He went on to say that even greater success in curtailing the regime’s globally destabilizing activities can be achieved by threatening the regime’s very survival. To do this, Ledeen believes, Western powers need do little more than support the Iranian people in their persistent desire for regime change in their country.
After touching only briefly on the regime’s tendency to use political repression to try to stifle omnipresent dissent, Ledeen emphasized that the government’s chronic mismanagement of domestic affairs is alone sufficient to facilitate constant growth of opposition to that government’s continued rule.
It is noteworthy that this commentary was published on the occasion of International Workers’ Day, when the Iranian opposition has made efforts to bring particular attention to the regime’s damaging economic policies and its insistence on privileging religious adventurism and vanity projects ahead of the good of the people.
In a statement on that occasion, Maryam Rajavi, the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran pointed out that the rising cost of living, extremely high unemployment, and low job security experienced by workers across the Islamic Republic have contributed to a great many protest actions. Rajavi applauded the Iranian people’s record of some 1,300 strikes, sit-ins, and demonstrations, over the course of the previous Iranian calendar year.
The NCRI also used May 1 to call for the continuation of these actions, with regime change as the ultimate goal and the only means of improving the fortunes of Iranian workers.
It is still more remarkable that so many demonstrations have taken place across Iran when one considers the potential consequences of such expressions of dissent. On Thursday, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran pointed out that the regime had begun rounding up labor organizers days before International Workers’ Day as a preemptive strike against any form of political mobilization.
The Campaign’s executive director, Hadi Ghaemi stated that the regime views all such activism as a threat to national security.
This speaks to the regime’s fear of what Ledeen plainly characterized as the Iranian people’s hatred for their rulers. And that fear is presumably expressed through crackdowns not only on activists but also on journalists and anyone who expresses undesirable opinions on social media.
IranWire points out that International Workers’ Day is followed closely by World Press Day on May 3, and that this will be another occasion to call attention to the abuses of the regime as at least 30 journalists mark the occasion from inside Iranian prisons where they are being held on politically motivated charges.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Iran is consistently one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world, as well as being one of the top ten most censored countries. What’s more, the International Campaign pointed out last week that six individuals had been newly sentenced to between five and seven years in prison each, on charges stemming simply from comments that they posted on Facebook.
It is only the latest example of a longstanding trend in the Islamic Republic, and one that writers like Ledeen view as clear evidence for the Iranian people’s hatred of their government and their desire for regime change.