The Iranian regime is suffering widespread protests from their people over the execution of protester and wrestling champion Navid Afkari, who is now a martyr for the cause of Iran freedom, and now the international community should to increase pressure on Iran.
Iran is filled with millions of brave young people, just like Afkari, who shook the regime to its core in the 2018 and 2019 uprisings and his execution kindled the fire burning within them. Even the state-run media are questioning why the regime would go ahead with the execution, given the international campaign to spare Afkari’s life.
The regime is already facing international isolation and was counting on the European Union’s appeasement policy to spare them the consequences of their other malign actions, but Afkari’s execution puts more distance between the EU and the mullahs.
Germany’s embassy in Iran and the British and French Foreign Ministries condemned the heinous act, while the upcoming visit to Europe by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, which was supposed to help find a way to ease sanctions on the regime, has been cancelled.
But more must be done. The regime has not changed their suppressive and terrorist ways over the past 40 years and we cannot expect that they will do so in the next 40. After all, they massacred 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988, but they shot dead at least 1500 protesters in the streets last November, while many more have been tortured to death or executed.
The regime’s goal has always been and will always be to suppress protests through violence, even when the eyes of the world are on them. If this is what they’ll do when the world is watching, what will they do when the world turns away?
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote: “Now, as to the international community, mainly European powers, condemning Navid’s execution or cancelling Zarif’s trip is not enough and will not save the lives of thousands of other detained protesters. European powers should expel the regime’s ambassadors and intelligence agents from their countries shut down the mullahs’ embassies, and end their trade and relations with this brutal regime. If Europe had condemned Navid’s death sentence in advance, he might have been alive today. Iranian people await strong measures.”
Indeed, the world must take strong action to prevent the deaths of the dozens of more protesters on death row in Iran.