President Trump delivered a crucial speech today. He disavowed the nuclear agreement and denounced the Islamic Republic and the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He stated "As I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into," He added that "multiple violations of the agreement," have occurred since the nuclear deal was reached. He stated that Iran has "failed to meet our expectations in its operations of advanced centrifuges," as well as "intimidated" IAEA’s inspectors.
He pointed out "We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout....I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal's many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons." He also referred to the deficiencies of the agreement including the sunset clauses that removes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program when the nuclear agreement expires. He explained "In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review and our participation can be canceled by me as President at any time." In addition, the the Treasury Department issued a statement today to impose sanctions on the IRGC over its support for terrorist groups and organizations.
In his remarks the US President called the Iranian people the “longest suffering victims of the regime,” and added, “The IRGC is the Iranian supreme leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia. It has hijacked large portions of Iran’s economy and seized massive religious endowments to fund war and terror abroad. This includes arming the Syrian dictator, supplying proxies and partners with missiles and weapons to attack civilians in the region.”
Iran’s opposition welcomed the US policy against the ruling clerics of Iran and its human rights abuses against the Iranian people, which are reported by the Amnesty International and Human rights Watch. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), welcomed the new US policy to "condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights” in Iran and “to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.”
According to a statement by the Iranian opposition:
Designation of IRGC, the main instrument of suppression, export of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as a terrorist entity is a long overdue, necessary step towards establishment of peace. It is imperative that the National Council of Resistance of Iran be recognized to rectify the past disastrous policy vis-a-vis the people of Iran and Resistance. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi , President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran ( NCRI ), welcomed the new US policy to 'condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights” in Iran and “to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.” She said acknowledgment that under the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the regime “oppresses its people, abuses their rights” and “exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad,” is a recognition of the illegitimacy of the Iranian regime. Mrs. Rajavi said previous U.S. administrations’ policies of turning a blind eye on flagrant human rights violations in Iran, the regime’s deadly meddling in the region and concessions made to it in the course of the JCPOA have been disastrous, and for which the people of Iran and region have paid heavily. The most destructive part of this policy has been the terrorist designation of the legitimate opposition to the regime, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), for 15 years, at the behest of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. The NCRI President elect added, a firm policy is long overdue. However, the ultimate solution is the overthrow of the regime and establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran by the Iranian people and Resistance. For years, a policy of appeasement has acted as the main impediment to change in Iran. It is time that the international community recognizes the aspirations of the Iranian people and stands with the people of Iran and their legitimate right for regime change. Mrs. Rajavi underscored, it is imperative that the National Council of Resistance of Iran be recognized as the sole democratic alternative to the terrorist, religious dictatorship ruling Iran to rectify the past disastrous policy. Mrs. Rajavi also welcomed the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 and described it as an inevitable, necessary step for regional and global peace and security. The IRGC is the prime means of suppression, execution, and torture in Iran, spreading terrorism throughout the world, war mongering and massacre in the region, the drive for acquiring nuclear weapons, and the increase in the proliferation of ballistic missiles. If the IRGC had been recognized as a terrorist entity earlier and dealt with accordingly, the current situation in the region in general, and Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Afghanistan in particular, would have been totally different. It is time to immediately place under sanction all the individuals, entities, institutions, and companies affiliated with the IRGC and their trade counterparts. The IRGC is loathed by the disenchanted Iranian people, who have shown their opposition to it, including its belligerence in other countries, on numerous occasions by rising up against the regime’s supreme leader and chanting, “forget about Syria, think about us.” The IRGC and its affiliates control the major portion of the Iranian economy and directly reap the benefits of Iran’s economic relations. Those funds are used for domestic suppression, export of terrorism and fundamentalism and belligerence in the region and the world. Mrs. Rajavi added: All the signs, including intensification of the regime’s internal crisis, continuous deterioration of the economic situation and expansion of anti-regime protests throughout the country, indicate that the regime has reached its final phase; its hollow bluster regarding the new U.S. policy reflects its extreme anxiety regarding the end of the appeasement era. Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran October 13, 2017
Accordingly, the new US policy should implement a number of practical steps:
• The previous UN Security Council resolutions on the clerical regime’s nuclear weapons projects, ban on nuclear enrichment, as well as free and unconditional inspections of military and non-military centers must be implemented.The dossier of the Iranian regime’s crimes, particularly the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, must be referred to the UN Security Council, and the regime’s leaders and perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice. The clerical regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its mercenary militias must be expelled from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon; and prevented from shipping arms and dispatching forces to these countries. In view of its support for terrorism and continued human rights abuses, the Iranian regime must be denied access to international banking systems.
When it comes to successfully implementing Iran’s policy, a broad multi-dimensional strategy would be the key for the US and President Trump. In addition, Iranian leaders fear most the soft power of the Iranian people and Iran’s opposition, rather than the hard power of other governments.
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Harvard-educated, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a world-renowned business strategist and advisor, a leading Iranian-American political scientist, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, and best-selling author. He serves on the advisory board of Harvard International Review.
Dr. Rafizadeh is frequently invited to brief governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as speak, as a featured speaker, at security, business, diplomatic, and social events. He has been recipient of several fellowships and scholarships including from Oxford University, Annenberg, University of California Santa Barbara, Fulbright program, to name few He is regularly quoted and invited to speak on national and international outlets including CNN, BBC World TV and Radio, ABC, Aljazeera English, Fox News, CTV, RT, CCTV America, Skynews, CTV, and France 24 International, to name a few. . He analyses have appeared on academic and non-academic publications including New York Times International, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fareed zakaria GPS, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The National. Aljazeera, The Daily Beast, The Nation, Jerusalem Post, The Economic Times, USA Today Yale Journal of International Affairs, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and Harvard International Review. He is a board member of several significant and influential international and governmental institutions, and he is native speaker of couple of languages including Persian, English, and Arabic. He also speaks Dari, and can converse in French, Hebrew. More at Harvard. And You can learn more about Dr. Rafizadeh on HERE. A version of this post was originally published on the Arab News.