The World Cup games have barely started but already, we have seen one of the most memorable pictures: Iran’s soccer team staying rebelliously silent while their national anthem is playing before the beginning of their match against England. There have been other protests in Iran against the regime of the Ayatollahs, but this one feels different. They are no longer only against the government’s treatment of women, but have become a demand to transform the regime altogether and open it up to the rest of the world. Despite killing more than 400 peaceful protesters, the demonstrations are continuing in full force.
The Iranian government is hostile not only toward Israel and toward its own people; it is hostile toward the entire world. Its stated goal is to impose Shiite Islamic law on the entire world, and it will not rest until it achieves it, however long it takes.
Unfortunately for them, the Iranian people do not share the goals or dogmas of the regime; they want to live as people live in the free world, where people can do what they want, live how they want, and say what they want within acceptable limits. In short, the Iranian people want to be free and feel free.
I have said before that Iran is a very ancient and very intelligent nation. I believe that if the will of the people triumphs, Iran and Israel will not be enemies and will resume the warm relationship that the two countries had cultivated before the Ayatollahs overthrew the Shah and set off a dark chapter in the country’s history.
Oppression stymies development. Only free people can grow and change and develop, and change is intrinsic to human nature. If not this time, then perhaps next time, but in the end, the Iranian people will free themselves from the regime that wishes to oppress them and bind all of humanity to its yoke.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group B – England v Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – November 21, 2022 Iran’s Ali Karimi, Milad Mohammadi and Majid Hosseini line up during the national anthems before the match REUTERS/Marko Djurica