| 14.03,16. 06:49 AM |
Iran’s Gloomy Reply to West Illusions of Change
By Keyvan Salami
Iran “elections” resulted to a substantial blow to the epicenter of power in the clerical rule. This has as anticipated, it has weekend the regime more than ever before. Iran’s rash suppressive measures and regional frantic moves in these days are desperate reactions to its aggravating status quo. Reports indicates that Iran execution machine is continuing to rage of 100 prisoners to be sent to the gallows for drug offenses. In the most recent salvo of what has become a routine massacre of drug “offenders”, around 100 inmates across the country have been informed of their impending hangings. On the other hand, Iran dispatches revolutionary guards and mercenaries to Syria in persistent violation of cessation of hostilities agreed upon by the United States and Russia. And finally, Iran conducted new ballistic missile tests capable of carrying nuclear weapons in gross violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. With such reports, any illusion of changes rendering after “elections” in Iran is a case of faux pas.
More Executions, and the Irony
Reports from inside Iran, especially Ghezel Hessar Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, have provided alarming details about prisoners being informed of the mullahs’ Supreme Court upholding their death sentences.
As various observers across the West are cheerleading “moderates” gaining the upper hand and rising to power, such a massacre of 100 inmates should serve as a very harsh wake-up call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s dark record of more than 2,300 ex ecutions since coming to office back in 2013. The United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also condemned and shed light on drug-offense executions and Iran’s gross human rights violations in horrendously surpassing the 600 count. Estimates show more than of those executed by Iran, and up to 70% more recently, are in some way connected to drug-related charges. Being situated adjacent to Afghanistan have made Iran a conduit for drug trafficking. Tehran has also ordered its Lebanese proxy and launder money from smuggling and dealing heroin from Afghanistan via Iran. Afghans themselves, desperately seeking refuge in Iran, are also executed on drug-related charges. Addiction has skyrocketed recently, with officials acknowledging in 2015 that more than 2.2 million of the 80 million population are addicted to dangerous drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. This of course plays into the regime’s interest of destroying Iran’s youth, and to this end, significantly quelling any possible rebellion against the ruling establishment.
However, Iranian authorities put the brakes on such executions in February during the weeks surrounding recent twin elections. This is common practice in Iran, showing the arbitrary order of such killings are politically motivated and not aimed at curbing or fighting drug trafficking or the use of such substances.
Dispatch of revolutionary guards and mercenaries to Syria
Iran has been compelled to ostensibly accept cessation of hostilities in Syria, it constantly violates this cease fire while continuing to dispatch its revolutionary guards and mercenaries to Syria in preparation for the upcoming large-scale assaults, especially in northern Aleppo.
IRGC continues to dispatch mercenaries from larger Iranian cities to Syria. Just from Abadan, there are three daily flights taking mercenaries to Damascus. On Saturday, March 5, around 300 al-Nojaba fighters, an Iraqi mercenary group affiliated with the Qods Force, were flown from Abadan to Damascus. Meanwhile, on February 22, Khamenei ordered the establishment of airborne units in the IRGC Army to advance the criminal assaults in Syria. IRGC aerospace helicopters are to be transferred to the IRGC Army for this purpose. Khamenei is using the unfrozen funds from the nuclear deal to purchase billions of dollars of advanced weaponry from Russia for the IRGC and Bashar Assad’s military.
Iran tests more missiles
As a saber rattling show Iran conducted a second successive day of missile tests on Wednesday, firing two rockets that it said hit targets over 850 miles away. The missiles were fired from several silos in different anonymous regions of the country, at a giant underground base with what seemed to be a Qiam 1, a ballistic missile first tested in 2010. “This is a missile revolution,” the presenter said. The head of the Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, and the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Corps, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, attended the exercises.
General Hajizadeh said that the United States was “trying to turn off the lights of Iran’s missile program.” “The Guards Corps doesn’t give in to threats,” he said. Under the terms of the nuclear accord signed last summer, Iran was called upon to refrain from testing missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons
In a statement on their website, the Revolutionary Guards clearly disclosed their wobbly status reiterating that the missile tests was to: “demonstrate Iran’s deterrent power and the Islamic republic’s ability to confront any threat against the revolution, the state and sovereignty of the country, under the auspices of empathy and compassion.”
Despite hopes rising for possible change for the better in Iran after the February 26th “elections,” facts on the ground provide a completely different picture. The escalation of massacres inside the country and the military meddling and intervention in the region and provocative missile tests once again revokes any change after the nuclear deal or the elections. The Revolutionary Guards diehards have for years outmuscled anything resembling a modern and civilized society in Iran. Hopes and analysis about Iran should not be ballooned. While true moderation is welcomed in any country, the ruling brass in Iran have shown once again they will have none of it.
Keyvan Salami tweets at @salamikeyvan