The misrulers of Iran claim inspiration from the Qur’an and other Islamic sources, as well as Plato’s concept of the “philosopher-king.” But it now seems they are inspired by a more recent Western thinker, Thomas Hobbes. In his classic on the state, Leviathan, Hobbes wrote, “the aim of punishment is not revenge, but terror.” The Iranian government takes Hobbes as their guide for maintaining the Ayatollahs’ Leviathan in power.
Recent political murders by “uncontrolled” radicals supporting the Iranian regime are a major element in the government’s response to public demands for political rights. The patron of terror against the people is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who declared on the second day after the presidential election last year that he would “confront and deal violently with any opposition.”
This attitude has translated into selective assassinations, in the prisons and in the streets. But the regime has a varied inventory of repressive methods. First, members of state institutions like the Organization of Islamic Revolutionary Mujahidin, leaders of student unions, and prominent political personalities were jailed for less than a year. The government tried to force confessions out of them, but that scenario, borrowed from Russian Communism, failed.
In the second phase, the government aggravated its brutality and torture, imprisoning representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations, journalists, human rights activists, and labor leaders. Families of prisoners have been left uninformed of their fate, and prisoners have died under torture. The latest instance is the death of Alborz Ghasemi, a political detainee at the notorious Evin Prison. His case has not been reported in global media.
The third stage has involved open terror in the streets, and more assassinations of opposition activisits. During the student demonstrations and street protests in Tehran, dozens of marchers were killed by “unidentified” shooters. The regime tries to deny the killings occurred or blames reports of them on U.S. and British “spies” in media.
The personnel at Iran's state television surpassed their bosses when they reported on the murder of the young female martyr Neda Soltanagha, whose image was transmitted around the world. Iranian State TV alleged she was killed by foreigners or by her boyfriend, the main witness to her death. Perhaps next they will assert she was slain in a so-called “honor” murder. But Neda the beloved “Iranian angel,” as she is called by the people, was killed by people without honor, who occupy the seats of power. To deny this is to deny that the sun shines during the day. The same day Neda was killed, at least 28 other protesters were massacred in Tehran according to the government’s own statements.
The Iranian leaders have lost any sense of Iran’s need for stability. A stable Iran is necessary for the security of the whole world, as well as for the defeat of Wahhabism and other radical influences in Islam. The Shia government in Iran has betrayed the ideals of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and martyr for freedom and justice, killed at Kerbala more than 1,300 years ago in a tragedy Shias never forget.
The rulers of Iran have taken the road of the evil Yezid, who ordered the slaying of Husayn and whose spirit kills Islam.
Ayatollah Khamenei, in his latest speech on “Quds Day,” which is supposedly dedicated to the defense of the Palestinians, repeated his earlier attacks on the Iranian reformists, who march for a peaceful change in the government and a new confidence in the people. Instead, Khamenei called for more hatred of Israel and America, blaming the West for Iran’s upheaval. The real message of his rhetoric against Israel and America is marginalization of the opposition, who are described as foreign agents. This propaganda is a green light for the complete liquidation of the reformists.
The Iranian people have begun answering these claims in their own, new way. In demonstrations on November 4, 2009, the 30th anniversary of the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, demonstrators chanted “Death to Russia and China !” Both countries are allies and totalitarian models for the Iranian dictatorship. Official Iranian TV claimed that in the Ashura demonstrations on December 27, young boys and girls with covered faces carried a banner reading “Down With the Taliban Ruling Iran.” This appears to have been a fabrication intended to undermine the reform movement. The government’s thugs have their own slogan: “Obedience to religious governance is required by Islam.”
Seyyed Muhammad Khatami, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s predecessor in the presidency, has reacted to claims that the opposition represents a foreign conspiracy by warning that an extreme reaction to the protests will worsen, not improve, the situation. Muhammad Rafsanjani, younger brother of Khamenei’s rival, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has declared, “dialogue and discussion are better than street fighting, and people should try to find a rational course.”
Ayatollah Khamenei, the cleric as a face of Leviathan, is increasingly alone in his fantasy world of conspiracy theories.