Note: A previous version of this article appeared at Israel Behind The News. It was substantially edited and supplemented for SaveTheWest.com by Jon Sutz.
Following the recent uprisings by Iranian people against their theocratic rulers, the Islamic Republic’s law enforcement and militia groups (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) responded by heavily suppressing them.
Thousands have been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured, while hundreds have been killed. The Iranian people’s actions and chants are proof of their hatred toward their government, which has taken away their basic human rights and civil freedoms.
The regime enforces repressive theocratic doctrines, and steals the country’s resources that are meant to benefit the people, and their quality of life. Instead, the regime uses these funds to support terrorist groups and terrorist attacks in the region, and throughout the world . Iran’s mullahs even provided material assistance to Al Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 attacks.
The Iranian people seek a free society, to replace the theocratic dictatorship under which they now live
Prior to the Khomeneist revolution of 1979, Iran was a relatively free country, enjoying many benefits of Western life. This 9-minute video presents an overview, for those who are unfamiliar with this issue:
See more pictures of pre- and post-1979 Iran here.
After nearly forty years of repression, terror and plundering of Iran’s resources to fund worldwide terrorism, the Iranian people are protesting for their natural rights, and to protect their nation’s resources, from theft and misuse by their theocratic rulers. But their protests have been shut down for several reasons:
- The protesters lack a clear demand, organized gatherings, and an influential political leader who can guide the people toward a goal.
- Activists with different ideas disagree about how the protests should be organized, and they are unable to physically confront the police.
- Lacking a clear list of long-term demands agreeable to the majority of demonstrators, the activists also need local leaders, like unions or student club presidents who could lead the protests.
- The protesters also need support from Western countries.
On September 25, 2018, Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, spoke to the United Nations General Assembly, where he engaged in predictable diatribes against the U.S. and Israel. Prior to his trip to America, he claimed:
“We are victims of terrorism. Terrorism caused by the U.S. and Israel. They threaten to attack us, and we will file a complaint at the U.N. Security Council.” […]
While in New York, Rouhani met with the heads of European countries and tried not only to normalize the situation for their own economic interests, like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to use Iran’s resources, but also to support the regime and try to get the U.S. on the same track.
Iranians like me, however, have not forgotten what these European leaders did to the Iranian people did in recent years.
Iranians have not forgotten what the Europeans did in recent years. Europe’s betrayal of the Iranian people enables and protects Iran’s theocratic rulers.
While Iranians were in the streets of Iran — trying to take back their country from an Islamic dictatorship — they were being arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and even executed. At the same time, the German government warmly welcomed Hashemi Shahroudi, a well-known criminal responsible for the execution of thousands of Iranians since the 1970s. Instead of being tried, as requested by the Iranian people, Shahroudi was treated in a German hospital, protected, escorted out of Germany, and then safely transported back to Iran.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the German Ambassador to Iran, Michael Klor Brechtold, partook in a cooking class, after which he Tweeted a picture of his Abgoosht (a traditional Persian dish) and said:
“This was my cooking class with professional chefs, and it was delicious.”
While the European Union is aware that the Islamic Republic is a regime that supports and funds terrorism around the world, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, visited with Rouhani in Tehran while wearing a full hijab, to discuss JCPOA and fighting terrorism(!).
Is Mogherini really unaware that the Iranian women are forced to wear the hijab, and are beaten, arrested and imprisoned if they refuse? Is she really unaware of the fact that these females risk their lives to protest in the streets for their right to not wear the hijab?
Yet Mogherini was smiling while wearing the hijab to meet with Rouhani, and later, Javad Zarif, the Iranian minister of foreign affairs (video).
Mogherini could have respected Iranian women by refusing to wear a hijab, to show what humanity looks like. Instead, she chose to visibly legitimize and submit to the mullahs’ belief that forcing women to wear the hijab is moral and necessary.
Then there’s Stefan Scholz, the Austrian Ambassador to Iran, who traveled to sign a commercial contract with the Iran’s rulers. While there, he insulted all the Iranians risking their lives to fight for freedom, by visiting the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the dictator who led the 1979 revolution that turned Iran from a semi-free country into the totalitarian Islamic theocracy that it has been ever since.
In regards to the JCPOA, which was supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapons it seeks, before the U.S. exited the deal, Scholz in February 2018 said:
“So far the JCPOA has fulfilled its non-proliferation objective and this exclusive non-proliferation focus of the agreement should not be diluted. […] Austria is doing its fair share for the implementation of the JCPOA by promoting deep and comprehensive economic ties aimed at fostering a high-employment economy delivering social cohesion.”
