Forty years after Iran’s current regime seized power in Iran, regime leaders still use on daily basis populist and revolutionary rhetoric, all of which contradict with the reality and aspirations of the Iranian peoples. But it must be acknowledged here that the Iranian regime’s institutions, mainly the Revolutionary Guard, have been able to control Iranian public opinion and all the country’s policies, silencing dissidents and to put people in dark prisons by restricting their opinions and freedoms and ensuring their silence through persecution and oppression.

Every time there are signs of popular discontent, the regime’s leaders rush to use populist and revolutionary speeches and to emphasize that there are enemies want harm for Iran. This is like declaring a state of emergency which allows the security services all methods of repression and arrest under different reasons such as spreading corruption on Earth, plotting with the enemies and opposing the Islamic revolution.

The intensification of repression and persecution, and the increase in executions and arrests by the Iranian security services, are an indication of the internal situation. The more censorship and the tightening of the iron fist on the Iranian people, the more serious reports that might have reached the Iranian authorities confirming the frustration and popular discontent with the policies of the regime which may turn at any time into demonstrations or even a popular revolution.

In recent months, the security censorship in Iran has seen unprecedent and dramatic increase, accompanied by a large increase in repression and arrests, and using various means to eliminate the opposition, demonstrations and popular protests that have recently increased in Iranian cities. This indicates an increase in popular anger and a high level of frustration and resentment against the policies of the Iranian regime, which tries in all soft and repressive methods to control of the situation and prevent the spread of public anger.

But now, after 40 years in power, the Iranian regime sees itself capable to control the people with an iron fist. On the other hand, the regime and the Revolutionary Guard are concerned about some political currents and prominent figures might support the popular demands, which began to loom indeed. The regime is certain that there are political currents and leaders who hide their antagonism with the regime and they are waiting the right time to declare their support for the popular demands and their rejection of the regime. The regime and the Revolutionary Guard are afraid to deal with these currents and figures in repressive ways which might lead to disagreements and resentment that could in turn take the regime to the abyss. Hence, the leaders of the regime and the Revolutionary Guard are trying to marginalize these currents and people and to get rid of them in soft ways. However, it seems that failure will be the result of these attempts, due to the escalation of popular rejection, which will increase the gap that exists between the regime and the government institutions.

The question now is who are the advocates of the overthrow of the Iranian regime and the salvation of its policies?

Throughout the past 40 years and despite the huge popular and political opposition to the regime in Iran, no one dared to attack the position and personality of the Supreme Leader, and anyone who dared to oppose his policies was suppressed immediately, and all demonstrations or protests are destroyed before they exist. But 2009 was a new start for Iran when several political figures, led by Mir Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and many reformist leaders openly rejected the Iranian regime and accused it of rigging elections to oust Mir Mousavi, who posed a threat to the Iranian regime. The demonstrations, which were called the Green Revolution, revealed that there are millions of Iranian people, especially young people, rejecting the ruling regime. It also revealed that there are quite number of political figures who support the Green Movement despite the methods used by the Revolutionary Guard to suppress and end the demonstrations.

In fact, the regime and the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard never wanted Hassan Rouhani to be president in the 2013 elections, but feared that any fraud, planned to bring Ebrahim Raisi to the presidency, would lead to demonstrations or a revolt to overthrow the regime. Hence, the Revolutionary Guard adopted programs and plans aimed at thwarting Rouhani’s programs and sabotaging his work so that his success would not create a popular base that would endanger the future of the regime and the powers of the Revolutionary Guard and its dominance over the affairs of the country. This proves that the Revolutionary Guard and the Supreme leader knew that Rouhani hides a great rejection of the regime’s policies and sees the need to get rid of the position of the Supreme Leader and the hegemony of the Revolutionary Guard on the country and is anxiously awaiting a revolution to reveal his opinion. But it can be said that Rouhani, now, has lost the opportunity, having been subjected to the will of the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guard, and turning into an obedient policeman for them.

There are also several ministers, such as Foreign Minister Zarif, many Shura Council members, and reformist figures and leaders inside Iran, who believe that this regime is inoperable. They criticize its internal and external policies, call for negotiations with the United States and the international community and end Iranian interference in the region. They also strongly criticize the regime’s internal policies, including some websites’ prohibition and the spread of corruption within the rule of buying loyalties and affiliations and warn that the continuation of these policies will lead the country to the abyss.

With this growing trend and with the intransigence and insistence of the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guard on the policies of repression and not responding to the people demands and reforms, this would mean that Iran is heading to further internal unrest and popular protests, and it is not unlikely that the Iranian regime will take the country into great sedition that destruct the country and its institutions.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

January 30, 2019