Opinion by Bryan E Leib and Dr. Daniel Jafari - "We, the American people...must always draw a line in the sand separating the Iranian people from the Iranian Regime."
On Thursday, November 4th, thousands of Iranians with ties to the Iranian Regime gathered on streets of Tehran for the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and burning American and Israeli flags. The US Embassy takeover triggered a 444-day hostage crisis and break in diplomatic relations that continues to this day.
Ever since the Iranian Regime took power in 1979, they have been on a mission to spread their version of Islam around the world to serve their anti-Western agenda, while also radically changing the lifestyle of the Iranian people.
The Regime has tried to achieve this through their terrorist and militant proxies such as Hamas and Palestinian Jihad in Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. The Regime spends billions of dollars every year financing these terrorist groups with cold hard cash, missiles, weapons and training.
In addition to the funding of terrorism around the world, which by the way, the Iranian people have been protesting for years - the Regime will do whatever is needed to deny the Iranian people the benefits of basic political and social freedoms, equality and tolerance.
University students in Tehran refusing to walk on the American and Israeli flags. January 2020
While many in the Iranian Regime and the 1% of Iran enjoy luxuries like unfettered access to the internet, access to social media, business and educational opportunities and much more - the vast majority of the Iranian people are suffering because of the corruption and misrule of the Islamic Republic, and have been for decades.
This Regime has proven time and time again that they will do whatever is necessary to maintain their grip on power. Some examples of this are:
Arresting and executing high profile citizens like Navid Afkari on trumped up charges;
Allowing honor killings that permits close relatives to execute their own family members for being gay or lesbian, or for extramarital relationships;
Turning off the internet inside Iran when the Iranian people take to the streets to protest, to ensure that the outside world can’t see what’s happening;
And when turning off the internet doesn't work, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gives the order to use lethal force.
Once such example was in November 2019.
The Iranian people started taking to the streets to protest against the Islamic Republic. First, the Regime turned off the internet so the people couldn't broadcast their message to the world. When that didn't work, Khamenani issued a directive to the IRGC to use lethal force on his citizens.
When the dust settled, Reuters reported that over 1,500 innocent Iranians were murdered on streets all throughout Iran.
Which brings me to the topic of this piece. We, the American people and our representatives in the Federal Government must always draw a line in the sand separating the Iranian people from the Iranian Regime.
In my (Bryan) latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I discussed how the Iranian people and Iranian diaspora around the world support the Abraham Accords and they want peace with Israel and their Arab neighbors. The Iranian Regime has coordinated a smear campaign against the Abraham Accords with all Regime officials and their allies in America pouring cold water on the historic agreements at every opportunity.
The Iranian people love America, our values and our culture. The Iranian Regime has been chanting “Death to America”, burning American flags and sanctioning terrorist attacks against American forces and our allies for decades.
From our perspective, it’s very clear that most Iranians love America. We will never stop standing with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and we hope you will stand with the Iranian people as well because they need our support now more than ever before. Stand for liberty!
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of Iranian Americans for Liberty and he is a former GOP Congressional Candidate and Dr. Daniel Jafari is the President of Iranian Americans for Liberty
Opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran International