Regarding the effectiveness of the nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said, “Judging any international agreement begins and ends with the nature of the government that signed it.”
When U.S. President Donald Trump announced his new Iran strategy, he said, “… in just a few years, as key restrictions disappear, Iran can sprint towards a rapid nuclear weapons breakout… What is the purpose of a deal that, at best, only delays Iran’s nuclear capability for a short period of time?” As well, in his September 19th UNGA address, he stated, “The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It [is] an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.”
Trump went on to say that the Iranian people are chief among Iran’s victims. As the focus is on Tehran’s efforts to acquire nuclear and ballistic missile technology, its domestic policies are overlooked. However, Trump recognized the oppression of the Iranian people, “The United States is far from the only target of the Iranian dictatorship’s long campaign of bloodshed. The regime violently suppresses its own citizens.”
Arrests and executions of dissidents continue today, targeting journalists, artists, and musicians, among others. Iranian youth are charged with capital crimes, sometimes for “offenses” as trivial as posting on banned platforms, like Facebook or Twitter.
The Secretary General cited a particularly gruesome massacre in his report to the UN General Assembly earlier this year. “Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teenagers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a fatwa issued by then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.” He was referring to some 30,000 political prisoners, mostly activists in the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI or MEK) who were killed and buried in secret, mass graves.
Senator John McCain paved the way for standing with the Iranian people and opposition efforts to bring democratic change to Iran, when he traveled to Tirana, Albania to meet with Maryam Rajavi, head of the NCRI, earlier this year. Following McCain’s lead, a senior delegation of U.S. senators, including Roy Blunt and Majority Whip John Cornyn, members of the Select Intelligence Committee, and Thom Tillis of the Armed Services Committee, made the trip this past August.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently explained how crucial the cooperation between the United States and the Iranian opposition is, and said that he hoped the current administration would “reach out [to the NCRI] in a much more collaborative way to coordinate information and to coordinate advice and find ways to work together.” Speaking of Maryam Rajavi, he said that “she is one of the examples of a symbol of resistance to the dictatorship.”
Change is coming for the Iranian regime. In fact, Trump said in his recent address, “The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change… Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.”