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OPINION: Iran protests turn the country’s repressive apparatus ineffective

Hamid Bahrami

Published: Updated:

A week has passed since the popular uprising in Iran erupted but the West is only supporting the civilian population by words.
No one can predict the exact time when the revolution began but it was the culmination of small protests in recent months that gave the world a hint that a Persian spring would unfold in the dark winter of Iran.

The repressive elite force, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been caught off guard and feels paralyzed by the nationwide popular protests. Indeed, the entire regime is desperate as people in all corners of the country are rising up against the theocracy and protesters chant “Down with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei”.

For those following the protests, it is clear that those starving have nothing to lose as they chant “we will never go back home even if being killed”.

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The world cannot just watch the massacre of protesters in Iran. While US President Donald Trump and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley have tweeted in support of the demonstrators, there is urgent need for practical steps to be taken to stop the regime from crushing the protests.

Prominent US Congressmen have also tweeted in support of protesters. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a distinguished voice in US national security and foreign affairs, welcomed president Trump’s tweets and added, “President has to do more than watch. He actually has to act”.

A woman walks past a mural in downtown Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP)
A woman walks past a mural in downtown Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP)

Opposition council

In this regard, the main Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has called on the UN Security Council, the European Union, the United States and all human rights organizations to condemn the crimes perpetrated by the ruling clerics in Iran and to take effective international measures to confront the repression of the Iranian people's uprising.

The world cannot turn a blind eye as millions of Iranians struggle for democratic change in Iran. Indeed, there are several effective ways to protect defenseless protestors. The US should put forward a resolution at the UN Security Council condemning the violence against demonstrators and ask the council to review Iran’s egregious human rights dossier.

The US should provide facilities for Iranians to access the internet as the Iranian regime closed down the service recently. It is high time to scrap the catastrophic nuclear deal and impose targeted sanctions to restrict forces of repression in Iran.

ANALYSIS: Why is Iran boiling in dissent?

My source inside the regime says that there is a strong feeling of resentment among formal army and police even as the IRGC remains an ideological force which has been killing demonstrators in the streets.

EU must not turn its back on the millions of Iranians yearning for freedom and democracy. Until now, EU leaders have been silent or have issued some ineffective diplomatic statements. Unfortunately, EU still pins its hopes on the so-called moderate Iranian president. It appears that the slogans on the streets of Iran saying "reformists, hard-liners, your game is over" have yet to reach the ears of EU leaders.
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Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner from Iran. Living in Glasgow, Scotland, he is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist and columnist. Bahrami has contributed to Al Arabiya English, American Thinker, Euractive, Newsblaze and Eureporter as his work cover’s Iran’s Middle East actions and domestic social crackdown. He tweets at @HaBahrami and blog at analyzecom.