Alireza Jafarzadeh reviews the 1979 anti-monarchy revolution

45 Years Post Revolution: Iranian People’s Unyielding Quest for Freedom

BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, February 10, 2024, Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director

February 11th marks the 45th anniversary of Iran’s anti-monarchical revolution, as the nation continues its 120-year quest for freedom, justice, and independence. Since 2017, the political landscape has been marked by persistent uprisings and an ongoing revolution aimed at toppling the clerical regime.

Across cities and universities in Iran, in a clear demarcation against past monarchic dictatorships and the current theocracy, the cry is: “Down with the dictator, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader.”

The 1979 revolution, a milestone in Iran’s long-standing quest for democracy, was a direct response to the despotic and corrupt rule of the Shah, who was reinstated in 1953 through a CIA-engineered coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq’s democratic government.

The Shah’s relentless oppression of democratic and secular opposition left a vacuum, which Khomeini exploited by usurping the leadership and diverting Iran’s anti-dictatorial revolution, turning it into a new era of crimes and atrocities.

Throughout Iran’s recent history, at crucial moments for democratic progress, monarchs have colluded with clerics against the people’s interests due to their inherently anti-democratic and corrupt nature. 

Many high-ranking mullahs today were collaborators with the Shah and his notorious secret police, the SAVAK, against pro-democracy dissidents. Even today, remnants of the Shah’s regime, deceptively posing as opposition, boast about daily contacts with the murderous and terrorist IRGC.

But nothing can stop the Iranian nation that has decisively rejected the false dichotomy between monarchs and clerics. The Iranian people demand a democratic republic founded on the separation of religion and state, a goal supported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its principal member, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. 

Overcoming the leadership void of the 1979 revolution, this organized, resilient, internationally supported alternative is paving the way for a genuinely democratic future in Iran.

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