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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:51 am on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , Sanctions,   

    Retail Giant Amazon Faces Investigation for Possible Sanction Violations 

    The Media Express

    According to a recent quarterly report from Amazon, it is under federal investigation after the web-based retailer admitted to selling products to at least one Iranian on the U.S. government’s blacklist of people allegedly associated with terrorism. This is a violation of the sanctions in place against Iran.

    According to the report to its investors, Amazon indicated that it sold approximately $300 worth of goods to this individual that was blacklisted under Executive Order 13224, which was signed by President George W. Bush in 2001. The aim of this order was to disrupt these blacklisted organizations financially, by limiting their financial support structure.

    The products that were sold during the quarter included books, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, jewelry, office, toys, health and beauty, consumer electronics, lawn and patio, automotive and musical instruments. The individual in question was not identified by Amazon.

    In addition to the $300, the…

    View original post 269 more words

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:31 am on July 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions, Shahin Gobadi,   

    NCRI – FAC member comments on new sanctions against Iran regime by US Congress 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee commented on adoption of a bill by the US Senate and House of Representatives on the Iranian regime for violating human rights and pursuing ballistic missiles. He called the bill that included extending sanctions on the IRGC for its role in terrorism, as a positive and important step. Gobadi also commented on the following steps for full implementation of this bill and the need to complete these sanctions with urgent actions against officials in charge of executions, torture and particularly the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:51 am on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions,   

    New US Sanctions Blacklist Iran’s IRGC 

    WASHINGTON, DC — APRIL 05: Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) speaks during a news conference discussing new legislation on U.S. policy toward Russia April 5, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. U.S. Also pictured is Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday placing new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. This follows a similar version adopted overwhelmingly by the Senate in a 98–2 vote last month.

    The House resolution, however, faced a more peculiar road even riddled with obstacles. Fortunately, the overwhelming 419 to three vote in favor of this bill, the bipartisan Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act (H.R.3364) has made it veto proof. Despite the fact of alterations made in the initial text, all glitches have been set aside to gain White House consent.

    “The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), not just the IRGC Quds Force, is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism and ballistic missiles,” the House Resolution text reads in part.

    This development is a devastating blow to Tehran and a major success for the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/890533063599509504

    Calls for regime change in Iran and support for the NCRI have been gaining unprecedented weight in Washington, leaving Iran’s mullahs utterly terrified.

    Iran has been found “threatening U.S. national security and undermining global stability with a range of aggressive acts” through ballistic missile tests, supporting terrorist organizations and meddling in the internal affairs of other states. The House bill is calling for political and economic measures to place Iran before accountability.

    This resolution can fundamentally be considered the blacklisting of Iran’s IRGC as the criteria imposes mirroring restrictions, and at times goes even further.

    The IRGC will be placed on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists following these procedures becoming law and US President Donald Trump taking the engagements necessary. The following is a list of the actions stated in this House resolution:

    • All assets and property in the US belonging to IRGC-linked individuals and entities will be frozen.
    • No American individual or entity has the right to establish financial, business, services or other affiliations with any individuals directly or indirectly associated to the IRGC.
    • No American individual or entity has the right to violate these sanctions through intermediaries or bypassing these procedures.
    • All individuals and entities having any relations with the IRGC must be sanctioned. Considering the fact that the IRGC officially enjoy a variety of connections and associations, this will effectively be paralyzing for Iran. One such example is the IRGC Khatam al-Anbiya group that is currently cooperating with more than 2,500 economic firms. All these companies will be sanctioned, rendering any relations with them illegal.
    • As these measures place the IRGC under secondary banking sanctions, practically no financial institution will be permitted to provide direct and/or indirect banking services to IRGC-linked individuals and entities. No foreign bank will cooperate with any Iranian entity that is in any way related to the IRGC and/or its affiliated entities.

    These sweeping arrangements follow the NCRI’s annual convention held on July 1st in Paris this year with senior American figures such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calling for even more drastic moves against Iran.

    “It is long past time to declare the IRGC a terrorist organization. They on their hands the blood of so many of your people, and they have on their hands the blood of my people, too, whom they helped to kill in Iraq. We should declare them a terrorist organization so we can cut them off support around the world,” Giuliani said in his speech at the NCRI event.

    Through Iran’s perspective, these new methods are the “mother of all sanctions,” as described by Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Keyhan daily, considered the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This sheds light on the significant political impact of these sanctions for Tehran.

    These new sanctions come at a time when the Trump administration is blueprinting its comprehensive Iran policy, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both mentioning regime change in recent remarks.

    These actions are the building blocks for the next vital steps necessary for Washington and the international community:

    • Officially designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization,
    • Standing alongside the Iranian people and their organized opposition, represented by the NCRI, to realize regime change in Tehran.

    Originally published at http://www.forbes.com on July 26, 2017.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:32 am on July 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Sanctions,   

    First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed 

    The bill also sanctions anyone associated with(IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations

    IRAN, 25 July 2017The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

    To impose additional sanctions on Iran’s defense sector, The House voted 419-3 (25 July 2017) moving the bill forward to be approved by President Trump.

    While there are some slight modifications to the bill’s sanctions on Russia, the language on Iran is undistinguishable to the version the Senate passed 98-2 in June. Like its Senate counterpart, the House bill would block the assets of any individual who works with Iran on its ballistic missile program or sells it arms.

    The bill also 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 be removed after a five-year review.

    Although the Senate had already voted in favor of the sanctions package on June 15 by 98-2, the House has tacked an additional set of provisions sanctioning North Korea onto the bill, forcing the upper chamber to vote once more. The House has already passed the North Korea sanctions separately by a vote of 419-1, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.

    Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., negotiated with the House over the weekend alongside the committee’s ranking member, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., to reach consensus.

    Corker stated: while the Senate is close to approving the House package, the addition of the North Korea sanctions could cause further delays before the long-awaited sanctions finally make their way to the White House.

    “We’re about there,” Corker told reporters. “It depends on a couple of things we’re looking at on the North Korea piece, so it’s not fully worked out. … We’re talking through some procedural issues right now, but we had a very good weekend and are very, very close to having it fully resolved.”

    Nonetheless, Senate Democrats are eager to vote on the sanctions and deliver it to the president before the August recess.

    “It is critical that the Senate act promptly on that legislation,” said Schumer. “I will work with the majority leader to ensure its swift passage so that we can get it to the president’s desk before we leave for the recess.”

    The White House is supportive of taking a harder line against Iran but had initially opposed the bill as it would require Congress to approve any removal of sanctions on Russia. However, the White House changed its tune over the weekend with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place.”

    And while president Trump has twice certified that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA, most recently last week, he only did so after a lengthy internal debate inside the administration.

    Foreign Policy reported last week that Trump has asked his aides to make a credible case for declining to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. The administration must certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days

    Source: First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:29 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Sanctions   

    Today’s sanctions has to be complimented by blacklisting IRGC 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran comments on the designation of 18 entities and individuals affiliated with the Iranian regime for their role in exporting terrorism and in the drive to proliferate ballistic missiles and underscores that todays’ measure has to be complimented by designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 5:47 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Sanctions   

    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

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:44 pm on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Sanctions   

    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

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:50 pm on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Sanctions,   

    Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon 

    The United States Senate recently voted overwhelmingly 92-7 in favor of moving forward on evaluating further sanctions against Iran and especially targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Following eight years of Obama’s appeasement, this is a significant turn of events resulting in major concerns amongst Tehran and foreign counterparts. A key signal of Iran’s concerns and […]

    via   Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:53 am on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions,   

    Iran’s sanctions on US companies a comical attempt to get even 

    by Ali Safavi

    by Ali Safavi

    Napoleon once said, “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” Apparently true. Last week, the Iranian regime imposed sanctions on 15 American companies it accused of “support for terrorism,” among other things. None of the targeted U.S. companies do business in Iran. It is safe to say none are reconsidering their futures there.

