At the dawn of January 7, Iran’s murderous regime hanged two young, arrested protesters, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini. But what the tactic regime envisaged as a tool to suppress the society backfired, as protests persisted inside and outside Iran.
Locals took to the streets in Tehran and other cities chanting anti-regime slogans. Defiant youth filled walls across Iran with graffiti, vowing to continue the path of Karami, Hosseini, and 750 martyrs of the nationwide uprising.
Freedom-loving Iranians in dozens of cities in Europe, Canada, and the United States, held rallies, paying tribute to Mehdi and Mohammad. They chanted slogans such as “to our dear fellow blood, we will continue till the end.”
The state murder of Karami and Hosseini was widely condemned by the Western governments and lawmakers, with the latter in some countries calling for cutting ties with the ruling theocracy and holding it accountable.
The two martyrs were arrested a month ago and were severely tortured to make false confessions. They were accused of killing a security force, Ruhollah Ajamian, in a kangaroo trial without having access to a lawyer. They were accused of Moharebeh or waging war on God, a sentence that is mostly punished by death and cannot be appealed.
Karami and Hosseini perfectly portray an oppressed nation. Both were from poor families and protested a regime that deprived them of their share of the country’s resources, but they were arrested and executed for asking for their rights.
If the mullahs think #IranRevolution can be stopped through repression, torture, and execution, they are gravely mistaken. Our people's response to suppression and killings-Khamenei’s main tool for preserving power, is #Iranprotests & the regime’s overthrow pic.twitter.com/NxiZBfpT7V
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 7, 2023
This crime happened a few weeks after the execution of Mohsen Shekari and Majid Reza Rahnavard. The regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, ordered these executions in a bid to intimidate the restive society. But he failed as protests continued. Instead, these hangings caused much stir in the regime.
Many regime officials and state media have been warning about the possible international and domestic consequences of these executions. “We cannot freely and openly execute like before,” the state-run Farhikhtegan daily warned on December 10, 2022, following Mohsen Shekari’s execution.
#Iranian regime's Supreme Leader has called on senior state officials to support police brutality and take a stance against #IranRevoIution. Watch and judge the reaction he received and what that means for the regime's future. pic.twitter.com/GzGtzUo0YV
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 24, 2022
“Not all of those accused of Moharebeh should be executed,” Morteza Moghtadai, a high-ranking cleric and former head of the supreme court, said on December 11, according to the state-run Khabaronline website.
“If you care to hold power, note that you cannot fortify your ruling by hangings. If you care to safeguard the system, ask yourself: why are people protesting against us? What have we done that youths are not quitting the streets after three months?” Fazel Meibodi, another seminary teacher, said on December 11, according to the state-run Sarpoosh.
Less than 24 hours after Karami and Hosseini’s hanging, Mohsen Borhani, a state-affiliated lawyer, and expert argued they should not have been executed. “Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini did not commit premeditated murder. Ajamian was beaten by over 20 individuals. Whose blow caused his death? No one knows. So, we are facing a homicide with no specific murderer, and defendants should have only paid a financial compensation,” he wrote on Twitter on January 7.
In other words, even under the regime’s medieval penal code, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini should not have been executed. Khamenei knew it, yet he ordered their execution.
Protests have morphed into a revolution, and Khamenei sees his regime’s downfall on the horizon, so he tries to intimidate people and boost the morale of his demoralized forces, who witness people’s bravery despite the ongoing crackdown.
Besides, human rights violations are an inseparable part of the genocidal regime, as it cannot continue its life without executions. Human rights abuses, terrorism, and nuclear weapons are not mere penchants, but they are part of the regime’s DNA.
The regime’s core vulnerability, which stimulates its strategic orientations, stems from its historical, political, religious, and social illegitimacy at home. Deprived of a popular base domestically, the regime is sailing too close to the wind. Therefore, it resorts to more human rights violations.
Yet, Khamenei has so far failed to suppress society and control the situation hence opted to use executions as a weapon, but he shot his regime in the leg.
The world community should understand that these state murders reflect the regime’s sheer weakness. The international community should go beyond vocal condemnations of human rights violations in Iran. This would only allow the criminals ruling Iran to continue their killing spree with impunity. Western democracies should cut all ties with the regime and recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-defense.