Iran’s opposition Green Movement has once against expressed solidarity with Syrian protesters and hailed their defiance in the face of the Assad regime’s ongoing onslaught, which has left more than 8,000 dead.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Coordination Council of the Green Path of a Hope said that “witnessing the horrendous and inhumane images of widespread and ruthless killing of defenceless civilians and freedom-seeking protesters in Syria” had aroused “a deep feeling of grief, concern and evermore resentment” towards the Assad regime amongst Iranians and in particular supporters of the Green Movement.
The Council, which is the movement’s most important decision-making authority, conveyed the “sympathy, empathy and solidarity” of Green Movement activists and supporters to the Syrian people.
“We stress our support for your perseverant and diligent struggle for attaining liberty and establishing of a democratic system based on justice and human rights.”
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the United Nation’s General Assembly recently announced that since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, more than 8,000 people, including many women and children, have been slaughtered at the hands of Assad’s powerful killing machine.
Opposition activists put the toll at more than 9,000.
The alliance between the regimes in Tehran and Damascus in crushing internal dissent has led to a deepening sense of solidarity and cooperation between the opposition movements in the two countries.
In February 2012 and ahead of opposition protests in Iran, more than seventy Syrian opposition figures expressed their support for Iranian Green Movement. In a statement, the members of the Syrian National Council extended their “thanks and support to the Iranian people in their quest for freedom.”
“It is important for all of us to know that we share one region and that our struggle and freedoms are connected,” the Council said. “The Syrian and Iranian regimes have cooperated very closely throughout the years to oppress their own people and to destabilise the region around them. We believe that the only way that our people can prosper is by cooperation and mutual respect to each other’s past, present and future aspirations.”
Wednesday’s statement by the Coordination Council went on to add that “despite their deceitful slogans and fraudulent claims of support” for freedom movements in the region, Iranian authorities had attempted to “brutally crack down on peaceful protests” in their own country.
In February 2011, the leaders of the Green Movement Mahdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi called for protests in solidarity with the revolts of the Arab world. The demonstrations were brutally supressed by Iranian security forces and at least two protesters died of gunshot wounds.
After the protests, Mousavi, Karroubi and their wives were placed under house arrest and were completely isolated from the outside word.
Human rights groups argue that the house arrest of Iran’s opposition leaders breaches international conventions as well as Iran’s own constitution. The opposition Council described their continued captivity as “illegal.”
“We in Iran’s Green Movement consider the uprising in Syria to be an anti-dictatorial movement seeking freedom and the realisation of the undisputable right to determine one’s own destiny,” the Coordination Council added. It maintained that the demands of the Syrian and Iranian protesters were “similar.” “We express our deep regret over the mutual support provided by the rulers of Iran and Syria to each other in supressing protesters,” it continued.
“We are proud that another free and persevering nation in the region continues to bear the burden of fighting tyranny and shows determination and resistance. Your resistance is an inspiration for and empowers other justice-seeking movements in the region, such as the brave struggle of the freedom-loving people of Bahrain.”
The Council members reassured the Syrian people that “an Iran free from hardliners and an independent democratic Syria will not only have deeper and more brotherly relations with each other, but will also play a more significant role in strengthening peace and security, and defending the basic human rights of the people of the region, in particular the Palestinians.”
Click HERE for the full text of the statement in Persian and Arabic.