WASHINGTON, DC – On December 4, 2019
Organization of the Iranian American Communities (OIAC), held a policy briefing in US Senate, discussing the Iranian uprising, its aftermath and path forward. With the bipartisan speechby Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and message from Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the US Senate speakers declared that they “stand with” the people of Iran “in their fight for freedom.” In addressing the event, Senator McSally said, “our European partners need to step up…you’re seeing that in the bravery of the Iranian people right now…We need to continue to crank up the pressure on the regime until the Iranian people are finally free.” Senator Cardin message added “despite the regime’s best efforts to hide its activities, the world is watching, and Congress is watching, and the United States is watching…I will never cease pursuing accountability for Iranian officials who violate human rights or benefit from corruption….. the world is witness to Iran’s murderous reprisals against its own people, and that we speak with one voice and demanding an immediate end to the bloodshed”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) also delivered video remarks and said, “The Iran uprising which started on November 15th spread to more than 200 cities across Iran in just a few days. The mullahs’ reaction has been ruthless. They have murdered in cold blood more than 1,000 protesters in the streets. There are shocking video clips showing revolutionary guards directly shooting at young people.” Mrs. Rajavi added:”…the mullahs’ regime has no support among the people and lacks legitimacy….the regime has no solutions to offer for political and economic crises….the MEK’s efforts to build an organized movement succeeded. The resistance units of the MEK played a key role in the uprising….the answer to the problem of Iran is to overthrow the religious dictatorship, which is the desire of the Iranian people.” And she concluded, “The solution for the crises in the Middle East, from Iraq, to Yemen, and from Syria to Lebanon, is the overthrow of this regime.”
“Governments and the international community must set aside any consideration or accommodation vis-à-vis the Iran’s ruling theocracy and demand an immediate stop to the killings and arrests. And if the mullahs’ remain defiant, the UN must decisively put in place Security Council sanctions…European Union and the United States, to recognize the struggle and the resistance of the Iranian people to overthrow the clerical regime and support their right to resist against suppression and repression. The people of Iran expect Congress to lead the way in recognizing this noble right,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
A bi-partisan panel of experts including General James Jones, USMC(Ret.), former National Security Advisor, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Marine Corps Commandant; Governor Tom Ridge, First Homeland Security Secretary and former Pennsylvania Governor; and Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs also addressed the policy briefing.
In his remarks, General Jones said, “I really do think that hope is coming. I really do think that the regime is more vulnerable now than it ever has been, and that there will be an end to this…” As for the alternative to the regime, General Jones said, “The NCRI is a coalition that has democratically elected a leader. They have Jeffersonian democratic principles. It is something that we should celebrate… and I look forward to being with you in Tehran one of these days.”
Governor Ridge added how the NCRI for Iranians “is a national appeal for justice and freedom and independence…it’s about time that the United States of America lead that effort among democracies to not only condemn this regime, but to publicly support the democratic uprising, proudly led, proudly led by the MEK.”
Ambassador Bloomfield spoke on Iran’s history for democracy and freedom adding, “The National Council of Resistance of Iran, the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, living in Albania and the OIAC supporters here and all across the United States are all the intellectual heirs of Iran’s great nationalist hero Mossadegh and the freedom movement…people who stand for an Iran governed with democracy, freedom, self-determination, universal principles, and unalienable rights.”
Mr. Tim Ghaemi delivered a message on behalf of OIAC calling on the United States, to “take tangible steps to side with the protesters. One example is to prevent the Iranian regime from cutting off the Internet.” While recognizing the strong bipartisan support for the protesters by US congressional leaders, he urged Congress to “introduce a language in no uncertain terms to hold the regime accountable for its crimes, side with the protesters who seek nothing but freedom, and to recognize the right of the Iranian people to unseat their repressive rulers.”