The US Congress Must Hold Khamenei Responsible for its Terrorist Acts and Rights Abuses
On Thursday, December 27th, Townhall published an op-ed from Bruce Malcolm, the Director of the Institute for Democratic Strategies. Malcolm, an expert in his field, took the opportunity to call on Congress and the Trump administration to take a firmer stance against the dangerous Iranian dictatorship.
Malcolm describes how the regime’s vulnerability was exposed at the beginning of 2018 following the extensive nationwide protests that racked the country in January. As the anniversary of the uprising approaches, “the anti-regime uprising has grown, invisibility and viability, coalescing into a unified movement that now includes virtually all sectors of Iranian society”, Malcolm writes.
Since the December and January uprising, which rapidly spread to 140 of Iran’s cities, a steady stream of protests, strikes, and demonstrations has engulfed Iranian society and industry. Truck drivers, teachers, steelworkers, and farmers have periodically left their jobs and taken to the streets to express their dismay and fury at the repressive policies of the mullahs.
Malcolm writes, “driven by disastrous economic policies, skyrocketing inflation, unemployment, political corruption, and the omnipresent repression, their political demands strike to the heart of the matter”.
The regime’s response has exposed the chinks in its armor. It has lacked structure and has little in the way of a strategic plan beyond violence and repression. The regime has demonized and threatened protestors in an attempt to break up the demonstrations. It has also targeted messaging platforms like Telegram and Instagram to prevent the spread of protests. “Contrary to the views of some in the West, his [Supreme Leader Khamenei’s] regime is a fragile, failing state”, Malcolm asserts.
A War of Words
Khamenei and the mullahs have frequently resorted to branding Iranian political dissidents and critics as “terrorists” to turn the tide of public opinion against their political opponents.
Malcolm describes how the regime berates “the leading opposition, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MEK)… in an effort to contain the mounting protests in Tehran”.
Alongside a propaganda war against the protestors, 2018 has seen the Iranian regime increase its terror activities against the Iranian opposition and the MEK in Europe. “This year four terrorist plots were uncovered”, Malcolm writes, “including the bombing of an opposition rally outside Paris where tens of thousands were in attendance”.
Following a thorough investigation by the MEK in conjunction with the French authorities, it was concluded that the regime leadership and Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) were personally involved in the coordination and planning of the terror attack. An Iranian diplomat based at the regime’s embassy in Austria was arrested over his involvement in the foiled plot and will face trial in Belgium.
The regime has also expanded its nefarious activities in the US. Two Iranian agents were arrested on espionage charges in the US earlier this year.
A Viable Alternative
Malcolm writes, “the alternative to the Iranian regime is democracy, and the opposition”. The MEK has a coherent ten-point plan for bringing democracy to Iran and ensuring a smooth transition from the autocratic rule of the Supreme Leader to a fully-functioning democracy.
“Iranians want a republic, not an Islamic republic led by the mullahs”, Malcolm writes. “With 37 years of experience and dedication, the NCRI (MEK) has proven itself as the genuine alternative that can achieve democracy and create a free modern society”.
Malcolm concludes, “Iran’s people have reached the end of their rope, and will no longer tolerate a regime built on suppression, financial malfeasance, and terror.” The MEK is gaining traction daily and the mullahs’ days in power are numbered.
“This is the time for the US Congress and administration to hold the Ayatollah and his regime responsible for their terrorist acts and human rights abuses, and to endorse the Iranian people’s efforts to achieve democracy and freedom”.