November has become a month to remember for all Iranians around the world. Not because of US elections regardless of who the winner would be. But because it carries dreadful memories of November 2019 when Islamic Republic oppression forces killed more than 1,500 unarmed peaceful protesters on Khamenei’s order to “end it” and detained at least 7,000 unarmed peaceful protesters.
Everything began on Friday, November 15. Iranians woke up to shocking news of 200% hike in gas prices and cutting fuel subsidies. That would mean worsening economic situation, less income and more inflation! People took on the street by turning off their cars, creating traffic and then the crowd started to march and chant.
The first videos were aired on some western media, with all of them labeling the protests as “protests against gas price hike.” However, that was an understatement to say the least. That evening, protests grew bigger and bigger. In Sirjan, Kerman, southeast of Iran, a protester got shot and killed by Islamic Republic oppression forces and one wounded. More people joined the protests. Internet was disrupted in Mashhad that evening to stop people from communicating with each other to arrange protests and sending videos outside of Iran.
However, the suppression wasn’t enough, as the protests intensified the next day. Supreme National Security Council ordered shutting down of internet altogether. That made it possible for Islamic Republic to do whatever it wanted behind closed curtains. At the same time, western media outlets and their “Iran experts” painted a picture far from the truth, even though people were posting videos on social media platforms from the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.
While these were the most widespread protests since the inception of Islamic Republic, the “Iran experts,” most of them with clear sympathetic views towards the theocratic regime in the past, such as NIAC (National Iranian-American Council), pretended the protests were due to “gas price” and “US sanctions” pressuring people. They even said, “these are not that big a deal and “Green Movement” with “reformist” leaders were much bigger.”
The videos from protests released on social media depicted a different story. People chanting radical slogans against the regime as a whole, and not “just gas price!” Chants included: “Mullahs must go,” “Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, I would die for Iran,” “Reza Shah, God Bless Your Soul,” “Death to Dictator,” “Death to Khamenei,” and so on, not a single word about the “gas price!” They even burned Khomeini and Khamenei’s banners!
In truth, protesters took on the streets because they could see the widespread corruption and mismanagement in every level of the government. They could see the establishment would send their money and wealth to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen instrad of relieving some of the pressure the low income and middle class feel. They went to the streets for freedom, for better life, for less oppression.
The chants were about corruption of IRGC and the entire regime officials. “Gas price” was not the problem, it was the spark needed for suffocated Iranians. The radical “regime change” slogans began since December 2017 protests. They didn’t want a government which hangs and imprisons people because of their personal beliefs.
It took 4 days from the first killing for the human rights organizations to pick up the story and write about the devastating situation in Iran. Amnesty International issued its first report on November 19, 2019, confirming brutal crackdown by Islamic Republic oppression forces. They said 106 were killed by then, adding some sources claiming as many as 200 have died. They ended up confirming at least 304 deaths by Islamic Republic forces.
The state-controlled media, including English language ones such as Press TV, blamed protesters for the crackdown, accusing them of “burning government buildings” and “thugs” who “started the violence.” But videos show how truthful this claim is:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, former President of Islamic Republic, also admits that intelligence agencies in the country are responsible for “training and arming” those thugs to vandalize public and private properties in order to have an excuse to crackdown legitimate and peaceful protests:
They also started the notion that “few were killed who were mostly from security forces.” The western media ran those lines as well and “Iran experts” amplified them to excuse killing of unarmed peaceful protesters with live ammunition, and in some parts of the country, including Mahshahr, with tanks, helicopter and DshK!
Those “experts” continued saying, “any country would be violent against thugs.” Even after Reuters reported 1500 protesters were killed and thousands arrested for simply protesting against the regime, those “experts” kept excusing Islamic regime’s actions. They followed exactly what Islamic Republic officials said: Reuters is lying! There are only a few killed who were agents of the enemy to disrupt public order, burning buildings and threatening people’s lives!
However, the reality was quite the opposite. With the internet shut down for more than 6 days across the country, Islamic Republic killed and detained as many as it could, then formed the narrative it wanted for the world to hear. Its propaganda machine in the West took it from there.
NIAC members and affiliates have been the main propaganda arm of Islamic Republic in the US and western media. ICC (Iranian Canadian Congress) has the same mission in Canada. They have published “opinion” pieces in Newsweek, Independent, BBC, etc., that Iranians are under pressure because of US sanctions and don’t want regime change. They went as far as “if Islamic Republic falls, ISIS would rise again.”
These views continue to be the sole focus of lobbyists for the Islamic dictatorship. Twisting facts about Iran is their daily job to depict there’s “democracy” in Iran, even though it’s a brutal totalitarian regime. Islamic Republic has condemned countless number of dissidents to long term prison terms and many to death! Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, the five protesters from Isfahan, Rohullah Zam and others, are just examples of opposition members sentenced to death!
A year has passed, the lobbyists continue to whitewash Islamic Republic crimes such as Navid Afkari’s murder. A year has passed, and the Islamic Republic has not yet announced how many they killed on those dreadful days and how many have been arrested!
People of Iran are looking for a way out of more than 4 decades of theocratic dictatorship. They’re seeking support from EU and US, not to overthrow the regime for them but not appease one of the biggest human rights violators of all times.
A year has passed! Iranians mourn the loss of their brothers and sisters and will continue their way to achieve prosperity, regardless of who is the President of what country. As long as Islamic Republic is there, Iranians’ fight for liberty continues.