Originally published in the Greek weekly newspaper “Paraskinio”, issue 612, p. 39, on Jan. 5
In recent days, huge demonstrations have taken place in Iran, initially in cities away from the center that expanded into Tehran’s administrative capital, as well as in the religious capital, Qom. In these demonstrations, the people explicitly demanded the fall of the Iranian regime, whose leader is Hassan Rouhani and the fall of real and religious leader Ali Khamenei. During the first three days of the demonstrations, the people were confronted with the brutality of the Iranian security forces. On the fourth day, however, the Iranian government instructed police to withdraw from the streets and promote the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian army.
The main reason for these protests is the deterioration of the economic situation in Iranian society. Other factors that increased indignation among the young Iranians were the Iranian military interventions in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, which caused a state of isolation, the Iranian government’s nuclear and ballistic program, and the internationally hostile which also caused international isolation. Moreover, the lack of freedoms and the deterioration in security, the political arrests and the undemocratic political system imposed by the Khomeini Islamic Revolution in the 1980s.
Unemployment rates in Iran are estimated to exceed 50% of the working population as opposed to data provided by the Iranian Ministry of Labor. Inflation is over 10%. Forty million Iranians are below the poverty line, a very large proportion that accounts for 50% of the total population of Iran. Some reports also confirmed that 15 million Iranian citizens live in shantytowns. Recent government laws that cut off the support of the poor and the unemployed intensified tension and anger on the country’s streets. Of note, tens of billions of dollars have been spent over the last 20 years to expand Iranian aggression outside Iranian territory and to support the militias associated with the Iranian government in the countries of the region. In Syria, many of the Western reports have estimated that over the past seven years Iran has spent nearly $ 100 billion to support the survival of the dictatorial Assad regime and the establishment and equipment of Afghan, Pakistani and Iraqi religious militias to repress the Syrian revolution. Hezbollah’s terrorist militia receives an annual financial support of about $ 3 billion from the Iranian regime. In addition, the Iranian regime supports the Houthi militia in Yemen against the legitimate government, as well as Afghan and Pakistani militias within their own countries. It also supports disseminating Shiite doctrine in Africa and the East Asia region. The level of corruption in the Iranian system is one of the highest in the world. The wealth of the top leader, Khamenei, is estimated at 90 billion dollars.
Freedoms and politics
The level of freedoms in Iran is one of the lowest in the world. The Iranian regime banned many social media and limited a large number. Executions in Iran are the highest in the world, most of them due to political reasons. In Iran, the veil is obligatory for all women. The level of education is low. Iranian universities are in the lowest ranks of international rankings. Regarding politics, democracy is not at its best as it is forbidden to create real opposition parties. There is a false opposition that is essentially part of the government system.
Iran is an important factor in the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and may be the main cause of instability in the region. The Iranian regime has publicly announced that it is seeking to expand and spread the Islamic Revolution in the wider region. Therefore, any deterioration in Iran’s internal situation will inevitably have an impact on the regional environment, but gradually. The dictatorial structure on which this regime is based is irreversible. Therefore, the only option for the Iranian people is to overturn it. But this process will certainly not be peaceful. The Syrian regime, which is a miniature of the Iranian, is an example of how it will manage the revolution against it. The military solution is the only option. Therefore, Iran’s paths must prepare for internal war as the only option to overthrow it. In this case, the regime will be forced to withdraw some of the militias being deployed in the peripheral countries to defend it, which will certainly affect the regional situation.
Every citizen of this world has the right to live a dignified life with respect and equal opportunities. The current Iranian regime is far from any justice, freedom, equality or peace. It is the main reason for the collapse of society in the region due to the spread of sectarianism. It has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the civil war that has been going on in Iraq since 2005. The Iranian regime is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Syrians for Assad’s stay in power. It is also responsible for the continuing death in Yemen and for the unstable political situation in Lebanon. Therefore, the overthrow of this sectarian criminal regime is a necessity for the Iraqi people, as for the regional forces, as it is an international need to restore global stability.