During the Obama years, Iran was rewarded time and time again for bad behavior up to and including pallets of cash flown in under cover of darkness so that the Obama administration could bypass sanctions passed by Congress. The result? Iran continued to be the #1 sponsor of global terror, continued to scream “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and continued to imprison people and sentence them to death for the “crimes” of homosexuality and/or refusing to align with the ideals of the radical and authoritarian Iranian regime.
Then came President Trump. Real sanctions returned and so too did a push to make Iran back off from its many human rights abuses. The result? Freedom in Iran is, for the first time in decades, truly on the march as the Iranian mullahs scramble to hold on to power.
Uprisings in Iran have become routine occurrences, albeit without much success. Why? Because Iran is ruled by a totalitarian Islamic ideology like Nazism and communism. In Iran, there is no sovereignty of the people. Instead, there is a perception of the Ummah in Shia theology “rule of Mahdi”, guardianship over the people. In other words, Iran belongs to “Imam Zaman” (the Hidden Imam) and in his absence, a supreme leader is in charge. In this case, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Any revolt against the State is considered a direct attack against the upcoming “Lord of the Age.”
Hence, at the slightest signs of protests, the regime unleashes its wild dogs (soldiers of Mahdi) on a killing spree. Iranians partook in many protests across the country amidst a failing economic situation, systematic government corruption, and widespread frustration over the lack of political and social freedoms. As always, the regime’s security apparatus reacted to these protests with mass arrests and severe due process abuses. Pundits and experts believe “Khamenei’s tough response could just invite more anger.”
Since the Islamic invasion of 1979, the Mullahs have ruled over the unarmed Iranian people with an iron fist and absolute power while draining the nation’s treasury. As a result, millions of Iranians had no choice but to flee their homes to the four corners of the globe. In these recent protests, Iran’s rulers once again revealed their real identity to the world that they don’t value human life. They are simply vicious killers.
After the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal on May 18, 2018, the US almost immediately imposed several new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).
The U.S. followed up with further sanctions on the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office, and those who were closely tied to him with access to major financial resources. In July 2019, the United States placed sanctions on the regime’s Foreign Minister Mohammad, Javad Zarif.
The U.S. also placed sanctions on eight senior commanders of the navy, aerospace, and ground forces components of the IRGC. In April of 2019, President Donald Trump designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a foreign “terrorist” organization.
Within a few months, Iran’s crude oil exports were slashed by almost 80%. Despite massive propaganda from President Rouhani’s office claiming these sanctions did not phase them and they had gotten used to them. However, this dosage of reality hit the regime hard. The regime is out of money and unable to pay the salaries of their military apparatus as well as its terrorist proxies such as Hezb’allah, Hamas, the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, Bashar al-Assad of Syria and other hired thugs. By November 2019, the regime was completely broke and needed to come up with a solution to save itself.
Out of desperation, the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei took a gamble and raised the price of gasoline by 50% (some say by 300%) in order to consolidate the budget deficit. That was precisely what prompted protests in at least five cities almost simultaneously and brought millions of people into the streets. Almost all the slogans were against the Ayatollah Khamenei himself.
On November 15, 2019, over 100 protesters were killed and over a 1000 arrested in just one day. The exact total of casualties since the protests began are unknown, but unofficial reports from inside Iran indicate that around 1000 people died and close to 10,000 were injured or arrested. Out of fear, the regime immediately cut off all communications, including the internet, to the outside world. They feared the watchful eyes of the people around the world witnessing yet again the mullahs’ atrocities against the Iranian people, who are barely surviving in a country that spends 80% of its oil revenue on terrorism worldwide.
The regime is aware that it can neither go back nor forward. It is stuck between a rock and hard place. The only reason they are still in power is because there are greedy and money hungry politicians who will do anything for cheap oil and bribery. I remember the Ayatollah Khamenei’s words on his Friday sermons during the Green Revolution in 2009. He directly ordered his Bassij, plainclothes thugs and IRGC forces to shoot and kill indiscriminately anyone who challenged his Ummah (community of Shia Islam).
In another speech, he openly stated that he had learned a valuable lesson from the late Shah of Iran. He said, “He would never relinquish power as easily as the Shah did.” In 1978, I was still in Iran and I know the Shah never personally ordered soldiers to kill people at point-blank range. In fact, he never ordered anyone to be killed.
The Shah was a very kind and sensitive man, despite all the allegations the leftist media have conjured up about him. That is precisely why he departed his beloved country rather than remain and face a bloodbath.
Forty Years of Islamic Terror
For the past forty years, thousands of dissidents, students, intellectuals, and journalists have been systematically arrested, imprisoned and tortured for the sole crime of speaking up against the oppressive rule of the mullahs. Many are still languishing in prisons, some have died, and some have simply vanished with no trace. Not only has the regime terrorized its own people, they have also demonstrated a high priority for supporting global terrorism.
Many Iranians are following the events in Iran carefully. Despite an unprecedented internet shutdown by the regime, the Iranian people have succeeded in providing the world with video evidence of the Mullahs’ brutality. “We see you, we hear you, & as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated, the U.S. is with you.”
The legitimacy of the Islamic Republic is now under serious question. The protests that began two weeks ago in Iran are different from most previous protests. These protesters have covered more area, overwhelming small and midsize cities across the country. They also have reportedly drawn more than 16 million participants in over 100 cities, much more than did the 2009 Green Revolution protests in Tehran.