The public must have noticed that for at least the last two decades, the student protests and local uprisings in Iran received due attention by the think tank experts and the public at large. Americans of all political persuasions saw the ideal of '‘liberty’ being demanded, and they duly responded by showing their support. However, the media was mostly silent.
Suddenly, it appears as though all is quiet inside Iran. Even when human rights organizations condemned the mass murder of 1,500 Iranians during the November 2019 protests, many Americans still to this day have no knowledge of this massacre.
For those who don’t know, in November 2019, following a sudden government announcement about a fuel price hike, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets all over the country to protest this fuel hike.
Reuters reported that roughly 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started on Nov. 15. The toll, provided to Reuters by three Iranian interior ministry officials, included at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women.
One of the reasons the Americans might not know about this is because during these protests in 2019 is because the Iranian regime literally turned off the internet in the country and it was very difficult for anyone inside Iran to share with the world what was happening to them in real-time.
Over the years, many presidential administrations adopted a policy of not directly addressing the Iranian regime in official statements. This policy was perfected with Obama's rapprochement agenda with the mullahs in Tehran.
During the Obama years, it became an unspoken policy that the U.S. government will restrict itself to moot criticism and vague references to human rights abuses in official statements and would never say or do anything publicly to criticize the regime.
Things changed when Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States of America.
President Trump routinely took to Twitter to show his support for the people of Iran, and when he learned of the pending execution of Iranian Olympic wrestler Navid Afkari, he issued a warning to the regime not to kill him. Sadly, the regime didn’t listen to the public outrage and they executed Afkari. But the Iranian people embraced President Trump’s public statement on this.
When President Trump would take aim at the Iranian regime, the media would pay attention and would cover this — as they should regardless of who is the POTUS!
Now with President Biden at the helm, who rarely talks about the Iranian regime, the media is again brushing the dire situation in Iran under the rug.
The media also has some help from the inside in making sure this happens. For decades, various Iran experts have warned about a cadre of regime-affiliated or regime-supporting journalists who have occupied the positions of experts and correspondents at media companies such as CNN, Politico and others.
In addition, CNN has routinely brought Iran’s now former Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, on their network during primetime. During these primetime interviews, the interviewers never ask Zarif the tough questions or press him for answers on the vast human rights violations.
The practice of giving regime officials a free pass in exchange for “exclusive” interviews needs to end. Free press should have a meaning.
So while Iranians are once again being murdered in the streets of Iran for peacefully protesting the water shortages, many in the media are shirking their responsibilities. However, Newsmax has been a breath of fresh air on this front with consistent coverage of the Iranian regime’s actions inside Iran and on U.S. soil.
We believe it’s incumbent on all media outlets in America, progressive or conservative, to help shine a spotlight on the daily human rights abuses coming out of Iran and to provide a platform to Iranian Americans who have the bravery to speak out against this regime.
The time is always right to speak out in support of the Iranian people and against the vast humanitarian abuses carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Bryan E. Leib is the Executive Director of Iranian Americans for Liberty. Formerly, he served as the National Director for Americans Against Antisemitism and in 2018, he was a GOP Endorsed Congressional Candidate (PA-03). He tweets at @Bryan_E_Leib. Read Bryan E. Leib's Reports — More Here.
Dr. Daniel Jafari is the Board President of the Iranian Americans for Liberty.
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