Peaceful protests are increasing every day in the Ahwaz region and other areas across Iran, even as the Iranian regime steps up its brutal efforts to crush the massive demonstrations in the country which have been growing in number and size since December of last year.
These demonstrations are apparently one of the biggest challenges to the regime, along with other major headaches, such as the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the re-imposition of international sanctions as result of the regime’s nuclear weapons program and its blatant intervention to undermine security and stability regionally and globally.
The economic situation in Iran is deteriorating daily due to economic corruption as the currency exchange rate goes into freefall and inflation skyrockets, with U.S. economist Steven H. Sanke announcing on Sunday that the current inflation rate stands at 78.55 percent. This economic crisis has had a devastating effect on the lives of ordinary Iranians already suffering due to the regime’s negligence, with popular discontent surging against the regime and its policies. The struggle for freedom and autonomy by the non-Persian minorities in Iran, such as the Ahwazi Arabs, Kurds, Azeris and Balochis, who collectively make up more than half the country’s population and who are subjected to savage racism in addition to the usual repression, is another major challenge for the regime.
Despite the regime’s brutal efforts to crush all signs of dissent, demonstrations in these areas across Iran have been gaining momentum as disillusionment and anger with the regime grow. These demonstrations have rapidly gained the support of the majority in all these long-oppressed minorities, with the regime’s murderous response to the protests via mass arrests and killings of protesters simply intensifying the peoples’ anger and determination to continue their struggle for freedom. The month of May this year saw many significant events domestically and globally which are having a major effect on the situation in Iran.
The most momentous of these was the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw the USA from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations. The agreement, viewed as a landmark achievement by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, was eagerly seized on by the regime as a way to end its long isolation as a pariah state and gain legitimacy as a member of the international community, which the regime saw as a means to increase its strength and prolong its life indefinitely. The regime also used the previously frozen funds released under the terms of the agreement to finance its ruinous regional wars and fund multiple proxy sectarian militias across the region. For all these reasons, the US exit from the JCPOA was a massive and powerful blow to the Iranian regime, forcing the leadership to scale back its aspirations for regional hegemony, as well as adversely affecting its standing domestically amongst Iranians already angry at gaining no benefit from the funds released by the deal, which were used to fund the regime’s regional expansionism.
While the regime is likely to react with its customary murderous violence towards protesters, its financial inability in the face of sanctions to placate the already angry and disillusioned citizens is unlikely to succeed in ending the demonstrations, only adding to public resentment and increasing the hostility domestically and regionally towards the regime This month also witnessed important events in the non-Persian minority regions in Iran, shown by the outbreak of popular demonstrations that emphasised the continued struggle of these peoples against the regime’s brutal, tyrannical and fascistic oppressive policies.
The most prominent of these protests were the popular evening demonstrations which have continued to take place around the events throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Ahwazi Arab workers at a number of companies have also continued their strike action over salaries unpaid for months, while farmers in the region also held nonviolent but noisy protests outside the governor’s office in the capital before storming the local headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, which has prevented the already-struggling farmers from cultivating rice this year due to inadequate water supply for agriculture; the regime has dammed and redirected two of the largest rivers in the region, with millions of gallons of water being pumped to other, Persian areas of Iran whilst much of Ahwaz suffers unprecedented severe droughts.
In addition to these protests in Ahwaz, other areas across Iran have also has seen massive demonstrations which are shaking the ground under the feet of the Iranian regime, including large demonstrations in the city of Kazerun, which taught the regime a harsh lesson about the people’s long struggle against suppression. There have also been widespread strikes in Kurdish cities, while the equally persecuted Balochi peoples have taken to the streets too in protest against years of brutality and racist abuse by the regime.
Despite the regime’s brutal efforts to subdue the protests with its usual tactics of intimidation, savage beatings, random killing of protesters, mass arrests, torture and indiscriminate execution of activists on fabricated charges, the demonstrations have continued to grow across the country and to encompass more and more diverse groups across all social strata, from factory workers, truck and taxi drivers and public transport employees to teachers and others.
Marginalised groups which were previously fearful of speaking out, knowing the regime’s brutal response, are now becoming bolder as anger and disillusionment grows and people finally see a chance of ridding themselves of the hated regime. As time goes on, the domestic and international pressure on the regime from all sides is intensifying and increasing. Iranian people across the social, racial and religious spectrum are finally uniting – the greatest fear of the regime which has long worked on the divide-and-rule principle beloved of all totalitarian regimes – in opposition and in a shared aspiration for freedom from the mullahs’ theocratic tyranny.
In fact, the fall of the regime is in the interests of all the peoples in Iran, not only to gain their own freedom and sovereignty over the nation taken hostage, terrorised and looted for decades by the Khomeinists, but to have positive relations with neighbouring nations and to build a modern forward-looking nation without the instability, tension and conflicts with which the regime’s unwanted interventions currently poison the region. With the regime gone, the people could finally have a hope of being part of a nation contributing to international peace and security rather than one regarded as a pariah.
For this reason, the Iranian people are eagerly seeking the international community’s support for their heroic struggle for freedom against the tyrannical regime. The people are all too well aware that any move to give the regime another chance by opening new negotiations over its nuclear program would mean legitimising the regional warmongering, terror and destabilising activities which are the foundation of its existence. The world must realise that the ‘Islamic Republic’ regime will never adhere to international conventions, norms and laws domestically, regionally or globally in an international community which it views with absolute contempt.