The fallacy of elections under the mullahs' reign of terror

There is no end to demagoguery and deception practiced by the mullahs in Iran. As the ruling tyrants are working to generate an appearance of popular legitimacy by claiming a grossly inflated 62% voter—turnout in the last week's presidential election farce, their rogue conduct at home and abroad reveals their true nature. A case in point is the continued public hangings in Iran, vividly unmasking the reign of terror the tyrant clerics aim to disguise under the veneer of a revolting caricature of electoral process.

According to the Department of State's 2004 human rights report, Iran's ruling regime

'continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. The right of citizens to change their government was restricted significantly. Continuing serious abuses included: summary executions; disappearances; torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including severe punishments such as amputations and flogging; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention... There were reports of political killings. The Government was responsible for numerous killings during the year...' The State's report added that 'Exiles and human rights monitors alleged that many of those supposedly executed for criminal offenses in the past, such as narcotics trafficking, actually were political dissidents.'

Out of 159 officially announced executions in Iran during 2004, 95 executions were carried out in public by hanging. The application of public display of execution, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations, is not at all about crime—prevention practice in Iran. Its sole purpose is to intimidate a restive population aspiring for a democratic regime in place of the theocratic rule. During my incarceration in one of Iran's most notorious prisons, many of the political prisoners were taken to public sites to be executed so others would see how costly active dissent could be.

Last month, shocking video footage of two men being hanged before crowds in Iran was screened abroad for the first time.  According to news reports, a supporter of the Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (also known as Mujahedeen—e Khalq), secretly shot the video with a hidden camera in August 2004 in the western Iranian town of Khoramabad. The Times of London reporting on the first screening of the film in London by the Iranian opposition coalition, National Council of Resistance (NCRI), said that the video was smuggled out of the country couple of weeks before its showing.

One of the victims, Omid Daavati, pleaded to have his blindfold removed and said,

"I want to see my people. I have no fear. We may have committed sins but we do not deserve to be executed." He and the other two were sentenced to death for adultery. The Press Association news service described the scene as 'While the man was still blindfold, with ankles tied and hands bound behind his back, the crane jib was raised high into the air, his body appearing to jerk slightly. In the second sequence, a second man was shown being hanged on a similar crane at a different location, using a red—coloured noose.'

The execution of 16—year old Atefeh Rajabi last summer was one of the most appalling manifestations of the mullahs' absolute disregard for sanctity of life. At the town's square in a northern Iranian city, the religious judge Haji Rezaie personally put the rope around the Atefeh's neck. According to reports, the judge, who along with few prison guards had raped Atefeh while in jail and was in a rush to silence her before the news of rape got out, said he was pleased to hang her since "society has to be kept safe from acts against public morality."  Atefeh's body was left dangling from the crane for some time.

According to the resourceful Iran Focus news site, last month local fishermen found the bodies of two men with their hands tied behind their backs in a river Karoun in Ahwaz, southern Iran. Their bodies were bruised and had signs of burning, confirming rumors among the locals that the victims were murdered after having taken part in the major anti—government uprising weeks before.

Only under a regime such as the mullahs', can the appetite for barbarism and a wicked desire to ensure survival through sowing horror, turn a crane or fork—lift built for the purpose of construction into an instrument of terror. One can only imagine what the mullahs will turn a civilian nuclear program into if they achieve their goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

The heavily boycotted rigged elections last week put the political bankruptcy and deep factional division of the ruling establishment on full display. The two top apparent vote—getters, the former two—term president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Tehran's Meyer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will face—off on June 27 second round elections. The choice between an infamous murderous terror—master like Rafsanjani and a ruthless terrorist like Ahmadinejad, truly epitomizes the futility of elections as a means to achieve change under a rogue theocratic regime. It also makes a strong case for the long—held goal of Iran's democratic opposition to unseat the mullahs' regime as the only way to achieve real change in Iran.

The mullahs rule Iran through their machinery of terror and buying diplomatic breathing space by auctioneering Iranians' wealth to their trade partners in the European Union's capitals. Attempts at portraying the sham elections as a display of mullahs' popular legitimacy, would amount to a shameless justification for continued appeasement of Iran's ruling despots. 

It should be now obvious to everyone in the EU's pro—appeasement capitals and to their allies on this side of the Atlantic that the presidential elections under a theocratic rogue regime where the contenders have all been part and parcel of the tyrannical regime since 1979, would only result in the emergence of a terrorist thug no matter who is announced the victor on Friday.

