Iranians living in the US are putting pressure on politicians to do more to help what they now call another Iranian “revolution”. Protests have spread to more than 200 cities in all 31 provinces of the theocratic dictatorship.
The Revolutionary Guard and other security services have launched a crackdown. More than 220 protesters have been confirmed killed – and activists say far more have died. Thousands have been detained. However, many are hopeful that the widespread unrest could finally overthrow the religious government which has ruled since 1979.
“The fuse has been lit,” Iranian expat Dr Sadeghpour, who moved to the US when he was 12 years old, told Express.co.uk.
He has been helping to organise support for the “revolution” in the United States and is political director of the Organisation of Iranian Communities, a community of Iranian expats spread across 40 states.
Last month, the organisation held a virtual press conference which was attended by more than 30 members of Congress, including heavy hitters from both sides of the aisle.
“In some ways when [I see] protests in Iran the way they are, I still see myself as a 12-year-old kid from the streets of Iran,” said Dr Sadeghpour.
The protests have been driven by women who have taken to the streets in leadership roles, with some burning there Hijabs and others leading marches.
This is not an accident, Dr Sadeghpour says, as half of the population of Iran is female – yet they make up only around five percent of the country’s workforce.
“These people are extremely angry. Right? And they’re obviously going to be on the front line. And that is why they are in resistance,” Dr Sadeghpour said.
He added: “We can’t inspire change in a country that is oppressed unless we actually empower those who are oppressed.
“And so women leadership is not only going to change Iran, but it is also is required to change Iran.
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“This is not an uprising anymore. This is an unfolding revolution. The regime is going to fall.”
But he urged the US and the West to do more to help the Iranian people in their struggle. He pointed to the massive amount of weapons and funding the United States was giving to Ukraine during their struggle for freedom.
However, Dr Sadeghpour said that the people of Iran didn’t want weapons from the US, but rather diplomatic support and access to the internet which the regime regularly cuts to disrupt the protests.
“Fighting for freedom is an honourable thing. It’s a price that has been paid by most people. Europe did it and people of America supported in fighting Nazi fascism. And, look, for 70 years, the Western world has reaped the rewards of that sacrifice,” he said.
Dr Sadeghour called for the US to stop allowing Iranian diplomats to operate on its soil, to recognise the Iranian people’s right to “defend themselves”.
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He said: “Stop continuing this perpetual dialogue with this regime as if this regimes has an alternative within it. We have known since 1982, that this doesn’t exist. This regime is predatory by nature.”
The US has had various degrees of diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime following the 1979 Revolution. Tensions appeared to be cooling during the Obama Era when the Iran Nuclear Deal was signed by the United States and several European powers.
Relations quickly soured following the election of Donald Trump who pulled the United States out of the deal. Trump ordered the killing of Revolutionary Guard commander Qasem Soleimani in 2021.
The overthrow of the regime calls into question what would come after. With the situations in Iraq and Syria likely fresh in Western leaders’ minds, some may be hesitant to see the Ayatollahs go for fear of what comes after.
However, Dr Sadeghour says that Iran is unified in its desire for a secular democratic government, something which he claims could change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East in the West’s favour.