Iranian dissidents are calling on the Biden government to keep up the pressure on the country’s leaders, arguing that the regime is at its “weakest point in history” even as the government appears willing to re-engage with Tehran.
A report by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC), which opposes the regime and calls for a secular and democratic government, warns that US policy based on isolation or compromise “is based on blind faith that the regime someday he will change his behavior, an assumption that is logically unfounded and obviously unconvincing. “
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It alleges that the regime’s human rights record has worsened in recent years and has pointed to cases in which it supports terrorism, both in the region through its support for groups like Hezbollah and in Europe with the plot against dissidents in Paris. in 2018.
“Those who want to deal with the Iranian regime must understand that the Iranian regime is desperate, weak and very isolated among its own population,” said OIAC political director Dr. Majid Sadeghpour in a statement accompanying the report.
The Trump administration launched a “maximum pressure” campaign against the regime, withdrawing from the 2015 Iran deal and imposing waves of sanctions on exports and senior officials.
The report says that a series of massive protests since 2019 has demonstrated the government’s fragility: “The regime is clearly at the weakest point in history,” it says, and maintains that Tehran’s attention has now been focused on maintaining the control of lifting at home.
But the Biden administration has tried to take a different approach. He has pushed back a Trump-era effort to re-impose UN sanctions, including an arms embargo on Tehran, while indicating that he wants to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. It has also ended support for Saudi offensive operations in Yemen, where the Saudis are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that the new commitment is conditional on Iran changing its behavior.
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“The path to diplomacy is open at the moment. Iran is still a long way from fulfilling [with the deal]”he said recently, according to Reuters.” So we’ll have to see what he does. “
Dissidents warn that getting involved diplomatically “may run the risk of dissipating the considerable US influence gained through the maximum pressure campaign, something the administration seems to grasp.”
He urges the administration to rally European allies and dissidents to pressure Iran to change its behavior and link any commitment to “verifiable measures to curb its excesses at home” and to investigations of past human rights abuses.
“Tehran should also be held accountable for taking foreign nationals hostage, rather than being rewarded for their release, which only leads to more hostage-taking,” the report says, calling for the release of the hostages. political prisoners.
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Furthermore, he says the administration should avoid easing or eliminating sanctions unless there are what it calls “substantial changes” in the regime’s policies.
“The withdrawal from Tehran must be meaningful and lasting, not half-hearted or transitory. The regime’s regional depredations, blackmail and espionage tactics must be dealt with effectively through firm White House policy,” he says.
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Dissidents’ calls for a secular and democratic Iran were reinforced earlier this month when a jointly signed resolution was introduced by more than 100 lawmakers from both parties supporting a secular and democratic Iran and condemning terrorist plots. of the regime.
Meanwhile, Republicans raised concerns that the Biden administration is abandoning the sanctions push. On Tuesday, Homeland Security Republicans in the House of Representatives warned that doing so would be a “historic mistake.”