After enduring six months of persistent protests, during which hundreds of lives were lost and tens of thousands of demonstrators suffered through torture, rape, and even blindness, the Iranian people have sent a resounding message to the world: regime change is inevitable, it’s not a question of if, but when. Yet again, despite passionate rhetoric about supporting the people of Iran, the Western powers have shown a steadfast reluctance to confront the murderous regime in Iran.
With the war in Ukraine as a major shadow that cast a high, the Munich Security Conference 2023 was held from February 17 to 19. Unlike previous years, and despite its evident impact on the prolonged invasion of Ukraine, the so-called “Iranian threat” was a missing spot on the MSC agenda as an official topic that world leaders would commit time to discuss.
Unprecedently, the Iranian regime’s delegation was disinvited to the MSC as the organizers wanted to make sure Tehran feels the consequences of being at loggerheads with the West. Though, in order to prevent any misinterpretation in Tehran, members of the so-called Iranian “civil society” and “advocates” were invited to MSC.
One of these “activists” was Reza Pahlavi, the son of the ousted monarchial dictator, joined by Masih Alinejad who had a background of cheering for factions inside the Iranian regime that stimulated a mirage of reform and moderation.
Reza Pahlavi, who proclaimed himself the new shah of Iran while celebrating his 20th birthday in November 1980, has often swung through positions from promoting a republic, a monarchy, an elective monarchy, and then again inverse. Reminiscent of more than 57 years of the dictatorship of his sires that forced millions of Iranians to end monarchy in 1979, Pahlavi has been a divisive factor during Iran’s consecutive uprisings since 2017. For years, even today, he has continued to root for a transition of power in Iran with the help of the murderous IRGC and Basij.
Virtually at the end of the so-called MSC Townhall, MEP Michael Gahler, who attended the meeting as part of the audience, raised a controversial topic out of the blue. He literally criticized the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) for leading the struggle against the regime in Iran.
Openly demonstrating a frustrated tone, he said: “Do you know who represents the Iranian opposition every day physically in the European Parliament and probably many other parliaments? It’s this awful National Council of Resistance. They are physically present every day, and they pretend to be the Iranian Opposition they are the ones who are infiltrating the mindset of many colleagues, often from countries that have recently liberated themselves and they think they are the ones now. So, please be physically present and get your voices heard as a real alternative because I think these PMOI guys do not represent the people and the opposition.”
Michael Gahler’s resentment against the MEK is not unprecedented. In May 2011, following a bloody massacre of the MEK members in Camp Ashraf that was carried out by the IRGC Quds force-affiliated commandos of the Iraqi military, Gahler sent a letter to his colleagues, asking them not to support “the PMOI lobby in the European Parliament”. Despite the nuanced wording, the effort was literally aimed at stopping any attempt that wanted to pressure the Noury al-Maliki government which had the elimination of the Iranian Opposition on its agenda.
Instead of vowing to commit more to the fight against the murderous regime in Tehran, Masih Alinejad made sure to side with the most denigrated of his statements; slamming the MEK.
“I should make it very clear that the MEK does not represent the Iranian people,” Masih Alinejad boasted. “Those who do not believe in democracy, those who do not even engage with Iranians, they’re not engaging with us to talk directly about what they want for the future of Iran. I’m very, very, very surprised that how they are being welcomed by the members of the European Parliament, by some of the senators and members of the Congress in America.”
While she was unleashing her pathetic tirade, thousands of the Iranian community in Germany were gathering in Munich to express their outrage at what was happening at the MSC and support NCRI for regime change.
Farid Mahoutchian, Legal Advisor of the JU-Hamburg, told the crowd: “Reza Pahlavi says that at the moment, we are not going to talk about the type of government we will have in the future. Like Khomeini, he wants to present the revolution to the Iranian people in a black box with closed doors. He’s saying this after the bloody experience of a hijacked anti-monarchial revolution and 120 thousand martyrs. But he and his masters who invest in him, as well as the censoring media are all wrong. This fake opposition is out of touch with the people of Iran. It is unable to solve the problems of the youth who are protesting on the streets.”
Pegah Jahanmiri, another Iranian young woman said: “Our generation says no to the monarchy. Though there has been the illusion of a fake opposition that wants to fool us with the remnants of the monarchy. A bogus opposition with football players and Hollywood stars. Years of appeasement policy have now come to an end. For many years, it was the West who mirrored the erroneous image of this regime and thereby it is responsible for the regime’s survival this long. It was the Western appeasement policy that fed the regime’s terrorism and led to the drone attacks of this regime in Ukraine… Every support for this regime is treason against the Iranian people and all those who died striving for freedom.”
Maliheh Malek-Mohammad stated: “The people of Iran loathe any form of dictatorship… To the MSC organizers I say, inviting the remnants of the deposed Shah has no effect other than playing into the mullahs’ hand for deflecting the uprising. Despite the extensive support of Europe and the United States of his father, while the Shah was boasting about being a superpower, nothing did serve him. In the end, he smelted like snow facing the huge waves of the revolution. This only caused hatred and anger among the Iranian people. The remnants of the hated monarchy, supported by the torturers of SAVAK, those who change stances wherever interests lie, those who have been crawling out of the clerical regime just recently, they have no place in this revolution.”
Nonetheless, these impressions were also quite accurately reflected in Iran’s state media.
With the headline ‘Standup comedy in Munich’, the state-run Farhikhtegan daily ridiculed the Iran-related discussions at the MSC and wrote on February 20: “… Inviting anti-Iranian subversives and sending signals like what we have seen from Macron and Bearbock in the last few days, makes you ponder that Reza Pahlavi, Masih Alinejad, Nazanin Bonyadi, and any other individual are to aid the West in this turf. All of them have become the pawns of these governments so they can obtain concessions from Iran in the upcoming nuclear negotiations.”
While the same group of “activists” has been preaching about unity for months, calling on Iranians from all political stripes and ethnicities to come together and ignore basic principles for the sake of unison, their words were quite contradicting and self-revealing of a less benevolent intent.
Nonetheless, while these people keep calling on Iran’s society to limit their dissent to “quiet demonstrations”, civil obedience, and mere strikes while condemning any form of radical approaches, their public line of attacking the MEK and the NCRI is practically serving the ones who have been propagandizing the lack of a viable alternative to the regime all along.
The resilient Iranian people and their Resistance have shown a remarkable determination to stand on their own, without relying on any major power for support. All they need is for them to stop supporting their oppressors.