Ali Safavi

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who serves as a government-in-exile, have assessed that US policy on Iran must change.

Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, wrote an op-ed for The Hill that it is time for a “serious and comprehensive” makeover on US policy towards Iran.

He advised that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) should be designated as a foreign terrorist entity and the Regime should be expelled from the region in order to achieve peace in the Middle East.

He said: “[A policy makeover] means designating the IRGC as a terrorist entity, expelling the Iranian regime and its proxies from the region, taking effective initiatives to permanently block the Iranian regime’s path to a nuclear bomb, and recognizing the Iranian people’s right to topple the regime and establish a democratic and peace-seeking representative government that would be the source of stability and peace in the region.”

The nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was agreed between Iran and six world powers including the US; in the hopes of restricting the Iranian Regime’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

However, the six world powers were under the mistaken belief that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a “moderate”. There are no moderates within the Iranian Regime and the expected positive change in behaviour has not emerged.

Safavi wrote: “The promise of moderation under Rouhani’s leadership has proven empty. That is because Rouhani neither wants nor is capable of reform. After all, it is not the president but the supreme leader who defines the contours of the regime’s short-term and long-term strategic direction.”

He cited Secretary of Defense James Mattis who noted that the Iranian presidential election was “not really an election” and that the Regime’s views were vastly different to those of the Iranian people.

Mattis endorsed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s message to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in which he said that American foreign policy should first focus on confronting the regime over its regional destabilisation and then on peaceful regime change in Iran driven by the Iranian people.

Safavi wrote: “After 38 years of the clerical rule in Iran, the world is beginning to understand that stability in the Middle East requires the removal of the Iranian regime, known for being the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and the only full-fledged theocracy in the modern world. While the U.S. administration has imposed new sanctions on individuals and organisations with ties to the Iranian ballistic missile program, it is now mulling the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation.”

He continued: “By highlighting elections in Iran as a sham and also the fundamental divide between the regime and the Iranian people, Secretary Mattis did undercut much of the previous administration’s rationale for futile rapprochement with the Iranian regime. Since the regime is both unwilling and incapable of reforming itself, democratic change at the hands of the Iranian people and their organised opposition should be recognised as the only viable option to deal with Tehran’s multi-faceted nefarious conduct. Until this situation changes, nothing else about Iran will change, not even its commitment to developing a nuclear weapon as part of its bid for regional hegemony and global influence.”

This message was echoed at the Free Iran rally in Paris, where the President of the Resistance Maryam Rajavi and 100,000 more people called for the international community to support the Iranian people.