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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:07 am on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Video-Senior US Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi meet in Tirana, Albania 

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:18 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Why is Tehran terrified of US senators meeting with the Iranian opposition? 

    Maryam Rajavi

    Maryam Rajavi

    by Amir Basiri

    Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., met with National Council of Resistance of Iran President Maryam Rajavi and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. Rajavi thanked the senators for their firm position toward Iran, especially the adoption of new sanctions against the ruling regime and the Revolutionary Guards for their human rights abuses, Iran’s ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism.

    The Iranian regime has constantly tried to downplay the role and influence of the opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and its main constituent, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), by portraying them as marginal and insignificant. Yet, its mainstream media and top officials are constantly betraying the regime’s real feelings and fear of the group.

    The latest episode came after U.S. senators visited the organization’s headquarters in Tirana, Albania. Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., met with NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and members of the MEK, and discussed the latest developments in Iran and the Middle East as well as solutions to end the current crisis in that region.

    Rajavi thanked the senators for their firm position toward Iran, especially the adoption of new sanctions against the ruling regime and the Revolutionary Guards for their human rights abuses, Iran’s ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism.

    Less than a day later, dozens of mainstream media outlets representing all factions and branches of the Iranian regime expressed concern about the lawmakers’ visit, calling it a provocative move meant to cause instability in Iran.

    The visit comes as the Trump administration is reviewing its policy toward Iran’s nefarious activities, and cabinet officials have hinted at supporting regime change, a goal that the MEK and NCRI have been calling for since 1981.

    The Iranian regime and its backers in the West try to portray support for regime change as a path that will lead to another military invasion in the region, and a possible repeat of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. However, the NCRI believes that the Iranian people and their resistance movement are fully capable of achieving regime change without the need for a foreign intervention.

    In her meeting with the senators, Rajavi emphasized that contrary to the propaganda by the Iranian regime’s apologists, the ruling theocracy is rotten to the core and very fragile. Without foreign support, especially the policy of appeasement pursued in the U.S. and Europe, it would not have survived so long.

    She added that regime change in Iran is necessary and within reach because a viable and democratic alternative exists.

    The Iranian regime is increasingly extremely worried about the momentum that is building around the NCRI’s goal. In April, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., made a similar trip to Albania and met with the MEK and NCRI’s leadership. Other U.S. dignitaries and politicians attended the group’s annual rally in Paris last month, where they underlined the necessity for regime change in Iran.

    The regime is also having trouble containing MEK’s increased activism inside Iran. In the run-up to the May’s presidential elections, despite the numerous threats issued by regime officials and Iran’s security apparatus, the group’s supporters carried out widespread campaigns across Iran, denouncing the undemocratic nature of the elections and exposing the criminal history of the candidates.

    The trip of U.S. lawmakers to Tirana is one more problem the Iranian regime will have to deal with as it is faced with an opposition that is growing in influence and support, and it no longer has the advantage of a U.S. administration geared toward appeasement and concessions.

    Originally published in the   washingtonexaminer

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    New sanctions on Iran, now it’s time for a new US policy too 

    Alireza Jafarzadeh Foxnews

    On the second anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, some argue that the agreement succeeded in slowing Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. However, the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program are only limited, as is the international inspectors’ access to the country’s illicit facilities.In addition, in areas unrelated to the nuclear agreement,
    the Iranian regime’s behavior has only gotten worse over the past two years. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has escalated its nefarious activities in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, has deliberately sought out close encounters with American warships, and has boasted of new Iranian military equipment.
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     The White House’s efforts to enforce a harder line on Iran policy is well justified and the president’s signing into law of H.R. 3364, which included a title, “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” is a step in the right direction.
    In June, the National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed details of the escalation of the Iranian missile program, proving the nuclear threat to be real. The opposition coalition identified more than 40 sites for missile development, manufacturing, and testing, all of which were under the control of the IRGC. What’s more, at least one of those sites was known to be collaborating with the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known by its Farsi acronym SPND, the institution tasked with weaponization activities related to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. SPND activities have continued since the JDPOA.
    Such revelations clarified what should already be common knowledge: Iran’s nuclear weapons activities have continued. Even worse, myopic focus on the nuclear issues has distracted attention from the Iranian regime’s terrorism sponsorship, regional intervention, and human rights abuses.
    If the IRGC continues to acquire more wealth through its large-scale control of the de-sanctioned Iranian economy, combined with continued lack of access to the nuclear sites of SPND, Iran will undoubtedly deliver a nuclear weapon.
    To its credit, the US. has taken steps toward addressing the underlying problem of the IRGC’s expanding control over Iranian affairs. Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump urged the administration to review designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization. With the new Iran sanctions bill now signed into law, the administration should expand all anti-terror sanctions to the whole of the IRGC, including its affiliate entities and associated financial and economic arms.
    This is a meaningful start to a new Iran policy that is comprehensive in its aims and in its enforcement. Toward that end, the US should work with the UN and EU to evict the IRCG from the combat zones in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This will help protect the West and its allies, as well as empower the Iranian people, who are seeking regime change and are more than capable of bringing it about on their own.
    Without serious sacrifice, Western powers must do their part. The Iranian regime must be more isolated and financially handicapped by the United States. It must also be subject to pressure not just over its nuclear program but also over a range of current and past crimes, including illicit missile testing, escalating regional and sectarian conflicts in the Middle East, and the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. The United States should subject all major human rights violators of the Iranian regime, including dozens involved in the horrific 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Many of the perpetrators of this crime currently hold key positions in the Iranian regime.
    These pressures will make a profound difference in the future of Iran, if coupled with reaching out to the people of Iran and their organized opposition. They will succeed in diminishing the power and influence of the IRGC; bolster the Iranian people and the prospect of the emergence of a truly democratic Iranian government.
    Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is credited with exposing Iranian nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002, triggering International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. He is the author of “The Iran Threat” (Palgrave MacMillan: 2008). His email is Jafarzadeh@ncrius.org , and is on twitter @A_Jafarzadeh.
    Originally published in the   foxnews
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:11 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    As North Korea Defies U.S., Iran Sees Opportunity 

    The Media Express

    For those who are following the latest in the U.S.-North Korea saga, it is clear that the U.S. has its attention fully focused on this Korean dictatorship. Reports have also surfaced that North Korea has mastered a key component to making a nuclear missile. President Trump has indicated that the U.S. is ready to counter any aggression on the part of North Korea, but in the meantime, experts warn that eyes should not waver from Iran.

    The Iranian regime could benefit greatly from the North Korean advances, simply because of their economic relationship, which has allowed Iran to give the North Koreans much needed cash in exchange for their military knowledge and expertise.

    If North Korea gets away with building a nuclear weapon, in spite of the protests of the U.S. and the international community, then Iran will try to do the same.

    “It’s a human and emotional response…

    View original post 309 more words

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:39 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , U.S. Senate Delegation   

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi Meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital 

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital

    Senators also met MEK members relocated from Iraq

     

    On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a senior delegation from the United States Senate meet with Maryam Rajavi, in the Albanian capital, Tirana, and discussed the situation of the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, the latest developments in Iran and the Middle East as well as solutions to end to current crisis in that region.

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    The Senate delegation was comprised of Senators Roy Blunt, Vice President of the Republican Conference, and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees; John Cornyn, the Majority Whip, and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence, and Finance committees; and Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

    The meeting, at one of the centers of the MEK in Albania, was initiated by Senator Roy Blunt, as the delegation was on a visit to Albania.

    Led by Senator Blunt, the delegation congratulated the safe and secure relocation of all Camp Liberty residents outside of Iraq and wished them success in their struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran. Having undertaken extensive efforts to ensure the security of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their transfer outside that country in previous years, Senator Blunt described the relocation as a major victory for the Iranian people and Resistance and lauded the efforts of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance for the success of this major mission.

    Maryam Rajavi thanked the Senators for their decisive position vis-à-vis the Iranian regime, especially the adoption of a new resolution which imposed sanctions on the clerical regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for human rights abuses, the ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism. She expressed gratitude for the efforts of the U.S. Senate, particularly Senator Blunt, regarding the protection of thousands of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their safe relocation to Albania.

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 3

    Maryam Rajavi emphasized that contrary to the propaganda by the Iranian regime’s apologists, the ruling theocracy was rotten to the core and very fragile. Without foreign support, especially the policy of appeasement pursued in the U.S. and Europe, it would not have survived so long. She added that regime change in Iran is necessary and within reach because a viable and democratic alternative exists. Maryam Rajavi said equating regime change by the Iranian people for democracy with war and instability in the region is a sheer lie, the source of which is the Iranian regime’s lobby in western capitals. They demagogically turn the truth on its head, she noted, adding that the overthrow of the Tehran regime was a prerequisite to ending crisis and war in the Middle East.

