Iran’s former ambassador to Germany, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, made an argument on Ohio-based talk show Going Global with David Delgado Monday evening that regime change is truly the only option for the Islamic Republic, because the nation will not change its behavior and “behave like a normal country” to have sanctions removed, as United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration has suggested.
This Breitbart News reporter called into the show on Monday and asked Mousavian, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that it is possible for the United States to lift the sanctions that will be reimposed on Iran, but that it will take ‘enormous change’ and that Iran must ‘behave like a normal country.’ Do you interpret this as meaning regime change for Iran?”
Mousavian responded by saying that America, instead, “should become a normal state.”
“Regime change has been the U.S. policy for 40 years and it has always failed,” Mousavian said. He added:
Not only [has it] failed, but Iran has become more and more powerful and more and more influential, and the U.S. allies in the region have become much more weaker than before. And when Secretary Pompeo says Iran should become a normal state, Iranians also exactly they say the same. They say the U.S. should become a normal state, not attacking Afghanistan, not attacking Iraq, not cooperating with Saudi Arabia to attack Yemen, creating the worst humanitarian crisis of all the contemporary history. Not attack Libya, stop attacking the countries for bringing regime change. This is exactly what Iranians they say. Therefore, [if] Washington believes Iran is not a normal country, Iranians also believe the American policy is not normal policy.
It is arguable that Syria, which is led by President Bashar al-Assad—who is supported almost entirely by Iran—is experiencing “the worst humanitarian crisis” in modern history.
In March 2017, in an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the war in Syria was “the worst man-made disaster since World War II”.
So far, Iran has reportedly spent over $16 billion to defend and prop up Assad and its other proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Since December 28, everyday Iranians have taken to the streets of Iran to protest against the Iranian government with lucid calls for changes in leadership.
Last week, Iranians gathered in Tehran’s Meydan-e Vali Asr Square, lighting up garbage cans and chanting slogans such as, “The mullahs need to get lost.” Others chanted, “No Gaza, not Lebanon, my life is for Iran,” “death to the dictator,” and “Reza Shah, may your soul be happy,” referring to the late grandfather of Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, who is currently living in exile outside of Iran.
The first series of sanctions on Iran was reimposed at midnight on Monday evening. The sanctions, part of America’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, will impact Iran’s automotive sector, gold, and other key metals.
Another series of sanctions, targeting Iran’s oil sector, will take effect on November 4; a date that is symbolic because it was between November 4, 1979, and January 20, 1981, that 51 American diplomats were held hostage for 444 days in what became known as the Iranian hostage crisis.
“The mother of all wars certainly has the connotation that could imply that Iran has non-strategic nuclear weapons at a minimum if not also nuclear weapons at this time,” Delgado told Mousavi. “Does it not carry that connotation to you?”
Mousavian replied, “No, it doesn’t mean about nuclear weapons. because maybe building nuclear weapons takes five to ten years, you know.” He added, “The mother of wars does not mean nuclear bomb.”
Delgado then pushed, “But you did say that it takes ten years or so to develop nuclear weapons and yet we know, for a fact, that going back to 2002-2003, and even post that time, Iran was, in fact, developing and working on nuclear weapons. And, in fact, there were a number of different facilities that were dedicated to that effect. So, it is very possible, if not likely, that Iran already possesses nuclear weapons.”
He noted that under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic had merely “agreed to delay rolling them out.” Delgado said several European nations had also stated Iran was cheating.
Mousavian said, “You know, the problem David with your statement is I really don’t know who or which country you are referring to.” He added, “The only international agency responsible for nuclear programs of all countries in the world is the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations, where all countries are there.”
He said the IAEA had “12 times confirmed the full compliance of Iran with the deal and full peacefulness of the Iranian nuclear program” since the JCPOA was implemented in 2016. “We need to recognize and respect international rules and regulations if we are going to conclude something.”
Delgado said, “In fact, I agree with you. We do need to respect international rules and regulations and there have been many allegations that Iran has not done that and has continued to violate them.” Delgado went on the list a series of violations Iran carried out, supporting each one with facts.
Mousavi shot back with, “No, David. This is not true. These are all lies and lies and lies. If you want, you can go one by one and I prove to you and everyone that all these accusations are lies.”
Mousavian’s analysis publications and engagements were integral to the negotiations and settlement of the JCPOA. Mousavian is probably best known for serving as Iran’s ambassador to Germany during the 1992 terrorist attack carried out by an Iranian agent who murdered four Iranian-Kurdish dissidents at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin.
At the start of his show, Delgado mentioned that a woman named Banfsheh had called in and tweeted several times against Mousavian’s appearance on his show. “She says she is an Iranian journalist and she was very critical of the fact that I was having you on the program. … Is there a reason why these tweets would be so vociferous against you?”
“Normally, these people they are related to MEK [Mujaheddin-e-Khalq], a terrorist organization who has killed 17,000 Iranian citizens and officials. They were cooperating with Saddam invading Iran; they were fighting against [the] Iranian nation. And now they have huge place for maneuvering in Washington because they are very close with some members and friends of President Trump in the White House and in the political sphere of the United States.”
He said that is why “they usually criticize me: because they are after regime change. They are after war with Iran. They are after bringing the U.S. to another war in the region.”
Upon conducting a Twitter search, Breitbart News was able to discover that the Banafsheh Delgado referred to is Banafsheh Zand, an Iranian-American expat who is vehemently opposed to the MEK but who is in favor of regime change in Iran.
Dear All, @hmousavian 1 of THE most vicious #terrorists of #KhomeiniistRegime who's been a felow @Princeton ,responsibl for HEINOUS acts of teror like the 1994 #AmiaBombing in #BuenosAires will B on a call-in radio sho tonite. PLEAS share this & call in! https://t.co/ThWZGc2Je4 pic.twitter.com/PUXtKo4rUO
— Banafsheh Pour'Zand (@BanafshehZand) August 6, 2018
No1. Dear Mr. Delgado, First of all, before I contacted you, I researched your work and saw that you had previously interviewed Mousavian. I AM a journalist & I DO do my homework! So it was not me RANDOMLY calling you to take you to task…HOWEVER…
— Banafsheh Pour'Zand (@BanafshehZand) August 7, 2018
The MEK, which advocates for the overthrow of Iran’s regime, was founded in 1965 and was opposed to Iran’s last Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Iran. However, they participated in the 1979 Revolution that overthrew him. The group later broke with Iranian Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over ideology and direction and went underground in 1981.
Last month, an Iranian diplomat and three other Iranians were arrested for planning to bomb the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’s annual “Free Iran” rally in a Paris suburb where several high-profile politicians including Rudy Giuliani spoke. The NCRI is the MEK’s counterpart in the United States.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the allegations of the Iranian regime’s involvement and called the bombing plot a mere “sinister false flag ploy” in a tweet.
“How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its “plotters” arrested. Iran unequivocally condemns all violence & terror anywhere, and is ready to work with all concerned to uncover what is a sinister false flag ploy,” Zarif tweeted:
How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its “plotters” arrested. Iran unequivocally condemns all violence & terror anywhere, and is ready to work with all concerned to uncover what is a sinister false flag ploy.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 2, 2018
‘This is all propaganda,” Mousavi said. “I am a frequent traveler to Germany. I was in Germany three weeks ago. I am going to Germany next week. I have been over 300 times to Germany over the past two years. I am invited by the German government frequently to deliver lectures. If there was any problem, Europeans and Germans wouldn’t give me a visa.”