Sara Diamond, The Media Express, 10 May 2018
On Wednesday, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (#NCRI) hosted a panel of leading experts and discussed the Iranian ballistic missile program, as well as its ties to Iran’s nuclear program, and methods to address the threatening impact of these programs on the Middle East.
Additionally, the event included the release of the NCRI authored report, Iran’s Ballistic Buildup: The March Toward Nuclear-Capable Missiles, which is a unique report detailing several facets of the ballistic missile program, including aspects of its organization, structure, production, and development, as well as addressing its launch facilities and command centers within the country.
The panelists included Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, a former Director of National Counter Proliferation Center and Special Adviser to the Director of National Intelligence; Dr. Olli Heinonen, former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and head of its Department of Safeguards; Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director, NCRI’s Washington office and author of The Iran Threat; and Matthew Kroenig, Associate Professor of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Senior Fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. The moderator was Rebeccah Heinrichs, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.
In light of the U.S. pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Tuesday, as announced by President #Trump, the situation regarding Iran’s weapons programs and their impact on the region is even more critical to the international community.
The panelists noted that Iranian regime is a sponsor of terrorism and Islamic extremism, its ballistic missile program, and its nuclear weapons program. All of these pillars are critical to the survival of the Iranian regime. When one is weak, according to Jafarzadeh, the regime works hard to shore up the other two. He also noted that various nuclear sites have not been inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and he also noted that no sites should be off limits to the inspectors, including military sites.
He also stressed that the Iranian regime is dealing with unrest throughout Iran, noting the economic struggles and the ongoing daily #protests throughout the cities of the country and that the lasting solution for the Iranian people is the end of the regime.
DeTrani’s comments focused on the JCPOA, and the responses to the U.S. pulling out of that agreement. At the same time, he noted that the decision by President Trump is a courageous one because the ballistic program in Iran was continuing to grow, despite the JCPOA, making it a real threat to the region.
Other panelists also brought out various viewpoints on the impact of the U.S. decision and that the process of addressing the threat of Iran would be ongoing.
Since the U.S. decision alters the landscape of international diplomacy regarding Iran, the NCRI annual meeting of Iranians and their allies in #Paris on June 30, 2018, is going to be even more critical. The NCRI, as a coalition of Iranian resistance groups that include the #PMOI/MEK, is providing a viable democratic option to the Iranian regime. For the international community to move forward in supporting the Iranian people, it is important to acknowledge that an alternative does exist for #Iran and its people.