    Maryam Rajavi underscored the need for imposing comprehensive sanctions on the Iranian regime’s banking and oil sector, expelling the IRGC and its affiliated militias from Syria, Iraq, and other regional countries, taking urgent steps to punish the regime for widespread political executions, especially the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate this major crime against humanity with the aim of bringing to justice the perpetrators, and recognizing the aspirations of the Iranian people and Resistance to overthrow the ruling religious tyranny and to establish freedom and democracy, and a republic based on the separation of religion and state, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.

    The Senate delegation also met with a number of MEK members as well as witnesses to, and victims of, the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran and camps Ashraf and Liberty.

    Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
    August 12, 2017

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 4

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    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 6

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:16 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy? 

    A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Ira

    (FILES) A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran. Iranian forces have carried out what they called cyber warfare tactics for the first time as the Islamic republic’s naval units staged manoeuvres in the key Strait of Hormuz, media reports said on December 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    Following the recertification of Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal aimed at curbing its controversial nuclear program, there is quite a stir over the Trump administration possibly adopting a regime change policy in the face of Tehran’s belligerence.

    There are those who favor such a trajectory, while Iran lobbyists and apologists have promptly argued otherwise, saying war should not be an option and citing ongoing campaigns in countries across the region to back their opinions.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s strong position of supporting regime change in a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent shockwaves in Tehran and beyond.

    “Our policy towards Iran is to push back on (its regional) hegemony, contain their ability to develop, obviously, nuclear weapons and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government,” he said.

     Secretary of Defense James Mattis, known for his “Iran, Iran, Iran” description of the source of Middle East dilemmas, followed suit.

    “Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of. It’s going to be very, very difficult,” Mattis said in a special interview.

    It is broadly assumed that the diplomatic pressure and sanctions initiative embarked upon by the White House and Congress are aimed at serving a regime change objective in Iran. The next necessary step would be to make this policy crystal clear to Tehran and all relevant parties

    Such strong statements made by Tillerson and Mattis dig deep into the Iran dossier and realize one stark, and very positive, difference between Iran and its neighbors. In contrast to others, the Iran regime change enterprise enjoys a long-term plan presented by a grass-rooted opposition movement, symbolized in the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    Unfortunately, the campaigns launched in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even Syria, after former US president Barack Obama said the dictator Bashar Assad must go, all lacked this very necessary element, and the world remains witness in horror of the drastic consequences. Millions left killed and injured, scores more displaced, trillions of dollars literally wasted and entire cities and countries leveled. And the only benefactor has been the mullahs’ regime…, being an entirely different topic of discussion.

    Tehran lobbyists stationed in Washington are heard saying Iran also lacks any such organized opposition capable of delivering anything different from what we have witnessed in other countries. For years they have been inaccurately mischaracterizing the NCRI as lacking adequate organization, support and resources.

    To spare time, one needs only refer to this coalition’s recent July 1stconvention in Paris, held annually, for a glimpse of its social base and international backing. Over 100,000 members of the Iranian Diaspora, joined by hundreds of international dignitaries from all walks of life representing a conglomerate of political trends, shows how the NCRI, and its President Maryam Rajavi, have garnered growing support both inside Iran and abroad to bring about regime change and establish freedom and democracy in their homeland.

    Advocates of the appeasement approach vis-à-vis Iran will further continue quarreling over how the West must continue its effort of seeking internal Iranian elements of moderation.

    Ever since the 1980s a slate of senior Iranian regime officials, including former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, former presidents Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and now Hassan Rouhanihave been naively dubbed as “moderates” or “reformists.”

    What deserves comprehension after 35 years of deception is the fact that Iran’s “moderate/reformist” pretext has long surpassed its expiration date. While the Iranian people are yearning for change, there is no such appetite, capacity or potential in Tehran’s ruling mullahs’ apparatus.

    • Mousavi supported the regime’s unnecessary continuation of the war against Iraq, devastating the lives of millions,
    • Rafsanjani supervised a domestic cleansing of dissident voices, and a string of assassinations and terrorist plots abroad,
    • Khatami presided over the 1999 student uprising crackdown and advanced Tehran’s clandestine nuclear weapons drive,
    • and Rouhani’s first term as president rendered the execution of over 3,000 individuals, and the trend continues as we speak with over 100 executions in July alone. Rouhani has also blessed a dangerous spike in ballistic missile advancements by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

    As a result, any form of moderation or reform is nothing but a hoax misused by Tehran to continue misleading and deceiving the international community, while threatening the rise of hardliners if the likes of Rouhani are deserted.

    Returning to the decidedly significant statements made by Tillerson and Mattis, it is high time such game-changing rhetoric receives deserved backing from President Donald Trump himself.

    Iran must feel the heat from Washington’s policies, especially as Tehran prolongs its Middle East belligerence plaguing Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and endures its harassing of the US Navy in Persian Gulf waters.

    America must take the lead in facing Iran over its fundamentalist nature both inside the country and abroad. The Trump administration should begin architecting an international coalition to back the NCRI’s drive for regime change and peaceful democratization of Iran.

    After four decades of utter atrocities, it is the Iranian people’s right to live in peace and prosperity.

    Heshmat AlaviI am a political/rights activist focusing on Iran & the Middle East. I also write in Al Arabiya English, and contributed to The Hill, Algemeiner and Raddington Report. I tweet @HeshmatAlavi

    Source: Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy?

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:06 am on August 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Trump sanctions set stage for necessary regime change in Iran 

    BY IVAN SASCHA SHEEHAN

    With the president’s signature on H.R. 3364, formally known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, the Trump administration — eager for legislative accomplishments in the wake of the GOP failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act — can take credit for turning the page on failed Obama-era policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    The bipartisan passage of the long-anticipated sanctions bill by both houses of Congress allows the administration to take aim at rogue regimes in Iran, Russia and North Korea. Disagreements over U.S. policy toward Russia notwithstanding, the White House can be confident that legislators overwhelmingly support confronting threats emanating from Iran and North Korea and are prepared for even stronger measures to curtail the influence of these dangerous regimes.

    The White House should now build on the successful passage of sanctions legislation to push for regime change in Tehran as an appropriate next step.

    Trump administration surrogates can remind the American people that the White House first put Tehran on notice for engaging in regional destabilization shortly after Trump took office, pursued comprehensive sanctions targeting Iranian ballistic missile programs and directed the State Department to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, thereby blacklisting it from the global economy.

    The latest sanctions legislation effectively accomplishes this latter goal by extending all terror-related sanctions to the entirety of the IRGC as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group. The question now is how far the Trump administration is willing to go to address the Iranian threat.

    This question arose in June when the sanctions bill encountered delays, and it arose again in July when the White House, for a second time, certified Iranian compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The move surprised many seasoned Iran experts familiar with Tehran’s belligerence, particularly given the president’s campaign pledges to scrap the porous agreement altogether.

    In fairness to the White House, the day after certifying Iranian compliance with the Obama nuclear deal, the administration announced that it planned a thorough review of U.S. Iran policy. Some critics of the nuclear agreement believed that simply tearing it up on day one was not the best way to proceed.

    But virtually all analysts agree that steps must now be taken to address the significant shortcomings of the JCPOA. The agreement’s weaknesses and omissions — the result of Obama-era eagerness to secure a deal at any cost — are well known on both sides of the aisle.

    Trump’s embrace of the sanctions legislation may be an indication that he intends to adopt a more strategic policy toward Iran that would force concessions from the Islamic Republic or even encourage the transition to a new, democratic system of government.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previewed this possibility in June and some Iran analysts have suggested that the Trump administration’s assertive posture toward Tehran points in this direction. But Trump, Tillerson and others must now pay attention to how they plan to facilitate regime change via “elements inside Iran” to ensure a permanent solution to the nuclear issue and other matters.

    The July 1 gathering in Paris of tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates committed to democratic change, supported by senior members of the president’s own party, was sufficient to remove any doubts about the likelihood of regime change being successful. It was clear to all in attendance that there is a democratic alternative to the ayatollahs and regime change is within reach.

    At the Free Iran rally, Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), characterized the then-pending blacklisting of the IRGC as necessary to facilitate a domestic uprising against a weakened Iranian regime. Recent protests suggest that ordinary Iranians have tired of the regime’s civil and political repression, human rights abuses and adversarial relationship with global powers, leaving them vulnerable to a “Persian Spring.”

    But Rajavi emphasized that it will take more than a single package of sanctions to ensure success for the resistance movement. Now that obstacles to the IRGC’s terrorist designation have been overcome, it is time to discuss how the U.S. and its allies can further undermine Iran’s hardline paramilitary and curtail its foreign influence.

    With provocative ballistic missile tests and harassment of American naval vessels in the Persian Gulf becoming a near routine occurrence, the Trump administration hardly needs a reminder of the importance of confronting the IRGC. Now the White House must decide whether it is prepared to bring an end to the regime that created the hardline paramilitary organization.

    By taking assertive actions and supporting the Iranian opposition, Trump can signal not only his displeasure with JCPOA but also write the next chapter in U.S. policy toward Iran by building on the successful passage of congressional sanctions legislation.

    Tehran’s rogue status and lack of legitimacy presents the White House with a unique opportunity to further isolate the Iranian regime and deny it the resources to suppress its own people the next time they rise up and demand change. The question is whether the administration is willing to seize the opportunity and push for regime change in Tehran.

    Source: The Hill http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/345329-trump-sanctions-set-stage-for-necessary-regime-change-in

    Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Ph.D., is director of the graduate programs in Global Affairs & Human Security and Negotiations & Conflict Management in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan.

    via #BlacklistIRGC: Trump sanctions set stage for necessary regime change in Iran  iranarabspring

     

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:30 pm on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Sanctions Bill,   

    Trump Signs Iran Sanctions Bill 

    Donald-Trump

    August 2, 2017. President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill imposing sanctions on Iran, after the legislation overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate. The firm financial sanctions were supported by lawmakers in both parties, The bill itself targets Iran and North Korea as well as Russia.
    The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto proof numbers, upping stress on Trump to sign the legislation.
    The measure targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism and human rights violations, and yet it would still comply with the Iranian nuclear deal. Specifically, it imposes sanctions on any foreign person or foreign entity that does business with an entity already designated by the administration that has a connection to Iran’s ballistic missile program. These sanctions, for example, could apply to any financial institution or any foreign company that provides key parts or components to Iran’s missile program.
    In recent days, The United States and three Western allies Called Iran’s latest launch of a satellite-carrying rocket “a threatening and provocative step” that is “inconsistent” with a U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 agreement to rein in its nuclear program.
    In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, obtained Wednesday by the media, they complained that Iran’s Simorgh space launch vehicle, if configured as a ballistic missile, would have the range and “payload capacity to carry a nuclear warhead.”
    The U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom said this is “inconsistent” with a provision in the 2015 resolution adopted by the Security Council calling on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:02 am on July 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iranian Opposition Welcomes New US Sanctions Against IRGC 

    New sanctions on Iran are a step towards taking power away from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, but there is much more the US and its allies can do.

    By Shahriar Kia

    The US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to rally major new sanctions on Iran, parallel to measures on North Korea and Russia. To impose additional sanctions on Iran’s defense sector, The House voted 419–3, moving the bill forward to be signed by President Trump. Coming after three weeks of negotiations, this bill “tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries,” explained House Speaker Paul Ryan.

    The bill sanctions anyone associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations. Anyone sanctioned under the act may later have sanctions removed after a five-year review.

    Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi welcome the US House of Reps’ new sanctions and terrorist designation of IRGC as essential to rectifying the policy of appeasement and described the act as a “step in line with the Iranian people’s desires and peace in the region,” especially as it turns up the heat on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

    https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/890533258362048513

    The new administration coming to Washington has promised many things, not least of which includes a reexamination of US policies towards Iran. Though the Obama administration did all it could to sell the nuclear deal as a victory, at best it has deferred the ultimate questions about how to deal with the regime in Iran, and at worst it has emboldened their belligerence in the region.

    A successful policy vis-a-vis the regime in Tehran has seemingly eluded Republicans and Democrats for the last 16 years. It may be time to try something new.

    Middle Eastern states when confronted with intense instability can result in the spread of insecurity across the globe. This includes the threat of terrorism in Europe and the US, and the increase of sectarian conflicts abroad.

    Yet there are no easy solutions to these issues. The prospects of being dragged into another war are not appealing to anyone, yet neither can we afford to sit back and watch radical terror spread throughout the Middle East.

