by WorldTribune Staff, November 30, 2016
While the Islamic Republic’s regime reaps a windfall of cash from the lifting of sanctions, it has only increased repression of its people, dissidents say.
“Nothing changed in Iran’s people’s life” since the nuclear deal was signed, says Shabnam Madadzadeh, 29, a student organizer at Teheran’s Tarbiat Moalem University who spent five years in confinement.
“The deal was just with the regime,” she said. “The guards of the regime, the one that was spending money to export terrorism and was spent in Syria and [for] the suppression of the Iranian people. Not for the freedom. Not for people.”
Madadzadeh told The Washington Times she managed to escape Iran via a clandestine network operated by the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, or MEK.
“Iranian people do not want negotiations with this regime, and they hate appeasement policy with this regime,” Madadzadeh said. “They want the world, European governments and United Nations and the U.S. to stay firmly against the regime’s policy of violence against human rights — the regime’s crimes in Iran and Syria and exporting terrorism in the world. Iranian people want a change in regime by themselves and resistance.”
The dissidents’ contention that human rights abuses are getting worse since the nuclear deal appears to be supported by the UN.
In October, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued a report that condemned Iran’s treatment of its people.
“Human rights violations have continued at an alarming rate,” Ban said. “In particular, a significant number of executions took place, including of individuals who were juveniles at the time of the alleged offense; corporal punishment, including flogging, persisted; the treatment of journalists and human rights defenders remained of concern, as raised by several United Nations human rights mechanisms; and religious and ethnic minorities continued to face persecution and prosecution.
“At least 966 people were reportedly executed in 2015, the highest such number in over two decades, in continuation of an upward trend that began in 2008. During the first half of 2016, at least 200 people were executed. Executions are often carried out following trials that fall short of the international fair trial standards guaranteed.”
Another dissident who escaped from Iran, 25-year-old Arash Mohammadi, said he now plans to become a “voice for the voiceless.”
Mohammadi, who was arrested three times for publicly protesting against the regime, was imprisoned for two years, during which intelligence interrogators beat and threatened him, the Times report said.
His message to President-elect Donald Trump: “The responsibility for change is with me and my generation. We are the force for change. If the West wants to have a good reputation in Iran, my point is, side with us. Side with the resistance. History will remember you in a good way. That’s for your betterment and for Iranian people’s betterment.”
Meanwhile, CIA Director John Brennan warned Trump that scrapping the nuclear deal would be “disastrous.”
Brennan told the BBC that scrapping the agreement would risk strengthening hard-liners in Iran and risk other states pursuing nuclear programs in response to a renewed Iranian effort.
“I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement,” he said.
Trump said during campaigning for the White House that it was a “terrible” deal that only benefited Iran and that he would “tear it up” if he were elected president.