While the Iranian standoff continues with European oil sanctions and American vessels crossing the Straits of Hormuz, time is left in Iran to deal with more significant threats.
Just last week, Iranian officials sentenced Aria Aramnejad, a singer, to 10 months in prison. His crime was a song, “Ali Barkhiz” (“Rise up Ali”), written following the Ashura uprising of 2009 — a series of civic protests that turned into one of the bloodiest crackdowns following the rigged elections that year. The song protests the exploitation of God and the Koran and asks the Imams to act so that the name of Ali, the Shi’a prophet, will not be carried in vain. “Imam Hussein was martyred for good to triumph against evil,” he said is his court hearing “so should we not expect the same from his followers? Is it not strange that in these days to ask the Imams for help in battling against evil is considered a crime in our country?” This interpretation, however, was apparently not accepted, at the least by the Islamic justice system. For them, asking the Imams to fight evil means “endangering the national security of the country.”