DISCLAIMER: all opinions in this column reflect view of the autor(s), not of Vocal Europe
by Donya Jam
Majority of governments around the globe recognize the regime of Iran as one of the most state sponsors of terrorism. Iran has carried out numerous terrorist attacks worldwide, and continues to meddle in Middle Eastern countries. Take Syria for instance. Iran is continuously interfering in this country and is prolonging what is described to be the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
In 2011, the Syrian people peacefully took to the streets to protest against Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Since day one the goal of the demonstrators has been to oust Assad and establish a democratic government. The Assad regime however responded back to the people’s peaceful demands by relentlessly massacring protesters and civilians and bombing their homes.
It is estimated that over 500,000 people have been killed since the start of the revolution, including thousands of children. The Assad regime has committed atrocious crimes against humanity, including using chemical weapons. In Aug. 2013, the Assad regime used chemical weapons against civilians in Ghouta, Syria and killed over 1,400 people including many children. The attack was strongly condemned by the international community.
Despite the killings and heavy oppression, the Syrians continued their resistance. And as the fall of Assad was predicted to be near, Iran immediately stepped in to aid its ally. With its intervention in Syria, Iran has prolonged the crisis that continues till this very day.
During an interview in Jan. 2017, the now former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described the Syrian crisis as “the worst human catastrophe since World War II.”
It’s believed that if Iran had not involved itself in Syria there would be no sign of Assad today. Iran provided the Assad regime with money, weapons, and even sent its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to Syria to fight alongside the Syrian regime. Iran’s aid to the Syrian government still continues.
Is there still hope for attaining peace and democracy in Syria? There is hope, according to those who addressed the “Middle East Developments, French and European Approaches” conference which was held at the French National Assembly on January 17, 2017.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was the keynote speaker of the conference and politicians from Europe and the United States including Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, the former Vice President of the European Parliament, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Dominique Lefebvre, Michel Terrot, and Brigitte Allain addressed the meeting as well.
One of Mrs. Rajavi’s key points during the discussion was that if peace and stability is to prosper in Syria, the Iranian regime’s IRGC forces need to be expelled.
During her speech, Mrs. Rajavi said “The clerical regime in Tehran is the main source of export of terrorism and expansion of instability to the Middle East.” She added, “There will be no political solution as long as the Revolutionary Guards and their militia are on the Syrian soil. So, if we want peace, we must start with expelling the Iranian regime from Syria.”
She highlighted that France and the international community can act as major players in helping expel IRGC forces from Syria.
Syria, however, is not the only country the regime of Iran heavily interferes in. It meddles in other countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, and Lebanon. Therefore, Mrs. Rajavi called for a decisive policy against the Iranian regime to be upheld by the world community. “Showing firmness vis-à-vis the terrorist operations of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and its destructive role in the region is prerequisite to peace and tranquility in the region and the world.”
Mrs. Rajavi discussed the alternative for Iran as well, which is regime change by Iranians and their resistance movement.
The speakers agreed with Mrs. Rajavi’s recommendations and they expressed their support for the NCRI. The NCRI seeks the overthrow the Iranian regime and Mrs. Rajavi’s vision for the future can be found on her ten-point platform. Mrs. Rajavi and the NCRI advocate and seek to establish a secular and democratic Iran, free elections, the rule of law, an end to the death penalty, and a non-nuclear Iran.
Dr. Vidal-Quadras wrote an article about this event he participated and addressed, and highlighted the need for a new and correct Iran policy. He discussed the regime’s human rights abuses in Iran and Syria, and called on the west to stop turning a blind eye to Iran’s crimes. Over 3,000 have been executed in Iran since the so called “moderate” leader Hassan Rouhani came into power. Dr. Vidal-Quadras also called on the west to recognize the Iranian resistance movement lead by Mrs. Rajavi as an alternative to the ruling regime.
“In reality, the entirety of the Middle East will remain mired in violence, instability and backward thinking unless a genuinely free Iranian nation takes its place at the center of that region, where it can provide a positive example for its neighbors, as well as bringing an end to the regional interventions and support for terrorism that Iran, under the mullahs’ rule, has been carrying on through nearly 40 years,” wrote Dr. Vidal-Quadras.
From its meddling in Middle Eastern countries to its human rights record, the Iranian regime’s actions persistently exhibit they seek nothing but death and destruction. The regime of Iran is the reason why peace is not able to prosper in the region. Though long overdue, it is time for France and the international community to listen to the voices that have been calling for a new Iran approach. It is time to expel the Iranian regime’s IRGC from Syria and the Middle East region and recognize the Iranian people’s aspirations for liberating their country. In an atmosphere free of the Iranian regime’s terrorism and cruelty, one can be sure peace and tranquility will finally succeed in Syria, Middle East, and world.