Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Iranian Olympic medalist Kimia Alizadeh announced on Saturday she has defected. Fed up with the regime’s “hypocrisy, lying, injustice and oppression of women,” the Taekwondo bronze medalist wrote (on Instagram) that she has permanently left the country to pursue “a life of security, happiness and freedom.”
Alizadeh said “she wore everything the government asked her to wear, referring to the head covering all Iranian female athletes must wear, and wrote she “repeated everything they told me to say…None of us matter to them.”
#KimiaAlizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, has rejected the regime’s oppression of women. She has defected for a life of security, happiness, and freedom. #Iran will continue to lose more strong women unless it learns to empower and support them. https://t.co/NIzdo4PPwI
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) January 12, 2020
Iranian MP Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh, meanwhile, demanded answers, accusing those he described as the “incompetent officials” of allowing Iran’s “human capital to flee” the country.
He drew a comparison between Alizadeh and Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja who won the grandmaster title at age 14, two years after winning the Iranian chess championship, and who now lives in France.
Most Iranians who have a choice to flee the country, meaning the money and the opportunity, do so. Few citizens would choose to endure the increasingly miserable living conditions and Iran’s repressive political climate, if given the choice.
A June 2019 Gallup poll found that, “a record-low 12% of Iranians rated their lives positively enough to be considered “thriving,” and a record-high 34% rated their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering.”
The U.S. strike on Soleimani has suddenly thrust Iran onto the international stage, shining a light on living conditions inside the Islamic Republic. Although the world has long understood that the Iranian government’s unrelenting repression of their citizens has led to a pretty miserable quality of life, the recent hostilities with the U.S. have forced the country’s humanitarian crisis onto the front page.
All of this may present a dilemma for Democrats who will find themselves torn between their newfound support for the clerical regime’s leaders and their ability to recognize the suffering these “sympathetic” figures have inflicted on the Iranian people.
The left has overwhelmingly condemned President Trump’s decision to kill terrorist Qassem Soleimani. Unanimously, Democrats claim that he had no right to order the strike. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself said that killing Soleimani would be like killing the second most important person in the USA.
Because the same ruthless men whom the Democrats have legitimized over the last week murdered 1,500 (according to Reuters) of their own citizens during the November protests. And refused to release the bodies of the dead unless the families promised not to hold funerals. And shut down the internet for five days afterward.
They also forced their citizens to take to the streets to “mourn” the death of the country’s beloved martyr, Qassem Soleimani. The media was collectively “moved” by the crowds who showed up for the funeral of a “man revered by many here.” ABC’s Martha Raddatz, reporting from Iran, donning a headscarf, described the scene: “Soleimani’s image everywhere. The impact of his death profound. The crowds are massive and emotional. There are many tears here, many signs with Soleimani’s picture on them, but the message is also very clear. These people want revenge…Inside the funeral service, the emotion just as powerful.”
That’s just beautiful Martha. He was cut down too soon, wasn’t he?
The Iranian people, who live the reality of the mullah’s cruelty and repression every day, are growing restless. After new protests broke out on Saturday night, President Trump tweeted (in Farsi) a message of encouragement and support to the protestor’s. According to The Washington Examiner, it was the “most liked Persian tweet’ in the history of Twitter.
به مردم شجاع و رنج کشیده ایران: من از ابتدای دوره ریاست جمهوریم با شما ایستادهام و دولت من همچنان با شما خواهد ایستاد. ما اعتراضات شما را از نزدیک دنبال می کنیم. شجاعت شما الهام بخش است.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
His message read: “To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring,”
The Democrats have a choice to make. Who will they support, the murderous leaders whom they tell us have been dealt with unfairly? Or the long-suffering people of Iran who have lived without freedom for over 40 years?