After the U.S. pulled out of the JCPOA, Scholz emphasized the steps that Austria and other European nations plan to take, to continue supporting Iran — and encouraged the U.S. government to help it in this cause:
“Austria, followed by Denmark and Italy recently concluded sovereign investment guarantee schemes which serve as examples how to shield companies from the negative effects of possible unilateral extraterritorial sanctions. Another idea that has been floated is that European financial institutions provide credit line extensions to this effect. Europe and Iran have agreed to ensure that investments can flow into the country and that the economic relations get strengthened.
“For the time being we do hope that our joint efforts to convince the U.S. Congress and the U.S. administration about the benefits of the JCPOA will bear fruit.”
Western countries’ support for Iran’s theocratic rulers is reprehensible, for several reasons:
- It enables them to more efficiently suppress the Iranian people, especially those who courageously stand against them, and for basic human rights
- It pushes off farther into the future the day when all the people in Iran enjoy basic human rights, protected by their government — instead of their government acting as the greatest violator of these rights
- As we saw earlier, with Federica Mogherini’s visit to Iran, this top representative of Western powers served to visibly legitimize the notion that women must be subservient to fundamentalist doctrine, and their hair must be covered
Yet while major Western powers either legitimize or tiptoe around Iran’s systematic suppression of basic human rights, and worldwide terror campaigns, those same powers aid it in still another way: by ceaselessly criticizing the one nation that Iran’s rulers claim a divine right to destroy: Israel.
While major Western nations enable and legitimize Iran’s theocratic rulers, they incessantly criticize Israel, which is constantly under attack by Iran’s terrorist proxies
To listen to major Western leaders, Israel is:
- The primary cause of the problems in the Middle East
- A major violator of human rights
Curiously, this position almost mimics, verbatim, the stated policy of Iran towards the Israel, and serves as the pretext upon which its theocratic rulers claim justification to destroy the Jewish state.
To watch major Western nations join in support of one lie-filled United Nations condemnation of Israel after another, while remaining silent about the endemic crimes of Iran’s theocratic rulers, is a spectacle that is beyond bizarre, beyond disturbing, and beyond forgivable.
Most often, these Western nations parrot the false claim, conjured by notorious Iran-supporting (and -dependent) propagandists, that Israel randomly and wantonly murders innocent Palestinian women and children.
They do this while ignoring:
- The fact that Israel’s weapons are employed only in reaction to Palestinian terrorism, and only against those who perpetrated it
- The extraordinary lengths to which the Israeli military goes to prevent even injury to Palestinian civilians — even when they are being used as human shields, a fact that Hamas openly admits
- The fact that Palestinian terrorists deliberately target Jewish Israeli civilians
- The fact that the “humanitarian aid” money that Western governments shower on the Palestinian governments is used to indoctrinate and militarize children as young as five, to hate Jews and want to murder them
Of special note is the fact that these Western leaders also ignore the fact that as noted earlier, while Iran and its proxies beat and murder gay people for the “crime” of being gay, members of the LGBT community throughout the Middle East — who live in chronic fear of being discovered — flee to, and find peace and safety in Israel. Here are but a few first-hand testimonials about this fact:
Fortunately, America has stopped empowering Iran’s theocratic rulers
Americans were repeatedly assured that the money the Obama administration released to Iran’s rulers under the JCPOA would not be used to pursue its nuclear weapons programs, or fund terrorism.
Instead, we now know for certain that much of this money was, indeed, used for terrorism. According to a February 2018 article in the Washington Times:
“The U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred. According to knowledgeable sources, Iran has used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main foreign intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said:
“As far as Iran goes, this is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. We have seen their [Iran’s] misconduct, their misbehaviour, from Lebanon and Syria to Bahrain and to Yemen and it’s got to be addressed at some point.”
Further, he said:
“The only reason that the murderer Assad is still in power – the primary reason – is because Iran has stuck by him, reinforced him, funded him. We see the same kind of malfeasance down in Yemen, where they’re fomenting more violence down there. We’ve seen their disruptive capabilities demonstrated from Bahrain to the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]. We watch for Iran’s destabilizing movements and activities everywhere; from Bahrain, to Jordan; from southern Lebanon, against Israel, to Yemen.”
More, according to another report, Iran’s rulers have tripled the amount of funding they send to the terrorist group Hezbollah:
Iran has multiplied its support for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to more than $700 million a year, according to US estimates. The new figure is more than three times as much as previous estimates of funding for the group. […]
US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, condemned the Iranian government’s behaviour on several fronts, including funding illicit activities and supporting terrorism.
