Policy Director at the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) Cameron Khansarinia says it is crucial for the West to show solidarity with the Iranian opposition at a time when Iranians inside and outside Iran are risking their lives to unify against the regime’s brutal oppression.
The people of Iran “need the moral leadership and solidarity from the people of the West when they’re fighting a gender-apartheid, murderous regime,” said Khansarinia on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari podcast Friday.
Khansarinia and NUFDI strongly support the ‘No to the Islamic Republic’ (#NO2IR) campaign, which recently gained the support of hundreds of Iranians worldwide and has provided a unified base for Iranian opposition with a variety of political and social backgrounds.
Since the 1979 Iran Revolution, the regime has invested billions of dollars in creating fabricated divisions between opposition groups in Iran, weakening the Iranian people’s ability to free themselves of the totalitarian government.
However, since the ‘No to the Islamic Republic’ campaign began garnering widespread support, the Iranian people have found power in a unified voice and platform.
Khansarinia emphasized that “the Iranian people have reached a point where after 42 years, after 42 years of being brutalized, being jailed en masse, being killed, women being statutorily, legally worth half of men, minorities being unable to attend school and university, all sorts of absolute repression, oppression, and suppression, they’ve reached a point where everyone is on the same page about putting their hands together and ending the Islamic Republic.”
In contrast to the regime’s propagandized narrative often perpetrated by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as well as the international media, the Iranian people “did not choose to live like this. They do not choose the Islamic Republic, and they will no longer tolerate it ruling over them with no legitimacy or no authority.”
“The people of Iran are being slaughtered in the streets. They’re standing up bravely. They’re sending a message. They send messages in English very often…they’re not practicing their linguistics when they do that. They’re sending a message,” said Khansarinia.
Khansarinia attributes the “chasm” that is often seen throughout the West amongst those with a progressive focus on human rights who simultaneously ignore the plight of the Iranian people not to being “bad people by any means” but to the effectiveness of Iran’s “propaganda mechanism abroad.”
“The people of Iran overwhelmingly want a secular democracy. They want freedom. They want the same rights that we enjoy living here in the United States, and they expect the world to stand with them in that challenge.”