Regime change in Iran appears increasingly attainable

By Ken Blackwell

Thirty years after President Reagan seized upon an historic opportunity to bring down the Iron Curtain, there are growing indications that President Trump can make similarly historic strides in the conflict between the US and the new Evil of our time: Islamic extremism.
In its first five months, President Trump’s presidency has witnessed dramatic shifts from the policies normalized by the Obama administration. Few are as significant or wide-ranging as the changes in American dealings with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The new attitude enjoys rare bipartisan support in Congress, and with good cause. The conciliatory policy of Trump’s predecessor resulted in an ineffectual nuclear agreement and tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief for a regime that remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
President Obama had insisted the Deal would prompt Tehran to moderate it behavior, but since the nuclear deal, Iran’s regime has only become more belligerent and more prone to human rights abuses, both within its own territory and across the Middle East.
In his speech at the Arab-US summit on May 21, Trump emphasized that Tehran is responsible for much instability in the region. From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, the Iranian regime funds, arms, and trains terrorists and extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict while openly advocating mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many nations. Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions is its support for the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in the midst of its unspeakable crimes.
But the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people, as President Trump has rightly pointed out. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.
The US has a strategic and moral imperative to push back. The new administration has strengthened ties with adversaries of the Islamic Republic. It has also increased sanctions on Iran’s dangerous ballistic missile program and taken steps toward isolating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The overwhelming majority of Iranians have become disillusioned with the regime. The world saw this in massive uprisings in 2009, but by reaching out to the tyrants ruling Iran, the Obama administration helped doom them to violent suppression. Nevertheless, there are still constant reports of protests over unpaid wages, minimum social warfare, rampant corruption at the top of the regime, and so on.
These trends point to the popular support that exists for regime change. But the question then becomes whether that popular sentiment has the necessary organization to bring it to fruition.
Some contend that there is no such movement and that the opposition is fractured or lacking in support. In that case, the best strategy would be to merely contain the regime. But Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that any change in Tehran’s behavior would be tantamount to the regime change. Faced with this attitude, containment is clearly not a realistic possibility.
A growing number of observers are making the case that there is a viable alternative. They point out that unlike many other cases in the Middle East, the Iranian opposition is organized in the form of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. It has an identifiable female leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has a progressive, democratic ten-point plan for the future of Iran.
The support among the diaspora is evident in its annual major gatherings in Paris (scheduled for July 1st), which draw tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates and their international supporters. It has solid bipartisan support among US congressmen and senior national security officials from the past four administrations.
For years the level of opposition support inside of Iran was an issue of dispute. It has been true that the key movement of the coalition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (POMI/MEK) has witnessed the brunt of the regime’s suppression and some 100,000 of its activists have been executed over the years.
One noticeable change in the Iranian political landscape has been a substantial upsurge in domestic activism of the MEK. Its activists throughout the country have been risking arrest and torture by hanging banners and posters in major express ways and walkways urging regime change and support for Maryam Rajavi. The July 1 rally is expected to be viewed by millions, via a banned Resistance television network.
The Trump administration has moved Iran policy in the right direction but has yet to exploit the unique opportunity to turn the page against the ayatollahs for good, for the betterment of the Iranian people and the world as a whole.

United front against Iran regime’s destructive policies


Freedom Star: Below you will read a good article from eureporter about Grand Gathering of Iranian Resistance in Paris 1 July 2017

Well-known politicians and military leaders from the US, Europe, the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries will attend a massive pro-opposition rally organized by Iranians in Paris on 1 July. The extraordinary international event reflects the participants’ view that there is an urgent need to confront the actions of the Iranian regime, whether it’s human-rights violations inside Iran or its destructive policies abroad.

Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the US House of Representatives and candidate for president; Senator Joseph Lieberman, former candidate for vice-president; John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations; and Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania, are among the attendees. They will be joined by a US congressional delegation and dozens of American military officers, some of whom have held top posts under four administrations.

