The situation of religious minorities in Iran: what the West should know about the Iranian regime

Professor Lord David Alton, Dr. Wael Aleji

This article reflects on the deteriorating situation of religious freedom in Iran and warns Western politicians of the complex nature of the Iranian regime and the extremist ideology underpinning its politics and behaviors. This article argues that the phenomena, or notion of “global Jihad” is not an “exclusively Sunni product” but an ideology shared across all Political Islam Movements, Sunni and Shia alike, this fact is widely overlooked in the West. And whilst many Arab countries have taken drastic measures to counter extremism by challenging its narratives and interrupting its supply routes, Iran continues to spread sectarianism and religious extremism and officially sponsor terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and the Huthis, hence destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq and making the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen more violent and complex. This article will be followed by a research paper explaining the notion of Wilayat Al-Faqih (the Guardianship of the Jurist), upon which the extremist ideology of the Iranian regime has evolved.