Response to questions from Al-BawabaMagazine, Egypt.
Iranian officials are now calling for a change in the regime's approach to demonstrators. Has the regime begun to fear?
The new year has dawned with the unfolding revolution in Iran entering its most critical stage. The nationwide insurrection has continued for almost four months and shows no sign of subsiding, despite a ruthless crackdown by the theocratic regime’s security forces, which has seen more than 750 protesters killed and over 30,000 arrested. Strikes and protests have crippled the Iranian economy, already reeling from years of tough Western sanctions. The regime is now deeply afraid, having realized that every death, every arrest, every execution simply inflames the rage of the population who now demand the overthrow of Khamenei’s theocratic dictatorship.
Now the Iranian currency has nose-dived to its lowest level ever against the US dollar. When the uprising began in September, following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, the young Kurdish girl murdered by the so-called morality police for not wearing her hijab properly, the rial was trading at 315,000 to the dollar. Last week it plummeted to 430,000 to the dollar. In desperation, the mullahs sacked Ali Salehabadi, head of the central bank and replaced him with Mohammad Reza Farzin, the 57-year-old senior banker and former deputy finance minister. Farzin has inherited a poisoned chalice. He can do nothing to prevent the rial from collapsing. Iran now faces the certain prospect of hyperinflation. The mullahs are now attempting to shore up their disintegrating economy by selling scores of small kamikaze ‘Shahed’ killer drones to Vladimir Putin, for use in his genocidal war in Ukraine. This has served to further alienate Western nations who will no longer participate in negotiations to revive the JCPOA nuclear deal.
Will the demonstrations continue in Iran and what can they lead to? London confirms the continuation of its measures against the Iranian regime until it is held accountable. Will the Iranian regime be held accountable internationally?
The demonstrations and insurrection in Iran will continue until the regime is overthrown. There can be no return to the status quo now. In response to international demands for severe action against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – the regime’s Gestapo, the British government has declared that it will blacklist the organisation as a terrorist group, meaning that it will become a criminal offence to belong to the IRGC, attend its meetings or even carry its logo. The IRGC controls around 70% of the Iranian economy, paying no taxes and creaming off all profits to fill the pockets of its venally corrupt leadership. It is the IRGC’s brutal response to the nationwide uprising that has given rise to the UN Security Council, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others, calling for retaliatory action from the West. The IRGC’s shoot to kill strategy has led to the death of hundreds of innocent men, women and even minors, during the ongoing disturbances. The blacklisting by the UK government is supported by Britain's security minister, Tom Tugendhat, and Home Secretary Suella Braverman and will come as a deadly blow to the Iranian regime, who rely on the IRGC for overseas trade.