London (Rooz Online) The country’s officials insist that Iran’s situation is completely normal and no danger threatens the country. I wish that the situation was as positive as they say, but one can read between the lines and realize how dangerous and concerning the country’s situation really is.
Last week, the head of the intelligence and public safety unit at Tehran’s Law Enforcement Force, Sardar Ashtari, presented an account of the type of violence that was carried out by thugs in these terms: “A bunch of thugs attacked the home of one of their debtors, tied his hands and feet, and raped his wife in front of his eyes. Two or three days after the victims filed charges in court, the thugs attacked his home again and this time raped his daughter.”
Isn’t there anyone to ask Ashtari, what were the police doing when these thugs and gangsters were kidnapping these young women?
Citing another instance, Ashtari said: “A thug who had been recently arrested, walked into homes in his neighborhood at will and took away the girls in the houses”. Ashtari used these examples as a justification for the recent rise in police brutality targeted at neighborhood thugs and gangsters. Unintentionally, however, Sardar Ashtari uncovered the horrendous insecurity that has plagued the capital for many years.
According to Ashtari’s remarks, thugs operated so freely that they could take away any girl in their neighborhood at will. Isn’t there anyone to ask Ashtari about the unparalleled security that the authorities of the Islamic Republic regularly boast about and ask the people to be thankful for? Isn’t there anyone to ask Ashtari, what were the police doing when these thugs and gangsters were kidnapping these young women?
In reality, Sardar Ashtari’s narratives not only do not justify police brutality, but rather raise questions about the competence of the regime and its security apparatus in providing safety and security for its populace.
Another reference to the country’s mounting security problems can be found in the remarks of the counterintelligence chief at the Ministry of Intelligence. He says: “We often came face to face with many of our own citizens who are involved in foreign spy networks, and this is deeply concerning”.
Recalling that foreign spy networks promise residency in European countries and cash payments to their targets, he adds: “But they never fulfill their promises. There are many who fall for these promises but receive nothing in return except the humiliation of selling off their homeland”.
Should we not ask this intelligence officer to explain what has happened that many Iranians are willing to “sell off” their homeland in exchange for money or residency in a foreign country? Have Iranians always been indifferent towards their homeland, or have the policies and ideology of the regime weakened the sense of patriotism among Iranians?
It is now over ten years that many leading intellectuals and patriots have been warning about the continuation of some of the disastrous policies and methods of the government, indicating to their negative consequences. But to no avail.
What may happen tomorrow is even more alarming.
These warnings have been met with insults, accusations, slander etc to the point that a senior security official today has to come and complain about the sad condition prevalent around the country.
Unfortunately, the country’s situation is very disturbing. What may happen tomorrow is even more alarming. Only a national promise based on equality for all Iranian citizens and the promotion of national interests can save us. Otherwise, we will drown into an unending ocean. Is anyone listening? ENDS ZEYDABADI 6607
Editor’s note: The above article by the outspoken journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi was posted by the pro-reform, independent internet newspaper “Rooz Online” on 3 May 2007
Highlights are by IPS