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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Stefania Lapenna

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Stefania Lapenna

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 17:30:22 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

The Human Cost of Iran's Islamist Rule

Thu, 22 Mar 2007 17:30:22 -0600

On the other side, however, tens of thousands of ordinary Iranians had taken to the streets in the first weeks after the triumph of the revolution to reject the new theocracy. The street uprising involved all walks of the modern, liberal Iranian society. Most of it was led by hundreds of unveiled women, who had pledged to never give up their rights granted by the Shah's regime. They were shouting "Na Toosari, Na Roosari!'"("No Veil, No Submission"). Nevertheless, the terror of Sharia law was imposed on the nation by force. Many Westerners forget that the Iranian culture precedes the Ayatollahs' regime by thousands of years. Backward practices such as polygamy, wife-beating and repudiation have always been foreign to it. Rather, such practices are a product of the Islamist invasion and nowadays are promoted by the current theocratic regime, but in truth practiced only by a tiny minority of people, mainly the illiterate. As the Ayatollahs celebrated their anniversary this year, here is the human and social cost of 28 years of Islamist power on the Iranian nation and people: • Public Executions, flogging, stoning, amputation of limbs in public, mutilation of hands and feet and gauging of the eye of the condemned; • Mass killings of political prisoners; • Assassination of dissidents outside of Iran (a sad example is the hunting and killing of Iranian dissidents in Europe in the late 1980s by the Islamic republic's agents, who were later pardoned by complacent European governments); • Construction of more prisons to hold thousands of political prisoners; • Promotion of international and domestic terrorism; • Violation of human, religious and women's rights; • Lack of civil and social liberties; • Killing and imprisonment of dissident journalists; • Censorship and closure of independent news publications; • Stealing of the nation's wealth and transfer of public funds to abroad-based terror groups; • Destruction of the once-flourishing economy through widespread, state-sanctioned corruption and mismanagement, resulting in a very high inflation rate (official sources estimate it to be close to 20% , but real numbers are believed to be much higher) and an unemployment rate of 15% (although the unofficial numbers are more than the triple); • Devaluation of the Tooman, Iran's national currency; • Malnutrition, retarded growth and increased rate of depression among the youth; • The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, resulting in millions dead, wounded, handicapped and homeless; • Building of nuclear weapons for aggressive aims; • Trade of women as sex slaves in Persian Gulf countries; • Mandatory veiling of all women, regardless of their religion or social status. Failing to wear it is enough to risk jail, flogging or heavy fines. The above gives you just an idea of what life under the Mullahs has meant and still means for millions of Iranians, not just the international community faced by the threat of a nuclear Holocaust. Not that the latter seems not to care that much; the Europeans have no intention of abdicating their lucrative and yet amoral economic deals with such a rogue regime. On the other side, however, President Bush has opted to focus on the nuclear issue, omitting even to mention the Iranian people in his State of the Union Address this year. While in his first term Bush adopted a tough strategy aimed at promoting democratic and peaceful regime change in Iran, today it appears he has given up on such an idea and has joined the European and U.N. multilateral bureaucrats in trying to reach an impossible compromise with the Mullahs over their atomic plans. The Iranian people are wondering what is left of Bush's repeated promises to stand with them as they stand for their rights. For years, students, teachers, workers and ordinary citizens braved the brutal Islamo-fascist Bassiji militias by organizing and holding peaceful rallies demanding civil rights and the release of political prisoners, in the hope that the United States and its president stood w[...]