EDITORIAL: Khamenei’s Well-Founded Fears
Last week, the Iranian regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei broke his 40-day silence on the crises facing his regime.
In a meeting with commanders of the terrorist Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on October 2, Khamenei expressed “utter satisfaction” with their actions and described them as his “dear children.”
While trying to be circumspect, Khamenei confessed to a wave of defections in the ranks of the IRGC and called on his commanders to be ready for “big incidents,” a euphemism for the tougher times that his regime will soon face.
Recent events show Khamenei’s fear to be well-founded. His regime is indeed running headlong toward “big incidents” on various fronts.
The Lordegan HIV crisis
Last week, news broke that Iranian health ministry workers had infected hundreds of residents in Lordegan county, Charmahal, and Bakhtiari province, with the HIV virus as a result of using contaminated syringes. The revelation caused outrage across the province and triggered protests that quickly turned into anti-regime demonstrations. The protesters chanted “death to the dictator” and criticized the regime’s costly foreign ventures in neighboring countries, which have taken a toll on the economy and the livelihoods of the Iranian people. The angry protesters burned down government buildings and the office of the local Friday Prayers Imam, who directly represents Khamenei in Lordegan.
The regime tried to control the situation by dispatching security forces to crack down on the protests and established undeclared martial law in the region. Security forces opened fire on the protesters, killing one and injuring dozens. Many more were arrested and transferred to the provincial capital Shahrekord.
But the regime’s efforts have only resulted in a temporary reprieve from the simmering outrage of the people. Following the Lordegan HIV crisis, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said in a statement, “This corrupt and criminal regime has squandered Iran’s national wealth by pursuing nuclear and missile projects and engaging in foreign warmongering, which has destroyed all aspects of life for the people of Iran, including health and well-being.”
As the Lordegan episode showed, it is only a matter of time before another social or economic crisis turns into a political confrontation between the people and the regime. And the regime is finding it harder and harder to contain the rage and hatred of the people. Testaments to the fact are dozens of ongoing protests and strikes in various Iranian cities, including by the Haft Tapeh sugarcane workers in Khuzestan, the workers of Azarab and HEPCO companies in Markazi, the farmers of Isfahan and teachers across the country.
Iranian Resistance units expand their activities
While the regime tries to expand its nationwide crackdown on all protests and dissent, members of the “Resistance Units,” supporters of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), are continuing their anti-regime campaign across Iran by putting up images of Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi.
Various large posters were placed in different locations of Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad, three of Iran’s major cities. Furthermore, defiant youths across the country set fire to icons of the Iranian regime and various sites affiliated to its different entities.
The activities of the Resistance Units have played a major role in preventing the regime from maintaining its rule of fear and terror across Iran. By defying and challenging the regime’s security forces, leaders and symbols of power, the Resistance Units are giving hope to millions of Iranians who are fed up with the corrupt and tyrannical rule of the mullahs.
Tehran’s weakening grip on Iraq
Perhaps one of the most important developments of the past week was the nationwide protest that erupted in Iraq, which the Iranian regime has tried to occupy through its terrorist proxy groups and affiliates.
Last week angry Iraqi demonstrators took to the streets in different cities across the country setting fire to the offices of Iran-backed militia groups. The demonstrators are angry over corruption and meddling by the Iranian regime and its affiliated parties. The people on the streets have demanded an end to Iran’s meddling. A number of Iraqi analysts, politicians, and activists believe economic reform is impossible without containing the influence of the Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq and bringing an end to Tehran’s meddling in Baghdad and across the country.
Fearing for its strategic interests in Iraq, Tehran’s response has been to dispatch its brutal terrorist forces and their commander, Qassem Suleimani, to crack down on the protesters. Various reports pertain that IRGC forces and Iranian proxies are directly involved in the killing of more than 100 Iraqi protesters. Their regime’s entanglement in suppressing the protests has further deepened the Iraqi people’s hatred for the mullahs ruling Iran.
“Big incidents” ahead
These events are just a prelude to the bigger incidents that Khamenei and his regime will be facing. How will the regime respond?
In his remarks, Khamenei presented his solution to the regime’s intensifying dilemmas as ratcheting up its foreign terrorism.
“We shouldn’t limit ourselves to our own region and pay no attention to the threats beyond our borders. The wider extraterritorial perspective is the responsibility of the IRGC. This is the strategic depth of our country and sometimes, it is our most critical responsibility,” he said.
Of course, due to its fundamentalist and terrorist nature, Iran's regime will always seek to resolve its problems through suppression, warmongering and causing chaos in the region. Khamenei knows better than anyone that toning down terrorism and belligerence will put his regime on the path of implosion and collapse. This also proves that the regime’s attempts to put up a show of power in the region are nothing more than the futile attempts of a tyranny that is trying in vain to extend its fast-waning days.