By Shahriar Kia
For more than four decades, the Iranian regime has used oppression to quell society and hold its grip on power. Now, state-run media and officials acknowledge that even their brutal oppression cannot stop people from overthrowing the regime.
The regime’s wrong economic policies, oppression and export, and funding of terrorism by plundering the national wealth, and now the coronavirus outbreak with its rising death toll, have turned the Iranian society into a powder keg. Despite the regime’s brutality during the nationwide Iran protests in November, killing 1500 protesters, people poured onto the streets in January after the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet. Less than a month after these protests, the people’s unprecedented boycott of the regime’s sham parliamentary elections showed their conflict with the regime had reached an irreversible point.
In this regard, the state-run Mardom Salari daily on September 1 wrote: “There is one issue which remains. Should we define the current situation as being in a deadlock? And is the only way out using harsh tools and methods, or we could keep up hope that the situation would get better? The protest movements in 2018 and 2019 and the inappropriate manner of dealing with them are not good indicators in this regard. Obviously, harsh movements have many negative consequences.”
In other words, the regime’s oppression, instead of intimidating people, has increased people’s hatred toward the mullahs’ regime. In this regard, the state-run Mostaghel daily on September 2, while calling people’s hatred toward the regime “hopelessness and distrust” toward the regime, underlined that this is because of the regime’s “past deeds.”
Mostafa Moin, the regime’s former Minister of Science, told the state-run Sharq daily on Tuesday that the public’s hatred toward the entire regime has put officials in a situation that “they no longer have the self-confidence they once had. Their recklessness and choosing methods that intensify internal disputes have further narrowed the political and social atmosphere and put more pressure on student, labor, media and civil rights activists. People’s protests are not just over the economic crisis. Most of them are because of [the regime’s] inefficiency, dishonesty, bureaucratic and governmental corruption, inequality and distrust in the words and actions of the government and its officials.”
As Moin admitted, Iranian society is an explosive situation. In this regard, Hassan Bayadi, one of the regime’s experts, told the state-run Entekhab website on August 31: “There will be unexpected social-political incidents until the end of December. With respect to the [regime’s] domestic recklessness, people have moved away from the factions, and they are not satisfied with the current situation. Previous discussions are no longer effective. Therefore, the analysis of existing problems should be fair, although in the occurrence of these problems, the role of gangs linked to power and wealth should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, like an octopus, they have infiltrated many important economic and political organizations, and some seemingly dignified human beings willingly or unwillingly are serving these gangs and are their perpetrators of oppression.”
By “moving away,” Bayadi is referring to people’s slogans in the 2018 and 2019 uprisings that “reformists, hardliners, the game is over.” Meaning that people will no longer be deceived by the regime’s maneuver of “reformism of reformists,” no matter how much the regime’s apologists outside of Iran push this narrative.
These “unexpected incidents” have very much terrified the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. In this regard, in a meeting with his newly hand-picked Members of Parliament on July 12, Khamenei described the regime’s grasp on power as “the most important issue of the country.” He said: “The fourth year of governments, especially if it is their second term, is a very sensitive year, and usually in this year, if not taken care of, things will slow down. All governments are obliged to work until the last day. In the critical situation of the last year of the government and the first year of the parliament, these two powers should prevent anything from damaging the most important issue of the country.”
But, as the Mostaghel daily wrote on July 13: “Soon people will come to their table for eating, and their despair of an empty table will lead them to protest on busy streets.”