R Bruce McColm | President, Institute for Democratic Strategies
As Europe tries in vain to salvage the scraps of the flawed Iran nuclear deal, Tehran’s foiled terrorist plot on European soil just last week should inject a dose of reality.
Indeed, the attempted bombing of the “Free Iran 2018” opposition rally, which led to the high-profile arrest of an Iranian“diplomat,” should serve as a reminder that Europe is kowtowing to a corrupt, deceitful regime bent on inciting terrorism and instability.
The United States has figured Tehran out. Now it is time for Europe to open its eyes to the fact that the policy of concessions has been counterproductive. It is time to side with the Iranian people in their desire for regime change, and isolate the ruling clerics with crippling sanctions.
On June 30, the main Iranian opposition introduced an alternative. Tens of thousands of Iranians, including some traveling from Iran, attended the “Free Iran 2018 – The Alternative” rally near Paris to express support for the ongoing protests in Iran and call for democratic change.
Hundreds of prominent international dignitaries, including former prime ministers, foreign ministers, diplomats, ambassadors, members of parliament and a stellar list of notable personalities from the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa were on hand to support the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ terrorist state.
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Madame Maryam Rajavi, said: “The flames of the protests cannot be extinguished, and they will continue to soar without respite, indicating a constantly expanding and deepening uprising.
“Everyone senses the explosive state of Iranian society. The mullahs can offer no solution and are neither willing nor able to resolve the problems. The Velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) lacks all legitimacy.”
She then offered an alternative in the form of the parliament-in-exile NCRI:
“We call for the establishment of a society based on freedom, democracy, and equality, which has clear demarcation lines against despotism and dependence as well as gender, ethnic and class discrimination. We have defended and will continue to defend gender equality, the right to freely choose one’s attire, separation of religion and state, autonomy of nationalities, equal political and social rights for all citizens of Iran, abolition of the death penalty, freedom of expression, parties, the media, assembly, unions, associations, councils and syndicates.”
Mrs. Rajavi said “resistance units” are coordinating and leading the protests all over Iran, and that very connection with the people is what the Iranian regime fears the most.
That fear was on display as Belgian police arrested a couple tied to Iranian intelligence services who had received a powerful explosive reportedly from an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna. The diplomat, AssadollahAssadi, was arrested in Germany, stripped of his diplomatic immunity, and in all likelihood will be extradited to Belgium for trial.
Multiple requests since January, including one from Tehran’s president Hassan Rouhani, to limit the activities of the NCRI in Europe, had gone unanswered. The foiled terror plot to bomb the opposition rally is yet another indication of Tehran’s alarm at the NCRI and its principal component, the People’s Mojahedin (MEK).
Prominent American speakers at the rally included President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Mr. Giuliani spoke about the Resistance’s alternative. “It is a full-fledged democracy that the NCRI is offering. This is what the martyrs died for,” he said.
Mrs. Rajavi was presented with a statement from the American delegation highlighting bipartisan unity in their call for the mullahs’ regime to be overthrown and their desire for it to be replaced by a democratic government.
Mr. Gingrich said the international community should “shame” Europe into following suit and ending its financial support of the mullahs.
It is time for Europe to face facts. The Iranian people have risen up to overthrow the decaying regime. And the alternative to the mullahs is getting stronger by the day; hence the attempt to bomb the gathering. Why are the regime’s embassies, centers of terrorism and espionage, allowed to continue to operate in Europe?
Washington should remind Europe that democratic regime change through the home-grown, grassroots movement of the NCRI and MEK is the only solution to the Iranian crisis. The first step in that direction is to recognize the NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi as the democratic alternative to the mullahs.
R.Bruce McColm is President of the Institute for Democratic Strategies
This article was first published by dailycaller