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February 5, 2023 12:20 pm

Iran: Enemy of the World and Its Own People

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avatar by Sheila Nazarian


A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic’s “morality police”, in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

As an Iranian-American and as a Jewish woman, it pains me to see the land where my family lived for thousands of years act as the enemy of everything I believe in: democracy, women’s rights, and the Jewish people. This must be how decent Germans and Russians felt when the wicked Nazi and Soviet regimes terrorized their own populations and attacked innocent nations beyond their borders. There is no denying that Iran remains the top state-sponsor of terrorism, but that it is also brutally repressing its own people, particularly the brave women there.

In September 2022, Iranian morality police detained and allegedly killed a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, for failing to wear her hijab “properly.” Her death sparked nationwide protests, marching under the slogan “Zan. Zendegi. Azadi.” This is Persian for “Women. Life. Freedom.”

The young people, especially women, leading these protests in the streets of Iran risk much: mass sexual abuse has been reported against imprisoned protesters, and at least 450 protesters have been killed. One protestor was hanged to death from a construction crane on December 12, in a public execution meant to chill the simmering public. The government has murdered many children protestors as well.

Iranians have a right to be angry, to want to overthrow their government, which is run by fundamentalist, oppressive mullahs. While the poverty level is soaring, Iran uses its funds on terrorism in the Middle East and around the globe. The Iranian-controlled Hezbollah militia has de facto security control over half of Lebanon, while Iran is a critical military and financial backer of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Together, these forces pledge eternal war on Israel, while Iran positions itself as the head of a jihadi rejectionist front it refers to as the “Axis of Resistance.”

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This coalition also includes Iran’s allies in Iraq, which recently passed legislation to execute anyone who contacts Israelis, and Iran’s interference in Yemen, where their allied militias recently attacked Saudi oil fields.

Iran has even brought its malign influence to Europe, giving Russia sophisticated drones that it has used to attack the port of Odessa and other cities in Ukraine. US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby, recently called Iran “Russia’s top military backer … people in Ukraine today are actually dying as a result of Iran’s actions.”

Israel is one of America’s closest allies not only because of our shared values, but also because of shared interests, including technological cooperation, intelligence sharing, and resisting the forces of autocracy and terrorism in the world.

Iran is the opposite: it’s a malevolent actor known for its ties to vicious terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which have called for Israel’s destruction. Iran itself calls Israel a “cancerous tumor” and has pledged to destroy both Israel and the United States. As Behnam Ben Taleblu recently wrote in The Atlantic, we must assume that when Iran says “Death to Israel,” it means it.

“Death to America” is regularly chanted at government-orchestrated hate rallies in Iran; under the Islamic Republic’s twisted religious ideology, America is the “Great Satan,” while its ally Israel (or sometimes the United Kingdom) is identified as the “Little Satan.”

We must not ignore Iran’s genocidal intent against America and our allies abroad. Iran’s oppression of its own people also mandates our support and assistance. Today, young people face imprisonment and, worse, death if they dare to go against the Ayatollah and his cronies.

Our country owes the Iranian people its full support as they stand against the terror-sponsoring regime. It’s not just a matter of saving the country. It’s a matter of saving the world.

Dr. Sheila Nazarian is a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, star of the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Skin Decision: Before and After,” and a prominent speaker. 

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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