As the Iranian regime continues its harsh crackdown against its own people, it should be clear to everyone that it will do everything possible to stay in power.
The protests, which began on Nov. 15 after the regime unexpectedly raised fuel prices, have quickly spread across the country. The regime has cut off Internet access throughout the country and in general done everything possible to thwart the will of the people, which overwhelmingly wants it gone, including killing them.
Iran openly acknowledged this week that its security forces had even killed demonstrators, according to Reuters. According to Iranian state TV, the “rioters were armed with knives and weapons. They had taken people hostage by closing all roads in some areas. Security forces had no other choice but to firmly confront them … and rioters were killed in clashes.”
Iranians are currently terrified to even speak on the phone, and there is a sense of chaos in the country.
In an interesting twist, many in the country want U.S. President Donald Trump to take harsher action against the regime.
The U.S. “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign has been effective; even one of Iran’s senior officials recently said the country’s closest allies don’t dare buy oil from it. As a result, there are now growing signs of cracks within the regime itself. A member of the Iranian parliament said in a recent interview, for instance, that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been conducting “illegal” arrests, and criticized the state-controlled media for not covering the protests adequately.
The regime has resorted to the familiar Middle Eastern refrain of “the Americans are behind it,” portraying the protests as an American plot it has no choice but to put down harshly.
The Iranians, however, do not appear to be buying it this time, or backing down.
Harold Rhode received in Ph.D. in Ottoman history and later served as the Turkish Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of Defense. He is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.