Over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a succession of former officials and current parliamentarians from around the world told a virtual assembly of Iranian exiles that the regime in Tehran was weak, illegitimate, incapable, and not meant to serve.
Three days Free Iran World Summit 2021
On the second day of the three-day “Free Iran World Summit 2021,” which drew anti-regime activists from more than 100 countries and was organized by the umbrella group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded strongly.
The mullahs’ regime express its anger over the successes of Free Iran 2021
According to Iran’s semi-official IRNA news source, regime officials gave Slovenia’s envoy in Tehran an official letter of protest over Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s Saturday address critical of the government, calling Mr. Jansa’s words “baseless allegations.”
Mr. Jansa was one of few current politicians to speak directly to the three-day gathering, but the summit was heard from a wide range of lawmakers from both parties on Capitol Hill, as well as notable figures such as former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
The greatest attention in the media for the presence of Mr. Pompeo
Mr. Pompeo’s broadside against the Iranian leadership on Saturday, however, received the greatest attention in the media.
Mr. Pompeo told the summit that Iran’s theocratic system is at “the weakest point in its now 40-year existence,” and that now is the time for the US and its allies to increase pressure on hard-line President-elect Ebrahim Raisi as he prepares to take office.
Mr. Pompeo was a key architect of the Trump administration’s hard-line stance toward Iran, which included reimposing punishing economic penalties on the government and its trading partners, as well as rejecting the Obama administration’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Even if “its application for less than two years was insufficient to fully achieve its end goals,” he said, Mr. Trump’s strategy was beginning to bear fruit.
Mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis
Mr. Pompeo cited Tehran’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, a foreign strategy that has made Iran a “pariah” in the Middle East. He added that the economic measures have resulted in food shortages and sharp price hikes in essential consumer products.
He said hardliners in Iran opposed the initial nuclear deal, Mr. Pompeo projected that if the US re-joins in the coming weeks, the Supreme Leader and the incoming president will gladly accept the rewards.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox, former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, were among the dozens of others who spoke at the virtual rally over the weekend.
Call for an investigation into 1988 massacre
On Sunday, speaker after speaker reiterated the same angles of argument: that Iran’s recent low-turnout elections were illegitimate and a sign of waning popular support; that Mr. Raisi’s brutal past — human rights groups have called for an investigation into his leading role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners during the bloody eight-year Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s — makes him unfit to lead the country; and that a 10-point peace plan put forward by NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi is the only realistic path to a free, democratic Iran.
The plan calls for the mullah-led Islamic Republic to be abolished, as well as political liberties, an independent judiciary, and gender equality, as well as a rejection of nuclear weapons, increased economic opportunity, and respect for workers’ rights.