When Iran’s Regime Falls, A Democratic Structure Stands Ready – OpEd
By Saeed Abed
The end of Iran’s aberrant religious regime seems at last in sight. The cries of the long-suffering Iranian people are being heard, and the world community has plenty of ways to assist the people retake their own country, end its pariah status, and re-enter the community of nations.
This is why outlining the characteristics of a democratic, alternative government is essential. These characteristics correlate to the historical, political, and social realities of Iran, and will ensure that the emerging government bears no resemblance to the monstrous, bloodthirsty tyranny erected by the mullahs.
Some of the most significant attributes that a new, viable alternative government needs to have are:
1. Structure and organization
2. Domestic and international support
3. Competent leadership and a clear plan of action for the future
5. Rejection of all forms of dictatorship
There is only one organization that is prepared to do these five things: the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). For decades, they have worked to educate thousands of political figures, parliaments, former government officials and many allied groups about the existing political, social and economic realities in Iran. The NCRI also has presented their 10-point plan that is the best hope for a new, democratic, peaceful, and prosperous Iran.
Regarding structure and organization, for instance, NCRI leaders have shown that they can organize large gatherings and social-change efforts, despite terrorist threats, deadly reprisals, and government suppression. The NCRI has many supporters hidden in Iran, and they are convincing many Iranians to reject the theocracy and seek change.
Also, as the principal organization within the NCRI, the MEK stands out for its network and its resistance units inside Iran. The current uprising in Iran cannot be separated from its 40 years of government protests and opposition in every sphere, political, social, publicity, military, etc. The MEK has been at the forefront of these campaigns.
A political alternative is not something that can be spontaneously created overnight. As a viable alternative, the NCRI has grown deep roots during an arduous and long battle against the ruling religious tyranny. The NCRI coalition has defied religious fascism, developed a structure and organization, created a plan, and paid the price for resistance, day after day.
During these tumultuous years, the NCRI’s commitment and perseverance have strengthened, even in the face of severe persecution, imprisonment and executions. Instead, it has stayed loyal to its values, especially rejection of any power, past and present, “Shah or Shaikh” that is authoritarian and dictatorial.
NCRI has remained wholly dedicated to democratic and freedom-loving principles, protecting these ideals from assaults waged by the enemy. The ruling regime, on the other hand, is struggling to keep its allies in line even as it spins out of control, both in rhetoric and in action.
Recently, the deputy of the regime’s judiciary revealed that there is not a single meeting with European countries in which Tehran doesn’t complain about the MEK and the Iranian resistance. The mullahs have waged a massive psychological war and demonization campaign across the world against this movement. More than a thousand books, and hundreds of movies and TV series have been produced to defame the NCRI and its alternative.
Moreover, during the last 40 years, the slogans of “Death to the Hypocrites [MEK]” have never stopped echoing in the official meetings of the Iranian regime, its Friday prayers all over the country, or its parliamentary sessions. The regime doesn’t spend even a small percentage of such propaganda against any other movement.
If it were not for the dogged determination of the NCRI coalition and its allies to stand up to religious fascism at any cost in all cultural, social, and political aspects, the fate of the Iranian people today would be radically worse.
Without great resistance, Iran’s tyrannical regime might have secured its dominance for hundreds of years. The NCRI and its brave men, women, and allies are standing against such an ugly future.
The NCRI resistance movement’s history is full of critical chapters and high-risk and consequential decisions. Today, it has brought the regime to a vulnerable and shaky crossroad, defined by desperation in the face of an uprising and a viable government alternative that will secure the regime’s demise and a democratic future for the Iranian people.
The Iranian resistance’s alternative is now in a position to advance. The proven capabilities and competencies of the NCRI during its battle against the mullahs’ regime, as well as its success in preserving the culture of struggle and liberty, means the people and the revolution have their solution in this alternative.
The NCRI alternative will lead to peace, stability, unity, and territorial integrity of the country, and establish the fundamental rights and liberties of the Iranian people. Such unity and its promise can already be seen in the slogans chanted by the Iranian people, including “From Zahedan to Tehran, I sacrifice my life for Iran” or “From Kurdistan to Tehran, I sacrifice my life for Iran.”
The murder of hundreds of women, men, and children across Iran, and the arrests of tens of thousands of others, have sealed the fate of the religious tyranny. It will never be the same, and it will not survive. Brutal repression by a desperate regime has only hardened public determination to overthrow the oppressors and achieve the goal of a democratic and secular Iran.
It is now imperative that the West understand the dynamics and historic implications of the unfolding revolution, that it can be summarized in the slogan of protester “No to Shah” “No to Shaik” confirming the rejection of symbols of any form of tyranny. In recent months men and women from every walk of life, every class, every nationality—and transcends religious boundaries are united. Iran is standing at its moment for regime change, and the NCRI is the catalyst for the movement that will usher Iran into a new paradigm of freedom that is in sight.
Saeed Abed, Member of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, Expert on Iran, and the Middle East