Poverty is ravaging through the country, devastating millions of people. Number of suicides, mental illnesses and divorces have soared through the roof. Poverty has caused children to think of and commit suicides! All social norms have changed. The social gap has become humongous. National currency value has plummeted to its lowest in history and all of this get worse on a daily basis. Child workers are everywhere you look and people have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, if things don’t change too much by the end of the day. If Iran was a poor country, this wouldn’t be such a shock, but it’s one of the richest countries in the world. However, Islamic Republic rather spends it on its terrorist groups and Shia empire ideology! Of course multi billion and trillion dollar corruptions are not scarce in the “Imam Zaman” regime.
A 200% spike in gas price in November 2019 was all people needed to spark “regime change” protests. Radical slogans such as “Mullahs must get lost”, “Death to Khamenei”, “Reza Shah God Bless You”, … were heard everywhere, showing people are ready to trample on Islamic Republic and its rulers. The brutal crackdown may have bought some time for the regime but it definitely didn’t stop the movement. On the contrary, the bare violence from Khamenei and his goons only have made people more determined to throw mullahs in history’s dustbin.
Imam Ali Society
Imam Ali Society (Society of Students Against Poverty) is an NGO founded in 1999 in Sharif University to help poor people. It has grown to a big group with thousands of members across the country and in 2010 joined UN’s ECOSOC. It consists of many programs helping different groups in need, especially the child workers. Sharmin Meymandi Nejad, founder of this NGO, is the son of Mohammad Hossein Meymandi Nejad, a professor, author and a political activist who was boycotted by Islamic Republic in last 14 years of his life. Kayhan newspaper which is run by Khamenei’s representative and reflects his ideas about daily incidents, called on intelligence services to investigate the NGO because it was founded by son of “one of the most destructive figures in the last 100 year.”
In January 2017, Fatemeh Fard at Kayhan, wrote, “Mohammad Hossein Meymandi Nejad is one of the influential and destructive figures in the culture and politics of Iran in the last hundred years, which unfortunately, due to the lack of information in responsible institutions tendentious domestic and foreign historians, at great expense, have kept his undeserved reputation hidden and introduced him to the public as a scientist and recorded him in Iran’s history.” She continued, “Now, his son, Sharmin Meymandi Nejad, in another format, in coordination with international anti-Iranian organizations, with extensive and multilateral programs, has been very active at universities and schools and distorting and destroying the religious beliefs of our young generation.”
Islamic Republic is anticipating nationwide protests in 2020, if not more radical and extensive, definitely similar to what happened in more than 100 cities across the country in November 2019. Those protests cost Islamic Republic dearly, it unveiled its brutal, barbaric and cruel nature to the world, even though many stayed quiet when thousands were slaughtered and arrested, held under the most inhumane condition and tortured. After crackdown of the most widespread and violent protests in history of the theocratic regime, each official responded differently but they all attributed the unrest to “enemies of Islamic Republic.”
One response was different than others. Hossein Nejat, one of the most trusted people in Khamenei’s circle, head of Vali Amr IRGC branch which is responsible to protect Khamenei and his family, mentioned the “poor” as a threat to regime’s existence, saying, “The western model to overthrow our regime has changed over the past 40 years. Their new model is based on social movement relying on paupers, the ones who are product of marginalization, illiteracy, and brainwashed on social media.” The same paupers who the regime has already started to suppress in order to prevent any movement formation.
Coronavirus epidemic has worsen already debilitating economic pressure, recession, uncontrolled inflation, and Rial has become absolutely worthless. The poor have become poorer and have nothing to lose! Many “experts” have warned Rouhani and other Islamic Republic officials about possibility of protests across the country by the end of 2019. That’s why Hossein Salami, IRGC Commander in Chief, has appointed Hossein Nejat as the Chief of Sarallah Base in Tehran on June 21, 2020. This IRGC base is in charge of all security and intelligence affairs in capital and all Basij forces (militia branch of IRGC), police and anti-riot forces are under its command!
The Kayhan piece was a preface for Seraj Cyberspace Organization to attack Meymandi’s NGO’s online accounts including its emails, social media and website. These attacks happened twice in the last 2 years. Seraj is interestingly enough also created by Hossein Nejat at his previous positions as Deputy Chief of IRGC in Cultural Affairs and also Deputy Head of IRGC Intelligence. This unit is specialized in psych-ops and cyberspace, where most opposition activities happen, including protests coordination.
On June 22, 2020, three top members of the NGO helping the poor were arrested. After the arrest of Sharmin Meymandi Nejad, Morteza Keymanesh (Director of Public Relations) and Katyoun Afrazeh, Tasmim News Agency, close to IRGC reported: Sharmin Meymandi Nejad under cover of a nonprofit organization took the fight against discrimination, as well as human rights issues and the fight against poverty and social problems, as an excuse to “put pressure on the country and the people of Iran” and “took extensive action against Iranian society.” Fars News Agency claimed Meymandi Nejad was an agent of foreign enemies and was under the influence of foreign media. All of these accusations just because paupers are not to be awaken because they don’t have anything to lose and no force on earth can fight their wrath!
Uprising is Inevitable
June 23, 2020, Imam Ali Society issued a statement announcing: “the arrests were in response to IRGC Sarallah Base complaint and the charges are “insulting the founder of Islamic Republic and the Supreme Leader” and “actions against national security”, our friends have not been released on bail as promised and we don’t know where they’re being held.”
The pieces of the puzzle are fitting together very well. Hossein Nejat with direct orders from Khamenei is trying to prevent the lowest class of the society to start a new set of unrest and join the middle class who started November 2019 and January 2020 protests in response to downing of the PS752 airliner by IRGC missiles which killed 176 crews and passengers! Hossein Nejat wants to nip it in the bud but the uprising of Iranians is inevitable, no matter how much time they may buy by their brutality and trumped up charges! No dictatorship could survive forever.