The Iranian Supreme Guide Prioritizes Hamas-Israel Conflict Over The Poverty Of Eighty Percent Of The People – OpEd


Focusing on the war in the Middle East, Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei said in his Nowruz* message on March 20, 2024, that “the most critical issue today is the Palestine and Gaza issue. Resistance in West Asia is a fundamental matter.” Why does Khamenei, while facing mega-challenges such as poverty and hunger affecting more than 75% of the population, water scarcity, widespread unemployment particularly among women and graduates, runaway inflation, and the plummeting value of the Iranian currency, still state that the Hamas-Israel war is his priority?

Emerging from medieval religious dogmas, Iran’s theocracy is incapable of responding to the economic and cultural needs of a society in the 21st century, especially its younger generation. Thus, not a moment in this regime’s life has passed without it provoking wars and terrorism in the Middle East, using it as a cover for suppression within the country and to divert public opinion.

Ayatollah Khomeiny, the founder of the Islamic Republic, from the very moment he came to power, engaged in the American embassy hostage crisis, capturing the attention of both domestic and international public opinion. He aimed to suppress progressive forces; thus, the embassy crisis and the “Death to America” slogan facilitated achieving this objective domestically. In the next phase, through various provocations and preparations, he instigated the Iran-Iraq war. By ordering Salman Rushdie’s assassination, he essentially sought to escape the aftermath of eight years of pointless Iran-Iraq war while a sinister fatwa executed thirty thousand political prisoners in the summer of 1988, silencing any post-ceasefire potential opposition. 

Currently, Khamenei is besieged by uprisings that inevitably lead to nothing but his downfall. The 2022 uprising was sparked by the killing of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish Iranian woman, by the morality police. In this uprising, the young generation of Iran, particularly Iranian women, were at the forefront. These same young women and men formed several thousand resistance units spread across Iran, under the leadership of the People’s Mojahedin, which led to the boycott of the recent legislative elections, resulting in only eight percent of eligible voters turning out. This figure includes soldiers and prisoners who were compelled to participate in the voting.

After the electoral defeat, it became clear to everyone that despite Ali Khamenei’s show of power in the Middle East conflict and the Houthi adventures in the Red Sea, everything he does without any internal support in the country is pure terrorism and cannot be considered a display of power. This warmongering is merely an escape from downfall. Who does not know that the complex tunnels as deep as sixty meters and drone manufacturing factories… cannot be the work of Hamas? Currently, Khamenei is encircled by uprisings and a resistance that refuses to back down.

The “Death to Israel” slogan

An Iranian regime expert during the Iran-Iraq war once said the “Death to America” (and similarly, Israel) slogan has served us more than the Ministry of Intelligence ever did. It was under this slogan that the Iranian regime killed all Iranian freedom seekers, labeling them as American or Israeli. The clerics have always used this slogan to recruit forces from the socially backward segments of the region, under dogmas that have nothing to do with religion. While America and Europe officially consider a two-state solution as the resolution to the conflict, Ali Khamenei remains silent on this matter. This is because Khamenei and his regime thrive only on crisis and war.

Attack the heart of the octopus!

As long as Iran’s theocracy exists, so will war and terrorism in the region and in the world. The Middle East conflict has clearly shown that global peace is also at risk. An attack on the heart of the octopus of terrorism and warmongering in Tehran is necessary. This is the action that a majority of U.S. Congress representatives have taken by supporting the Iranian resistance to establish a secular and democratic republic based on gender equality. This solution is simple and accessible for a Middle East that the clerics are leading towards destruction.

Hamid Enayat

Hamid Enayat is an Iranian human rights activist and analyst based in Europe.

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