Report: Threats and Actions of the Islamic Republic to Suppress Opponents and Opposition

07:33 - 30/4/2024

Report: Threats and Actions of the Islamic Republic to Suppress Opponents and Opposition

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In recent decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used various methods to threaten and suppress opponents and opposition. If we were to provide a comprehensive definition of assassination, we would say that assassination means the killing or direct attack on an important person or public centres to eliminate and create fear among opponents. Usually, it is determined by political, social, or other goals set by the groups carrying out the assassinations. In Iran, the systematic assassinations began officially with the establishment of the Ismaili Assassins by Hassan-i Sabbah and have continued to this day, with the religious governments in Iran using assassinations and threats to silence opponents. Opponents of the Islamic Republic have always sought refuge in neighbouring countries like Iraq and Turkey to escape murder, imprisonment, and torture, which are common methods used by the Islamic Republic within Iran. Due to shared economic and military activities and the signing of security agreements, personal assassinations in these countries are easily carried out without political repercussions. In the past, the Islamic Republic used assassinations and bombings through forces like the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and trained individuals for terrorist activities in various countries worldwide. Examples include the bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina, the assassination of officials from the previous Pahlavi government, the assassination of the Secretary-General of the Democratic Party, the terrorist attack on Mykonos, the assassination of Bakhtiar, and the assassination of Fereydoun Farrokhzad.

The Islamic Republic of Iran uses various methods to threaten and assassinate its opponents. This report examines and analyses the threats and actions of the Islamic Republic in this regard.

1. Methods of Threats and Assassinations:
   - Tactics of Assassination and Cross-Border Threats: A look at the methods used by the Islamic Republic of Iran

Throughout its history, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used various tactics to threaten and assassinate its opponents. These tactics range from direct actions by operational forces to indirect methods through various agents. This section examines some of the methods used by the Islamic Republic of Iran to threaten and assassinate its opponents.

Direct Actions:
One of the direct methods used by the Islamic Republic for assassinating opponents is committing crimes such as murder or abduction. In this method, operational forces directly participate in these activities and target individuals directly. Additionally, some assassinations are carried out through abductions by agents who are in contact with the person and guide them towards their goals. Most abductions are carried out by women known as "sparrows" of the Islamic Republic. Direct actions by the Islamic Republic of Iran include activities where operational forces directly participate and target individuals directly. These actions may include committing crimes such as murder or abduction.

1. Committing Murder:
- In this method, operational forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran directly attack opposition individuals and kill them. These individuals may include members of associations or groups, political figures, civil activists, journalists, or anyone deemed dangerous to national or political security by the regime. Murders are carried out using firearms or cold weapon attacks designated as food poisoning by individuals who are close to the targeted person as friends, political associates, emotional friends, or even spouses in the person's life. An example is a poet named Khorasani who had sought refuge in Turkey for several years living alone and was poisoned and died by a woman.
2. Abduction:
This method involves agents of the Islamic Republic approaching the targeted individual. These individuals may be used as hostages to achieve political goals, intimidate opposition figures, or put pressure on governments or specific individuals. Women or young men who have received special training to deceive the sexual emotions of individuals with precise and even long-term planning to gain the trust and favour of individuals enter their personal and emotional lives to the extent that they can even interfere in their decision-making. By exploiting weaknesses and collecting evidence such as photos and videos of sexual relationships, installing cameras and advanced listening devices in the homes and workplaces of the targeted individuals, the main stage of abduction is carried out. Evidence and news from the past few years indicate abductions of journalists and political figures as well as opposition figures opposed to the Islamic Republic, including Mr. Zam and the Secretary-General of the Ahvaz Liberation Front, the head of the Tondar group, and other unsuccessful operations such as the attempted abduction of Ali Younesi, the assassination of Masih Ali Nejad, and so on. Emotional factors, financial assistance offers, or negotiations with the Islamic Republic have always been raised.

These direct actions, along with indirect methods, are considered tactics used by the Islamic Republic of Iran to threaten and assassinate its opponents. While in indirect actions, native individuals are used to carry out these acts, such as addicts or those affected by social issues.

Indirect Actions:
The Islamic Republic of Iran also uses indirect methods to threaten and assassinate its opponents. This includes using various elements such as paramilitary terrorists, intelligence operatives, and even mafia networks that are coordinated with the political goals of the Islamic Republic. These methods are often carried out indirectly and underground, ranging from sudden assassinations to long-term planned assassinations.

The systematic threats by the Islamic Republic to suppress enemies, opponents, and individuals operating outside of Iran to expose human rights violations are planned and executed with minimal costs. Often, opponents of the Islamic Republic flee to countries that accept immigrants, such as Turkey and the Kurdistan region in Iraq, after being detained or temporarily detained to escape detention and torture again.

