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Uprising in Iran and Regime’s Violence

December 5, 2019 by  

From the Editorial Desk – Shahrokh Ahkami – Persian Heritage, #96, Winter 2019

Happy Holidays and New Year to all the people in the world and Iranians, wherever they may live. These wishes come from me and the entire staff at Persian Heritage magazine. We wish all of you a prosperous and healthy year filled with peace and tranquility. 

The celebratory lights, happy thoughts and kind gestures of the season are visible in the Western Hemisphere and wherever they celebrate these holidays. However, for the millions of Iranians who live inside and outside of Iran these holidays are not filled with joy. Instead they bring feelings of gloom and worry. The upheavals occurring in Iran over the past few weeks and the natural disasters, endured by the people of Iran continue to cast doubt on their future as families and as a nation.

 It is common for any new government that comes into power to learn, within a certain period of time about their citizen’s grievances, their demands and how they believe their lives can be improved. There are always peace meetings between the opposition groups and always some sort of compromise is made for the sake of the livelihood of the people. Even dictators, after oppression and securing control over the people, eventually soften up to the needs and desires of the citizens. They try to appease them by reducing the pressure and finding ways to improve the quality of their life. They realize in order to remain in power they must compromise and listen to the demands of the people or they will leave a dismal legacy. Unfortunately, for Iranians, this has not been the case. The ruling party, over the past 40 years, has not loosened the rope around the necks of their citizens. Instead they have tightened it and have left the Iranian people no air to breath. 

These egregious leaders, because of their weaknesses, greed, lies and deceit have not been able to find peace with foreign powers or their own citizens. After 40 years of corruption and financial support of outside groups (Syria, Hezbollah of Lebanon, revolutionaries of Yemen and Iraq), they now find themselves in a situation where the country is bankrupt and all its assets are lost. They thought by increasing the gasoline prices on the people, who are already poor and hungry, they could recover some of the loss. By doing this they thought they could keep the mouths of the very poor shut. They thought by compensating them through this increase in price they could continue with their corrupt practices. They thought by cutting taxes on the wealthy, like President Trump on the other side of the world, they could save themselves. They thought that this increase in gas prices would compensate for their mistakes and allow them to remain in power. THEY THOUGHT THIS BUT THIS TIME THEY WERE WRONG!!!!!!! The people took to the streets in protest to the hike in the prices. They burned down gas stations, banks and police stations. In response, the Pasdaran (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) fired on them with live bullets, creating a blood bath of innocent people. The government shut down the internet service which resulted in a 40 to 60 million dollar a day in financial loss. Despite the governments cutting of the internet service across the country the news of the events in Iran did not stop. The atrocities being committed by the government were seen by the world. 

The atrocities being committed against the people of Iran were seen by the world and the world cried when it saw the blood of men, women and young people being spilled as regime bullets found their targets. But the regime tried to convince us otherwise. They tried to place the blame of the horror on its citizens. How could they think we would believe that Iranians would shoot at one another? Their denial of blame is preposterous since all could see the Pasdaran shooting at the demonstrators from rooftops and on the street. They were shooting randomly at women and the youth with no mercy. 

Like Kahrizak prison during the uprising of 1988, Fashaphouyeh and other prisons and some schools (closed and converted to prison) have reached their maximum capacity from the government holding demonstrators. The space is so dense that even the prisoners are complaining about the living conditions in the prison. Besides not taking blame the police refuse to release the bodies of the dead to their family members; yet another example of the brutality. The government’s actions created more hate towards this government and the authorities. This uprising over gas price increases took the government by surprise. Even the leader Ayatollah Khamenei would not take responsibility. Instead he blamed it on his advisors. He even ordered the Parliament not to take any action. He failed to act and now has the audacity to not take responsibility for his actions and choices. When he realized that his argument was not viable he started blaming the foreign powers for the events that occurred; a ridiculous argument. His argument and his position reminds me of how 60-80 year old adults blame their flaws on their childhood experiences and how their parents raised them. They speak of the trauma they endured as children and do not take responsibility for their current and old mistakes. I am not saying that some parenting decisions made by inexperienced parents did result in the bad behavior of children, but after 50-60 years as adults we have to take responsibility for our own actions and learn from our mistakes and wrong choices.

We need to take our heads out of the sand and accept our own faults and mistakes. We need to own up to the fact that some of the choices we have made are wrong and not the result of our parents rearing. We can realize that our decisions and choices are wrong, instead of perpetuating them. We need to learn from them and make corrections. That is what the Iranian regime needs to do! They need to accept their wrong choices and correct them! They need to accept responsibility for the atrocities they have committed on their citizens and the detriment they have caused on Iran! How can one have respect for leaders who imprison their own family members, through phony trials and then let them leave the country on vacations, in order to stay in power and continue with their corruption? Today people are arrested for stealing butter and bread and then possibly face the loss of limb for their actions.

I am sure our readers do not want to be reading about such horrific news and editorials during such happy celebrations and holidays, but we cannot ignore the suffering of people who are hungry and desperate. We cannot remain silent with Iran’s current situation, unemployment, the closing of manufacturers and factories and the firing of employees. We cannot remain deaf to the cries of the Iranian people who are homeless and hungry. We must all, in some way, show compassion and support. While we, the Diaspora, may have our hands tied in some ways of support, there are other ways to make the world aware of the Iranian people’s suffering. We, the Diaspora, can support the writers who write against these atrocities. We, the Diaspora, can support those who venture to the streets of Iran in order to defend themselves and regain their human rights and dignity by making sure that their voices are heard not just during an uprising, but EVERYDAY. We cannot allow the actions of Iran’s citizens to receive less international news coverage than the citizens of Hong Kong. If we, the Diaspora, do not act in some way, I am afraid that my fears for the people and the nation of Iran will shortly become a reality. 

I am afraid of what is behind the curtain of this political maneuvering. Why are the big powers like China, Russia and some Western European countries working to keep this regime in place? I fear they are doing this to set up Iran to be geographically divided, making our beloved Iran into a subdivision of Iranestan. 

Once again I address the innocent people of Iran and extend my condolences to the families those who lost loved ones in past, present and future movements. I wish for the day when my editorial will focus on educating the people of the world about Iran’s ancient history, its contributions, achievements, successes and the beauty of the Iranian people.

I WISH FOR BETTER DAYS TO COME

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