Current anti-regime protests in Iran are a “revolution in the making,” according to former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who blasted the Biden and Obama administrations for their ineffectiveness at combating Iranian threats, while warning that a renewed nuclear deal would pave a path “in gold” for the Islamic Republic to attain a nuclear bomb.
Appearing at a Washington summit hosted by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) in support of a free and democratic Iran on Saturday, Pence addressed Iranian anti-regime activists, delivering a major foreign policy speech focusing on the Islamic Regime.
He pointed to the “common cause” he shared with the Iranian-Americans in attendance: “the liberation of the Iranian people from decades of tyranny, and the rebirth of a free, peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iran.” Pence went on to say:
I know I speak on behalf of tens of millions of Americans, of both political parties and of every political philosophy, when I say from our heart: The American people support your goal of establishing a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Iranian republic that derives its powers from the consent of the governed.
Pence then criticized America’s “silence” in 2009 and “the Obama administration’s halfhearted support” when “millions of courageous men and women filled the streets of Tehran and Tabriz” in order to denounce a “fraudulent election” and demand an “end to decades of repression.”
“The American cause is freedom. And in this cause America must never be silent,” he declared, adding that the American people “are with you — yesterday, today and always.”
In contrast, he expressed pride in the Trump-Pence administration, when “America did not turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the Iranian people [and] did not remain silent in the face of the Iranian regime’s countless atrocities, sowing violence across the region.”
Furthermore, he explained:
We stood with the freedom-loving people in Iran. We cancelled the Iran Nuclear Deal, which had flooded the regime’s coffers with tens of billions of dollars,– money that it used to repress its own people and support deadly terror attacks around the world. We imposed crippling new sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. We launched a campaign of maximum pressure, punishing the regime for its belligerent behavior and assault on its own citizens. We vigorously enforced sanctions to bring Iran’s oil exports to nearly zero and to deny the regime its principal source of revenue.
“We called on the free nations of the world to stand with us and with the Iranian people [and] we encouraged world leaders to condemn Iran’s unelected dictators and defend the Iranian people’s unalienable right to determine their own destiny,” he added.
He also called out the current administration for having “waived sanctions imposed by the Trump-Pence administration related to the Iranian regime’s nuclear activities”
“Appeasement has never worked, and it never will.”
According to Pence, a renewed nuclear deal won’t lead to “peace and stability” but to “more terrorism, death and destruction,” while destabilizing the region.
It also won’t block Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb but will “pave it in gold,” he claimed, adding that such a deal would not “benefit the people of Iran in any way, shape, or form” but will rather “empower and enrich the regime that has tormented and tortured the Iranian people for generations.”
Consequently, Pence called on the Biden administration to “stand with the people of Iran… to stand up for the cause of freedom and justice… and to cease and desist all efforts in support of nuclear negotiations” with the regime, noting that “peace is only possible with strength.”
Calling out America’s past “silence,” Pence noted the Iranian regime “has never been weaker than it is today,” with the Iranian people “fed up [and] ready for change,” as he lauded Iranian resistance which “has never been stronger.”
With [Iranian opposition MEK (Mujahadin-e Khalq)’s] leadership, teachers, workers, retirees, have courageously taken to the streets in over 280 cities in 31 provinces. Students from more than 130 universities – even high school students – have brought new energy to the cause. Protests used to be isolated and sporadic. Now as the world media watches what they can, the protests have been going on non-stop for the past 6 months.
According to Pence, current anti-regime demonstrations in Iran are “not just another protest [but] a revolution in the making.”
“And it is owing to the confidence and faith of all of you and most especially to the brave Iranians – especially the women who have paid an enormous price – leading the decades-long fight for freedom and justice,” he said.
He also called out the regime’s “fake reformers and regime puppets pretending to be moderates.”
“We know that many of these so-called reformers offer nothing more than false hope and the illusion of change,” he said. “But the people of Iran want real change – and real change is exactly what MEK offers.”
He concluded by urging “all free nations” of the world to “continue to support the Iranian people in their calls for freedom and demand that Iran’s leaders cease their dangerous and destabilizing actions at home and abroad.”
“We stand with the people of Iran because it is right, and because the regime in Tehran threatens the peace and security of the world,” he added.
Last week, a bipartisan House majority endorsed a resolution expressing Congress’s support for a democratic Republic of Iran while calling for a new Iran policy in light of continued protests by the Iranian people and increasing repression by the “theocratic thugs who have oppressed them for far too long.”
Key points of the newly announced H.Res.100:
1. Recognizes the Iranian people’s desires for a democratic Iran
2. Recognizes the rights of the protestors
3. Support for @Maryam_Rajavi’s 10-point plan
4. Hold Iran accountable
5. Call to investigate regime for human rights abuses pic.twitter.com/iAVfXdUBrB
— OIAC: Organization of Iranian American Communities (@OrgIAC) February 8, 2023
The resolution, sponsored by 223 U.S. House members, supports Iran’s uprisings for a secular republic. It notes that Iranian opposition MEK (Mujahadin-e Khalq) political leader and President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Maryam Rajavi’s “Ten Point Plan” to ensure Iranians’ freedom of expression and assembly — as well as the right to choose their elected leaders — is the “path toward a free, secular, Democratic and non-nuclear Iran.”
The matter comes as massive protests continue to sweep Iran following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the Islamic theocracy’s notorious “morality police” for violating strict requirements for women to keep their heads covered in public.
Since then, a slew of incidents involving abuses and even deaths at the hands of the regime have been documented amid an ongoing clampdown on protests, with clips circulating showing Iranian regime officers brutally assaulting protesters.
Representatives of Iran’s parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have claimed Iran — the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide — is currently witnessing a revolution “in the making,” with the Islamic Republic no longer capable of containing the current uprising.
Previously, Pence accused the Biden administration of threatening to “unravel all the progress” the Trump administration made in marginalizing the Iranian regime.
He has also expressed undying support for Iranian resistance while blasting the Biden team’s new concessions to the “tyrants” in Tehran, its “virtual abandonment of our ally Israel,” and the “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” which have emboldened the “adversaries of freedom” that now sense “weakness” in the American administration.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.
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