The festival, taking place on March 19 this year, is one of the most beloved Iranian celebrations and in recent times it has become a chance for Iranians to air their grievances against the Regime, due to the reflective nature of sitting in the light of the fire. Now, more than ever, the Iranian people are reflecting on 40 years of oppression and how the Regime must soon burn.
In response, the Regime has launched a massive crackdown by literally banning firecrackers, sparklers, and even gatherings of families and neighbours in streets, for the two-month period before the festival. They’ve even set up checkpoints, dispatched security forces to the area, and threatened shopkeepers that their licences will be revoked if they sell fireworks. The prosecutors general and revolutionary prosecutors of various provinces and cities indicate that they are preparing for an influx of arrests, with a separate branch created solely to deal with celebrations of the fire festival.
The People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MEK), a banned Iranian opposition group, has called for “resistance units” and the Iranian people to come together and celebrate the festival as an annual anti-regime event with protests, much like what happened last year.
However, this year, the mullahs are even more fearful of the people’s protests, following 16 months’ of protests, so they’ve resorted to issuing directives to deter the people from holding the customary annual celebration. The mullahs are terrified of ongoing protests and new calls from a popular opposition group for a nationwide uprising – indeed, the mullahs have even acknowledged the resistance units as aiding the recent flare-up of protests – so the upcoming fire festival is a crucial situation for the regime and its suppression forces.
Human rights activist Hassan Mahmoudi wrote on American Thinker: “With the coming heated fire festival, the people in Iran have this message for the regime: ‘Fire is the symbol of our long battle against dictatorship, we are all altogether, and repression will not affect us.’ Imagine the fear of mullahs!”