Politics & Policy

All Eyes On Iran

In pursuit of freedom.

As July 8 approaches, Iranians all over the world are preparing to display–as they do each year during this week–their hatred for the mullahs dominating Iran. This year, the annual demonstrations mark the fifth anniversary of the brutal university massacres of 1999. That was the year President Khatami showed his true colors, abandoning both his promised reforms and the people who voted for him. What started out as a reaction to the utter brutality of the fossilized establishment by young Iranian students has turned into a freedom movement the world should acknowledge and encourage. And yet, no Western politico has embraced the annual protest, a sign of a people’s love for freedom, human rights, and democracy, within the confines of a tyrannical, dangerous regime.

#ad#On June 17, Hassan Abassi, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Center for Doctrinaire Affairs of National Security Outside Iran’s Borders stated: “We [Islamic Republic of Iran] have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of the Anglo-Saxon civilization.” But the West (particularly the E.U.) continues to depend on the dangerously inadequate foreign policy of, say, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary. Straw was expected to become transport secretary after the 2001 election, but wound up as foreign secretary instead and was immediately forced to face the 9/11 attacks and subsequent war on terror. As the architect of a policy of dialogue and engagement with terror-sponsoring Iran, Straw fails to realize that in the eyes of the mullahs, dialogue, engagement, and forgiveness mean weakness. In the wake of Abbassi’s threat–and the recent parading around of captured British sailors on Iranian television–you’d think Straw and the like would have learned that. But when Iran refused to promptly return the naval equipment to Britain, Straw fought more with Tories and Liberal Democrats than with the mullahs.

Meanwhile, Iranians have done their part to break the mullah’s stranglehold, telling their stories when they can (see here and here, for instance). And when demonstrators in cities and towns and villages throughout Iran make their voices heard on July 8, Iranians and freedom lovers in some 32 cities outside Iran will demonstrate in solidarity with them.

Inside Iran, that is no routine–or safe–endeavor. Reports indicate that the regime has banned July 8 gatherings. Plans for mobilizing thousands more troops and foreign mercenaries in order to quash any popular action or uprising have been in the works for months now. Reports from sources inside the regime’s revolutionary guards and ministry of information say orders have been given to use lethal force against anyone opposing the Islamic state’s directives. Checkpoints have reportedly been created in Iranian cities and militiamen have been ordered to search cars and arrest “suspicious-looking” residents under various charges in order to create a climate of fear. Residential satellite dishes and receivers have been confiscated. Rumors of a sweetheart economic deal the mullahs made with Castro to jam radio and TV programming by dissidents are running rampant. (The fact that Iran’s foreign minister was in Cuba last week certainly has helped that rumor along.)

With or without the West, the Iranian people are determined to fight this tyranny, as they have demonstrated before, and will demonstrate again this week. There is, of course, no sensible reason for freedom-loving countries such as the U.S. not to support their struggle.

Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a native of Iran, is an activist and writer. Elio Bonazzi is an Italian-born political scientist. Husband and wife, they are based in New York.

Most Popular


Angela Rye Knows You’re Racist

The political philosopher Michael Oakeshott said that the “rationalist” is hopelessly lost in ideology, captivated by the world of self-contained coherence he has woven from strands of human experience. He concocts a narrative about narratives, a story about stories, and adheres to the “large outline which ... Read More

What the Viral Border-Patrol Video Leaves Out

In an attempt to justify Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s absurd comparison of American detention facilities to Holocaust-era concentration camps, many figures within the media have shared a viral video clip of a legal hearing in which a Department of Justice attorney debates a panel of judges as to what constitutes ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Pro-Abortion Nonsense from John Irving

The novelist has put up a lot of easy targets in his New York Times op-ed. I am going to take aim at six of his points, starting with his strongest one. First: Irving asserts that abortion was legal in our country from Puritan times until the 1840s, at least before “quickening.” That’s an overstatement. ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More