In a Senate briefing in Washington, D.C., held on Thursday, October 26, political leaders and senators on both sides of the aisle came together to discuss the Iranian regime and the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East. The event featured keynote remarks from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as well as Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Senator Bob Menendez, Senator John Boozman, former National Security Advisor General James Jones, former Senator Sam Brownback, former Supreme Allied Commander of US forces in Europe General Wesley Clark, and former White House Liaison Ms. Linda Chavez.
Mrs. Rajavi who connected to the meeting online, commenced the briefing by drawing attention to the Iranian regime’s role in igniting chaos across the Middle East, stating, “The message is to focus on the root cause of the war and crisis in the Middle East, which is the Iranian regime. The message is DO NOT overlook the primary source of warmongering in the region!
“The mullahs need to provoke wars in the region to prevent their overthrow. Khamenei has repeatedly said that if we do not fight in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza, we must fight in the cities of Iran. Imagine if this brutal religious tyranny was not in power in Iran. Iraq would be different; Syria and Yemen would not have been torn by war; Lebanon would not suffer for so long, and there would not be so many obstacles to peace in the Middle East.
“Today, the mullahs have made the Middle East engulfed in fire and blood and Khamenei said he is proud of it, and his Minister of Intelligence said: This is the greatest of all victories. Here are the most significant conclusions from past experiences. Appeasement of the mullahs’ regime is disastrous. Years ago, the world realized that this regime could not be reformed, nor would it change its behavior. The world must now admit that the Iranian regime cannot be appeased, either. Every concession given to the regime will fuel more wars.
“Another conclusion is that no solution in the Middle East will succeed unless the head of the snake in Tehran is targeted. This can be only done by siding with the struggle of the Iranian people and their organized Resistance to overthrow the regime.”
Speaking at the conference, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) stated, “The threat from Tehran has never been clearer or the stakes higher. As the people of Iran continue to confront the regime, Iran’s influence and reach is evident.
“Tehran is not interested in peace. The regime in Iran is only interested in self-preservation, which is why it seeks to oppress its own people and sow discord abroad. It is a common theme in authoritarian countries. These regimes distract from the crimes committed against their own people by instigating terrorism and war elsewhere. Like Iranians fighting against the brutality and oppression of the regime in Tehran, the people of Ukraine are fighting for their very existence. And there is a connection here, and I think we’ve got to call this out.
“Because for the last year and a half, Ukraine has been on the front lines of the same fight for democracy that Iranians have been waging for decades. And it is a fight that we cannot afford to let Ukraine lose, because that fight is for democracy everywhere, including in Iran. They are watching whether we can continue to stay together and support democracy, be that in Ukraine or in Iran.
“We must continue to support our democratic allies, such as those in Ashraf 3 in Albania. I had an opportunity to visit Albania last fall and to meet with some of the people who are still in Ashraf 3, and they reiterated how important it is that they continue to have protection, but they want to get out of there. They want to go home. They want to go wherever in the world there is opportunity. No one better understands the reach of the Iranian regime or what is required to resist their malign influence than our friends in Ashraf 3, who are carrying on that fight against authoritarianism. We must continue to support them. And to fully confront the Iranian threat, we must stand with our friends, be they in Israel, in Ukraine, or in Ashraf 3.”
Bipartisan Senate Briefing Unites Senators, Experts, and Former NATO Leaders in Revamping US Iran Policy – EIN Presswire #FreeIran #BlacklistIRGC Speakers included @Maryam_Rajavi @SenatorShaheen https://t.co/mykLowrbId pic.twitter.com/is8sPfJLWD
— OIAC: Organization of Iranian American Communities (@OrgIAC) October 29, 2023
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) also stated, “Iran’s regime is nothing more than a brutal autocracy led by ayatollahs who are willing to kidnap, torture, and even murder innocent civilians in order to keep a stranglehold on their power. Anyone arguing otherwise need only to look at the horrific events of October 7th.
“This is the moral bankruptcy of Iran’s destabilizing presence in the Middle East. And this is what all of us in this room have known, that regime in Tehran will violate every international norm, it will support any terrorist organization, and it will unleash untold chaos and destruction in order to further its goals. If this is the first central truth of today’s event, that the regime in Tehran is an existential threat to safety and security in the region, then the second fundamental truth is that the nation of Iran is yearning and rising for freedom.”
Referring to the state-sanctioned murder of the sixteen-year-young Armita Gravand, Senator Menendez said, “It’s further evidence that Iran’s brutality and repression knows no bounds. And yet, in light of these daily assaults on democratic values, courageous protesters have taken to the streets, unmasking the lie that Iran’s people support the current regime. Iranians all over the world, particularly young Iranians, have declared their commitment to the ideals of self-determination and human rights. And in the midst of enormous obstacles, support has only grown for a free and democratic Iran.”
Calling on Washington to opt for a firm policy on Tehran, Senator Menendez added, “The time is now for American support towards allies as they seek to eliminate the threat of Iranian proxies on their borders. And the time is now for harsher and more vigorously enforced American sanctions on Iran as the primary backer of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. For too long, Iran has supplied drones that are killing Ukrainians in their homeland. For too long, its spies have attempted to carry out assassinations of former American officials. And for too long, they have repressed and tortured friends, family members, and loved ones of people in this very room.
“The U.S. has to stand with the Iranian community. It must stand with individuals in this room. It must stand with the opposition as we elevate the demands of its freedom-loving people. More than anything, we must never back down from confronting Tehran’s human rights violations. We must never abandon the women and girls who face senseless repression every day. The all-inclusive, secular, democratic rule of law Iran that Madam Rajavi speaks of is what we should all be aspiring for and trying to make happen. You have my hand in friendship in order to make that a reality.”
