Friday, February 08, 2008

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Perpetuate Terror Within and Without

Majid Sadeghpour, Ph.D. - 1/21/2008

"Cold blooded murders", a friend of mine cried out recently as she recalled gruesome memories from Iran while reflecting on the newly levied sanctions against Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Encouraged and emboldened, her voice was filled with anger, determination, and a newfound hope that echoed the braveness of dissident university students in Iran of today. All a reminder that the Presidential executive orders 13382 and 13224 carry a subtle but dual benefit affecting not only Iranian regime's activities abroad, but also its enemies within.Our knowledge of IRGC's past and present terrorist behavior within Iran is abstract, at best. The real example she provides would perhaps serve as a reminder of their brutality. Recalling a memory from a sleepy Caspian Sea town north of Tehran, she describes a mid-summer afternoon's horrifying memory. As it is a Muslim custom, a neighbor's family was washing their recently executed daughter's body, in preparation for burial. Fresh blood streamed out of the house and onto the neighborhood pavement, she recalls. "I stood there wondering; why so much blood". Little did she know at the time, as she evokes the memory today, that post-execution, a certain part of the young woman's body had been mutilated by IRGC members. For those who wonder, the medical term is Hepatectomy. Historical context of such brutality is beyond the scope of this article. For what crime, one might ask? She was 18 years old, and member of a dissident group called Fadayan Khald who opposed the mullah's undemocratic government.In the past 3 decades, IRGC's have been responsible for the execution of over 120,000 dissidents and students, including some of Iran's brightest minds.

From mullah's "cultural revolution" of 1980-89, to the current wave of executions, or the recent crackdown of protesters (at Allameh, Tehran, and Polytechnic universities), the revolutionary guard's main goal was and still is to safeguard the regime against internal social, political, and security threats. Apart from other intended reasoning, the blacklisting of IRGC and QODS Force is a breath of fresh air for the Iranian people amidst the murky environment of oppression. For the first time in 30 years, the United States, and perhaps the international community have edged themselves closer to recognizing the will of the Iranian people. With every decisive measure aimed at weakening the clerics and their apparatus of fear, more chants of "death to dictator" will be heard in the Iranian streets. Irrespective of the "moderate", "pragmatic", or "hard-line" faces the Foxes in Tehran put forth, Iranians have always known that the carnage in Iraq, the devastation in Lebanon, assassination of dissidents, bombing of embassies, nuclear weapons program, and countless other deeds are directed by the mullahs in Iran and their IRGC/QODS force.So, what to do next? Will Iran adapt to fiscal pressure from the West? Will Iranian people rise and overthrow the regime?However elusive the answers may appear, one thing is for certain: that Iranian people will weather the storm of sanctions in the near term, for it will hasten regime's demise.

Additionally, and as the cost of doing business with Iran increases, mullahs will eventually have to face the Iranian people. The key, therefore, is not only comprehensive and universal sanctions, but also reliance on the enormous democratic potential of the Iranian people. Admittedly, organization and mobilization of this great force in the present environment of absolute oppression is no easy task. No one should dream of a fantasy laden, soft or velvet revolution in Iran. Armed with the richness of Iranian natural resources, stone-age ideological prowess, and an immense self awarded righteousness, this regime is the most barbaric mankind has witnessed in the modern era. However distant it may seem today, Iranian people and not their government have the needed democratic capacity. In fact, resolving this enigma requires the full capability of the mostly Muslim, secular, and democratic minded people of Iran. They and their resistance are the true antithesis to the darkness of fundamentalism.Let us listen then to the wishes of the Iranian people. Let us attend their gatherings without, watch them protest within, and hear the organized voice of their democratic opposition. Such, and not the voice of the self appointed "Iran experts" who continue to advocate capitulation to the mullahs, remains the only way to avoid a calamitous war. They "experts" have never seen the IRGC-shed blood paint the pavements of Iran.

Dr. Majid Sadeghpour is a human rights activist. He works with the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates (

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