The Iranian regime has tried to prevent Nowruz celebrations by arresting and summoning citizens extensively in Kurdish areas in the past month.
Preventing Nowruz celebrations is part of a policy of systematic repression that the regime, especially the government of Ibrahim Raisi, has strengthened.
The regime is concerned more than ever about holding any gatherings, public ceremonies, or rituals due to the volatile state of society. Because any gathering may turn into a spark for new protests.
In early March, the Iranian regime began planning to suppress the Nowruz celebrations mostly in western Kurdish regions.
The Revolutionary Guards held a meeting with 300 members of the city, village, and district councils in Sanandaj and informed them that all Nowruz-related ceremonies should be under the supervision and information of the IRGC; Otherwise, no ceremony will be allowed.
In addition, at least 50 citizens and activists from Marivan and dozens from other cities in Baneh, Sarpolzahab, Javanroud, and Saqez were summoned and threatened by the IRGC intelligence. They were forced to sign pledges not to participate in any Nowruz celebrations.
Just hours after the start of the new year on March 20, a special unit raided a ceremony in Oshnavieh, in West Azerbaijan Province. Local sources reported that the special unit used tear gas and pellet guns to disperse the crowd.
The state security forces also attacked a park in Sanandaj and arrested citizens for taking part in Nowruz celebrations on March 21. A 75-year-old woman identified as Batul Azimi and a 14-year-old child identified as Aryana Salimi were among those arrested.
Iran escalates security state due to spread of protests
The number of last year’s protests shows that Iranian society is volatile due to social crises and the regime’s repressive policies.
The regime’s incompetence in addressing the social crises and the suppression of peaceful protesters and civil and trade union activists have led to the spread of protests in many cities and towns in Iran.
According to recorded data, over 12,360 protests took place last year in Iran. This number shows a nearly threefold increase compared to the previous year.
In recent months, regime officials and the state-run media have repeatedly warned of the pervasiveness of social protests.
“People’s tolerance level has decreased in recent years, given the increasing economic pressures,” said Iran’s deputy interior minister in charge of the Social Services Organization, Taghi Rostamvandi, at a conference focused on tackling social malaise on January 16, 2022.
“If we get a sense that, due to our inabilities, the people are tilting towards thinking that the religious government can’t solve the challenges facing the country and that perhaps another kind of government, such as a secular one, a non-religious state, can deal with the problems, then alarm bells will be ringing for us,” he added.
One of the most important concerns of the governing bodies is the formation and rapid spread of protests due to the explosive state of society in all cities of the country.
The regime is concerned about the formation and rapid spread of protests due to the volatile state of society.
To deal with any protests and stifle dissent in Iran, Khamenei appointed Ibrahim Ra’isi, known as the butcher of 1988, as the regime’s president. He also appointed security and judicial figures, mostly with a dark record of human rights abuses, in key positions of the state.