By Homeira Hesami
Apr 29, 2022
Amid the tragic war in Ukraine, we see substantive change in a country whose population, young and old, women and men, are mobilizing to fight for freedom. For the first time in more than a generation, the world seems to be taking note, and in our part of the world, elected officials are also taking part in supporting freedom.
For example, members of Congress participated in events organized by Iranian Americans promoting a non-nuclear, free republic in Iran. Akin to Ukraine, Iran’s plight has considerable impact on the cause of freedom worldwide, and because of Iran’s drive for nuclear weaponry, it is relevant to America’s security. Fifty-three members of Congress contributed to a bipartisan virtual conference to show support for a growing movement to establish a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran. Participants included members of Congress from Texas.
The conference served to remind Western decision-makers that failing to support the struggle for freedom inevitably weakens the forces of democracy everywhere. The members of Congress who spoke tried to highlight that tyrannical leaders are incapable of reform.
In another event in March, Sen. Ted Cruz was among a bipartisan cast of officials who spoke up for the inalienable human rights of both the Iranian and Ukrainian people. Hoping for continued American leadership, Iranian Americans want the unfortunate Russian-Ukrainian war to serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who continue to assume they can reason with tyrants.
History shows that tyrants, occupiers and rights violators create twisted narratives to deceive people under their rule and across the free world. Resistance by the people in Ukraine and Iran challenges these lies. In Iran, the regime has been forced to accept that opposition forces inside the country are credible. The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq resistance group, for example, fueled the spread of nationwide anti-government protests in 2018, 2019 and 2021, and members of Congress pointed to this group at the event.
These events show that Congress is monitoring an active and organized resistance movement in Iran. In the past few months, for example, Iranian authorities unveiled a new statue of their revered terrorist operative Qassem Soleimani to mark the second anniversary of his death by a U.S. drone strike. That statue was set ablaze within a day, in a display of the vast difference between the values of the Iranian regime and the Iranian people. Less than a month later, pro-democracy hackers took control of some state media broadcasts and aired messages condemning
Ayatollah Khamenei and praising the prospective leadership of a democratic Iran.
The various signs of support for an organized opposition against tyranny in Iran, as well as the ongoing resistance against Russian occupation in Ukraine, seem to point to a better appreciation in the international community of the price of freedom and the sacrifices it demands. U.S. lawmakers expressed clear support for the resistance movement.
As is the case in Ukraine, it is imperative that the free world support the Iranian people in their effort to secure fundamental human rights. Today, the Iranian people’s efforts to bring about democratic change through their own resistance should be a key consideration in America’s strategy. Otherwise, in cooperation with America’s enemies, a nuclear armed terrorist regime in Tehran will continue to terrorize its people and the free world.
Homeira Hesami is the chairwoman of the Iranian-American Community of North Texas, a member of the Organization of Iranian American Communities, and a medical physicist in Carrollton.