By Hossein Abedini
The Persian New Year will begin next Tuesday as Iranian people face serious economic and social crises.
According to the reports and analyses, not only the Iranians recent nationwide uprising has not stopped but it has deepened.
The authorities anxiously expect new anti-regime protests in the coming New Year but before the end of the current year, the theocracy faces a dangerous situation in the night before the last Wednesday of the year, which is famously known ”Chaharshanbe Souri”.
Actually, the Chaharshanbe Souri is an ancient event, which people celebrate by making bonefire and using firecracker. For the fundamentalist clerics in Tehran, the event is a nightmare because it is an opportunity for millions of Iranians to come to the streets and new wave of protests could happen.
But this year the regime is much more frightened because Iranians are determined to turn the event into political protests.
Thus, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has mobilised its oppressive forces to control major cities and in particular the capital, Tehran, as well as Mashhad, Shiraz, Qom, Isfahan etc.
Today, the regime is quelling hundreds of sporadic protests across the country. As a result, there is a strong potential to start nationwide demonstrations like what happened on 28thDecember 2017 that continued in early 2018.
The Minister of Interior frantically acknowledged the existence of that uprising when he said, “The main character of the protests was its large dimension. In a night or two, protests spread to 100 cities, and we had clashes in 42 cities ... The protests spread to cities and towns that maybe many had not heard the names of these cities until then. Since the level of discontent had escalated and become public, the protests could outbreak everywhere”. “About 900 police officers were battered and wounded", he claimed.
The regime’s security officials have expressed their deep anxiety over the potential escalation of anti-government protests during Chaharshanbe Souri. According to Mizan, a state-run news agency affiliated to the judiciary, The Prosecutor General and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Qom in an interview with Mizan spoke of the directives which have been issued to the security forces. “Mehdi Kaheh said security patrols consisting of operation units of security and judiciary personnel will be present and on patrol throughout the cities starting today. If anyone is found to cause problems, he will be arrested and dealt with seriously”, Mizan, March 8, 2018 reported.
If one looks at the regime’s media and State TV, all propaganda threatens people and encourage everyone “not to come to streets”.
The IRGC Brigadier Hossein Rahimi, State Security Forces Chief in Tehran, said to the State TV- Channel 5, March 7, 2018: "We will not tolerate any behavior outside of the common customs. This is our red-line, whatever disturbs public order is a red-line for the security forces, and as the people’s representative it is they who have to deal with it. Therefore, our preparations have been very extensive for that day, Chaharshanbe Souri."
Notwithstanding these threats, the Iranian youths are preparing to come to streets. The Social Headquarter of the main Iranian opposition, PMOI/MEK, has called on the people to turn the event into a massive uprising against the regime.
Indeed, the Chaharshanbe Souri as a prelude to more nationwide protests in the New Persian Year has put the IRGC in a total state of panic.
Mr. Abedini, is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.