Amid the fall of oil prices to effectively zero per barrel and the continuation of the Coronavirus crisis, the launch of an Iranian ballistic missile into space may exacerbate the crisis and drag the region into war.
What is the message behind this Iranian provocation to the West? And why not spend this huge amount of money on the people in Iran, who suffer, instead of spending on missiles? Make no mistake, this is a war that Iran is looking for in order to ease internal and external pressures as a result of the economic sanctions which have nearly bankrupted the regime.
The answer is simple, and includes all of Iran’s actions; the regime wants to preserve itself at all costs, and if all the people in the region are wiped out, as long as this serves the regime’s supreme interest in its survival, it simply does not care. The Iranian regime continues to violate human rights on a daily basis, even as the regime is depreciating economically by 50 to 60 percent every day over the past three years and half since Trump took over, with experts saying: “About $167 billion Iran has lost since Trump took over.”
Currently, Iran is facing multiple economic crises, particularly in their market which has been closed for over three years, and oil which cannot be sold but exchanged for food and other essentials only. The regime’s downturn has included a 53% drop in Iran’s exports to China, as China’s imports from Iran fell 52.7 percent in the first quarter of this year to $ 1.8 billion, according to official Chinese customs figures. The report, released on China’s official customs website on Friday, says its exports to Iran have risen nearly 2 percent to $2.130 billion. China is Iran’s largest trading partner, and for the first time in a year, China’s exports to Iran have surpassed its imports. Some experts warned against the destruction of small capital and people in the event of a bubble market burst, and said: “Why should such things happen in light of the negligence of some officials and the destruction of people’s property after people’s pockets?”
Along with many others, I criticized the video of the first successful launch of Iran’s military satellite. Iranian people are waiting for any change because while this regime remains in the power, the people stay suffering endlessly. People in Tehran and other cities are not just suffering from the regime’s careless behavior toward Coronavirus,People in Iran suffering under unprecedented economic, political and social pressure by the regime despite that Revolutionary Guards( IRGC) claimed recently that they launched military satellite placed them on equal ground as an international power. As one Member of Parliament exclaimed: This was a message to Europe and the United States that sanctions are a blessing! Where are the astronomical costs of such projects, and the benefits of pursuing them, calculated and supported by any percentage of Iranians?
Ahwazi people are joining protests regime’s segregation against Ahwazi people for example; Behbehan ( Ahwazi city) continues strike for a second day to protest the volumetric pay of public workers who were told after they protested to the Labor Office not to sign the contract, but the authorities didn’t keep their promise! It does appear that after the contract was not accepted, they were told that the matter came from the governorate and that no one who signed it would be fired! Another Ahwazi city which continues its protests is Shuaibiya district located in the Shushtar city which their peaceful demonstration turned violent! Unemployed youths in the Al-Shaibiya area hold a protest march in front of the company’s sugarcane factory to protest against the recruitment of non-citizens on the side of sugar cane in the sugar cane industry. the world “Execution is the willful killing of human beings and it is an irreversible punishment for a broken system that does not prevent the commission of a crime.” This is part of a speech given by Gwen Newsam, Governor of California, USA, where Amnesty International began its new report on executions worldwide.
The term “inhuman and degrading treatment” is a term used by Amnesty International to describe the death penalty which has repeatedly called for its abolition. After China, Iran ranks second with 251 executions last year, responsible for more than a third of all executions in the world. Saudi Arabia came in third with 184 executions, followed by Iraq and Egypt in fourth and fifth, with 100 and 32 executions in 2019, respectively. In other words, as per the report, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were responsible for 81% of all documented executions worldwide in 2019, since there are no accurate numbers reflecting the suspected thousands of executions performed by China. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Iranian regime to immediately release prisoners of conscience, couples, and foreigners at risk of contracting Coronavirus.
On March 26, Amnesty International announced, in a call for immediate action: Iranian regime officials must release hundreds of prisoners immediately and unconditionally. “No one should spend a day in prison for peacefully exercising his rights, and it is disgraceful that many prisoners of conscience remain unjust in prisons – including those who defend themselves,” said Philip Luther, director of research and advocacy at the Middle East and North Africa program at Amnesty International. Referencing human rights activists and many others who were detained for their participation in the peaceful protests of November 2019 and January of this year, “Amnesty International again called on the Iranian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience.” All eyes are now on what the international community and especially US reaction will be after the Iranian regime not only crossed all the red lines, but has demonstrated the apparent existence of a ballistic missile that could threat American interests in the Middle East and constitute a potential threat to entire EU countries.
Mohammad H Fallahiya is an Ahwazi American professor of middle eastern studies at universities in the United States.