By Hanif Jazayeri
While Iran’s regime is desperate to sow divisions in the United States to force a crack in the Trump Administration’s Maximum Pressure policy, Congress has sent a decisive bi-partisan message to Tehran that America stands with the people of Iran against the terrorist tyranny that rules over them.
Gen. Hossein Dehghan, a top military advisor to the regime’s Supreme Leader, last week said that Iran considers U.S. President Donald Trump to be a “culprit” and not a president with which to negotiate.
Meanwhile the mullahs’ chief propagandist, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, is grasping at straws in the hope that somehow the US could be pressured into ending biting sanctions and forgoing an international arms embargo against the regime. On Tuesday, he tweeted that the US is trying to “mislead the world” as Washington urges UN member states to extend the international arms embargo that is due to expire in October under the 2015 international nuclear deal.
But Tehran’s propaganda ploys are failing to persuade Congress. Some two dozen lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, speaking at an online webinar last week, unveiled House Resolution 374 expressing support for the Iranian people’s inherent right to liberate themselves from the yoke of religious tyranny.
While the lawmakers rightly condemn the state-sponsored terrorism, which has been a hallmark of the Iranian regime’s four decades of brutal rule, the resolution more importantly “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.”
The US media has woefully underreported the existence of a democratic and viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime in Iran, with a powerful coalition at its fore, a democratic platform and a visible leader.
That coalition is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), whose President-elect Maryam Rajavi has presented a 10-point plan for the future of Iran which, as the US lawmakers point out, “calls for the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy, and advocates gender, religious, and ethnic equality, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, and a non-nuclear Iran.”
The main group within the NCRI coalition is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), or Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), whose network of Resistance Units inside Iran have had a leading role in galvanizing the recent nationwide Iran protests to unseat the mullahs.
The mullahs’ apologists claim the Trump Administration’s full throttle campaign of sanctions on the regime are opposed by the Iranian people. Yet, on the streets of Iran during the November 2019 and January 2020 rallies, protesters chanted, “Our enemy is right here; they’re lying when they say it’s America.”
The US lawmakers reiterate that the House “stands with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime.”
In a telling sign that the lawmakers look to Iran’s future, and not the past, the resolution reiterates that the Iranian people also rejected the “monarchic dictatorship” of the Shah in addition to “opposing religious tyranny.”
Today, Iran is at a critical moment in history. The regime’s regional strategy has hit a dead-end. There is rampant corruption. The Iranian people realize that their suffering and poverty is because the mullahs have plundered the nation’s wealth. The criminal mullahs have no way to escape their demise and overthrow.
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this month, lead resolution sponsor Rep. Top McClintock welcomed the Trump Administration’s “efforts to reign in Iran’s malign influence” and thanked him for standing on the side of the Iranian people.
“With H.Res.374, a congressional majority encourage all efforts to recognize the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran while also holding the ruling regime accountable for its destructive behaviors,” he added.
This resolution, so far with 222 co-sponsors, is a rare sign of unity in a starkly divided Congress. Now more than ever it is imperative for the US to use its full political weight to push the UN Security Council to re-impose all previous nuclear-related sanctions and the international arms embargo against the clerical regime in Iran.
After more than three decades of Western appeasement of the regime of tyranny and terror, finally the elected representatives of the people of America are standing in solidarity with the people of Iran and their struggle for a free Iran. Washington should note that despite all the fake news from Zarif and his puppet masters in Tehran, the Iranian people fully support international sanctions against their dictators.
Hanif Jazayeri is a London-based news editor and Iranian opposition activist. Twitter: @HanifJazayeri