NCRI Panel

MEK Iran: Importance of Renewed Sanctions in Light of New IAEA Report

NCRI Panel

“Europe should investigate whether the IRGC plans like the bombing plot in Paris [against MEK members attending the 2018 Free Iran gathering] will become more dangerous should the embargo be lifted.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) U.S. Office hosted a panel on Thursday to discuss the findings of a new report on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). A panel of distinguished guests shared their concerns about the regime’s determination to create a nuclear weapon, its role as the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and the need to restore U.N. sanctions on the regime.

The following are highlights from the panelists’ remarks:

Alireza Jafarzadeh

Deputy Director of the NCRI U.S. Office

“If anyone is surprised that Iran’s uranium is tenfold higher than the JCPOA limits, they just need to look at the regime’s record of cheating on its obligations.”

“NCRI exposed the Lavizan-Shian in May 2003. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was allowed to visit the site thirteen months later. By the time they got there, there were no buildings, and the whole site was razed. Even then, the IAEA had found traces of highly enriched uranium (HEU).”

“Another revelation was the Kalaye Electric facility, exposed in February 2003. The IAEA demanded access in 2003. They were not given permission to take samples until August. The regime had sanitized the site, but nonetheless traces of HEU were found.”

“Current regime president Hassan Rouhani explicitly admitted that the regime had tried to hide traces of nuclear activity at the site. He confessed that the regime tried hard to cheat.”

“Another example was the METFAZ site, exposed in 2009. The regime tried to move some of the operations to other places. Another component, the highly explosive chamber, exposed by the NCRI, was removed by the regime before access was granted to inspectors.”

“The most recent case was the Abadh nuclear site, razed in July 2019, when the IAEA requested access.”

“The regime has constantly caused delays and tampered with evidence. They have lied until their operations were exposed.”

“The fact that the IAEA has been allowed to go to some of these sites under tremendous international pressure does not mean the regime has come clean. They continue to try to cheat and hide the details of their operations.”

Ilan Berman

Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council

“The new findings of the IAEA suggest there’s been a massive expansion of Iran’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile. There is evidence Iran is installing new centrifuges at Natanz, and it’s blocking access to IAEA inspectors. There are still doubts about the international community’s ability to see the grand sweep of Iran’s nuclear activity.”

“Iran’s nuclear breakout threshold has reduced to three-and-half months. The reality is the provisions that exist today aren’t enough to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons. Iran has a tendency to cheat and hide the details of its program and slowly engage in activities that allow it to reach nuclear breakout capability.”

Kirsten Fontenrose

Director, Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative

“Conventional thinking among international analysts shrug the expiration of the arms embargo arguing Iran does not have the funds to buy weapons. But Iran has been speculating buying advanced weapons. Lifting the embargo will allow it to buy these weapons. Iran is also interested in upgrading its arsenal instead of buying new weapons.”

“Europe should investigate whether the IRGC plans like the bombing plot in Paris [against MEK members attending the 2018 Free Iran gathering] will become more dangerous should the embargo be lifted. Russia should take seriously the united letter by the GCC to extend the arms embargo. Russia and China will play both sides of a possible conflict that may emerge. Iran might end up hosting a Russian military presence that plays by its own rules.”

“If the embargo is not extended, the U.S. will impose sanctions on any company that sells as much as a screw to Iran’s weapons manufacturing industry.”

Steven Bucci

Visiting Fellow of The Heritage Foundation

The U.S. and Europe need to arrive at one voice on Iran’s weapons embargo and proxy activity. If Iranians elect a hardline president next year, there will be no nuclear deal. A hardline president in Tehran at the same time that the embargo ends is the ideal scenario for Iran.

The bigger problem is that this policy will not allow Iran to re-enter the global economy and community in goodwill.

“I have fought the proxies and agents of the Iranian regime. This regime conducts foreign policy and diplomacy through terror. Their main way of conducting business with the community of nations is terror. They use their proxies to assassinate people, to destabilize nations. They smile benignly and say, ‘We didn’t have anything to do with it.’”

“The IRGC Quds Force is unique in its role across the world. The only analog is the Soviet Spetz Natz. The Quds Force has trained, funded, and advised groups like Hezbollah, Houthis, Shia militias in Iraq.”

“Eventually, Iran’s goal is to have a crescent that goes through Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. They think it is their divinely appointed role, and their main tool to do that today is the IRGC. It is an incredible, unfortunate situation that they have managed to get away with. And they are not the most expensive effort to fund by Iran, but they get prioritized. They got the lion’s share of the JCPOA benefits to allow them to continue these efforts across the region and the world.”

“The elimination of Soleimani was a victory for the people of Iran, Muslims in the region, and anyone who opposes terrorism. He was not a diplomat. This man was playing a role that made him a legitimate target.”

He was not so highly regarded by The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran). Dozens of members of the MEK Iran were killed during a massacre of dissidents in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Qassem Soleimani played a major role in this incident.

(The MEK previously reported on the U.S. drone strike on Soleimani. More information may be found here.)

“Going forward, we have to stop that funding, keep that funding away from the Quds Force. The funding of the Quds Force will shoot through the moon if the sanctions are lifted. You are going to see a lot more damage done. This has to be stopped, we cannot allow that to happen. If the world does not join the U.S. in this effort, the U.S. will have to go it alone. There will be an increased bloodbath around the region and other places in the world. We cannot allow that to happen, not only the United States but other countries as well.”

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