Citizen protests in Iran regarding water shortages are testing the resolve and power of the country’s ruling regime. Meanwhile, a group of Iranian-Americans is demanding an in-person meeting with the Biden administration State Department to discuss the possibility of dealing with the regime’s harsh retaliation against domestic demonstrators.
During what it is calling a “watershed moment” for the Iranian people in their conflict with the brutal Iranian clerical government, the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) has told American officials that protests are being shot at and have seen their internet access blocked in response to protests.
Despite repeated attempts, the group said it was unsuccessful in meeting with Biden’s envoy to Iran, Robert Malley. NUFDI also said that there is an immediate danger that protests in Iran will result in a much more violent response from the Iranian government at any time. In a letter sent to the State Department on Monday, the group said that the White House has so far “ignored the warnings.”
The Biden administration has begun diplomatic conferences with Tehran, hoping to rekindle the 2015 nuclear agreement arranged by President Obama and terminated by President Trump. Some Republican lawmakers have accused the White House of putting the controversial nuclear deal ahead of concerns for the human rights of the Iranian people.
The administration has reduced or waived economic sanctions on the Iranian government to bring them back to negotiating. Biden’s State Department has indicated that it is prepared to remove every sanction imposed under President Trump to get a new deal done. NUFDI has said that any agreement must be conditioned on Iran addressing its human rights violations.
NUFDI said in its letter that it was part of a group of countless others that has warned the Biden administration of the immediate threat of bloodshed in Iran from a “regime crackdown on pro-democracy protests.” The letter said because Biden has ignored the warnings, the time to act is rapidly evaporating.
A State Department spokesperson said that the administration is “closely monitoring” the protests in Iran, adding that Iran’s worst drought in 50 years is exacerbated by “years of government neglect and mismanagement.” He said that the Iranian people have a right to protest and “hold their government accountable.”