    Unfortunately, the appeasement policy by the West for the past two decades has exacerbated this problem, directly or indirectly supporting or engaging Islamic fundamentalists at the expense of their main secular and progressive opposition. The cold war policies of arming jihadists and undermining democratic groups is a direct example of this. It is time to employ a reversal of this policy.

    A common denominator underlying the rise of ISIS, and the spread of instability and fundamentalism, is none other than the regime in Tehran. No one can deny this. Yet at every turn, we are told that the only solution is one which engages the mullahs and strengthens their grip on power. The time for such thinking is at an end.

    The regime has been reluctant to make good on promises of change and thus far has continued its brutal repression of dissidents while maintaining an aggressive policy in the region.

    The question of how to guarantee a long term shift in the behavior of the Iranian regime remains unanswered by Iranian regime apologists.

    The only long term policy which can guarantee a fundamental change of behavior in Iran, and sets an example for hope and change abroad, is one which recognizes the legitimate rights of the Iranian people to bring about democratic change and topple the theocratic fascist state in Iran.

    It is the time that the United States firmly aligned itself with the Iranian opposition which embraces democratic change, freedom and liberty, and secular governance. The Iranian people and their organized resistance should be the primary negotiation partners and allies, not the ruling mullahs.

    The principal opposition to the Iranian theocracy, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main pillar, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) is one such organization.

    “In history, the name of your president elect, Maryam Rajavi, will go down in the same tradition of fighters for freedom as Washington, Lafayette, and Garibaldi,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a speech at the annual NCRI convention held this year on July 1st in Paris.

    Rajavi advocates a new future of Iran. This includes a ten-point plan for a democratic secular republic in Iran, free of nuclear weapons, capital punishment, and tolerant to all religions, ethnicities, and ideas.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Shahriar Kia

    About Shahriar Kia 8 Articles

    Shahriar Kia is a human rights activist and a political analyst writing on Iran and the MIdlle East. As a member of the Iranian opposition, he dedicated his life for the freedom of his people in Iran. He graduated from University of North Texas (USA).

    Originally published at practicalpoliticking.com on July 28, 2017.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:56 am on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , National Council of Resistance of Iran,   

    Maryam Rajavi welcomes news sanctions act, stresses need to immediately and fully implement them 

    Grand Gathering of Iranians-for a FreeIran

    Eviction of the IRGC and their militia from the Middle East is indispensable to the enactment of this Act
    Maryam Rajavi welcomed adoption of a bill by both chambers of the US Congress which imposes new sanctions on the Iranian regime for violating human rights and pursuing ballistic missiles. The U.S. Congress also extends sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for its involvement in terrorism.
    She added: “Since several years ago, the Iranian Resistance had urged the terrorist designation of the IRGC, as it preserves the entirety of the clerical regime and acts as its main apparatus for domestic suppression and export of terrorism and fundamentalism. However, the policy of appeasing the mullahs’ religious dictatorship paved the way for the IRGC and its proxies’ rampage in the entire region.”
    Rajavi underscored the need for the immediate and complete implementation of these sanctions and their respective provisions. She emphasized that there should be no loopholes that would allow the regime and its official and unofficial entities, as well as its domestic and foreign interlocutors to evade the implications of the bill.
    Maryam Rajavi urged other countries, in particular the EU and the Middle East nations, to adopt these sanctions, so as to deny the regime the opportunity to take advantage of its diplomatic and commercial ties with them and continue to suppress the Iranian people and export terrorism and war to the rest of the region.
    She added: “The immediate implementation of sanctions against the IRGC and its affiliated entities must be coupled with the expulsion of IRGC and its affiliated militias from the Middle East, in particular from Syria and Iraq; this is indispensable to the enactment of this Act and a prerequisite to ending conflict and crisis that have engulfed that region.
    Rajavi asserted that full implementation of these sanctions against the Iranian regime must be completed with urgent actions against officials in charge of executions, torture and particularly the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Topping the list is Ali Khamenei, the mullahs’ supreme leader. They must face justice for 38 years of crimes against humanity. The ultimate solution to the crisis in the region is the overthrow of the illegitimate clerical regime by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance. Recognition of the Iranian people’s desire and right to overthrow the mullahs and establish democracy and freedom in Iran is the greatest contribution to peace and tranquility in the Middle East and the world.
     
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