The Iranian regime and its internal enemies

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A sure sign of disarray and loss of support for the Iranian regime: even a close relative of the Supreme Leader, his niece Farideh Moradkhani, is now openly calling his regime “murderous and child-murdering” in an online video uploaded by her brother the Saturday. on November 26, after her earlier arrest by the regime on unclear charges. More information about this act of great courage can be found in a preliminary report on Jihad Watch here and in a full report here: “Khamenei’s Niece Criticizes Iran’s ‘Child-Killing Regime’ on Video,” Times of Israel, 27 November 2022:

Farideh Moradkhani comes from a branch of the family that has a history of opposing Iran’s clerical leadership and has herself been previously imprisoned in the country.

Her brother Mahmoud Moradkhani wrote on Twitter that she was arrested on Wednesday after going to the prosecutor’s office following a summons.

Then on Saturday his brother posted a video on YouTube, with the link shared on Twitter, in which he condemned the “clear and obvious oppression” Iranians have been subjected to and criticized the inaction of the international community.

By uploading his sister’s video, his brother Mahmoud Moradkhani also took a great risk, and no doubt when the vengeful regime finishes prosecuting his sister a second time, handing her a lengthy prison sentence for the “treason” of her appearance on the video. , she will quickly turn on him and sentence him too, like his achievement, to a lengthy prison sentence.

This is what he said in his video:

“Free people, stay with us! Tell your governments to stop supporting this child-killing, murderous regime.”

“This regime is not loyal to any of its religious principles and knows no law or rule except force and maintaining its power in any way possible.”

It was not clear when the video was recorded.

He complained that the sanctions imposed on the regime for its crackdown were “ridiculous” and said that Iranians had been left “alone” in their fight for freedom.

It is unclear what additional sanctions could now be imposed on the Iranian leadership, both the clerics and the IRGC commander.

Moradkhani is the daughter of Khamenei’s sister, Badri, who broke away from her family in the 1980s and fled to Iraq at the height of the war with neighboring Iran. She joined her husband, dissident cleric Ali Tehrani.

Both Moradkhani’s mother, a niece of Ayatollah Khamenei, and her father, Ali Tehrani, had been dissidents since the early years of the new regime. Dissent is in her blood, but she has now reached another level, of open hatred and contempt for the regime.

Moradkhani has gained prominence as an activist against the death penalty and was last arrested in January this year.

That arrest followed an October 2021 video conference in which he lavishly praised Farah Diba, the widow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said she was released on bail in April and her arrest last Wednesday was [for her]to begin serving an existing 15-year sentence.

Moradkhani’s discontent with the regime and with his uncle, the Supreme Leader, is now total. He had previously wowed the regime by showering praise on the Shah’s regime’s representative, the former Shahbanou, Farah Diba, in a video conference a year ago. And for years, Moradkhani has made public his opposition to the death penalty. It is unclear whether her arrest last January was a response to his campaign against capital punishment or his praise for Farah Diba. Most likely both contributed to her arrest; she was an embarrassment, precisely because of her close relationship with the Supreme Leader. She needed to be silenced.

In Farideh Moradkhani’s video, just uploaded by her brother, she poignantly denounces the regime and makes a direct appeal to the outside world to heed the cries of the Iranian protesters, to cut all ties with Iran and impose any sanctions on the country that has not done so. she has already imposed herself: “Free peoples, be with us! Tell your governments to stop supporting this child-killing, murderous regime.” This latest video upload will no doubt result in an additional 10-15 years added to his current 15 year sentence. For a frail middle-aged woman, 25-30 years in Evin Prison, famously tough for her, will be a death sentence.

Farideh and his brother are not the only close relatives of Iranian leaders to have turned against the regime. Ayatollah Khomeini’s son, Abdel, died of a drug overdose at the age of 50 in 1995; drugs were his way out of a miserable reality—created by his father—that he found intolerable. Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s daughter was charged with “propaganda activity against the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran and blasphemy,” Iran’s judiciary announced on July 3, 2022. An indictment for the arrest of Faezeh Hashemi, a 59 year old man. former deputy and rights activist, has been issued, but it was not reported if she had been detained.

The charges reportedly stem from comments Hashemi made during a social media forum in April. He was reported to have said that Iran’s insistence that the United States remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of terrorist organizations was “harmful” to Iran’s national interests.

When the nieces, nephews, sons and daughters of those at the top, including the relatives of Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Khamenei and President Rafsanjani, show such disaffection, despair and anger, this surely means that the foundations of the regime are beginning to weaken. Iranian protesters continue across the country, steadily increasing in size and vehemence, not at all deterred by the regime’s use of live fire, now chanting not “Woman Freedom Life,” but more menacingly, “Down with the Leader! Supreme!” How long can such a diet hold on to power?



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