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Iranian Protesters Won’t Forget West’s Failure To Support Them – OpEd

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By Khaled Abou Zahr *

It must be satisfying to be part of the Iranian regime today. The mullahs have proven their point. They are showing that the West is corrupt, as they have claimed for decades. They are gloating. Western leaders and media outlets, who all claim to stand for freedom and fight for the good of humanity, are silent as the regime in Tehran represses its own people. Do not be mistaken; the mullahs, as evil often does, know the hypocrisy, violence and corruption of their own regime. They are finally satisfied and reassured that the West has become their great accomplice and hence the greater Satan they always wanted.

Who would have believed that, in the past 10 days, as Iranian blood is shed on the streets, with innocents being beaten, arrested and killed, the mighty Washington Post and all other media outlets would not give the story a single front page. Not even a mention of the bravery of the Iranian people. In their narrative, the mullahs are not the bad guys; the bad guys are the oil companies and their profits. What a sad world, yet it is symbolic of the entire political movement they represent.

Where are the opinion leaders in the West that call for human rights? Where are the news channels that usually cover every single protest in the Middle East by the second? Hiding in silence. Looking the other way. Not a single condemnation. This is how indoctrinated the West has become. What a corrupt and ignorant view of the world it is. In fact, it is nothing but a representation of the West. It is against this hatred that the Iranian people are protesting. It is a fight that goes beyond their own borders and reaches the capitals of the world. It is the spite, anger and jealousy represented by the Iranian regime against the hope, freedom and optimism represented by the people of Iran. Choose your side wisely.

Indeed, the people of Iran are liberty, passion and the belief in creativity, happiness and a refreshing libertarian future. In this battle, the West is standing with the oppressor. How out of touch. How corrupt. How hypocritical. This view as conveyed by the media is a direct reflection of the political landscape and echoes what politicians mainly from the left are stating. The left in the West has chosen to be the ally of the mullahs and support their crushing of hope. Ultimately, they want the same outcome in their own countries.

The best we have gotten from politicians is former US President Barack Obama stating in a podcast that he regrets not taking more action in 2009. Regrets for what happened 13 years ago; that is it. Unfortunately, there has been no action in support of the protesters, only complete silence about what is happening today. This is simply because, today, the enemy is not the mullahs’ regime, it is profits. It is free enterprise. It is free will. Don’t they realize that, for the Middle East, the front line in the war against ignorance — of moving out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance — is now taking place in Tehran, Tabriz and Isfahan; every single street of Iran. Or is that exactly what they want?

The people of Iran are not about to forget this. And I hope they never do. I hope they never forget that, when they needed support, the West stood silent, complicit with their butchers. The West and the mullahs today have the vulgarity of the crook that screams with indignation when he gets caught. Haven’t they noticed that the region is more peaceful without the dirty interference of this regime?

While everyone can question whether the protests will lead to regime change, the West is acting to save this regime. With insinuations that attenuate the demands of the Iranians while still pushing for a nuclear deal, they are simply throwing lifeline after lifeline to this regime. It is not about staying neutral or silent; the West wants this regime to stay.

Nevertheless, we now have the proof — if it were ever needed — that this regime is absolutely not a defender of Shiites in the Middle East, as it claims and as influential Western think tanks have been pushing for decades. Those in the West chose to believe this lie in order to serve their interests. We are now seeing that this regime has no respect and does not protect Shiites, as it does not even protect its own population. There are more than 250 deaths that prove this hypocrisy.

The mullahs are also, with their aggressive policies, putting the country’s unity at risk. Iran is a great country with gifted and smart people, a great history, amazing culture and so I wish for it to keep its unity. This is why I wish for all Iranians, whether Kurds, Azeris or Balochis, to stay united and committed to their country. Not to fall into the trap of division and secession. They have the power to bring about a better future while staying as this big and strong country. Any other way would be a huge mistake.

Finally, my closest friends always accuse me of being pro-American. They would continue by saying that I cheer for Republican administrations — as most Arabs — but find excuses for Democratic ones. I will admit it. Indeed, I love the US. Today, unfortunately, I cannot understand or find excuses for the abandonment of the Iranian people. It will not be forgotten by the Iranians.

  • Khaled Abou Zahr is CEO of Eurabia, a media and tech company. He is also the editor of Al-Watan Al-Arabi.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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