While many so-called “analysts” and “experts of the Middle East” sit in the comfort of the west, tweeting away their surfaced level interpretations of the current conflicts of Iran, one thing to keep in mind is that an Islamic Regime is an oppressive one. Although common sense and history dictate that any theocratic governing blatantly strips it’s population of basic human rights, it seems as though these analyst’s main concern is to create conspiracy theories about Israeli or American intervention. It's true that the West has contributed to a great amount of secret held coups or so called revolutions within numerous regions of the world. This grassroots uprising, however, is neither an intervention nor a coup, it is a necessary and long overdue uprising for basic rights.
Rather than arguing whether or not the protests are justified with or without the intervention of the West, it’s better that we ask ourselves what can be done that is constructive for the interest of the Iranian people and the minorities that live within.
As of two days ago, peaceful demonstrations began in 27 provinces of Iran, universities begin participating as well. One of the most prominent demonstrations took place in Lorestan, where chants such as “death to the dictator” were being shouted. Reports indicate peaceful protests until security forces began attacking the demonstrators. As of now, ten demonstrators have been killed. What strikes me about the “anti-imperialist” interpretations of the Iranian uprising that have been elaborated ever since is their hypocrisy. Western intervention undoubtedly led to the disintegration of the Iranian monarchy, and also sowed the seeds for Khomeini's seizure of power decades later. But its also strange that “anti-imperialists”, particularly those that claim to espouse progressive views, continue to defend the Islamic theocracy that entrenched itself ever since.
As for the current regime in Iran, to grossly oversimplify-if you aren’t a Shia Muslim man, you’re subject to oppression. For instance the Kurdish population of Iran has felt the first-hand oppression and genocidal policies that these so-called “experts” chose to defend while they sit on a throne in the West. During the 35 years that the Islamic regime has existed, it has been successful in executing prominent Kurdish political figures and intellectuals. Along with this, they have been persistent in terminating Kurdish youth and resistance fighters. Not to mention, the government has also plotted and killed Kurdish rivals to maintain political power. Iran’s government has also periodically enacted cultural assimilation policies by failing to ensure the lawful right of its Kurdish population to freely use their language and express their culture (even if the Islamic Republic publicly claimed to disavow the assimilation policies of their predecessors). The regime aims to completely erase the Kurdish identity within the region in fears of the Kurds institutionalizing and revolting which is exactly what is taking place in Iran right now.
Besides the Kurdish population, religious minorities have also become subject to Iran’s inhumane policies. So much so that many apart of the Iranian diaspora in the West who immigrated as Muslims have chosen to push back to their origins of Zoroastrianism in spite of the Theocracy and forced religion. This is especially prominent within the Dallas diaspora, members I have spoken to who wish to remain anonymous have expressed their stance against the regime.
For the past two days citizens have begun flooding the streets of Iran and courageously burning the pictures of Khomeini, and the other religious authorities in power. One video that is circling on social media depicts a brave young woman waving her scarf around in the air in protest to policies that force women to wear a hijab.
Citizens are demanding that the religious leaders step down and it seems as though Iranians have had enough of the theocracy and cruel dictatorship. It is crucial to keep in mind that many of these “experts” and “analyst” will chose to defend these regimes that benefit their own Islamic and so called “anti-imperialist” intentions at the expense of the lives of religious and ethnic minorities. It is time that we, as Westerners must take a moment and realize that these revolts are not about us, but for the people of Iran. Alas, what these protests and demonstrations may bring is certainly unclear, but they do demonstrate a beacon of hope to the ethnic and religious minorities of Iran. If we are in the midst of a revolution, one could only hope for a legitimate and just government rise to overthrow the current regime entirely.