Israel Hayom- I was born in Shiraz in 1982 and lived there before I moved to Dubai for work, where I picked up several languages, including English.
My family and I lived in Ahvaz until I was 12 years old. Until the age of 8, we were under missile attacks and airstrikes during the Iran-Iraq war.
I started blogging in 2008-2009, ran successful blogs and websites along with my friends, which finally led to my arrest by Iranian authorities.
On election night 2009, Ahmadinejad’s rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi claimed victory. The story started right there. Then, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he had won the election, receiving two-thirds of the votes. It sparked post-election protests. But frankly, for me, it didn’t matter who would ultimately win.
Mousavi was the one who served as prime minister and was involved in 1988 mass executions. Ahmadinejad was the one who gunned down Americans in the Iran hostage crisis, and his anti-semitic speech is available online.
Clashes broke out between police and citizens protesting the election results. People started nationwide protests by chanting “Where is my vote,” which finally turned to anti-regime slogans. And, I, like many other bloggers and journalists, began covering the events.
The ayatollahs succeeded in curbing protests. Hundreds were killed, thousands injured, arrested, and sentenced to long prison terms.
Then, I fell prey to the monster. In 2012, intelligence agents arrested me for my blogging. I was brutally interrogated, and my blogs were destroyed. Agents took me into Adel Abad prison. I was placed with dangerous prisoners such as murderers and drug dealers.
The Islamic Revolutionary Court finally sentenced me to a three-year prison term, and exile for charges of “propaganda against the Islamic republic,” “acting against national security,” “blasphemy,” and “insulting officials.”
Eventually, I was released on bail in 2013. Thereupon, I fled my homeland to Turkey to save my life.
Upon coming to Turkey, I registered as a UN refugee. I have been working for several rights groups and English-speaking media outlets.
Since I arrived in Turkey, I have revealed the regime’s hypocrisy, invisible to global powers.
I have exposed the horrors of refugee life in Turkey, and put the human tragedy in Syria under the spotlight. I also have warned the world about radical Islamization from Bangladesh to Montenegro.
In 2015, we sounded alarm bells before it’s too late. We have blasted West’s Iran appeasement, which has made the region a more dangerous one.
We said that the Iran nuclear deal would provide billions of cash into the bank account of ayatollahs, and it will not be spent on Iranians but rather to enrich a repressive regime.
Iran has never intended to follow up on its nuclear program peacefully as its missile programs were never part of the deal. The uranium traces found in the Turquzabad warehouse, as revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, thoroughly proved us right.
Iran’s missile range reaches the farthest parts of EU and more than 70% of Asian nations.
Further, Iran-aligned militia groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and proxies in Iraq are the main threat to the region, especially Israel.
Like other issues, election in Iran is based on fraud. Electoral engineering is a common way to buy legitimacy. The regime’s schemers use various methods to increase voter turnout. Strategists have tried to have people remain stuck in a state of limbo to choose between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ candidates – people are forced to choose ‘bad over worse’ if they participated in the vote and ‘worse over bad’ if they didn’t.
Tehran almost succeeded in increasing turnout by approving suitable candidates for Iran’s Election circus and broadcasting controlled debates. In the last election, Iran saw the lowest turnout in a parliamentary election since the 1979 revolution.
But, the story has totally changed ahead of the upcoming election. The Iranian people have sent a clear message: “Our votes go to overthrow the Islamic Republic.”
Most Iranians have not been willing to vote and reform the regime for years, but it’s more serious this time. They say this is the regime that shot down the Ukrainian flight, shot dead peaceful demonstrators, and spends our money on terrorism rather than our national interests.
This article was originally published on Israel Hayom.