Silence in the face of Iran’s barbaric conduct must end: Mark Williams

Writing for PolitcsHome, Lib Dem MP Mark Williams says:

Omran Daqneesh is not the most relatable of names to Western media. It is hard to pronounce and its origins are foreign. However, on August 17th Omran Daqneesh’s face became a symbol of suffering and lost innocence in perhaps the world’s most terrible current conflict, the civil war in Syria. Instead of an unrelatable name, media outlets and regular people the world over saw a face of a small boy, estimated at 5 years old, covered in blood and dust after an air strike…

It is Hassan Rouhani’s Iran that has helped the Assad regime in Syria to target civilians like Omran and is directly responsible for the scenes of devastation that Omran’s photo gave a small glimpse of. It is the same regime, carried out the systematic slaughter of approximately 30,000 political prisoners in 1988…

In 1988 there was no social media, no developed internet infrastructure to share devastating images like Omran’s and there was no outcry. To lawmakers in Washington DC, across Europe and everywhere in between, those innocent men, women and pregnant mothers and scared fathers were numbers, headlines and “not our problem.” Today, history is repeating itself in Syria under the same regime, those same murderers who oversaw the slaughter of 30,000 innocents in Iran are condemning Syrians, Iraqis and many others who do not believe in their radical ideology to the same fate – history is repeating itself and we cannot again let ourselves to look the other way.

Critics will argue that this Iran is different, that they have abandoned nuclear activities and that change does not come overnight. According to them we will have to “wait and see.” Yet we have waited decades since the 1988 massacre and after that long wait, we have only seen those murderers and extremists who perpetrated the slaughter get promotions…

But, Omran and others like him, remind us not to forget our humanity. If we do not stand up for Omran and others like him, who will be there to stand up for us when fundamentalist and terrorists attack us? We can never allow ourselves to forget our humanity.

It is high time to take action. Our policies toward Iran must change to focus on Tehran’s human rights abuses and destructive intervention in the region. We should stand with the Iranian regime’s victims in their quest for justice.

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