Myths about the Iranian regime that Iran’s human rights activists want to bust

A billboard of the regime’s leaders. 

By Rachel Brooks

May 30, 2021 

The No2IR Resonance group met Saturday to discuss human rights and solution steps for a free and democratic Iran, and the Middle East. Speakers of the event broke down the challenges that Iranian activists face, and common myths that the western world believes regarding Iran’s social status. 

Myth One: Iranians are happy in the regime 

The No 2IR activist group, speaking on behalf of relatives still trapped inside the regime, has adamantly denied that Iranians are happy under the reign of the current government. As Iranian elections draw near, Iranians abroad become more concerned that the window of opportunity to expose human rights violations is limited. 

“We are no happy. Happy is not a word in our dictionary,” from the No2IR speaker panel.

 No2IR Resonance introduces themselves and their expertise on Iran human rights 

Iranian activists called on the western media to understand their plight. They believe that the western world deserves to at least hear the ground realities of Iran from the voice of the Iranian people, and then make their judgments about the nation of Iran. 

Myth Two: Iranians are predominately Shia Muslim 

The Islamic Republic is not apply named, according to the results of the Gamaan Survey on Iranian religious views, and the statements of Iranian activists of the No2IR panel themselves. While the Islamic Republic professes Shia Islam and presents itself as the true seat of Islamic faith, a large portion of Iranians is atheist or agnostic. This group has reportedly have been repelled from religion due to the austerity of the regime’s integration of religion into secular life. Iranians want a separation of religion from the secular state so that they can be free to pursue their own spiritual beliefs, or in the case of atheists and agnostics, be free to maintain a life of non-spiritual views. Within Iran, there are likewise tiny demographics of Christianity, Baha’i, Judaism, and Sufi Mystics, among other religions. There is also a demographic of Zoroastrians. 

Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion that predates the Abrahamic religions and worships nature gods and spiritualized elements. Due to the sacred position of fire in Zoroastrianism, the religion is sometimes referred to as “fire worship.” 

Myth Three: Iran will become unstable if the regime is overthrown

Possibly the most dangerous of the myths surrounding Iran is the western belief that the end of the regime will signal a power grab and shift of instability in the region. Iranian activists present at No2IR’s Twitter Spaces mentioned the incorrect positions of prominent world leaders, such as Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which reflect such a viewpoint. 

The reality Iranian activists want the western world to know is that they are pursuing ground truths and human rights on behalf of the whole world. This is due to the proxy instability that Iran causes. The continued existence of the Iranian regime poses an existential threat to every nation in the Middle East, extending into the MENA-Gulf regions, and even the Americas. The removal of the regime, if done under the conditions of a mediation of systematic unwinding and democratic overhaul, would generate much greater stability in the region. 

Myth Four: Iranian Americans are well represented by NIAC
The fourth myth places something of a gag order on those who advocate human rights for their loved ones still trapped inside the Iranian regime. The activists of the No2IR group have stated that lobbies such as NIAC do not represent the interests of the Iranian people. Rather, they use their influence in American and western politics to advocate the will of the ayatollahs abroad. Iranians cannot seek asylum in foreign countries without the risk of lobbyists and political actors working from within to keep them vulnerable and at the mercy of the Islamic Republic’s international reach.