Message to the Congressional Briefing in Washington

Distinguished Representatives,
It is a great pleasure for me to be able to speak to you once again.

Allow me first to congratulate you on being re-elected by the American people.

I would also like to thank all of you, friends of the Iranian people and Resistance, for sponsoring the resolution on Iran.

 

This resolution offers a viable and practical solution to the US government for handling the most serious challenge the world is facing.

Apart from the lobbies and supporters of the Iranian regime, there is a consensus that the mullahs’ regime is the most serious threat to regional and global peace and security.

Your resolution offers the solution to this crisis.

This resolution rightly suggests relying on the Iranian people for change, supporting their efforts to establish democracy, freedom and human rights; at the heart of which is revocation of the State Department’s terrorist designation of the PMOI.

By highlighting the role of the democratic opposition, you have rightly identified the shortcomings of the current US policy.

The solution for this crisis is regime change by the people of Iran and their Resistance. Any policy which disregards this decisive factor is doomed to fail.

The driving force for change is the Iranian Resistance and its pivotal force the PMOI.

That is why demonizing the opposition and wiping out its members at Camp Ashraf is the prime objective of the regime and its lobbies.

That is why the main demand of the Iranian regime is maintaining the PMOI (MEK) on the State Department’s terrorist list and to use it as a justification for executions in Iran.

The US policy has so far acted as a major barrier to change in Iran.

The FTO designation of the PMOI has prevented the Iranian Resistance to fully use its abilities and potentials to bring about change.  That has led to a lack of a proper understanding of the balance of power in Iran and the regime’s feeble state.

Similarly, handing over the protection of Ashraf to Iraqi forces was a major favor to the Iranian regime and another great obstacle in the path of change in Iran.

The mullahs’ regime is a serious threat but suffers from internal instability. The regime’s apparent strength is due to the policy of appeasement by the West and in particular the clampdown on the main Iranian opposition group.

Maintaining the FTO designation on the PMOI serves as the biggest assistance to the mullahs’ regime in its struggle to survive. It is in effect siding with the regime’s suppressive apparatus.

There is no factual basis for the PMOI designation. The DC Circuit in its opinion in July 2010 expressed its dissatisfaction with the Department’s evidence. The court also concluded that the Secretary Rice’s decision to maintain the designation violated PMOI’s due process rights. Thus, it ordered the Secretary to review the decision.

The European Union, the UK, Members of Congress and many prominent US figures have rejected the terror label on the PMOI.

The time has now come for the State Department to end its isolation and remove this disgraceful label.

Once again, there is talk of a new round of dialogue with the Iranian regime; a regime the Revolutionary Guards dominate.

This is the repeat of the past mistakes. It only provides the mullahs with more time to continue their rogue policies.

Over the past two years, all possible incentives, short of a nuclear bomb, was offered to the regime. The regime rejected them all.

I take the opportunity today to warn that continuing this approach, under any pretext, would be a recipe for disaster.

Although sanctions have created certain problems for the regime, it is not enough and will not stop the regime’s nuclear weapons program. Sanctions must target the main source of the regime’s revenues.  All purchases of oil from the regime must be stopped.

The time has come for the US government to adopt a new policy towards the Iranian people and the democratic opposition.

One aspect of such policy as stated by resolution 1431 is the removal of the PMOI’s FTO designation.

Another aspect of that policy as stated by a House majority in resolution 704, is correcting the mistaken policy of handing over protection of Ashraf to Iraqi forces and ensuring the protection of the Camp. In Resolution 704 you have rightly reminded the US government of its legal and moral obligations regarding the residents of Ashraf.

The experience of the past two years shows that Maliki’s government is not competent to protect Ashraf. His government is greatly influenced by the Iranian regime, which had made its support for Maliki’s premiership conditional on the destruction of the PMOI in Ashraf. This clearly shows the regime’s fear of the PMOI.

The recent revelations show that at the time of transferring the protection to the Iraqis, the US was aware that Iraqi authorities were not competent to protect the residents of Ashraf.  Therefore, this is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, based on Article 45 of this Convention, the US must re-assume the responsibility for protection of Ashraf residents and adopt the necessary measures to protect Ashraf residents. The inhumane restrictions imposed on Ashraf by Iraqi authorities must end. Finally, the status of the residents of Ashraf as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention must be reaffirmed.

I urge President Obama to heed the call of the American people, which you represent, for a new policy towards Iran. I call on him to make the right choice and stand with the Iranian people. Democratic change in Iran is what the whole region needs. This is a choice for peace and security in the region. Failing to make the right choice will have dire consequences for peace and security in the world.

Once again I thank you. And God bless you.

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