For the Iranian people, repression is a way of life. The mullahs continue to limit freedom of expression, hoping that these tight controls will keep the Iranian people from overthrowing the regime. One such means of intimidation is through the assassination of dissidents, those who try to stand up against the regime.
These assassinations did not just happen within Iran but involved Iranian intelligence tracking individuals outside of Iran and executing them in a variety of ways. Those individuals were members of the Iranian resistance or family members of those supporting the resistance.
Who is targeted ?
For the regime, ruling involves creating an atmosphere of fear. Part of that atmosphere involves attacking families. The Rajavi family has been part of the Iranian resistance for decades, and they have paid the price. Dr. Kazem Rajavi, the brother of Iranian opposition leader Massoud Rajavi, was shot in Geneva, due to his vocal criticism of the regime and its mullahs.
Other individuals have been part of various resistance groups, including the Iranian-Kurdish opposition. Three of their leaders were gunned down in Berlin at a restaurant.
While there are multiple examples of these types of executions, it is clear that all of these killings are meant to try to silence or stop any opposition group from taking root among the Iranian people.
However, it appears that the regime has been unable to truly stop the opposition and its leaders from connecting with the Iranian people. In fact, many of the protests that plague the regime now involve the resistance calling for continuing protests and demonstrations.
Terrorist attacks on resistance
Another tactic of the regime is to use their own intelligence agency to initiate terrorist attacks on the resistance and those that support them. In 1983, for example, the U.S. embassy was attacked by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and 350 lost their lives. Most recently, an Iranian intelligence agent was arrested in Germany and extradited to Belgium for his role in an attempted attack on the Free Iran rally in Paris on June 30.
“At the end of the day, the murder of one human being, let alone more, must be responded with due justice. And if any party deserves facing justice it is the Iranian regime for its four decades long history of assassinations and terror attacks,” said Heshmat Alavi, a human rights activist.
Clearly, the Iranian regime needs to be held to account for its human rights abuses and its targeting of the Iranian resistance, instead of diplomatic engagement to address the concerns of the Iranian people.