As the years go on, one would imagine that by now, nation-states would have progressed further in preserving basic human rights, observing religious freedom, and promoting racial and gender equality. This, however, is not so in the case of Iran. Just several days ago, Iran’s Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, released a video on Twitter in response to the #MeToo movement, asserting that women are at fault if and when they are sexually assaulted. In fact, he goes far enough as to dictate that when women reject the hijab (a veil some Muslim women wear to preserve their modesty) they “undermine their own dignity and value.”
In short, Iran’s Supreme Leader is completely entrenched in a regressive and patriarchal agenda. But, unfortunately, this isn’t the only backwards and oppressive element of the regime—nearly a week ago, Iran launched rockets targeted at a Kurdish refugee camp in Koya, Kurdistan. Iran’s use of long-range missiles to attack Kurdish refugees completely demotes and breaches international humanitarian laws. In addition to this, the attack reveals the racist and oppressive policies that Iran promulgates. The Kurds are an ethnic minority in Iran, who are often silenced, if not executed on behalf of baseless accusations. Two weeks ago, Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 23-year-old Kurdish activist was executed. His crime? Being a Kurd.
Such events are not sensationalized in the media, and because of this, many are not aware of the atrocities that are committed under the Iranian regime. In fact, many uninformed social media “activists” go as far as to defend the regime in light of its “anti-imperial” stance. College students nationwide should pay close attention to these events, as they directly contribute to the larger narrative at play: invading Iraq’s national sovereignty in spite of the Syrian regime. Iran perpetrates such attacks on behalf of two politically-motivated agendas: the oppression of Kurds and the active opposition of the Assad regime.
By attacking Kurdish refugee camps, Iran leaves the Kurdish population vulnerable and small. Moreover, by harming the Kurdish refugee camps in Koya, Kurdistan (formally Koya, Iraq), Iran yields significant power over the Iraqi sovereignty.
The surface of the issue at hand has merely been scraped. Incidences such as these taking place in Iran should be given careful and close attention, as they blatantly violate laws set to preserve the dignity of civilians everywhere.