The Iranian authorities, through all their political, social, military and security institutions, seek to exploit the 40th anniversary of Khomeini’s return from France, after he has been groomed to seize power in Iran and ride the popular revolution, for a massive media campaign aimed at restoring part of the prestige of the Iranian regime, which declined year after year to reach its rock bottom on the 40th anniversary of the rise of the regime of the Wali al-Faqih in Iran.

To this end, the Iranian Soft War Officers Foundation and other Revolutionary Guard’s institutions launched a campaign called “I will come now” to invite the Iranian people to participate in the anniversary of the revolution’s victory on February 11, amid reports of Iranian public reluctance to participate in these marches, which would serve as support for the regime and to suggest it having legitimacy and a popular base for its rule.

The history of the current Iranian regime, the stages experienced by the Iranian people under the mullahs’ rule, and the past four decades of developments and events indicate that Khomeini did not have a popular base upon his arrival from France and its control of power despite all the Western efforts to promote him and his ability to rule and achieve the aspirations of the Iranian people, which made the regime thinking of igniting a war immediately upon its arrival to power in order to reshape the interior in the interest of the regime and the eight-year Iran-Iraq war started, during which the Iranian regime was able to mobilize the Iranian people around it through populist rhetoric and misleading propaganda that dominated Iranian public opinion and managed to direct popular thought to serve the interests of the regime.

During this period, the regime established and strengthened security, military and religious institutions and apparatus capable of suppressing any opposition, revolution or demonstrations against the regime and gave these institutions, especially the Revolutionary Guard and the religious seminaries, powers and privileges by which they were able to control all the country’s sectors, especially the economy, within the formula of “buying loyalties by granting powers and authorities.”

After the end of the Iran-Iraq war, the real objectives and policies of the Iranian regime, at home and abroad, have begun to unfold. There was also an international concern over Iran’s suspicious and subversive activities in the region and the hundreds of billions of dollars it has wasted on fictitious projects and on supporting terrorist groups at a time when the Iranian people were suffering from poverty, unemployment and repression. This in turn caused the formation of the first dismantling of the regime’s grassroots, especially in the nineties of the last century. However, the ability of the Revolutionary Guard and its control of the entire country prevented from breaking restrictions and bypassing taboos, especially since Iran was besieged and the peoples had no source of news but the Iranian media, which are all under the control of the state apparatus, and that is why the Iranian regime was able to survive over the last 40 years.

However, after the fall of the former Iraqi regime, and the revelation of the real objectives of the Iranian regime in creating armed terrorist groups in Iraq, and its insistence on blatant interference in the region’s affairs in conjunction with the completion of the hardliner’s control on all institutions of the country after the arrival of Muhammad Ahmadinejad in 2005 for the presidency, and in 2009 after rigging elections, things began to change and gone against the will of the Iranian regime, which can indicate the recklessness of Tehran’s regime in pursuing foolish policies in the region neglecting the situation at home which led to increased opposition to the regime in Iran, and subjected to further isolation and international sanctions and pressures, which led to the downfall of the Iranian regime and the erosion of its legitimacy and grassroots, and the outbreak of demonstrations and protests across Iranian cities ignoring all the redlines and restrictions of the Revolutionary Guard in the rebellion against the Supreme Leader.

In addition to the erosion of its legitimacy and popular base as a result of its policies over the last 40 years, the Iranian regime has removed the country with all its institutions and apparatuses from the world order and the international community, and placed it in a place where it has no ability to keep pace with modernity, modern science and scientific and technological progress until Iran became one of the most backward countries in all fields and the most vulnerable politically, economically and militarily.

The Iranian people and the peoples of the region at large have suffered for 40 years, during which the Iranian regime has practiced injustice, oppression at home, terrorism and murder abroad. This regime has exposed the region to the dangers of war over the past four decades, initiated by the war with Iraq, after receiving Western and Israeli support as part of the project of creative chaos in the region. But after the Iranian regime was able to achieve its internal goals of war with Iraq, foremost of which was the establishment of legitimacy and the formation of a popular base, and its failure to achieve its foreign objectives of expansion through Iraq, especially after the loss of large numbers of lives and equipment, it turned into using soft power methods and the creation of ways to deploy Shiism and the use of Shiism in the service of Iranian expansionist projects, as well as the establishment of extremist terrorist groups and gangs to ignite wars and sedition for Iran and away from its borders, which cost the state treasury hundreds of billions of dollars without achieving any of its objectives. This, however, put the regime is in direct confrontation with its people at home and the international community abroad.

After forty years in power, and due to the accumulation of crises and problems resulting from the mistakes of the Iranian regime, the poverty rates reached more than 70% of the Iranian people, while extreme poverty to more than 20%, unemployment rates to about 40%, and inflation reached its highest levels with 30% while the prices of some goods rose by 300%. The rate of thefts has also doubled recently, and serious crises have emerged threatening all Iranian societies, mainly the spread of addiction, AIDS, and the water shortage crisis that led to the outbreak of more than 30 demonstrations and protests in recent months due to poor management of water resources and buildings by the Revolutionary Guard and government institutions for projects and dams in a way that is indifferent to citizens.

The flight of investors and capital from Iran has become familiar and the country’s economy has been heading for total collapse. There has been a significant drop in domestic production by more than 50% over the past ten months and hundreds of factories and industrial companies have been shut down due to the deteriorating conditions, the effects of sanctions and the collapse of the local currency, which every dollar equaled more than 20 thousand Toman few months ago.

In addition, the country has now become a hot tin because of divisions and differences, a large prison for freedoms and activists, and the popular and political opposition to the Iranian regime has expanded to include political and social figures and even reached the environmental institutions as many environmental activists are now being tried for criticizing the Iranian regime’s policies. By studying the repercussions, size, and quality of recent demonstrations in more than 100 Iranian cities, the Iranian regime, especially the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard, have lost more than 65 % of their popularity, which reached its climax during the Iran-Iraq war and scored 30%, 90% of which are Persians.

This means that supporters of the Iranian regime at the moment are no more than 12% of the total population of 82 million people, who are affiliated with the organs and apparatuses of the regime and the Revolutionary Guard, while the oppositions of the regime and its policies are about 88%, i.e. 70 million Iranians support the fall of the regime and are awaiting for the opportunity to erupt a revolution and a popular uprising that ends the regime and its policies that only brought crises and problems to the peoples of the region.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

February 10, 2019