Roya Johnson is the vice—president of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran

There is no end to demagoguery and deception practiced by the mullahs in Iran. As the ruling tyrants are working to generate an appearance of popular legitimacy by claiming a grossly inflated 62% voter—turnout in the last week's presidential election farce, their rogue conduct at home and abroad reveals their true nature. A case in point is the continued public hangings in Iran, vividly unmasking the reign of terror the tyrant clerics aim to disguise under the veneer of a revolting caricature of electoral process.

According to the Department of State's 2004 human rights report, Iran's ruling regime

'continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. The right of citizens to change their government was restricted significantly. Continuing serious abuses included: summary executions; disappearances; torture and other degrading treatment, reportedly including severe punishments such as amputations and flogging; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention... There were reports of political killings. The Government was responsible for numerous killings during the year...' The State's report added that 'Exiles and human rights monitors alleged that many of those supposedly executed for criminal offenses in the past, such as narcotics trafficking, actually were political dissidents.'

Out of 159 officially announced executions in Iran during 2004, 95 executions were carried out in public by hanging. The application of public display of execution, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations, is not at all about crime—prevention practice in Iran. Its sole purpose is to intimidate a restive population aspiring for a democratic regime in place of the theocratic rule. During my incarceration in one of Iran's most notorious prisons, many of the political prisoners were taken to public sites to be executed so others would see how costly active dissent could be.

Last month, shocking video footage of two men being hanged before crowds in Iran was screened abroad for the first time.  According to news reports, a supporter of the Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (also known as Mujahedeen—e Khalq), secretly shot the video with a hidden camera in August 2004 in the western Iranian town of Khoramabad. The Times of London reporting on the first screening of the film in London by the Iranian opposition coalition, National Council of Resistance (NCRI), said that the video was smuggled out of the country couple of weeks before its showing.

One of the victims, Omid Daavati, pleaded to have his blindfold removed and said,

"I want to see my people. I have no fear. We may have committed sins but we do not deserve to be executed." He and the other two were sentenced to death for adultery. The Press Association news service described the scene as 'While the man was still blindfold, with ankles tied and hands bound behind his back, the crane jib was raised high into the air, his body appearing to jerk slightly. In the second sequence, a second man was shown being hanged on a similar crane at a different location, using a red—coloured noose.'

The execution of 16—year old Atefeh Rajabi last summer was one of the most appalling manifestations of the mullahs' absolute disregard for sanctity of life. At the town's square in a northern Iranian city, the religious judge Haji Rezaie personally put the rope around the Atefeh's neck. According to reports, the judge, who along with few prison guards had raped Atefeh while in jail and was in a rush to silence her before the news of rape got out, said he was pleased to hang her since "society has to be kept safe from acts against public morality."  Atefeh's body was left dangling from the crane for some time.

According to the resourceful Iran Focus news site, last month local fishermen found the bodies of two men with their hands tied behind their backs in a river Karoun in Ahwaz, southern Iran. Their bodies were bruised and had signs of burning, confirming rumors among the locals that the victims were murdered after having taken part in the major anti—government uprising weeks before.

Only under a regime such as the mullahs', can the appetite for barbarism and a wicked desire to ensure survival through sowing horror, turn a crane or fork—lift built for the purpose of construction into an instrument of terror. One can only imagine what the mullahs will turn a civilian nuclear program into if they achieve their goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

The heavily boycotted rigged elections last week put the political bankruptcy and deep factional division of the ruling establishment on full display. The two top apparent vote—getters, the former two—term president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Tehran's Meyer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will face—off on June 27 second round elections. The choice between an infamous murderous terror—master like Rafsanjani and a ruthless terrorist like Ahmadinejad, truly epitomizes the futility of elections as a means to achieve change under a rogue theocratic regime. It also makes a strong case for the long—held goal of Iran's democratic opposition to unseat the mullahs' regime as the only way to achieve real change in Iran.

The mullahs rule Iran through their machinery of terror and buying diplomatic breathing space by auctioneering Iranians' wealth to their trade partners in the European Union's capitals. Attempts at portraying the sham elections as a display of mullahs' popular legitimacy, would amount to a shameless justification for continued appeasement of Iran's ruling despots. 

It should be now obvious to everyone in the EU's pro—appeasement capitals and to their allies on this side of the Atlantic that the presidential elections under a theocratic rogue regime where the contenders have all been part and parcel of the tyrannical regime since 1979, would only result in the emergence of a terrorist thug no matter who is announced the victor on Friday.

Roya Johnson is the vice—president of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran