Appeal for Severe Political Pressure Against the Kleptocratic Theocracy of Iran

Appeal for Severe Political Pressure Against the Kleptocratic Theocracy of Iran

December 05, 2019

While in less than a month a huge popular wave of Lebanese and Iraqi protestors began blaming political and military interferences of the Islamic Republic of Iran for corruption and poverty in their own countries, nationwide protests across Iran broke out against government plans to cut petrol subsidies to fund support for Iran’s poor; gasoline prices have increased by a minimum of 50%. Videos posted on social media from inside Iran showed protesters blocking roads and setting fires on the streets in their cities and chanting slogans calling for top officials to step down.

These are examples of the slogans chanted: “Oil money has been lost, Has been spent for Basijis”, “Oil money has been lost, Has been spent for Palestine”, “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon! I will give my life to Iran!”, “Our enemy is here! It is a lie that America is our enemy!”, “Death to Khamenei”, “Don’t be silent, Be your own savior!”, etc. 

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the first and the last words on all state matters, called the demonstrators “thugs” and endorsed the government’s decision to raise prices.

Further, Rohani’s government imposed a virtual nationwide Internet blackout on Sunday; one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of cities across the country for a third day.  The Internet blackout continues as well as power, natural gas, water and telephone communication black outs in multiple areas as the means to punish and suppress the protestors.

The Islamic guardians of the regime have responded with a brutal violent crackdown which has left more hundreds of people dead, injured, or arrested. Many were killed by snipers on rooftops or helicopters firing into crowds. Exactly how many people have been injured, killed or arrested remains unclear. 

The Iranian people do not want the wealth of their nation expended for further Islamic Revolutions in other countries and demand the end of the Islamic State followed by establishment of a secular and democratic form of government. Despite Iran’s formation of Hezbollah in the early 1980s and expenditure of millions of dollars annually to buy the support of the local people, the people of Lebanon and Iraq do not want the Islamic Republic to interfere in their affairs. Today, everyone knows that the Islamic Republic is the godfather of terrorism and of spread of poverty, corruption, and instability in the region.

Iran, one country most strongly identified with the rise of cyber terrorism and malicious hacking, appears now to be using an iron fist to turn on its own. In my previous letters, I attested that the Iranian cyber threat must never be underestimated. Whereas the policymakers in Washington focused their attention on nuclear diplomacy with Tehran, the Iranian regime, supported by their allies; such as, Russia, have dramatically advanced in cyberspace and become “the New China”[1] – a persistent and prolific threat actor that is rapidly increasing its cyber espionage capabilities and is now operating at a pace and scale consistent with other technologically advanced nations.

At the moment, the near-total shutdown of the Internet, ordered by the country’s Supreme National Security Council, appeared to be aimed at controlling information, silencing protestors, and preventing people from communicating and organizing. By the night of November 20, Iran has now been offline for 52 hours following a government-imposed internet shutdown targeting widespread public protests, according to readings taken by NetBlocks[2], an NGO that monitors cybersecurity and Internet governance around the world. National connectivity remains at just 5% of normal levels, leaving Iranians cut off from the world #Internet4Iran.

It is with a great sense of urgency that we call upon the leaders of the Free World to support the struggles of the people of Iran against the kleptocratic theocracy of the Islamic Republic through firm and strong actions with the following:

  • The Iranian ambassadors in Europe be summoned,
  • The Internet connection of all Islamic Embassies and Iranians in Europe and elsewhere in the world connected with the government of Iran be disconnected. This should be considered legal as they have blocked their own citizens’ access to the Internet in Iran,
  • The access of Iranian government to satellite by any sort of service be disconnected. This will create immediate problem for banking services in Iran and also will stop the Islamic Regime’s anti-dissident propaganda from reaching Iranian cities and villages,
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and its affiliates, which holds a state monopoly on broadcast news within Iran, be banned from operating in the Free World,
  • The Iranian ambassadors be questioned and admonished over brutal violations of human rights against Iranian citizens and be dismissed to return to Iran,
  • Iranian ambassadors in the European Union should be sent home with demands that the Islamic government of Iran open free access to the Internet for all Iranians, stop killing or imprisoning protestors, and surrender to demands of the people across Iran.

Nazila Golestan

Special Envoy for Human Rights

Iran National Council for Free Elections



[1] http://www.ilanberman.com/21068/the-other-iranian-threat

[2] https://netblocks.org/reports/internet-disrupted-in-iran-amid-fuel-protests-in-multiple-cities-pA25L18b

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