Secretary Michael Richard Pompeo, 70th United States Secretary of State, addressed at the Free Iran World Summit 2021 on July 10, 2021.
“One conflict is the most important to understand to restore Iran to its rightful place in history. This is the real fight, and it began in those frightful first moments of the revolution in 1979. The central fight is the one in the streets, and in the mosques and in the minds of Iranians – it is the divide between the people and the organized opposition seeking freedom and democracy on the one side, and the entirety of the regime on the other.
I am proud that I have been on the right side of this fight for over a decade now.
Iranians want to prosper in their faith and protect their families – this is as true in Tehran as it is in Los Angeles, Austin, Nashville, or Kings Point.
The regime, of course, is headed by Khamenei, Raisi and the IRGC. It is revolutionary in its zeal. It is brutal. It is theocratic. It is craven and kleptocratic. Its leaders will kill their own by the thousands and then choose those who committed these massive atrocities to now lead their terror organization and their regime.
This misunderstanding–is understanding that there are no moderates. They are all revolutionary–recognizes and ultimately results in the fact that this regime is largely unchangeable by American policies, but we can weaken them, and we did.
The power destruction of the regime that resulted from our sanctions and our maximum pressure was real, but its application for under two years was insufficient to fully achieve its end goals. The regime is at its weakest point in decades.
Since 1979, every election in Iran has served only to give an appearance of republicanism to a corrupt, brutal theocracy. The 2021 presidential election, however, is vastly different from those before it, primarily because it is taking place when the theocratic regime is at its most precarious state since 1979, and its prospects of survival are openly questioned by regime insiders and challenged by a restive, freedom-loving nation. In short: very few people actually voted FOR Raisi.
This was a boycott. Turnout was the lowest since 1979, marking a total rejection of the regime and its candidates.
the United States should take the lead to hold [Raisi] accountable for crimes against humanity. Any dealings with Raisi, would be tantamount to dealing with a mass murderer. This is not only immoral, but also counterproductive. We should make clear to our allies in Europe and Asia as well to make sure that they hold him accountable, and that if they deal with this man who sent thousands of his countrymen to execution in a massacre in 1988, the United States would hold them accountable as well.
As was the case with the Trump Administration, human rights and counterterrorism must be at the very center of our Iran policy. We must support the Iranian people. If we want to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, we have to apply pressure until they change their behavior, or until reforms which move Iran toward a democratic form of government take place. We cannot shower the Ayatollah with money and economic benefits in the hopes that he won’t use it to inflict terror. This thinking is foolish, dangerous, and backwards.
The program of sanctions and pressure employed by the Trump Administration needs to remain the model for engagement with Iran if we want to ensure the security of the American people and better lives for the Iranian people.
Engagement with the regime will make lengthen the time that the regime has to behave as it has for these past decades, denying basic human dignity and opportunity to the Iranian people.
We must continue to support the Iranian people as they fight for a freer and more democratic Iran in any way that we can.
In the end the Iranian people will have a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Republic, I pray that this day will come soon and with the support of Iranians living all around the world – and those who resist from within — that day will come sooner. I am committed to this cause; I know you all are too. May your mission be blessed and protected. May the Iranian people be blessed”.