Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, internal oppression, external war, and terrorism are the pillars that the regime stands on. The internal oppression started with the country’s Kurdish and Sunni minorities but, in a few years every other political voice against Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the regime, was eliminated from Iran’s political table. The eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s and the hundreds of terrorist attacks around the world that bear all of the hallmarks that directly link them to the Iranian regime have left no hesitations about the malignant behavior of the current government in Tehran.
External war and terrorism are covers for an internal war in Iran
The reign of external war and terrorism in Iran started with the war against Iraq in September 1980. The bloody conflict started less than two years after the anti-monarchy revolution toppled the Shah, Reza Pahlavi, in February 1979. The war between the two neighbors went on for eight years; a period that saw the establishment of several well-known terrorist organizations that continue to be in the news even to this day. Also during that time, the Iranian regime repeatedly rejected UN ceasefire resolutions so that it could follow its own agenda for the region.
Standing above all of the terrorist organizations that were founded by the regime after the revolution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, was created as a militia force in the spring of 1979, and during the Iran-Iraq War, this organization actively participated as a combat force. In the process, it acquired the necessary training and weapons that it needed to establish its terror network.
After the war, the IRGC became active in Iran’s economics, industries, banks, etc. which provided them with the majority of the wealth of a country with 80 million inhabitants. The IRGC also funded and supported most of the armed militia movements in the region. Almost all of Iran’s top generals, including the now-dead Qasem Soleimani, as well as officials, members of the regime’s parliament, and presidents have all served in the IRGC.
The IRGC’s terror network
In Iraq, the Badr Organization was established by the IRGC in 1982 as an Iraqi Shi’ite militia. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the chief member of Badr Organization and was later killed when the Americans successfully eliminated Soleimani in Iraq earlier this year. The Badr Organization played a major role in supporting the Iranian regime from inside Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. They also supported Iranian-backed governments in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the ongoing chaos in Syria.
One of the most notorious terror organizations created by the Iranian regime is the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. It emerged as both a military and political group within a few months of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 85, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 US servicemen, are just two of the hundreds of terrorist attacks that Hezbollah has carried out over the past 38 years.
The role of the Iranian regime in those attacks, and their support for Hezbollah, is no secret. Today, Hezbollah controls a complicated network of drug trafficking and money laundering from South America to the Middle East.
The Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda was established in 1988 Pakistan during the Soviet-Afghan War and shortly after the Iran-Iraq War came to a close. On May 30, 2018, Javad Larijani, the Iranian regime’s Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights, confessed during a television interview that “Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them (al-Qaeda)” when al-Qaeda members passed through Iran on trips between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The ruse, Larijani said, protected the terrorists from prosecution by Saudi authorities and shielded at least one who piloted the hijacked planes of 9/11 which killed 2,977 innocent people.
In 1993, a book by Mohammad Mohadessin titled Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat explains that the agenda of the Iranian regime is to expand its influence by interfering and controlling Iraq, a policy that the world has watched unfold since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which ultimately emboldened Iran and effectively handed Iraq over to the regime in Tehran.
Since then, the subsequent civil war in Iraq, and the human catastrophe in Syria, as well as the ongoing conflict in Yemen, growing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the ever-increasing role of Hezbollah in every aspect of life Lebanon, a fact that resulted in the catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s port, are all parts of Iran’s agenda to preserve its Islamic state.
Iranians are planning a revolution beneath the surface
As the Islamic Republic’s expansion into the wider region grew in the early 1980s, an opposition voice, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, warned the international community in 1981 about the Iran-Iraq war and Tehran’s use of international terrorism as a cover for the internal war that was and still is going on between the regime and the people of Iran.
The Iranian regime, after the fall of the Shah, never made peace with the people of Iran. A few months after the anti-monarchy revolution, the Ayatollah had a clear plan to quash every opposition voice in Iran. Khomeini first followed this agenda by ordering all women to wear the hijab, a rule that was meant to silence more than half of Iran’s population.
Khomeini also ordered the brutal suppression of Iran’s Kurdish minority in August 1980. The suppression of gatherings and political meetings continued with the elimination of the candidate from the anti-Khomeini, MEK opposition party from the presidential election.
Also in 1981, all opposition newspapers were banned. No opposition rallies or demonstrations were permitted, and in June of that same year, 500,000 supporters of the MEK occupied several streets in Tehran.
