Congressional Hearing/Briefings

Support for free Iran

Support for free Iran
Written by OIAC

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Senior Bi-Partisan Members of Congress and Iran scholars call for a Free Iran

Washington-DC, October 12, 2017 – A day before President Donald Trump’s anticipated announcement of a comprehensive review of America’s Iran policy, the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) organized a briefing in the US House of Representatives entitled “Iran Regime’s Threats & Rights Violations: Policy Options.” Speakers at the event, including members of Congress and policy experts, called for a firm policy towards the regime, including the blacklisting of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Panelists included Iranian scholars and policy experts, including Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, President of the International American Council on the Middle East, and advisory board member of the Harvard International Review; Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, a scholar at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University; Professor Kazem Kazeronian, an expert on the history of Iran-US relationship and Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut; and Dr. Sharam Ahmadi Nasab Emran of Saint Louis University.

The panelists shared their views on US policy on Iran. Members of Congress joined the session and expressed their perspective as well. House Middle East Subcommittee Chair, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said, “A democratic free Iran is the best interest of the US and the world.”

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Senior House Foreign Affairs Committee Member also added, “The United States must work with Iranian people to help them bring freedom in Iran.” In his remarks, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) urged the administration to focus also on the Iranian people, adding, “Let’s work to see that Iran is free and that the situation changes internally.”

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA), a HFAC member, warned that, “The current approach to Iran regime is dauntingly familiar to the world’s approach to (1930s) Germany – one of appeasement.”

Judge Ted Poe (R-TX), Chair of HFAC Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade, reminded policymakers that, ”The Iranian regime murdered 30,000 political prisoners in a few months in 1988, adding, “US must stand with the Iranian people to help them bring down the mullahs.”

Dr. Sepehrrad said in her remarks: ”The Iranian regime does have an alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), whose president-elect is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”

Dr. Rafizadeh said weaponization is at the heart of Iran’s nuke program, which the current iteration of JCPOA fails to address effectively. He added, “The IAEA’s verification mechanism is flimsy. There are no inspections of military sites. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was the one that exposed Iran’s nuke program.”  Dr. Rafizadeh further  underscored the soft power of Iran’s organized opposition, noting that it is indeed more effective than any hard power.  Additionally, he said relations with the regime should be predicated on improvement of the human rights situation.  The Harvard-educated scholar also said that the “best way to confront Iran’s regime is to end the sunset clauses in the JCPOA (nuclear deal), inspect military sites, blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and embrace Iranian opposition.”

Rep. Brad Sherman, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, “I will never forget that NCRI revealed Iran’s nuke program. Without it, the regime would have had the bomb by now.”

He also underscored the plight of the members of Iran’s primary opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), who resided in Iraq until 2016. The members still have private property in Iraq. “The U.S. must pressure Iraq to reimburse MEK for its property in Camp Ashraf in Iraq,” Rep. Sherman said.

Dr. Ahmadi Nasab Emran said, “Iran’s organized opposition, NCRI, meets the characteristics of a viable, legitimate alternative to Tehran regime.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called for a, “political tsunami to uproot the regime in Tehran and bring freedom to Iran,” adding, “We must condemn the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran and hold the regime accountable. There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry on the 1988 massacre.”  “I am glad to have met (NCRI’s President) Maryam Rajavi, who has called for a free Iran and for religious tolerance,” she further noted.

House Congressional Briefing
Iran’s Threats & Rights Violations: Policy Option
October 12, 2017
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC

OIAC sponsored a Congressional Briefing on Iran’s rights violations and threats. Bi-partisan members of Congress attended and shared their views with Iranian Americans, House staffers, representatives from Foreign Embassies and Think Thanks. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) attended the briefing. Here are short excerpts of their remarks:

Rep. Brad Sherman “No continent where #Iran regime has not sponsored terror. Need more sanctions to be imposed.”

House Middle East Subcommittee Chair, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen “A democratic free Iran is the best interest of the US and the world.”

Rep. Steve Chabot, HFAC “US must work with Iranian people to help them bring freedom in Iran.”

Briefing About Iran’s Threats & Rights Violations

Judge Ted Poe, Chair, HFAC Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation ” #Iran regime has murdered 30K political prisoners in a few months in 1988.”

 

Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee “Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: We need a political tsunami to uproot the regime in Tehran and bring freedom to #Iran.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN): “Let’s work to see that Iran is free and that the situation changes internally.”

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA), a HFAC member, warned that, “The current approach to Iran regime is dauntingly familiar to the world’s approach to (1930s) Germany – one of appeasement.”

 

Tweet stating words of Dr. Kazerounian

Statement

Washington, DC; October 5, 2017 – Timed to coincide with the anticipated release of President Donald Trump’s comprehensive review of U.S. Iran policy, the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) has organized a briefing titled, “Iran Regime’s Threats & Rights Violations: Policy Options.”

Panelists are Iranian American scholars and policy experts, including Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated political scientist, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, and advisory board member of Harvard International Review; Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, a scholar practitioner at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University; Professor Kazem Kazeronian, an expert on the history of Iran-US relationship, Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut; and Dr. Sharam Ahmadi Nasab Emran, of Saint Louis University and a frequent commentator in international policy forums, including the Policy Studies Organization’s 2016 Middle East Dialogue.

Bipartisan Members of Congress will also attend the briefing and share their views on U.S. Policy towards Iran.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, October 12th, 2017 from 11:30am-1pm at 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

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SPONSORS: OIAC-US and the Iranian American Communities and NGOs in:  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California (South  North), Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts  MarylandMichigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York  New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania , South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (Houston, Dallas), Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The Organization of Iranian American communities-US (OIAC) is all-volunteer non-profit organization that advocates for a democratic, secular and non-nuclear government in Iran, founded on the respect for human rights, gender equality, religious and ethnic tolerance, as wells as social, economic justice, and security for America. Our goal is to organize Iranian-American communities in the United States to promote these values.

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