There’s another front on Israel’s war with Hamas that most don’t see but is no less real, dangerous, and must be defeated.
It's no secret that since its own bloody revolution in 1979, the Iranian Islamist regime has called for the destruction of Israel. As a child growing up in Iran, I remember countless times being forced to participate, along with hundreds and thousands of other children all over the county, chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Fortunately, even at a young age, I knew that the Islamic regime was deliberately trying to brainwash average Iranians, and full of lies both politically and socially. When I became a Christian, and after being sentenced to death by hanging for doing so, the hateful and antisemitic lies became even more clear. Today, the Islamic regime uses its evil tentacles to spread its lies and terror across the world.
The images of the Hamas atrocities on Oct. 7 give me nightmares and fill me with anger. The nightmares are because of the suffering of thousands of innocent Israelis who just want to live in peace, and be the Light Unto the Nations that God called them to be.
But I also have nightmares because I know that if the Iranian regime is not stopped, they will continue to fund and orchestrate terror, and acquire nuclear weapons, making the evil of Hamas’ slaughter look like child’s play.
I am angry, of course, for the brutal massacre that Israel has suffered. As a Christian, I love Israel and the Jewish people. I weep thinking about their suffering, just because they are Jews. It is simply evil. I am also angry because for decades, and in recent years in particular, the world, in general, and the U.S. and the West, in particular, have “talked tough” about never letting Iran acquire nuclear weapons. But their actions have enabled and emboldened the Islamic regime.
While Hamas committed the inhuman atrocities against Israel on Oct. 7, the fingerprints from the crimes are all in Tehran. The U.S. and Western powers, not to mention the axis of evil between Iran-China-Russia, have enabled this. What needs to be done is a complete shutting down of the Iranian regime, preventing it from doing business anywhere in the world, whether selling oil or pistachios.
But the U.S. and the West have sent clear signals that they either don’t understand – or they don’t care about – the Islamic regime’s goals. They have funded it with billions of dollars, thinking that they can appease the mullahs and that they can be negotiated with. In fact, the mullahs are laughing all the way to the bank, as they continue to entrench their nuclear facilities. If I were them, I would be laughing, too. But it’s sad and frightful, not funny.
Amid these horrors, I am encouraged with good news I see coming from Iran. Millions of Iranians have become vocal and public in showing their support Israel. We see that across Iran with Iranians saying, “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I sacrifice my life for Iran.” A video went viral recently with Iranians chanting at a soccer game, “Put the Palestinian flag in you’re a$$.”
In some cases, Iranians have turned the tables now chanting, “Death to Palestine,” and are actually calling for Israel to destroy Gaza because they realize that, for decades, the regime has stolen Iranian resources to create a network of terror on behalf of an evil people who want to destroy Israel and the Jews.
To be clear, average Iranians do not see the regime as representing Iran, and that Iran is much more than the image that’s been hijacked by the Islamic regime. I’m delighted to see Iranians asserting themselves and recognizing that the regime has lied to them in every way possible since 1979. Taking a line from the 1976 American film “Network,” they are mad as hell and will not take it anymore. Some are bravely risking their lives.
This is the reality the West needs to see. Iran does not need to be freed by Western troops and planes, but the regime must be squeezed so hard that the Iranian people can rise up to remove them from control. And they will.
More than ever before, I see an entire generation of Iranians who want their freedom from the Islamic regime. They mock the regime and Islam. They understand the deceptive lies of these terrorists ruling Iran. Iranians know that Israel is not the enemy, and that the land belongs to the Jews.
They are standing with Israel by sending public messages throughout Iran and via social media for the rest of the world to see. The world must step up, not just for the freedom of Iran, but because the Islamic regime is the head of the poisonous snake that must be cut off in order to save the world from more slaughter like we saw on Oct. 7 in Israel.
And it is coming. Just look at Europe. Decades of appeasement and policies of open doors to Islamic terrorists and their sympathizers have made much of Europe unsafe for Europeans. Soon, unless the head of the snake is cut off, it will be too late.
Far from being a one front war in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic’s evil ideology has infected social media globally as well. This must be resisted, and average Iranians are doing so. They are using social media to protest the regime, even at personal risk to themselves. One recent post I saw reads:
“Oh God, every time I see the pictures of Gaza and that still a few buildings are intact, it makes me nervous. Israel, please destroy Gaza completely forever with no buildings left there anymore. I am 44 years old, let all my bad memories of being forced by the regime to chant ‘Death to Israel’ be buried there.”
Since Hamas attacked Israel, I see numerous encouraging signs that, despite the systematic decades-long brainwashing by the regime, Iranians know the truth and stand with Israel. It’s not the first shot to end the regime, but it is an important one.
I pray that the West will stand with Israel, with the Iranian people, squarely against terror orchestrated by the Islamic regime, implemented by Hamas and others, and defeat this evil once and for all.
Marziyeh Amirizadeh is an Iranian American who immigrated to the US after being sentenced to death in Iran for the crime of converting to Christianity. She endured months of mental and physical hardships and intense interrogation. She is author of two books (the latest, A Love Journey with God), public speaker, and activist for religious freedom. She has shared her inspiring story throughout the United States and around the world, to bring awareness about the ongoing human rights violations and persecution of women and religious minorities in Iran.