Contributed by Nima Sharif
As the row over Iran’s hostage-taking of British sailors is now officially over, once again, it seems, that this countries nuclear ambitions are taking the center stage and the new UN 1747 Resolution on Iran further pressures Ahmadinejad’s government into a self-initiated countdown to a complete international isolation.
Domestically, however the mullahs are stepping up oppression on the Iranian people to ward off the effects of external pressure, materializing at home as a rapidly growing dissent amongst Iranians.
There have been many reports of defecting officials among the government ranks some of whom have received considerable media attention. One of the most media-covered was the sudden disappearance of a senior intelligent officer by the name of Alireza Asghari last month in Turkey. Other reports of defect, some in groups, have been popping up periodically.
Clamp down on civil unrest to any size, such as the teachers’ demonstration last month or women’s commemoration of the International Women’s Day (March 8), has been hard, followed by high number of arrests and reports of beating and torture of arrestees. Some of the families of those arrested are still unable to locate their loved ones and receive no clear answers from the mullahs’ security forces.
two weeks ago on Friday prayers sermon, a representative of the regime’s Supreme Leader in the southern city of Shiraz, Ayatollah Shirazi openly called for more suppression and torture, “Those who say that the times for decrees such as limb amputations of thieves have passed, I say to them that their own times has passed.” Then he called on the government agencies to be swift in dealing with any unrest.
In an otherwise quite suited behavior to pass as a joke, almost for every social activity or community, a new “Police force” is emerging. District Police, Youth Police, Dormitory Police, Undercover Police, Mountain Police, Mehr Police, Metro Police, School Police, Women’s Police, Tourism Police, Customs police, and just recently Iran’s Organization of Physical Education has introduced what it calls a “Chastity Headquarters,” which is a newly formed police force to control women’s decency in regime’s Physical Educations Department. Interestingly enough, the headquarters is run by a man.
These forces are obviously an attempt by the Iranian regime to further suppress and control its citizens and clampdown on any unrest before it takes place.
During the past 12 months, over 265 executions have been reported in Iran of which 116 has been in public. Also during the same period 264 print media has been shut down and their editorial staff arrested by the government forces. Regime’s official news reveals over 1,200,000 arbitrary street arrests.
As Ahmadinejad’s government finds itself internationally isolated, it would have been nice to be able to rely on the Iranian people for at least sympathy, but 28 years of tyrannical rule by the mullahs’ leave no room for public support. As the mullahs fall deeper into their own self plowed graves, the Iranian people stand quietly aside and some laughing for the first time and it doesn’t seem that Ahmadinejad will find sanctuary here.
The deteriorating situation of Human Rights in Iran as its nuclear program, need immediate attention of the international community. The time has come to support those who in fact are capable to remove the menace once and for ever from the face of this planet without a need for an internal war.
Nima Sharif is a researcher and Director of Human Rights Study at Near East Policy Research and also the editor of the online publication “Stop Fundamentalism” at http://www.stopfundamentalism.com