Another unarmed protester shot dead in Iran

by Michael Petrou

The exact date this footage was filmed is disputed. What it depicts is not: another innocent Iranian has been shot dead, this time through the head, while protesting Iran’s rigged presidential election. 

Although President Obama has not yet officially dropped his policy of engaging with Iran, it is difficult to see how such a policy can still be justified. Iran has already committed widespread atrocities against its own people, and it appears this repression and violence will escalate. As Payam Akhavan, a professor of international law at McGill University, notes today in the Ottawa Citizen, such actions constitute crimes against humanity, and the Iranian leaders responsible for them deserve to face justice, as did Slobodan Milosevic and as will, one hopes, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. 

This isn’t to say that Obama’s strategy of extending a hand to Iran was foolish, only that it has failed. Iran will not unclench its fist. Obama needs to recognize this and reconsider his options.




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Another unarmed protester shot dead in Iran

  1. The question posed in your piece from 2006 has been answered……. No.

  2. Unfortunately, one of the Canadians who has potentially done the most in terms of bringing the situation in Darfur to the attention of the Canadian Government is currently missing in Niger.

  3. If I read your account tomorrow, will my observation today be valid?

    Nobody cares.

    Sad. But obvious.

    We live in the Wal-Mart world.

    Smile.

  4. must not be scary enough

  5. In this case, the comment about living in a consumerist “Wal-Mart world” is a bit of dodge. More than a blasé lack of public interest fuels Canada’s inaction on a wide array of African files.

    Canadian mining and oil & gas companies are active in 37 African countries. Outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa, Canada is the single largest investor, extractor and explorer on the continent — by a wide and growing margin. With 15-20 billion US$ in capital investments on the line, the likelihood that any Canadian government, let alone the current one, would put human rights, civil society or social development interests ahead political support from (and big bucks for) Canadian mining and O&G companies is pretty much nil.

    Yet there’s no shortage of Canadian politicians and journalists who criticize the US for sacrificing their AIDS policy on the alter of conservative Christian ideology, or berate China for their putting their energy interests over human rights in Darfur.

    What’s Canada’s excuse? Cash money, I guess.

  6. "This isn't to say that Obama's strategy of extending a hand to Iran was foolish, only that it has failed."

    Of course it was foolish, and that's putting it mildly. What's happened in the past month that would change Obama's mind? Iranian rulers are still the same collection of gangsters and murderers that Obama was gung-ho to talk/negotiate with when he was campaigning so I don't see what the problem is. The mad mullahs are killing citizens and Obama thinks it is a 'debate'. Why can't Obama negotiate with reasonable chaps who like to 'debate' with their people on the proper nature of government.

    • Got any ideas for Obama Jolyon?

      "Ardeshir is opposed to economic sanctions against Iran, arguing that they will only punish Iran's people, not its government."
      - MICHAEL PETROU
      July 2, 2007

  7. "Got any ideas for Obama Jolyon?"

    Yes, I would tell Obama to do the opposite of whatever his first instincts are.

    And while we are posting random quotes, I quite liked this one from Mohammad on CNN last week:

    "Americans, European Union, international community, this government is not definitely — is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it's illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message…to the international community, especially I'm addressing President Obama directly – how can a government that doesn't recognize its people's rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person?"

    • Oh dear. They're not insane. They're not "illegal." They've been a hell of a lot less brutal China was in 1989 and we've literally spent the last 20 years clutching China to our breast. It's called Realpolitik, jolyon, ever heard of it? Obama has not engaged in dialogue with Iran because the Iranian regime is good, he's done so because the USA cannot invade Iran and therefore can only control its actions diplomatically. Why are you so keen to give the mullahs a free hand? Because isolating them like you suggest would do absolutely nothing to influence their behaviour, let alone topple them.

  8. Mr. Petrou, what is your opinion on Kent State? Should the Governor of Ohio have been indicted for crimes against humanity? A few volleys of live ammo from a platoon are of course not as terrible as posting snipers to shoot your own citizens at random — which is surely what these rooftop gunmen are — but I do think you're overreacting just because this instance of extreme state repression was caught on video.

    • while I can't say i see anything that puts the Iranian leadership quite on par with Milosevic just yet – genocide – invocation of genocide as allegation or as a comparative case should not be made loosely – I am not sure what a reasoned reaction to this is Jack, in the context of what is actually on and off the table (and a ward was not reasoned).

  9. I certainly agree there should be some response, sea&mountains, especially if we conclude that the revolutionaries have been stymied. Ideally we could act together with Russia; methinks Russia will be the key player in the region in the next 10 years.

    • Ah. The Great Game. Which contributed mightily , through twists and turns , to the current kerfluffle.

      Time to dig out and dust off the Flashman. Again.

      • Right! Isn't that amazing, to think that the frantic politicking & sabotaging of the 1880's is still going on? I can't think of another unbroken thread of policy and war that goes that far back, all with the same actors and the same aims.

    • i think you are likely right re the Russians. the ability to demonstrate that their is not 'another side' to play ball – and perhaps to continue to try to sway the Iranian leadership through informal continued communications – maybe the only valid option here.

  10. Isolate the regime, empower the Iranian people and get rid of this regime. Imagine the potentials that a free Iran can have for the rest of the world.

  11. Oh god.
    It's enough to make you realize that the 'scandals' in our countries politics that we obsess over and complain about are so petty, and it's only because we are blessed with freedom that we are able to take the time to compain.
    I wish there was a way to stop it that wouldn't result in MAD.

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