Why the Iranian Regime’s Downfall will be in

the World’s Best Interests

It is incredible that some commentators on Iran still believe that: “Quiet, calculated diplomatic pressure on the current regime to change some of its practices…” may somehow end the brutal repression, corruption and human rights abuse that the Iranian people have suffered for forty years. This was the view of Paul Knott, writing in ‘The New European’this week. His article, entitled ‘SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL – Why the Iranian Regime’s Downfall may not be in the World’s Best Interests”, correctly listed the shortcomings of one of the planet’s most repugnant dictatorships,but then, having diagnosed the disease, Knott made the classic Western appeaser’s error of prescribing the wrong medicine. Falling into the trap of identifying the internal struggle as being between ‘hardliners’ and ‘moderates’, Knott made the spectacular mistake of suggesting that President Hassan Rouhani leads a “relatively moderate and reformist government.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Since Rouhani came to power in August 2013, more than 3,500 people have been executed in Iran, which now holds the record as the world’s leading executioner per capita.

Indeed, the UN now has irrefutable proof thatin 1988, when Rouhani was deputy military commander and a senior government figure, the regime coordinated the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in prisons across Iran, an atrocity that must rank as one of the worst crimes against humanity of the late twentieth century. The mass executions were carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A ‘Death Committee’ of four senior officials approved all the executions, which Rouhani would certainly have been aware of. Nevertheless, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, a member of that ‘Death Committee’, was until mid-2017 President Rouhani’s Justice Minister. When his part in the murders became known publicly and he even admitted and boasted about his role, he was replaced by Alireza Avaie, who himself was a prominent executioner during the 1988 massacre. Avaie has been on the EU’s terrorist blacklist for years. How is it possible to describe Rouhani as a moderate and reformist, when he appoints known terrorists and executioners as his Justice Ministers?

It is not surprising that the uprisings, which have raged across Iran since last December, have targeted the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. The angry protesters are not demanding that hard-liners should be replaced with moderates, a myth that still beguiles many western governments, who, like Paul Knott, think there is room for gradual change. The chants of “Hard-liners, reformers, the game is over,” “Death to Hezbollah” and“Leave Syria, think about us instead”, haveclearly demonstrated the people’s opposition to the fascist clerical government’s belligerent regional meddling and their demand for regime change. 

The so-called ‘moderate’ President Rouhani has presided over a brutal offensive on the protesters, sending in the regime’s Gestapo, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who have gunned down dozens in the streets and arrested over 10,000 protesters, many of whom have been tortured to death in prison. Rouhani’s government claims to represent God’s will on earth, yet regards women as second-class citizens, hangs people in public, condones torture, arbitrary imprisonment, eye-gouging, stoning, whipping and amputation. Amnesty International last August published a 94-page report entitled “Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack.” It detailed 45 specific instances of what the organization described as a “vicious crackdown”.

Nor will this repressive regime tolerate opposition abroad. On 30thJune German police arrested Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, and charged him with terrorist offences. On the same day Belgian police arrested an Iranian couple from Antwerp after 500 gm of high explosives and a detonator were found in their car. They admitted Assadi had given them the bomb and instructed them to detonate it at the Iranian democratic opposition rally being held in Villepinte, near Paris that weekend. President Macron of France has declared his outrage at this attempted terrorist atrocity on French soil and has imposed sanctions on Iran. 

Iran’s descent into economic chaos can be traced directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. Their policy of aggressive military expansionism across the Middle East has seen them consistently pour men and resources into Bashar al-Assad’s murderous civil war, the genocidal campaign against the Sunni population of neighbouring Iraq, their support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and their vast funding for the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Combined with the mullah’s own predilection for corruptly lining their own pockets, it is little surprise that the country with the world’s second largest gas reserves and fourth largest crude oil reserves is now facing economic meltdown. Iran, despite its rich, civilised and open culture, has now become an international pariah, its religious fascist regime condemned for human rights abuse and the export of terror, while its 80 million beleaguered citizens, over half of whom are under thirty, struggle to feed their families against a background of record temperatures, power outages, water shortages and food prices that have risen by more than 50%. 

Commentators like Paul Knott in ‘The New European’, who advocate “quiet, calculated diplomatic pressure’ in our dealings with Iran, should remember the catastrophic appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain’s softly softly approach simply encouraged Hitler to go to war. Similarly, Obama’s Iran policy encouraged the regime to export its terrorism and aggressive meddling throughout the Middle East. There is only one way to stop the current wars and conflicts in the region; adopting a firm line with the Iranian regime and supporting the popular uprising and the democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Only a firm and strong policy can restore freedom and justice in Iran and prevent more war in this troubled region.