Commentary: Iran’s regime is kicking and punching in despair


Published in German daily “Die Welt” on January 29 2010
Source (German):
by Dietrich Alexander

They are being referred to as “Mohareb”, enemies of God. In Iran’s theocracy, this equals a death sentence. Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani (36) and Arash Rahmanipour (19), two young Iranian opposition supporters, were hanged in the early morning hours, because an elusive judiciary, assisting a totalitarian power in hurrying obedience, defamed them by calling them “Mohareb”.
These executions were the first enforced death penalties related to the massive protests against the scandal-ridden re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In June of last year, he was confirmed as the Iranian president, and the elections that pretty obviously had been rigged were followed by protests that continue until this day. Nine death penalties are currently being reviewed in an appeals court, and there is hardly any doubt that they will be confirmed.

These are the few cases on which information has emerged. But how many of the more than 4000 detained protesters have died in the dungeons? How many were beaten do death or shot by the notorious thugs of the paramiltary Basiji organization?

The religious dictatorship is kicking and punching, in impotent anger and political helplessness. Show trials, public hangings, death threats against dissidents and their families – the entire spectrum of instruments of totalitarianism in Iran is unfolding right now. Why? Because Ayatollah Khomeini’s heirs are facing the biggest threat since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 brought the mullahs to power.

The mediocre leadership team around Ahmadinejad, even the religious leader Ali Khamenei, have not only drawn the ire of the streets, but have also lost the backing of parts of the Shia clerics. Powerful voices are heard: Ayatollah Dastgheib of Shiraz, for example, or Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei in the holy city of Qom. The oppositionist politician Mehdi Karroubi predicts that the moderate powers will unite and save Iran. And then, it might eventually be clarified who the real enemies of God are.

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