FRIDAY, 24 JUNE 2011
VOA – The Iranian regime is supporting its ally Syria’s “vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities.”
It’s been two years since the Iranian people took to the streets by the millions, insisting that their votes be counted and their voices, demanding their fundamental human rights, be heard.
But as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement marking that two year anniversary, “The authorities in Tehran had no interest in the will of the people. When the people reached for their aspirations, the government responded with brutal repression. Two years later, that repression continues.”
The truth of Secretary Clinton’s assertion is clear from recent events in Iran. To name just a few: the death of women’s rights activist and Islamic scholar Haleh Sahebi, after she was attacked by security forces at the funeral of her father; the arrest and detention in Tehran of dozens of demonstrators who dared this month to march again, peacefully and silently, to protest the 2009 election and the mass arrests that followed; the confirmation by an Iranian appeals court of the 19 year prison sentence for Iranian blogger, Hossein Derakhshan.
Secretary of State Clinton noted that the Iranian regime is also currently supporting its ally Syria’s “vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities.” She compared the images of a 13 year old Syrian boy, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, who was tortured and mutilated by Syrian security forces, to the images of Neda Agha Soltan, the young Iranian woman shot to death in a Tehran street during the 2009 protests.
“As we remember the terror and tragedy that accompanied Iran’s crackdown, and as we work with the international community to increase the pressure on [Syrian President Bashar] Asad and his regime,” said Secretary of State Clinton, “let us renew our resolve to stand with citizens – including the citizens of Syria and Iran – who yearn to be free and to exercise their universal rights.”