The Iranian question has inarguably become a vital issue in this year’s presidential election.
Former Vice President Biden has stated that he intends to return to the Iran nuclear deal that he and President Obama crafted. The suggested return has received bipartisan backlash from 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (who championed the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the deal) as well as Republican Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla..
Supporters of a free Iran weighed in on the controversial agreement and its possible revival at a recent Trans-Atlantic Summit on Iran Policy of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), easily the best-known of the opposition groups seeking to overthrow its theocratic rulers.
Asked by Newsmax if social media is fostering a movement toward democracy in Iran, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky replied: “It does get magnified and it does get played across the globe, but, also, there is great interest and there is great interest because of this geostrategic competition that we see.”
Dobriansky underscored that “[w]e have seen some new alignments. That’s why I reference Israel, thinking about Israel’s alignment with the U.A.E., with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and when you look at the new formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the U.A.E., that’s one component certainly does stem from the concern about the threats posed.”
“Simply put,” the former Bush Administration official told us, “[A]bsolutely yes, and I think that we can continue to expect great interests from across the globe because what’s happening in Iran, to the people of Iran, is absolutely unacceptable and there has to be change. People are seeking change in Iran.”
But Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, put the current situation in which the United States finds itself in much starker terms.
“For my part, I see two broad courses of action for U.S. policy,” said Joseph, “The first is to revert to policies of appeasement, always of course masquerading or dressed as seeking a diplomatic outcome instead of war.”
Taking a shot at Barack Obama, Joseph said: “Let’s not forget how many times we heard the previous administration that we have almost a binary choice. We could have negotiations even if that meant that a flawed agreement, or we could have war. This was and this remains a false choice as demonstrated by the fact for the past two years after we left the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the Iran nuclear deal] that we have not had wars.”
“Negotiation is not always the best solution,” said Joseph, “Just ask [Britain’s pre-World War II Prime Minister Neville] Chamberlain who successfully negotiated an agreement of peace with Herr Hitler in Munich. But the agreement turned out to be nothing more than an encouragement for the Germans to continue on their path to world war.”
A friend and vigorous supporter of the NCRI is former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Speaking to the NCRI’s summit, he declared without hesitation that “[t]he regime is on its last legs. There is an alliance between the left-wing press and Iran to hide that fact. The US was engaged in a dangerous nuclear deal, there is no reason for Europeans to not impose higher sanctions like the US has on Iran. The only way for us to affect the regime is through sanctions.”
Giuliani recalled how when his friend and legal client Donald Trump became president, “all that he did was enforce sanctions already in place. The previous administration didn’t enforce them.”
The movement for a free and democratic Iran, according to Giuliani, “began with people fighting for freedom and now extends to the general population. You see protests by other industries within Iran, bus drivers, teachers, etc.”
The former mayor underscored his view that “the world is facing a crucial question on Iran: the dispute is whether the arms embargo should be lifted, or tougher sanctions should be lifted. There is indication that they will be reimposed, and it should be. We need to apply tougher pressure, and the decision to not support the United States is just cowardice.
The European countries, to Giuliani, “have turned their eyes on a barbaric regime and neglected democracy. I don’t understand it. They [European countries] lecture us about human rights, but what about the human rights of Iranians? …[T]hey are giving money to the biggest sponsor of terrorism, so don’t they know they are help giving money to terrorists? It wasn’t enough to just give them money — we had to let them become a nuclear power.
“For a U.S. President to turn over cash that murders more people, shows a real deterioration in honor, morality, and care about human rights and suffering.”
Giuliani concluded by saying if “we pay a little more attention to Iran than what is being covered up in the New York Times and The Washington Post, [we learn] they are a desperate regime. The [human rights] situation now is worse and is getting worse.”
“It is truly a shame that while many of the progressive rags around Washington have vociferously sounded false alarms that President Trump is ushering totalitarianism into the United States,” he declared, “the countless cries of those political martyrs who are slain upon the altar of democracy in Iran continue to go unheeded.”
(Michael Cozzi is a Ph.D candidate at Catholic University in Washington DC)
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