In spite of the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown on protesters, many Western governments are maintaining their diplomatic relationships with the ruling mullahs and turning a blind eye to the regime's sickening human rights violations. Where, also, are the women's movements of the West?
The regime recently executed a 23-year-old protester after a hasty and unfair trial. He was convicted of the vague charge of "enmity against Allah". According to Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa:
"We are horrified that the Iranian authorities have executed Mohsen Shekari, less than three weeks after they convicted and sentenced him to death in a grossly unfair sham trial. With the Iranian authorities brutally acting on their public threats to expedite capital proceedings and carry out executions swiftly, we fear that other protesters under death sentences or charged with capital offences are at imminent risk of being sent to their deaths."
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Iranian regime has recently killed at least 300 people and arrested 14,000.
Even though a large number of high level public figures, celebrities, athletes are supporting the protesters and turning against the regime, calls for international support by many Iranians are being totally ignored.
The regime has threatened the protestors, particularly actresses who have been appearing without the mandatory headscarf. Mohsen Mansouri, governor of Tehran Province, warned that the government would be dealing with "celebrities who fanned the flames of riots and with those who sign [lucrative] contracts with radio and television, but in a time of riots take a stand against security and order. Of course, we may not deal with some cases immediately due to material reasons, but without a doubt we will deal with them after a few days and at the right time."
Some family members of Iran's top officials are protesting against the leadership as well. The sister of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Badri Hosseini Khamenei, came out criticizing the whole establishment and calling for the overthrow of her brother's "despotic caliphate":
"The regime of the Islamic Republic of Khomeini and Ali Khamenei has brought nothing but suffering and oppression to Iran and Iranians. I hope to see the victory of the people and the overthrow of this tyranny ruling Iran soon."
She added that her brother, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei does not "listen to the voice of the people of Iran and wrongly considers the voice of his mercenaries and money-grubbers to be the voice of the Iranian people."
Ayatollah Khamenei's niece, Farideh Moradkhani, also urged the United Nations, governments, and human rights organizations to act:
"O free people, be with us and help us, and tell your governments to stop supporting this murderous and child-killing regime. This regime is not even loyal to any of its own religious principles, and does not know any laws or rules except force and maintaining power in any way possible. How long do we have to witness oppression by political autocrats in any part of this world".
Moradkhani drew a comparison between the Iranian regime and Hitler's regime:
"Isn't the experience of Hitler, Mussolini, Ceausescu, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, and this last one Khamenei enough to make the world think of a new way? We expect that the United Nations and all the organizations that derive their value and credibility from the goal of freedom and justice for all humanity, take practical steps and implement deterrent and effective activities against the stark, horrible crimes that are going on in Iran against the women, men and children. Stop being indifferent and prevent this horrible genocide. Free and brave Iranians will overthrow this autocratic and repressive regime. What is urgently needed is not to support this regime that killed thousands of Iranians in four days in November 2019, while the world was only watching. This event and similar events are a disgrace for every free and conscientious person."
It is shocking and reveals worlds about the rank hypocrisy of Western governments -- both in Europe and the United States -- that, in spite of all the human rights violations committed by Iran's regime, not a single Western country, except for Ukraine, has -- at the very least -- recalled its representatives from Iran, closed its embassies and cut diplomatic ties with Iran's murderous and child-killing regime.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu