Posted tagged ‘Iran terror victims’

Domestic unrest: Iran’s worst nightmare

November 23, 2017

Domestic unrest: Iran’s worst nightmare, American Thinker, Keyvan Salami, November 23, 2017

President Donald Trump has in the United Nations General Assembly and his October 13th Iran policy speech communicated solidarity with the Iranian population, describing them as the first victims of the regime’s atrocities.

“…we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims: its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. The Iranian people long to — and they just are longing, to reclaim their country’s proud history, its culture, its civilization, its cooperation with its neighbors.”

As seen on a daily basis, the Iranian people are voicing their discontent and defiance of this regime, and especially Rouhani’s hollow promises. A repeat of the 2009 uprising is a nightmare from the ruling regime’s point of view.

It is time for the international community to take advantage of this great opportunity and support the Iranian people’s demands to establish a true government based on freedom, human rights, and democracy.

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The threats posed by Iran in the Middle East through its support for terrorism, extremism and Islamic fundamentalism are undeniable. Its continued backing of various militias has established for Tehran a so-called Shiite crescent across the region. Growing domestic unrest, especially after the recent quake that shook western Iran, is plaguing the regime and showing the international community Iran’s main chink in the armor.

This was also witnessed on October 29th as the regime launched a massive crackdown effort to prevent any gathering marking International Cyrus Day, in memory of an ancient Persian ruler known to be the author of the world’s first human rights charter.

Reports indicate that Iran deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Basij, and Intelligence Ministry members alongside hordes of plainclothes agents to prevent any possible gathering mirroring the 2016 scenario on this same day.

Iran also resorted to a media campaign inside the country and abroad, claiming to have quelled a plot by “foreign-based dissidents and currents opposing the establishment,” as explained in a leaflet distributed by state police warning against any rallies.

Further domestic unrest is witnessed in the growing number of protests by ordinary investors seeing their life savings in state-run institutes plundered. Protests are mushrooming in cities across the country, responded to by the regime with arrests and harsh measures against crowds whose numbers are growing with each rally.

The Iranian regime has usurped billions from ordinary people’s investments to fuel its wars across the region. After 38 years, this has left the Iranian populace suffering tremendously with no light at the end of the tunnel.

“The middle-class in Iran has been all but extinguished,” a report indicates, adding that a large majority of Iran’s 80-million populace currently lives in poverty. City walls across the country are being filled with offers of people willing to sell various body parts, such as kidneys for $2,000, to literally make ends meet.

Iran is also widely known for its practice of repressing ethnic and religious minorities, involving harsh persecution, cruel discrimination, and ongoing cultural and economic marginalization. Tehran’s regime also resorts to a higher level of human rights violations in issuing long prison terms, imposing torture, public hangings, and even mass executions.

Iran’s “moderate” Hassan Rouhani is known to have carried out over 3,100 executions during his tenure as the regime’s president.

Iran is forced to such measures, knowing clearly it lacks any social base. One such case was witnessed when Rouhani’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted about all Iranians being IRGC following the force’s blacklisting by Washington.

The response by Iranians mostly inside the country was a display of sheer defiance against the regime, and how people view the IRGC as an entity terrorizing not only nations throughout the Middle East, but also Iranians at home.

Developments across the globe in the past year or so have made Iranians realize times are changing. For eight years Iran’s regime fed off the engagement policy adopted by the Obama administration. This gave a green light to Tehran for domestic crackdowns and foreign meddling. While Obama turned his back on the Iranian people, especially during the 2009 uprisings, the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump has time and again voiced their support and solidarity with Iranian people.

On three different occasions, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has voiced the Iranian people’s desire for freedom.

“There are strong feelings and values inside of Iran that we want to promote in terms of one day the Iranian people being able to retake control of their government,” he said during his late October trip to India.

President Donald Trump has in the United Nations General Assembly and his October 13th Iran policy speech communicated solidarity with the Iranian population, describing them as the first victims of the regime’s atrocities.

“…we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims: its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. The Iranian people long to — and they just are longing, to reclaim their country’s proud history, its culture, its civilization, its cooperation with its neighbors.”

As seen on a daily basis, the Iranian people are voicing their discontent and defiance of this regime, and especially Rouhani’s hollow promises. A repeat of the 2009 uprising is a nightmare from the ruling regime’s point of view.

It is time for the international community to take advantage of this great opportunity and support the Iranian people’s demands to establish a true government based on freedom, human rights, and democracy.

Spare Us Iran’s Pieties on U.S. Immigration Policy

February 1, 2017

Spare Us Iran’s Pieties on U.S. Immigration Policy, PJ MediaClaudia Rosett, January 31, 2017

zarifwreathIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lays a wreath on the grave of Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

After eight years of President Obama’s incendiary efforts to couple an expanding American welfare state with a laissez-faire approach to U.S. borders, America is finally launching a real debate over immigration policy. In our democracy, there’s room for everything from the weepy Sen. Chuck Schumer to the defiant President Trump. My hope is that America ends up willing to take as many refugees — and immigrants generally — as possible, subject to genuine regard for American security and preservation of our rambunctious democracy and its Constitution.

What America emphatically does not need, however, is the voice of Tehran’s terror-sponsoring regime insinuating itself anywhere in this immigration debate. Which is exactly what Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has been trying to do with his recent comments that Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration is “a great gift to extremists.” Calling Trump’s order a “Muslim ban” (which it is not), Zarif has accused the Trump administration of intruding into the friendship between the American and Iranian people, and aiding “terrorist recruitment” by “deepening fault lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks.”

Zarif’s statements (in which Zarif himself was de facto doing plenty to encourage terrorists and deepen fault lines) were put out on Twitter, replayed via Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), and amplified by Al Jazeera, under the headline “Zarif: Trump’s Muslim ban ‘great gift to extremists'” — along with Al Jazeera’s report that some 45% of the would-be travelers to America affected by Trump’s order are from Iran, and that “more than a million Iranians live in the United States.”

In case it sounds touching that Zarif should be so concerned about the well-being of America, let’s be clear on what’s really going on here. Zarif, while presenting himself as an enemy of “extremists,” is a prominent official voice of an Iranian regime that has ranked for years as the Middle East’s biggest Old Boys’ Club of “extremism.” The Tehran government Zarif represents is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. He speaks for a regime which since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution has as a matter of messianic government policy recruited, trained and funded legions of terrorists — a poisonous influence emanating from the Middle East, a self-declared existential threat to Israel, and home to officially blessed chants of “Death to America.”

According to the State Department’s most recent report on State Sponsors of Terrorism, covering 2015, “Iran continued its terrorist related activity… including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.” State noted that Iran views the terror-sponsoring Assad regime in Syria as “a crucial ally”; that Tehran-backed Shia terrorist groups have “exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and have committed serious human rights abuses”; and that “Iran has also provided weapons, funding and training to Shia militants in Bahrain,” including such gee-gaws as “a bomb-making facility” which, when discovered by the Bahraini government, was housing 1.5 tons of high-grade explosives.

As for Zarif’s charges that the Trump administration is imperiling the friendship between the people of Iran and the people of America, let’s recall that Iran’s Islamic Republic, from the year of its inception right up to the present, has made a practice of seizing and holding Americans as de facto hostages — including the prisoners whose release in Jan. 2016 came coincident with (or, as it now appears, no coincidence?) President Obama’s secret hustling of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran’s terror-sponsoring government. Nor does it help the cause of friendship that Iran — despite its official promise to abjure a nuclear weapons program — continues, as it did just last week, to test ballistic missiles (for which the only realistic use is delivering nuclear weapons).

It is the Tehran regime itself that is the prime cause of misery for people who would like to travel from Iran to America, or vice versa. If Zarif’s real concern is to fight terrorism and encourage the free flow of people between Iran and America, what he really ought to do is resign his post and call for an end to the repressive and terror-sponsoring Tehran government that he himself, under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has for decades so zealously served. That would be the right and decent move; an honest and genuinely useful contribution to world affairs.

Not that Zarif is even remotely likely to do any such thing. But unless he takes the highly improbable course of placing blame where it belongs — on his own government — his indignant opinions about U.S. immigration policy are of less than zero value. They are of a piece with those Iran visas extended to the series of American citizens who took the bait and ended up in Iran’s prisons, held as chits for Tehran’s political extortion rackets. Such are the contributions of Iran’s regime to the cause of international friendships and open exchange of people. Please spare us.

Obama Gave Iran Money that Belonged to Iran’s Terror Victims

November 3, 2016

Obama Gave Iran Money that Belonged to Iran’s Terror Victims, Counter Jihad, November 2, 2016

iranmoney

Once again, it seems as if neither the law nor the American interest are of great concern to this administration.  When Iran is involved, at least, both the law and our national interests are always set aside.

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Here at CounterJihad, we have covered the transfer by the Obama administration of $1.7 billion in giant pallets of cash to the terrorist elements within Iran’s government.  None of the administration’s stories justifying this transfer of wealth to the main state sponsor of terrorism have made sense.  It was not necessary to transfer the money in cash, for example.  The transfer really was a hostage ransom payment, in spite of their denials, to take a second example.

Today, we learned that another aspect of their justification was flawed.  The Obama administration has claimed that the money transferred to Iran belonged to Iran anyway, as a kind of refund for weapons sales that did not happen.  This was always a highly questionable claim, as the government that paid us the money was not the same government that now rules over Iran.  It is unclear why the Iranian revolutionary government would be entitled to moneys advanced by the Shah of Iran.  This makes no more sense than if a homeowner had overpaid property taxes, and the government responded by sending the overpaid money not to him but to the squatters who had forcibly occupied his home over his protest.  Of course, the Shah was no longer in a position to receive a refund, so it wasn’t clear that the money should go to anyone.

What we have learned most recently, however, is that the money did have a proper owner:  victims of Iran’s support of terror.

Alisa Flatow, a twenty-year-old Brandeis University honors student spending her junior year abroad in Israel, boarded a bus in Jerusalem bound for a popular resort area in Gaza. It was the height of the “peace process,” celebrated the year before with Nobel Peace prizes. As the bus entered Gaza, a van filled with explosives slammed into it. Eight people, including Alisa, were killed, and more than 40 others were injured. The attack was carried out by a faction of Islamic Jihad controlled, financed, and directed by the highest levels of Iran’s government….  A federal district court issued a 35-page opinion, Flatow v. Islamic Republic of Iran (1998), awarding a total of $20 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, with both types of damages specifically authorized by the U.S. Congress….

In all, sixteen cases were decided against Iran by courts in the United States between 1998 and 2004, with awards of compensatory damages totaling some $400 million and punitive damages totaling $3.5 billion.

Of course, the problem faced by each victorious plaintiff was collecting the judgment. Stephen Flatow, after unsuccessfully seeking to have the damages paid out of various Iranian assets held in the United States, learned of the $400 million in the FMS fund. The Clinton administration had supported the legislation that allowed suits such as Flatow’s, but then strenuously opposed any effort to have the judgments satisfied from that fund.

In other words, the money was spoken for before the Obama administration elected to transfer it to the IRGC.  It belonged, by the authorization of Congress and the decision of Federal courts, to victims of terrorism sponsored by the Iranian government.  Iran owes them all that money, and a great deal more.

The Obama administration has not rethought its position on sending Iran more and more money, whatever the law may say.  The State Department been busy recently trying to drum up investment for Iran instead.  Secretary of State John F. Kerry has been telling unlikely stories about the sanctions still in place on Iran in order to try to convince bankers to send Iran even more cash.  On this question, it should be noted by anyone thinking of investing, the State Department and the Treasury are very much at odds.

Once again, it seems as if neither the law nor the American interest are of great concern to this administration.  When Iran is involved, at least, both the law and our national interests are always set aside.