In an article published recently in the New York Post, Miles Windsor, RFI’s Senior Manager for Campaigns and Strategy, Middle East Action Team, discusses why the rise of Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, “is bad news for all Iranians, especially members of religious minorities.”
Windsor points specifically to offenses Raisi has directed against Baha’is and Christians. He writes:
Under Raisi’s directives, Iranian authorities amped up their campaign against the Baha’is. Between 50 and 100 Baha’is are in prison because of their religious identity. There has been widespread confiscation or destruction of Baha’i property in the picturesque village of Ivel, with the promise of mercy for those who renounce their beliefs and convert to Shiite Islam.
Christians likewise have faced severe persecution. Again, several Christians are in prison because of their religious identity, though usually they’re indicted on bogus national-security charges. Prisoners of conscience can now expect long sentences to be followed by years of exile in remote parts of the country, away from their families.
The recent election of Ebrahim Raisi is yet another move against religious freedom and other human rights in Iran, and yet, Windsor laments, there will still be “some well-intentioned but wildly naïve world leaders who believe doggedly that with a bit of dialogue and understanding, Tehran can be persuaded to be a benign force in the region and even a reliable strategic ally.” Raisi’s track record does not permit such naivete.
Read the full article: Iran’s new president is an enemy of religious minorities.