Now free in the West, recently escaped political dissidents say Iran’s regime has grown more oppressive since its nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers that had hoped the agreement would moderate the Islamic-ruled nation.
The protesters also say the billions of dollars in cash the U.S. shipped to Iran, plus the West’s release of frozen Iranian bank assets, already have been diverted to Iran’s expansionist armies in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
“Every deal, every negotiation with the regime, it means additional gallows in Iran,” says Shabnam Madadzadeh, 29, who gained fame as a student organizer at Tehran’s Tarbiat Moalem University. She spent five harsh years in confinement, including in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, but she did not break.
Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Madadzadeh escaped her home country via a clandestine network operated by the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, or MEK. She surfaced in Paris and appeared Saturday at a conference with other Iranians opposed to the hard-line mullahs who run the country.
“Iranian people do not want negotiations with this regime, and they hate appeasement policy with this regime,” Ms. Madadzadeh told The Washington Times. “They want the world, European governments and United Nations and the U.S. to stay firmly against the regime’s policy of violence against human rights — the regime’s crimes in Iran and Syria and exporting terrorism in the world. Iranian people want a change in regime by themselves and resistance.”