September 16 to mark the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody in Iran last year, This article is dedicated to her memory.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, or the Islamic Caliphate of Shia Mullahs, has long been a subject of international scrutiny due to its complex political landscape. This paper aims to analyze the various factors contributing to the status quo in Iran, including government oppression, external influences, and the aspirations of the Iranian people for change.
2. The Iron Fist of the mullah’s Government
The Iranian government's approach to opposition and dissent has been characterized by authoritarianism, suppression, and the spread of propaganda. The regime has consistently employed oppressive tactics to quell any nationwide movements, presenting a unified front against its opponents. The paper also highlights the regime's willingness to use force, which has resulted in numerous protests and unrest.
The regime, rooted in Khomeinism ideology, adheres to a single policy when it comes to dealing with its opponents, and that policy is unequivocal: elimination through violence. Their approach is to kill and obliterate anything or anyone that challenges their authority, portraying themselves as virtuous while branding others as heretics.
Within their perspective, the act of killing opponents is not only accepted but also deemed legitimate.
Thousands of individuals have suffered torture and lost their lives within the confines of Islamic prisons solely to safeguard the regime's interests. In the regime's rhetoric, they label all opposition as enemies of God, with "God" in their literature often symbolizing the "Mullah." Consequently, the regime operates multiple repressive organizations with little regard for international criticism or condemnation.
3. The Dichotomy of Iranian Politics
The political landscape inside Iran is often seen as divided between reformists and hardliners. However, both sides ultimately aim to preserve the regime's longevity, albeit with varying approaches. The government's strong-handed tactics persist, irrespective of the faction in power.
As an illustration, the reformist faction possesses control over intelligence agencies and an array of economic resources. Their primary focus revolves around personal gain, wealth accumulation, and power, often prioritizing these interests over the long-term well-being of Iran. In essence, reforming the fundamental structure of an Islamic caliphate appears highly improbable under their influence.
4. The Role of the United States
The United States' historical approach to Iran has oscillated between supporting regime change and pursuing diplomatic engagement. It is crystal clear how the wrong policies of past U.S. administrations, notably those of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, have influenced Iran's political trajectory and elongated the life of mullahs.
Jimmy Carter's actions constituted a betrayal of the Shah, who had been a steadfast and sincere ally of the United States in Iran. Carter's inexplicable support for Khomeini undermined the relationship. Subsequently, during his presidency, Barack Obama's approach favored engaging with his successor Khamenei rather than supporting Iranian movements. While his administration's successful accomplishment in foreign policy included the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Joe Biden sought to revive this agreement. Regrettably, these actions by Carter, Obama, and Biden inadvertently facilitated the potential for malevolent mullahs to disrupt peace and stability in the region.
Throughout history, the Western world and the United States played pivotal roles in dismantling both communism and apartheid. However, their response to the challenge posed by the oppressive mullahs' regime and Khominism has been marked by silence and inaction.
5. Israel's Interests and the Iranian Diaspora
Israel has shown a keen interest in identifying a legitimate alternative to the current Iranian regime. The visit of Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi to Israel underscores the complex dynamics at play. Additionally, the Iranian diaspora, while fragmented, plays a role in shaping perceptions of Iran abroad.
Historically, when the late Shah of Iran officially recognized Israel as a de facto state during a press conference on July 23, 1960, his stance triggered a significant political struggle. Marxist and Islamic groups shamelessly attacked the Shah in response. This marked the beginning of 18 years, 6 months, and 22 days of intense activity, propaganda, organization, terrorist training, and conflict with both the Shah and Iran. These tumultuous years persisted until Khomeini's return to Iran on February 1, 1979, when he assumed leadership of the riot and the terrorist elements seeking to undermine Iran.
In the year 2023, when Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi visited Israel, he inadvertently divided the Iranian opposition and the country's political landscape into two distinct factions. On one side, the regime and its supporters continued to align themselves with Hamas, Hezbollah, the PIJ, and the Palestinian Arab cause. On the other side, there emerged a group of individuals who were seen as allies of Israel. This visit had a significant impact on the Iranian political theater, further highlighting the deep divisions within the nation.
6. Media Manipulation and Propaganda
The Iranian regime has extended its influence over Persian media outside Iran, while U.S.-funded media outlets have faced criticism for allegedly promoting the regime's reformist agenda. All the investigation in these media dynamics and their impact on international perceptions of Iran approves this matter.
Within Iran, the reformist faction has orchestrated a network of press and media entities designed to disseminate pro-regime propaganda. A closer examination of the guests featured on certain television channels, such as Iran International TV, reveals a multitude of individuals associated with reformist, separatist, and Marxist-Leninist agendas, none of whom possess substantial support, legitimacy, or influence within Iran. Notably, monarchist activists have found themselves blacklisted by this self-proclaimed independent television network.
