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Iran in the footsteps of Syria

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On September 14, 2022, demonstrations has started in eastern Kurdistan (Rojahat) after the killing of the Kurdish young woman, Jenna Amini (22 years old), after being severely beaten during her detention and arrest by what is known as the Iranian morality police, claiming that she did not wear the veil on the "The correct Islamic way.”

Jenna died after two days of arrest after she was subjected to a brain death caused by skull injuries as a result of her arrest, according to local sources, Hours after her death, dozens of people gathered in the surrounding roads of Kisra hospital in the capital, Tehran, and they chanted slogans such as "death for the dictator, and the morality police are killer, Iran will be liberated, Khamenei is a killer, his government is illegitimate ... etc.

The story of Amini has spread and become a public matter, which accompanied by large protests in various parts of Iran on her funeral day, On Monday, 19 September, a number of Iranian Kurdish political parties, and a number of civilian and political activists announced a general strike in protest against what happened to Jenna and the oppression that affected the demonstrators in different regions of Iran.

The protests have expanded. They started in the city of Saqz, the birthplace of Jenna, and extended to other cities such as Senndge, Divandarreh, Baneh, Bijar in eastern Kurdistan. After that, the protests expanded to include most of the Iranian cities, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kerman, Shiraz, Tabriz, Rasht, Sari, Karaj, and Arak, and the city of Ilam and many other cities. Today, we are talking about a revolution in which all Iranian peoples participate.

Historical Background

This is not the first time that a movement of protests launched in Iran. Iran has witnessed 14 protest movements since 1999 which were all brutally suppressed by the security services the same as now. , However, by monitoring what is going on today we can say that the current protest movements differentiate from the ones in the past by two important points that one can observe:

  • The first point: most of the slogans of the previous protest movements were based on simple demands, such as improving the economic situation during the movement in December 2017. Another example is demanding the cancellation of the election results during the movement in June 2009 after Mahmoud, Ahmadi Nejad was elected.

However, the slogans of the current protest movement demands a comprehensive political transformation, freedoms, annulation of the security system, toppling the dictatorship, and holding the perpetrators of violations accountable, i.e., in other words, this movement collected the demands of all previous movements and it is a product of accumulation of all previous protest movements.

Second point: By reviewing the map of the previous protests movements, we find that the current protest movement is the largest in Iran since 2019 and in which more than 50 cities participated from different Iranian peoples (Kurds, Persians, Arabs, Baluch, and Azerbaijan's ... etc.). In addition to that, the map reflects the political conflict between the two generations. The first generation established a tyrannical religious regime representing the state of the jurist, while the second generation has a different understanding of the political system and rights and freedom.

The most likely happening scenario.

Looking into the level of oppression practiced by the Iranian security forces and into the desire of the Iranian people to end the oppression and stop the perpetrators of human rights violations, we find that the use of violence and counter-violence will dominate the situation if the Iranian government continues its repressive behavior, which is the most likely scenario to happen. All this would lead to the deviation of the peaceful protests to an armed conflict for two reasons which are the violent and oppressive behavior of the Iranian Regime and the presence of political parties that believe that the armed conflict is the way to prevail their human rights, and among those parties:

Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which was established in 1945. Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which was established in 1969, as well as the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) with a close alliance with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The National Democratic Front, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mujahedin-Khalq (MEK), the Tudeh Party of Iran, The Azerbaijani Democratic Alliance, Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz (DSPA)

Given the composition of the Iranian people and the geographical nature of the country, any transformation to the armed conflict may ultimately lead to civil war, and splitting the conflict to areas of influence based on religious and ethnic affiliation, especially if Iran witnessed regional interventions, the ruling regime in Tehran is very adept in winning enemies and interference in the affairs of regional state.

We can say that a huge security explosion will occur to complicate things in the Middle East more than it is complicated, especially because it witnesses a state of political clamor, armed conflict, and economic crises. There are different factors which enhance the possibility of the occurrence of this security explosion. Some of those factors are the state of instability in international affairs due to the Covid-19, the continuous division of the international powers, Russia's war on Ukraine, the crisis in Taiwan, the crisis of the Korean nuclear weapon, and the economic recession suffered by major global economies, especially of the largest economy of the world the United States of America.

Geopolitical Context.

Geography has its provisions in determining the destinies of peoples, and by returning to Iran's relationship with its neighbors, we find that most of them see an interest in having Iran as a weak country, but at the same time intervening in Iranian affairs is not an easy task that any country can do. It requires complicated and many procedures.

Let’s look at the map of the regional countries surrounding Iran: - Afghanistan, which Iran was a rich ground for the invasions of her tribes, is not in a situation allowing to interfere in Iran's affairs, Because there is a system of government that internationally illegitimate.

- Azerbaijan is Russia’s ally and in a state of continuous conflict with Armenia.

The Gulf states, despite the sectarian conflict with Iran and Iran's interference in their affairs, but they will not intervene without a Western cover.

Iraq is unable to intervene in Iran’s affairs, especially since the Iranian militias in Iraq are above state institutions.

Turkey will not repeat the same mistakes and intervenein Iranian protests in favor of the protesters, as happened in Syria, fearing that this will weaken the regime, which contributes to the expansion of Kurdish influence in Iran and finds itself surrounded by three parts of Kurdistan outside the control of the central state.

Israel is most likely to pursue its same policy in Syria through indirect intervention and only using targeted strikes to weaken Iranian military capabilities, especially the nuclear ones.

On the international level, t Russia, Iran’s ally and partner in the ASTANA group, will be one of the losers if Iran weakens not because of the strong relations between them, but because the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend, and here we mean the United States.

As for China, the instability in Iran will be a severe blow to its Silk Road’s project, as China is Iran’s largest trade partner, as the volume of trade between the two countries reached about 45 billion dollars on an annual basis. Iran sees on the Silk Road an opportunity to solve many of its problems, as it seeks to be a main international corridor to circumvent the imposition of economic sanctions on it, and to enhance politically its regional influence.

During the energy crisis afflicting the West, especially the European countries, the development of the situation in Iran will constitute an additional burden on their efforts to find solutions to the energy crisis. They also got distracted with another big conflict from their efforts in dealing with other international crises such as the Russian war on Ukraine. There is more division in the international community. These reasons may explain why the European countries and the West do not have a strong position regarding the violations committed by the Iranian security services against the Iranian protesters.

What is needed?

  • The Iranian nuclear negotiations must be frozen, as the continuation of these negotiations will lead to the release of huge funds for the Iranian Islamic Republic, which will increase the repressive capacity of the government of Tehran.

  • Western countries and other governments around the world must exercise more diplomatic pressure on the Iranian government and they must impose more sanctions not only on perpetrators of human rights violations, but on the Iranian government and denying it access to any money or tools that may be used to suppress the demonstrators.

  • The United Nations should take actions and create an independent mechanism to investigate human rights violations of the Iranian security forces. The Security Council must condemn and demand Iran to stop these violations during emergency sessions.

In conclusion, I have a firm belief that Iran and other oppressive regimes will eventually disintegrate sooner or later not because of external interventions, but because of internal reasons where the people have deprived from their basic rights and freedom by the oppressive regime while the world no longer tolerating suppressing freedoms


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