IRAN: ISJ LETTER TO MR CHARLES MICHEL, MR DAVID MARIA SASSOLI AND MR DAVID MCALLISTER
May 17, 2020:
Charles Michel, President of the European Council
David Maria Sassoli, President of the European Parliament
David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament
We write to you on behalf of the International Committee ‘In Search of Justice’ (ISJ), a non-profit NGO registered in Brussels. Our members include many elected parliamentarians, former senior officials, and other dignitaries, with an interest to promote human rights, freedom, democracy, peace and stability in Iran.
We are deeply concerned about the prevailing situation in Iran. The disintegrating Iranian economy, combined with the theocratic dictatorship’s bungled attempts to control the coronavirus pandemic, have brought the regime to the verge of collapse. The mullahs continue to lie about the extent of the contagion, claiming, absurdly, that the death toll is around 6,000, while in fact numerical statistics gathered from only 317 cities out of Iran’s 1245 cities in 31 provinces indicate that over 41,000 have died of the Covid-19 disease. Some experts believe that the death toll could even be greater than this, but President Rouhani has told Iran’s citizens, 70% of whom are now living below the poverty line, to leave their homes and return to work to kick start the ailing economy.
The current lockdown, acute food shortages and extreme poverty have left the people of Iran with the unenviable choice of staying at home and starving to death or going to work and potentially dying from the virus. In a bid to subdue simmering resentment at these unbearable conditions and to terrorize the 80 million population into submission, the mullahs have begun a new wave of executions. Last month, the authorities put to death at least 32 individuals in 14 cities. Those hanged included political prisoners, juvenile offenders, and members of ethnic minorities. The situation in Iran’s medieval jails is particularly grisly, with many prisoners, especially the thousands of young students arrested during last November’s nationwide uprising, contracting the virus, and being denied medical help, a virtual death sentence. This dreadful situation has led to prison riots and mass breakouts. Recaptured prisoners have been executed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) within days. The regime is terrified of another revolution that will sweep them from power, so they have resorted to daily hangings during the holy month of Ramadan.
Even students and young protesters who took part in demonstrations against the downing of the Ukrainian airliner in January, have been sentenced to flogging and long jail terms. The mullahs’ cyber-police have arrested thousands of people who have posted online information revealing the truth about the Covid-19 contagion. They have been accused of being enemy agents trying to damage Iran’s reputation by spreading false rumors about the virus. The theocratic dictatorship is displaying all the signs of a regime in terminal decline, terrified of a popular uprising, and panicking about losing their grip on power. But all the signs now point to a new, massive revolt. The Iranian people know that only regime change will free them from repression, starvation and tyranny. They are fed up with the mullahs funding proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. They are fed up with billions being squandered on building nuclear weapons and missile technology. They are fed up with the systematic and venal corruption that has enriched the ayatollahs and their henchmen on money looted from the people. A new revolution is inevitable. The Iranian people have lost their fear. In our view this is a regime that has reached its end. Their policy of aggressive expansionism across the Middle East has almost ground to a halt, as they can no longer sustain the level of support they previously poured into their proxies in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. Mass protests in Iraq and Lebanon are demanding the expulsion of Iran from their respective nations. The Iranian regime’s venal corruption and tragic incompetence will hasten its downfall and it may survive for only weeks or months at the most. We would therefore urge you to waste no further effort or resources in supporting this repressive dictatorship and instead please transfer your backing to the Iranian people.
Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics. Vice-president of the European Parliament (1999-2014).
Chair ISJ Committee on the Protection of Human Rights & Justice in Iran
Minister Foreign Affairs Italy (2011-2013), Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York (2008-2009) and Ambassador of Italy to the United States (2009-2011).
STRUAN STEVENSON (Source: ISJ, 13/05/2020)
Chair ISJ Committee on the Protection of Political Freedoms in Iran
President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14).