Teachers Strike in Iran Simultaneous With Calls for Regime Change in Paris March

Iran’s domestic unrest escalated this week, as the country’s economic and political isolation continued. At the same time, the Revolutionary Guard attempted to launch a second satellite. The new launch came despite international criticism that Iran’s space program helps it develop ballistic missiles. The IRGC defied a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

teachers protest in iran.
Teachers protest in Iran

On Thursday, February 7, 2019, simultaneous protests by angry teachers and educators broke out in Isfahan and Qazvin. Isfahan is in Central Iran, about 450km south of Tehran and Qazvin is almost 200 km north west of Tehran. Hundreds of people from other sectors joined the teachers and actively participated in these protests.

According to an Iran News wire report, hundreds of teachers rallied in Isfahan, along the Zayanderud River. The teachers protested the mullahs’ unjust policies, including the drying up of Zayanderud’s waters. They demanded changes be made.

The wire report said that women played an active and significant role in this rally.

women teachers protest in isfahan.
Women teachers protest in Isfahan, Iran

Anti-Riot Guards Thwarted

Following this widespread rally, special anti-riot guards surrounded the protesting teachers. The protestors were very organized and their tactics and maneuvers prevented the anti-riot guards dispersing them. The teachers were able to continue their protest for hours. Passersby supported the protestors, sympathizing with them and paying tribute to them as they signaled their hatred of the regime.

The other civilians crowded together, surrounding the protesters to protect them in their ring against the anti-riot guards.

Anti-riot guards fired tear gas and used pepper spray to attack the demonstrators. This did not deter the protesting teachers. They ignored the intimidation and were heard chanting: “A nation has never seen such injustice,” and “Teachers would rather die than face dishonor.”

Other chants included

  • “No fear, we’re all together”
  • “Our enemy is right here, they lie and say it’s America”
  • “Release jailed teachers”

The protestors held placards that read: “We will not rest until we get our rights.”

Esfarvarin District of Qazvin Province

On the same day, a group of teachers in the Esfarvarin district of Qazvin Province, northwest Iran, rallied outside the local governorate building. They protested unfulfilled pledges provided by the housing cooperative. They blamed the judiciary for failing to hold the housing cooperative accountable after twelve years.

Paris Event

Fox news reported that Iranians from around the world met in Paris for a Friday night rally. People at the rally called for a free Iran. They support regime change by the Iranian people and their organized opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The rally took place in the runup to the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution which saw the Shah regime ousted and the rise of mullahs to power in Iran.

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote speech at the event. A slate of international dignitaries, mainly from France were also featured.

European Dignitaries Speak

The rally was addressed by a number of European dignitaries.

Former French Senator Jean-Pierre Michel had a message for the EU governments. “All European governments, open your eyes. Restore the dignity of your countries. Support the Iranian Resistance. Stop following your economic interests at the expense of your dignity.”

protest in paris calls for regime change from within Iran.
Protest in Paris

Gerard Lauton, a representative of French Teachers’ Syndicate also spoke. He said, “The Iranian regime has the world record in executions. The Iranian government has cracked down on protests by workers. That’s why syndicates in France are supporting their movement.”

NCRI Secretary Mahnaz Salimian spoke about the Resistance Units operating inside Iran. “Resistance Units today are the evolution of all the struggles of the Iranian people in the past century.”

“Support the people who are fighting for democracy in the streets of Iran. There’s an alternative for Iran. It must be supported. Tomorrow, we will be in a free Iran.”

“Iran is ruled by a terrible dictatorship that supports Bashar al-Assad. It is developing ballistic missiles. It is a great threat. We would like to extend our solidarity and support for the people of Iran and the Iranian resistance. We have a common dream, which is to have a free Iran.”

Former European Parliament Vice-President Alejo Vidal-Quadras reviewed Tehran’s recent terror record. He said, “In the past year, several Iranian diplomats have been arrested and expelled from European countries because of their involvement in terrorist activities.”

speakers address paris crowd
Speakers address Paris crowd

One speaker, former French Sen. Jean-Pierre Michel, said in an interview that “I’m not a fanatic of Mr. Trump … but I think the United States is right about Iran.” Sen. Michel chastised Europeans for what he views as their soft approach to Tehran.

He praised the Iranian opposition MEK for having a woman at its head. The MEK wants democracy and separation of church and state in a future Iran. The former Senator hopes one day to visit Tehran with Rajavi, saying, “It keeps me alive.”

“The Iranian regime is serious in saying the movement led by Mrs. Rajavi is a real threat to its rule. The Iranian regime has escalated its terrorist activities, its support of terrorist groups in the Middle East and its development of ballistic missiles,” the ISJ President warned.

Speakers want the European Union to end to its appeasement policy and support the Iranian Resistance by blacklisting the entire MOIS and IRGC.

“I’m very hopeful that we will soon see the end of the mullahs’ regime,” the ISJ President said.

Hassan Mahmoudi
Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.