By Mahmoud Hakamian
Iran is currently controlled by a fundamentalist theocracy that thinks nothing of massacring its own people, carrying out terror plots in other countries, and creating chaos in the Middle East to distract from its crises. However, with the right mix of domestic uprisings, international diplomatic and economic pressures, and worldwide condemnation, Iran will soon be free.
That is the overarching message from Struan Stevenson, Coordinator for Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), who gave a speech on January 7, at a conference entitled: Human Rights Abuse, Repression and Terrorism, the Three Pillars of the Iranian Regime.
Stevenson, a passionate ally of the Iranian people and their organised resistance for almost twenty years, noted in his speech that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror; something that the US now recognises, even if Europe lags significantly behind.
When Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, citing that “Iran’s destabilizing behaviour has grown bolder under the deal”, he received bipartisan support from Congress. Even from the most liberal Democrats, like Howard Dean and Patrick Kennedy, who traditionally do not agree with Trump on anything. They see that sanctions will not harm the Iranian people, only weaken the Regime.
In Europe, however, there is no such consensus.
While many individual politicians rightly speak out against the Regime and the nuclear deal that Europe is still a party to and several governments have accused the Iranian Regime of orchestrating terror or assassination plots in their countries, those at the top levels of government are still committed to the nuclear deal, even promising to help Iran evade US sanctions; all in order to benefit from lucrative business deals.
Stevenson listed the Regime’s other malign behaviour within Europe, including an assassination plot in Denmark, a bomb plot in Albania, and another bomb plot in Paris; all targeting Iranian opposition figures or groups.
Stevenson said: “But despite these repeated attempts to commit atrocities on European soil, [EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs] Federica Mogherini thinks that a regime which sponsors acts of terror in Europe should be regarded as a friend and trading partner. Well, I beg to differ!”
The Iranian people have been taking part in an anti-regime uprising for over a year now, calling for the removal of the Regime as a whole. They recognise that their fight is not with the US or Europe, but with the mullahs who oppress them and they see no difference between the so-called hardliners and moderates in the Regime. The Regime has tried to suppress the protests through mass arrests and even extrajudicial killings, but the people have continued.
Stevenson said: “It is astounding to me that with all of these atrocities, human rights abuse, proxy wars, sponsorship of international terror and dictatorial repression in Iran, we still see limited coverage in the press and what we do see is often on the side of appeasement and what the appeasers call “constructive dialogue” with the fascist clerical regime. Those who advocate this kind of “quiet, calculated diplomatic pressure’ in our dealings with Iran, should remember the catastrophic appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain.”