Why didn’t the Mehdi Movement lead to overthrow?
According to Iran Gate, many political analysts believe that the Mehdi Movement presented a golden opportunity for the overthrowers to carry out influential and productive activities. However, after one year, it can be said that these activities failed to bring success to the overthrowers and even disappointed many protesters from joining the overthrow movements.
One year has passed since the start of the Mehdi Movement in Iran, but contrary to the claims made by the overthrow movements, not only has the Islamic Republic not been toppled, but we are witnessing intensified repression in various areas by the government. This report addresses the reasons for the lack of success by the overthrowers in this important and historic movement, which experts believe was the most serious movement in Iran after the 1979 revolution and claimed to aim for overthrow.
However, what was the reason for the failure of the overthrowers in this period and why does the Islamic Republic still hold power in Iran? Iran Gate has investigated the relationship between the Mehssa movement and the overthrowers, as well as the reasons for the failure of the overthrow movements in the past year. The present report is the first part of this investigation, which focuses on understanding the relationship between the protesters and the overthrowers, and the ups and downs of this relationship after the death of Mehssa until now.
What was the relationship between the Mehssa movement and the overthrowers?
The tragic death of Mehssa Amini in the custody of Iran’s moral security police was a spark for the emergence of a massive and widespread movement that had no precedent in Iran. This movement managed to bring together all ethnic groups and political and social movements. It can also be inferred from the statements of senior officials of the Islamic Republic that this movement had caused concerns among the power layers to some extent.
But the question remains whether the goal of this movement was overthrowing or reforming, as there is no statistical evidence in this regard that can lead to an accurate conclusion. However, the relationship between this movement and the overthrow movements of the Islamic Republic can be examined.
According to many experts, prior to the Green Movement, the overthrowers had never been able to ride the waves of public discontent in Iran and engage in effective political activities. However, the Green Movement provided an opportunity for pro-overthrow and even separatist factions to emerge and have widespread influence. Therefore, it can be said that the Green Movement had a direct and meaningful relationship with the groups and figures seeking to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
Prince Reza Pahlavi was a prominent figure.
As mentioned, the overthrowers had significant and effective activities in 1401 (Gregorian calendar) but it should be noted that the presence of a political brand, namely Prince Reza Pahlavi, among the overthrowers and some of the slogans of the people inside led to this relationship being established for the first time after the 1979 revolution.
However, the root of the formation of this relationship goes back to December 2017 and the protests that were initiated by those who were dissatisfied with the Rouhani government. These protests quickly escalated beyond the control of security institutions and fell into the hands of extremists, turning into a wave of protests and gatherings across the country. In one of these gatherings, which took place in Mashhad, an important slogan was raised that ignited sparks of hope in the hearts of a significant portion of the protesters. The slogan ‘May the soul of Reza Shah be happy’ caused discussions about the return of the monarchy system to Iran to resurface once again.
Of course, some also believe that this connection is not simply about the desire for monarchy by Iranian protesters, but rather an attempt to seek an effective governance and a cohesive bureaucracy. However, a group of analysts interpreted this relationship as a desire of the protesters for the return of Reza Pahlavi to the country and the establishment of a monarchy system by the son of the second Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty.
All of these factors contributed to the rise of Reza Pahlavi as a prominent figure during the early months of the Masa Movement protests in Iran. During the protests, he traveled extensively around the world and met with leaders of major global powers, engaging in discussions with well-known political figures. The Reza Pahlavi that existed prior to September 17, 2022, had undergone significant changes compared to what emerged afterwards. He had become an important political figure, delivering speeches at top American and European universities, issuing numerous calls for gatherings of Iranians living abroad, and receiving significant support from Iranians residing in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.
In Tehran, the water does not run high.
However, the situation in Tehran was different. Protests in support of monarchy were heard, influenced by the activities of Reza Pahlavi abroad. But these slogans never gained popularity or became widely spoken among the majority of protesters. Therefore, contrary to what was claimed, Iranian citizens did not have much inclination towards establishing a monarchy in Iran. Even if there were some slogans praising the first Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty, they did not reflect a desire for monarchy among the protesters.
Even at the height of Reza Pahlavi’s activities in the meeting with George Town and the strange alliance with celebrities and some human rights activists, Iranian protesters inside the country did not show any signs of support for these actions by Reza Pahlavi. Furthermore, he did not issue any call for gatherings and protests inside the country that would be met with a positive response from Iranian citizens.
In the second part of the case, why the Mahsa movement did not lead to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic has been discussed, citing the disillusionment of Iranian protesters inside and outside the country with the overthrow movements.
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