How many articles, essays or news items have you read that detail the struggle of the Iranian people against its oppressive leaders. If you're like most people, your answer probably stays close to the zero-to-none range.
There's a good reason for this: few, if any, are covering the appalling conditions Iranians must live with because of the tyranny of Iran's leadership.
Make no mistake. Iranians suffer. Now, because the US has pulled out the so-called, 'Iran-Deal', Iranian suffering has increased. It's about to get worse.
On August 7, 2018, the US is scheduled to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran (here). As a result, the Iranian currency, the rial, has begun to drop. As August 7th draws ever closer, the rial fall has turned into a free-fall. (ibid). The rial is at a record low relative to the US Dollar(here). It looks to go even lower.
If US President Donald Trump wants a regime change in Iran, his threat to reimpose sanctions is having a devastating impact on Iran. The Iranian economy has tumbled into crisis (here). That crisis could--and has already--provoked massive protests in Iranian streets. The crsis could get worse.
Inflation in Iran is currently at 12% (ibid)--and probably headed higher. Iranians are beginning to worry about how they're going to be able to pay their rent (ibid).
As the value of their money tumbles, Iranians worry about being able to have enough money to pay for food (ibid). In the stores, items that used to sell three times a day sell now only three times a week (ibid). There are people who haven't eaten meat for weeks (ibid).
Some Iranians no longer fear war--they now have nothing to lose (ibid). They appear to be losing hope.
If the West wants regime change in Iran, it should move quickly. It should help Iranians protest for that change. The West should give Iranians hope for a better future, so they--the Iranians--can have something positive to fight for.
But there's a problem. No one in the West offers help. They stand silent.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the single exception. He won't remain silent. He's offering Iranians something to hope for in the future.
He's begun to speak directly to the Iranian people. Since May, 2018, he's posted five videos on youtube to speak, in English, to Iranian viewers. Videos beamed into Iran come with Farsi subtitles (here). The videos are very short:
May 31, 2017 (here)
June 10, 2018 (here)
July 30, 2018 (here)
The fifth video Netanyahu sent out complements his June 27, 2018 'soccer' video, this time with a political message about the Iranian people. This video is important to understanding
what Netanyahu might be doing here. Like the others above, it's very short:
Alone among world leaders, Netanyahu has created a kind of youtube 'channel' for himself aimed exclusively at Iranians. He is the only leader from any country making an effort to communicate to the entire Iranian nation. The videos are so extraordinary, no one knows what to think of them. No one says anything about them. The only thing anyone can think to say is that they're 'bizarre' (here).
Iranian officials take these videos seriously. They were not happy to see the Israeli PM speak so directly to Iran (here). They've tried to ban the videos (here). They've spoken out against them (ibid). They've tried to ignore them.
In an era of social media and youtube, where anything is possible and much is idiotic, are these short videos simply bizarre---or, are they a brilliant decision to reach out to a potential future ally, to let the citizens of that potential ally know they are not alone?
Watch these videos a second time. Listen to what Netanyahu is telling Iranians: they're brilliant. They're innovative.
Is he suggesting that Iranians have what it takes to join Israel as a 'start-up' nation? Is he suggesting they have the potential to partner with Israel, to become a team that could transform the world?
It's possible. At the very least, his words do send a message of hope.
Sometimes, when one is trapped in darkness, the greatest hope comes from the dimmest light. Is that what Netanyahu is doing here--casting a tiny light out to Iranians, to suggest what a future of freedom might mean for them?
Stay tuned. These videos are not bizarre. They could be the catalyst that, ultimately, changes everything in the Middle East.