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Ex- Senior U.S. officials: Maryam Rajavi’s congressional appearance, a right move

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In a rare bipartisan initiative, 20 prominent former US Government national security, and foreign policy officials as well as Military leaders in a joint letter expressed their support for the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) testifying before the US Congress.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is scheduled to testify in a hearing “ISIS: Defining the Enemy” via videoconference on Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX).

The former senior US officials said:“As a Muslim women advocating a tolerant and democratic interpretation of Islam, individual freedom, separation of religion and state, gender equality, and rejecting the implementation of Sharia law, Mrs. Rajavi represent the opposite of the misogynous Iranian regime’s rules and all Islamic fundamentalists and extremists.”

“Mrs. Rajavi’s personal experience in leading a popular movement against the religious dictatorship ruling Iran make her the right person to give testimony on this important issue,” they added.

The signatories of the statement included Rudy Giuliani – former NYC Mayor, Presidential Candidate; Howard Dean – former VT Governor, DNC Chairman, Presidential Candidate; Louis J. Freeh – former FBI Director, Edward Rendell – Former PA Governor, DNC Chairman; Tom Ridge – former PA Governor, Secretary Homeland Security; Mitchell B. Reiss – former Ambassador, Special Envoy to the Northern Ireland Peace Process; Michael B. Mukasey – former US Attorney General; John Bolton- former UN Ambassador; Frances Townsend – former Homeland Security Advisor to the President; General (Ret.) Charles (Chuck) Wald- former Deputy Commander U.S. European Command; Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Deptula – former Deputy COS For Intel, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force; Linda Chavez -former Assistant to the President For Public Liaison; Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Patrick Kennedy – former Rhode Island Congressman; and John Sano – former Deputy Director CIA National Clandestine Security.

In another statement, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, strongly defended the scheduled testimony of Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi before the US Congress.

Bloomfield, the Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs in the George W. Bush administration in a statement said: “It was predictable that with the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its component entities including the MEK having successfully challenged and removed all terrorism listings in Europe and North America, NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi would at some point be given the opportunity to be heard in Washington; it was perhaps equally predictable that longstanding allegations of terrorism and cult-like behavior by this group would be revived.”

Bloomfield has conducted exhaustive reviews and research on the Mek and has authored a couple of books and studies on the subject. He rebuked allegations against the Iranian opposition and while pointing to extensive demonizing campaign of Tehran regarding its arch opponents said: “Western governments have for many years been asked by the Iranian regime to restrict the MEK as a terror organization. Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has repeatedly been revealed paying agents or seeking to pay trusted sources in several countries to propagate allegations against the MEK that are unsupported by any historical records. Yet many of these defamatory allegations continue to be repeated by the American media and current or former U.S. officials, none of whom have produced credible evidence to back them up. “

Former member of U.S. House of Representative Tom Tancredo wrote in The Hill on Wednesday: “I commend my former colleagues, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), and chair of subcommittee on Terrorism, non-proliferation and Trade, Judge Ted Poe (R-Texas) for doing the right thing and affording the U.S. Congress the opportunity to examine facts and hear from those in the field, rather than relying only on experts within the beltway.
Maryam Rajavi’s testimony before Congress is long overdue, Mr. Tancredo said.

“Rajavi’s movement alerted the world about Iran’s clandestine nuclear project, exposed Iran’s pervasive presence in Iraq and its operation of terror networks that exported improvised explosive devices to Iraq to kill American servicemen. The opposition has also waged a cultural and political war against Islamic fundamentalism emanating from Iran. Its ubiquitous representatives have galvanized a global campaign against human rights offenses, in particular against women within Iran.”

“In that sense, if the issue is ISIS and defining the enemy, Rajavi is certainly qualified to speak as her movement has been fighting a regime that pursued sectarian violence in Iraq and supported Assad, which led to the rise of ISIS. If it is Islamic fundamentalism and Tehran’s role, Rajavi is more than qualified to speak. If it is Iran’s nuclear program, her movement has had its finger on the pulse of that issue throughout the past decade. On human rights abuses by those with ISIS mentality, her movement has endured the brunt of suppression and executions in Iran. As many as 120,000 activists of her movement have been executed in Iran over the past three decades in the hands of those who were the de facto mentors of ISIS.”

“To avoid the voices about Iran to be monolithic in Washington, Iranian people should be brought into the equation and Rajavi provides a serious, viable voice. That is not a matter of dispute.“