12182014Thu

An unholy alliance


Iran Focus

Editorial

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. Popular protests calling for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to relinquish power have continued despite state cruelty. Mr. Assad’s forces have committed egregious crimes against humanity, reportedly even torturing to death several teenagers as young as 13 in an apparent bid to frighten protestors into submission.

At least 53 people are said to have been killed across Syria since last Saturday, bringing the total number of reported fatalities to over 1,600 people, Amnesty International reported on August 9.

On Sunday, Syrian gunboats pounded the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia with heavy machine-gun fire, killing at least 19 people, according to the Associated Press.

The chilling wholesale war against a defenseless population by Mr. Assad’s regime has provoked international outrage. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Damascus last week in protest to the army’s “killing machine.” Kuwait and Bahrain have followed suit. In fact, most Arab states and the Gulf Cooperation Council have so far condemned the regime, leaving it isolated.

That is with the exception of Iran and Iraq. To no one’s surprise, Assad’s long-time allies in Tehran have rushed to his aid, sending arms, technological equipment and other logistics to Damascus to help repress the mass protests. On Friday, it was even revealed that Iran has agreed to fund a new multi-million-dollar military base on the Syrian coast to make it easier to ship weapons and other military hardware between the two countries.

But much more troublingly, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has also joined the Iran-Syria axis by urging Syrian protesters not to “sabotage” the state, the New York Times reported this week. He has also hosted a delegation of Syrian government officials and businessmen to discuss closer economic ties, including the construction of a gas pipeline that would run from Iran through Iraq to Syria.

Maliki, in fact, owes his hold on power to Tehran, and has complied with Iran’s insistence that he should side with Assad. As a sign of just how much Maliki is prepared to do the regime’s bidding, he ordered his troops in April to massacre dozens of Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf.

As U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq, Maliki should not be allowed to push Iraq into Iran’s orbit of influence. In that respect, not only should Washington increase pressure on the Syrian government, it should also pressure Maliki to stop committing human rights violations, as is being seen in Camp Ashraf.

An Iranian official visiting Egypt last week was quoted as saying by state-run media that, “Efforts should be made to safeguard Syria as a hub of support for the resistance of the Palestinian people against the Zionist regime.” Syria has indeed a much broader significance for Iran’s rulers.

To ensure a better future for Iraq, Syria and the region as a whole, the United States should remove all obstacles on the path of the Iranian opposition to facilitate democratic change in Iran, which today acts as the main propeller of fundamentalism and dictatorship in the region.

Search

Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE