OIAC 2020, virtual conference – U.S. May 21, 2020

The Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC) in the United States held a virtual conference, titled “Iran: Global Threat, Domestic Repression, Prospects for Change,” on Thursday.  

Members of the Iranian American Communities and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK) joined this conference from 1,000 locations from 40 states. This event was also attended by American renowned politicians, including former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli, and former U.S. envoy to the UN Human Rights Commission Ambassador Ken Blackwell.

Dr. Ramesh Sepeherrad, an OIAC Advisory Board member

A mother, daughter, and granddaughter, represented three generations of supporters of the Iranian Resistance.

Ms. Joanne McIntosh spoke of her life in Iran during the 1979 Revolution. “I became acquainted with the MEK during those early years, and 4 decades later, the resilience and integrity of their Resistance movement still gives me hope for the future of Iran.” Joanne’s daughter, Ms. Hannane Amanpour, spoke of her late father, slain by the Iranian regime in 1988.  “I honor his memory and his sacrifice for freedom and democracy in Iran,” she said. “I would like to one day visit the beautiful homeland of my father, a nation with great culture, magnificent people and a significant role to play to make the world a safer place.” Her daughter, 16-year-old Alia said, “I never met my grandfather, but he has always been a part of who I am, and his life and death have shaped how I see the world. I am inspired by the youth in Iran, who are risking their lives to carry on the message of the resistance and my grandfather.”

Dr. Soolmaz Abooali, author and professor at George Mason University, said, “the inspiration for a free Iran comes from the women’s movement and the brave young women and girls who risk their lives in every protest and rally as they shout, ‘down with the dictators.’”

The conference closed with the message agreed upon by the communities in 40 states, key points follow:

• Change in Iran is evitable and the Iranian American communities stand in full solidarity with the people of Iran.

• It is time for the world community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow this regime and to support the 10-point plan presented by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi for the future of Iran.

• The maximum pressure policy should be maintained. We call on the United States to ensure that the U.N. arms embargo on the regime is never lifted. It is time for the U.S. to activate the snapback at the U.N. and ensure that all six prior UN Security Council resolutions are re-enacted and all prior sanctions are re-enforced on the regime.