On March 14th on Capital Hill, a distinguished group of American dignitaries gathered to discuss the future of a free Iran, at an event titled “Iran Uprising, the Harbinger of a Free Iran.” Below are highlights of their comments. In addition to the segments below, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed support for the Iranian people in their quest for freedom and democracy. The event was hosted by the Organization of Iranian American Communities and coincided with the Persian new year holiday of Nowruz.
Senator Joe Lieberman gave a long list for optimism that regime change is near, "I build on what Ambassador and General Jones have said, because the regime is really rotting. And the people of Iran, courageously, are rising up against the regime. And I must say, in the spirit of nonpartisanship, there happens to be a new sheriff in town. He’s a controversial sheriff. Some like him, some don’t like him. His name is Donald J. Trump. But when it comes to Iran, President Trump has changed the whole game and the whole reality by breaking us out of the Iran nuclear agreement, which was a bad deal for the U.S. and a good deal for Iran, and continuing through his administration to intensify the political and economic pressure of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is one of the reasons why the regime is rotting internally.
Former National Security Advisor and Commandant of the Marine Corp, General James Jones, discussed the growing threat from the Iranian regime in the Middle East, "Among Tehran’s most coveted objectives is establishing a long-desired land bridge from Tehran to Beirut via Iraq and Syria as a platform for spreading radical ideology by force and intimidation, including through the regime’s military and financial support of Hezbollah and other terrorist enterprises.
"Witness Mr. Rouhani’s visit to Iraq earlier this month in Iran’s ongoing effort to assert itself further in Iraqi politics and government."
Jones outlined the danger a further entrenched Iran in the region would be to United States security and that of American allies.
Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield asked the audience why the focus is on Russia and not Iran regarding foreign interference, "Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. China is also a major intelligence target. Is anybody investigating Iran? Does anyone in the room believe for a moment that the mullahs in Tehran don’t care how we think here in Washington? We, the strongest country on earth? We, who are setting the tone of an international campaign to cut off oil exports from Iran? Obviously, they care a lot."
Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor Tom Ridge told the audience how, when he was head of Homeland Security, how he knew for sure the PMOI/MEK were not terrorists and were put on the Terrorism list in order to appease the Mullahs, "...What you don’t know, during my tenure at- in the White House, I met just about every morning bright and early with a group of people in the Oval Office to review a series of terrorist threats directed at Americans, American interest, both home and abroad. In the time that I was in Washington, D.C. from October of 2001 until I left in 2005—that’s quite a long time—I must have been part of over 1,000 briefings and God only knows how many thousands of pages of terrorist threats. And the intelligence community would identify from the various sources where they thought those threats were coming from. I will tell you one of the reasons I decided to support the cause of the Iranian people. It was because the MEK was never—never appeared—not one day on one memo on one page on one allegation that they were a terrorist organization."
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