‘No to Islamic Republic’: Iran opposition seeks to unify in anti-regime campaign

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An online campaign launched by Iranian dissidents that calls for the removal of the regime in Tehran has gained traction in recent days, with Iranians in and out of the country voicing their opposition to the clerical regime.

The campaign, named “no to the Islamic Republic,” was launched earlier this month by over 600 anti-regime Iranians in and out of the country, including political activists, artists, athletes, and academics.

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The campaign demands the removal of the clerical regime, which the campaigners say is the “main obstacle to achieving freedom, prosperity and democracy” in Iran.

Some social media users in Iran have expressed support for the campaign by posting photos with the words “no to the Islamic Republic” written on paper or on their hands.

Supporters of the campaign inside Iran include relatives of Iranians who were killed by the regime.

In a video shared online, several mothers whose sons were killed by security forces joined the campaign and also announced their boycott of Iran’s presidential elections in June.

The Iranian opposition typically urges Iranians to boycott elections, arguing that they do not bring about change and only serve to legitimize the regime. This belief is partially due to Iran’s vetting process for candidates, under which only candidates who are approved by the regime can run for election.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, who has been an outspoken critic of the regime inside Iran since his son Pouya was killed in anti-government protests in November 2019, also expressed his support for the campaign in a video shared on Instagram.

Bakhtiari urged all Iranians to join the campaign in the video.

The main aim of the campaign – which is unlikely to have any instant impact on the regime in Tehran – appears to be establishing common ground between Iranians who oppose the clerical regime.

Iran’s former crown prince Reza Pahlavi, a major opposition figure, voiced his support for the campaign, tweeting: “I too have joined and support the #No2IR campaign started by activists inside Iran.”

The campaign “transcends any political party or affiliation,” Pahlavi wrote, adding that “we can transform it into an inclusive national movement.”

On Wednesday, Iran’s last queen, Farah Pahlavi, joined the campaign by tweeting a photo of herself holding a sign that reads “no to the Islamic Republic.”

Renowned exiled Iranian musicians, including Dariush Eghbali, Faramarz Aslani, and Ebi, were among the non-political figures who have supported the campaign.

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