Ali Safavi, Townhall, August 21, 2023
When it comes to Iran policy, an all-too-familiar mantra has endured for decades among Western policymakers: Appeasement. Yet, the march of history offers a stern lesson: Appeasement exacts a weighty toll on the Iranian people while endangering the delicate fabric of global peace and security. It is high time for the West to extricate itself from the snare of these perilous missteps and embark on a new path by scrutinizing the ever-evolving realities concerning Iran.
The aftermath of the influential 2022 uprising has unquestionably exposed chinks in the Iranian theocracy’s armor. One is reminded of the Shah’s despotic rule, which was even fortified by ample financial support from the United States and Europe. Yet, when Iranian citizens discerned the fundamental obsolescence of the Shah’s dominion, he was ultimately overthrown in 1979.
Much like the Shah’s regime, as the winds of change gain momentum, the theocracy is inching closer to being ousted, its fate swaying beyond the vicissitudes of any nuclear accord or the ephemeral posturing of international diplomacy. Appeasement is simply futile.
In a significant departure from the anti-monarchical revolution, today, the Iranian people march with a potent ally: an organized resistance movement – a democratic alliance propelled by tenacious Resistance Units on the ground. This growing movement nurtures a dual objective: the dismantling of the oppressive regime and laying the bedrock for a modern republic grounded in the noble ideals of freedom, democracy, and gender equality—a triumphant vision of Iran’s promising future.
Cognizant of the inevitable swell of popular uprisings, the ruling clerics and their praetorian guard, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), implore the US and Europe to curtail the organized opposition’s fundamental rights. The regime’s main target lies squarely on the most significant and most enduring democratic coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
When the NCRI’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, was officially invited in July to address the Italian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the regime’s reaction was nothing short of a tempest of outrage and fury. Tehran’s visceral outrage and swift summoning of the Italian ambassador bespoke volumes about its profound fear of the NCRI. The foreign ministry officially warned Rome against parliamentary support for Mrs. Rajavi and her Ten Point Plan—a blueprint for a liberated Iran.
The Italian visit came on the heels of the Free Iran World Summit in Paris, which hosted over 500 current and former senior officials, international luminaries, and lawmakers, including former US Vice President Mike Pence, and former UK and Canadian prime ministers, Liz Truss and Stephen Harper, former US National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Wesley Clark, striking another resounding blow to the mullahs.
Some Iran observers characterized the Paris summit as a diplomatic “coup” orchestrated by the opposition, effectively eclipsing the waning fortunes of the mullahs. These proceedings underscore the sheer impotence of Western endeavors aimed at appeasing the mullahs, as the steady ascendancy of the organized opposition commands the international stage.
Western policymakers should question the source of the profound fear elicited in Tehran by the Resistance. The Iranian theocracy, adept at exploiting any signs of weakness on the part of its foreign interlocutors, may use the facade of Western compromise as a tactical ploy, allowing it to buy time, regroup, and further suppress dissent. But it will not forestall the regime’s ultimate demise.
As Mrs. Rajavi told Italian representatives and senators, the Iranian people are not soliciting foreign governments’ assistance to topple the regime. Employing unparalleled moral clarity, she simply implored them to renounce their patronage and appeasement of the fascist religious tyranny.
Reflect, for a moment, upon the resolution passed by the majority of elected representatives of the American people (H.Res 100) or the statement signed by 3,600 parliamentarians in 61 legislative assemblies across 40 nations, including majorities in 29 countries. Or the historic open letter signed by 124 former world leaders, including presidents and prime ministers. These voices reject both the legacy of the Shah and the current religious fascism while endorsing the Ten-point Plan proposed by the Resistance and will foster a more secure and prosperous international order.
Amidst Iran’s desolation under the theocracy’s brutal reign, a gallant generation of youth traverse the labyrinthine streets, revolting against bastions of tyranny and oppression. These emerging glimmers of revolution and freedom coalesce into a potent force known to the world as the Resistance Units that are affiliated with the NCRI’s primary constituent organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK)?
The twilight hour descends upon the religious dictatorship in Iran. The Iranian people and their organized resistance will ceaselessly endeavor until the iridescent dawn of a free, secular, democratic, and non-nuclear republic in Iran illuminates the free world while eclipsing menacing authoritarian tendencies that threaten us all.