How would a military strike on Iran affect the country's human rights situation? A new message from 35 prominent Iranians, released in a new video by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, warns of devastating consequences.
In the footage above, Iranian civil society activists, lawyers, intellectuals, and cultural figures conclude that military action would be 'an utter disaster' for human rights. According to the interviewees, a strike would empower the current regime, further militarize the state, undermine Iranian civil society, and strengthen radical elements within the regime.
"A military strike will not help the democracy and reformist movement at all because it will cause militarization of the country. The military, Revolutionary Guards, and radical elements will increase their power," argues political scientist Sadeq Zibakalam.
Academic Mohammad Maleki says that international intervention would "undoubtedly lead to a much more closed environment and give the regime the perfect excuse to oppress the people even more."
The video is based on a 2011 report, Raising Their Voices: Iranian Civil Society Reflections on the Military Option. The writers of the report conclude that military action against Iran by the United States or Israel would be futile, counterproductive, and irrational.
"The fact that the government doesn't treat its population well doesn't justify foreigners dropping bombs," says theologian Ahmad Ghabel.
Iran and world powers are scheduled to hold talks over Tehran's nuclear program on Friday. Iran insists on its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, while the West suspects the country is working on a nuclear weapons program. Israel has threatened to strike Tehran's nuclear facilities if the country does not suspend its program.
Watch the video above or click here for live updates on the drumbeat of war.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves prior to entering an airplane leaving Iran for Tajikistan at Tehran's Mehrabad airport on March 24, 2012. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and his First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi (R) listen to their national anthem prior to leaving Iran for Tajikistan at Tehran's Mehrabad airport on March 24, 2012. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves at supporters outside a polling station in Tehran on March 2, 2012. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian soldier standing atop an anti-aircraft machine gun, salutes as he passes by a huge poster of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during the annual army day military parade in Tehran on April 17, 2008. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) gives a speech next to newly appointed judiciary chief Sadegh Ardeshir Larijani during a meeting in Tehran on August 15, 2009. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami delivers the weekly Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University on May 27, 2011. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian clerics queue outside a polling station at Massoumeh shrine in the holy city of Qom, 130 kms south of Tehran, during parliamentary elections in the Islamic republic on March 2, 2012. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian cleric holds a portrait of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the funeral of an unknown soldier from the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)