Home News Iranian Opposition Why Khamenei Admitting MEK Responsibility for 2017-18 Protests Is Still Important?

Why Khamenei Admitting MEK Responsibility for 2017-18 Protests Is Still Important?

Despite the ayatollahs' propaganda and misinformation campaign, Ali Khamenei admits to the MEK's crucial role in anti-establishment protests.
Despite the ayatollahs' propaganda and misinformation campaign, Ali Khamenei admits to the MEK's crucial role in anti-establishment protests.

In 2018, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei made a speech about the December 2017 uprising where he acknowledged that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) had a leading role largely responsible during the people’s protests, which sprung up across the country without warning and took the regime by surprise.

This was despite the fact that the regime had tried for years, demonizing the MEK and calling it a grouplet. Of course, it is obvious the mullahs wouldn’t spend so much time complaining about the MEK if the MEK were not the biggest threat to the continued rule of the mullahs.

Khamenei Admits to the Leading Role of PMOI/MEK in Organizing and Leading the Protests

This speech, which feels inevitable looking back on it from 2020, was so important because it was the most powerful man in the regime admitting publically the worst possible reason for an uprising, in which people called for his death.

That is that it wasn’t just a sporadic uprising by people angry about their economic plight, which the regime would have (and tried to) suppressed with violence and state-sanctioned murder. In fact, it was driven by the MEK and, while you can kill people, you cannot kill a movement.

We have seen this over the past two years, with protests spreading across Iran ever since; after the opposition leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s called in early 2018 for a “year of uprisings” and the mullahs’ actual speeches blaming the Resistance, which just drew more attention to the cause. In fact, the protests that continued have used the same slogans, calling for regime change, no matter what the trigger cause for the protest was.

Iran Officials Admit to MEK Popularity

The subsequent uprisings of 2018 and 2019 severely shook the regime, with the mullahs shooting dead 1,500 protesters in the streets and arrested thousands more; something that the MEK reported on, even identifying hundreds of the victims, which the regime has failed to even acknowledge. This is far from the first time that the regime has used bullets to crush political opposition, with the most obvious being the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.

International sanctions haven’t been good for the regime, but its inability to deal fairly with protesters indicates to the international community that the regime doesn’t have a strong foundation.

Also, the resistance movement has regrouped and continued to grow into an effective opposition since 1998. Any sort of repression which stops freedom of expression shows that the regime is neither supported nor under control of its citizens.

Meanwhile, over 149,700 Iranians have died from coronavirus, according to the MEK, which is only increasing public anger against the regime.

The president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs. Maryam Rajavi said: “The volcanic uprising in November washed away all unfounded claims. It was proven that it is possible to inspire and organize protests. It was proven that despite all the repression and crimes, our people have a spectacular desire and readiness to continue their uprising.”