Speaking at a UK Parliament meeting on November 28, former US Senator Robert Torricelli emphasized the need for a unified response to Tehran’s actions, particularly in the recent assassination attempt on former European Parliament Vice President Prof. Alejo Vidal Quadras.
Senator Torricelli contended that the decades-long impasse of the Palestinian problem, the war in Ukraine, and other regional conflicts demand a direct confrontation with the Iranian regime. He called for increased determination, strict enforcement of sanctions, and backing for the Iranian Resistance movement as essential measures to face Tehran.
The full text of Senator Torricelli’s speech follows:
Thank you so much. Good morning to Ambassador Bloomfield, and good afternoon to members of the committee and MPs, members of the House of Lords.
I’m honored to be included today, and I thank you for your time. I would like first to remember to Dr. Quadras, who has suffered a brutal personal attack, presumably at the hands of the regime.
It’s a reminder to all of us that speaking up for freedom and defending the interests of our countries, no matter where we are on this globe, encounters some risk.
And I would hope in our State Department and in White House, that no matter how we may differ on strategy towards Iran, the attempted assassination of European or American parliamentarians or diplomats, even on our own shores, should unite us. It is a crime in Europe as if it were to happen here, that cannot go unanswered.
So for those who may not agree or do today, I would hope that would bring us a common cause and your government would have a strong response, as I would expect from my own.
Meanwhile, I wish Dr. Quadros a speedy and full recovery. And I know that despite this brutal attack, he, like we, will not be silenced.
I also think it is impossible to gather these days anywhere on the globe without remembering the hostages being held now in Gaza, those brutally killed on October 7th, and the extraordinary suffering of the people of Gaza during these recent weeks. Everybody is a loser. The world is the less for it. And our thoughts and prayers are with all those on all sides.
There’s a tendency, I know, to think, that now the world has another competing problem. The fighting in Gaza, followed by the war in Ukraine, the difficulties with the arming of North Korea, and the civil war in Yemen. But today, at least in this room and among us, we can see that there is a common thread.
There is no resolution to the problem of Palestine. There is no likely scenario for a two-state solution that can end this long impasse and this terrible decades-long struggle any more than there is likely a resolution in Ukraine without dealing with the problem of the regime in Tehran.
Senator @bobtorricelli: "There is no likely scenario to a two-state solution that can end this long impasse and this terrible decades-long struggle any more than there is likely a resolution in #Ukraine without dealing with the problem of the regime in #Tehran." pic.twitter.com/WsZjn8DCPo
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 1, 2023
Indeed, I would argue that it is likely that we would never be in this situation in the Middle East. The Oslo Accords might have succeeded. We might have reached a two-state solution. If not a single international player saw the interest that the conflict continues and used its proxies in Hezbollah and later in Hamas to prolong the conflict. And of course, that’s exactly what is now happening in the Ukraine with Iran becoming the principal supplier of weaponry as the Russian stockpiles have been depleted.
And so for those who have maintained, in our State Department, as I would argue in White House, the belief that time will cure the Iranian problem, Somehow they’ll come around, Somehow the regime will evolve, Somehow this will all end,
Perhaps now seeing these multitude of problems and this common thread coming from the regime in Tehran is recognizing there is no resolution. We’re not going to find an easy path to resolve any of these problems until we deal squarely and honestly with the problem in Tehran.
And that means strengthening, not lessening our resolve. It means sanctions are not only being implemented but fully enforced. It means the designation of terrorist organizations honestly and fully with all consequences. And mostly it means embracing an Iranian opposition.
This regime is not going to evolve. There is opposition every day on the streets of Iran. If we would embrace them and support them in political quarters all around the globe. I know it is common and easy to say, well that may be, but school children and workers and other malcontents in Iran are not going to replace the Iranian government.
Maybe not alone, but there is an opposition. The MEK is an opposition. Mrs. Rajavi leads an opposition. The Ten Point Plan is an opposition. It has not hundreds but thousands of supporters, not simply in the UK or in America, but around the globe.
But they need to be embraced and supported. They have the will, they have the organization, they have the resources, and they’ve shown their willingness and the ability to fight.
What’s the alternative? That this goes on for another generation? More assassinations, not simply in the streets of Spain, but in London or Washington or Berlin? Another attempt on the Oslo Accord only to have the puppet masters in Tehran activate Hezbollah or Hamas to undermine a peace accord? These problems have lasted for so long and are so dangerous that this cannot go on.
I am honored to be included today and I salute everything that you are doing. It makes me feel so much better to know that we have in common. I only hope that at long last, those in our own administration, I’ll leave you to speak for yours, recognize the lack of an alternative.
This may not be easy, it may not be the best route, it is the only route. End the regime, embrace the opposition as part not simply of a strategy in Iran, but as a strategy to deal finally with the problem of Palestine, the war in Ukraine, ending the war in Yemen, and dealing with these outlaw states that are dotting the globe and causing our generation to lose so much potential for a time of peace and prosperity.
So, dear member of the committee, thank you for having me, and thank you for continuing to bring attention on the need for united opposition to the regime. Thank you so much.