The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

The days of the Iranian regime are numbered, says Bahman Nirumand


The regime in Iran is using brutal violence and executions against the demonstrations for women's rights and freedom. Nothing will help him: the days of the theocracy are numbered.

Enlarge image

Protest in Saqez, the hometown of Mahsa Amini, who was murdered by the vice squad, on October 26, 2022

Photo: UGC/AFP

Revolutions usually aim to overthrow social, economic, or political conditions.

Not so with the uprising in Iran.

This is about life in general, about a new, self-determined, equal and free life.

It's more of a cultural revolution, a clash of modernity against tradition, a search for a new identity.

A lot of anger had built up, especially in the past few years.

Most recently about the monopolization of power by the Ultras and the takeover of the government by Ebrahim Raisi, who announced that he would use all means to implement the Islamization of society, which has so far failed.

This also included the strengthening of controls by the vice squad.

The death of Mahsa Amini was the last straw.

The simple, innocent 22-year-old woman, who was never politically active, had to die because a few strands of hair stuck out of her headscarf.

Since then, mainly young women and men have been taking to the streets across the country, empty-handed, against the armed henchmen of the Islamic theocracy, who are proceeding against them with extreme brutality, and demanding the overthrow of the theocracy.

You don't seem afraid.

While in earlier demonstrations the participants shouted to each other: "Don't be afraid, you are not alone," they now call out to the "Islamic State": "Be afraid, we are not alone." back turned.

"We don't want an Islamic republic, we don't want it," they shout.

What drives people to risk their lives for it?

It is no longer about compulsory headscarves, nor is it just about discrimination against women.

The aim of the uprising is far broader.

It is about human dignity, about the guaranteed rights of individuals.

The protests were directed against a regime that has been hypocritically bullying the people in the name of God for 43 years.

The forced headscarf that women demonstratively threw into the fire is a symbol of oppression of all kinds, of discrimination and humiliation, not only of women, but also of young people, ethnic and religious minorities, of those who think differently.

The roots of this profound degradation lie in the 1979 revolution, which was initially directed against the Shah's dictatorship and demanded freedom and independence, but was later occupied by the Islamists, whose goal was nothing less than to give the people a new identity give an Islamic identity.

Basically, the Islamic revolution was more a cultural than a political or social revolution.

more on the subject

  • Protests after Jina Mahsa Amini's death: These Iranians face execution

  • Diary from Tehran:»We are afraid of the dawn«

  • Growing Influence of the Revolutionary Guard: Iran's Shadow RulerBy Christoph Reuter

The first programmatic speech that revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held in the pilgrimage city of Qom gave an idea of ​​what to expect from the new power.

“We will cleanse the entire press, radio, television of immorality.

Everything must be based on Islam.

Our advertising must become Islamic, our ministries must turn into Islamic bases, our laws must be Islamic laws.

We will not concern ourselves whether this suits the West or not.

The West has humiliated us, it has destroyed our soul.

Be alert!

We must be vigilant lest they gradually lure us back.

Everything must conform to Islam.

I warn you, don't be misled by the word democracy.

Democracy is western and we reject western systems.«

Since then, these instructions have been followed by Khamenei.

The fear of a western infiltration is great.

There is talk of a "velvet revolution" that is far more dangerous than a military attack.

Hostility to the West is one of the most important pillars of the Islamic Republic.

The new Islamist rulers did away with everything that was part of the old Iranian culture and civil society.

Their goal was a complete revaluation of the values ​​that had been in force up to then.

The first measures were aimed at women.

They should conform to Islamic moral standards and dress accordingly.

From then on, the headscarf became a symbol of oppression.

The new power ordered segregation of the sexes at the universities, schools and bathing beaches.

School books were rewritten, and the pre-Islamic era was largely ignored.

For the Islamists, Iranian history began with the advent of Islam.

Any form of eroticism or sexuality was forbidden.

But the effort was in vain for a large part of the population.

The connection between the Iranians and their own history and their own culture is too strong.

They are proud, especially of the pre-Islamic period, of the kings Darius and above all Cyrus, who wrote the first charter of human rights, they identify with the great poets like Hafiz and Ferdowsi, with the rich Persian language.

In addition, large sections of the population were already familiar with a modern way of life, which they maintained and continued behind closed doors even after the revolution.

In this way, two parallel worlds emerged that drifted away from each other year after year.

More than six million people left the country.

Anyone younger than 43 today has experienced nothing other than the Islamic Republic.

This applies to more than half of the country's 83 million inhabitants.

Some of these generations were recruited by the Revolutionary Guards, the Basij militias and other paramilitary organizations and were thus made dependent on the regime for their existence.

Another part led a hard to bear double life between the mostly secular family home and the indoctrinated schools and universities.

It was and is a schizophrenic, almost unbearable life with no prospects for the future, without the opportunity to develop and nurture one's own talents.