Ms Mandelker accused the Iranian regime of using shell and front companies, and forging documents to conceal its tracks in order to “fund terrorists, support weapons of mass destruction proliferation or exploit its own people through corruption and human rights abuses.”
On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the U.S. was withdrawing from the JCPOA, because of the proof of Iran’s continuing support for terrorism, and questions about whether the “deal” would, as structured, prevent the Islamic theocracy from obtaining nuclear weapons — or, as critics assert, merely delay it for a few years. As Trump said while announcing the U.S. withdrawal:
“The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
President Obama acknowledged this fact in April 2015, even before his “deal” went into effect — despite his promise to the American people, in October 2012, that if re-elected, the only deal he’d accept with Iran is one in which the theocracy dismantled its entire nuclear weapons program. Further, Obama actually employed numerous secret devices by which to help Iran to evade the sanctions and deterrents that his “deal” supposedly contained.
Further, Mr. Trump threatened to institute sanctions against any government that engages in economic trade with Iran, or in any way aids it in its nefarious activities.
As shown earlier, however, W. European governments are not only continuing to do business with Iran, some are openly collaborating to devise schemes by which to avoid U.S. sanctions. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted:
Speaking to the conservative lobbying group United Against a Nuclear Iran during the UN General Assembly meetings, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he was “disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed” by the European Union’s decision to create a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) designed to allow trade with Tehran in euros, which would eliminate the need for commercial and central banks who fear U.S. penalties.
“This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” Pompeo said. “By sustaining revenues to the regime, you are solidifying Iran’s ranking as the number one state sponsor of terror.”
Pompeo’s condemnation was punctuated by National Security Advisor John Bolton:
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton added to Pompeo’s criticism, mocking the EU’s resolve and the feasibility of the plan.
“The European Union is strong on rhetoric and weak on follow-through,” he told the audience. “We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else.”
Under President Trump, America has finally fulfilled its commitment to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capitol of the Jewish state of Israel
In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to move the American embassy to Jerusalem — land on which Jews existed for two thousand years before the emergence of Islam, and where they established their capitol — and President Clinton signed it. Yet he and all U.S. presidents since then did not execute the order, continuously signing waivers to delay the move every six months. Even Sen. Barack Obama, when running for the presidency in 2008, announced that if elected, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” (he reversed himself less than 24 hours later):
Finally, in December 2017, after President Trump announced that the U.S. would finally move its embassy to Jerusalem, and the U.N. was given the opportunity at the U.N. to recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, almost every Western nation rejected it, just as Iran’s theocratic rulers did.
In reaction, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said:
“To its shame, the UN has often been a hostile place for the state of Israel. Both the current and previous Secretary Generals have objected to the UN”s disproportionate focus on Israel. It is a wrong that undermines the credibility of this institution, and that, in turn, is harmful for the entire world.”
Under President Trump, America will shut down the PLO office in Washington, DC
Most recently, the U.S. announced its intention to shut down the Iran-backed Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, DC, because, as President Trump’s National Security Adviser (and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.), John Bolton said:
“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. There is no evidence that the PLO office in Washington contributed to diplomacy. This decision will have ultimately a positive impact on the potential for discussion among the parties as it eliminates unrealistic expectations that at least some of the parties have.”
But W. European leaders predictably claim that this is a counter-productive measure, and that it is Israel that must continue making concessions to the Iran-backed Palestinian Authority and Hamas to try to achieve peace — while they demand nothing from the Palestinians.
Under President Trump, America is breaking from its past irrationality regarding Iran, and its terrorist proxies
President Trump accepts the mistakes of previous U.S. and Western leaders in regards to Iran, and is taking a far more rational approach to actually fulfilling the promise made by all of his predecessors, since 1980: to prevent Iran’s theocratic rulers from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon. Further, Trump has come out strongly against the rampant crimes of the Iranian regime, and like Israel has for many years, expressed support for the Iranian people who are struggling throw off the yoke of their theocratic oppressors.
This is extremely valuable to me as an Iranian, and as a Jew, who now lives in Israel. I can only hope that other Western governments will realize their previous mistakes, and not build their palaces on the wealth extracted from the Iranian theocracy, at the expense of its people.
Neda Amin is an Iranian-born Jewish journalist and human rights activist, who was imprisoned by the ruling clerics for writing a book critical of the Islamic republic’s theocratic governance. Neda now lives in Israel. Read more of Neda’s articles for STW here.
A previous version of this article appeared at Israel Behind The News.
Jon Sutz edited and supplemented the article for SaveTheWest.com. A multimedia designer and writer in Charlottesville, VA, Jon is the consulting editor and videographer of SaveTheWest.com.