While there has been a lot going on inside the U.S., from the tragic devastation of Hurricane Ian to the upcoming mid-term elections, the press continues to cover international matters of importance as well. Sadly, however, in many respects we haven’t seen the press focus the appropriate amount of attention on the protests going on in Iran. That may not be the only reason the U.S. continues to make serious missteps in this context, but the failure by a great deal of the mainstream media in this context certainly isn’t helping matters.

Despite Brutality, Protests Growing

Innocent Iranian people are dying because they’ve come to Patrick Henry’s conclusion on the choice between liberty and death. As we’ve reported before, the current protests started when the Iranian Morality Police arrested a young woman for failing to properly wear her hijab. She died while in custody and sparked the most widespread protests we’ve seen in more than a decade inside the Islamic Republic.

A singular act of violence may spark a moment of uproar, but for that to translate into a nationwide movement so impactful that Iranian thugs are now beating and shooting dissidents and protestors in the streets, it takes something more. There has long been a seething hatred for the regime amongst average Iranians. The murder of their sister by the criminals that run the Islamic Republic was simply the spark that lit the long simmering embers of dissent.

And these protests, which have in the past been largely focused on universities and in major cities, are expanding across the country. As one Wall Street Journal headline recently noted, “Unrest in Iran Spreads to Remote, Restive Provinces.” This is more than outrage and anger. It’s a movement. It’s the generational embrace of the very principles that our country’s founding fathers fought for in 1776. The people of Iran want the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And we should be supporting them at every available opportunity.

From Iran to Europe

As pro-Israel activists, we pay attention to how Israel is treated by other nations. We welcome support for Israel and are angered by hatred towards the Jewish state, whether such is exhibited here at home or abroad. The same is true, and exponentially more impactful, for dissidents around the world. It is, therefore, deeply meaningful, that in Switzerland, there was a large protest in front of the Iranian Embassy, in Bern.

Similar to what took place in Switzerland, protests against the Iranian regime in France, drew thousands from all walks of life – from French citizens of Iranian heritage to politicians. These actions matter. News of solidarity the free world is exhibiting with Iranian dissidents will reach Iran’s oppressed people, and God-willing, galvanize them. They know that they are not alone. They know the whole world is watching and praying for their success. And the governments of these Western nations will also take notice, and may be motivated to enact policies that isolate Iran’s regime.

There, but not Here

Sadly, the opposite is also true. Leadership failures by free countries embolden Iran’s thugs and are dispiriting to Iran’s patriots. The Biden administration, while paying lip service to supporting the protestors, is failing them. No matter who you are, President or protestor, actions still speak louder than words. And the President of the United States is not acting in the manner befitting the leader of the free world.

First, Iran has announced (though the U.S. has laughably rejected any link) that our government will unfreeze around $7 billion in Iranian assets, just as two American hostages are being freed by the Islamic Republic. Second, Iran has also announced that they are communicating with the U.S. through intermediaries to, yet again, resume negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which would free up even more cash for the regime to use to brutalize its citizens.

These actions, especially as they are being taken while Iranians are dying in the streets, are an abomination. By simply talking to Iran, let alone providing them with more pallets of cash, the United States is betraying our principles, our allies, and the Iranian people. This is not how you honor freedom’s martyrs. This is not how you act if you’re the leader of the free world. This is a disgrace to the office once held by Washington and Lincoln. We are not an amoral country, and we are not weak. History and decency demand Mr. Biden stop acting as if we are both.


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