Monday marks the conclusion of the three-day Free Iran 2021 world summit organized by the Iranian resistance for the purpose of promoting more assertive policies toward the Iranian regime and demonstrating the prospect for regime change to be brought about by the country’s domestic population.
NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi used her keynote speech on Saturday to highlight the theocratic regime’s apparent fear of escalating protest movements and to call on Western powers for a firm policy towards the Iranian regime. In her follow-up remarks on Sunday, she gave voice to more specific criticisms of existing Western policies, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The NCRI was quick to downplay announcements of that agreement at the time, and it has since continued to characterize the underlying strategy as one of conciliation and appeasement. “The Western countries’ interactions with the mullahs’ regime have fed a vicious cycle of deception and appeasement,” Mrs. Rajavi said on Sunday after stating that the most effective impediments to the regime’s progress toward a nuclear weapon have been the revelations provided to the world by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PNOI/MEK).
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) July 12, 2021
As Mrs. Rajavi described the situation, those revelations, including the location of the regime’s fortified nuclear facility at Fordo, have presented a crucial challenge to Tehran’s persistent strategy of “hiding its nuclear program” and “deceiving the world” while also courting Western efforts to “stop or curb this project by granting concessions or by showing complacency.”
In the weeks leading up to the Free Iran World Summit, new dimensions of the regime’s commitment to its strategy of obstruction were revealed to the world. The latest report on the status of the 2015 agreement, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, revealed that nuclear inspectors from the United Nations have not only been preventing from observing video surveillance of declared nuclear sites but have also been deprived of access to various pieces of data monitoring equipment which previously allowed for continuous monitoring of the growth of nuclear stockpiles whose existence Tehran had acknowledged.
This obstructionism had apparently been ongoing under the terms of a temporary agreement between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which prevented inspectors from being kicked out of the country altogether in February when an Iranian law took effect requiring an increase in the nuclear activity unless US sanctions had been suspended before then. Now even that agreement has been suspended, with Tehran declining to extend it but also refusing to clarify whether monitors will be allowed to remain in the country or be given access to any information whatsoever.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 11, 2021
Steve McCabe, a British Member of Parliament who took part in the Free Iran World Summit, reflected on this situation in the remarks that he delivered via video call in Sunday’s live-streamed event. “We should have listened to the opposition years ago instead of practicing appeasement,” he said. “We might have avoided giving so much in return for so little over nuclear weapons.”
McCabe went on to say that the NCRI’s international appeals represent a “second chance” and an opportunity “to stand with the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.” Of course, those appeals are not limited to the nuclear sphere but extend to the full scope of Western policies toward the Islamic Republic. What’s more, this breadth of appeal was eagerly embraced by dozens of political dignitaries from Europe, the US, the Arab world, and beyond in their speeches on Saturday and Sunday.
Another British MP, Sir David Amess, used the event to boast that over one hundred of his colleagues have signed a statement insisting that Western powers “must unite behind the NCRI, its president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and the people of Iran because they are our best allies to secure a free Iran.” Baroness Sandy Verma, former UK Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development, stated that British lawmakers from “across all parties” will do everything in their power to hold Iranian officials accountable for past wrongdoing.
In her remarks on Sunday, Mrs. Rajavi argued that if Western powers are intent upon pursuing an agreement with Tehran, they must recognize that “the mullahs only understand the language of firmness and strength,” and that such strength would be belied by any attempt to compartmentalize Iran policy and address one crisis in isolation.
“On behalf of the Iranian people and their Resistance,” she said, “I declare that any agreement that does not completely close down the regime’s bomb-making, enrichment and nuclear facilities, any agreement that does not oblige the clerical regime to withdraw the Revolutionary Guard Corps from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon is unacceptable.” She added: “Any agreement that does not oblige the mullahs to stop torturing and executing Iranians bears no legitimacy. Anything less, in any wrapping, is tantamount to caving into the mullahs’ nuclear catastrophe.”