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The Message of Four-Day Protests in 19 Iran Provinces

University students protest the Iranian regime's inhumane downing of the passenger plane-January 2020

The resumption of anti-regime protests by thousands of Iranians in Tehran and other cities in 19 provinces for four days earlier this week, made it palpably clear that subsequent to the nationwide November uprising that shook the regime to its core, the Iranian political landscape has changed forever. 

The regime can no longer stem the tide that is rising fast against it. While the regime shut down the internet and imposed a total news blackout, it could not do the same this week, as the video clips showed MEK Resistance Units tearing down or torching Qassem Soleimani’s posters.

Moreover, the January protests demonstrated that what occurred in November was not a one-time occurrence and that the situation in Iran is like a powder keg, ready to explode with any incident. The was manifested in the chant of “1,500 are our martyrs from November.”

 

Secondly, the protests targeted the Supreme Leader, chanting “Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, resign, resign,” “Death to Khamenei,” “Death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih,” and ‘IRGC commits crimes, the Supreme Leader supports them.”

Third, the protesters openly blamed and challenged the IRGC, the regime’s power base for decades and expressed their abhorrence at Qassem Soleimani. Their chants undercut the regime’s propaganda subsequent to the termination of Qassem Soleimani. They chanted “Incompetent IRGC murders our people,” “IRGC you are the DAESH (ISIS),” “Soleimani is a murderer, so is his leader.”

Fourth, in many protests, people chanted “No to oppressor, be it the Shah, or the supreme leader (i.e. Khamenei),” “No crown, no turban, Khamenei your days are finished.” This showed that the Iranian people reject the past, are not content with the current situation and are seeking a democratic and pluralist future.

Fifth, women played in a prominent role in these protests as they did in November. In many scenes from the protests in Tehran and other cities, they were leading the protests and the chants.
These protests and the November uprising lead one to the unmistakable conclusion that the MEK’s strategy focusing on establishing the Resistance Units has been quite effecting in organizing and directing the protests nationwide. They have become the role model for the younger generation the way forward and how to challenge the regime. Indeed, the actions and the slogans by the protesters in the capital and elsewhere in Iran showed that Iranians are following the lead by the MEK. This explains why the regime’s leaders from Khamenei, Rouhani and other officials constantly express alarm on the growing role of the MEK and the spreading influence of MEK Resistance Units.

 

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