Washington D.C., December 15, 2015
A Senate briefing at the United States Kennedy Caucus Room featured prominent former U.S. officials who discussed the Iranian regime’s in Iraq and Syria and to voice support for Iranian dissidents at Camp Liberty, Iraq.
The first U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, former Vice Chairman of the Army Joint Chiefs Gen. Jack Keane, and former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. highlighted the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and California.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in a message from Paris told the senate briefing, “If it were not for the massacre of the people of Syria by the Revolutionary Guards to keep Assad in power, Syria would not have become the breeding ground for DAESH (ISIS).” She added, “If it were not for the harmful meddling of the mullahs and the horrific suppression by the puppet of Iran Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq, DAESH would have never found the opportunity to occupy part of that country.”
Iran has “wrought not only the unrest in that region, but they have wrought the global scourge,” Governor Ridge said, adding, “We are kidding ourselves in this country if we don’t go back to 1979 and understand that the seeds of Islamic radicalism was sewn right there.”
Senator Lieberman urged members of Congress to declare, “our policy with regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran is not to contain it but to end it.”
General Keane called the Iranian regime America’s “number one strategic enemy in the world.”
“The Iranians have been killing Americans because we were so crucial to their strategy… to drive us out of the region…Not a single Democratic or Republican president has ever countered this in 35 years; not a single one has ever stood up to this regime.”
He added, “We need a regional strategy desperately here to push back against the Iranians’ regional hegemonic objectives. And we need to lead that effort.”
The speakers also underscored the strategic and moral imperative to empower the Iranian opposition including the protection of over 2,200 members of the main opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), residing in Camp Liberty.
“We have to stay focused on the defenseless people at Camp Liberty,” Gov. Ridge said. He added America made a promise to the residents in 2004 to protect them, but “we haven’t kept that promise for 10 years.”
He added there should be “a directive” to the Department of State and the Pentagon to “expand that air cover from Baghdad Airport. It’s just a couple clicks away to Camp Liberty. Just expand it.”
On October 29, the Iranian regime’s proxies, launched an attack with dozens of missiles on the Camp, which claimed the lives of 24 residents.
Senator Lieberman praised the role of the Iranian Resistance and its President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and said, ” I…hope staff members of Senate offices who are here will work across party lines to begin to put pressure on our government. Most important, the first step would be inviting Mrs. Maryam Rajavi to come to the United States of America. She’s our ally. Second, engage in discussions and support that strengthen this movement.”
Regarding Camp Liberty, he added, “It’s time to change all the people in the Iraqi government who have any responsibility for oversight or management of Camp Liberty.”
Speaking about the residents of Camp Liberty, the former Army Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman, said “What has been taking place at Camp Liberty is an example for all of us. This is all about peoples’ intense moral courage to place a larger concept, an idea of freedom and liberty, above themselves and to be willing to die for it.”
“The Iran nuclear deal, this was going to be the first step towards détente with Iran after 36 years. You heard the president at the UN General Assembly and Secretary Kerry. Now look around you and ask yourself if U.S.-Iran détente seems to be taking shape… It isn’t, quite the opposite,”
Ambassador Bloomfield concluded.