In his January 21 Guest Post for Forbes, Heshmat Alavi, Iranian activist focusing on human rights, social crackdown, the regime's support for terrorism, and its nuclear program, wrote that Iran has changed, but for the worse.A year after advocates of the nuclear agreement with Iran claimed it would lead to numerous changes, rendering benefits for everyone, the world has witnessed many changes in Iran. However, they are not what was expected.
The nuclear accord has been successively violated by the Iranian regime. Tehran continues its executions, human rights violations and ongoing oppression of ordinary citizens inside the country. Tehran has continued exporting the “Islamic Revolution” by engulfing the entire Middle East, as we are witnessing so vividly today in Syria.
Additionally, the regime has either stretched or actually violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by exceeding the heavy water-level limit.
Reinstating the Iran Sanctions Act was a very important first step. This set an example of what is necessary, so that Iran understands there will be consequences for violations. Still, we need to go beyond and build upon this momentum.
Alavi believes that it’s the time to counter Iran’s terrorism, calling it the leading state-sponsor of terrorism. He wrote, “Iran is busy destabilizing Syria with an incredible human catastrophe, as in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, boasting about enjoying control over four Arab capitals of the region. The ‘change’ we have seen in this regard is that Tehran is willing to dispatch tens of thousands of proxy militias to Syria and repeat a Srebrenica-style massacre, caring not an iota about how the international community might respond. Let us hope Aleppo has opened our eyes to the horrific potential in Iran’s support for extremism and its export of Islamic fundamentalism.”
Iran’s missile tests have continued to violate United Nations Security Council resolutions. These ballistic missile tests “are not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the JCPOA, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report. Reports also indicate the Iran-fostered and -nurtured Lebanese Hezbollah boasts of stocking over 120,000 missiles in its arsenal.
“This is the time to confront Iran over its violation of human rights on its own home turf. In 2009, the Iranian people revolted for their God-given rights, shaking the very pillars of the regime’s foundations. And yet former U.S. President Barack Obama, then recently elected to the White House by the American people with high hopes of ‘change’, failed to respond to their cries for support. The oppression and repression of the mullahs’ regime that followed is something the world should never forget,” wrote Alavi.
The appeasement policy with Iran, did not change the regime's course, nor their designs. They have not changed their dominant focus.
Alavi believes the this is the time for the United States to respond. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), in cooperation with Senator Robert Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Countering Iran Threat Act. This is an initiative that he recommends the next Congress build upon. He says that it can be the building blocks of the West, spearheaded by America, that will deter Iranian aggression, and can lead the world to a better day and a higher hopes that the Iranian people can achieve the freedom the democratic world enjoys today.
America is entering a new era national security policy. A letter, hand-delivered to U.S. President Donald Trump, signed by nearly two dozen former senior U.S. government officials, in a rare bipartisan agreement, urged the new administration to work with the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran. Alavi believes this to be
one focus of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, and the agenda of the new Congress.