Iran has forced the mullahs to acknowledge that the MEK is the true party of the Iranian people and that the MEK is supported and beloved by the ordinary Iranians. The Iranian people and the MEK want regime change, so they will do whatever they need in order to achieve it.
Of course, the Regime hasn’t come out and publically said this – that would be admitting their inevitable defeat. Instead, the Regime has accused the MEK of inciting the protests, as if the MEK were the ones pushing the Iranian people to their breaking point.
The Iranian Regime should know that their time is up. The Iranian people and the MEK will soon bring regime change and, as will be shown at the Free Iran Gathering in Paris on June 30, they have the support of the international community.