The convention will endorse the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the platform of its President-elect Maryam Rajavi. Sponsors of the event include communities of the Iranian diaspora from across Europe. The crowd in years past, has exceeded tens of thousands.  Many have traveled long hours from countries around the globe to attend.

The convention will advocate the need for a united front against Islamic extremism and a change in Iran’s government as the only realistic solution to ending the rogue behavior of the ruling theocracy. Speakers will argue that the best means of doing so is the movement led by Mrs. Rajavi under the banner of the NCRI coalition, which has an activist network in Iran and a political presence in most major world capitals.

Source: United front against #Iran regime’s destructive policies



Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole”

By Shahriar Kia

My article originally posted on Practical Politicking

The current plan for sanctions against Iran leaves the regime between a proverbial rock and hard place since its choices are complied or die.

The adoption of “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” by the United States Senate has rendered a variety of reactions from Iran resembling the terrified status of the regime’s senior ranks. Iranian media have widely referred to this new bill and the resulting authorizations as the “mother of all sanctions” and the “sanctions black hole.”

“Section 5 of this bill is related to new sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). This new bill is dubbed the ‘sanctions black hole’ considering the fact that based on Executive Order 13224, any individual providing services to an identified organization in this Executive Order, that individual or his/her entity will be placed on the US sanctions list or the SDN… with the adoption and implementation of this bill, we can forecast that a few thousand individuals will be placed in the SDN sanctions list…,” according to IRGC-affiliated semi-official Fars news agency.

Continue reading:  via  Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole” — Iran Liberty

What Is the Right U.S. Policy on Iran? 

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Iranian women protest election irregularities in 2009 (Photo: Getty Images)

By Shahriar Kia

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to a variety of very serious questions raised by House of Representatives members in a recent hearing focusing on U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iran. Representative Ted Poe (R) from Texas touched on what many believe is the ultimate issue when he said:

“I’d like to know what the policy is of the U.S. toward Iran. Do we support the current regime? Do we support a philosophy of regime change, peaceful regime change? There are Iranians in exile all over the world. Some are here. And then there’s Iranians in Iran who don’t support the totalitarian state. So is the U.S. position to leave things as they are or set up a peaceful, long-term regime change?”

America’s top diplomat, taking into consideration how the Trump administration’s all-out Iran policy remains an issue of evaluation, answered:

“… our Iranian policy is under development.

“We continually review the merits both from the standpoint of diplomatic but also international consequences of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” 

Tillerson added. “As you know, we have designated the Quds [Force]. 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.”

Iran is terrified of such a stance and responded immediately. In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that 75 percent of Iran’s population voted in the recent election farce back in May.

Iran’s wrath was not limited to this very issue. Following the twin ISIS attacks targeting Iran’s parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, senior regime officials sought to portray their apparatus as a victim of terrorism.

Failing to do so, Iranian regime officials accused the US, Saudi Arabia and the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), of this terrorist plot. A few days ago, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at the US and accused Washington of bringing ISIS to life.

“Who created ISIS? Was it anyone but the U.S.? … The U.S. claim that they have established a coalition against ISIS is a lie; of course, the U.S. is against an ‘unrestrained ISIS,’ however, if anyone truly seeks to eradicate ISIS, they will have to fight against it,” he said.

Now the question is, what is Iran so concerned about and what is the right policy vis-à-vis Iran?

With Obama leaving the White House, Iran forever lost a major international backer. For eight years, the “golden era” as Iran dubbed the Obama years, any and all activities by the Iranian people and their organized opposition for change in Iran was countered by the domestic crackdowns and international hurdles, specifically by the U.S.

Obama’s neglect of Tehran’s crimes in Syria and Iraq led to the disasters we are witnessing today. Internationally, a major overhaul of U.S. policy in the region and establishing a significant Arab-American alliance in the face of Iran’s meddling has become a major concern for the mullahs.

In addition, increasing popular dissent and widespread activities by the PMOI/MEK in the past few months have also raised major concerns for the regime.

