Welcomes the call by the May 4 bipartisan House letter for continued Arms Embargo
U.N. travel ban must be extended and vigorously enforced
WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2020 — In an online video policy briefing today, entitled “The Imperative of Extending the UN’s Iran Arms Embargo,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US), welcomed the bi-partisan letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by an overwhelming majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. He said the letter serves as a clear indication that the threat of the Iranian regime is real, ongoing, and not a partisan issue, and that it exposes one of the major flaws in the JCPOA, allowing the expiration in October of the UN-sanctioned international arms embargo imposed on Tehran.
The Iranian regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has already stated the regime will take the opportunity to “buy and sell weapons” once the embargo ends. This is particularly alarming, given that Tehran has a very advanced ballistic missile program with a plan to outfit such missiles with nuclear warheads, as reaffirmed by the recent ballistic missile tests.
The letter also correctly states the need to contain the destabilizing activities of the Iranian regime in the region and globally. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Tehran has continued its malign activities, threatening its neighbors, attacking the United States, and endangering the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf. The vulnerable regime sees itself in dire need of suppression at home and harsh conduct abroad to enhance its chances of survival.
Jafarzadeh also emphasized the importance of the UN travel restrictions imposed on the regime’s officials involved in malign activities, and the need to add more individuals to the list. “Easing of the ban or not vigorously enforcing it, will enable officials, particularly the commanders of the Qods Force and other intelligence and terror officials, to travel more easily across the region and into Europe and other western countries. Think about how that would further unleash the terror network of the regime and would legitimize the presence of the Iranian regime’s top IRGC and Qods Force officials in the region as well as in Europe,” said Jafarzadeh.
He praised the bi-partisan support for the House letter, adding “This is good news for the Iranian people, as it shows that the U.S. Congress as a whole is on their side and not the regime’s, no matter how hard Tehran’s lobby campaigns or how much money and resources it spends in the U.S. This letter, released at the peak of Tehran’s efforts to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to get the sanctions lifted and thus empower the IRGC and its rogue behavior, is also another indication that the policy of appeasement which dominated the U.S. has long been defeated and cannot be revived.”
The experience of the past four decades makes it clear that the Iranian regime maintains power through shear repression at home and export of terrorism and destabilizing activities abroad. The Iranian people have reached the conclusion that so long as this regime is in power, corruption and repression will persist and Tehran will continue to spend billions waging violence in the region, and on its nuclear and missile programs. The arms embargo must never be lifted so long as the mullahs are in power.
“Tehran’s continued malign activities prove that all six U.N. Security Council Resolutions about the Iranian regime’s nuclear and missile program and repression must be reenacted and the sanctions associated with them re-imposed,” said Jafarzadeh, the author of The Iran Threat.
The mullahs ruling Iran do not deserve the trust of the international community; their regime long ago lost the trust of the Iranian people. Over the past two years, in three major uprisings in over 200 cities across Iran, the Iranian people have called for the end of the theocracy.
“The threat posed by the Iranian regime to Iran’s people and the outside world will persist until there is a fundamental change in Iran. The COVID-19 crisis is just another proof that the religious dictatorship places its own survival above the best interests of Iranians and the region’s stability. Its behavior is not going to change. There is only one solution and that is the change of the terrorist kleptocratic regime by the people of Iran. Now is the time for the international community to stand on the side of people and recognize their right to change the repressive regime and establish freedom and democracy in Iran,” NCRI-US deputy director said in his closing remarks.