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  • U.S. Needs Stronger Response to Human Rights Violations in Iran

    Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 produced the current Islamic republic, university students in the country have been on the frontlines of speaking out against the repressive measures of the Ayatollahs’ government. This week an exhibit at Georgetown University’s Law Center is showcasing portraits of Iranian students who have taken action and suffered for the cause of justice and human rights. The last 30 years of Iranian history are marked with injustices, especially against the liberties of speech and education, including, for example, the Cultural Revolution of 1980–82 that shut down Iranian universities, the mass political executions of 1988, the student protests and 18th of Tir disaster in 1999, and the post-election protests and violence of 2009.

    Simply because they speak critically of the Iranian government, students continue to suffer countless abuses. For baseless charges such as organizing illegal gatherings, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, acting against national security, and enmity toward God, dormitories have been raided and burned, and students have been arrested or barred from university studies. Students are tried and convicted without being given the right to an attorney; moreover, thousands have been interrogated, beaten, or killed. As Americans, we must sympathize with those who speak and work for freedom, and further we should ask what our own Administration is doing to advance the cause of liberty in Iran. Shamefully, the answer is “not enough.”

    Since the rigged re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad June 2009 the Obama Administration has had the opportunity to assist Iran’s Green Movement in its efforts to develop free democracy in Iran; however, the White House has not provided substantial support to the movement. Nor has the Obama Administration declared regime change in Iran official U.S. policy, despite the regime’s numerous sinister dealings with regard to nuclear development, human rights violations, and sponsoring terrorism.

    The United States can and should do more to advance the pro-democracy movement in Iran. Efforts to provide uncensored communications should be expanded to facilitate communication between Iranian dissidents, enhance their ability to mobilize supporters, and improve their access to media outside Iran. Illegal activities, terrorist financing, and human rights violations by the Iranian government should be communicated to the Iranian people, in order to foment discontent with the oppressive regime and to build support for democratic reform.

    The U.S. must not stand idle and let such atrocities continue. Providing material assistance and funding for communications would instill the confidence needed for creating substantial change. If the U.S. fails to act, it will have squandered an opportunity to bring reform to a government that has inflicted profound abuse for far too long.

    Frederick Roth is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to U.S. Needs Stronger Response to Human Rights Violations in Iran

    1. Pingback: “My Escape from Slavery” by Frederick Douglas | Catadoc.com

    2. Drew Page, IL says:

      If you are talking about setting up some sort of "Radio Free Iran", I'm all for it.

      But that's where U.S. involvement should end. We don't need to get the kind of "involvement" that sends arms, war materials, U.S. military support or money to any dissidents in Iran. Let those Iranians who are less than pleased with their government dispose of their own politicians and 'leaders' by whatever means they choose, BUT WE NEED TO STAY OUT OF IT.

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Let's see now, Obama stole his election so it is hard to criticize Iran for Amademagog stealing his. If we can't handle our own domestic insurgency, the Cold War Commies taking over, then what hope do they have in Iran? America has the Captive Media molding public opinion by saturation advertising and we want a Free Press in Iran? We tie Israel's hands on Iran's Nuclear program until it is too late (sorry, it is already too late) and that is supposed to encourage our allies? Join with America, we will sell you down the river! That's some Foreign Policy to be proud of!

      I swear America would do more good in the World if we merely stood as an example. The Iranian students might have something to hope for, some real values to follow instead of appeasing dictators (soon to be Mass Murderers) the way the U. N. does it. We pay for that, so is America worthy of their trust? Why should they listen to us? We are the new Communist super power. We have lost more Liberty than the Iranians have the capacity to dream about.

    4. John Brooks, Port De says:

      And what then if Iran gets a nuclear weapon that can hit our allies in the region? The IISS, a UK think tank, has already said they can hit Western Europe by 2014, so what do you suggest if Iran launches that nuclear weapon, MAD isnt going to work here, because their leaders in Iran are mad, and believe that it is Allah's will.

      Second, as for a Radio Free Iran, the United States should already done this a long time ago, like VOA in the Eastern European countries during the Cold War.

      Third, what the United States to do to help the dissents on the ground their is support them like we did with Solidarity in Poland. Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and many others supported Solidarity. We are going to support them on the ground in some way, in able for them to better organize their protests which are being crushed by the government easily. While the Green Movement is a great start, I'm concerned that the group is splintered and unorganized in protesting inside Iran, due to the Basij and IRGC clamping down. We are going to have send something, which probably would be money to help them organize better.

      Fourth, the key is who the heck is control in Iran? Khamenei? The Basij? The IRGC? The conservatives who control the country are splintered, with those who support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and our opposed to him?

      Fifth, the Green Movement will not mean a damn thing if all it does is get Mir Hossein Mousavi in power, this is a man who when Prime Minister, a position that was eliminated in 1989, supported Hezbollah in the 80s in the First Lebanon War. As many should know, those who became Hezbollah blew up the Beirut Barracks killing 241 Americans and 58 French servicemen and then did a bombing on the US Embassy killed 17 Americans, 32 Lebanese, and 17 visitors. Mousavi is no reformer, he was selected and screened by Khamenei, and the only candidates that get on the ballot are the ones approved by him. Him or Mehdi Karoubi would both be loyal to Khamenei.

      Sixth, as Reza Pahlavi, the Crown Prince and son of the Late Shah, said Obama failed to listen to the Iranians who protested and shouted on the street, "Obama, Obama, are you with us or with them". Obama sure didnt show he was with them. It took like 10+ days for him to even say something regarding Iran. If the President of the United States will not take a stand in the name of human rights and democracy, then he is a coward, why people die in the streets of Tehran, are beated to death in Evin Prison, or stoned to death. The fact is we should be doing more than what you suggest. A Radio Free Iran is a great start, but if that is it then that is lackluster, and the radical mullahs will be in power for decades.

      Finally, I like others want this to end in a peaceful matter, where the Iranian people have there Second Revolution, but this time one that results in a free, democratic, a secular state that doesnt threaten its neighbors or call for Israel's destruction. If the Iranian people succeed in overthrowing this theocratic government, then they also have to find leaders outside of the inner circle now and not the Mousavi and Karroubi types.

    5. human violations in says:

      Are you kidding? The USA is concerned about "human right violations" in OTHER countries, when there are numerous daily violations against US citizens from our own government healthcare system, as seen on youtube when you punch in "severe autism" Not to forget homeless vets. Homeless mentally ill persons. Elderly, etc…who are continually abused and neglected, Yea, sure, we, the US are going to go tell others how to treat their citizens. How about we get our own shit together FIRST?

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