Khamenei personally intervened last week, first acknowledging the 1988 massacre, defending the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and those involved in the murder of over 30,000 political prisoners. Most of the victims, all executed in mass groups, were PMOI/MEK members and supporters.

Khamenei’s second concern and that of his entire apparatus is focused on the upcoming Iranian opposition’s annual convention in Paris scheduled for July 1 this year. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main entity representing the Iranian opposition, hosts more than 100,000 Iranians from across the globe each year alongside hundreds of prominent dignitaries delivering their support and speeches seeking true change in Iran.

Last year alone, a very prominent delegation of American dignitaries from both sides of the political aisle included former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton from the Republicans, former Democratic National Committee chairman Gov. Howard Dean, former U.S. ambassador to the UN Gov. Bill Richardson took part.

This year’s Iranian opposition rally is already brewing major concerns for Tehran as the regime understands the end of the era of appeasement has led to sweeping changes in Western policy regarding the Middle East, and most importantly Iran.

This is exactly why Tehran is going the limits to prevent the shifting of policy towards the Iranian people. Tehran’s lobbies in the U.S. and Europe are placing a comprehensive effort to demonize the images of the PMOI/MEK and the NCRI to prevent any such changes, especially in Washington.

If Iran resorts to ridiculous remarks of accusing the U.S. and Iranian opposition of staging the recent double attacks in Tehran, the correct policy is none other than supporting the Iranian people and their resistance to realize regime change in Tehran.

shahriar_kia2  SK

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of Iranian opposition (PMOI/MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.

Source: What Is the Right U.S. Policy on Iran? | Clarion Project

What are the most beautiful dreams for Iran? Maryam Rajavi – I have a dream

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Maryam Rajavi – I Have A Dream
I have a dream, an Iran without execution and torture. A country in which cranes will be used to build a free and beautiful Iran, not for hanging human beings. A country in which stoning, amputating hands and feet will be something of the past. No place for sharia law and kangaroo courts, and love, friendship and tolerance will replace distrust, hatred and vengeance.
I have a dream, a free and democratic Iran, a country in which people enjoy freedom, freedom of life and freedom of security for all. Everyone is free to express their beliefs and demands. Everyone is free to protest. Everyone is free to choose their attire and determine their customs, and women to enjoy equal rights as men in all fields, including leadership.
I have a dream, an Iran full of tolerance and peace, and a country in which people with different beliefs and religions can live alongside each other in equality.
No religion is banned and no faith has any superiority over others.
There will be no inquisition in Iran’s society and no one will be prosecuted or harassed for their beliefs.
I have a dream, an Iran of peace and friendship, and a country in which war, bloodshed and violence is completely eradicated.
A country where fundamentalism and terrorism are replaced by peace and friendship in the region, and across the globe. A country committed to peaceful coexistence.
Yes, I have no doubt that in the path of realizing this dream we will overcome all obstacles. We will erase fundamentalism from our history forever.
Nothing can prevent the sunrise of liberty for the Iranian people, and nothing can prevent the realization of freedom in Iran.
And now, I hear the voice of the great nation of Iran saying, “We will be victorious and our country will be free.”

To see the subtitles have been translated into English please click on button “CC” at the bottom of the video clip.

Less seen scenes from Maryam Rajavi

 

ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions

The regime in Tehran continues to be in a state of shock after the passage of unprecedented United States Senate sanctions on Thursday targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism in the Middle East and flagrant human rights violations.

Many of the new measures imposed on Iran are far more complex than any sanctions even prior to the Iran nuclear deal. There is no need for the Trump administration to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as these new sanctions provide the US President vast authority for further punitive action. This new initiative also contains a classified amendment believed to describe Iran as an extremely dangerous state.

The threats

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir highlighted the importance of this threat after a recent meeting with his British counterpart in London.

“If Iran seeks respect it must bring an end to supporting terrorism, bombing embassies and spreading sectarianism… Iran also supports terrorism, meddles in others’ affairs, fuels sectarianism, and dispatches the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he said.

