By: STRUAN STEVENSON
Grasping at straws like a dying beast, the Iranian regime is now pleading with the world to persuade America to end its maximum pressure campaign, ditch sanctions and send financial assistance.
This is a regime that has lied and lied over the extent of the coronavirus crisis, pretending that only 3,000 have died and only 16,000 have been infected, while we know from the PMOI/MEK resistance units inside the country that the true figure is 26,000 dead and half a million infected across 251 cities in all of Iran’s 31 provinces.
We are deeply concerned that money sent to the mullahs will be misused. This is a regime that is still financing Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the murderous Shi’ia militias in Iraq, who are mounting regular attacks on American and British soldiers. And yet the mullahs plead for money from the international community, supposedly to help fight the coronavirus epidemic! This is a regime whose wealth is controlled by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), their Gestapo, who run over 70% of the county’s economy.
While the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tells the world that COVID-19 was a biological attack against his country, masterminded by the Americans and Israelis and President Hassan Rouhani pretends that the regime is on top of the disease and suggests people can safely return to work and schools can re-open, the lies and deception continue and the people of Iran are dying.
And yet this is the same regime that is demanding an end to sanctions and is seeking international help! How do we know that every dollar we send will not be used to purchase a bullet? The regime ruthlessly murdered over 1,500 of their own people, mostly young, unarmed protesters, during the nationwide uprising in November. This is a brutal, fascist dictatorship that will stop at nothing to cling on to its theocratic perversion of power.
Of course, we don’t want to deny help to the people of Iran. They have suffered enough under the fascist dictatorship of the mullahs, who have no care for human life. Right now, Iran has billions of dollars, but the Supreme leader refuses to spend it on protecting the people against COVID-19 leaving the helpless population abandoned amidst the infighting that continues apace between the regime’s rivals.
Although over 75% of the Iranian citizens are living under the poverty line, no social welfare or financial assistance has been offered by the mullahs’ regime. Could they be trusted to ensure IMF aid was distributed fairly or would it end up in the pockets of the turbaned tyrants?
But undeterred, the theocratic regime has unleashed its international network of spies and well-paid lobbyists to plead poverty and demand an end to US sanctions. They claim that the Iranian health-care system is being deprived of equipment necessary to save lives and prevent wider infection, although American sanctions have never affected medicinal or humanitarian supplies. For the arch-appeasers in Europe and the left-wing press who slavishly kow-tow to the mullahs, such messages always find a sympathetic reception.
They are simply wrong-headed and misguided. This is an evil regime. They have shown themselves willing to murder, imprison and torture unarmed protesters. They have become the world’s number one executioner on a per-capita basis.
They have stolen the Iranian people’s wealth to finance war and terror abroad and to pursue an aggressive nuclear policy at home. They are a pariah state and the best cure for all of the ills affecting the Iranian people would be for this regime to fall and for democracy, freedom, justice, human rights, women’s rights, an end to corruption, an end to their nuclear and ballistic missile programme, an end to the proxy wars and an end to international terror. There is a robust and courageous democratic opposition movement waiting in the wings to make Iran great again. It is the PMOI/MEK under the bold and charismatic leadership of Mrs Maryam Rajavi. It is time the West stopped appeasing the mullahs and transferred its support to her.
Struan Stevenson is the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC). He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).