Iran Conducts Second Protest-Related Execution

On Monday, Iran announced the execution of a second prisoner in less than a week, who was detained and convicted of "waging war against God," amid nationwide anti-government protests.

Iran Conducts Second Protest-Related Execution
Image credit: Reuters [via The Jerusalem Post]

Facts

  • On Monday, Iran announced the execution of a second prisoner in less than a week, who was detained and convicted of "waging war against God," amid nationwide anti-government protests.
  • The executed man, identified as Majidreza Rahnavard, was accused of fatally stabbing two members of the security forces and wounding four others in the city of Mashhad on Nov. 17. Iranian media identified those killed as "student" volunteers of the Basij paramilitary force.
  • Last Thursday, Iran conducted its first-known execution related to the protests. Mohsen Shekari was hanged after being detained and convicted for allegedly blocking a street in the Iranian capital, Tehran, and injuring a Basij militia member with a machete on Sept. 23.
  • Following Shekari's execution, Iranian Pres. Ebrahim Raisi stated at a ceremony honoring security personnel killed during the protests that those responsible for the deaths of security forces will continue to be tried and punished. Meanwhile, in a joint statement last week, the US and Canada announced new sanctions against Iran.
  • On Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel said the EU is set to adopt a new package of "very tough" sanctions against Iran over alleged human rights violations in the ongoing protests, and supply of drones to Russia. The EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday.
  • The anti-government protests, which turned into demands for regime change, began in mid-September after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was detained by the morality police for violating the hijab law and died in custody. At least 475 people are believed to have been killed and more than 18K detained since the protests erupted.

Sources: DW, MSN, First India, VOA, Iran Intl, and Independent.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Tehran Times. In condemning Tehran's crackdown, the West is once again exercising double standards. No government in the world would stand idly by as rioters destroy public property and terrorists masquerading as protesters randomly target security forces. Moreover, the majority of the Iranian population refuses to join the protests, which are being fueled by the hypocritical West to destabilize Iran and instigate a civil war like in Syria.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Jerusalem Post. Only an illegitimate and inhumane government like the theocratic regime in Tehran kills people who take to the streets for legitimate causes. In the past, the international community turned a blind eye as Tehran mass executed its own citizens. This time, the West can no longer remain silent, given the ruthlessness of the religious establishment that rules Iran. It's no longer a matter of reforming the existing government but of overthrowing this tyrannical regime.