Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has consistently used the terminology of waging a “soft war” on the people of his own country who do not support the radical Islamic regime in power. This “soft war” is anything but soft. Since the disputed elections of the summer, Iranians have protested in the millions against the clerical regime in power and have been met with harsh beatings, killings, mass show trials, and executions. Iran has not only established a new task force to seek out people and sources on the Internet they deem threatening but have instilled 6000 Basiji members into elementary schools in an attempt to pressure the youth. As the nuclear issue is creating external pressure, the Iranian regime has become more and more desperate to maintain control with in its own borders.
The paranoia of the regime is apparent in the arrests of numerous journalists and non-political academics. For example, the recent release of Maziar Bahari has made news because Bahari, like many others still in prison, was accused of charges that were false. Bahari credits International pressure, especially from friends in the Media like Fareed Zakaria, NGO’s like Amnesty International, and important political figures like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for shedding light on his situation and helping to get him released.
While Mr. Bahari has been lucky enough to get released, numerous other academics, journalists, and supporters of human rights have already been executed, sentenced, or remain in jail with false charges brought against them. Such is the case with the American academic Kian Tajbakhsh. Two days ago, the White House issued a press release calling for the immediate release of Mr. Tajbakhsh. Mr. Tajbakhsh was arrested in 2007 in Iran on similarly bogus charges but was released after pressure from the International community and groups like Amnesty International called for his release. He has been arrested on false charges again and detained without cause. A petition has been circulating on the Internet calling for the release of Mr. Tajbakhsh.