National Iranian Congress
December 31, 2017
Anti-Regime Protests all over Iran
Press Release by National Iranian Congress
On Saturday, December 23, 2017, the Iranian National Congress issued a formal request to the citizens of Tehran to begin a major protest movement to finally end the brutal, oppressive tyranny of the Khamenei regime. On Sunday, the protest in Tehran was launched by thousands of Iranian citizens willing to risk their lives to secure their fundamental human rights and liberty. The demands of the protestors were taken directly to the Khamenei’s palace. The protest movement will accept nothing short of the removal of the Islamic regime and establishment of a free, democratic Iran with a new government defined by a Constitution guaranteeing the right of every Iranian citizen to live free of oppression and discrimination with justice and equality.
Having witnessed the Tehran protest, the citizens of Mashhad notified the National Iranian Congress that they wanted to join in support of the Tehran protest. Last Thursday, thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Mashhad in protest. Mashhad is Iran’s second largest and holiest city. Soon after, social media was inundated with clips of the bold and daring chants that were directly attacking the very foundation of the theocratic regime in Iran and its Supreme Leader. Responding to successive invitations by the National Iranian Congress, tens of thousands more Iranians across the country in cities large and small joined what has now become a full-on uprising. Millions of Iranian citizens in over 40 cities thus far have mobilized against the regime.
The press has reported that three people have so far been killed, but in fact the Iranian protestors killed by the Islamic regime number in the hundreds. The National Iranian Congress has over 2000 videos recording these events. Nevertheless, the riots continue on this third day. Citizens who were once silenced by the regime’s brutal crackdown on any kind of dissent are now emboldened and are entering government buildings and either burning all files as in Karaj, or burning down the entire building as in Khorram-Abad. Never in the 39 years of the Islamic Republic has there been such geographically widespread dissent, nor has there ever been such a fearless and direct verbal attack by protesters on the entirety of the ruling clerical class. Never have ordinary citizens had the audacity to stand face to face with fully armed security forces and scream “Death to Khamenei!” Never has this happened, not even during the 2009 Green Movement.
The chants are extraordinary. They reveal the sheer hatred that has accumulated during four decades of oppression, rampant corruption and the squandering of Iran’s national resources and wealth. The seething hatred is vividly displayed in scenes of angry protesters tearing down posters of Khamenei and the much touted IRGC “hero” Ghassemi Soleimani. Old chants of “Death to the Dictator” have erupted into “Death to Khamenei!”, “Death to Hezbollah!” and “Death to the Islamic Republic!” Old chants supporting the reformist Green Movement leaders have been replaced by more powerfully evocative chants: “Reformist,Conservative, this is the end of your story!” and “We don’t want an Islamic Republic!” and “We shall take back Iran!” The derogatory term for Shiite clerics normally used to demean and ridicule them, akhoond, is used in abundance: “Cannons, tanks, rockets, akhoond must get lost!”, “People have to panhandle while the akhoond is living like a god!”, “It’s a mourning day today, the rights of our people are underneath the akhoond’s cloak!”
Yet the mainstream media have largely ignored this incredible bravery and the few outlets that have covered some protests downplay their significance, attributing them solely to “economic woes”. European politicians also have been largely silent. Perhaps they are embarrassed to find themselves aligned publicly with the brutal, corrupt regime against the people of Iran. Or perhaps they secretly are hoping that this disturbance will go away quickly and not disrupt their lucrative commercial ambitions in Iran. In stark contrast, President Trump, his Secretary of State Tillerson, and a handful of United States politicians have spoken in strong support of this heroic movement of the Iranian people. The world indeed is watching the actions the Khamenei regime is taking against the people of Iran. But the Iranian people are also watching the reaction of world leaders to their plight. Will democratic nations simply remain silent or provide strong political support to the people of Iran who surely deserve no less? The struggle for freedom from the Islamic regime’s brutal tyranny is one the people of Iran will resolve on their own terms. They neither desire, nor need any outside intervention. But the Iranian people risking all to secure their basic human rights and freedom are not likely to forget those who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them during this perilous time and those who turned away. The Iranian people are seeking political support from democratic nations in their quest to establish a constitutional republic governed by the will of its citizens and elected representatives through free and fair popular elections.
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