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In addition, the Iranian government has attempted to assassinate other political figures and intellectuals. One of the significant examples was the former Supreme Leader of Iran, Khomeini’s order (Fatwa) to kill Salman Rushdie, the writer of the Satanic Verses on February 14, 1989. Another example is the recent assassination plot of the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the United States. The United States officials have explicitly announced that the agents of the Iranian government especially, some of the commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (Qods Force, a component of the Corps which the United States describes as a terrorist organization) were behind this plot. The plan was to messily assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in a restaurant in Washington. In the hope this would result in the death of enormous number of American citizens. Recently, the Iranian government attempted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador and some Jewish teachers in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has friendly relations with Israel and about 9000 Jewish people live there.
Iran, has promoted terrorist groups like the Taliban, Hezballah, al Sadr’s militia goons in Iraq, Hamas, insurgents in Yemen, and has been substantially linked to al Qaeda. However, since doing their level best to further destabilize Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003, Iran has found that unknown parties have been passing high quality arms and training to unsettled elements among its many angry minorities. Between its application of harsh Sharia law, and its reactions to restless minorities and internal criticism, the internal human rights record of Iran is appalling. However, after 33 years, the regime is shaky. The aging revolutionaries have lost the loyalty of the people, failed in their hopes for reorganizing the region, and are finding that their governing coalition is growing corrupt, even more inefficient, and is fragmenting. Like many failing dictatorships, they hope to refocus attention on other projects and pursue the development of nuclear weapons and promoting ever more desperate adventures abroad, relying on increasingly unreliable allies like the Assad government in Syria.
Finally, for 33 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used terror to subdue its own citizens, intimidate the Iranians, and as a tool of statecraft against the people of many other nations. Now, they complain about the assassination of their nuclear scientists before they complete the ultimate terror weapon, and about attacks on the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the instrument of their own internal terror. Iran now portrays itself as a victim of terror and seeks sympathy from other nations. For a display of sheer cynicism, it is hard to beat the tears of the crocodile.
John Thompson is Executive Director of the Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda-Canada. Sara Akrami is Founder and President of the Human Rights Activists Association at York University-Canada.
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