Further signs of the mullahs’ devious intentions are seen as Iran is reported to provide cruise missiles to Yemen’s Houthis and resulting in a grave threat to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb waterway, according to the US.

As Iran also continues its destructive support for Shiite groups in Iraq, Vice President Ayad Allawi voiced concerns over Tehran of fomenting sectarian rifts across the country prior to next year’s parliamentary election.

And Iran will also continue its efforts in Syria, as many parties are seeking land grabs to ensure their interests in the post-ISIS era. Knowing this, Tehran is seeking leverages in the region to have negotiating ammunition, especially considering the sweeping actions exerted through the new US Senate resolution.

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a speech during a conference entitled “Implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a new chapter in Iran’s economy”, on January 19, 2016, in Tehran. (AFP)

‘JCPOA 2, 3 and 4’

Section 5 of this bill enforces sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Any individual providing services to an entity identified in this executive order will result in that individual being placed in the US sanctions list. There is no longer any temporary measures and the individual or entity will be permanently sanctioned.

All government and non-government branches having any cooperation with the IRGC bear the potential of being blacklisted. Prior to the JCPOA around 600 individuals and entities were blacklisted and the JCPOA delisted around 400. However, with the approval and implementation of this new bill we can forecast a few thousand individuals and entities being blacklisted as a result.

One sign of Iran’s shock is seen in the fact that the regime’s parliament has postponed its response to the Senate bill after a two-week recess. This is no ordinary sanctions bill against Iran and can be considered a mother initiative paving the path for far reaching sanctions against Tehran that bear no need for legal legislation, as they will become operational through executive orders.

In the regime’s circles these new sanctions have been described as the end of the JCPOA and the beginning of enormous challenges. Demands by the international community will be increasing and there may be even calls for measures dubbed in Iran as “JCPOA 2, 3 and 4,” covering Iran’s ballistic missile program, meddling and support of terrorism in the region, and their human rights violations dossier.

Iranian state media outlets have gone as far as describing the new sanctions as “black holes” and the “mother of all sanctions.” The future of Iran’s ballistic missiles are currently considered very dark as these sanctions target all IRGC activities.

New revelations

The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) US Office released a statementannouncing their upcoming Tuesday press conference “to reveal information on key centers for production, testing and launching ballistic missiles by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)” and “details (including satellite imagery) on four of the most important missile centers, including one closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear program. In addition, a dozen of hitherto-unknown centers involved in various aspects of production, testing and launching of ballistic missiles will be made public. Information on the role of North Korean experts involved in the construction of these centers will also be discussed.”

These new sanctions have the IRGC in its crosshairs and seek an end to Iran’s support for the Guards’ regional action and ballistic missiles program. However, the comprehensive nature of this new bill will slowly but surely expand to all organs of the regime in Iran.

This can be considered the unofficial end of the JCPOA, without the US ever needing to officially tear the accord apart. All previous sanctions are returning, with additions, and yet there is no violation of the Iran nuclear deal whatsoever. The main question here is how will Tehran react?

The sanctions are returning for one reason and one reason only. The US has come to realize the regime in Iran is in no position to provide any response whatsoever to the new sanctions. To this end, the time has come to in fact levy far more pressure and sanction all branches of the Iranian regime.

The road ahead

In the mullahs’ dictionary such setbacks are described as “drinking from the chalice of poison” and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, along with all senior Iranian officials, very well know they must prepare their entire apparatus, ranks and files, for such chalices in the not so distant future.

These sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for Tehran considering the fact that the NCRI is currently preparing for its annual convention scheduled for July 1st in Paris. As Saudi statesman and diplomat Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud stood alongside over 100,000 Iranians from all over the globe in last year’s event, this year’s rally will be joined by hundreds of prominent political dignitaries from the US, Europe and the Middle East.

This will send a strong message to the international community] that Iran enjoys a major alternative seen in a powerfully organized opposition led by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and her 10-point-plan envisioning a bright future for a free, liberal and tolerant Iran of tomorrow.

via  ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions — Iran Commentary