Former under secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph said that "the events in Iran are part of a revolution, the end of the Islamic Regime is nigh" during an interview with the Unity Foundation on Thursday.
Joseph said this in relation to the "hijab protests" that broke out across the country as a result of the death of Mahsa Amini. The protests have been ongoing for months, and many protestors have been killed in demonstrations while at least three people have been executed.
Joseph explained that he is optimistic about the future of Iran. According to him, "In university, I read about Iranians' desire for the 1905 revolution (constitutional revolution) and during my 40-year career, I have witnessed the rise of Iranians against the Shah's dictatorship and religious autocracy, which has been ruling Iran for 40 years.
"I believe that during decades of violent and repressive government during the era of Shah and Makhund, the desire of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy has always prevailed. I think people's patience is over and this is evident in what is happening in Iran's uprising. Let's call it revolution - a revolution that shows that the lives of the people have reached the limit and their endurance has been exhausted by the regime's widespread and pervasive corruption."
He added that "the people of Iran are tired of the regime's incompetence, whether it is in the field or fighting the COVID-19 pandemic or the bankrupt economy. Look at violence against women and minorities! They are tired of violence. They are tired of foreign controversy and what Iran has become in the eyes of the world, an isolated and rejected country. But most importantly, people want freedom and human dignity, and I think they will win in this way. It may not be that day, today, tomorrow or this month, but this regime is over. Things never go back. People will fight for democracy."
Why have the protests continued for so long?
Joseph explained that the reason the protest is succeeding and entering its fifth month is that "the Iranians have been subjected to violence, suppressed and, in fact, tired. People are tired of this regime for many reasons and despite the oppression, despite the repression in the streets and despite the death of hundreds of people and the imprisonment of thousands of others, Iranians still want freedom. This is a reflection of their living conditions for a long time and their will to build a free and democratic Iran. I think the reason why the uprising in Iran has lasted so long is that people want justice.
"Iran is not Libya, nor is it Syria. It is a country that is ready for democracy and has been ready for it for a long time. The Iranian revolution only needs organization."