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the long sobs of repression

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Ayatollah Khomeini compared the people to the minor child who must be guided by a tutor, the Jurisconsult of the Law. In his book entitled “For an Islamic government” (published in 1964 in Iraq and translated into French by Fayolle in 1979), he announced the program of the Islamic Republic before establishing it in 1979. Shiite theocracy which borrows from the republic only the name, attached to a few pseudo-democratic institutions.

“For the first time in history, the bases of an Islamic government are being codified and the Sharia (the laws established by the clergy in power) will be introduced into the lives of men as a system of government. […] »declared almost a decade later the future president Hashemi Rafsanjani (speech to the Islamic Assembly on June 3, 1987).

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Segregation and patriarchy, inequality between sexes, ethnic groups and religious minorities make up the foundations of the codified sharia imposed on Iranians. For the Islamist legislator, segregation begins in the womb, since the use of terms ” complete “ and ” human “ refers exclusively to the male fetus when it comes to blood money (diyeh) to be paid after an abortion. Similarly, with legalized bigamy, the male can contract marriage with several women, including 13-year-old girls. A father can kill his child by paying the price of his blood and without risking capital punishment, unlike the mother who will suffer the ultimate punishment.

The regime of the ayatollahs has nothing of a republic worthy of the name. Is it therefore Islamic? Let’s read Khomeini’s ordinance: “In the interest of the Islamic Republic and the rule of the Jurisconsult, transgressing the Word of the Quran becomes legal under certain circumstances. »

The lesson learned by his successor Ali Khamenei, he modifies the Constitution so that the reign of the Jurisconsult (Velayat-e faqih) becomes the absolute reign of the Jurisconsult (Velayat-e motlaqe-ye faqih). “In the general interest of Islam and Muslims, the decisions of the Supreme Leader take precedence, and must take precedence, over the popular will and the representative bodies. » (Paragraph 75 of Article 5 of the Constitution.)

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Thus, for thirty-three years, Ali Khamenei has imposed his omnipotence on successive puppet governments. The pragmatic President Rafsanjani opens the doors of big business to the Revolutionary Guards; and Khamenei, commander-in-chief of the armies, places his most loyal generals at the head of the Khatam al-Anbiya military base, which becomes the seat of the most powerful industrial and financial trust in the country.

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Ali Khamenei also has the financial manna of foundations – Martyrs and Disinherited, to name the most important – and places of worship. Cash, stock market values, annuities and receipts are estimated at several billion dollars. The secret operation of these sprawling pharmacies and the mafia practices of abuse of power, embezzlement and money laundering are regularly denounced by the press. Ayatollahs ozma (the highest rank in the hierarchy of the Shiite clergy) demand the dismissal of those responsible for places of worship supposed to help the poorest. Khamenei ignores them. He protects his followers, including Reychahri, in charge of the foundations. A former judge and prosecutor, the latter sent to the gallows among other “counter-revolutionary and corrupt” men of influence – businessmen, soldiers or high-ranking religious – deemed dangerous by Khamenei.

The presidential campaign of 1997 arrives. Women and young people carry Mohammad Khatami to power despite the muscular raids of the bassidji militia. But the hope promised by this monk, who smiles at the women while looking them straight in the eye, quickly turns into a nightmare.

At the beginning of 1998, a wave of assassinations, of unimaginable savagery, targeted politicians, intellectuals and artists, shredding some with knives in their beds, slaughtering and slaughtering others in the streets. In “The Dungeon of Ghosts”, the journalist Akbar Ganji, a close friend of Khatami, reveals the underside of the murders ordered in high places and carried out by the agents of the secret services. The bestseller is banned, the writer imprisoned. The demonstrations that ensue are fiercely suppressed. Defenestration of students on campuses, disappearances, arrests, death sentences, followed by a total blackout.

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Re-elected in 2001, Khatami was received by all European heads of state. He talks about the dialogue of civilizations and wins the doctorates honoris causa abroad, while Khamenei oversees Iran’s nuclear program and cleans up the intelligence services to submit them to the control of the Revolutionary Guards.

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The first recreation with the moderate reformers over, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a whimsical populist, supported by Ali Khamenei, was elected president in 2005. The program of the messianic president boils down to the frenzied Islamization of the country, the ideological war against the West and its “tares” and the destruction of Israel! Despite the catastrophic result of his mandate, Ahmadinejad ran again in 2009 against Mir Hossein Moussavi, the former prime minister of Khamenei who had better managed the war economy during the eight years of conflict with Iraq than the outgoing president in time of peace. With a participation rate of 85% – a first in Iran – Moussavi was declared the winner by all the polls in the first round. But it is Ahmadinejad who comes out of the magician Khamenei’s turban, with 62.6% of the vote. The challenges of the political nomenklatura, including the powerful Hashemi Rafsanjani, do not move the inflexible Ali Khamenei who validates the result.

We know the rest. Spontaneous demonstrations gathering millions of people across the country are bloodily repressed. Communications (mobile phones and internet sites) blocked, the thugs of Ahmadinejad, the creature of the Guide, assassinate students and demonstrators. Neda Agha-Soltan falls under the bullet of a sniper in the middle of the street and dies under the eyes of her father. The murder of the young girl filmed in real time goes around the world. The regime vociferates more loudly against the “external enemies” from the country.

But when the scandal broke out at the Kahrizak detention center where Mohsen Rouholamini, son of Abdolhossein Rouhalamini, a fervent supporter of Khamenei, died under torture, as well as Hassan Younesse, son of a former Minister of the Interior, both raped like the other detainees, the Guide emerges from his silence. Regretting “the abuses committed in Kahrizak”, he orders the closure of the center. Two underlings from the center and four bassidjis, held responsible for the massacre on the campus of Tehran University, will be sentenced to death and executed. Among the 98 plaintiffs, victims of Kahrizak, 47 challenge the death penalty for the torturers of their children and demand the trial of decision-makers and senior officials. The parents of some hanged bassidjis are among the plaintiffs. To date, no action has been taken on these complaints.

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Elected in 2013, Hassan Rohani calls for nothing other than a redistribution of power within the circle of the faithful. The Iranians still hope that pluralism, be it Islamic, would break little by little the monopoly of power exercised by the dominant reactionary fringe and would favor in the medium term a peaceful evolution from within. The reformers who animate the popular aspiration are betting on their side on the nuclear agreements and the economic growth to improve the living conditions of the Iranians. In the endthe Guide would find renewed legitimacy and calm down.

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The unilateral American withdrawal from the nuclear agreements will upset all these plans. Faced with the tightening of the sanctions imposed on Iran by Donald Trump, economically strangled Iranians curse him, and despair both of the structural negligence of the regime and of the endemic corruption of successive governments. They are revolting against Ali Khamenei who is squandering their money to support his cronies from Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad. The response to the legitimate and spasmodic demands of 2018 and 2019 is the same: bullets, blood, victims, jail.

The fracture between power and the people, announced in the memory book of the late Ayatollah Montazeri (dauphin of Khomeini, before being sacked by the latter in 1988) entitled “I am ashamed”, becomes irreversible. His “J’accuse” is addressed to “people in power who allow themselves to perpetrate all possible and unimaginable crimes […] terrorize and murder intellectuals and people of mind thinking that they will have impunity. No religion or ideology allows this. I’m ashamed, I apologize to the people […] But the downfall of the tyrants is certain.”

In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian Supreme Leader’s office, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with a group of students in Tehran, October 19, 2022. (AP/SIPA)

The “designation” of Ebrahim Raïsi as imposed president, once becomes custom, by Ali Khamenei sounds the beginning of the end. Yesterday Neda, today Mahsa, these are synonymous with the Iranian youth insurrection. Brilliant, educated, daring, citizen, pacifist, her bare hands but an alert mind, she refuses the opium of amnesia like the ankylosis of fear. She transforms trauma into battle fuel for intelligence, for culture and beauty in her image. It refuses blind violence, demands the rule of law and the sweetness of life. Iran, Youth, Freedom. Gordafarid versus Kaveh (heroes and symbols of freedom from Persian epic literature). The corrupt, backward old men, entrenched in their tower of Babel, are up against the wall.

If Iran’s hope is its youth, it will know how “to reorganize its future without god or king, by the systematic cult of humanity”. It remains to remind the free world, intellectuals, writers and artists, scientists and academics, and the millions of young French people, not to forget them. These children of my nation who are disappearing, who are beaten and imprisoned, who are killed with impunity, have names, beautiful faces and the beautiful appearance of what could be the brilliant future of this thousand-year-old country which has contributed so much to world civilization. The Mohsen Hachtroudi association makes a point of echoing the cry of alarm from Iranian students. It is their SOS that the MoHa site broadcasts, week after week.

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Fariba Hachtroudi is a Franco-Iranian writer and journalist, president of the association Mohsen Hachtroudi (MoHa). Latest publication: “Ali, la parole forbidden”, Ed. Erick Bonnier, 2022.

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