The IRGC eventually opened fire on the peaceful protesters, which proved to be a turning point in Iran’s post-revolution history. Since that day, the regime has always confronted the Iranian people as their main enemy. Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, expressed in a speech that his government’s enemy is neither the West, nor the East, but the internal enemies within.
In 1988, a fatwa by Khomeini led to the execution of 30,000 political prisoners, most of which were supporters of the opposition MEK. This crime has never been prosecuted by the International community, which was the largest purge of its kind since World War II.
The suppression of Iran’s intellectuals continued well into the 1990s, including the brutal suppressions at Tehran University in 1997, which were under direct control by the current speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Mohammad Ghalibaf, and were directly ordered by the country’s so-called moderate ex-president, Mohammad Khatami, who proved that even the so-called moderates are not capable of responding to the deep enthusiasm of Iranians for democracy.
Since then, all protests and demonstrations in Iran, no matter what they are for sends a clear message that the people of the country want regime change. The 2009 anti-government protests brought 3,000,000 Iranians to the streets with a clear slogan of “Death to the Supreme Leader!”. The main chant from the uprisings of December 2017 – January 2018 was “Hardliners – reformists, the game is over!”, and in November of last year, the people of Iran rejected any type of tyranny by shouting, “Death to dictators, either Shah or Sheikh!”.
With sharp eyes on movements in Iran and the evolution of the demands and struggles by the Iranian people, it is clear that the people of Iran will not tolerate any type of tyranny and are organizing for another, eventual revolution. The people of Iran, in the past forty years, have expressed what they do not want. They do not want tyranny, dictatorship, the Ayatollah, or the former Shah.
In the evolution of their movement, the world has witnessed just what, exactly, they are hoping to construct. The organizational power of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its axial force, the MEK, have shown how they are organizing and pushing for a revolution in Iran. In addition, the 10-point plan of Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance, does not contradict the international norms and values of democratic countries. These can become a platform for Iranians in a future uprising that will end the clerics’ rule.
The role of the US and EU for a democratic movement in Iran
The past 40 years of American and European policy towards Iran is essentially based on appeasement and providing support for the so-called moderates in the regime. The results of such a policy, which neglect massive human rights violations inside the country, has also contributed to the destruction of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and now the horrible explosion in Lebanon.
In addition, extensive terror attacks, more than 450 according to the Iranian opposition, have been carried out conducted innocent citizens in other countries. Today, the EU and US have sufficient means to stop the Iranian regime. What is missing is the will by the EU and US to take a firm stance against the regime of the Islamic Republic.
In order to stop Tehran’s global terrorism, every country must close Iran’s embassies and expel the regime’s diplomats and secret agents. The closure of these embassies would be a major blow that the regime would not easily recover from as the embassies are essential parts of the regime’s network of organized terror cells, criminal organizations, and money laundering activities.
Both the EU and US have sufficient means to try the Iranian regime in international courts, but this does not mean that they cannot put extra pressure on Iran for its extensive human right abuses. The regime has a long history of human rights violations that can and should be prosecuted in international courts, just like the Nazis after the Second World War.
In several published pieces by Amnesty International, about the 1988 massacre, the NGO says thousands of families are still waiting for justice, particularly because that incident involved many of current members of Iran’s judiciary and government. Bringing these people to justice would have a massive impact on the regime’s ability to oppress their own people. In fact, the move would embolden the people of Iran when they see that international justice is not afraid to come after the criminals inside their own country.
Stop the machine of terror and execution in Iran
Over the past decades, the Tehran regime has proven that it will not remain a reliable member of the international community. On the other hand, a war brought about by external forces cannot bring democracy to a country – just look at the clear results of the American efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore, supporting the voice of a democratic alternative is the most promising solution.
In the case of Iran, the National Council of Resistance of Iran has shown its capabilities and has made a pledge to establish freedom and democracy in Iran. In addition, the 10-point plan of Maryam Rajavi covers all of the necessary norms and regulations for a democratic state. For this purpose, the international community needs to confront the Iranian regime about its support for international terrorism and its massive human right violations.
Sufficient means exist to halt the regime’s spread f terrorism in the world. If the international community had originally halted the execution of 30,000 political prisoners more than thirty years ago, the regime would not be able to easily suppress protests in today’s Iran.
The regime of the Islamic Republic has expanded its ability to wage war and support terrorism around the globe and to easily oppress the people of Iran while viewing them as the main threat to their rule. The Iranian people need the strong will of the international community to take a firm stand against the regime and put an end to their reign of terror.