Mr. Brian Hook in an exclusive interview with the ANT:
The Iranian regime jails, detains, tortures and murders ethnic minorities.
This interview with the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Mr. Brian Hook was recorded on December 5, 2019 by Azerbaijan News Television’s Washington-D.C. -based reporter, Ahmad Hashemi at the U.S. State Department’s Mezzanine balcony.
Regarding the U.S. State Department’s position on the brutal crackdown of the recent protests in Iran, Mr. Brian Hook said:
The Iranian regime has been mismanaging its economy for forty years and they have been prioritizing the sectarian ideology instead of investing in their own people and so most of their money gets invested in their proxies so that they can then expand Iran’s power projection. And it’s a revolutionary agenda. When the regime – that is very rich, and their proxies have been very rich until we started reversing the sanctions. When the regime increases the price of gas and rationing gas the Iranian people took to the streets but what began as a protest against gas turned into countrywide protests against the regime itself. This is the deadliest political crisis in the forty-year history of the Republic. And we have had what I said today- it could be as many as a thousand people who have been murdered by the regime. And you have had thousands injured as many as seven thousand people arrested. In the Green Revolution in 2009 during that period there were 72 people who were killed. We are in a much different place right now. So, today we made clear that we are standing with the Iranian people all of the people who are prisons their sentences should be commuted and they should be released and we call on all nations around the world to diplomatically isolate the regime and to impose sanctions on the people who are murdering their own people.
Answering ANT’s question on further U.S. sanctions on Iranian officials for the human rights reasons, Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State added:
Very quickly after Iranian regime shut down the internet so that protesters couldn’t broadcast the brutality of the regime, we sanctioned the minister of communications and technology who was responsible for shutting down the internet. There are more sanctions coming against those officials who are violating the basic human rights of the Iranian people. The constitution of this government says that they will protect rights to freedom of assembly, free press, and free speech and instead of protecting them they are the chief violators of these rights. These people need to be held accountable for their criminal acts against their own people. The Supreme Leader called the Iranian protesters “thugs” and that tells you somethings about people who are tired of the corruption and the terrible economy and the low standard of living and the pollution and the environmental destruction. So, this is a regime that every single decade and year after year loses more and more support for its government. During these protests nine seminaries were burned and so now you are starting to lose even that support which regime historically has relied upon.
On helping the voices of South Azerbaijani Turks and other minorities in Iran to be heard regarding their basic human rights violations by the Iranian regime, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran said:
One of the things that we do, and I’ve been doing for a long time is telling the stories, talking about the ethnic discrimination and the religious discrimination that so many people have experienced and the regime jails, detains, tortures and murders ethnic minorities. They also have done the same thing to various religions. For those who believe in religious freedom, the regime has been very hard on them. So, we stand for them we try to tell their story, we have had two ministerials at the State Department, and we highlight what the regime is doing, and we try to diplomatically isolate them. So, we try to make this harder and harder for Iran to get away with it. When Iran does this discrimination, they are hoping that the world isn’t watching. And so, we are always trying to shine a spotlight on what the regime is doing to discriminate against the minorities weather it is on the basis of ethnicity or on the religious faith and we are going to continue doing that.
Mr. Hood concluded the interview by urging all states to isolate Iranian regime for killing innocent citizens:
We call on all governments to isolate the regime and to sanction those officials who are responsible for the murders of so many innocent Iranian people.