Democratic governments allow acts of dissension and protest by their citizens, whereas totalitarian regimes treat even peaceful dissent and protest, as a criminal act. Since June 12, 2009, the world has witnessed the Iranian police force transformed into agents of terror, against their fellow Iranians.
The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has shown an unwavering capacity to intimidate, disrupt, disable, and eliminate its political opponents. Since formation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, IRI has ruled its people by intimidation, brute force and terror. Victimized as well are Iranian dissidents outside Iran, with over 200 assassination attempts in 21 plus countries targeting this group.
Iranian intelligence agents and their hired Hezbollah and Hamas assassins have murdered political activists in countries as diverse as the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Iraq, Cyprus, France, Pakistan and Turkey. Despite these atrocities, the West continues to misunderstand the unrelenting and sinister mindset of the Islamic regime and, regrettably, by its ill-conceived policies of dialogue and appeasement encourages and emboldens the regime's twisted and deadly behavior.
The regime's policy of eliminating any opposition remains unchanged. The only new pattern unfolding demonstrates Iran's refined tactics. Despite the fact that Interpol has issued a Red Notice on many top level IRI officials, Iran has started using international loopholes and democratic bylaws to perpetuate and widen its reign of terror.
Iranian authorities have manipulated Interpol into issuing arrest warrants for 25 Israeli officials, on grounds of committing war crimes, in the recent 22-day surge against Gaza. In 2009, a "Red Notice" request was issued to Koorosh Modaresi, Secretary General of the Iranian Communist Party. Ali Akbar Gharoosi, Public Prosecutor in Sanandaj
(Iran's Kurdistan Province), asked Interpol to issue the Red Alert against 11 political activists. Interpol, as Iran's arbiter, has listed leading members and supporters of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran-Hekmatist, as criminals and terrorists, publishing their pictures and personal information on its website.
Now, IRI is using and manipulating Interpol to reach out to pursue Americans of Iranian dissent. The public prosecutor in the city of Shiraz recently issued a warrant for Mr. Shahram Homayoun's (a pro democracy activist and owner of a satellite network in Los Angeles Channel One Television) arrest on charges of terrorism. According to IRI, Mr. Homayoun "encouraged his audience to engage in acts of terrorism against the Islamic regime such as writing slogans (on walls)and resisting the security forces." The Iranian regime alerted Interpol, about Mr. Shahram Homayoun. Interpol then served him with a Red Notice which alerted all 188 Interpol member countries that Mr. Homayoun was wanted for "terrorism."
At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. The United Nations General Assembly has condemned terrorist acts using the following political description of terrorism: Violence against civilians to achieve military or political objectives. Clearly, peaceful demonstrations, writing slogans or speaking out on blatant human rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran which is ranked by Amnesty International as the second most violator of human rights next to China should not qualify as acts of terrorism.
It is rather disappointing and perhaps shameful that Interpol, an organization partially funded by U.S. tax dollars, is helping the Islamic Republic of Iran, a totalitarian regime sponsor of terrorism, track and beset opposition leaders living in the United States.
The police force should play a vital role as providers of law and order in society, providing a feeling of moral strength and confidence to all individuals, who want to live in a harmonious and healthy world. Interpol's decision is the first step in providing a "legal" and an "international" cover to a criminal regime to attack and silence its dissidents. At this time, Interpol is complicit in undermining the fundamental rights of free speech for Iranian- Americans.
In 2009, President Obama amended Executive Order 12425 which permitted Interpol the ability to operate on US soil without usual restrictions that apply to domestic law enforcement agencies, like the FBI. By removing the language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive order, essentially Interpol is given a free reign and will eventually lead to the targeting of more Iranian human rights activists and opposition groups.
Article III of Interpol's constitution prohibits intervention in political, military, racial and religious matters. Interpol's web site lists that "everybody is innocent till proven guilty," but placing Iranian opposition leaders on its "Red
Notice" as terrorists or for any other reason, will most certainly have devastating consequences for such individuals. Arrested and extradited to Iran, they would be subjected to torture, mock trials, forced confessions, conviction and execution as is common in the Islamic Republic.
Interpol must be extra cautious in these treacherous times. It is prudent that Interpol, when dealing with Iran,take precautionary steps to assess whether they are being manipulated for political reasons. Secondly, it is essential to evaluate the
devastating harm such a notice may have, in the suppression of legal rights of innocent citizens around the world. And finally, refrain from assisting the Islamic regime with its fabricated charges, motivated by the regime's insatiable desire to obliterate free speech.
Iranian opposition plays a vital role in informing the world about regime's atrocities and covert activities. They also serve as an essential link in providing Iranians access to accurate news and information via the Internet and opposition satellite televisions.
The Senate Judiciary Committee must open their eyes to the blatant human rights violation by a criminal and ideologically-driven regime and inquire as to precisely how speaking out against blatant human rights violation by a criminal and ideologically-driven regime qualify as "acts of terrorism" and take necessary steps to challenge the issuance of such "Red Notices" by Interpol.
Dr. Arash Irandoost is the founder of //hakemiat-e-mardom.blogspot.com/
Pro democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI) which focuses on human rights and pro democracy initiatives. He is an Iranian-American activist, who works to inform and educate about the threats posed by Islamic Republic and radical Islam. He believes that Islamic Republic cannot be reformed and regime change is the only viable option. Dr. Irandoost is a researcher, a literary translator, an essayist, and a political analyst. He writes regularly for online publications such as New Media Journal, The American Thinker, Faith Freedom International, Free Republic, Israel National News, Right Side News, Global Politician and the Iranian Online magazines.
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