Are the winds of change blowing in Iran?
By : Hamid Bahrami
:: Tens of thousands of supporters of Iran’s main opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gathered in a massive convention hall in Villepinte, Paris over the weekend to call on the international community to back the Iranian people’s democratic aspirations and recognize the NCRI as a real alternative to the mullahs’ theocracy.
The grand gathering of Iranians, which takes place in Paris every year, was this year attended by more than 50 parliamentary delegations from all around the world including the US and Middle East as well as the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, the former Chairman of the US Democratic Party and former Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton, member of the European Parliament, Gérard Deprez and many prominent political dignitaries.
The keynote speaker at the event was NCRI-president, Mrs Maryam Rajavi. In her speech that was also broadcast inside Iran, she underscored that “regime change [in Iran] is within reach because the mullahs have gotten themselves stuck in three wars of attrition in the Middle East.
Their withdrawal from these conflicts in whatever form or shape will undermine their own existence.” In the US an Iran policy remains unclear but it is obvious that the current White House does not want to appease the Iranian regime.
Regionally and internationally, the Iranian regime is in the worst situation because it has destroyed all bridges with the US and the neighboring Arab countries
Regionally and internationally, the Iranian regime is in the worst situation because it has destroyed all bridges with the US and the neighboring Arab countries. Today, the regime in Tehran is terrorizing its own people and is a major threat to the Middle East and the world peace.
The NCRI is fighting to bring about democratic change by overthrowing mullahs’ theocracy. For over three decades, the Iranian Resistance has urged the internationally community to adopt a firm policy towards the regime, hence, it is not surprising that Mrs Rajavi welcomed the statement following the recent Islamic, American Summit.
“We have welcomed the statements made at the Arab, Islamic, American Summit in Riyadh against the Iranian regime’s terrorist and destabilizing activities. Nevertheless, we emphasis that the ultimate solution to the crisis in the region and confronting groups like ISIS, is the overthrow of the Iranian regime by the Iranian people and Resistance”, she said in her speech.
The most serious threat
The realities on the ground in the Middle East show that Mrs Rajavi is accurate. As the campaign to destroy ISIS is ultimately successful, the most serious threat facing the world and the US president is to confront Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region for example in areas in Syria and Iraq that are liberated from ISIS. If Iranian regime is allowed to usurp these areas then it would pose even a greater danger to the US, Europe and Gulf countries.
Consequently, to protect their national interests, they are and should looking for a solution to stop the mullahs. Until now, their policy has been to accommodate Iran’s actions and evidently it has failed. They hoped to reform Iran’s behavior by cozying up to President Hassan Rohani but on the contrary, this policy has increased Iran’s intervention in the Middle East. That is why the US and its Arab allies have taking steps to change their policy.
Hence, a few weeks ago, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, announced that “Our policy towards Iran is to push back on this hegemony, contain their ability to develop obviously nuclear weapons, and to work toward support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know,” Tillerson said on June 14.
It is an obvious fact that the NCRI and its democratic platform for future Iran provides a viable alternative for this policy. In this case, the former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton highlighted a crucial aspect about this policy at the gathering in Paris. “There is a viable opposition to the rule of the Ayatollahs and that opposition is centered in this room today”, he said in his speech.
Yet the most vitriolic remarks at the gathering came from mayor Giuliani who pointed to the Iranian regime’s malicious activities in the region stressing that the mullahs are the source instability and crisis in the region, and have kept their grip on power in the past 38 years through widespread repression and blatant disregard for human rights at home and the export of extremism and terrorism abroad.
“I am happiest to be here because finally I can probably say that the government of United States supports you, we are behind you, we agree with your values. Finally I can stand here and say that you, my government and your leadership, we see Iran exactly the same way. The regime is evil and it must go”, he said addressing the tens of thousands gathered in Paris.
Overthrowing with minimal risks?
It is time for the international community to make decisive decisions on Iran. Today, the only remaining way to end four decades of crisis in the Middle East. It is a known fact that Iranian regime is root of problems in the region. Therefore, it is necessary that Mrs Rajavi’s voice is allowed to be heard.
To end the mullahs’ regime in Iran, Mrs Rajavi made three recommendations, “Recognize the resistance of the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship. Expel the regime from the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and hand over Iran’s seat to the Iranian people’s Resistance. Designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and evict it from the entire region.”
If the international community wants democracy and human rights to root and progress in the Middle East, it should heed these recommendations.
:: Freelance journalist Hamid Bahrami has served as political prisoner in Iran. He is a human rights and political activist.
:: Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.