8.24.2005

Op-Ed: Mocked by Mullahs

By Stefania Lapenna
Tech Central Station
August 11, 2005

Iran's recent move to resume its nuclear activities both defies the European Union's warnings and makes a mockery of the EU's diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.

It is a defeat of Europe's policy toward the Islamic Republic. It demonstrated, in case anyone still doubted it, the determination of a terrorist regime to get its hands on a nuclear bomb. Above all, it has proven that neither economic incentives nor any form of dialogue can change the Mullahs' minds.

And yet, it seems that Europe still doesn't get it. We read that the EU Big 3 (France, Germany and UK) are now "getting tougher" with the Mullahs by threatening UN sanctions. But there is little to hope that this threat will become a reality. The Europeans have significant economic interests in Iran, and they are not willing to compromise them anytime soon.

The Mullahs know who is on their side and who is not.

Nevertheless, the future doesn't look good for the Islamic Republic. President Bush's recent appointment of John Bolton as the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations sends a strong message to the Axis of Evil: you'll not be given a free pass.

At home, the Mullahs are facing growing unrest and popular uprisings. As the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran reported some day ago, "scattered clashes took place, today, in the northwestern City of Sannandaj located in the Iranian province of Kurdistan." The clashes "have been taking place following the publication of the mutilated body of a killed young activist who was arrested on July 9th."

Photos of this new victim of the Islamist regime also have been published on several weblogs, to show the world and the skeptics the real nature of a regime which our politicians believe to be made up of both "hard-liners" and "reformists".

Two weeks ago, a young homosexual couple was hanged in public. The execution of minors goes ahead and a prominent political prisoner, Manucher Mohammadi, is dying in jail after going into a coma. And yet, we hear nothing about that. The regime has so far succeeded in diverting the world's attention from these cases, as well as from the hundreds of other cases of innocent Iranians whose names are not known. No worldwide campaigns are being carried out.

Iran is ripe for revolution. It's high time the Free World started listening to the Iranian people.

Stefania Lapenna is an Italian activist. She is author of the weblog Free Thoughts.

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