In one of our interviews about the Iranian revolution, Mojtaba* tells us about his political activism for Iran in Thuringia.
Who are you and what’s your connection to Iran?
My name is Moji and I come from Iran. I am part of the Iranian community in Germany, which has been very active since the beginning of the protests in Iran and has organised and carried out various demonstrations and events in Thuringia (especially in Erfurt, Jena and Weimar).
"The revolution will take some time"
How would you describe the current state of the revolution in Iran?
The current situation in Iran is very volatile, the revolution and the protests are still taking place. But after more than 5 months since the protests started, not all Iranian cities are on the same side. Due to heavy repression and execution of demonstrators, as well as excessive control and reduction of internet speed, the protests have slowed down a bit. But they are like fire under the ashes. The revolution will take some time.
How do you perceive Germany's perspective on what is happening in Iran, both in the media and in your social circles?
Initially, Germany and other Western governments remained silent and didn’t react to what is happening. But after the widespread protests in Iran and large-scale protests and demonstrations in various German cities, especially the Berlin demonstration with 100,000 people, the German government's view changed somewhat. I believe that only because of this was the protest movement taken seriously by politicians in Germany. But in my opinion the media are still not reporting as they should, for example compared to the important media coverage of Ukraine, which is much more extensive.
"Be the voice of the people who are fighting against the Iranian regime"
What can we do in Germany or Thuringia to support the revolution? What would you like to happen?
An important political measure would be to cut off business relations with the Islamic Republic, both in Thuringia and in Germany. I would also like to see more comprehensive coverage of the protests and demonstrations in Thuringia and the presence of politicians and various political groups and parties at demonstrations. We need more support for Iranians living in Thuringia who are in danger. It is equally important to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to the list of terrorist organisations.
Keep up to date with the Iranian Revolution, don't forget the people who are fighting against the regime and for their freedom and risk being arrested or murdered! Do not ignore them, be their voice!
Are you in contact with people who are currently fighting for women's rights and freedom in Iran?
I follow most of what is going on via social media. Unfortunately, this is not easy because of the severe restrictions on the internet and the strict control and filtering of communication. Because so many people are being arrested, many women's rights activists are currently in prison.
"A restored Iran will be able to bring peace to the Middle East"
What do you hope for the future of Iran and all Iranians living in Iran or abroad?
The future of Iran will be great! As a person born after the Islamic Revolution, I have only seen pictures and videos of the old Iran. In view of this, I particularly regret that such a great, rich and civilised country could have ended up in this situation. For Iran, the revolution will be like waking up from a nightmare that lasted for years. I know that millions of Iranians live outside Iran, in America, Australia or Europe, they are very highly educated and hold important positions in big companies and important universities in the world. And many of them will return to Iran to rebuild the country. Many people around me and my friends in Thuringia are waiting for this moment to either return to the country permanently or to visit their loved ones who live there. A restored Iran will also be able to bring peace to the Middle East.
*The full name is known to the interviewers.
Mojtaba was interviewed by Marius Dörner and Isabella Gee in January 2023 for Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Thüringen
Translated from German by Isabella Gee