By Jeremy Morris, Associate Editor, USDR
Last month, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei orchestrated yet another sham presidential election through which Hassan Rouhani was chosen to serve as the next President of Iran. A feverish attempt is now underway in the United States and elsewhere to portray Rouhani as a moderate and a reformer. Iran’s nuclear weapons program notwithstanding, some have even suggested that this new character may be able to fundamentally change how the regime treats its citizens.
We, as members of the Iranian American communities around the United States have known otherwise. Hassan Rowhani has been a high-ranking official of the Iranian regime throughout the last 30 years. For 16 years, starting in 1989, Rouhani served as Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the body responsible for all issues related to foreign policy and national security matters. He was its Secretary when Iran masterminded the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Cultural Center inBuenos Aires, killing 85 people, and of the Khobar Towers in 1996, killing 19 U.S. airmen. Rouhani has also been responsible for authorizing the arrest, execution, and torture of university students during the 1999 student uprising and beyond.
It is with this prospective that we commend Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) for their efforts towards imposing meaningful sanctions on the Iranian government. On June 22, 2013, some 100,000 Iranians participated in the Annual Convention for Democracy held in Paris, France to urge the international community to impose sanctions similar to those outlined in the bipartisan “Nuclear Iran Prevention Act” (H.R. 850). The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), our families in Iran, and Iranian-Americans within our network in 38 states also wish to recognize the honorable Members of Congress (Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Ted Poe and Lacy Clay) who joined us in Paris, denounced the Iranian government, asked for the relocation of the residents in Camp Liberty to Camp Ashraf, as a right step in making sure there will be no loss of lives in Camp Liberty due to the potential terrorist attacks, and supported democratic change in Iran.
We join Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Engle in condemning the “propaganda” which “is circulating” in the U.S. by National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and others “who speak in favor of the policies taken by the regime.” These apologists wish for neither peace nor democracy in Iran but are working to buy mullahs what they wish most at this juncture – time. NIAC in no way represents the Iranian American communities in the United States and is in fact detested by all freedom-loving Iranians.