In a message to the event, Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said, “Like you, I remain steadfast in my support for the Iranian people and their pursuit of peace.” He added his commitment is “to putting maximum pressure on the regime, to stop its malign activities, and to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapons program.”
Ret. General James Jones, the first National Security Advisor to President Obama, stated, “The regime in Iran paints itself as both the creators and curators of peace, which is an untenable paradox. It has long sabotaged Middle Eastern stability and exported terror and extremism beyond Iran’s border to maintain its fragile grip, an increasingly fragile grip on power at home, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Palestinian cause.
“The Iranian regime is the undeniable epicenter of regional instability and chaos. So our message has to be very clear. While Iran sows chaos abroad, its people at home are demanding change and increasingly demanding change. The regime’s terror tactics can’t go unchecked, nor should its brutal suppression of the Iranian people.
“The National Council of Resistance of Iran, NCRI, this path doesn’t require military intervention, but simply a global policy shift that stops placating the current regime. Regarding the Palestinian issue, Iran has strategically utilized this situation, fostering divisions among Palestinians and undermining their legitimate leadership. Tehran has consistently opposed peaceful solutions, seeking only to bolster factions that mirror their divisive sentiments. Why this support for proxy groups and use of hostages? It’s simple, one word, desperation. Tehran leverages these tactics to divert attention from internal unrest.
“As the NCRI warned decades ago, the danger of Tehran’s fundamentalist meddling in the Middle East is 1,000 times more significant than its mad dash towards acquiring nuclear weapons. Indeed, Islamic fundamentalism emanating from Iran has now emerged as one of the new family of global threats. The only path to regional peace, it seems to me, lies in supporting the Iranian people’s aspirations for change and a democratic republic devoid of any form of religious or monarchistic dictatorship. The Iranian people’s desire was best manifested in their slogans widely chanted in the streets of Iran over the past few years, down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader. While Tehran steps up its oppression, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of the NCRI and its main component, the MEK, embodying the true spirit of Iran.
“Iran’s regime must answer for its atrocities. Sanctions should be enhanced. And prior UN Security Council resolutions should be reinstated. The United States, and indeed the world, must unequivocally support the Iranian people’s request for democracy. We must protect political refugees, like those in Ashraf 3, from the regime’s clutches.”
Ambassador Sam Brownback, the United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department until January 2021 stated, “The current regime in Tehran is a terrorist-backing, terrorist-loving government, and that is not who the Iranian people are. They want peace. They want freedom. And they’re dying for freedom. The Iranian, we must back those forces inside Iran who want a new, democratically elected government. It is the path to avoiding a much bigger conflict.
“My message is really for the U.S. government. Our only path forward to peace in the Middle East is regime change in Tehran, done by the people of Iran with the full backing of the West. That’s the only route forward. It’s time for maximum pressure on Tehran. Change there means less bloodshed everywhere else. The connection is that direct. The choice is that stark. The winning side is freedom, and we must back those willing to fight for it.”
Explaining about the threats posed by the clerical regime toward world security, former US Commander in Europe General Wesley Clark said, “I think in the 21st century, there has to be an alternative to a war against this government that this government, Iran, seems to be seeking. There has to be. And that alternative has to be to listen to the people of Iran and give them the voice to shape their own government.
“It’s time for the West, Iran’s neighbors, and the world community to look for and support other leadership for the Iranian people, to find and support that alternative representation, to look to ordinary people, to those with the courage to protest in schools and in the streets, and to look to this organization that has helped and supported these legitimate expressions of the Iranian people for decades. I’ve watched the courage, the commitment, the incredible durability and sustainment of this organization. I’ve gone through Ashraf 3. I’ve met the people who’ve been tortured by this regime. Surely, the world community must come together and recognize there is an alternative to the Ayatollahs. And that alternative shouldn’t be sought in a war of conflict. No, this is the organization that’s persisted for decades, standing up for the rights of the Iranian people. Its program calls for democratic governance, freedom of religion, respect for human rights and political rights. It has intimate knowledge, gained over decades of the conditions inside Iran, the needs of the people in Iran, and it knows how to improve their conditions morally, politically, legally, and economically. Is it a political and moral force in current Iran? Absolutely. It’s the highest priority target of the Iranian regime. Could it become a transitional government if the current government collapsed? Most definitely. It has communications and representation almost everywhere inside Iran already. It has a well-thought-out program and an aim to do better for the people of Iran and to bring Iran into a constructive partnership with other nations in the region and globally.”
Condemning the atrocities of the terrorist regime in Iran, former White House Liaison Linda Chavez stated, “Americans can get involved in supporting, not just through giving aid to governments, not just through sending arms to those who are fighting against oppression, but in supporting democratic movements around the world. And so one of the things that I think is important for this organization and your involvement is to try to get more support for the resistance to the regime in Iran, and to try to get Americans to understand that there are alternatives, that the Iranian people are not just sitting there and applauding Ali Khamenei, that they are not just there supporting the theocratic government in Iran. They are, in fact, putting up resistance. And it’s been going on now for decades.
“There are people who are fighting that in Iran. I think it’s important to understand that until we are able to get broader acceptance and acknowledgment of the kind of things that you are doing, that Madam Rajavi is doing, that the NCRI is doing around the world to try to get support for the people of Iran so that they, too, can rise up. There is, I think, a real important mission, and that is a mission to educate, a mission to spread the word, to get people to understand what is going on and why it is not just fighting for the people of Iran, which is a good and noble cause, and we should be doing that more directly. We should be giving support to those people who are taking to the streets in Iran.”
Source » ncr-iran