Why the silence on the Iranian protests?

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In New Zealand, our so-called first “Refugee” Green list MP Golriz Ghahraman has failed to speak out on behalf of her former country Iran and the United Nations sharing her moral cowardice have also failed to take any action or to condemn with any force Iran’s actions towards the protestors.

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Meanwhile, women like Maryam Rajavi beg the International community to speak out so why is the International community so afraid to say anything?

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Brussels—Europe’s voice has been strangely missing as tens of thousands of Iranians have been protesting for dignity, freedom, and economic survival.

High Representative Federica Mogherini finally issued a statement on behalf of the 28 EU member states, a week into the protests and after security forces had killed at least 21 people and incarcerated over 2,000. Her words, though, were tepid and somewhat ambiguous.

While the statement affirmed that peaceful demonstrations and freedom of expression are fundamental rights, it failed to clearly condemn the regime’s killings and arrests. It spoke in general terms of “unacceptable loss of human lives,” but failed to name either the perpetrators or the victims.

The assertion that EU member states “expect all concerned to refrain from violence” could be read to suggest an equivalence between protesters rising up against a brutal theocracy and security forces shooting at protesters. The EU statement echoed earlier ambiguous messages from the German and British foreign ministers that similarly called on “all sides” to refrain from violence.

A robust defense of Western values this is not. Neither is it in the best interests of Europe.

This late and muted reaction contrasts with the strong and quick response by the U.S. president, vice president, secretary of state, and numerous members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

[…] Do Europe’s policymakers fear that a more forceful reaction could jeopardize the nuclear agreement, which the U.S. believes is deeply flawed and the EU wants to preserve?

But such considerations would contradict the EU’s own previous reassurances that, irrespective of the deal, it would continue to press for human rights, which the statement says has “always been a core issue in our relationship with Iran.”

Whatever disagreements may exist about the deal’s wisdom, it should not restrict the West from confronting the Islamic Republic’s regional aggression and internal oppression.

Besides, if the EU is worried that Tehran would use a tougher EU stance as an excuse to cancel the deal, no doubt Iran will eventually find another excuse to do just that.

Some European policymakers may fear that Western support of the demonstrators could undermine the so-called moderates in Iran.[…]

The theory that Rouhani and  Foreign Minister Zarif are agents of change rather than just the more charming faces of the same brutal regime was always rather precarious.[…]

Women’s rights in Iran

Under Rouhani, Iran has become the world’s leading executioner per capita and of children and women in absolute terms, while its troops are carrying out ethnic cleansing in Syria, supporting a regime that has used chemical weapons.

Even if one insists on clinging to the belief that his intentions may be honorable, Rouhani obviously has no power to implement them. Just like the inconsequential “reformers” of the 1990s, it ultimately doesn’t matter whether he doesn’t want to or simply cannot  change the system.

“Reformist and hard-liners, you are both done,” is thus one of the popular chants of protesters. The Iranian people have seen through this cynical game of good cop-bad cop. It’s time for the EU as well to abandon the decades-old hope that the regime might be reformed from within.

[…] European policymakers may simply be wary of more unrest in the region. But such a consideration overlooks three important differences.

First, the Arab countries that saw popular uprisings had secular regimes where the only organized opposition was Islamist.

In contrast, Iran is already run by mullahs, which is precisely what the protesters want to change. “We don’t want the Islamic Republic, we don’t want it,” they chant.

Second, Iran is in a far better position to replace its regime with a more liberal political system. That’s because Iranians are well educated and rather pro-Western, not least thanks to the many exiled friends and family living in the U.S. and Europe. This successful diaspora community would no doubt be eager to help rebuild the homeland they had to flee.

And third, unlike many of the Arab regimes that were largely a menace only to their own people, the Islamic Republic is a revolutionary regime that seeks to export its ideology and influence. It endangers its neighbors as much as its own people.

Tehran has propped up the Assad regime in Syria, supports the Houthis in Yemen, and funds terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. […]

It is in the interest of regional peace, stability, and nonproliferation to see these demonstrations succeed.[…]

“ Leave Syria, think about us,” and “ Leave Gaza, leave Lebanon, my life for Iran,” some protesters are chanting. It will now be much more difficult for the regime to continue funding its wars and terror proxies at the expense of its population’s wellbeing.

[…] Irrespective of what Americans, Israelis, or Europeans may actually say or do, the regime has already accused demonstrators of operating as agents of some Zionist-American-Western cabal.

If the regime goons don’t have to fear even rhetorical pushback from the West, let alone sanctions for their crimes, it is far more likely that their response will be even more brutal.[…]

 

[…] Nine years ago, the last time Iranians rose up, the U.S. president at the time exercised unusual caution, but that didn’t soften the regime’s crackdown. To the contrary, the government’s response was brutal. Just like the dissidents in the former communist countries, Iranians actually crave Western support. “Obama, you are either with us or with them,” disappointed protesters chanted in 2009.

“I wish we had spoken out more,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after leaving the State Department.

The time for Europeans to act is now. That way, they won’t have to issue Clinton-like regrets later.

-newsweek.com


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