DThe protests in Iran have been going on for three months. Over 18,200 people were arrested and more than 490 murdered. Those sentenced to death included bodybuilder Sahand Nour Mohammadzadeh, doctor Hamid Gharehasanlu, rapper Saman Yasin, family man Reza Arya, taxi driver Tohid Darvishi, actor Hossein Mohammadi, 23-year-old Mahan Sadrat and 19-year-old Mohammad Borghani , the brothers Farhad and Farzad Tahazade. I hope they are still alive when this text appears. Mohsen Shekari, 23 years old, has already been executed. I read that he worked as a barista. He was executed without first notifying his family. There is video showing his mother finding out about her son’s murder. She screams.
People who talk about human rights are laughed at
A regime that murders, tortures and rapes is better off falling today than tomorrow. That should be in the interests of every state that sees itself as a constitutional state. As the women in Iran chanted back in 1979, freedom is “neither Eastern nor Western – but universal”. But those who speak about human rights are often ridiculed and dismissed as naïve idealists. I keep hearing that everything is honorable. And yes, of course it’s terrible what happens in these dictatorships (this cynicism is often experienced in people who have never had anything to do with dictatorships, i.e. have not grown up with photos of murdered friends or relatives, with stories of torture and betrayal).
This is often based on the misconception that there is a contradiction per se between realpolitik and value-oriented foreign policy. You have to be able to afford the latter. However, particularly when it comes to Iran, this is so wrong. The Islamic Republic has not confined its atrocities to just Iran, but has continued to destabilize destabilized countries across the region, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The regime has armed and trained terrorist groups and made the destruction of Israel state doctrine. It has short- and medium-range missiles that can fly up to 2000 kilometers. The Pentagon believes Iran has the most ballistic missiles in the Middle East and is tinkering with newer long-range missiles. Just for information: Tehran is around 1,500 kilometers as the crow flies from Tel Aviv and the Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon around 1,100 kilometers from Athens.
Shooting in Geneva
A few weeks ago, the regime announced that hypersonic missiles had also been developed. In other words, rockets that fly very fast and low and are therefore hardly detectable by radar systems. It is unthinkable that it also had the atomic bomb. It supplies Putin with rockets and drones that wreak havoc in Ukraine. But the Islamic Republic of Iran is not only a disaster for the Middle East and supporters of dictators. It is also a danger for Europe. This has often been the case, for example the shooting of a deserted Iranian air force pilot in Geneva in 1987, the murder of the Kurdish politician Abul Ghassemlou and two of his companions in Vienna in 1989 or the Mykonos attack in Berlin in 1992. In recent years there have been news stories like this: “Belgian police prevent attack on exiled Iranians in France”, “Exiled Iranians killed in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2018”, “Iranian hacker attacks worldwide”. And recently: “Attorney General investigates: Iran responsible for attacks on synagogues?”
It’s not just about – as the saying goes – “showing your composure”, but also about your own security interests. In other words, the goals of realpolitik and value-oriented foreign policy coincide here. And it’s high time: people are being executed, the regime is building an atomic bomb. People have missed a lot in recent years and thought that trade would magically bring about change. Germany is Iran’s number one economic partner in Europe again this year. From January to October, Iran imported goods worth 1.2 billion euros from Germany and exported goods worth 260 million euros.
Just imagine how much trade could only be done with a democratic and stable Iran. The fact that these protests are successful should be in the European interest: also because you share the same values with the protesting people and the killing has to stop. When I started writing this column last Sunday, listing the name of Majid Reza Rahnavard among those sentenced to death, he was still alive. When I sat down at my desk again on Monday morning, he was dead. Publicly hung from a construction crane. His killers rejoiced, Allahu Akbar. Majid Reza Rahnavard was 23 years old.
Leave a Reply