The world is watching the people of Iran bravely and persistently express their legitimate demands for freedom. In the past few weeks, in response to the violent death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, Masa Amini, while in custody by the regime’s moral police for apparently not wearing “her hijab” properly. , Iranians mullahs to rule through nationwide civil disobedience, protests and strikes.
Mercer’s horrific death has sparked widespread nationwide protests, led largely by women, but fueling the beginning of Iran’s liberal revolution are 43 years of oppression, gender apartheid, inequality, The lack of human rights and freedoms, the culmination of economic hardship, and the incompetence and corruption of mullahs. The slogans chanted today by men, women, young and old, of all socioeconomic and ethnic and religious backgrounds oppose Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi and the entire Islamic Republic system. In addition to slogans such as “Death to the Dictator”, “Freedom”, “Women, Life, Liberty”, “Mullah Lost”, and “Death to Khamenei”, protesters chanted “Death to the Islamic Republic”. ‘, he cries loudly. It shows that you want a change of government.
The Mullah regime came to power in 1979, claiming to defend freedom, independence and self-sufficiency, and promising a paradise on earth. Today, it is one of the world’s most repressive regimes, its economy is in shambles, and its dependence and subordination to authoritarian states such as Russia is at an all-time high in recent history.
The regime has also broken virtually every rule of civilized international behavior and has for decades been a major instigator of terrorism around the world. and turned it into a fertile hotbed for international terrorism. They repeatedly use terrorism as a policy tool, both externally and domestically. Even today, as the ruling mullahs are killing peaceful protesters at home, they are simultaneously arming Russia with kamikaze drones, massacring civilians in Ukraine, and supporting terrorist groups abroad. there is Meanwhile, it seeks to militarily threaten regional neighbors and the United States to gain distraction relief from the ongoing conflict. nationwide demonstration.
Over the past few years, the world has witnessed the people of Iran, who make up more than half of the population, especially young people, bravely express their legitimate demands for freedom, human rights, economic opportunity and modernity. The mullah regime has proven incapable of doing so. But this time, in addition to student demonstrations across the country and sit-ins at universities, young protesters were joined by an older generation and sporadic labor strikes at bazaars, oil and mass transit departments, teachers’ unions and city officials. supported by , refinery workers, and other important segments, marking the escalation of the homegrown liberal movement to the beginning of the liberal revolution.
To date, recent protests have resulted in the deaths of at least 300 people, including children and teenagers, by regime security force thugs, and an estimated 15,000 protesters have been arrested. In, the ruthless mullahs are willing to commit the same kinds of atrocities that Bashar Assad did to help him stay in power in Syria. Unsurprisingly, the Mullah regime uses the Revolutionary Guard and Basij security forces, as well as their non-Iranian mercenaries, masters of their brutality and repression, to fight the Iranian people. Just like in the past, these militia-thugs use deadly force as well as rape and torture in prisons to oppress the Iranian people with the most barbaric and brutal means every day. are committing atrocities.
The U.S. National Security Council said last month, “The message to Iran is very clear: stop killing your people, stop sending weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainians. We remain committed to ensuring that those responsible for the brutal crackdown on violent protesters are held accountable.”
Meanwhile, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) recently warned protesters that it would be the “last day” of the protests and ordered them to stay home. The regime has also launched public kangaroo trials of 1,000 protesters under the threat of death sentences in hopes of instilling fear and crushing demonstrations. As protests continue despite attempts, the ruling mullahs are beginning to realize that fear is fading and the regime is subservient to the power of the people.
Clearly, the overwhelming credit for the free revolution belongs to the brave people inside Iran. Fortunately, the internet and social media have further empowered tech-savvy young people to communicate and share video, audio and photos across the country despite repeated internet shutdowns. . Also, the contributions of Iranians abroad over the past 43 years have been complementary, promoting freedom through civil disobedience and amplifying voices emanating from within Iran, while exposing the crimes of the terrorist Mullah regime and criticizing the West. It was very useful in countering their defenders and supporters in society. The result is unprecedented solidarity and global support for the freedom-seeking Iranian people, and massive demonstrations around the world organized by the Iranian diaspora.
While no one can predict the timing of such a revolution or the form of future government, Iranians believe that the content of such a progressive government will be secular democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms. , overwhelmingly united on the premise that it should be based on the principle of equality. The rule of law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Iranian state.
Undoubtedly, when the country’s free revolution finally triumphs over the ruling mullahs, it will greatly benefit the civilized world, as the country shares both values and interests with other democracies. But the success of this liberal revolution will require determined support from the United States, Canada, and their European allies. They have a historic opportunity to boldly assist the people of Iran today in their quest for freedom and worldliness, not just in words but in deeds. Democracy.
A Biden administration would be wise to let the United States take the lead by implementing five principled and impactful measures:
1. Terminate all negotiations with the Mullah regime, including the Iran nuclear deal.
2. Facilitate uninterrupted satellite internet connectivity, including the expansion of Starlink terminals for communication purposes, and keep social media tools open so that videos, photos and audio reports can continue to be shared from Iran; At the same time, it will amplify the voice of the Iranian people and illuminate the Mullah regime. Brutality.
3. Reiterate publicly that the Mullah regime, its Revolutionary Guard and security forces are held accountable for their use of repression against the Iranian people, and call for the establishment of an international mechanism to collect and preserve documentation of such atrocities. International law against their crimes against humanity that helps establish and ensure future accountability.
4. Sanction and freeze the assets of high-ranking Mullah regime officials, including members of the Revolutionary Guard, and cancel the visas of their next-of-kin in the United States.
5. Mobilize international support by supporting the creation of the Iran Free Labor Strike Fund to support the expansion of sustainable strikes into critical sectors of the economy.
Today, the Persian Gulf region is at a critical crossroads, and a successful homegrown revolution of the Iranian people will undoubtedly be a powerful stabilizing force for the region and the world. Ultimately, a free and democratic Iran will be well positioned to use its resources for the prosperity of its people and, in so doing, contribute significantly to world peace and stability.
Darab Ganji is a political economist, director and guest lecturer of SMU’s John Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs. He wrote this column for his Dallas Morning News.
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