41 years since the 1979 overtake of power by Ruhollah Khomeini, there is still no typology to fit Islamic Republic into. Many in the west think it’s a “republic”, governed by democratic bodies like parliament and a president. Some say it’s an authoritarian and some believe totalitarianism describes it best. Juan José Linz says it’s an authoritarian combined with the ideology needed to make a totalitarian! In reality, this regime fits best into totalitarian category, since Islamic Republic has all 6 characteristics of Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski’s definition:
1- Ideology guided government: It’s no secret Islamic Republic wants to “export the revolution” and the “Shia” ideology, or at least it pretends to. You can find thousands of videos from Khomeini, Khamenei, Soleimani, Taeb, Mesbah Yazdi, … admitting the “revolution is the paramount to spread it to the region.” The famous slogan: “Jerusalem path passes through Karbala” paints the picture pretty clearly.
2- A dictator leading a single mass party: Since its inception, Khomeini created the role of “Supreme Leader” in the constitution, and Khamenei has assumed the post since 1989. As the name suggests, nothing could be done in the country without his permission. He has control over everything in the country, directly and indirectly. Every state official must abide by and obey the leader. There is a famous slogan: “The only party, is Hezbollah”.
3- System of terror: There is no secret how horrific IRGC intelligence and MOIS are. They have started terrorizing people since 1980 and it hasn’t stopped. In November 2019, they killed more than 1500 innocent protesters, and arrested more than 7000. There are people in prison for writing a letter to Khamenei asking for his resignation, many were arrested for “insulting the Supreme Leader” on social media, and so on. There is no sense of privacy in the country whatsoever!
4- Monopoly on weapons: IRGC which was established to protect the revolution, not the country, has become the sole owner of weapons in the country, from Ground to Airspace advances have been achieved by spending billions of dollars by IRGC. All to push their ideology in the region.
5- Monopoly on the communication means: IRGC owns the Iran Telecommunication Company. IRIB, TV and Radio organization, is owned by the state and the head of it is appointed by Khamenei. There is no private station in the country. Internet is filtered and the government has been working on launching “National Internet”, fencing the country from the outside world.
6- Control of the economy: IRGC and the foundations under direct supervision of Khamenei own every aspect of economy in the country, from banks to construction, from stock market to malls.
Despite all that, Islamic Republic have created a false sense of “democracy” in the mind of westerners by holding sham “elections” for president, parliament and city councils. In 1997 when the majority of people were getting tired of the government, a new “party” and “leader” suddenly appeared to the rescue. But was it to rescue the people or the regime?! Mohammad Khatami and “reformists” became popular and he “won” the presidency. It was a huge victory for Islamic Republic, it showed its “legitimacy” to the world and the “well-dressed mullah” became the face of Iran. He knew how to sweet talk fooling EU leaders and buying time for the regime to advance its nuclear program. It took 8 years for the majority of people to see through the humbug!
They created a symbol of “nationalism” and antisemitism, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the next 4 years. Then came 2009 “Green Movement” in response to the rigged presidential election, but who were the leaders of this “movement”?! Two other “reformists”. Mir Hossein Mousavi who was the Prime Minister during Khamenei’s presidency, and Mehdi Karoubi who was the head of Mostazafan Foundation (directly under Supreme Leader) and parliament speaker.
Unfortunately, many in the west still buy the idea of “reformists” and “hardliners” as two “parties” in Iran. “Parties” don’t exist in the country! It’s impossible to have anything other than “Hezbollah” in this revolutionary totalitarian tyranny. It is unthinkable when western media call Rouhani who used to be Khamenei’s advisor, and secretary of Supreme National Security Council as a “reformist” president. The chief apologist, Javad Zarif, has always been part of this regime at top levels since its establishment. The current list of Rouhani’s cabinet members would blow your mind. But still, the Islamic Republic think tank has been able to fool the west through its propaganda machine, calling “reformists” a different gang from Khamenei and his thugs. Regardless of what NIAC and other “experts” may tell you in the media, they’re all cut from the same filthy cloth!
In Iran, however, those days are over. Iranians have figured out regime’s ruse as shown it in the November 2019 protests chanting: “Reformist, hardliner, the game is over!”, “Mullah get lost”, “Death to Dictator”, “God Bless Your Soul, Reza Shah”, “Death to Khamenei”,…They also sent a clear message to the regime’s official and to the world when the least turnout for any “election” in Islamic Republic’s history was recorded in February 2020, even with buying/selling votes,…. Some of Tehran’s representatives in the new parliament earned only 10,000 “votes”!!
Iranians have woken up, but has the world? Islamic Republic is amalgamation of its predecessors, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, and it will have the same fate as them!
Cover: Eric Drooker