The Iranian regime executed Navid Afkari, a 27-year-old wrestling champion, on Saturday in defiance of pleas by the international community to halt this execution. What are the consequences and outcome for the regime? Does Navid’s execution indicate the regime’s strength?
To answer these questions, it is necessary to understand the regime’s pillars of existence, which are none other than systematic domestic oppression and export of terrorism abroad. The regime’s record of being the top executioner per capita and the greatest state sponsor of terrorism are testaments to its vital need for execution and export of terrorism.
The medieval regime, due to its failing economic structure and institutionalized corruption, along with its warmongering policies, is neither willing nor able to resolve people’s economic and social grievances. Thus, the Iranian society has turned into a powder keg and the two recent major Iran protests in 2018 and November 2019 are testaments to this fact.
Therefore, to control this restive society, particularly after the November uprising which rattled the regime’s foundations, the mullahs have increased executions. The execution of Navid Afkari, and before him Mostafa Salehi who was also arrested during the nationwide Iran protests in 2018, are thus meant to thwart another uprising and intimidate the public.
These executions are the continuation of the regime’s brutal suppression of both uprisings of 2018 and November 2019, the latter at a much larger scale with over 1500 martyrs. These executions and oppression of both uprising are in line with the regime’s killing spree of the 1980s, which reached its height in the summer of 1988 when over 30,000 political prisoners were executed in a matter of months. The international community’s failure in holding the regime to account for its human rights violations, mainly the 1988 massacre, has caused the regime to enjoy a longtime impunity, thus, continuing its brutality and human rights violations.
Yet, there is difference between the regime’s oppression today and in the 1980s. In the 1980s, the regime executed and tortured people on the scale of thousands, but the world was silent. But now, Navid’s execution was followed by a huge international reaction. This is chiefly because of the Iranian people’s two recent glorious uprisings, and the Iranian Resistance’s four decades of exposing the regime’s human rights violations.
The consequences and outcome for the regime
Navid Afkari’s execution, with its both growing international and domestic condemnations, will increase the public’s hatred inside Iran toward the regime and the mullahs’ isolation on the international scene.
The Iranian regime was fully aware of these outcomes. So why did it nevertheless execute Navid? The answer is simple: Fearing a looming uprising that might topple the regime, the mullahs had to execute Navid, in a desperate attempt to control the society. On the other hand, the regime had once succumbed to an international and domestic campaign and temporarily halted the execution of three young men arrested during the November protests. If the mullahs were forced to stop Navid’s execution as well, this would have demoralized their oppressive forces.
Regarding the outcome of this criminal execution, and the international community’s duty, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said:
“Iran’s courageous youth will rise in solidarity with the heroic people of Fars Province and in protest of the undue execution of Navid Afkari. Iran mourns Navid and shares in the grief of Afkari family as the world is shocked by Khamenei and the clerical regime’s barbarism. The religious fascism ruling Iran cannot survive a day without executions, torture and domestic suppression. By spilling the blood of young people like Navid Afkari, the mullahs are seeking to maintain their hold on power in the face of Iran protests. The execution of Navid Afkari, however, will only add fuel to the flames of the Iranian people’s uprising and will send the mullahs’ regime to the dustbin of history.”
“The United Nations Security Council and its member states, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union and all international human rights authorities need to take practical, effective measures against the regime in Iran for the execution of Navid Afkari and 120,000 others executed on political grounds. Silence and inaction give a green light to and are construed as complicity in these crimes,” she added.