Robert Joseph, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security joined the Online Free Iran Global Summit. In his remarks, Amb. Joseph said, “The end of the religious dictatorship is in sight. They know the economy is in shambles the regime has nowhere to turn. The mullahs know they have lost all legitimacy. The Iranian people are the main threat to the regime.”
The Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) managed to hold this year’s annual gathering virtually on July 17. Given the novel coronavirus pandemic and its restriction, many dignitaries commended the NCRI’s ability and determination for connecting 30,000 locations to Ashraf-3, home to members of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Here is the speech of Amb. Joseph:
It’s always a privilege to be part of this incredible annual gathering of freedom fighters. Each year, we come closer to our goal of a free Iran. The end of the religious dictatorship is in sight. And the mullahs know it. They know their days are numbered. You can see it and you can feel it in their acts of desperation and their inability to reform.
The mullahs know the economy is in shambles, driven to bankruptcy by systemic corruption, by incompetence, and by international sanctions imposed on the regime for its sponsorship of terrorism, its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and its foreign adventurism that have robbed the Iranian people of their prosperity and their very livelihood. The regime has nowhere to turn to reverse this economic freefall.
The mullahs know that they have lost all legitimacy. The Iranian people have now become the principal threat to the regime. The mass killings in the streets across Iran are acts of desperation by a dying regime. Again, there is nowhere to turn. There is nowhere to hide for those on the wrong side of history.
The mullahs know that the people will never forgive them for their role in the human tragedy that is caused tens of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. While the mullahs may try to hide the truth, the people know. And the mullahs know that the people know.
We must keep the pressure on the regime from the outside. It’s working and it must not be relieved by a return to policies of appeasement. We must not throw the regime a lifeline by pursuing new fatally flawed agreements in exchange for more old false and broken promises. We must work to cut off access to arms by extending the arms embargo. As Mrs. Rajavi has said, not a single bullet, not a single bullet.
We must deny the regime any legitimacy by keeping the focus on its reign of terror over the past 40 years. The recent House of Representatives resolution with wide bipartisan support is an important step, as are the growing calls to hold those members of the regime responsible for crimes against humanity.
Most important, we must support the democratic opposition, the NCRI, the MEK, and most important the brave resistance units inside Iran. We must also continue to fight against the false narrative surrounding the MEK that had become deeply ingrained given the regime’s massive and sustained disinformation campaign, served by an echo chamber of regime apologists who often masquerade as journalists and thinktank experts.
We know that regime change must and will come from within. Mrs. Rajavi and the ten-point plan provide the vision for effective action and the means to ensure a peaceful transition to a secular, non-nuclear, democratic, and free Iran. Mrs. Rajavi, I stand with you.