Excerpts of the speech of Lincoln Bloomfield, National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States (1991–1992) and Former Assistant Secretary of State for Military Affairs, at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:
Madame Rajavi, residents of Ashraf-3, people of Iran, the Iranian diaspora, and friends of the Free Iran movement around the world, Greetings from Washington.
I’m sorry I can’t be with you at this year’s rally. I’d like to address the question of how strong is the regime in Tehran? Consider this at home. The regime executes more of its own citizens per capita than any government in the world.
Abroad, as you know, they send their militia, and they arm Shia militias in neighboring countries to destabilize the neighborhood. Around the world, they conduct acts of terrorism, and they are enriching uranium at provocative levels. All of this is meant to intimidate and to capture the attention of the world. And in order to have some bargaining power, they seize hostages, something they’ve been doing for many years. Hamid Noury went on trial in Sweden. He was a prison official, in 1988, during the massacre of up to 30,000 political prisoners, one of the largest crimes against humanity since World War II.
Of course, the Iranian regime seized a Swedish citizen, Mr. Ahmad Reza Jalali. But then, when they couldn’t intimidate the Swedes, they found a better opportunity to try to trade him to Belgium for the freedom of Assadollah Assadi. Assadi of course, is the Iranian spy who posed as a diplomat in Vienna and planned the mass casualty bombing of the Free Iran rally in 2018, north of Paris. Many of us were present there. He received a very heavy sentence a year ago in the Belgian court, and this was upheld this year upon appeal.
So releasing him would be a terrible blow to the fight against international terrorism. The regime has taken journalists hostage in order to silence them and intimidate them from telling the truth. Some people may not be aware that the reason that the PMOI went to Iraq in 1986 is that they were expelled by France as part of a hostage deal in order to free some French hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
And if we go all the way back to the revolution in November 1979, I believe the hostage crisis involving the United States Embassy had a fundamental impact on the clerical regime in Tehran. Not only did Khomeini paralyze the great American superpower, this made him much more powerful than the democratic forces that thought they were going to be able to conduct elections and have democracy after the corruption of the monarchy and the Shah.
And this, of course, did not happen. But there’s a greater effect from this hostage crisis. The American diplomats couldn’t follow events in Iran. They missed what happened next in 1981, as there was a rising struggle between democratic forces, many of them led by Massoud Rajavi and the PMOI, and Khomeini and the clerical dictatorship. This culminated, of course, when Rajavi called for Iranians to take to the streets. They did so on June 21, 1981, and the regime opened fire and began a reign of terror.
What Washington has never understood—because they weren’t paying attention—is that the PMOI was always a modern, gender-neutral, pro-democracy movement, trying to end the injustice of the shah’s reign. And they certainly opposed the dictatorship that was brought on by Khomeini. What makes Massoud Rajavi the enemy number one of this regime is that the PMOI are Muslim, and they challenged not only the political legitimacy, but the religious legitimacy of Khomeini and Ali Khamenei and the entire regime. And so if you look at the hostage taking over the years by this regime, much of it has to do with the PMOI. The fact that Washington missed this and doesn’t understand it created a great vulnerability.
It allowed the regime to promote an entirely false narrative about who the Mujahedin-e Khalq really was, who Massoud Rajavi is, who Madame Rajavi is, who all of the people in Ashraf-3 really are. And this deception has gone on for over 40 years. I’ll give you one example. The last time I read a New York Times article about Ashraf-3, they were interviewing former Mujahedin-e Khalq people, sitting in cafes in Tirana nearby and telling terrible stories about what is happening inside Ashraf-3. This was reported as though it is true.
It reminded me of the Human Rights Watch report many years ago, where former Mujahedin-e Khalq people were interviewed by telephone and told terrible stories. These stories were all very suspicious and were debunked. Well, now we have found the Albanian authorities are investigating 20 former Mujahedin-e Khalq members in Albania who were the sources of these stories. And so I am here today to call on the major media outlets in the West, in Britain, in the United States and elsewhere: It’s time for you to realize you have been repeating false narratives.
All of the things you have been saying about the Mujahedin-e Khaq, the NCRI, are distorted and false, and they serve a regime purpose. It’s time to tell the truth. I’m sure that at today’s rally, there are many former dignitaries from governments around the world.
Those dignitaries should all turn to the current incumbents of their governments and say, have the courage to speak to the NCRI. I noticed this week that the first lady of Ukraine addressed the Congress, and that Americans have given $50 billion to the Ukrainians who are causing great harm to the Russian army.
Well, here is a movement, a brave movement, mostly led by women in Ashraf-3 that has gone through so much. Even ten years ago, they were still on the terrorism list for no good reason at all. And today we have the opportunity to clear the error, to tell the truth, and point out that the regime in Tehran can no longer rely on these tools of repression and falsehood.
It can no longer rely on trading human beings as bait and threatening nuclear escalation and destabilizing sovereign neighboring countries. These are the actions of a very weak and vulnerable regime.
Once we tell the truth about the regime in Tehran, and once we expose how illegitimate they are and how false their religious credentials are, and how corrupt they are, and how little support they enjoy, we can look to the day when we will all be back in a free Iran. Thank you.