Most people would wish that President Obama succeeds in striking a deal with Iran that will see it shut down its nuclear centres, halt uranium enrichment and give up permanently the goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran however has shown next to no signs that it will forgo its nuclear weapons program. What most of us don’t know is how ordinary Iranian citizens opposed to the mullahs’ regime would feel about a “bad deal” that would see Tehran cheat its way to the bomb as it stalls world powers.
Amineh Qaraee, 34, and her brother Ehsan, 28, who fled the mullahs’ persecution to Norway four years ago, have a striking story. As children, they witnessed their parents’ arrest and imprisonment for supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK), the main moderate Muslim group opposed to Khomeini’s theocratic rule.
“When I was just one-year-old my father got arrested, and two months later my mother got arrested with me and they took us to prison. There I had to live between people who got arrested and tortured just because they wanted freedom”, Amineh recounts in a moving video testimonial.
“I spent some months in prison until they let my mother deliver me to my grandparents. My mother was in prison for more than two years and my father for four years.”
Soon after his release, Amineh’s father, a teacher by profession, was again arrested for his political opinions.
“Finally they informed us that they had killed my father and 30,000 other political activists even though all of them were sentenced to some years in prison, not execution”, she adds before breaking down into tears. This has prompted them to join the cause of supporting human rights and democratic change in Iran through different activities, including promoting petitions and other initiatives through facebook, twitter and youtube.
The Qaraees are not the only families of victims of the mullahs left to deal with the torment of losing their loved ones. The Tehran regime has executed more than 120,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK supporters, in the past 36 years. Their families who live in daily agony number in the millions. An overwhelming majority of Iranians have been harmed or affected in some form by the regime in its 36-year rule.
A robust, strong deal with strong inspection regime will manifest Ayatollahs’ weakness and strategic deadlock and embolden Iranian people for their rights. Yet, like many other Iranians opposed to the regime, Amineh and Ehsan are nervous that a “bad nuclear deal” allowing Tehran to go nuclear while duping the West would strengthen the regime. Such an outcome will lead to the situation where the Revolutionary Guards would feel strengthened and would suppress any dissent with even greater brutality. The world would then become silent in the face of all the crimes of this regime.
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