The censorship practices observed in this reformist television channel closely mirror the censorship methods employed by IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), Kayhan newspaper, and the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance in Iran.
7. The Aspirations of the Iranian Youth
Despite the regime's oppressive measures, the Iranian youth display a strong sense of patriotism and nationalism. The crown prince Reza Pahlavi, as an iconic figure, resonates with this demographic, suggesting potential support for an alternative leadership.
In this current phase, the crown prince Reza Pahlavi possibly represents an opportunity for Iran to navigate a peaceful transition. Without him, the country could face a tumultuous upheaval, potentially leading to a violent crisis.
8. Obstacles to Democracy
The challenges posed by religious institutions responsible for producing religious leaderד act as obstacles to democratic reforms. The argue is there is no foreseeable future for theocratic governance in Iran.
The mullahs and religious figures within the institutions of the Mullahs remain conspicuously quiet regarding the government's crimes. It is hoped that following a regime change in Iran, there will be a parallel to the post-Nazi rule in Germany, where the attire, propaganda, institutions, and roles of the mullahs should be prohibited. Otherwise, this malignant growth threatens to undermine the future of Iran and democracy in this civilized land.
9. Cyber-attacks in a toxic competition.
When the crown prince extended his call for a united effort to reclaim Iran, “We’ll take back Iran!”a sudden wave of cyberattacks orchestrated by the regime's cyber gangs and counterfeit opposition erupted and ensued. It appears they are captivated by Abdullah Öcalan's meaningless slogan of "Woman, Life, Freedom," showcasing a mindset rooted in tribalism. However, regardless of their inclinations, the undeniable truth remains: The Crown Prince Pahlavi's popularity knows no bounds, with a legion of devoted supporters rallying behind him.
Regrettably, the political landscape in Iran is marred by toxic competition. Those opposed to the monarchy lack the decorum, civility, and stature required for meaningful discourse. These vociferous detractors often come across as mere opportunists, more interested in making noise for the media's attention than in contributing substantively to the discourse.
Their anticipation seems to be fixated on the potential commencement of unrest, internal turmoil, and a breakdown of law and order in Iran. It's worth noting that their aversion to nationalism is incongruous, as nationalism stands as the primary counterbalance to the ideology of Khominism.
10. Uncertain Prospects
The Iranian political landscape remains uncertain, with sporadic tensions and suppression. The international community watches closely, but there is no clear winner in this geopolitical gamble.
The commemoration of Mahsa Amini's anniversary could serve as a pivotal moment with no turning back. The most significant accomplishment would be the young generation's determination to restore national pride and rid the country of the mullahs' influence.
Contrary to the circulating rumors, there is presently no internal conflict between the Iranian military, the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), Basij, and the Quds Force. It is essential to recognize that these entities serve as instruments for the suppression of dissent within the regime, making any notion of them staging a coup against the mullahs seem baseless and implausible.
However, should internal discord arise or the possibility of a regime collapse in Iran materialize, the nation could face a protracted period of turmoil and instability. This scenario could persist unless a strong and capable leader takes charge during the transitional phase. Pahlavi may be that person.
In summation, the quest for change in Iran is a multifaceted and complex endeavor. The Iranian government's iron fist, external influences, and the aspirations of the Iranian people create a volatile mix. While the road to democracy is fraught with obstacles, the desire for change and the evolving sentiment of the Iranian youth provides a glimmer of hope for a different future in Iran.
In the present day, the prevailing sentiment among the Iranian population centers around nationalism and the legacy of the Pahlavi name. The individuals associated with the regime have been unsuccessful in countering this trend, as the appeal of Pahlavi remains undiminished. Pahlavi is a respected and legitimate figure among Iranians, underscoring his significance.
As a result of this sentiment, the slogan "Women, Life, Freedom," which has its roots in Marxism, has gained widespread popularity. The message "We'll fight! We may die, but we will reclaim Iran!" encapsulates the fervor associated with this slogan.
Within the realm of Iranian republicanism, there is a notable absence of a suitable candidate who can command widespread support and consensus.
Erfan Fardis a counter-terrorism analyst and Middle East Studies researcher based in Washington, DC. He is in Middle Eastern regional security affairs with a particular focus on Iran, counter terrorism, IRGC, MOIS and ethnic conflicts in MENA. He graduated in International Security Studies (London M. University, UK), and in International Relations (CSU-LA). Erfan is a Jewish Kurd of Iran, and he is fluent in Persian, Kurdish, Arabic and English. / Follow him from this twitter account @EQFARD / The newly published book of Erfan Fard is: “The gruesome mullah” , which has been published in the USA. www.erfanfard.net