It has been an incredibly tumultuous year for Iran, with protests and demonstrations breaking out in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police. The outrage shown by Iranians across the country, especially Iranian women who have been at the forefront of these demonstrations, is understandable and justified. However, a politically conservative publication must take into account a balanced opinions when discussing this topic.
The brutality of Amini’s death cannot be overstated and it is not surprising that many protesters have responded with anger and defiance towards symbols associated with Islamic Republic such as burning veils or cutting their hair in public. Videos shared on social media even show demonstrators damaging symbols of the Islamic Republic with one video showing a man scaling town hall and tearing down an image of Ayatollah Khomeini. Reports suggest that 8 protesters were shot dead Wednesday night with some Kurdish human rights organizations saying 15 people “have died in western Iran alone”.
While much of the world has expressed support for the Iranians protesting against their oppressive government, those on the political right consider supporting those protests more cautiously. While we denounce the violence inflicted upon innocent citizens by their government, there are other elements to this issue which must also be taken into account.
For example, does supporting these protests mean supporting extremist elements within it? We must also consider what type of government might replace current one — will it be any better or worse? Will Iran become an economic ally or enemy to Western countries like America? These are all pertinent questions which cannot be overlooked nor disregarded when discussing this issue from a conservative perspective.
Ultimately, while President Joe Biden has expressed support for these ongoing demonstrations and has taken steps to provide economic relief to Iran, there should also be careful consideration given to what kind of governmental change could come from such unrest. Ultimately, while we stand strongly against oppression and violence against civilians anywhere in the world—it is important to keep all angles of this situation in mind when expressing an opinion from a conservative point-of-view.