Senior Former U.S. Officials Reject War With Iran, Urge Reaching Out To The Iranian People, Organized Opposition

On the heels of the major gathering of the Iranian opposition in Paris on July 1, some thirty prominent American luminaries and former officials issued a joint statement expressing bipartisan support for the Iranian resistance and underscoring the need for a more firm approach towards Iran’s ruling clerics.

Among the signatories were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The letter scolds the ruling clerics of Iran for causing regional instability, engaging in egregious human rights violations and exporting terrorism and extremism abroad. The high-profile personalities and former officials rejected the view that Iran’s political establishment can be reformed. "The hope of some Western governments was that time would lead to moderation by the Mullahs or to the emergence of a reformist faction that could challenge the dominance of the clerical regime. The reality has been far different," they stated.

Concerning Tehran’s regional role, the signatories said, "The Iran-fueled sectarian division of Iraq laid the foundation for the creation of ISIS…. Iran today commands and funds upwards of 150,000 IRGC, Shia militia and mercenary armed fighters in Iraq and Syria." "We agree with the apparent new US policy of ending the previous United States overture toward the Iranian regime," the statement added.

Among other signatories are former Senator Joseph Lieberman, former National Security Advisor James Jones, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former DNC Chairman Edward Rendell, former U.S. Marine Corps Commandant James Conway, , and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

They added that the “Tehran regime is uniquely vulnerable,” citing chronic economic mismanagement and fierce power struggle within the regime. “Mounting popular discontent has increasingly become visible in public,” they added, citing growing social calls for accountability for the “mass executions of political opponents, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners with a majority of them from the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).”

The luminaries said a “viable organization” exists to change the clerical regime. “Under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi, a Muslim woman standing for gender equality, which is an antidote to Islamic fundamentalism and extremism, it is working every day to bring about a tolerant, non-nuclear Iranian republic based on separation of religion and state, that will uphold the rights of all.”

They added, “The National Council of Resistance of Iran … has the vision, leadership and courage to lead the way to the creation of a new Iran.”

They called on world governments to provide moral support to the Iranian people’s quest for freedom.

“The international community,” they said, “must meet its responsibility by condemning the Mullahs’ oppression and embracing the Iranian people’s aspirations for a free and prosperous Iran accepted and respected around the world.”

On July 1, more than 100,000 Iranian expatriates and their supporters from five continents gathered near Paris to voice support for regime change and the NCRI’s plan for a free Iran. Prior to the rally, hundreds of pictures and videos surfaced in Iran where young people wrote slogans and hanged posters in Tehran and other major Iranian cities in support of the Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi.

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Harvard-educated, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a world-renowned businessman, a leading Iranian-American political scientist, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, and best-selling author. He serves on the advisory board of Harvard International Review.

Dr. Rafizadeh is frequently invited to brief governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as speak, as a featured speaker, at security, business, diplomatic, and social events. He has been recipient of several fellowships and scholarships including from Oxford University, Annenberg, University of California Santa Barbara, Fulbright program, to name few He is regularly quoted and invited to speak on national and international outlets including CNN, BBC World TV and Radio, ABC, Aljazeera English, Fox News, CTV, RT, CCTV America, Skynews, CTV, and France 24 International, to name a few. . He analyses have appeared on academic and non-academic publications including New York Times International, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fareed zakaria GPS, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The National. Aljazeera, The Daily Beast, The Nation, Jerusalem Post, The Economic Times, USA Today Yale Journal of International Affairs, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and Harvard International Review. He is a board member of several significant and influential international and governmental institutions, and he is native speaker of couple of languages including Persian, English, and Arabic. He also speaks Dari, and can converse in French, Hebrew. More at Harvard. And You can learn more about Dr. Rafizadeh on HERE. The post was originally published on the Arab News.

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