The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed its support for, and solidarity with, the brave protesters in Iran, who are risking their lives in standing up for basic human rights which are denied to them by the ruling Iranian Shia theocracy.
The demonstrations in Iran began Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad before spreading to other cities. The death toll is already reported as being over 30, while the protests are being predictably blamed by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on “enemies” (Angela Dewan & Euan McKirdy, ‘Iran’s Supreme Leader blames “enemies” for protests, death toll hits 21,’ CNN, January 2, 2018).
The ZOA applauds, and echoes the words of US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council and said that “The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran …The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause,” (Daniella Diaz & Laura Koran, ‘Nikki Haley on Iran: “We must not be silent,’” CNN, January 2, 2018).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The brutality of the Iranian regime was obviously to be expected, but no decent person can witness what is happening in Iran without being appalled.
“We also strongly praise President Trump and the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, for having made strong expressions of support for the protesters.
“We can’t fail to notice that President Trump’s response has been the polar opposite of that of Barack Obama’s, who responded to the massive Iranian anti-government protests in 2009 by stating that it’s an internal problem that’s none of America’s business and showing an ugly refusal to hold Iran to account for how it treated its people.
“President Obama refused to speak in favor of the Iranian demonstrators and rationalized his calculated decision not to intervene by reference to past US involvement in the politics of Iran.
“As we now know, most recently from the exposé in The Atlantic of President Obama’s determination to not let any Iranian behavior and complicity with terrorism and drug-smuggling stand in the way of the nuclear deal he was determined to make with Tehran. This deal, which greatly bolstered Iran’s power in the region, required ignoring international security concerns and human rights concerns.
“The Trump Administration is doing many of the things that ought to be done dealing with the Iranian Shia dictatorship, like seeking to rigorously enforce the 2015 nuclear deal, imposing new sanctions and, specifically with reference to the current unrest and bloody crack-down we are now witnessing, seeking to concert international action on the subject, including through the UN Security Council.
“These are all steps which the ZOA strongly supports.”