When politicians and pundits speak of “Iran” and “the Iranians,” they often mean just the Islamist thugs who rule that nation by institutionalized terror.Neda
But Iran and the Iranians also include the protesters who brave batons and bullets in the streets of Tehran, proving themselves as desirous of freedom as any Americans in America.
The most recent protests began on Sunday at a vigil for the 176 innocents who perished when a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet was downed by an Iranian missile. The regime had initially denied any responsibility for the tragedy, but finally admitted the truth.
The people at the vigil—as much or more representative of Iran as any mullah—are so decent as to be outraged that such a lie had been told by their government. The regime responded, as often before, by battering and tear-gassing and, by several accounts, firing live ammunition at the demonstrators.
One noticeable difference from the demonstrations of a decade past was that women were reported to be at the forefront, some of them holding up flowers in the face of assault rifles. A video that made it through the regime’s social media filters shows a wounded woman being assisted by fellow protesters.
“They shot her with a bullet,” someone can be heard saying in Farsi.
Other images that made it online are of blood-stained concrete said to be in the vicinity of Azadi Square.
“The blood of our people!” someone was recorded exclaiming.
The saving of that blood at the edge of a square whose name means “freedom” brought to mind a decade-old video taken a short distance away showing the final moments of 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan. She was an aspiring musician and photographer standing at the fringe of the demonstration with her piano teacher on June 20, 2009, when a militia sniper on a nearby roof shot her in the chest. An onlooker’s cellphone footage recorded her final words.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights