Veritas Victims Project
Iran VERITAS ProjectDocumenting Iran's Violence, Extremism, Repression and Terrorview victims map
For 35 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used violence and brutality to consolidate power at home and spread its radical, revolutionary ideology abroad. Domestically, the regime has persecuted women and girls, LGBT people, ethnic and religious minority communities, labor activists, and political dissidents, among others. Tehran has also assassinated dissidents abroad. And in its quest for regional hegemony, Iran has used murder and terrorism to destabilize the Middle East, bearing responsibility for the death of hundreds of thousands. And beginning with the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, the Iranian regime has reserved special animosity for the United States, killing more than 1,000 U.S. service members and civilians in devastating terrorist attacks like the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and through terrorist proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is the Iranian people themselves that have been the greatest victims of the Iranian regime, as it has sought to impose its radical ideology upon the nation without regard for human life and liberty. Women have become second-class citizens through a legal system that places them in a position inferior to men. Workers have been systematically deprived basic rights. Political dissidents are routinely executed and citizens are regularly detained and tortured for expressing contrary beliefs. Religious minorities outside of the regime’s radical interpretation of Shi’a Islam are marginalized and in some cases – such as with the Bahá’í – brutally persecuted. The regime has also placed cultural and economic constraints on non-Persian ethnic minorities such as the Baluchis, Arabs, Azeris, and Kurds, despite collectively comprising half of the Iranian populace.
The Iranian regime has gone to great lengths to murder and maim Americans since its seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 that triggered the 444 day Iran Hostage Crisis. Four years later, Iran’s 1983 destruction of the U.S. Embassy and marine barracks in Beirut – killing more than 250 Americans – unleashed the modern era of suicide bombing. Iran continued its deadly aggression during the 1990s with the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Americans and injuring 372. With the American interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st century, Iran exploited the opportunity to target U.S. servicemen with its agents and proxies. It is estimated that the regime was responsible for a quarter of American casualties in Iraq. All told, the Iranian regime is accountable for the deaths of more than 1,000 American soldiers.
Seeking both regional hegemony and the export of its radical ideology to Muslim populations outside Iran, the Iranian regime has caused tremendous instability throughout the Middle East. This is particularly so in countries grappling with sectarian divisions such as Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Through its terrorist proxies as well as direct interference, Iran is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands in the region. Since its founding, the regime has also steadfastly maintained its goal of destroying Israel, with the intention of “liberating” all Muslim lands from the “Zionist regime.” As the foremost state patron of Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, among other terrorist organizations, the Iranian regime is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israeli citizens and an increase in security threats across Israel’s borders. The regime’s acts of terrorism are by no means confined to the Middle East – it has also carried out terrorist attacks and assassinations of Iranian dissidents in Europe and South America. In Buenos Aires, the regime was complicit in the 1994 murder of nearly 100 people in the bombing of a Jewish community center.