Former United States National Security Advisor John Bolton was a speaker at the Free Iran World Summit 2023. On July 1, this international event was held at the headquarters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Auvers-sur-Oise, on the outskirts of Paris, the French capital.
At this meeting, that extended to July 3, hundreds of world leaders and lawmakers from dozens of countries around the world participated and discussed the Iranian people’s uprising, the threats to world peace and security by the clerical dictatorship in Iran, and viable options for a secular, free, democratic and non-nuclear Republic of Iran.
The script of former US National Security Advisor John Bolton is reflected below:
Well, thank you very much, Madam Rajavi and everybody.
It’s great to see you here again. This is a very critical point in the history of Iran and the world’s dealings with Iran. And I think a central point to keep in mind here is that while the mullahs’ rule in Iran through the barrel of a gun, probably the most critical thing keeping them in power today is the outside assistance provided by the west and others to the regime.
There’s a lot of blame to go around here. None of us is guiltless. Some are guiltier than others. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. And the way to change the picture inside Iran is not to engage in further assistance to the regime, not to give them another lifeline, but to cut their lifelines off and allow the people’s voice to be heard.
There’s no more direct connection between the continued existence of the regime and this outside support than the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. It was a bad deal when it was made. It hasn’t gotten any better with age and it’s never going to get any better. The idea that something can bring the United States back into this deal that remains very much at the center of attention in Washington is an illusion.
I just want to make it clear to everybody that even if the administration somehow signs another version of this deal, we’re having an election in the United States next year for President. There is not a single Republican candidate, for all the divisions within the Republican Party, and there are plenty of them for all the divisions, there is not a single Republican candidate who, if elected president, won’t withdraw the United States from the deal again. So don’t get too excited if you hear an announcement on that subject. Whether it’s smaller, an interim rather than another nuclear deal. I think it’s going to be short lived and the worst consequence of any kind of deal interim, rejoining the 2015 deal, whatever would be, would be the inevitable unfreezing of billions of dollars of assets. Some held in escrow accounts for the sale of Iranian oil, some seized because of the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States and a few others in 2018. All of that money would flow directly to the mullahs in Tehran. They wouldn’t use it for the benefit of the Iranian people. They will use it for more terrorist activity around the world. They will use it to continue developing their nuclear and ballistic missile programs. They will use it whatever way they can to re empower the regime and lock it into power.
Now, I could spend hours, and if any of you have time, I would be delighted to spend it with you telling you what’s wrong with the 2015 nuclear deal. It has not slowed Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons. It has not uncovered all aspects of the program. There are still plenty of military bases in Iran where the weaponization work is going on that no outside inspector has ever seen or will ever see until the regime falls.
So, the notion that going back into the deal produces any net benefit is completely wrong. In fact, things continue to disintegrate. China has now emerged as probably one of the major purchaser of illicit Iranian oil. That’s why the Chinese are interested in maximizing their supply. That’s no objective that benefits the Iranian people. And in fact, as many have said, after ten months now, the position of the regime continues to deteriorate. It is weaker than at any time since 1979.
And the consequences of this are something that the outside world should work with the organized Resistance of Iran to take advantage of this is how to fracture the regime at the top and bring it down. Because for everything we can say about all the different forms of resistance inside Iran today, there’s one central fact about every general in the Revolutionary Guard, every general in the regular Iranian military. One thing every one of them has in common, they all have a mother. Almost all of them have some combination of sisters, wives and daughters. And every night at home, every night at home, they are hearing from some combination of the women in their families exactly what they think of the regime.
The demonstrations over the past ten months are obviously not about a dress code. They are a direct ideological threat to the fundamental legitimacy of the regime itself, combined with all of the other factors, including the work of the NCRI over the years, this has brought us to a position why the regime is so vulnerable.
.@AmbJohnBolton: I think it's what the government in #Tehran does. This gives the greatest proof of the influence of all the people who are involved in the work that we're here today to talk about.#OurChoiceMaryamRajavihttps://t.co/V651j0rMDB
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 1, 2023
And yet, even in this period of vulnerability, the ayatollahs are able to pressure and affect Western governments to their advantage. Not just small governments, but big governments too. A year ago, they launched a major cyberattack against the government of Albania to try to pressure that government, I think to make life impossible for the NCRI.
And we’ve seen evidence of that, of the success of that just in the past few days. Albania is a small country with a small government. That’s the way the Iranians treat governments when they think they can get away with it. And they’ve done it here in Europe as well. For the government of Belgium to release an agent of the Iranian government that tried to bomb this very rally several years ago to trade that person in a hostage swap, a terrible mistake that validates the government in Tehran doesn’t undercut it.
And here in this country, the organizers of the event had to go to court to get protection for the fundamental right to see the demonstration held that you’ve seen on the walls here today. Because of the government’s fear of what the ayatollahs would do.
And in my own country, the ayatollahs have launched assassination efforts against present and former members of the United States government. You want to know the gory details of my case, please go to the Department of justice website where the criminal complaint filed against Shahram Poursafi of the IRGC. It’s very interesting reading, I can tell you. This is what they do to America, the strongest country in the world. And what does our government do? It keeps negotiating to get back into the 2015 deal.
This is the kind of support from the outside that gives the ayatollahs the conviction they can outlast all the pressure that we’re bringing on them. And you have to say, for all the people in the West and outside who say the MEK and the NCRI are so irrelevant and they’re not popular inside Iran, and they don’t really matter. If they’re so irrelevant, why is the government in Tehran absolutely consumed with the need to suppress the MEK and NCRI and not allow their voices to be heard? I think it’s what the government in Tehran that gives the greatest proof of the influence of all the people who are involved in the work that we’re here today to talk about.
Now, there’s one other potentially very significant development here, and it’s just breaking in the newspapers. So, I want to be careful about what I say. But it has been reported, and in fact confirmed by the State Department that the chief American negotiator with Iran has had his security clearance lifted, that he is under investigation by the Diplomatic Security Bureau of the State Department.
Now, we don’t know many details on this. I’ve searched my memory for a case in our history where a senior diplomatic official of the United States has found himself in that position and I can’t think of a single case. Senator Joe Lieberman, whom you’ve heard from, and we’ll hear from again, and Ambassador Mark Wallace and their organization, United Against Nuclear Iran, put out a statement yesterday. I urge you to read, calling for congressional scrutiny of the administration and what’s going on here. The possibilities here are really too concerning to go into. But I do note that Congressman Mike McCall, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has written Secretary of State Blink in a letter asking for everything of relevance to the lifting of this security clearance.
I think this could be of really enormous significance to waking the United States up about the fallacy, that you can negotiate with the ayatollahs and expect to arrive at a deal whose commitments they will follow. This is an example of the West strengthening the ayatollahs, not weakening them. And it’s time we changed 180 degrees.
I will just leave you with what I think the outcome, the only acceptable outcome of all of this struggle has to be, and I said it in 2010, the first time I had the privilege of addressing this annual gathering in a soccer field in Paris on a very warm Saturday in June.
There is only one basis of legitimacy and government in the world today and Abraham Lincoln told us what it was. Iran deserves it. Iran will get it. A government of the people, by the people and for the people. Thank you very much.