Many were not able to experience and enjoy their youth.

They have always gone to the polls hoping for changes and fundamental reforms, voting for the reformer Mohammad Khatami and even the moderate conservative Hassan Rouhani.

How often have they taken part in rallies and protest marches, gone on strike at the universities and in the factories for their demands.

But their calls and screams always fell on deaf ears.

The regime reacted to every criticism, every protest with sheer violence.

The only place where young people, in particular, can escape to escape the unbearable reality is the Internet and social networks.

In this virtual world they get to know the outside world, meet peers who go about their everyday lives free and carefree from state-imposed prohibitions and laws, see lovers hugging and kissing on the streets.

The comparison of this world with their real existence and what their parents tell about the past awakens unfulfillable longings in them, but also unquenchable anger against the power-obsessed, hypocritical old people who robbed them of their youth and brought all the absurd deprivation.

more on the subject

  • Uprising in Iran: In the ring of lies

  • Iranian opposition in Germany: They won't be intimidated, they won't be stoppedBy Anna-Theresa Bachmann and Omid Rezaee, Laila Sieber (photos)

  • Nephew of Iran's Ali Khamenei: »My uncle has become a fanatic« An interview by Solmaz Khorsand

This is the basis for the rebellion currently taking place in Iran.

"Woman, life, freedom," shout the protesters.

They demand a different, a new life, a different society, a new identity.

The uprising is a response to the 1979 revolution, an opposite cultural revolution that, unlike then, does not look to the distant past but to the future.

The insurgents are aware that the ruling clerical dictatorship is unwilling and unable to meet even their most basic needs.

Therefore they uncompromisingly demand the overthrow of the theocracy.

We members of the opposition abroad proudly admire the courageous struggle of the young women and men who are so selflessly committed to freedom and a humane life.

But we are also very concerned.

Hundreds of video recordings are circulating every day, showing horrific scenes: A defenseless protester is shot dead in cold blood on the street.

A desperately screaming mother, who wanted to visit her 23-year-old son in prison, only to learn at the entrance that the son had been executed a few hours earlier.

The footage of the public executions in the presence of cheering lackeys of the regime is also unbearable.

We are overwhelmed with information, often deliberately false, hearing of acts of sabotage carried out by agents that give the regime an excuse to crack down.

Direct connections with relatives and friends at home are rarely successful because the networks are mostly blocked.

How is it supposed to go on, I ask myself?

What fate awaits a country so divided, so deeply that protesters in Tehran celebrated the US victory over Iran at the World Cup?

I wonder what will happen if the regime, acting like an occupying power, doesn't make concessions and uses more violence, executes more innocent people to stifle the protests?

How many victims can the resistance accept?

When push comes to shove, will the Revolutionary Guards take power and establish a clerical military dictatorship?

Will there be a civil war?

What is certain is that the regime, which has everything to lose, will not voluntarily leave the field.

It is also certain that hardly any country is interested in an Iran where democracy, equality and freedom prevail: not Russia and China, the new allies of the "Islamic Republic", and certainly not the neighboring Arab states, for which democracy in Iran would be a horror.

Even Western states are guided more by economic and geostrategic interests than by their claims to human rights.

The previous sanctions that the EU passed against Iran and the appeals to the regime in Tehran to stop violence against their own people do not bother the rulers in Tehran.

Far tougher action must be taken without directly interfering in what is happening in Iran.

Why is revolutionary leader Khamenei, who bears the main responsibility for everything that happens in Iran, not on the EU terrorist list?

Why doesn't the EU classify the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization?

Should a few more doors remain open in order to be able to continue doing business with the men of God as long as the theocracy continues?

The protests so far have severely cracked the framework of the theocracy, exposed the hypocritical, corrupt men of God who hid behind turbans and cloaks, and even created divisions within the ranks of the regime's supporters.

A return to the times before the uprising is hardly conceivable.

The social division is too great, the dissatisfaction among the population, which has been suffering from the economic crisis, catastrophic environmental pollution, corruption, censorship and arbitrariness for years, is too great.

The mere fact that women without headscarves can again be seen on the streets is a great achievement.

The uprising has generated sympathy around the world and, more importantly, encouraged women in neighboring countries to fight for their rights.

But the movement can only achieve its goal if it succeeds in mobilizing larger sections of the population, especially the middle class, against the regime.

This requires a clear program and a credible alternative.

Regardless, and even if the regime manages to silence the protesters, there will soon be more violent uprisings.

The days of the theocracy are numbered.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-01-14

You may like

News/Politics 2022-12-21T11:11:25.440Z
Life/Entertain 2023-03-07T18:24:50.635Z
Life/Entertain 2023-02-02T15:00:21.831Z

Trends 24h

Life/Entertain 2023-03-20T08:56:49.772Z
Life/Entertain 2023-03-19T15:50:22.478Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.