Bruce McColm, Townhall, July 12, 2023
In a week marked by alarming developments, the international community was jolted by a resounding warning emanating from the United States, United Kingdom, and France. The UN Security Council bore witness to a grave revelation: Iran’s illicit trade of missiles and drones with Russia, coupled with its audacious pursuit of uranium enrichment for the insidious purpose of crafting nuclear weapons. These actions not only flagrantly violate Resolution 2231 but also cast an ominous shadow over the delicate fabric of global peace and security. In the face of these disquieting realities, it is imperative that the West respond to Tehran’s belligerence with a policy of unwavering resolve.
During the Security Council meeting, US Ambassador Robert Wood confronted the issue head-on, unequivocally asserting, “Russia’s brazen acquisition and subsequent production of Iranian drones on its own soil represent a gross violation of Resolution 2231. We must not shrink from condemning this destabilizing and dangerous conduct.” Ambassador Wood underscored the imperative for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch a comprehensive investigation.
French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière and British Ambassador Barbara Woodward joined this chorus of concern, emphasizing Iran’s repeated flouting of its nuclear obligations enshrined within the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Ambassador Woodward highlighted the gravity of the situation by revealing that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium currently exceeds JCPOA limits by more than 21 times.
This sobering reality serves as a stark testament to the regime’s alarming advancements in its nuclear program. It becomes abundantly clear that the Iranian regime’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons, its proliferation of missiles and drones, extends far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, presenting a grave threat to global stability. Urgency demands that we seek viable alternatives to this perilous path.
On July 1, a flicker of hope pierced the darkness as the largest Iranian opposition group united under a shared vision: a free, secular, democratic, and non-nuclear Iran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) organized an event that witnessed the convergence of numerous luminaries from Europe and the United States. Distinguished figures, including former US Vice President Mike Pence, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Obama’s National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, and former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark stood united in their support for the establishment of a democratic republic in Iran—one that categorically rejects the yoke of both monarchist and theocratic rule.
A resounding statement delivered by over 3,600 parliamentarians from 61 legislative bodies across 40 countries in Europe, North America, and the Arab world serves as a testament to the global groundswell of support for Maryam Rajavi’s 10-Point Plan—a blueprint charting Iran’s path toward a democratic future. That statement lays bare the fallacy of perpetuating a policy of appeasement toward the Iranian regime. It underscores the urgent necessity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iranian people and their unwavering resistance movement. This path alone holds the promise of ensuring lasting peace and security—both in the region and across the globe. The significance of the recent Free Iran World Summit far surpasses mere symbolism. It serves as a powerful reminder that the world must not allow itself to be held hostage by the regime’s menacing threats of nuclear weapons, drones, and missiles.
As Mr. Pence cogently remarked, the NCRI emerges as a viable alternative to the prevailing regime. Within its ranks, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has meticulously organized thousands of impassioned activists—collectively known as Resistance Units—across Iran. These resolute units, unyielding in their commitment, spearhead uprisings and anti-regime protests, fearlessly amplifying the voice of the Iranian people. The NCRI rally witnessed the collective roar of 10,000 campaigns by Resistance Units, resolutely affirming their unwavering dedication to their cause of a democratic Iran.
Another vital dimension of the NCRI rally lies in its remarkable triumph over the Iranian regime’s attempts to suppress it. In the face of initial prohibitions imposed by French authorities, following discussions with the regime’s president, the NCRI persevered, successfully overturning the ban through legal means and triumphantly holding the rally in central Paris. This resounding victory not only served to humble the regime but also showcased the organizational and diplomatic might of the NCRI as the sole democratic alternative to the existing regime.
If Western powers genuinely aspire to thwart the Iranian regime’s menacing pursuit of nuclear weapons, drones, and missiles, they must decisively reject the policy of appeasement. Instead, they must align themselves unequivocally with the Iranian people and their resolute resistance movement. Any delay or hesitancy in embracing this path will only serve to strengthen a regime hurtling at an alarming pace toward the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Moreover, it will perpetuate the inescapable reality of global peace and security being jeopardized by the regime’s unwavering support for authoritarian governments and warmongers across the globe.
The hour has arrived for the international community to adopt an eloquent, persuasive, and unequivocally effective approach in the face of the Iranian regime’s audacious actions. By standing united with the Iranian people and their indomitable resistance movement, Western governments possess the power to unlock a future defined by peace, stability, and democracy—for Iran and for the world at large.
Mr. McColm is the President of the Institute for Democratic Strategies and the former Executive Director of the Freedom House.