August 28, 2018 | The Hill

US should sanction Iran’s brutal Basij commander

An excerpt from the op-ed follows:

“Move aside, animal!” the Iranian policewoman yells. The target of her rage: a young woman wearing her hijab, or headscarf, only loosely, thereby exposing her hair. For Iran’s Basij, or morality police, it’s a crime that warrants a violent response.

In a video that went viral in April, the policewoman, joined by two others, approaches the unidentified young woman. They seize her. Then, as the Associated Press put it, one “grabs her by the throat. She screams, they pick her up off her feet. She then ends up on the ground, weeping as another woman comforts her before the officers grab her again.” The victim shouts, “Why are you hitting me? You have been destroying us for 30 years.”

This episode reflects the longstanding role of the Basij as a chief enforcer of Tehran’s draconian religious code. The paramilitary organization systematically monitors women’s dress. It works to prevent male-female fraternization, alcohol consumption, the dissemination of Western media, and other conduct it regards as un-Islamic. It brutally suppresses demonstrations. It even provides military support to Syria’s bloody regime. To express solidarity with the Iranian people as it continues to protest such policies, the Trump administration should sanction Gholamhossein Gheibparvar, the Basij’s ruthless commander.

Read the complete op-ed in The Hill here.

Tzvi Kahn is a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @TzviKahn.

Follow FDD on Twitter @FDDFDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.