Features

The Guards + Havoc + Misery

July 3, 2019
Maziar Bahari
2 min read
Baha'is Ardeshir Fanaian, Behnam Eskandarian and Yalda Firuzian all remain behind bars
Baha'is Ardeshir Fanaian, Behnam Eskandarian and Yalda Firuzian all remain behind bars
Iranian presidents often know nothing about the Revolutionary Guards' full range of activities
Iranian presidents often know nothing about the Revolutionary Guards' full range of activities
Several US citizens filed a lawsuit against Iran since the Revolutionary Guards were believed to be behind the attack on a US Marines barracks, which killed hundreds of people
Several US citizens filed a lawsuit against Iran since the Revolutionary Guards were believed to be behind the attack on a US Marines barracks, which killed hundreds of people
Sina stays in the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens, the home of the anarchists
Sina stays in the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens, the home of the anarchists

The IRGC (the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) continues to build its power and its propensity to destroy everything from international relations to the economy to people’s lives. As our colleague Faramarz Davar writes this week, the Guards’ behavior is the main reason why the world is so quick to point the finger at Iran when something goes wrong in the region. Iran owes millions of dollars to US citizens who have lodged court cases after losing loved ones in Guards-led terrorist attacks. The Iranian government has a long-standing habit of denying attacks and hostility in the region — whether it was the tanker war of the 1980s or discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency — but the truth is that most of the time, Iranian presidents and their administrations don’t really know what’s going on with the Guards, and it does everything it can to keep them in the dark. Once again I have to repeat: I don’t agree with blanket sanctions, but sanctions are not the main cause of Iranian people’s suffering. It is the Islamic Republic government, mainly Iran’s Supreme Leader and his Guards, whose actions and policies have caused most of Iran’s problems today.

We continue to report on the unjust treatment of Baha’is, Iran’s largest religious minority group. Two months on from their arrests on vague or unknown charges, 11 Baha’is from Semnan have been denied access to lawyers and from contacting their families, yet another case of authorities not following Iran’s official judicial protocols in order to persecute the Baha’i community. Yet the story of the Baha’is of Iran is one of resilience and solidarity. This week, guest blogger Andreana Lefton tells the story of Lida Taghinia, whose family left Iran in the 1980s. Her story, and Lefton’s friendship with her, acknowledges the importance of sharing stories to help people — often across generations — recover from trauma, shock and loss.

We also continue our series on human trafficking and Iranian refugees, and this week we tell the stories of Sina and Mohsen. Iran’s corrupt and unjust society has driven one to a life of crime and the other to entrust his daughter with a human trafficker. But they both soon discover that life in Greece is not what they hoped for, an experience shared by so many hopeful, desperate Iranians trying to make a better life for themselves outside the country.

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Features

How the Revolutionary Guards Wrecked Iran’s Diplomatic Immunity in the US

July 2, 2019
Faramarz Davar
7 min read
How the Revolutionary Guards Wrecked Iran’s Diplomatic Immunity in the US