Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, president of the International American Council, wrote an op-ed for Arab News to explain that the Regime is far more scared of the “soft power” of the Iranian Resistance and the people of Iran, than they are of any military action by a foreign government.

Thus the best way for the international community to confront the Regime is to provide support for the Iranian people and their organised democratic resistance forces, including the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “History has shown us that any attempt to promote moderation within the Iranian regime has led to failure. The US and the international community must continue to reach out to the Iranian people and the resistance, who reject the regime and call for a representative government.”

It is clear from the current, ongoing protests in Iran, in which at least 50 people have been shot dead by security forces and 8,000 have been arrested, that the Iranian people support regime change and want an end to the undemocratic dictatorship of the mullahs. Instead, they want a democratic government dedicated to human rights, freedom of religion, social justice, and the rule of law. The NCRI, a parliament-in-waiting located in France, can provide that.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “One of the reasons that [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei fears the NCRI is that it is currently the largest Iranian opposition group in exile, and has connections with Iranians on the ground in Iran. Many believe that this gives the opposition the crucial resources to play a significant role in counterbalancing the power of the ruling ayatollahs, pushing for a democratic system of governance in Iran, and preserving the United States’s national and economic interests.”

The Regime knows this to be true and has no response that could satisfy their people- Khamenei is hardly about to call for an end to executions and step down peacefully- so instead they turn to what they know best: suppression and disinformation.

He claimed that the MEK organised these protests with the hope of overthrowing the Regime and blamed the nationwide protests on Iran’s enemies (meaning Saudi Arabia and the US), but how can he not see that the Regime made enemies out of its own people?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “Khamenei also fears that foreign governments may cooperate closely with the opposition, magnifying its power in inspiring disaffected youths in Iran to protest against the regime. This fear is evident in Khamenei’s repeated remarks about [foreign enemies sparking the protests].”

Of course, support from foreign powers does help boost the morale of the protesters and the NCRI have previously revealed damning evidence about Iran’s clandestine nuclear programme to the West both before and after the nuclear deal was struck. The Regime is right to be scared of the Resistance.

Last week, the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi held a meeting with high-level US officials, including former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) and former Senator Robert Torricelli (D), who expressed their support for the Iranian people’s uprising and for the NCRI, and representatives of Iranian expatriate communities in Europe.

The meeting, held shortly in the midst of ongoing protests that began in December, was focused on regime change in Iran and how it would soon be realised.

Gingrich said: “The resistance is making a difference. The MEK is making a difference. I have no doubt that, in the long run, you are on the right side of history. The resistance is knitting together both in the country and in the world a tremendous force that is sustaining the right to believe that you can be free.”

Rajavi said: “The uprising showed that Iranian society is in an explosive state, simmering with discontent. It showed that the regime is much weaker than perceived. It showed that the billions of windfall dollars from the nuclear deal did nothing to cure the regime’s instability. And finally, the uprising showed that the people of Iran detest both regime factions and want it overthrown in its entirety.”