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Iran’s 1401 Year: A Hopeful Beginning, a Turbulent Journey, and a Promising Future

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The Persian Year 1401 has just ended. A year full of ups and downs, sorrow and happiness, fear and bravery for the Iranian people in their quest to establish a secular, non-nuclear, and democratic republic.

As the year began, the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei lauded the installation of Ebrahim Raisi as the new president, extolling it as a “sweet development.” Yet, as the year progressed, even the state-controlled press reported on the dwindling support for Raisi amongst Khamenei’s faction due to the worsening economic and social crises.

The country’s inflation now hovers above 50%, the highest in four years. The value of the national currency, the rial, rapidly plunges. When the year began, the value of a dollar was 250,000 rials, but presently, it has exceeded 450,000 rials. An egg now costs 30,000 rials, which represents a 100% rise compared to last year. Likewise, the cost of meat has skyrocketed to 5 million rials per kilo.

Unlike the Persian traditions of welcoming Nowruz with sweets, Iranians embraced the 1402 New Year with bitter economic problems. And all are a part of the regime’s dark scheme to compensate for its budget deficit by printing banknotes, therefore increasing the country’s liquidity and at the same time damaging the market.

Khamenei selected Raisi to consolidate power in his regime. Yet, the regime’s ineptitude and oppressive measures intensified under Raisi and weakened the regime by intensifying public outrage against the ruling mullahs.

During the last year, Iran witnessed a major nationwide uprising, which continues to this day despite the regime’s brutal crackdown. These demonstrations laid bare the regime’s weakness, the power of Iranian youth and women, and the leading role of Iran’s principal opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Originally sparked by the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, the protests soon spread across Iran, with people calling out the entire regime and demanding a free and secular republic.

As the uprising revealed the real face of a moribund and vulnerable regime. Unsurprisingly, opportunistic forces attempted to exploit this fragility to suppress the nationwide revolutionary spirit, create chaos, foment discord, and detract the democratic revolution by trying to market the deposed monarchy as the alternative to the clerical regime. This plot failed, as Iranians from all walks of life demonstrated their aspiration for a democratic government by chanting, “down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the [Supreme] Leader.”

Iran's people reject the Shah and mullahs' regimes | Iran protests

During the last year, the regime suffered immense international isolation while the solidarity with the Iranian people grew larger:

  • European Parliament and other European countries called for the IRGC’s terrorist designation.
  • Tehran’s Efforts to remove the IRGC from the U.S. blacklist failed.
  • In a special session, the UN Human Rights Council established an international fact-finding mission to investigate the regime’s crimes during the nationwide protests.
  • The UN Economic and Social Council expelled Iran from Commission on the Status of Women.
  • Albania cut diplomatic ties with the clerical regime.
  • A Swedish court sentenced Hamid Noury, a former Iranian prison authority involved in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, to life imprisonment.
  • The Iranian Resistance thwarted the regime’s secret plan to free diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi in Belgium.

Moreover, due to the Iranian Resistance’s activities abroad, the Iranian people’s aspirations for a democratic republic have been supported by the world community. In the U.S., House Resolution 100 has been so far sponsored by a majority of Congress, recognizing the progress of the Iranian people’s uprising and their right to fight for a democratic republic based on separation of religion and state, and a non-nuclear Iran. This resolution stands with the people of Iran in the legitimate defense of their freedom against oppression.

Inside Iran, 1401 was marked by a courageous spirit of resistance, and the defiant youth targeted the IRGC’s command centers, prisons, and bases with fearless determination. At the Iranian Resistance’s annual Free Iran Summit, 5,000 members of the MEK’s Resistance Units conveyed their message of defiance, undeterred by the regime’s oppression.

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Even in the face of a massive mobilization of 75,000 forces in Tehran, the valiant Resistance Units carried out countless daring operations and activities, including during the Fire Festival and throughout the year. This was a year of triumph for the Resistance Units, as they refused to be silenced and stood firm in their fight for freedom and justice.

On the one hand, 1401 was a year of turmoil with a plummeting economy, inflation, and oppression. But on the other, the Iranian people and their organized Resistance showed resilience and courage, endeavoring for a secular and democratic republic, bringing the possibility of a free, democratic, and non-nuclear Iran to the horizon, turning Khamenei’s “Sweetest development” into the “bitter taste” of defeat.