Iranian Opposition Activist Calls for Israel To Attack Iranian Officials Inside Iran
Vahid Beheshti stresses that the Israel-Hamas war is not limited to Hamas but that the source of the problem is the Iranian regime, and if Israel attacks, the Iranian people, who are thirsty for freedom, will follow
“I brought the message of the Iranian people to the Knesset, the people of Israel, and the leaders of Israel,” said Vahid Beheshti, a prominent journalist and Iranian opposition figure, to The Media Line. “And the message is this: We, the people of Iran, love you, and we stand by you. But we need you, and you need us in this war. So, let’s stand together and win this battle against terrorists.”
Beheshti is the first Iranian opposition leader to address the Israeli Knesset. He arrived in Israel and spoke on Tuesday at a meeting of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, where he addressed ministers and members of Knesset, calling on Israel to join forces and defeat the Iranian regime together.
Based in London, Beheshti recently concluded a 72-day hunger strike outside the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, advocating for the UK government to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
We have a very close culture and lots of common interests, and most importantly, a common enemy, and a common war. I will do anything that I can to help the people of Israel and the people of Iran win this war against terrorists.
Beheshti emphasized that the Iranian and Israeli people share a common enemy: the Iranian regime. “We have a very close culture and lots of common interests, and most importantly, a common enemy, and a common war. I will do anything that I can to help the people of Israel and the people of Iran win this war against terrorists,” he said.
Beheshti stressed that the Islamic Republic is the root cause of the Israel-Hamas conflict. “Look at the situation of Israel at the moment,” he said, listing all the Iranian proxy groups that are currently attacking Israel. Among them, said Beheshti, are Hamas, Hizbullah, the Houthis, and the IRGC in Syria. “It is all organized and designed by the Iranian regime, under their command,” he argued.
“Of course, we have to get rid of Hamas. We have to eradicate Hizbullah and other organizations, but if we want the cure, we need to go to the root of the problem,” he continued.
Beheshti outlined two strategies for Israel to aid the Iranian opposition and simultaneously combat their primary adversary, which seeks Israel’s destruction. The first strategy involves Israel launching military attacks on IRGC sites and nuclear facilities within Iran. Secondly, he suggests assisting the Iranian populace in establishing independent media outlets, free from regime control.
To target the root of the problem, which is the head of the octopus, we need the Iranian people, a military of 80 million Iranians inside of Iran who are thirsty for freedom and democracy,
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He believes such actions would galvanize the Iranian people, leading to the Islamic Republic’s downfall. “To target the root of the problem, which is the head of the octopus, we need the Iranian people, a military of 80 million Iranians inside of Iran who are thirsty for freedom and democracy,” he said.
The people of Iran, Beheshti explained, have tried to overthrow the regime, especially since 2009, “but they need the support. They need a little bit of support from outside,” he continued, saying that if that support is given to them, “they will do the job sooner, and it’s better for us, for Israel, for the region, and the global peace,” Beheshti asserted.
Support for Israel Among the Iranian Opposition
Dr. Afshin Shahi, a senior lecturer in international relations at Keele University, noted the diverse nature of the Iranian diaspora’s opposition, which resists simplification to a single political stance. But, broadly speaking, he told The Media Line, “They are divided between monarchists and republicans.”
Monarchists advocate for the Pahlavi dynasty’s reinstatement and Reza Pahlavi’s return, while republicans favor a presidential or parliamentary system in post-regime Iran.
Referring to Reza Pahlavi’s historic visit to Israel in April 2023, and the warm reception by the Israeli political elite, Shahi noted that it became a defining point for relations between Israel and the Iranian opposition, particularly the monarchists.
“The Iranian opposition in the diaspora is secular and considers political Islam as a significant hurdle to socio-political development in Iran. Forty-five years of oppressive governance has marginalized any political force associated with political Islam in the country,” he continued.
During the “Women, Life, Freedom” uprising in Iran, which started in September 2021 with the death of the young Mahsa Amini in the hands of the regime, Shahi noted that, unlike the rest of the region, “Israel uniquely adopted a pro-people stance. The Israeli media, across the political spectrum, demonstrated empathy towards the Iranian cause. Israeli officials consistently expressed their solidarity with the Iranian people, a gesture that did not go unnoticed,” he said.
This is why, according to Shahi, despite the challenges of conducting reliable public opinion polls in Iran, it is clear that most of the regime opposers inside and outside of Iran support Israel. “This is evidenced by spontaneous anti-Palestinian chants at soccer games, a surge in anti-Hamas sentiment on Iranian social media, and a conspicuous absence of pro-Palestinian protests in Iran,” he noted.
Beheshti echoed this sentiment and added, “The Iranian opposition, the Iranian people, they know the people of Israel are with them, they know the government of Israel is with them, and they showed their love and their support for the people of Israel, as well.”
While also citing the soccer stadium incident, Beheshti said that as the regime paints Israeli flags in its cities to be stepped on, the people refuse to do so and jump over them instead.
Call for Action
As the support is evident in both directions, Beheshti urges both sides to take action. He believes that this is the optimal time to do so. “The Iranian regime at the moment is in its weakest position in 44 years, so we have to use this opportunity and overthrow them. Otherwise, you could have this brutal and evil regime reach nuclear capability and gain access to nuclear weapons,” he warned.
He added that while the support of the international community is crucial to defeat the Islamic Republic, they will not follow unless the two nations unite first and start taking action.
Imagine what the great nation of Israel and the great nation of Iran can build, can work together in the Middle East and the globe, to beat the Iranian regime and its proxies
“Imagine what the great nation of Israel and the great nation of Iran can build, can work together in the Middle East and the globe, to beat the Iranian regime and its proxies. The support of the international community is needed. But it is not going to be easy to convince the international community, they will follow us,” he said.