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  • Masoud Dalvand 4:26 pm on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran regime change, ,   

    Iran’s People And The Nuclear Deal 

    Discussions are continuing as we speak over the fate of the highly controversial Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Advocates and opponents are going the limits to present their case prior to the October 15thdeadline when US President Donald Trump is due to determine the status of Iran’s […]

    via Iran’s People And The Nuclear Deal — Iran Commentary

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  • Masoud Dalvand 6:59 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Iran regime change, , , ,   

    Free Iran Rally, September 20, 2017 UN Plaza New York 

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    Organization of Iranian-American Communities-US (OIAC), the largest, most active grass root body of Iranian Diaspora in the United States, and other peace seeking Iranians and Americans NGOs, invites all concerned citizens to join the supporters to the “Free Iran Rally”, scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, 2017 outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

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    The gathering will bring thousands to the U.N. against the backdrop of increasing executions in Iran just as the U.N. General Assembly meetings convene. This year’s rally coincides with shocking new revelations about the 1988 Massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. Those with direct involvement in the massacre hold the highest positions in the current government of Iran. Rally participants will call on the United Nations to hold them accountable for this crime against humanity.

    Thousands of Iranian-American community members will join human rights activists, prominent civil and political leaders to condemn unabated executions in Iran, denounce Iranian government’s malign role in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. The gathering recognizes and echoes the rights of Iranian people and their organized resistance’s for democratic regime change in Iran.

    For watching the rally click on the following link:

    https://www.pscp.tv/4FreedominIran/1YpKkmNjYOwJj

    No2Rouhani 20-9-2017

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  • Masoud Dalvand 4:24 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iran regime change,   

    Hassan Rouhani’s New Cabinet Stacked With Old Hands 

    v2-0917-iran-infographic

    Veteran IRGC and MOIS Members Make Up Murderers’ Row

    Iran’s new cabinet is stacked with former Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) members who have overseen most of the brutal human rights violations over the last three decades.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:18 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran regime change, , , , , ,   

    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 8:08 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iran regime change, , , , ,   

    Iran Wary as Opposition Meets With US Senators 

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    Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi (L-center) meets with US senators in Albania (Photo: courtesy)

    BY SHAHRIAR KIA 

    How to deal with Iran has become a very controversial and complex matter for the Trump administration. Washington is currently weighing how to tackle Tehran’s belligerence through adopting a comprehensive Iran policy.

    Delivering a significant blow to Tehran, a delegation of prominent United States senators were in the Balkans last weekend, visiting leaders and members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), in Tirana, the capital of Albania.
    The delegation consisted of
    • Senators Roy Blunt vice president of the Republican Conference and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, Commerce, Science and Transportation committees
    • John Cornyn, the majority whip and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence and Finance committees
    • Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees
    Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — the political coalition consisting of the PMOI/MEK and a slate of other Iranian dissident groups and individuals — hosted the American senators for a meeting to discuss recent developments regarding Iran and the entire Middle East.
    “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,” according to an NCRI statement.
    Rajavi took advantage of the occasion to extend her gratitude to the actions taken by the U.S. Senate, especially by Senator Blunt, to safeguard and protect thousands of MEK members during their stay at the camp in Iraq.
    The MEK also enjoyed senate support during their tumultuous campaign of relocating each and every member outside of Iraq to safety.
    This high-profile visit comes only three months after a similar visit by Senator John McCain, chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, back in April when McCain met with NCRI President Rajavi and briefly visited the MEK members.
    Especially since 2009 and onward, McCain has been a fierce critic of Tehran and strong supporter of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. He is especially known for his passionate tribute to the young Iranian woman Neda Agha Sultan who died “with her eyes open” on the streets of Tehran during the Green Revolution.
    This significant meeting between a delegation of American senators and the Iranian opposition adds to Tehran’s long list of concerns.
    New Congressional sanctions have placed Iran under extreme restrictions due to its ballistic missile drive, support for terrorism and proxy terror groups across the Middle East, and gross human rights abuses.
    Iran, however, will not be reining in its belligerence any time soon.
    “Iran’s parliament gave initial approval on Sunday to a bill to boost spending on Tehran’s missile program and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States,” according to Reuters.
    This move would provide over $260 million to both Iran’s ballistic missile program and the terrorist-designated IRGC Quds Force.
    Trump has signaled his intention of holding Iran in non-compliance with the pact aimed at curbing the regime’s nuclear program. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, has plans to meet with Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, prior to this organization’s set schedule to issue its September report on Iran’s nuclear program.
    With such a move looming, Tehran received an important message from the meeting in Tirana. Senior congressional members are taking the lead in establishing an increasing consensus to take action in line with regime change policy in the face of the mullahs in Iran.
    Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of Iranian opposition (PMOI/MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.Twitter

    Source: Iran Wary as Opposition Meets With US Senators | Clarion Project

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iran regime change, , , , , , ,   

    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 8:39 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran regime change, , , , , , , 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

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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
    Tags: , , Iran regime change, , , , ,   

    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 10:23 am on August 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Iran regime change, , , ,   

    Selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, from 2015 to 2017 

    No to Compulsory Veil: No to Compulsory Religion, No to Compulsory Government

    Amazon website: https://www.amazon.com/No-Compulsory-Veil-Religion-Government/dp/2955429554

    This is a selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran from 2015 to 2017 in various conferences on the topic of Islam, compulsory veil, compulsory religion and compulsory government and why anything that is forced under any pretexts is contrary to the teachings of Islam.

    71v5z+tzdoLMaryam Rajavi argues that mysogeny is the core of Islamic fundamentalism. In the case of iran, she argues that misogyny under the cloak of religion has become systematic and persistent because it is a lever to maintain the monopolistic domination of the velayat-e faqih. Misogyny is the purpose  for dozens of the regime’s suppressive agencies. It justifies the permanent surveillance operations in the streets, the actions of street patrols and the conduct of such agencies as the “Office to Combat Vice,” or the “Morality Police Force” and 20 other police entities.

    https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/887203950407159809

     

    Maryam Rajavi in the grand gathering of Free Iran- paris, July 1,2017

    Also read A glimpse at the life of Maryam Rajavi:  http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/maryam-rajavi

     

    via Selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, from 2015 to 2017 #FreeIran — iranarabspring

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:06 am on August 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iran regime change, , , , , ,   

    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

     

     

     
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