(Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran: New kidnapping campaign to blackmail the West


By Souad Sbai

The Iranian Khomeinist regime has relaunched its offensive against the international community not only in the various theaters of the crisis in the Middle East and Gulf waters. Target of the aggressive policies carried out by the Pasdaran, on the orders of the Supreme guide Ali Khamenei, is not only the ships that sail through the Strait of Hormuz and the Yemeni population, that continues to suffer due to the occupation carried out by the Houthi militias and because of the conflict provoked by them with the legitimate government; It is not just about the population of Saudi Arabia, subjected to the constant threat of drone attacks from Yemen, or that of Iraq that suffers the daily violence exerted by extremist Shiite militias linked to Tehran.

The Khomeinist regime is increasingly targeting Western goals within the Iranian borders. The arrest, in June, of the academic Fariba Adelkhah, a renowned professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, commonly referred to as Sciences Po, an Iranian with a French passport, is part of the blackmail strategy adopted by Khamenei and by the Pasdaran, in this case to weaken President Emmanuel Macron’s position. It is not surprising that the owner of the Elysium has offered his good offices as a mediator with the United States on the nuclear and on the sanctions issues, even saying that he was willing to travel on an official visit to Tehran. Thus, on July 10, he sent, as advance party, his highest Diplomatic Advisor, Emmanuel Bonne, who met with President Hassan Rouhani, the allegedly moderate face of the Islamic Republic.

The subject of the talks was presumably also Fariba Adelkhah’s fate, whose detention was reported to the international press a few days after Bonne’s visit: is it a sign of the failure of behind-the-scenes negotiations for the liberation of the Franco-Iranian academic? But if diplomacy has failed to get his release, the pressure exerted by the media will hardly be more successful.

Arrests and kidnappings have been a trademark of the Khomeinist regime since its origins, both abroad (just remember the Westerner people kidnapped during the Lebanese civil war by the Pasdaran and Hezbollah) as well as in the country. In this regard, the main victims are the Iranians. From 1979 to the present, tens of thousands of people have disappeared or are in the Pasdaran prisons as political prisoners, especially human rights activists and women belonging to the new generation.

In relation to foreigners, the Khomeinist regime has always paid special attention to Americans, to Iranians with passports of stars and stripes, but also to Americans tout court. In fact, the issue of prisoners has always been the subject of negotiations between Washington and Tehran, including the talks that led to the nuclear agreement; crown jewel, now withered, for Obama administration. On that occasion, Barack Obama succeeded in releasing the Washington Post correspondent, Jason Rezaian, of Iranian origin, imprisoned for 544 days after being sentenced in a trial held behind closed doors for false accusations of espionage. The White House allegedly paid $ 400 million in cash for the release of the journalist and three other US citizens with dual citizenship. The deportation of seven Iranians linked to the Khomeinist regime detained in the United States was also carried out.

Rezaian’s successor in Tehran as a correspondent for the Washington Post, the Dutchman Thomas Erdbrink, who later move to the New York Times, was luckier. In fact, he has not (yet) been arrested but since February he is prohibited from writing, communicating and working. This is also a form of kidnapping that the Khomeinist regime will be able to use as bargaining chip.

In the last hours, along with Adelkhah’s case, the dramatic story lived by Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen arrested in 2016 after receiving unfounded accusations of having carried out sedition activities while she was in Iran working with Thomas Reuters Foundation, is again news. Her husband continues to tirelessly request Nazanin’s release, held captive by the Pasdaran. According to the latest news, she was transferred from the famous Evin Prison – a place of physical and psychological torture – to a psychiatric hospital located in the capital whose name pays homage to Imam Khomeini.

This is the true face of the Khomeinist regime and, with it, a credible and lasting agreement capable of obtaining the stabilization of the Middle East can never be reached.



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