There is no sign that the Iranian regime is letting up on its assault on Iranian civil society.
In recent months, labor leaders like Mansour Osanloo have been beaten and imprisoned. Journalists have been harassed, arrested, and, in the case of Adnan Hassanpur and Hiwa Butimar, sentenced to death; and student leaders, like Majid Tavakkoli, Ahmad Qasaban, and Ehsan Mansouri have disappeared into Evin prison.
Yet even in the face of such brutality, the Iranian people are still demanding respect for their basic rights. Earlier this month, more than one hundred students at Tehran University protested a speech by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They called for the release of imprisoned students and held signs asking why they were not permitted to ask questions, the way Mr. Ahmadinejad claimed they could during his speech at Columbia University.
Gordon Johndroe is the spokesman for the White House National Security Council. He says the Iranian people are being mistreated by their government:
”The people of Iran should be allowed to speak freely, to gather freely, and to act in a way that they want to. . . .The United States of America stands with the people of Iran as they seek their freedoms and the government they deserve.”
“We know," said Mr. Johndroe, "that it is [a] very difficult time as the [Iranian] government cracks down on their freedoms. But we will stay with them.”