There were conflicting news from Iran, and within 48 hours, between news that the mullahs’ regime had “disbanded the morality police” and would start making recommendations for changes to the veil law within two weeks, and a statement by the Revolutionary Guards that it “will not show mercy to rioters, bandits and terrorists.”
What does this mean, especially since the Iranian dissidents strongly objected to the news of “dissolving the morality police” and revising the veil law, and considered it to be fake news? It is clear that the mullahs’ regime is in a state of confusion and anxiety.
It also seems to be in a state of division, as it did not specify how it would deal with what can now be described as a real revolution, in the sense that there is no clear strategy for the regime, which was adopting violence and repression only with all the protests there.
This conflicting news says that the regime is trying to strike the ranks of the opposition between “empty promises” and threats of repression, such as the statement of the Revolutionary Guards that was issued after the Public Prosecutor spoke about “dissolving the morality police” and revising the veil law.
This also indicates a discrepancy between the pillars of the regime in the way it dealt with the protests that swept the country, and in the face of the recent successful calls for a three-day general strike at the level of stores and others.
About this, researcher Karim Sadjadpour, an American of Iranian origin, said in a tweet: “When dictatorships know that they are in trouble, they start making promises to their citizens that they will change, but these empty promises would lead to encouraging popular demands for fundamental change, rather than extinguishing them. It seems that the Iranian regime is entering this phase of its life cycle.
This is exactly what we saw with some Arab regimes in what was known as the Arab Spring, where decisions came late, and after the ceiling of demands exceeded them, and therefore they do not meet the demands as much as they give the protesters a sense of the weakness and confusion of the regime, and the raising of the ceiling of demands.
What the mullahs did not understand now is that the demands went beyond removing the hijab to overthrowing the turban, i.e. overthrowing the regime. Therefore, talking about reconsidering the hijab law, whether true or not, has important implications because this dress code has become an ideological pillar for the mullahs.
“This system of institutional violence has nothing to do with Iran’s religious traditions,” Sadjadpour wrote in The Washington Post. Whereas, “compulsory veiling is one of the three remaining ideological pillars of the Iranian theocracy, along with the slogans (Death to America) and (Death to Israel).”
This “helps explain why the regime is loath to take a softer stance on the issue of dress code,” says Sadjadpour. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei believes that compromising the ideological pillars of the regime, including the headscarf, will only accelerate its collapse.
Therefore, we are facing a moment of confusion for the mullahs in an attempt to circumvent the demands of the Iranian peoples who smelled the weakness and confusion of the regime, and their demand now is not to take off the veil, but rather to drop the turban, which means the fall of the regime.
There is no easy path to that, and I think we will witness an unprecedented escalation now from the regime, with more confusion, if not division.