Iran Focus

London, 28 Jul - Patrick J. Kennedy, a former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island, wrote a piece for Independent Journal Opinion in which he decried Iran’s crackdown on opposition forces following the success of the “Free Iran” rally in Paris.

The nephew of US President, John. F. Kennedy, criticised the Iranian regime for its persecution of opposition forces like the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK).

The 9 July “Free Iran” rally in Paris attracted over 100,000 people from all five continents in support of the MEK; politicians, religious leaders, and civilians lined the streets to demand a free and democratic Iran.

Kennedy wrote: “The clerical regime fears for its survival, and as with any insecure bully, that fear manifests as bluster. This was evident in a series of provocations made toward the West, including the January seizure of 10 American sailors who had strayed into Iranian territorial waters, the five illicit ballistic missile tests that have taken place since the conclusion of last summer’s negotiations, and gestures of force in the Persian Gulf.”

Iran has murdered roughly 120,000 political dissidents since 1981; most of them were members of PMOI (MEK). The 2015 execution rate was higher than at any time over the past 25 years according to the UN special rapporteur, Ahmed Shaheed.

This horrific exercise is designed to make the regime look stronger but as Kennedy wrote: “questionable propaganda victories will not do the regime much good”. The rally attracted support from around the world, including Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal who said that he supported the fall of the regime.

Brigade General Ramazan Sharif, the Revolutionary Guards Spokesman, accused Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Arab states of “flagrantly interfering in Iran’s internal affairs”, which is hypocritical because Iran constantly meddles in the affairs of Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.

Kennedy said: “Iran now stands to suffer the consequences of its actions, as powerful forces offer their justified support to a legitimate Iranian opposition movement. The regime’s ongoing reaction to the Free Iran rally will continue to demonstrate that it recognizes the threat to its power. As long as the world community stands firm against Iran’s violent response, we will see that it is inadequate to suppress, dissent or preserve the regime.”