Iran’s ‘moderation’ myth is coming to an end


It has been proven time and again that evil prevails if the good remain quiet. We have witnessed this so atrociously in the brutality of Aleppo. But the first step in bringing stability to Syria, is to bring justice to Iran.

Iran is an evil regime. There is no freedom of the press. There is no freedom of religion. Human rights violations are extraordinary.

This regime rules with an iron fist and is highly active in destabilizing the region. And all the while, enjoying significant Western support amongst those who actually believe in change and “moderation” from within this regime.

{mosads}This camp continues to revisit the notion of a potentially “moderate” regime changing its behavior and being more welcome in the broader global community. Advocates of such a mentality are wishfully thinking this regime will alter its conduct towards its citizens, neighbors and frankly the rest of the world.


We know this hasn’t happened. If Tehran truly bore the intent to not only embrace the nuclear agreement but the spirit of the accord with the West, they would not have test-fired missiles in March or October of this year.

If the mullahs are actually sensitive about the human rights of ordinary Iranian citizens, then this regime would not have executed over 3,000 people in the past four years alone, and nearly 1,000 in 2015.

This regime, if actually sensitive about its “moderate” image, would not be executing women and minors, and would not be sending opposition supporters to the gallows. This certainly doesn’t sound anything similar to “moderate” behavior, at least not in the democratic world.

Iran is also deeply involved in destabilizing the region and the neighborhood. The single, most significant destabilizing factor throughout the Middle East was, is and will be in the foreseeable future none other than the regime ruling Iran, its President Hassan Rouhani, the mullahs and so forth.

Every one of us now unfortunately has a very depict image in their minds of the horrific genocide taking place in Syria. The little boy facing down on the shores of Turkey continues to haunt us today, add to that the small child in the back of an ambulance, for the first time seeing his own blood. They were all attempting to escape the oppression, the violence, the agony and the pain in Syria.

We have before us a massive refugee crisis with nearly half a million killed in the country, more than half the country’s population displaced, and millions involved in one of the largest exoduses in the history of mankind.

And again, what is the primary destabilizing force supporting the ruthless regime of Bashar Assad in Syria? Iran. They have troops and foot soldiers across the Levant and the entire region, parallel to their vast arms provision and funding for such proxies. Ironically, these efforts have all been boosted by the very money released thanks to U.S. President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran.

This is alongside their measures in respect to Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the region, leading to Tehran’s designation as the number one terrorist state in the world.

Continued human rights violations at unprecedented levels; massive destabilization in the region not only contrary to the interests of the region’s neighboring countries but to Western values and United States interests; and continued ballistic missile testing all prove there is nothing to be found “moderate” in Iranian regime.

There is, however, every reason to believe that President-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy team bring a new set of eyes, a new attitude and a new approach toward this “moderate” theocracy.

While the West continues to weigh the various options available before Washington vis-à-vis Tehran, one practical opportunity lies in supporting the sole Iranian democratic opposition movement found in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a political and truly moderate umbrella group seeking peaceful regime change in Iran.

The NCRI, led by Maryam Rajavi, herself a Muslim women despising the Iranian regime’s fundamentalist nature, enjoys strong bipartisan and apolitical support across the globe, as personified by numerous senior U.S. and European politicians.

A relentless commitment and faith to a certain cause is the epicenter needed to bring about the very necessary changes in Iran. This is most definitely a worthy cause set to render a domino effect across the region. With Iran’s mullahs out of the picture, rest assured the very root of all extremism, radicalism, terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East will be exterminated.

The status quo in our world demands good people and countries committed to human rights, freedom and democracy, do all we can to effectively spark change.

As the pro-appeasement drive to portray the Iranian regime as moderate has failed miserably, Iran represents the most important stage where a new pro-human rights initiative must launch.

Heshmat Alavi is a political and rights activist. His writing focuses on Iran, ranging from human rights violations, social crackdown, the regime’s support for terrorism and meddling in foreign countries, and the controversial nuclear program. He tweets at @HeshmatAlavi & blogs at IranCommentary. He has been published by the Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank chaired by John Bolton.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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