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Iran: Protests Spread Across The Country Against The Supreme Leader – OpEd

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On Sunday and Saturday, for two consecutive days people of Iran, and students at different universities took to the streets, protesting the downing of the Ukrainian passenger airplane by the IRGC.  

The protesters were targeting the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and calling for the overthrow of the regime by chanting, “Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, resign, resign,”

They also were chanting, “death to the dictator,” “Death to this murderous regime,” “Death to the oppressor, whether the Shah or the Leader (Khamenei),” “Soleimani was a killer and so is his leader,” “Death to this theocracy, for crimes in all these years,” “We did not give our lives to compromise and praise the murderous leader,” “Khamenei shame on you, leave the country alone,” “IRGC shame on you, leave the country alone,” “Have no fear, we are all together,” “Dictator and IRGC, you are our DAESH (ISIS),” “I will kill whoever killed my brother,” and “1,500 killed in November.” Referring to 1,500 protesters killed by the regime’s security forces in November 2019 uprising.

The protests also have spread to other cities, including Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Yazd, Sanandaj, Babol, Lahijan, and many other cities.

The protests erupted after the regime was forced to confess that a Ukrainian Airlines passenger jet had been shot down by an IRGC surface-to-air missile. The confession by the regime came after 72 hours of stonewalling, deceptions and lying. For three days, many of the regime’s leaders, including Rouhani’s spokesman and the head of the civil aviation organization shamelessly claimed that the plane had crashed due to mechanical failure.

After Qassem Soleimani’s death, the regime mobilized all its forces and used all its propaganda apparatus for his funeral to portray Soleimani as a “Hero” for the people of Iran. This propaganda was existential for the regime and it would help it to buy legitimacy in the West, especially with the regime’s apologists. The propaganda was credited in the mainstream media, and the mainstream media were claiming that “Killing of Soleimani has gathered people of Iran, who were against the regime, around the regime’s flag”

The last two days protests in Iran and their slogans displayed that not only Iranian people have not gathered around the regime’s flag, but they are standing stronger than before, and they are calling for the overthrow of the regime. Iranian people don’t see Soleimani as a “Hero”, but they consider him and the Supreme Leader as “killers”.

“Soleimani was a killer and so is his leader” protesters were chanting in Tehran, referring to regimes’ Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

The protesters also expressed their hate towards Qassem Soleimani by tearing apart and burning his large poster. The regime’s news agencies, including the FARS news agency, also published the picture.

In November uprising, Khamenei and his propaganda apparatus were trying to tarnish the face of protesters, by fake news and demonizing campaign.

But protesters with their slogans demonstrated that their demand is freedom and democracy and they don’t support any dictator, weather the old dictator, the Shah or the current one, the mullahs. “Down with the oppressor, whether the Shah or the leader.” The protesters were chanting referring to Supreme Leader.

The fact is that Iranian people with their slogans against Khamenei and the IRGC have displayed their demand for the overthrow of the regime and the establishment of democracy and popular sovereignty in Iran. This was articulated by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a statement.

“Time has come for the international community to acknowledge the reality that the religious fascism ruling Iran does not represent the Iranian people and recognize the national call for the overthrow of the mullahs,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

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Hassan Mahmoudi

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.

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