US senators express support for a free, secular, non-nuclear Iran

On 16 March, on the eve of the Persian New Year, the Organisation of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) held a briefing in the US Senate on Nowrouz. 

Leading senators from both sides of the aisle, as well as prominent politicians, gathered to discuss US policy towards Iran. The event focused on identifying concrete steps that can be taken to support the Iranian people in their struggle against the oppressive regime and to establish a democratic, non-nuclear, secular Iran.  

Leading US politicians praised Ms Rajavi's leadership, her ten-point plan for Iran's future and the courage of the PMOI-led resistance units, which have been at the forefront of the national uprising.  

In her message to the bipartisan conference on Thursday, Ms Rajavi explained how "the regime is spreading disinformation in Iran and abroad to hinder the progress of the NCRI (Coalition of Democratic Forces for a Secular Government), which is being taken over by the remnants of the old regime to promote the demonisation project". 

Ms Rajavi also stressed that the recent uprising "is not a temporary event but is deeply rooted". In the struggle against the mullahs, 120,000 people lost their lives, including 30,000 political prisoners who were massacred in 1988. Ninety per cent of them were MEK members and sympathisers.  

"This huge loss of life is the price paid by the Iranian people for freedom and is one of the significant factors that continue to fuel the protests," he added.  

President Barack Obama's former national security adviser, General James Jones, was the next speaker to express his full support for Rajavi and his ten-point plan for Iran's future.  

Rejecting the misguided notion of the return of a fallen monarchy in Iran, General Jones stressed that the recent women's protests demonstrate the struggle against all forms of dictatorship and the aspiration for a secular republic.  

"This uprising is not just about overthrowing the oppressive regime that currently rules Iran. It is a struggle against all forms of dictatorship. The people aspire to a democratic and secular republic," declared General Jones.  

"Now is the time to give maximum support to these brave men and women who are fighting for their freedom and that of future generations in a democratic, secular, non-nuclear Iranian Republic,2 said former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, who also praised Ms Rajavi's ten-point plan and how it could influence Iran's future 

In his next speech, former Senator Joseph Lieberman recalled decades of courageous efforts for freedom in Iran. He praised the way in which the MEK and the NCRI, led by Maryam Rajavi, have fought tirelessly against authoritarian and repressive regimes. He also made several recommendations to President Biden's administration:

  • Declare the nuclear deal under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) dead.

  • Impose snapback sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

  • Work with European allies to personally sanction the regime's supreme leader and president for human rights violations and support for terrorism.

  • Sanction the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation.

  • Strictly enforce US sanctions, including sanctions against all ships carrying oil and petroleum products from Tehran.

Senator Tom Tillis (R-North Carolina) was among those attending Thursday's event. While praising the role of the Iranian American communities in raising awareness of the situation in Iran, Senator Tillis said: "We have to make sure that we have a very clear vision that the only way for Iran to change is for the leadership to leave and for the voice of the Iranian people to be heard.  

US Under Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. also addressed the conference on Thursday, refuting the Iranian regime's decades-old accusations and arguments against the MEK, which have been persistently wielded by Tehran's network of "journalist friends" and other experts. He also rejected the possibility of a return to monarchy in Iran, which was marketed by the Shah's scion, Reza Pahlavi.  

Debunking propaganda against the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK)   

Ambassador Bloomfield Jr. referred to Reza Pahlavi's appearance at the Munich Security Conference. Outside the hall, Pahlavi supporters held up pictures of Parviz Sabetti, former number two in his father's notorious SAVAK security forces, with the caption 'the nightmare of future terrorists'.  

Quoting from a book by Yves Bonnet, former head of the French domestic intelligence agency, Ambassador Bloomfield Jr. said: "SAVAK was offered a deal: lose everything or work for us. Lose everything or work for us. And they became VEVAK. They had people stationed all over Europe. They wanted these relationships and they've been working for the ayatollahs for four decades. So, when you see someone from SAVAK stand up and say, yes, this is what we want and, you know, let me through, you must dig deep and understand. Is this what people risk their lives for?". 

It should be noted that Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a former presidential candidate, also attended the OPCW programme on Thursday and expressed his full support for the Iranian people's quest for freedom and democracy.

Hamid Enayat is a political scientist specialising in Iran. He is a contributor to the Iranian Democratic Opposition (IRNC).