This event, despite the regime’s efforts, spread the message of hope among all the Iranian people.
The regime has known that the MEK is insanely popular among the Iranian people and has been for the past 41 years, but as the international political landscape has shifted dramatically against the regime since the uprisings of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 getting much more attention and support, the regime is now worried about being overthrown.
For this reason, we will look at the regime’s worries in this two-part series. Here, we will be looking at the reaction from regime officials in the past week and why the regime is right to be afraid.
Just a week after the summit, during Friday prayers on July 24, the regime’s officials warned against the MEK’s growing influence. Let’s look at what they said.
An imam in Natanz said that the MEK planned to promote public protests, with the intention of harming Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the members of the Guardian Council, while the Friday prayer leader in Varamin said that the MEK harms “the national wealth”, “creates public unrest” and promotes distrust of the supreme leader and the mullahs. The MEK may seek to increase anti-regime protests, but the Iranian people need no incentive to distrust the regime.
The Ardestan Friday prayer imam gave a muddled speech, first accusing the MEK of crimes in Syria before backtracking on that and claiming that they were using cyber warfare. (It’s a common strategy of despots to accuse their enemies o things they are guilty of.)
He said: “Our youth must be careful and not fall into their traps and believe their lies.”
But why is the regime so afraid of the MEK? Because they are able to see that support for the MEK inside and outside Iran is only growing. After all, the most recent protests the cite economics woes largely as their trigger point have been widely supported and attended by members of the regime’s base – those in rural areas and the highly religious.
In November, there was a countrywide uprising over the tripling of fuel costs and shook the regime’s foundations. The regime cracked down hard, desperate to keep control; killing 1,500 protesters in the street, injuring 8,000, and arresting perhaps 20,000, all of whom could be sentenced to death.
In January, another protest erupted over the regime’s downing of the Ukrainian airliner. While mass protests have since been dampened because of the coronavirus epidemic, which is being wildly mishandled by the regime, there are still small acts of defiant youth all over the country from pro-MEK graffiti to setting fire to the regime’s bases. Of course, the regime mishandling of the pandemic is only increasing the anger the people feel towards the regime.
Of course, it’s not just protests that the regime has to fear from the MEK. In fact, the regime should fear more than the MEK exposes the regime’s crimes, which the Iranian youth and the world are listening to.