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The Free Iran World Summit 2019

Robert Joseph’s Remarks to the Free Iran World Summit 2021–July 12, 2021

Robert Joseph, former under-secretary of state for arms control and international security, addressed at the 2nd Day of The Free Iran World Summit on July 12, 2021.

It’s a true honor to be with you and to stand with you in the cause of a free Iran. We are witnessing the end of the religious dictatorship and the beginning of a new era– an era, as Mrs. Rajavi has said, of freedom of democracy and of equality, an era in which all of the people of Iran can fulfill their true potential and restore the prosperity and the humanity that define the great nation.

Two days from now is Bastille Day, celebrated as a day of liberation from tyranny. For those who have sacrificed for a free Iran, your Bastille Day is dawning. Every year, we celebrate your costs, historic struggle, for which the resistance has paid a tremendous price measured in the lives of tens of thousands of martyrs. Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Their sacrifice will always be honored, as it was this morning.

Today, the mullahs’ desperation is palpable. We can see it in the calls across Iran. For an end to the intolerant and corrupt regime, the people of Iran are rising up, they have simply had enough. They have seen their beloved country become a prison to those on the inside and a pariah to those on the outside. And the regime’s response ‘not reform but more repression’ will only accelerate the certainty of its destruction. The selection of Raisi as president is a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of the mullahs.

Raisi is a documented mass murder who as the Prime Minister of Slovenia stated before this conference must be investigated for his role in the 1988 massacre. He must be held accountable for a true crime against humanity.

Raisi’s selection also reflects the weakness of the regime’s leaders, and most of all, their fear of the people’s call for justice. And of all their fears, they fear you the most. They know that you will never give up, they know that you will never give in, they know that the movement led by Mrs. Rajavi provides the democratic alternative and the vehicle for ensuring their demise, leaving them, to quote Ronald Reagan, ‘on the ash heap of history’. We must let the people of Iran determine their own force.

If we do, they will throw off the rope, the yoke of dictatorship and chart a new democratic future. For my country and for others, the first role should be to do no harm. Do not take measures that will extend the life of the regime that will go down in history as one of pure evil.

We must stand for human rights and human dignity, we must be true to our words. We must not repeat the mistakes of 2015 when the regime was handed billions and billions of dollars, which were then used to support terrorist proxies to commit acts of state terrorism to kill hundreds of thousands in Syria and around the region, and to expand the arsenal of missiles and other weapons.

The clear lesson is that there is no prospect for moderation, which always was a false hope of those who favored the nuclear agreement. That hope was and remains nothing more than an illusion. It is self-deluding to believe that a regime that would install Raisi as president could ever reform.

No more resources for the regime. No more feeding the beast. When the people of Iran triumphed over the mullahs, the regime will go quickly, as Ceaușescu did in Romania, and as the mullahs know very well as the Shah did. There is no tension between standing for human rights and seeking a nuclear-free Iran. Let me mention very briefly three lessons drawn from my career in non-proliferation.

First, many years ago, I concluded that as long as the regime exists, it will continue to advance its nuclear program, as it has repeatedly demonstrated. It is a common but false argument that stopping the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon by rejoining the JCP must be the first priority.

In fact, the resources that would flow to the regime would prolong the regime, it would prolong the repression of the Iranian people, and it would also prolong the nuclear threat itself. Second, the regime has cheated on every agreement it has made.

The NPT, the Safeguards agreement, the additional protocol, and the JCP even before the US withdrawal, as it never came clean on weaponizations and obstructed IAEA inspectors and suspect sites. Applying the role of common sense, who can believe that the regime does not now have a covert program, something if maintained for 40 years? Who would sign yet another agreement with a party that has cheating in its DNA? And third, the regime is only steps away from a nuclear weapon, perhaps measured in weeks, once it decides to do so. This is clear with its enrichment to 60%, with its advanced centrifuges spinning, with the fashioning of Iranian medals, and its continued stonewalling on inspections and on weaponizations.

Far from closing all of the pathways to nuclear weapons, the agreement failed to prevent the mullahs from taking these actions in quick succession, demonstrating that the JCP away was little more than a placebo intended to cure cancer. It was sold as a panacea, but provided only a false sense of complacency.

Rejoining will continue that farce, one made evident by the ludicrous claim that this would only be the first step with other steps to follow to limit Iran’s missile program, its commission of terrorist acts, its regional aggression, and perhaps most delusional of all to address the regime’s domestic repression. As Senator Lieberman said in writing, there is only one solution, and that is regime change.

Of course, we must prevent the mullahs from having nuclear weapons, but we can best do that by applying real pressure and letting the people prevail over the dictatorship.

The NCRI 10-point plan and the organized resistance inside and outside of Iran led by Mrs. Rajavi provide the vision and the means that we see– a free and democratic Iran. Thank you very much.

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Robert Joseph’s Remarks to the Free Iran World Summit 2021–July 12, 2021