Shawn: This comes as Iran has threatened a private American citizen. State Department pushing back, saying that the outlaw regime in Tehran will face consequence if indeed anything happens to Mark Dubowitz and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Tehran announcing sanctions on them and basically threatening a private American citizen and the FDD because of their outspoken efforts for the Iranian people, for democracy and freedom in their country.
Wachtel: That’s right Eric. It’s like a throwback to the days when Salman Rushdie wrote the controversial book, the Satanic Verses, that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwah, actually put a death sentence on his head, asking for people to go out and kill him. It’s reminiscent of the early days of the Iranian revolution when there was so much zest and craziness and fanaticism in that country and it continues to this day and this is absolutely absurd.
Shawn: And Zarif seems to back all of this. Here’s what Mark Dubowitz tweeted about this, from the FDD, about this, saying “this is a direct threat against FDD, me and our Iranian and non-Iranian friends. These threats will only strengthen our resolve to research and reveal the truth about the regime in Iran, and to support the burning desire of the vast majority of Iranians for freedom.” Last word, Jonathan Wachtel, on what you would expect.
Wachtel: On the Foundation for Defense of Democracies? Bless them, I hope they’re going to be okay and nothing happens, but the international community, it shouldn’t just be the United States outraged about this, it has to be anybody. You can have differences with that foundation, which is pretty strident when it comes to Iran. It’s been very tough and it’s not surprising that the Iranians look at them as a direct threat. But they’re out promoting democracy, that’s the name of their organization. Iran is not about promoting democracy, it’s about shuttering, it’s about not allowing their own people to have access to social media, it’s about forcing women to wear hijabs – even if they want to or they don’t they should have the ability to decide what they want to do, and executing people for crimes that don’t constitute anything near what should be capital punishment in that country, imprisoning political prisoners, it’s out of control there.