Seven months after the nationwide anti-regime uprising, the movement has proved to be a durable challenge to the Iranian regime. It poses a continuing existential threat to the ruling theocracy.

The Iranian people want, once and for all, to get rid of the ruling theocracy; they are not opting for any reform or transition of power. Iranians are trying to end decades of misery caused by the mullahs. They have demonstrated their resolve for regime change in slogans such as, “Poverty, corruption, high prices, we continue until [regime’s] downfall.”

This uprising is unique in at least one aspect: The regime has run out of tactics to detract the uprising from its main course. In previous rounds of protests, the regime would try to use the supposed reformist-hardliner divide to lay the blame for the country’s problems on one or the other faction. But the people have long moved past these charades with the slogan, “Reformists, hardliners, the game is over.” The regime then tried to promote slogans in support of the ousted Shah dictatorship in hopes of suppressing solutions that call for the establishment of a democratic state.

But that too has failed the regime. The latest movement is known for its anti-dictatorial characteristics, as demonstrated in people’s slogans, rejecting both the current regime and the return to the ousted monarchy. These slogans include: “Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or mullahs,” and “No monarchy, no [supreme] leader, democracy, equality.” Iranian people want to establish a pluralistic, secular, and democratic republic after decades of tyranny.

In an article on its Telegram channel, the state-run Tahkim Melat outlet published an assessment of popular slogans and their origins. Tahkim Melat also referred to the controversial and selective coverage of these slogans by Persian-speaking news outlets and Television outside Iran.

“Unlike other movements in 2018 and 2019, the academic, scholarly, knowledgeable, and enlightened part of the society was the denominator of this [uprising]. Thus, the slogans had profound meanings,” it wrote.

“What is worth considering is the absence of slogans in favor of the monarchy, such as ‘Bless Reza Shah’s soul,’ or ‘A country without a king is in chaos,’ despite the Persian-speaking TVs propaganda and efforts to spread these slogans,” the outlet acknowledged, adding that “on the contrary, slogans such as ‘monarchy, supreme leader, a century of crime,’ ‘Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the [Supreme] Leader,’ and ‘No monarchy, no [supreme] leader, democracy, equality’ echoed throughout society and were welcomed by people.”

The outlet acknowledges that the considerable increase and repetition of the aforementioned slogans “indicate their rising popularity and the prospect of becoming one of the most important and strategic slogans of this movement.”

The outlet admits that the slogan of “No monarchy, no [supreme] leader, democracy, equality” has been exceptionally effective for several reasons:

“It clarifies what people do not want and that they not only reject the Islamic Republic but are against the return of the ousted monarchy in any form, even constitutional.”
“While the slogan suggests what people do not want, it also indicates what they want and aim for. It clearly shows Iranians want to establish a democratic republic in the future.”
“Considering the increase in people’s experience and their level of awareness, this slogan prevents the possibility of the uprising being detracted or hijacked. It also prevents the creation of monopolies and privileges for the individual, family, tribe, group, and party.”

The last factor Tahkim Melat acknowledged is the most important indication of Iranian society’s awareness and how, despite the regime’s efforts to detract the uprising from its main course by promoting the deposed monarchy and its remnants, the uprising stays true to its democratic aspirations.

It is worth noting that the uprising’s endurance, despite a severe crackdown and the efforts to detract from its main course, shows the movement’s organized nature. The role of Iran’s principal opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and its vast network of “Resistance Units” in safeguarding the democratic nature of the revolution in the making is also an important factor.

Under the Shah regime, the execution and imprisonment of pro-democracy activists paved the way for the mullahs to take power after the 1979 revolution. The mullahs’ regime is viewed as an extension of the previous dictatorship, with Khomeini and Khamenei as its true heirs.

Although the crimes of the Pahlavi dictatorship pale in comparison to those of the ruling theocracy, the historical memory of the Iranian people never forgets nor forgives the atrocities committed by the Shah and his father, Reza Khan. The ousted monarchy was once and for all buried in the 1979 anti-monarchial revolution by millions of people, and its return is a myth and mirage.

From Tehran to Zahedan in southeast Iran and to Kurdistan in Western Iran, all Iranians keep rejecting any form of tyranny and yearn for a secular and democratic republic. They pay the price of this demand with their lives.

The world community should embrace and recognize the Iranian people’s demand for establishing a democratic, pluralistic, and secular republic in Iran and their right to self-defense vis-à-vis the brutal regime in order to achieve their goal.

Source » ncr-iran