Washington Times: This summer, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of executions in Iran. Since July, the Iranian state media have reported at least 86 executions. Twenty-one were hanged in public and 58 in prisons nationwide, including 12 hanged simultaneously in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. The Washington Times
By Struan Stevenson
This summer, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of executions in Iran. Since July, the Iranian state media have reported at least 86 executions. Twenty-one were hanged in public and 58 in prisons nationwide, including 12 hanged simultaneously in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Some 600 victims are on death row in Gohardasht Prison west of Tehran. The regime even admitted some cases of stoning, after years claiming that this barbaric punishment was no longer in force. Oppression by the fascist mullah regime continues at an alarming pace. What makes the situation even more horrific is that the mullahs air their brutality on the state-run television to terrorize an increasingly enraged and discontented citizenry.
The regime is also training and deploying suicide bombers and insurgents in neighboring Iraq in a bid to foment civil war and deliver Iraq into the clutches of Iran. The mullahs and their 125,000-strong Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) provide the sophisticated roadside bombs (EFPs) that kill and maim allied military personnel. They were Hezbollah’s puppet-masters during the recent war with Israel in Lebanon and their support for the militant Palestinian group Hamas has led to the rupture with Fatah and the partition of Palestine. Members of the IRGC’s elite force Quds even targeted dissidents abroad with kidnappings and assassinations. True to form, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad served as a commander of one of those hit-squads in the 1990s. Mr. Ahmadinejad has repeated his threat to wipe Israel off the map. He is steadily rolling out his nuclear- enrichment program to a point where he will have the means to do so.
Europe’s response to Iran has been, to say the least, muted. Apart from occasional squeaks of protest and wrist-slapping resolutions from the European Parliament, the EU-3, consisting of the United Kingdom, Germany and France, have tried in vain to persuade Tehran to halt its quest for nuclear weapons. Led by the United Kingdom, these three EU members have embarked on an appeasement campaign to make Neville Chamberlain blush. Determined to keep the rich petro-dollar contracts flowing, the EU-3 have shamefully turned a blind eye to the mullahs’ rampant oppression, executions and terror sponsorship.
Worse still, at the insistence of the mullahs, the United Kingdom demanded that the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI), should be proscribed in the United Kingdom and added to the EU”s terror list. At enormous risk to its own supporters in Iran, over 120,000 of whom have been executed in the past 20 years, the People’s Mujahedeen has repeatedly provided key intelligence to the West, even including the original identification of Iran’s nuclear program. (Were that not enough, the mullahs went as far as demanding that the United Kingdom and the United States bomb PMOI bases during Operation Iraqi Freedom.) As became apparent during the court proceedings before the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission in London last month, the United Kingdom assured Tehran that it would oblige.
In December, the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg ruled that the EU’s listing of the PMOI was unlawful. The Council of Ministers simply ignored the court and, again at the insistence of the UK, drew up a new terror list which again prominently featured the PMOI. The mullahs have expressed their great appreciation of this craven act of appeasement but continued to ignore calls to stop their nuclear program.
In Washington, President Bush is not so easily fooled. He has decided to place the IRGC on the U.S. terror list. This has, of course, infuriated Tehran and its apologists in Washington, but it will enable the United States to freeze the vast foreign financial assets of the Revolutionary Guards and to target foreign companies doing business with the force.
It was Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his famous valedictory speech to Congress in 1953 who said about those who pursue appeasement: “They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as blackmail, violence becomes the only alternative.”
Those who seek to appease the fascist mullahs in Iran should heed this lesson. Instead of blacklisting our natural allies, the PMOI, Europe should follow the example of America and add Iran’s terrorist arm to the EU Terror List.
Struan Stevenson is a Conservative MEP for Scotland. He is vice president of the ruling EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament and co-chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup.