Iran has the highest rate of execution per capita and is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. The appeasement policy adopted by Obama was intended to make the regime more moderate in its behaviour, but if anything it has emboldened it. 

Those for the appeasement policy say that the alternative is war. However, this is not the case as is highlighted by former officials of the US government last week. 

In a bipartisan letter, former officials advised Trump to make contact with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to tackle the regime problem. The letter highlighted that Iran is central to all the trouble in the Middle East and pointed out that the rise of ISIS was helped by Iran, its Revolutionary Guards led by its elite QODs force, and its militias.

The letter was signed by 23 former officials including Louis Freeh, FBI director under Clinton and Bush; Michael Mukasey, attorney general under Bush; former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush; Gen. Hugh Shelton (retired), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Clinton and Bush; Jim Jones, onetime national security advisor to President Obama; and former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the 2000 Democratic nominee for vice president. Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor, also signed the letter. This is significant because he is one of Trump’s closest outside advisors. 

The letter highlighted that the NCRI can be valuable to the US government, as it has been in the past. The NCRI exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program and its network inside Iran helped US intelligence during the Iraq invasion. 

The NCRI has been trying to protect the human rights of the Iranian people for years. The letter stated: “Like the resistance, we envision an Iran in the future where all men and women have the right to vote, regardless of ethnic group or religion, and where freedom of speech and assembly are guaranteed, with no internet monitoring and censorship.”

Politicians from all sides support the NCRI, and leaders from all over the world have voiced their support for the opposition. Its huge network and its international support make the group the most realistic way of bringing democracy back to Iran. 

Leader Maryam Rajavi has warned numerous times that war and appeasement are not the ways to react to the regime. She affirms that supporting democratic regime change is the only way to bring peace to Iran and the region. Obama ignored this and we can see the consequences. Now is the time for Trump to give heed Rajavi’s advice given that Obama’s approach has proven to be ineffective.