Nowruz-NCRI

April 24, 2022 aghareza2017

April 16, 2022

Washington, DC, March 25, 2022 – Distinguished policy and national security experts called for maintaining Iran’s IRGC on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) of the U.S. Department of State, argued for no sanctions relief, and highlighted the prospects for change in Iran, during a conference organized by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US). The speakers included several cabinet members, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, U.S. military generals, academics and scientists, and experts from various think tanks including the Heritage Foundation, the Atlantic Council, the Stimson Center, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, National Institute for Public Policy, JINSA and INSA.

The NCRI-US conference held on March 25, 2022, coincided with the ancient Iranian new year, Nowruz.

Mr. Alireza Jafarzadeh’s Opening Remarks

Mr. Jafarzadeh welcomed the guests and outlined the main themes of the conference: “Today, we intend to discuss the state of the Iranian regime, its weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, the state of protests, and the desire of the Iranian people for change. We will look at the behavior of the Iranian regime including its nuclear weapons program, its missile and UAV program, its support for proxy terror groups, its role in supporting the invasion of Ukraine by siding with the unjust war there. And finally, what the U.S. policy should be in countering all of these problems, but also in helping the people of Iran to achieve freedom, the same way that the people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom from occupation, invasion, and bombings.” Full remarks of Mr. Jafarzadeh are available: READ MORE…

The Conference’s Guest Speakers

Excerpts from each of the guest speaker’s remarks are presented below, along with a link to the full text of their speech.

Ms. Soona Samsami, U.S. Representative, National Council of Resistance of Iran:“Raisi has failed. Last year, Iran was on the scene of major anti-regime uprisings every four months by the farmer, workers, teachers, nurses, defrauded investors, steelworkers, and fuel porters. This was coupled with the expanding activities of the Resistance Units, a nationwide network of mostly young activists affiliated with the MEK.” READ MORE…

Hon. Michael Mukasey, 81st Attorney General of the United States: “I submit to you that removing the IRGC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations would actually be even worse than not having placed the organization on the list in the first place. As a practical matter, being on the list exposes people and entities that deal with the IRGC to financial and even criminal penalties under U.S. law.” READ MORE…

Hon. David Shedd, former Acting Director, Defense Intelligence Agency: “When I think of the U.S. policy of delisting them, … American lives that have been lost or maimed in the war in Iraq, Khobar Towers, and I could go on in terms of Syria and elsewhere, where the IRGC has actively engaged in terrorist acts against the American people as well, … what kind of message does this send to other nations that might use as an instrument of national power the role or the aspects of terrorism as a means for either staying in power or promoting their interests abroad.” READ MORE…

Amb. Joseph DeTrani, former Special Adviser to the Director of National Intelligence: “So, I think we have to be realistic on the geopolitical side of the equation. Iran is on a path and all indications are they will not change what they are doing with their Quds Force, they will not change with the IRGC, and they will not change what they’re doing with a few of their proxies. So, I totally agree with my colleagues when they talk about taking the IRGC off the list of foreign terrorist organizations. What a message that would be, it would be profound.” READ MORE…

Amb. Robert G. Joseph, former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control & International Security: “You might ask yourself, how is this even possible? We know that these are empty promises that would never be fulfilled. As others have pointed out, the IRGC is a terrorist organization. As David said, terrorism is in their DNA. … How can this administration believe that Iran would keep such commitments? How can this administration believe that rejoining the JCPOA will bring détente with Iran and a more stable region?” READ MORE…

Amb. Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs: : “The Iranian regime continues severe repression of the Iranian people. Iranians who seek economic rights, fight corruption as we know, and have protested the brutal regime, have been persecuted, they’ve been imprisoned, and sometimes executed as well.” READ MORE…

General (ret.) Chuck F. Wald: “I totally echo the concerns with the IRGC being taken off the terrorist list. There’s no way that should be allowed to happen. … [and] the ballistic missile development and testing by the Iranians is another step that is lost in the discussion many times but is a significant issue for the United States.” READ MORE…

Amb. Mitchell Reiss, former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department: “Since 2018, there have been 8 major uprisings in Iran involving 200 cities and hundreds of thousands of people. The protests have continued in 2022. Resistance Units, organized by the main Iranian opposition, the MEK, and consisting of all sectors of the Iranian society, have been leading the protests and targeting symbols of repression all across Iran.” READ MORE…

Mr. Jonathan Ruhe, JINSA Director of Foreign Policy: “… compared to the 2015 deal, the regime’s missile and drone capabilities are much more advanced now and it can proliferate these capabilities much more effectively around the Middle East than it could in 2015 … when the original deal was agreed, Iran and its proxies used roughly 100 total projectiles in attacks around the Middle East. Most of these projectiles were simple, relatively rudimentary, unguided short-range rockets. By comparison, just last year that number was up to 750, … and these were mostly advanced, longer-range, and much more pricey drones and ballistic missiles.” READ MORE…

Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs: “… Iran continues to violate international norms. The crisis in Ukraine reminds us that international norms are what we must live by in a peaceful world. So, when this is over, mark my words, it’s time to have a major conversation about the return of democratic countries, the freestanding world, and groups like the NCRI, to support Madame Rajavi’s 10-point plan, which is perfectly consistent with all of our values, and to stand for these things not just because it makes us feel good but because we need to push back against the deep danger of authoritarians, from Moscow to Beijing to Tehran and elsewhere. This is my hope for the new year.” READ MORE…

Dr. Steven Bucci, visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation: “We must stop this foolishness of trying to work with the mullahs, return to operating from a position of strength and maximum sanctions, and do our best to end this horrific regime and work toward true freedom for the Iranian people.” READ MORE…

Dr. Siamack Shojai, Professor of Business, William Paterson University: “The Iranian people complain about the unemployment rate among youth being more than 40%. The unemployment rate among women is literally 90%. And then all the funds that have been given to this regime, even when there were no sanctions, even when there was no extreme pressure and during the previous government, Ahmadinejad’s government, more than $800 million worth of oil revenue was just siphoned off without even a dime of benefit to the Iranian people… the sanctions have had nothing to do with the mismanagement and corruption that exists in Iran, which has caused economic misery among the Iranian people.” READ MORE…

Dr. Behzad Raofi, NASA Chief Validation Engineer for Space Missions: “… Iran’s claim of peaceful space and nuclear program is merely a front for its activities aimed to develop a nuclear weapons capability. …The Fateh-110 missile has higher maneuverability than intermediate-range ballistic missile capability and was tested in November 2015 and in 2017… clearly after JCPOA was signed in July of 2015. The U.S. considers this to be a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which calls upon Iran to not work on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” READ MORE…

Hon. Robert G. Torricelli, former Democratic Senator from New Jersey: “And so, my message for this Nowruz would be the world see us in the same light. And as the administration negotiates with Tehran, mullahs insisting that the Revolutionary Guard be lifted from the terrorist list, we resoundingly say no. What has changed? How is the Revolutionary Guard any less terrorist today than they were yesterday or when they were killing American soldiers in Iraq? How are they less terrorist?” READ MORE…

Seena Saiedian, an Iranian-American studying at the University of Berkeley, played piano on the occasion of the New Iranian Year and said, “While the dawning of spring is meant to be a time of celebration, the new year also provokes reflection. In the spirit of celebrating Iranian culture and the new year, I’d like to play a song called Gole Goldoon, which roughly translates to blossoming flowers. To me, this song invokes a sense of hope for a new era blossoming from the youth in Iran.” READ MORE…FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle +Email