By Shamsi Saadati
The Iranian regime is in a very difficult position. It is subject to major economic sanctions and the people of Iran are applying immense domestic pressure. The Trump administration is also in the midst of a maximum pressure campaign on Iran and morale is low in the country.
The people have been calling for regime change for quite some time now and it seems like they will not give up until they finally achieve freedom, democracy and human rights. They have been the first victims of the Iranian regime and they continue to be treated despicably to this day.
True freedom is non-existent in Iran. Ethnic minorities, religious minorities, women, lawyers, journalists, young people, and so many more sectors of society are faced with discrimination and unequal treatment.
Unemployment is a major problem and poverty is on the rise. Every year, more and more people are falling below the absolute poverty line. Job security is rare and prices of goods are increasing out of reach for more and more people. People are losing their livelihoods as businesses have no option but to cease trading because of the dire economic conditions.
The Iranian regime normally denies that social problems are as serious as they are and try to focus on issues that do not portray the country in such a negative light. However, last week, a member of the Iranian parliament – the Majlis – spoke out about the situation, claiming that the country’s biggest enemy was the economic situation.
Hossein Maghsoudi said: “Our internal enemy that is a bigger enemy than the US is youth unemployment, marginalization, the gap between the rich and poor, inflation, despair, depression among young people and ethnic and religious differences in the country.”
He mentioned on a number of occasions that the United States is not Iran’s biggest enemy, emphasising that the biggest issues are found at home. Pointing to the widespread corruption that spreads across the whole leadership, Maghsoudi said that officials are flaunting their “trillions in savings”.
Maghsoudi’s claim that the biggest threat to the regime’s survival is at home is correct. The people of Iran will be the force behind regime change. They almost achieved a future free of the rule of the mullahs during their 2009 uprising, but faced with the silence of the international community, they fell short.
It is now the responsibility of the international community to realise that it must not appease the Iranian regime any longer. Politicians in Europe in particular have been appeasing the Iranian regime for years. Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and the biggest impediment to peace and security in the Middle East and beyond. The Iranian regime is responsible for some horrific human rights abuses – in the past and presently – and its ignores international conventions.
Instead of trying to preserve business relations with Iran, EU leaders should make sure that the core values of the European Union are upheld. Some of the EU’s fundamental values include the respect of human rights and dignity, democracy and freedom. It should not be appeasing a regime that disregards and disrespects these core values.