Iran’s back is against the wall. The Islamic Republic was reluctant to show its characteristic brutality toward protesters while it still hoped for world support in the form of a revived nuclear deal. The country has been under a microscope since protests began.
Last week, the UN removed Iran from women’s rights committee, of which it should never been part of in the first place. Biden also admitted that the Iran nuke deal is dead, but this still hasn’t been officially announced.
The nuclear deal with Iran “is dead,” Biden admitted, even as he was maintaining that he won’t announce the JCPOA has died. pic.twitter.com/cKnnz6UH2B
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) December 20, 2022
As Iran grapples with a revolution that it intensifying, including the formation of underground groups uniting to overthrow it, the Islamic regime warned of coming executions in early December. The regime’s desperation grows. Now it is once again using fear and terror to crush anti-government protests.
by Sanam Mahoozi and Alexander Smith, NBC News, December 19, 2022:
LONDON — Iran’s government has spent months violently cracking down on protests gripping the country. Now it has started hanging people in public — an approach some demonstrators and experts see as a desperate attempt to crush the dissent that has posed an unprecedented challenge to the clerical regime.
The first known executions of people arrested over the months of protests prompted an outcry from Western governments and human rights activists, but they came as little surprise to those involved in the demonstrations or carefully watching from afar.
“They want to create fear for the people who are involved,” Saeed, a business owner in his 30s from Tehran who is very active backing the protests on social media, said by voice note. As with all those interviewed for this story inside Iran, NBC News is identifying him only by his first name to avoid possible retaliation by the regime.
“They want to show the public that their actions will not go unpunished and that there are rules in the system,” he added, and so “families stop their children from going out to protest.”
Last Monday, officials publicly hanged a man from a construction crane in Mashhad, according to Mizan, a judiciary-run news agency. Majidreza Rahnavard was accused of “waging war on God” after he was accused of stabbing to death two members of the pro-government Basij militia in the northeast city. Human rights groups and Western governments say Iran’s judicial system is based on sham trials behind closed doors.
A week earlier, Iran executed another man, Mohsen Shekari, alleging he blocked a road in Tehran and stabbed a pro-government militia member who required stitches. Around a dozen other people have been sentenced to death, according to human rights groups.
“The regime knows it is fighting for its life,” said Abbas Milani, the director of an Iranian studies program at Stanford University. In the past, the regime has been “busy simply containing” demonstrators, he added. “Now they need to put the fear in people’s hearts again.”
Executions by hanging are far from rare in Iran, which Amnesty International says put 314 people to death last year, the most in the world after China.
But many activists and analysts alike believe the Islamic Republic is using the death penalty to terrify demonstrators into silence, after other attempts failed to quell the most significant wave of dissent since its founding revolution in 1979.
“This is very standard playbook by them; they have done this at previous protests” said Ali Ansari, a professor of Iranian history at St. Andrews University in Scotland. But this time, “if anything, they are moving quicker now to execute protesters with sham trials that even their own side are criticizing.”……
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