By: Sara Akrami
When the Islamic Republic of Iran was established in 1979, it had two strategies to eliminate its opponents. First, it killed its internal opponents using mass executions and barbaric tortures. Second, it killed its opponents abroad using assassin-spies from its embassies around the world.
Many of these opponents living overseas were Iranian intellectuals and activists who had escaped from Iran after the establishment of this notorious government. However, the terrorism of the Iranian government was not only for its own citizens — or former citizens — it also claimed victims from other nationalities.
One of the most significant examples of this type of terrorist activity was the explosion of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. The Iranian government was responsible for planning this terrorist attack, and directed it through the terrorist group Hezbollah. One of the deadliest bombings to have ever occurred in Argentina, it resulted in the injury and death of many Jewish citizens.
A major factor that seems to have motivated the Iranian government to perpetrate this atrocity was the suspension of a nuclear technology transfer agreement between Iran and Argentina. In response, the Iranian government decided to take revenge on the government of Argentina by killing innocent Jewish civilians. The final toll: 85 dead and 151 severely injured.
According to Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, the terrorists who were involved in this act were six Iranians (including Ahmad Reza Asghari, the third secretary of the Islamic Republic of Iran Embassy in Buenos Aires, who used to work for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard before being posted to Argentina) and one Lebanese man. Evidence suggests that the terrorist attack was planned in 1993, when Ahmad Reza Asghari attended a meeting with the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and his deputies.
When the Islamic Republic of Iran was established, its leader Ayatollah Khomeini referred to Israel as a cancerous tumour which must be destroyed. Similar threatening and anti-Semitic statements by leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have continued up until today, including by the current President, Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has openly declared that “Israel must be wiped off the world map.”
This is an injustice, not only perpetrated on Israelis and Jewish citizens around the world, but also on Iranian families and children, whose money is being spent in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon to support terrorist groups and Islamic extremists such as Hamas and Hezbollah, rather than on domestic programs such as healthcare and education.
The world has to understand that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a threat to the safety of the world, and is the primary source of conflict in the Middle East. A danger to Jews, a danger to Iranians, a danger to those who love freedom wherever they may live.
Sara Akrami-Founder and President of the Human Rights Activists Association at York University