By Dr. Cyrus Samet
Thirty-four mainly Muslim nations this week announced the formation of a new military alliance to fight terrorism in the Middle East. Interestingly, Ayatollah Khamenei and Assad in Syria are not in the coalition. If it endures, the alliance will surly serve to counter Iran’s malign influence in the region – a positive development in the global struggle against Islamic fundamentalism.
“Currently, every Muslim country is fighting terrorism individually…so coordinating efforts is very important,” said Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister in announcing the coalition. Terrorism represents “a serious violation of human dignity and rights,” he added, “especially the right to life and the right to security.”
The Iranian dissidents both inside and outside Iran surely appreciate such violations and welcome the development of such coalition. For nearly 40 years, Ayatollah Khamenei government has been serving as the epicenter of global terror. Sanctions on Iran had in the same period done little to curtail his effort to expand a global Islamic Caliphate; the kind of which ISIS and alike aspire. Ayatollah Khamenei government has been terrorizing moderate Muslims and non-Muslims, not only abroad, but primarily through suppressing human rights in Iran. Violation of women’s rights in Iran, for example, is a systemic state-sponsored tool, where misogyny reigns supreme.
Executions in Iran have also sky rocketed, where recent reports confirm public killing of civilians at Iran’s historic archeological sites to maximize their terror profile. In fact, executions in Iran are at their highest point in nearly 3 decades.
Community of Iranian-Americans as well as Iranian dissidents across the globe have a important suggestions for those who wish to truly confront Islamic extremism. We have learned through experience that nothing is more existential threatening to fundamentalism and extremist Islam than democratic and moderate ideals. It is with this perspective that we urge solidarity against the evil of terrorism, not only through a unified military effort, maintaining sanction on Iran, but also by empowering the moderate and democratic voices in the region. These forces can include the Free Syrian Army, the Kurdish forces, the Iranian dissidents at Camp Liberty, Iraq, and the many moderate tribes in Iraq.
Dr. Cyrus Samet is the President of Iranian American professionals and Scholars, member of OIAC.ORG National Network