One of the people responsible for taking U.S. embassy staff hostage in 1979 has, frankly unsurprisingly, defended the arbitrary murders of pro-democracy protesters in the November 2019 uprising.
The Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, who served as the spokesperson for the hostage-takers 41 years ago today, defended the Governor of Quds Town, near Tehran, for ordering the security forces to open fire on peaceful protesters because they were “terrorists” who had “stormed the governorate.”
The so-called “reformist” official, was known as “Sister Mary” during the hostage crisis, a real example of terrorists storming a government building, which she called a “unique and special” action. Ebtekar then proceeded to portray the security of the government as the security of the people in her defense of the indefensible.
“In that incident, there were a number of protesters and a limited number of terrorist gunmen who attacked the arsenal and the city defense center. She [the Quds governor] said: ‘I should defend people’s privacy and security,’” Ebtekar said.
Of course, the people were not in danger from protesters – they were the protesters. The only thing in danger was the continued rule of the Islamic Republic; after all, protesters were chanting “Death to the dictator” and marching on oppressive centers during a protest that began over a fuel price-hike. It was very clear that they were targeting the ayatollahs, who had essentially spent 40 years covering the country in gasoline before dropping a lit match on it.
Some 1,500 protesters across the country were killed in the streets by security forces in just a few days after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the State Security Forces (SSF) to open fire, something first reported by the Iranian Resistance and then confirmed by Reuters.
Ebtekar’s comments, alongside authorities’ other recent actions, like appointing ruthless SSF commander Colonel Alireza Daliri, who massacred the people of Kurdistan in the 1980s, as SSF head in Kermanshah province, show that the government is terrified of another round of nationwide protests. They are using oppression to counter rebellion, often under the pretext of coronavirus protections.
IRGC commander Hossein Salami recently ordered his troops to “search all houses” to find and isolate those with Covid-19 but in essence, this was about arresting and/or scaring potential protesters.
“The regime has not been able nor willing to resolve the economic and social crisis, which resulted in the November 2019 uprising. Now the COVID-19 crisis and its rising death toll, which is a byproduct of the regime’s inaction and cover-up, has increased the society’s restiveness,” the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote.