Iran Praises ‘Free Palestine’ Self-Immolator: an ‘Awakened Conscience’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: A person holds a sign at a vigil for U.S. Airman Aaron B
Michael M. Santiago/Getty

The government of Iran issued an homage on Tuesday to Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old U.S. Air Force member who died after self-immolating on Sunday to protest Israel’s self-defense operations against the jihadist terror organization Hamas.

Bushnell set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, broadcasting his extreme act of protest on the video game streaming platform Twitch.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people are experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all,” Bushnell said in the broadcast.

Supporters of Hamas have accused Israel of engaging in “genocide” by targeting terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. In reality, Hamas itself is an explicitly genocidal entity that engages in terrorism in an attempt to destroy the state of Israel.

Some reports have indicated that Bushnell was a vocal opponent of Israel on the internet prior to his death, including reports attributing to him commentary in support of Hamas’s unprecedented terrorist massacres against Israeli civilians on October 7, which necessitated the self-defense actions Bushnell was protesting. On that day, Hamas killed an estimated 1,200, including in brutal acts of gang rape, torture, and infanticide, among other crimes. Hamas terrorists also abducted an estimated 250 civilians, including infants, of which about 130 are believed to be trapped in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Hundreds of people gather in front of the Israeli Embassy to collectively mourn the US airman Aaron Bushnell, 25, an active-duty member of the US Air Force, who died after setting himself ablaze on February 27, 2024, in New York, United States. People lay flowers, light candles and write on the sheets as they pay their respects. (Fatih Aktas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Air Force confirmed on Monday that Bushnell was an Airman and mourning his passing.

“When a tragedy like this occurs, every member of the Air Force feels it. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Senior Airman Bushnell,” Air Force Col. Celina Noyes, commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we ask that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani joined a growing number of high-profile jihadists and radical leftists in paying homage to Bushnell with a statement published to social media on Monday.

“Bushnell’s cries are the loud voice of the awakened consciences in the US against the government’s complicity in the Palestinian genocide,” Kan’ani wrote, according to a translation by Iranian state propaganda outlet PressTV.

“The self-immolation of Aaron Bushnell, an officer of the US Air Force, in protest against the continued crimes of the Zionists in Gaza, showed how much the awakened consciences in the US are ashamed of their government’s support for the genocide of Palestinians,” he claimed.

Iran is the world’s premier state sponsor of terrorism and has supported Hamas and similar organizations with funds and other cooperation for decades. A State Department report published in 2020 estimated that Iran “has historically provided up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.”

Iranian authorities openly celebrated the October 7 siege of Israel, organizing a street party on that night in Tehran featuring fireworks and free lemonade. The Iranian government advocates for the destruction of Israel, rejecting “two-state solution” proposals for the “Palestinian” territories because they would allow Israel to continue existing.

“Israel is occupying the Palestinian land, and we believe that a two-state solution will not help to resolve the Palestinian issue,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian plainly declared in December.

The Iranian government joined prominent American leftists in honoring Bushnell.

“Let us never forget the extraordinary courage and commitment of brother Aaron Bushnell, who died for truth and justice!” radical leftist presidential candidate Cornel West, who has made anti-Israel sentiment a cornerstone of his campaign, declared following Bushnell’s suicide. “I pray for his precious loved ones! Let us rededicate ourselves to genuine solidarity with Palestinians undergoing genocidal attacks in real time!”

A woman writes on a sheet as hundreds of people lay flowers, light candles and write on the sheets as they pay their respects to US airman Aaron Bushnell, 25, an active-duty member of the US Air Force, who died after setting himself ablaze. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is competing with West for disaffected leftist voters, similarly honored Bushnell and his cause, sharing a graphic photo of Bushnell’s final moments to her Twitter profile.

“May his sacrifice deepen our commitment to stop genocide now,” Stein wrote, controversially using the phrase “rest in power” in his honor.

Hamas, the terrorist organization, praised Bushnell as a “defender of humanitarian values” in an official message addressing the self-immolation on Monday.

“Aaron Bushnell immortalized his name as a defender of humanitarian values and the oppressed Palestinian people,” an official Hamas statement reproduced by PressTV read in part. “The [U.S. President Joe] Biden administration bears full responsibility for the death of the airman in the US army, Aaron Bushnell, due to its policy that has supported the Zionist regime in its genocidal war against our Palestinian people.”

Hamas also claimed that Bushnell’s sentiments against the Israeli government were part of a “growing anger” in America against the Biden administration and America’s traditional anti-terrorist stance.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.