Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Today's Damavand [volcano] is made of a new generation of Iranians who don't give tuppence about the Islamic Republic's arcane narrative, and prefer life in the modern world, warts and all, to the North Korean-style society that "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei is trying to impose on Iran.
The uprising was triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year old woman on a family visit to Tehran.
Within 24 hours of her death, allegedly as a result of beatings by security agents, Amini's name was known to almost all Iranians and, within 48 hours, it had become a symbol of resistance to tyranny across the world.
By the time of writing this column, we had received the names of 84 people, including nine women and six children, killed by security, while semi-official figures put the number of arrests at over 1,800.
The uprising has spread to over 300 towns and cities, some of which are witnessing protests for the first time in recent history.
Early in its existence, the Khomeinist regime established self-preservation as its highest goal. Khomeini called it "the obligation of obligations" (oujab al-wajebat in Arabic), asserting that to protect the regime, even Islam could be set aside.
Regime protection forces, excluding the national army, number over 600,000 men. Islamic security is organized in nine different units, at least four of them trained and equipped for crushing street protests.
All security units, including Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), benefit from numerous advantages, notably salaries that are 30 percent higher than comparable ones in the national army.
The latest uprising is different from previous ones in a number of ways.... This time, the almost unanimous call is for regime change.
Until this writing, Khamenei, who shed tears for the death of George Floyd in the United States, has been silent on the eruption that threatens his regime.
For the full article in pdf, please click here:
Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at or written for innumerable publications, published eleven books, and has been a columnist for Asharq Al-Awsat since 1987.
This article was originally published by Asharq al-Awsat and is reprinted by kind permission of the author.
Pictured: Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody, in Tehran on September 21, 2022. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)