    The farcical move is apparently a response to U.S. sanctions placed on dozens of Iranian entities earlier this year following Iran’s unlawful ballistic missile tests. It is hard to see how a real estate company made Tehran’s list, but who are we to judge? As the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, the mullahs presumably know a thing or two about the subject.
    Tehran’s comical tit-for-tat is the latest salvo in reaction to the Trump administration’s tougher rhetoric. For years, America pursued a fervent policy of appeasement, rewarding Tehran’s malicious acts with more concessions. Each round of bad behavior/unearned rewards gave Tehran a false sense of control. That bubble has burst.
    The outlandish behavior will likely continue. One senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran is also considering a bill branding the U.S. military and the CIA as “terrorist groups.” That bill would be its reaction to the U.S. Congress passing a bill designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
    The White House’s review of that possibility has rattled Tehran. The IRGC controls the overwhelming portion of Iran’s entire economy. An FTO designation would have far-reaching consequences for the mullahs.
    In 2005, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei executed an elaborate and comprehensive plan to strengthen the IRGC. In May of that year, Khamenei issued a directive instructing the government to transfer 80 percent of its holdings to “non-governmental public, private and cooperative sectors” — a.k.a. Khamenei and IRGC affiliates — by 2009. A month later, he engineered the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    Ahmadinejad came out of nowhere to occupy the presidential palace. A day before the election, official opinion polls had pegged his support at 1.7 percent. The poll favorite, with 28-percent support (a 17-fold superiority over Ahmadinejad), was the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
    True to form, Ahmadinejad quickly stacked ministries with veterans of the IRGC. Half of his cabinet members were IRGC members. A year earlier, IRGC veterans had won the majority of seats in parliament. Shortly after Ahmadinejad’s win, the IRGC announced an internal restructuring push to reflect its expanding roles and responsibilities on the political playing field.
    According to the new book published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, entitled, “The Rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Financial Empire,” the state-owned assets transferred to the IRGC included large mines, primary industries, foreign commerce, banks, insurance, power industries, post, roads, railroads, airlines and shipping companies.
    By some estimates, $12 billion worth of assets were transferred to Khamenei and the IRGC from 2005 to 2008.
    Khamenei and the IRGC own 14 major powerhouses that run the economy. These include a conglomerate known as Setad; the foundations (or bonyads) like the Mostazafan, Astan-e Qods, and Shahid foundations; the IRGC Cooperatives; major business empires like the Khatam Construction Co. and Ghadir Investments; as well as “cooperatives” controlled by the security forces.
    The IRGC’s rising financial star has been a gold mine for terrorists.
    Tehran is spending anywhere between $15-20 billion annually to fund the war in Syria, including at least $1 billion in salaries to its proxies. At least $1 billion is provided annually to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Yemen and Iraq are two other theaters where the IRGC and Khamenei have poured substantial sums of money to buy regional influence.
    The IRGC has become an economic behemoth. It is now in a position to fund a range of conflicts and terrorist operations in multiple theaters simultaneously, producing widespread devastation for Middle Eastern populations with major security implications for the West.
    Western business ventures and governments should accept the reality that doing business with Iran is doing business with the IRGC. The proceeds, like all the IRGC’s profits, will end up fueling Tehran’s sectarian designs and proxy wars in the region, further threatening regional stability and U.S. interests.
    Tehran must be held accountable for its malign behavior. The new administration should designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity. The possibility alone has inspired Iran’s resort to pathetic countermeasures. However comical, they are harmless. And that’s a step in the right direction.
     Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is dedicated to the establishment of a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran.
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:21 am on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Sanctions, ,   

    Prominent Bipartisan Group to Trump: We Need a ‘Revised’ Iran Policy 

    By Patrick Goodenough

    (CNSNews.com) – A bipartisan group of prominent Americans including former senior administration officials, diplomats and generals, has handed President-elect Donald Trump a letter calling for a new approach towards Iran that includes opening a dialogue with the outlawed opposition.

    The 23-strong group says despite the outgoing administration’s hopes that the negotiated nuclear agreement would lead to better behavior on the part of the Iranian regime, that has not been the case.

    Signatories include a former FBI director, a former Attorney-General, two former governors, a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and two retired U.S. Marine Corps commandants.

    “President Obama expressed the hope that nuclear negotiations would induce Iran’s leaders to act with greater consideration of American interests,” the letter states. “It is now clear that Iran’s leaders have shown no interest in reciprocating the U.S. overture beyond the terms of the JCPOA [nuclear deal] which gained them significant rewards.”

    On the contrary, it says, “Iran’s rulers have directly targeted U.S. strategic interests, policies and principles, and those of our allies and friends in the Middle East.”

    The letter cites Iran’s involvement in advancing sectarian conflict through its support for the Assad regime in Syria and Shi’ite militias in Iraq, and abuses at home including an “extremely high rate of executions.”

    “To restore American influence and credibility in the world, the United States needs a revised policy based on universally shared norms and principles reflecting the ideals of peace and justice,” the letter says.

    The signatories voice strong support for the exiled opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)/People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (MEK), and urge Trump to establish a dialogue with the group.

    Commenting on the initiative, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said the clerical regime in Tehran has been a problem since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

    “People talk about Islamic terrorism, they refer to ISIS or al-Qaeda, let’s make it clear what the real source of support for terrorism around the world – it’s the regime in Tehran,” he told Fox News. “They’re the world’s central banker.”

    Bolton, who is not a signatory but has long voiced support for the NCRI, said, “I think what’s being offered here is to say, ‘Look, there is an opposition in Iran.’”

    Asked about the possibility of Trump making contact with the NCRI as he had done with the president of Taiwan – angering China in the process – Bolton said that reaching out to the Iranian opposition “would have a remarkable effect.”

    “I think the United States ought to feel free to speak to whomever it wants to speak to, if it’s in the best interests of the United States,” he said.

    “That doesn’t mean you speak to everybody, but it does mean you pick your shots. Just because the government in Beijing doesn’t like it when we talk to the Taiwanese, just as I’m sure the ayatollahs will not be happy at all for President Trump or members of his administration to talk to the Iranian opposition … that should not deter us.”

    “If anything, that should make us more interested in finding out what we can do to help the legitimate opposition in Iran, from whatever perspective they come from.”

    Bolton commented on the bipartisan nature of the letter.

    “You don’t see a lot of that in Washington, we haven’t for the past eight or ten years.”

    In veiled criticism of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, they write that the U.S. can no longer allow strategic interests – trying to reach a political settlement to the Syria conflict and stemming the flow of refugees fleeing the violence – to “be held hostage to a concern that Iran might renege on its commitments under the JCPOA.”

    “The Iran policy will have to change, including a longoverdue focus on gross internal human rights violations and the lack of democratic legitimacy which is at the core of the Tehran regime’s lawless and destructive role.”

    Until 2012, the NCRI/MEK was a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. The letter writers argue – as does the NCRI – that the regime covertly spread false and damaging information about it, and that terror designations by the U.S. and other Western governments were largely diplomatic gestures taken at the regime’s request.

    They noted that the NCRI/MEK had provided the West with key intelligence that helped to uncover Tehran’s clandestine nuclear program – “an act for which President George W. Bush publicly credited” the group.

    “It is time to end the fundamentalist regime’s undue influence over U.S. policy and establish a channel of dialogue with the NCRI, as many other governments have done, consistent with the longstanding U.S. diplomatic practice of dialogue with political opposition groups worldwide.”

    An attachment to the letter highlights NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi’s political program for a future Iran that includes universal suffrage, a guarantee of rights for all citizens and particularly women and minorities, an end to judicial excesses, an end to “the nightmare of fundamentalist Islamic dictatorship by once again separating church and state,” protection of property rights and, “last but certainly not least,” a non-nuclear Iran.

    The letter was signed by:  former Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge; former FBI Director Louis Freeh; former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. (Ret.) Hugh Shelton; Gen. (Ret.) James Jones, former USMC commandant, NATO commander and national security advisor; former Pennsylvania governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Ed Rendell; former USMC commandant Gen. (Ret.) James Conway; New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; J. Kenneth Blackwell, former U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; former assistant secretary of state Lincoln Bloomfield; former undersecretary of state for arms control Robert Joseph; Linda Chavez, former assistant to the president for public liaison in the Reagan administration; John Sano, former deputy director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service; former deputy commander U.S. European Command Gen. (Ret.) Charles Wald; former U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Deptula; Col. (Ret.) Wesley Martin, who served as senior anti-terrorism and force protection officer for coalition forces in Iraq; R. Bruce McColm, president of the Institute for Democratic Strategies; former ambassador and special envoy for the Northern Ireland peace process Mitchell Reiss; retired federal judge Eugene Sullivan; Raymond Tanter, former personal representative of secretary of defense to arms control negotiations; and former Democratic lawmakers Sens. Joe Lieberman (Ct.), Robert Torricelli (N.J.) and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (R.I.).

    Source: Prominent Bipartisan Group to Trump: We Need a ‘Revised’ Iran Policy

     
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