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No Deal for Iran

It is impossible for me to read reports of the Biden administration negotiating a deal to placate Iran’s Islamist regime today, without bringing me back to my cell in Iran’s notorious Evin prison in 2009. What the Biden administration is doing is misguided and dangerous. It will not bring peace or change the nature of the Islamic regime and its goals. It will only embolden and empower them, giving them billions of dollars to spend on their evil web of global terror, persecution of women and religious and ethnic minorities in Iran, and goal to destroy Israel.

When I was arrested and on trial, serving nine months in prison in Iran just because of my faith in Jesus, I saw the evil face of the brutality of the Iranian regime in a way that most don’t, and certainly many don’t live to tell about. I was sentenced to death by hanging simply for becoming a Christian.

I experienced Iran’s persecution of Christians and ethnic minorities first-hand. Through laws that have no justice, they subjugate women into lives of prostitution, drugs, and loss of hope.

Following nationwide protests over election fraud beginning this week in 2009, President Obama and the west turned their back on the Iranian people, and what had been until that point their best hope for freedom from the shackles of Islamic extremism.

As the regime arrested people by the tens of thousands, overcrowding my prison cell and many others, to punish and break the spirit of those protesting around the country, President Obama extinguished the hopes of countless Iranians desperately looking for change in their lives and their country. Thousands of Iranians were executed including my best friend, Shirin Alamhooli. While the title of his book “Hope and Change” sold many copies, for Iranians, these were hollow words.

As thousands of Iranians were executed without even being arrested much less given a trial, their bodies never to be seen again, President Obama became a willing enabler of the evil regime whose only mission is to control their own society and take over if not destroy the rest of the world. If Iran is so callous and violates human rights at home, how can anyone trust the regime to be any better around the globe?

While in prison I prayed that somewhere, someone would understand that this was the opportunity to help the Iranian people to restore control to their country and free themselves from the evil that controls it. I could not understand how and why anyone, much less the leader of the greatest nation on earth, could not understand this and not do everything possible to help the Iranian people.   Hundreds of thousands, or more, felt betrayed.

Why does talk of democracy stop at the borders of the country that is singularly the greatest offender of human rights, promoting and financing terrorism around the rest of the world?  Religious freedom and women’s rights cannot be empty words in the face of a regime that does not care.

I prayed for President Obama to do the right thing. Sadly, my prayers were not answered. Rather, what he did was treacherous.

Today, his vice president and now successor is trying to set the clock back with the same “strategy” of placating, not defeating the evil.  If President Biden cannot see the Iranians blatantly breaching every agreement they have ever signed, enriching uranium to a level that can only be for a weapon of mass destruction, threatening Israel and the rest of the world, then Biden’s naïveté is even worse. It is a willful appeasement of the violation of human rights at the highest degree.

Now, an opportunity in the form of another revolution against the regime that has become widespread is being allowed to be extinguished rather than strengthened. This revolution is being led by women following the brutal murder of Masah Amini. Will her death and the death of hundreds of others since be in vain? Will this become another failed opportunity to bring down the regime and restore freedom to all Iranians?

Can anyone in the Biden administration truly believe that by pumping tens of billions of dollars into the Islamic regime that they will ever do anything good with it? Or have they just written off (and funded) the Iranian people being brutalized and suffering alone? Does nobody care that the Iranian tentacles reach every continent, and that given the opportunity they will use them to harm anyone who gets in their way? When Iran threatens to destroy Israel, these are not empty words.  It is premeditated genocide. Given the means, they will do so, and then hold the rest of the world hostage.

Now, Biden is providing the funding and turning a blind eye.

Women are leading today’s revolution, but all Iranians will either benefit from its success, or suffer another generation of brutality if the Biden administration’s “deal” that placates the regime is allowed to stand.

When President Biden and his advisors go to sleep at night, they need to consider which side of history they want to be on: the side that is part of liberating Iranian women, Christians, other religious minorities, Kurds, or anyone who does not embrace Islam in the narrow extremist way that is required? Or will they embolden and put fuel in the tank of the regime that seeks to control and ultimately destroy much more of the world population? Will history of 2023 be written that this was the shot heard around the world to take on and ultimately take down the Iranian regime? Will the Biden administration lead the charge or lead the retreat?

Just as I was sitting in Evin prison not knowing what my future would be, and if any day I would be executed simply for my faith, there are thousands if not tens of thousands sitting in the same dank, dark, and smelly cells who look to the west for their freedom. I pray we will not let them down this time.

I pray that the Biden administration will seize the opportunity to bring freedom to the Iranian people, not placate, and certainly never be an accessory to the brutal murder, torture, rape, and hijacking of a whole country and its people.


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.

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