The current wave of protests spreading across Iran are without precedent in the Islamic Republic’s 37-year history, explains Majid Rafizadeh. Unlike others, he writes, these are aimed at overthrowing the clerical regime:
In 2009, during the popular uprising known as the “Green Movement,” people were protesting against rigged elections and the presidency of the anti-Semitic politician Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Chants of “Where is my vote?” echoed through the streets, while the government ratcheted up its power to silence the protestors.
Now, people are demanding not just limited reforms but regime change. After almost four decades of living under a theocracy—with Islamist mullahs controlling them, rampant corruption, and the regime’s persistent dissemination of propaganda—the people have reached the boiling point.
The government has been doing all it can to [channel popular rage into chants of] “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” But now protesters, risking their lives, are chanting, “Death to Khamenei”—a serious crime according to the clergy, and punishable, according to the sharia law of the regime, with death. . . . [Other] chants being heard all over the nation are, “Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us” [and] “Death to Hizballah.” . . . The outcry leaves no question about the needs of the people, and the real voice of Iran. . . .
The Trump administration in the United States is taking the right side by supporting the Iranian people; they are the principal victims of the Iranian regime and its Islamist agenda. . . . Let [America] not be on the side of history that would remain silent in the face of such crimes against humanity; let us not join the ranks of other dictators, terrorists, and criminals who turned a blind eye to the will of brave, innocent people.