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Holding Iran’s regime accountable is a global imperative

Online conference on Iran policy featuring speeches by senior U.S. lawmakers
Online conference on Iran policy featuring speeches by senior U.S. lawmakers

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, March 19, 2021—On Wednesday, the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) held an online conference in anticipation of this weekend’s Nowruz celebration marking the start of the year 1400 on the Persian calendar. The event also featured a video message from Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and speeches by current and former members of the U.S. Senate. The event highlighted support for the Iranian people and their Resistance movement among American lawmakers.

The general tone of the conference, echoed by all speakers, was the need to stand alongside the people of Iran and their resistance movement and to hold the regime to account for its human rights violations, its terrorism, ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons program, and other malign behavior.

Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said that U.S. lawmakers and Iranian activists “remain united” against the Iranian regime’s attacks on its own people. Ted Cruz, the Republican Senator from Texas, connected the Iranian people’s interests to those of the Western world. “We will not be safe until the regime has fallen,” Cruz declared.

Senator Ben Cardin highlighted the Magnitsky Act as a potential tool for sanctions that are more specifically targeted to human rights abuses. Several speakers emphasized the need to keep sanctions in place to continue weakening the Iranian regime.

Senator John Cornyn said, “As the mullah’s regime in Iran continues to exert their iron will, we must hold them accountable by sustaining our sanctions against the regime.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen highlighted the regime’s increased use of censorship and repression to subdue the Iranian population and stressed, “The U.S foreign policy must draw a contrast with these actions.”

Senator John Boozman, “I’m startled by the rising number of human rights violations in Iran. And I continue to believe that preventing the regime from developing a nuclear weapons program is critical… we must hold the regime accountable.”

The need to hold Iran’s regime to account

The sentiment at Wednesday’s conference has been implicitly and explicitly echoed by different officials and authorities in the past few weeks. While some states and politicians might refrain from expressing the need of a firm policy toward the Iranian regime, most agree that Tehran’s malign activities are posing a direct threat to global security and universal values.

On March 17, Canada’s ministers of foreign affairs and transport issued a statement on the anniversary of the Ukrainian passenger plane downed by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), in which they stressed, “We reiterate Canada’s commitment to seeking answers and justice by holding Iran accountable and by ensuring it takes full responsibility and makes full reparations for the harm caused to the families and loved ones of the victims of Flight PS752.”

The statement comes on the heels of another joint statement by the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, and Ukraine at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which raised concern over the regime’s lack transparency and accountability on the Flight PS752 tragedy. “In February, Special Rapporteurs Callamard and Rehman released a letter sent to the government of Iran, which outlined a number of very serious allegations. Chief amongst their concerns is that the right to life of the 176 passengers and crew members was violated. It is our understanding that Iran has not responded to this letter,” the statement reads in part. “Iran’s alleged violation of these human rights obligations is extremely troubling. This is compounded by allegations of entirely unacceptable harassment and threats made against family members of some of the victims.”

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency is sounding the alarms on Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities. Earlier this week, Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the IAEA, raised concern about the Iranian regime neglecting its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement, including operating a cascade of advanced centrifuges at an underground site and the use of the advanced centrifuges in the Natanz facility.

And British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Iran’s nuclear program is one of his primary concerns. “We must never see Iran get a nuclear weapon,” Raab said.

Similar statements have been made by politicians from other countries.

The growing concern about the malign activities of Iran’s regime once again underlines an undeniable truth: The mullahs’ hostility toward the international community, global peace, and universal norms and values stems from the nature of their fascistic and tyrannical beliefs. And no matter how the political lineup changes across the world, no matter how many concessions this regime is given, and no matter who sits on the seat of presidency in Tehran, terrorism and human rights abuses will remain part and parcel of the regime’s domestic and foreign policy.

This reality, which as been proven time and again in the past four decades, warrants a firm policy toward Iran, one that embraces the aspirations of the Iranian people for regime change.

As Mrs. Rajavi said in her message to Wednesday’s conference, “Any concessions to this regime or silence towards its crimes, will only embolden it to increase its threats more than ever before. The only option is for the international community to show maximum resolve against this regime and to support the Iranian people in bringing down the regime and establishing a democratic government in Iran.”