What has changed is that women in Iran are no longer alone, each on their own. If they are bullied on the street by the thugs, the Basij militias, or the Revolutionary Guard, then clusters of supporters immediately form around them. You are no longer alone, and this increases civil disobedience.
Sometimes I can’t get rid of the thought that Iran and all its crimes are tolerated because the West has economic ties with the mullahs. What is it?
A young woman from Tehran wrote to me the other day: “Do you know why the Islamic Republic is executing someone every six hours? Without fear of consequences? Because they know that the nuclear agreement is more important to the West. That’s how it works.”
Even if the Federal Republic of Germany is the most important trading partner of the Islamic Republic, the volume of trade is low for the Federal Republic. It totaled $1.9 billion in 2022. Still, it’s embarrassing that volume is said to have grown in the first quarter of 2023.
The Iranian people, those who are risking their lives on the streets for freedom and democracy, are very disappointed by the Western politicians who have not done much to strengthen them, apart from expressions of solidarity. And what is particularly bitter for them is that while they say they stand with Iranian women, they are meeting with representatives of the Islamic Republic’s regime in Doha, in Abu Dhabi, in Geneva, to talk about the nuclear deal . This is a great disappointment for the Iranian people, who do not want the nuclear deal with the West, but want support for their freedom struggle. The nuclear deal will ensure that the regime is consolidated again.
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What would change in the Middle East if Iran were a free country? What would that mean for the global community of states?
First of all, it would send out a signal to the neighboring countries, where women also live under patriarchal, Islamic structures. When the protests began in Iran in September 2022, we observed that women in Kurdistan in Iraq took to the streets and protested after a very short time. That the women in Kabul poured into the streets. That the people of China took to the streets in the hundreds of thousands, inspired and emboldened by the death-defying Iranians, and even pushed through their demand for the end of the “zero Covid” policy. That scares the rulers of these states. They fear they could be the next to be toppled if the people of Iran manage to overthrow the regime. The added value would be enormous, a young woman from Iran writes to me: “And what if we make it?” she wrote from Tehran: