Less than five minutes. That is the amount of broadcast time that NBC News with Lester Holt has devoted to the protests rocking the streets of Iran since the Sept. 16 murder of Mahsa Amini by the “morality police” because a few strands of hair were showing beneath her hijab.
This lack of coverage is nothing short of outrageous.
87 million Americans watch NBC News in order to remain informed citizens. The network’s silence is doing a tremendous disservice to those who have been tortured, raped, shot and hung by the deeply evil Iranian regime.
They are also doing a tremendous disservice to Israel and our Gulf allies, which with each passing day face ever-increasing peril as the Iranian regime moves closer and closer to nuclear breakout.
The mostly young Iranian protesters do not want to moderate the regime or the hijab laws. They have had enough and want the regime overthrown. They want a revolution, a revolution that could save us from the horror of a nuclear-armed theocratic tyranny.
These courageous protesters have galvanized the entire nation of Iran. The protests have spread to every province, rocking 100 cities. According to human rights groups, over 500 protestors have lost their lives, including approximately 58 children aged 16 and below. 18,000 people have been arrested.
The protesters know they put themselves in mortal peril. They may be shot in the street or thrown from a building. They may also be taken to the notorious Evin prison, where they will be horrifically abused and perhaps even sentenced to hang.
Just this past Monday, 23-year-old Majid Reza Rahnavard was the second protester to be hanged from a crane. His crime? According to the holy, sacrosanct Iranian judiciary, it was waging war against God. Just four days prior, 22-year-old Mohsen Shekari was hanged near Tehran for the same supposed crime. As I write this, the Iranian soccer player Amir Nasr-Azadani, 26, has been sentenced to death.
If the Iranian regime thinks such violence will silence the voices of the revolutionaries, they have another thing coming. It has only further galvanized the protest movement.
Indeed, this might be the beginning of the end of one of the most immoral regimes on the face of the earth. One which, according to The Wall Street Journal, knowingly provided approximately 300 drones to Russia in order to further Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine’s military and civilian infrastructure.
Even though the American public is mostly oblivious to all this, Iranian regime leaders are profoundly worried about their futures. They are now seriously considering fleeing to Venezuela when their regime falls.
Beyond the deeply compelling human rights issues raised by the protests, there is also an extremely important geostrategic aspect to them, because a new alliance has emerged between Iran, Russia, China and North Korea—a new “Axis of Evil.”
A Wall Street Journal report published on Dec. 9 explained the deepening ties between Russia and Iran. Spokesman for the National Security Council John Kirby stated, “Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship to a full-fledged defense partnership.” Just last year, Iran signed a 25-year $300-400 billion agreement with China. Iran has also maintained a strong partnership with North Korea, from which Iran obtained much of the scientific knowledge used to produce its arsenal of ballistic missiles.
It is perplexing that a news story with this sort of compelling humanitarian interest, combined with a profound impact on America’s national security interests, is simply being buried by a major news network like NBC.
The American people are basically good. If they knew the situation, they would likely support helping the Iranian people overthrow their horrific regime. As Socrates said, “If you know the good, you will follow it.”
Of course, the mass judicial murder of idealistic young people fighting a tyrannical regime cannot be more important than the major stories recently aired by NBC: The snowstorms in the American West, the latest self-promotional documentary produced by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter and holiday shopping tips.
Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).