Iran International is a Persian-language news television channel headquartered in London and it is against the Iranian Ayatollah regime. This channel recently reported that due to threats faced by the Iranian regime, members of the Iranian Jewish community have been forced to cut ties with their relatives in Israel. This comes at a time when the Iranian regime is forcing members of the Jewish communities in Esfahan and Tehran to protest against the State of Israel.
Following the incident on October 17, in which a missile fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fell on the Baptist Hospital in Gaza, the Tehran Jewish community was forced by the Iranian regime to issue the following statement: “Every free human being is hurt now because of the news about the hospital where people were killed by an enemy who has no conscience and is very violent.”
The Tehran Jewish community issued this statement, even though it has been confirmed that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for the attack on the Gaza hospital. An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by the PIJ terrorists in Gaza, passing close to the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.
Meanwhile, the Tehran Jewish community was completely silent following the October 7 massacre, when Hamas slaughtered innocent youths at a music festival, burned people alive in their homes, decapitated babies, and raped numerous women. This silence remains, even though there are many parallels between how Hamas, a proxy of Iran, acted in the areas they invaded in southern Israel and how ISIS committed genocide against the Yezidi community in Iraq.
Indeed, Newsweek has also compared what Hamas did on October 7 to ISIS, declaring that there was footage of “women abducted with their babies, grandmothers taken hostage and paraded down the streets of Gaza. According to one survivor, ‘They came to slaughter, to destroy. I know they kidnapped girls. They raped women even after killing them.’ Another survivor tells of returning to the site later to look for his friends and seeing mostly bodies of young women, lying cold and mutilated.
“Another widely shared video showed a young woman’s nearly naked body, lifeless and mutilated, being paraded through the streets of Gaza in the back of a pickup truck. Palestinian men sat on her, draped their legs over her, pulled at her hair, and spit on her – a broken female body brandished like a trophy.
“Then, there’s a video of a teenage Israeli woman being pulled by her hair by terrorists from the back of a vehicle in Gaza. In the video, she is barefoot, wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, and as she turns, you can see the back of her sweatpants are covered in blood that came from between her legs.”
We now know the name of the victim is Na’ama Levy, 19 years old, and still being held hostage in Gaza to date. She was only one of many victims. Indeed, numerous survivors of the Supernova music festival and other places witnessed women who were raped and then slaughtered or taken hostage. In fact, Hamas terrorists who were taken captive even noted that they were given license to rape women and girls, both the living and the dead.
One IDF officer related: “There is evidence of mass rape so brutal that they broke their victims’ pelvises – women, grandmothers, children.”
And yet, out of fear, the Tehran Jewish community is now silent and has not reached out to their Israeli relatives during their greatest hour of need, while the regime continues to chant “Death to Israel” and support Hamas’s massacring, terrorizing, torturing, and raping the Jewish population in Israel. Indeed, Iran continues to stand behind Hamas, as they threaten to wage another October 7 again and again.
Iran does far more than terrorize the Iranian Jewish community and support Hamas terrorism against Israel. Indeed, Iran routinely terrorizes, abuses, and oppresses the country’s Azerbaijani, Turkmeni, Kurdish, Ahwazi, Balochi, Christian, Mandean, Bahai, and other communities. In Iran, it is illegal to be a member of the Bahai faith. Members of the Bahai faith are routinely imprisoned, executed, tortured, and denied access to higher education and decent employment.
Ethnic minority groups like Azerbaijanis, Ahwazi Arabs, Balochis, and Kurds are denied access to higher education in their mother tongues, which condemns them to a life of poverty. Members of ethnic minority groups who protest against this situation are executed, imprisoned, and tortured. Some Azerbaijani women have even been executed because they were unable to wage a defense in the Persian language in court, yet it is dangerous for the Azerbaijani community to protest against this.
Enough is enough
Members of the European Parliament recently created a petition to address the situation of women and minorities in Iran, especially members of the Azerbaijani community, who represent a third of the Iranian population.
Manel Msalmi, a member of the European Parliament, noted: “The non-Persian populations suffer from cultural, linguistic, economic, and political discrimination, which marginalizes these populations and makes them vulnerable. The uprisings in Iran raise for the first time the fate of non-Persian women who are discriminated against and deprived of their civil and political rights.”
Msalmi continued: “The Iranian Revolution calls for equal rights for every citizen no matter what their religion, ethnic background, political affiliation, or social background. We must express thanks to human rights organizations, as well as media groups and journalists, who work tirelessly to expose the reality on the ground to provide the EU and international community with real information, such as Guney Azfront TG Channel, which coordinates the struggle for the freedom of South Azerbaijanis, Ahwazi Arabs, Balochis, Turks, and Kurds.”
Msalmi noted that the purpose of the petition is to “show solidarity with women and minorities and support their fight for freedom and justice, as well as to call upon the Iranian regime to stop the economic, political, and military pressure on women and ethnic and religious minorities.
“I urge the EU not to forget the sacrifices of the Iranian people and their fight for democracy a year after the uprisings,” Msalmi continued. “The EU should support civil society organizations and Iran, and continue to put pressure on the ayatollah regime to enable ethnic groups to participate in social, economic, and political life with dignity.”
The time has come to fight the oppression against the Iranian Jewish community, the Azerbaijani community, and other religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran. There must be a change in regime in Tehran. The time has come for the women and minorities of Iran to live in freedom, and for the mullahs in Tehran to stop supporting the ISIS-like brutality of Hamas. The Iranian people deserve better.
The writer is a Middle East scholar and commentator.