November 28, 2022
The American Mideast Coalition for Democracy unequivocally condemns the mass arrests, mass executions and out-right murders perpetrated by the Iranian regime against those demonstrating against it. The death toll at the time of this writing is 448, and among them, 63 children. An estimated 18,170 protesters have been detained including 565 students. In addition, the regime is attacking Kurdish areas both inside Iran and outside, in Iraq. The Kurdistan Human Rights Network estimates at least 104 Kurdish citizens have been killed thus far.
One young protester, Majidreza Rahnavard, age 22, is accused of moharebeh, which means “war against God.” Like blasphemy, this is a term used to designate anyone exhibiting even the mildest resistance to the Islamic law the regime imposes on its citizens, such as supporting the women who are refusing to wear the mandatory hijab in defiance of the regime. In this case, however, Rahnavard is also accused of being involved in the murder of two Basij members.
The Basiji are a paramilitary volunteer force established by the Ayatollah Khomeini and is a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They are used extensively to stifle internal dissent. They seem to operate with very little supervision and have a license to kill. It was a member of the Basij who drove up on a motorcycle and shot Neda Agha-Soltan in the chest at point-blank range in 2009 as she stood on a street corner awaiting her music teacher. This young woman’s death throws were recorded and broadcast around the world by protesters – an image that shocked the conscience of the world.
At the time of this writing, Rahnavard’s execution seems to have been postponed. He was scheduled to have been executed on Saturday, November 26 after the Mashhad Revolutionary Court ordered his immediate execution. According to the Revolutionary Prosecutor of Mashhad, in addition to Majidreza Rahnavard, eight other people were arrested, whose names and fates are unknown.
“Where is the voice of the United States’ Government?” asked AMCD co-chair, John Hajjar. “The last democratic administration under Obama was quick to call for the fall of Gaddafi in Libya and urged President Mubarak of Egypt to resign shortly after the advent of the Arab Spring. They were for overthrowing everyone in the region except the brutal mullahs of Iran.”
“Because of its advocacy of the Iran deal, the Obama administration turned its back on the Iranian protesters in 2009,” added AMCD co-chair Tom Harb. “And they are doing the same thing all over again under the Biden administration.”
“I think the people will succeed in overturning the regime in Iran this time,” said Iranian-American AMCD co-chair Hossein Khorram. “When they do, what will be their attitude toward America when the American government refused to support their bid for freedom? Do they see America as the friend of liberty it purports to be, or as the ally of their oppressors? I believe this question will haunt the Biden administration and future administrations to come. It is a shame to see the leader of the free world, America, take a back seat to the more vulnerable. European economies when it comes to defending the rights of women and children in particular against the atrocities on the Islamic regime. President Biden’s indifference to the Islamic Republic’s utter violation of the dignity of women and children would make President Kennedy roll in his grave. In his inaugural address of January 20, 1961, he announced that ‘we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.’”
Dr Walid Phares, foreign policy expert and senior advisor to AMCD, whose book, Iran: an Imperialist Republic and US policy, will be available this December said, “it is a historical disaster for the Iranian people and for the region that the Islamic Republic was able to oppress its population, aggress other Middle Eastern nations, generate terrorism and block peace for more than four decades.” He added, “It is time to revise US policy in the Middle East and towards Iran, especially during the eight years of the Obama administration and the last two years under the Biden administration. The ongoing Iran protests, which are in fact a revolution, are showing the world that a majority of Iranians are not going back to the ancien régime.”