August 6, 2007
Iran's Iron Fist
The mullahs are cracking down (once again) on dissent.
Iran's nuclear ambitions are just one aspect of the mullahs' iron-fisted approach to maintaining their power. According to an article in the Monday Wall Street Journal (entitled "Domestic Terror in Iran"), the powers that be that run the Islamic Republic are cracking down against "anti-Islam hooligans," as well as "trade union leaders, student activists, journalists and even mullahs opposed to the regime." After describing the recent public execution of seven men, the author, Amir Tahiri, states:
"The Mashad hangings, broadcast live on local television, are among a series of public executions ordered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month as part of a campaign to terrorize an increasingly restive population. Over the past six weeks, at least 118 people have been executed, including four who were stoned to death. According to Saeed Mortazavi, the chief Islamic prosecutor, at least 150 more people, including five women, are scheduled to be hanged or stoned to death in the coming weeks.
"The latest wave of executions is the biggest Iran has suffered in the same time span since 1984, when thousands of opposition prisoners were shot on orders from Ayatollah Khomeini."
"The campaign of terror also includes targeted 'disappearances' designed to neutralize trade union leaders, student activists, journalists and even mullahs opposed to the regime. According to the latest tally, more than 30 people have 'disappeared' since the start of the new Iranian year on March 21. To intimidate the population, the authorities also have carried out mass arrests on spurious grounds.
"According to Gen. Ismail Muqaddam, commander of the Islamic Police, a total of 430,000 men and women have been arrested on charges related to drug use since April. A further 4,209 men and women, mostly aged between 15 and 30, have been arrested for 'hooliganism' in Tehran alone. The largest number of arrests, totaling almost a million men and women according to Mr. Muqaddam, were related to the enforcement of the new Islamic Dress Code, passed by the Islamic Majlis (parliament) in May 2006."
According to Iranian Christians International, there are more than 6,700 Muslim converts to Christ among the 65 million people living in Iran (and perhaps 15,000 Iranian Christians of Muslim background worldwide). One wonders whether they are also being caught up in the terror campaign. An estimated seven Christians have been martyred there since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Certainly the entire country can use our prayers.