Newark, Del. (Special to Informed Comment; Feature) – Frankly, it was hard to watch last weekend’s interview of Farid Zakaria of CNN with Iran’s current president, Raisi. It was embarrassing.
As usual it was all denial and delusion on the part of the highest official of the Islamic Republic.
When Raisi’s men showed up at the United Nations for the 78th assembly of nations, even the foreign minister of Iran went through the back door. What was he afraid of? What were they afraid of? Officials usually don’t enter through the backdoor unless they are hated and fearful of the reaction of their own people.
In September 1960, in the same hall, Fidel Castro gave his fiery 4-hour speech and then showed up in Harlem, staying in a hotel owned by an African American woman. All other hotels had rejected him and his companions. He mingled with people.
Raisi and his gang stayed at the Royal Hilton.
Raisi got up and showed a copy of the Koran, as if his government’s misdeeds don’t daily cover it in shame.
A reporter confronted one of the men in the entourage of Raisi. He was not just strong-armed by the thug who wanted to grab his cell phone, but if the petty enforcer had not been stopped by the U.S. security people, he would have assaulted the reporter.
They didn’t seem to realize that this was New York City, not the streets of Tehran.
It was demeaning to watch this whole episode on television, to watch your country run by thugs.
Who is Ebrahim Raisi? He served as a warden at Evin Prison as a young revolutionary guard (pasdar), in his early 20’s. He became part of what was called the Death Commission. With three others, he was involved in the execution by hanging of some 4000 political prisoners who, having served their sentences, were about to be freed. It was all done in secret. Their loved ones received their belongings in a bag.
They were all buried in the infamous Khavaran cemetery. It is now a burial place with red poppies covering the unmarked graves of countless men and women. In some parts of the gravesite, there are photos of the martyrs, with flowers left by their families. Some of the mothers have died since-it was some 35 years ago- never being able to say their last goodbyes.
When asked by Farid Zakaria about Mahsa Amini and the women’s movement against hejab, the president of Iran, who was selected by the clerical supreme leader, not by the Iranian people, said, well this is the law of the land.
Who created this law and who enforced it? Was it ratified by most representatives of the Majlis or was it a fatwa by Khomeini? In 1979, thousands of women from all walks of life poured into the streets of Tehran defying the enforced hejab. They were beaten and encountered violence.
Raisi and his gang do not represent the Iranian people. They do not belong in the Hall of Nations where the famous verse of the 12th century poet of Iran, Saadi is inscribed.
- “The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of
You are unworthy to be called human.”
The Islamic regime is a government that takes up arms and kills its citizens under the rubric of Islam. Islam is supposed to be a religion of mercy.
Oh, and let’s not talk about Israel and Zionism. Who is Raisi to worry about Palestinians when his government and his henchmen have murdered many of our young people in front of our eyes in the last year alone.
Children, young girls, and boys -some as young as six years old-were shot to death.
Others were shot in the eye, losing their eyesight.
We do care about our Palestinian brothers and sisters but who is the Islamic Republic to cry foul?
And please, I beg the Israeli Ambassador to keep his sign about Mahsa and take care of his own business in his own country. Don’t grab any more lands, — and give the Palestinians some rights.
Raisi’s demagoguery was blatant. Empty words by a soulless person. He does not represent the people of Iran with its more than 3000 years of culture and history.
Iran’s future should be one of hopes and dreams for all its people, especially the young generation.
Iran wants to embrace the world and become part of the nations of the world. Its people do not want to be isolated anymore or shunned.
The masquerade by Raisi only delegitimized his government further in the eyes of the world.