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Get To Know The Enemy

Injured Iranian security service members sit protected by opposition protesters in Tehran on December 27.

Injured Iranian security service members sit protected by opposition protesters in Tehran on December 27.

Blogger Sheida Jahanbin reacts to the bloody Ashura crackdown on December 27 during which at least eight people were killed. She says that the protesters resorted to violence in order to defend themselves and their loved ones against the security forces, who brutally clamped down on members of Iran's Green opposition movement.

These days, my pen writes in the ink of blood, the blood of my brothers that spilt on Tehran's streets and dried there. I wish I were there with them, the moment my brothers left this world on Ashura, just to tell them how brave they were. To hold their head in my lap and let them know that their blood has bestowed the nation with the motivation to continue the people's movement.

Now the nights of those mothers whose children were martyred on Ashura is filled with tears, the fathers' hearts filled with rage. Now we know that there is no way to reform these men; their roots and principles are wrong, they ought to be eliminated.

People's reactions were quite different from the Ashura events, but I do not think those who live overseas, and have not been among the Green movement protesters for even a mere second, have the right to tell those people who saw someone being killed right before their eyes not to lay hands on the Basij forces.

Were you in their place, and your son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister, or even any acquaintance was murdered in front of you, would you have remained calm? Would you have stayed and watched and kept believing those who killed your dear one do not deserve a beating?

It's good we all saw that there were no casualties among the Basij forces, its good we realized that in response to our martyrs on Ashura, no one from the opposition was found dead on the ground with a bleeding head; once you have seen all this, it's not fair to speak of the people's violence.

What violence, what would you do to someone who has killed your dear one? I know you would kill or execute him, but wouldn't you want him to be punished for what he has done? Rest assured, if the judiciary of Islamic Republic of Iran was trustworthy, people would have handed over the culprits to the court. But we all know that, should this happen, those who hand over the Basij forces that got a beating in response to killing someone would be the ones to be executed.

What are your suggestions for such a time, when you see a dear one being killed right before your eyes, the killer being in front of you whom you could punish with the laws in your country? If you were to make the decision at that very moment, what would it be? Would you release the killer? Would you appreciate him?

No, it's none of these. Those who live overseas and follow the news on the Internet are not entitled to make a comment breaking the hearts of those who go out in streets of Iran saying, "The blood that runs in my veins belongs to my nation." Not a single one of us should allow ourselves to repeat whatever comes to mind.

Do you know, one of the things that we are not supposed to do at such times is make random and unserious comments on the situation? This makes people think that the overseas crowd are like those who give orders from outside the scene. Those who are active outside the country ought to look forward to seeing the day when a free Iran welcomes them with open arms, that's when they keep a place in their hearts for those whose sacrifices could make this possible.

One other absolutely unavoidable action in this particular situation is to let go of differences of opinion and loyalty, and unite, instead of people in the Green movement being killed until it turns red. This would just drive us all apart from each other. It is not the time to use the color pencils; all of us are Green these days, until victory comes.

The time has come for us to let people confide in us, all of them taken from the old to the young college students who are in the streets and have a common objective and a common enemy. We ought to realize who our real enemy is. Is the enemy the people whom we judge mercilessly? Or do we in fact have a common enemy for whose defeat we have got to keep on moving?

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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