Former Spanish MEP Criticizes Western Policy Toward Iran in Online Talk

Alejo-Quadras currently serves as the President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ), a Brussels-based non-governmental organization focused on promoting human rights and democracy in Iran, especially through support of the political opposition to the clerical regime. 

In Tuesday’s talk, the former parliamentarian described the ISJ’s views as including the belief that the vast majority of instability across the Middle East stems from the Iranian regime’s meddling in the region. The question of Iran’s regional influence has been given renewed attention this week in light of a developing counteroffensive in Iraq and a meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to the Iranian supreme leader.

Coinciding with that meeting, Iran announced the extension of a new line of credit to the Syrian regime as Iran continues to prop up its longtime ally, which is politically opposed by the United States. US legislators have voiced concerns about the Obama administration’s policy in the Middle East, with Arizona Senator John McCain telling Fox News that the important Iraqi city of Ramadi stands to be retaking from ISIL by “Shia militias, which are Iranian-run, sponsored, trained and equipped.”

In responding to questions from journalists in the Middle East and elsewhere, Alejo-Quadras said on Tuesday that “the Iranian regime will never change its goals and final objectives,” which include the creation of a Shiite hegemony not only in the Middle East but across whatever Tehran considers to be the Muslim world.

Critics of the Obama administration’s strategies have tended to regard the nuclear negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which are scheduled to conclude on June 30, as an example of a weak stance on the Iranian regime in general. Vidal-Quadras echoed these sentiments, describing President Obama as naïve for dealing softly with an untrustworthy negotiating partner.

Drawing on the conclusions of an ISJ report that was released in November 2014 and outlined Iran’s concealment of its military nuclear program, Vidal-Quadras said of the Iranian regime, “They never comply with agreements, they never respect agreements, and they always go on with hidden or secret activities.”

Based partly on this observation, Vidal-Quadras, who also possesses a background in radiation physics, expressed a strong preference for a nuclear agreement that halts Iran’s nuclear enrichment altogether – something that is not on the table for any agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations.

Tehran has clearly rejected any such high demands for compliance, as well as declaring that international inspectors would have no access to Iran’s military sites and that economic sanctions must be removed immediately upon the signing of a deal. All of this further contributes to the anxieties of those who oppose a deal that Vidal-Quadras believes will only move Iran’s breakout time back by a period of a few months.

Many of these same critics believe that a stronger agreement can be secured by exerting greater pressure on the Iranian regime through severe economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure via the United Nations, and a credible military threat. In addition to citing these tactics, Vidal-Quadras told the viewers of his online talk that it is also time for Western democracies to seriously consider supporting and collaborating with the democratic political opposition, in particular the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran that ultimately seeks regime change from with the nation of Iran.