Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), senior Member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, addressing a briefing at the U.S. Congress on November 16 to introduce H. Res. 1431, said, “Camp Ashraf is something that we are watching very closely and our policies towards Camp Ashraf will in the long run determine, not just the security for the people there, but for the security of the people in the United States of America.” Excerpts from his speech follow:
What we do will determine not only what goes on in Iran and not only what goes on in the Middle East but whether our own country lives in peace. We made a lot of mistakes in the past years. The fact is that the US should be supporting those elements who opposed the Taliban all along. There were a few of us in congress during the 1990s that tried to do that. It was the Clinton admin that determined however that it was the Taliban was the government that we would support even though it was made up of tyrants and gangsters and radicals and nutcases, for short. It came back to hurt us in 9/11 in a big way.
What we do now concerning a very similar regime in Iran is either going to further the cause of peace, be the right thing, or is either going to hurt the United States of America not only the people of Iran.
We got to determine whose side we are on. America should always be on the side of those people who are struggling for democracy, not necessarily because we are the friends of those people but because we are defining ourselves, and lighting our own future in those decisions.
Today the United States has got to determine whose side we are on in Iran. And I would say, “Whoever is fighting the mullah regime is a friend of the United States, and to put anybody whose fighting the mullah regime on a list of terrorists is a travesty.” We must make sure that America stands firm right now with the mullahs and with everybody else in letting them know exactly whose side we are on. And if we do, I will tell you, we will find that the mullah regime is a lot weaker that people think. There are millions of people in Iran who are waiting for a signal, and the last thing we need to give them is to be declaring people who are fighting against them as terrorists. In fact, whether it’s at Camp Ashraf or the streets of Tehran, those people who are struggling against the regime are heroes not only in Iran but heroes of all the people in the world including the United States of America. So, today I am honored to stand with you as a bipartisan stand, as Americans to reaffirm to our government we expect you to support those who are fighting for freedom in Iran. We expect the terrorist list that we have not to include anyone who’s fighting that regime. Because, those by definition, those who were fighting the Taliban back in the 1990s were our friends and not terrorists were fighting an illegitimate dictatorship and that’s the same situation that lives in Iran today.
So I want to take a step forward, step forth a little bit and say that Camp Ashraf is something that we are watching very closely and our policies towards Camp Ashraf will in the long run, determine not just the security for the people there, but for the security of the people in United States of America. It is our duty to raise the cause of freedom but also because it works for our benefit for our people to support the people of Camp Ashraf and those brave souls in Iran who are fighting the mullahs.
Thank you very much