On the brink of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, an online international summit, entitled “Trans-Atlantic Summit on Iran Policy, Time to Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable,” brought together Iranians in various countries around the world from 10,000 locations.
Among the personalities who addressed the summit were 30 bipartisan U.S. lawmakers from the House and the Senate, including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bob Menendez, and dignitaries like Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, General James Jones, National Security Advisor to President Obama (2009-2010), Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Joseph Lieberman, former U.S. Senator, as well as a delegation of U.K. lawmakers, and Amb. Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the keynote speaker of the summit, paid tribute to Navid Afkari, a rebellious national hero recently executed by the regime and said: “Faced with executions and massacres, the people of Iran urge the United Nations, and the U.N. Security Council, in particular, to restore snapback sanctions stipulated in the six U.N. resolutions against the clerical regime in Iran. Otherwise, Khamenei will continue to ravage the nation as his regime’s survival depends on murder and suppression. If Khamenei were to stop executions, he would lose control of the situation, and uprisings simmering in the depths of Iranian society would erupt and overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism.”
Speakers in the summit demanded justice for over 30,000 MEK and other activists, political prisoners massacred in 1988. They urged an end to the policy of appeasement and demanded those who ordered and carried out this great crime, who currently occupy high positions in the regime, to be brought to justice.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz joined the summit. In his remarks, Senator Cruz said,”As I’ve long maintained, and as we’ve spoken about together before, it is an absolute necessity that we hold the officials of the Iranian regime accountable for their torture, their human rights abuses, and their crimes against humanity.”
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
Hello and thank you all for attending this important summit. I’m honored to be able to speak to you today and hope that these discussions are informative and constructive.
As I’ve long maintained, and as we’ve spoken about together before, it is an absolute necessity that we hold the officials of the Iranian regime accountable for their torture, their human rights abuses, and their crimes against humanity. Recently, we were reminded that there is no outrage the regime will not commit no matter how loud the international community objects, when they tortured a confession out of Navid Afkari, and in recent days murdered him. We must hold the regime accountable and their enablers accountable for this crime.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s abysmal human rights record is inextricably tied to its nuclear ambitions. Like the Soviets in the 20th century, the mullahs not only violently oppress their own people, but they also seek to project that oppression against free peoples around the world, first and foremost against the United States and our allies. They have vowed to destroy our very way of life.
I’ve been proud to lead the fight in the Senate against the catastrophic Obama-Biden Iran nuclear deal from the time it was very first negotiated. Since the United States rightly withdrew from the deal, I’ve continued to fight, pushing for an end to the oil waiver successfully, as well as an end to the civil nuclear waiver. I’m thankful that the Trump administration has rightly invoked the snapback mechanism, which is a final step to terminate this disastrous deal.
Iran’s tyrannical and evil regime continues to finance and export terror, endangering the lives of Americans and the national security of both us and our allies. By using our existing authority to invoke the snapback sanctions mechanism, we have taken a necessary step to counter Iran’s aggression, to deny the regime resources and to slow significantly the development and deployment of Iran’s nuclear program. If we did not invoke these sanctions, the UN’s arms embargo would expire and allow China to start selling billions of dollars of weapons to the Ayatollah. Iran has consistently been in violation of nuclear restrictions before, during and after the negotiation of the deal. And the Ayatollah is right now systematically advancing towards a nuclear weapon.
Much more, of course, remains to be done. And I remain committed, as I know you are, to ensuring that, like the Soviet regime before it, this Iranian regime is ultimately brought down. I wish you the very best as you conduct your summit. Thank you and God bless you.