“If you keep your eyes on Paris on June 13, you will witness to a powerful demonstration of opposition to Tehran’s clerical regime. The rally organized by the Iranian Diaspora in support of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran is enormously relevant to questions about how Western policymakers should be dealing with the Islamic Republic during this complex time,” he writes.
“The Islamic Republic has its hand in a number of regional conflicts, in addition to its long-standing support for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. And of course this comes at a time when Iran could also be on the verge of potentially inking an agreement with six world powers which would give it relief from sanctions related to its work on nuclear weapons technology.
“It is already well understood that those people have suffered gravely during the previous thirty-six years. And unless observers are blinded by the superficial change in Tehran’s willingness to talk to the US during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, it should be clear that this suffering is now escalating as even more Iranian citizens are put to death in Iranian jails or subjected to long imprisonment for dissent and activism.
“These trends indicate that the regime we are dealing with today is the same violent, religiously extremist regime that drove so many of its citizens to flee the country or face death after the Iranian Revolution. On June 13, the NCRI with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Mek), the principal organized opposition at its core, will speak with one voice on behalf of these people and their long experience in fighting that regime.
“The NCRI used last year’s Paris rally as an opportunity to speak out against the optimistic and conciliatory tone of nuclear negotiations that still have not been resolved a year later. The NCRI emphasized that by giving away sanctions relief in response to very limited restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program, the West would be giving undue legitimacy to a government that has a long history of deception and that had been under severe pressure from both the international community and its own population.
“Last year, that message was hear in-person by an estimated 100,000 people, and this year the crowd is expected to be even larger. Of course a good number of the attendees are Iranian exiles and supporters of the resistance. But also, each NCRI rally enjoys the support of nationals of other countries and a politically diverse group or dignitaries from across the globe. It is a rare showcase of bipartisan support between American Republicans and Democrats who are as far apart as John Bolton and Howard Dean – both scheduled to speak on at the June 13 event that will also address the key and challenging issue of how to combat Islamic extremism.
“It is my hope that this event will be the site of even greater foreign support for NCRI – not just among politicians and academics, but also among members of the American public who care about the future of Iran and its people.
“I agree with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president of NCRI, that the nuclear negotiations have been misguided at best, and have resulted in the US giving away crucial leverage that might otherwise have led to massive positive change from inside of Iran. The trouble with the narrative provided by President Obama on Iran has absolutely failed to make the distinction between the people and the government of Iran.
“Given the prominence of discussions about Iran and its consequences, I think it will be wise to seek out all the news coverage that one can find of the event,” writes Blackwell.
To read the full article click here: http://townhall.com/columnists/kenblackwell/2015/06/08/lets-bring-the-voice-of-the-iranian-people-into-our-iran-polic-n2009450