July 22, 2017

The right prism on Iran

THE HILL

By Amir Emadi

Talk about the “wrong prism” to view Iran. An Iranian regime consulate employee in New York has recently taken to the American press to spew Tehran’s propaganda against the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). He is on a mission.

In principle, the emissaries of the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” should not have the audacity to regulate how others should see Iran. They have no legitimacy at home, and they should not assert legitimacy abroad. Imagine how ridiculous it would be for the diplomats of Kim Jong-un or Bashar al-Assad or Adolph Hitler to extol the virtues of their murderous wrath and pretend to act on their citizenry’s behalf. Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s emissaries are no different.

In fact, after 400 documented assassinations of opponents by regime “diplomats” and surrogates on western soil, the Iranian people wittingly refer to the regime’s so-called representatives in foreign countries as “diplomat-terrorists.” Indeed, Hassan Rouhani’s nominee for UN ambassador was denied entry in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 assassination of Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, the representative in Italy of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

It is a bitter irony that while Khamenei and the clerical regime slam the United States as the “Great Satan,” their genteel emissaries in foreign lands graciously pen articles – in English – in the popular press, and courteously advise members of Congress of the “Great Satan” to please view Iran differently: Tehran does not hang women, it does not export terrorism, and it despises nuclear weapons; it is peaceful, truthful, colorful, soulful.

The author of that article is, in fact, paid to lie. No one should be envious of his job, which is to put lipstick on a murderous pig. Shamelessly, he acts as the bona fide spokesperson of the Iranian people as if the world is blind. In reality, he represents a regime that has executed at least 1,200 people over the past year – unprecedented figures in 25 years. Iran is the world’s number one executioner on a per capita basis and it is one of a handful of executioners of juveniles.

The regime’s treatment of women has been a hallmark of its medievalist and abhorrent nature. As recently as October, it executed a 26-year-old woman for defending herself against an intelligence agent trying to sexually assault her and last month its thugs splashed acid on the faces of two dozen women in Isfahan, central Iran.

Abroad, it is universally-recognized that the mullahs are involved in brazen mischief-making in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. How can the author act any differently with regards to the Iranian opposition, which is viewed as an existential threat by his bosses?

Indeed, the regime continues to jail, torture, and execute MEK members and sympathizers. In June, it executed a young man simply because he made a small financial donation to the MEK. In September 2013, Iraqi security forces acting on orders from Tehran raided Camp Ashraf, Iraq, and murdered – execution-style – 52 residents, many with their hands tied behind their backs; my father was among them.

The MEK has been involved in a multitude of legal cases over the past decade in Europe and the U.S. In every instance, the courts have ruled unanimously in its favor. Just recently, the French judiciary said that the MEK’s activities were not terrorism, but “resistance against tyranny.” The only party in the world that describes the MEK as “terrorist” is the number one state terrorist and the godfather of ISIS: the Iranian regime. How is that for subtle irony?

While the regime splashes acid on the faces of women in Iranian cities, its “diplomats” splash venomous propaganda against opponents in the U.S. But it is too little too late for the emissary to save his disgraced regime. He is fearful – as he should be – of a world that is increasingly recognizing in the MEK a home-grown and democratic alternative to the regime. To a trained political mind, his paranoia and amusing reaction speak louder than his ludicrous claims.

Emadi is vice president of Strategy at a consumer products company, and spokesperson for the Organization of Iranian-American Communities-US (OIAC).

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/227311-the-right-prism-on-iran