The Islamic Republic now conducts these actions with minimal costs and using indigenous volunteers instead of threatening or even assassinating its opponents through extraterritorial forces. It threatens and intimidates opponents by exploiting individuals dependent on drugs, alcohol, or who have lost their livelihoods to gambling networks and do anything to rebuild their lives. Initially, threats are made through Iranian residents in Turkey or Iraq who work in social jobs like hairstyling, grocery stores, or restaurants and are compelled to travel due to their work conditions. In the second stage, the Islamic Republic attempts to pressure the desired individual by increasing pressure on their families in Iran and threatening them with detention and imprisonment upon their return. These threats not only target political activists but also threaten the families of political activists and even threaten them with expulsion from government jobs.

In the third stage, local forces are used to eliminate, threaten, or abduct political activists. The Islamic Republic denies any involvement in terrorist operations that may lead to its identification. Images of families and children commuting to school or work are not sent via Turkish phone numbers but are delivered to the families of political activists through unknown numbers or threatening messages via friends and acquaintances, creating psychological stress and pressure through threats and intimidating messages and even through news about spouses and children. Reporting these actions to the police or even the United Nations is not accepted due to the lack of clear evidence or valid proofs, as there is no evidence of threats or attacks.

Turkey, a signatory to the Geneva Convention, is committed to ensuring the security of political activists and does not want its security measures to be undermined internationally and never reports killings that occur in secret and away from the media and ends in silence.

2. Consequences and Effects:
These threats and actions of the Islamic Republic have serious and sometimes devastating effects on political activists and their families. Political activists are forced to flee the country, and their families are also threatened. This situation creates psychological and social pressure on political activists and their families.

Being under pressure through threats and legal or physical actions can give individuals a greater sense of insecurity and fear. This can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders. Additionally, leaving the country and being forcibly separated from family can have serious social and psychological consequences for political activists, including feelings of loneliness, increased social and economic risks, and even problems in human relationships.

Psychological consequences:
The pressures on political activists and their families can lead to an increase in mental disorders. These disorders may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), increased violence, and sleep disorders. Also, individuals may face constant fear, feelings of helplessness, and security-related anxiety.

Economic consequences:
The escape of political activists and legal pressures can lead to the economic collapse of families. These individuals may be deprived of their financial resources and find themselves in unstable economic situations. Also, losing jobs and income, limited access to social and health services, and even dependence on financial assistance from NGOs may be among the economic consequences.

3. Reactions and Reports:
The reactions to these threats and actions have varied from political activists and various international organizations. These activists are trying to prevent these actions, and international organizations are investigating and monitoring the situation and attempting to prevent it.

The reactions of political activists to these threats and actions usually include public protests, dissemination of reports and information in the media, and the use of social networks to draw global attention to their situation. These actions ultimately aim to stop the threats and actions of the Islamic Republic.

International organizations have also shown reactions. By closely monitoring the situation, publishing reports, and holding international meetings and conferences, they have increased pressure on the Islamic Republic to bring about positive changes in its behavior. Additionally, they may assist political activists and their families in safeguarding their rights by providing legal and financial assistance. However, these responses have never had practical and deterrent aspects because creating a safe haven for human rights activists and journalists who, due to economic hardships, are forced into strenuous and exhausting work and transferring them to third countries or safe countries requires complex conditions in European and American countries, making it easier for the Islamic Republic to harass and intimidate these activists. Discrimination in advancing the asylum process at the United Nations is clearly visible to the extent that 80% of media activists or human rights activists who live in the worst security and economic conditions in Iraq and Turkey are still deprived of being transferred to a third country after less than 10 years. The uncertainty of the future for families and increased job stress further pushes these individuals towards suicide or entering the dangerous path of smuggling. Perhaps the dissemination of reports and information in the media and social networks can increase global awareness and solidarity with political activists. Additionally, holding international meetings and conferences can provide a space for discussing and exchanging ideas on solutions to the problems of political activists. Also, providing legal and financial assistance to political activists and their families can help them protect their rights and have a positive impact on their situation.

The use of assassination tactics and extraterritorial threats by the Islamic Republic of Iran indicates its inclination to use any means to preserve and enhance its power and international influence. These methods, in addition to instilling fear in opponents, are among the actions that the international community faces and feels the need for a thorough examination and response. One general conclusion from the discussion could be that the threats and actions of the Islamic Republic against political activists and their families have severely pressured them and can have devastating consequences for them. However, the reactions and responses of political activists and international organizations indicate that there are various forums to combat this situation and preserve human rights and political freedoms. Publishing reports, holding international meetings and conferences, providing legal and financial assistance, and using social networks to draw global attention to the situation of political activists can lead to further cooperation. These responses demonstrate that the international community is committed to supporting human rights and political freedoms worldwide and acting against threats and abuses, especially against political activists.