Jewish Journal

Wake Up America: Iran is not a “happy” place and Rouhani is no moderate!

by Karmel Melamed

June 1, 2014 | 11:44 pm

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has been responsible for a surge in executions in Iran since his election last year.

A few weeks ago several young people were arrested in Iran by the authorities of the Iranian regime for making a online video showing themselves and others dancing to the “Happy” song created by U.S. pop singer Pharrell Williams. The video showed young men and women without veils dancing in the streets of Tehran and had attracted more than one million views on YouTube. This video also attracted the attention of the Iranian “morality” police who arrested the youths. Their arrest led to an online and media campaign to pressure the Iranian regime to release the young Iranians. Williams also took to social media outlets to voice support for the young Iranians detained for just expressing their “joy” in the streets of Tehran. Within a few days, the regime fearing backlash for the international community released the young Iranians but forced them to repent for their “immoral behavior” on Iranian state-run television and then had their computers and recording devices confiscated by the regime’s thugs. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani then took to Twitter to quickly voice his “support” for the young Iranian people to express their joy, but it was clear to many of us who follow the regime’s activities that his words was just a damage control for a regime that continuously suppresses the Iranian people’s voices and true freedom.

This minor episode of arrests of innocents in Iran by the Iranian authorities is not something new, it has been going on since 1979 when the fundamentalist radical Islamic clerics in Iran took power in that country. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been arrested, tortured, beaten, raped and executed by the Iranian regime’s authorities and thugs for not following the strict and oppressive dogma of radical Shi’a Islam. The regime in Iran has for decades made that country a hell on earth for the people of Iran and the world has ignored the news and reports of horrendous human rights abuses as well as random executions occurring in Iran today. Sadly now through this social media outlet video indirectly involving Pharrell Williams, has the larger media in the U.S. and international community begun to realize that Iran is indeed not a happy place to live. When will all of us living under the umbrella of freedom in the West wake up and voice our support for the innocent people of Iran who just want to live their lives without oppression and constant fear of arrest, torture and execution for what they say or do in Iran?

Unfortunately the news media and elected officials in America and Europe continue to tell us that Rouhani and his administration are “moderates” and are supposedly trying to give the people of Iran more freedoms. But time and again those of us who know the true nature of the Iranian regime and its leadership know very well that Rouhani is just as brutal as all the other henchmen of the Iranian regime. If Rouhani is such a benevolent “moderate” leader, then why has there been a surge in the number of executions in Iran since he has gotten elected? According to Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, at least 500 people were executed in Iran in 2013 and nearly 200 people had been put to death in January, February and March of 2014. Among those executed included 27 women and two children. These numbers are officially documented figures, but according to other sources, the figure for executions might be much higher. According to Amnesty International’s 2014 report, Iran is ranked number one, surpassing China, in leading the world in executions per capita—with those executed including women, human rights activists, political activists, and religious ethnic minorities. Those who continue to call Rouhani and the current regime in Iran “moderate” are living in a fairytale land of make-believe given the heinous track record of human rights abuses and torture from the regime’s henchmen under his watch!

Now Western apologists for Rouhani claim that he has no control over the judiciary and security apparatuses in Iran who are being run by hardliners in the regime. If this is true, then why hasn’t Rouhani publicly condemned the random arrests, tortures, executions, suppressions of freedom of press in Iran? Why hasn’t the “moderate” Rouhani stepped in and done his best stopped these random executions and arrests? Why hasn’t the “moderate” Rouhani kept his campaign promises to allow greater freedoms to average Iranians who wish to access social media websites? Why hasn’t the “moderate” Rouhani released or pushed for the release of hundreds of journalists and political opponents to the regime who are currently being held in Iranian prisons for no reason? If Rouhani is indeed powerless in Iran as his apologists in the U.S. and Europe claim, then why does the current U.S. administration and European governments negotiate with him and his cohorts? Why don’t Western leaders face the reality that the true power behind Iran’s brutal regime is the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and speak out against his dictatorship and his crimes against humanity in Iran?

The truth of the matter is clear, Rouhani is not a moderate and will never be a moderate because he remains silent and complicit while different segments of Iran’s brutal totalitarian regime kills thousands of innocent Iranians who they consider undesirable! When Rouhani accepted the office of Iran’s presidency, he swore allegiance to the Iranian Supreme Leader and to spread the regime’s radical Shiite Islamic doctrines to the world. Furthermore, what is truly ironic is the fact that while the Iranian regime and its so-called leaders like Rouhani and Khamenei freely use Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites, then deny average Iranians the same right to use these sites to express themselves. Again, are these the actions of a “moderate” leader? Sounds more like the actions of a heartless dictator! When will America and the leaders of the free world finally wake up from their slumber and realize that those in power in Iran are not moderates but unmerciful criminals who  have destroyed the lives of innocent Iranians who only yearn to live in peace and freedom in Iran? Perhaps when influential leaders in the West and artists like Pharrell Williams raise the issues of human rights abuses in Iran, then maybe changes can occur for the benefit of average Iranians seeking true democracy and freedom. The most important thing we can do as supporters of human rights and democracy in Iran is to voice our unequivocal support for those wanting freedom in Iran and oppose the regime’s leadership--  both “moderates” and “hardliners” alike. The current U.S. administrations negotiations with Iran will be an utter failure in the end because this Iranian regime does not recognized nor respect the West. They have their own agenda of spreading their fundamentalist Shiite Islamic beliefs to the whole world and will not stop at pursuing this goal at any cost. Crippling economic sanctions on the regime and more vocal support for the average Iranian citizens together will most likely help end the life of this hellish regime in Iran.

Sadly, this episode of arrests in Iran by the regime’s thugs of average Iranians seeking basic freedoms will not be the last. The regime’s ruling clerics have promised harsher crack downs on those who do not fall in line with their radical Islamic theology. More young and old in Iran wanting to express themselves and free themselves from the shackles of the Iranian regime will continue to face arrests, tortures, beatings, rapes and executions at the hands of the Iranian clerics. Here’s the now famous “Happy” music video from the young Iranian dancers…


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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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