Iran: 'No way back' for regime claims Shahin Gobadi
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Neither the possibility of detainment nor even death will deter the protesters in Iran and there is now “no way back” for the ruling elite and its clerical regime, a member of the Iranian opposition has said. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Shahin Gobadi, a spokesperson for the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, said there are “cracks appearing within the regime’s repressive apparatus” and more will emerge in the coming weeks and months, suggesting the overthrowing of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was certain.
As the tally of protesters killed by the Iranian security forces is estimated at more than 550, including 50 teenagers, since the murder of 22-year-old Masha Amini on September 16 by the regime’s morality police, political figures, including the grandson of the Supreme Leader, have begun to voice dissent against the status quo.
Mr Gobadi said: “I think the protests will continue. It’s quite evident that the people are determined. There is a clear determination on the side of the people to continue despite killings, despite crackdowns and despite massive arrests.
“So, there is no way back and this is what has been said time and again by the protesters.
“In what shape and form, and how the end of the regime will be brought down remains to be seen but it is quite evident that there will be more protests and the regime is getting weaker.
“There are signs of cracks appearing within the regime’s repressive apparatus and there will be more of this in weeks and months to come.”
Earlier this week, the parliamentary speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a hardliner, publicly acknowledged that “a new kind of governance”, both social and political” was needed.
Though his supposed change in stance cannot be applauded by the rebels, since it is still rooted in the maintenance of an Islamic Republic, it shows that Iran’s elite are being forced to pay attention to the mass protests.
His comments came just days after he called for the protests, which have been attended by millions of Iranians across the 55 days, to be summarily crushed.
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Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei’s envoy to the nation’s university system, where there has been particular proactive opposition to the regime, also acknowledged “fundamental problems” in Iran at the start of November
The cleric Mostafa Rostami said: “We have to acknowledge there are a number of fundamental problems in our society.”
Elsewhere, Iran’s top Sunni Muslim cleric, Molavi Abdolhamid last Friday called for a nationwide referendum on the future of the country, acknowledging that protesters “have bled and suffered deaths,” before adding: “You cannot push them out.”
And Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the Islamic Republic founder, told a reformist Iranian newspaper that “it is better to listen to the people”.
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Nonetheless, there are still considerable forces among the ruling elite of the regime. Officials have reportedly been pushed by 227 members of parliament to use capital punishment against captured protesters, while the judiciary on Tuesday reiterated calls for prosecutors to pursue charges that carry the death penalty against protesters.
And further reports of fighting between protesters and the regime security forces suggest continued tensions.
Locals were filmed throwing Molotov cocktails at a regime-associated site in the early hours after midnight on Tuesday night in Fardis near Tehran.
Local activists in Kerman, south-central Iran, have also said on Wednesday that authorities are installing newer and more advanced security cameras at a main intersection near an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base.
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