Senior U.S. Lawmakers meet Iranian opposition leader in France, Call for comprehensive sanctions against Tehran

EU Reporter Correspondent, The EU Reporter, 24 February 2018

Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, and Judge Ted Poe (R-TX), Chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade of the US House of Representatives made the call during the meeting with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran at the NCRI headquarters, northwest of Paris on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the uprising by the Iranian people that began in late December and January and quickly expanded to cities and towns throughout Iran. Protests and acts of defiance have continued in February. During the protests, the people, demonstrated their desire for regime change.

Some 50 protesters were shot to death, and according to the network of the people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) inside the country, 8,000 protesters were arrested. At least 12 of the detained were tortured to death.

The senior U.S. lawmakers condemned the Iranian regime for its brutal crackdown on the protests and underscored that the international community must break its silence and inaction vis-à-vis the atrocities perpetrated by the regime against its own citizens. They also urged the U.S. Government to impose comprehensive sanctions, including financial and banking sanctions on Iranian regime’s officials and entities, especially those involved in suppressing the protesters.

They also called for measures that would enable the Iranian people to overcome the blocking of the internet and allow them access to communication systems.

The meeting took place at a time when concerns with regard to Iran’s ballistic missiles program, its meddling in the affairs of countries in the region, and its support of extremist groups have become pressing issues on the both sides of the Atlantic.

The U.S. lawmakers also urged the U.S. Government to force the expulsion of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its proxy militias from the countries in the region.

The US Congress has passed several bipartisan pieces further sanctions on the IRGC and Tehran’s nefarious regional conduct and ballistic missile program in recent months. Several other pieces of legislations are under consideration in the US Congress.

“The U.S. Government needs to officially recognize that the Iranian people reject the corrupt and repressive mullah regime in Iran. We, in Congress and the U.S. Government must make it clear that we are on the side of the Iranian people and not their Islamic, fanatic and corrupt allies who oppress them,” Rep. Rohrabacher said.

Rep. Poe emphasized that the world community must hold the Iranian regime’s officials accountable for their atrocities and assist the people of Iran in their noble quest for freedom and democracy.

“The uprising marked a turning point in the struggle of the Iranian people to attain freedom and democracy,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

According to the Iranian opposition leader, the “chants of ‘death to Khamenei’ and ‘death to Rouhani,’ and ‘reformer, hardliner, the game is now over’ made it palpably clear that the Iranian people demand the overthrow of this regime.”

Rajavi emphasized that this uprising will continue until the overthrow of the clerical regime because the underlying factors that propelled the uprising, namely economic mismanagement, rampant government corruption, increasing poverty and inflation, escalating suppression, and a whole host of other social and political problems cannot and will not be resolved.

The NCRI president-elect added, “With the Iranian people’s uprising, the clerical regime has entered its final phase and as such any investment in this regime is doomed to fail. It is time for the international community to stand with the Iranian people and not with the clerical regime.” Mrs. Rajavi also called on the international community to exert greater pressure on the clerical regime to secure the speedy release of all protesters.

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