US lawmakers vow to ensure leniency towards Iran ends

Several lawmakers told the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC) last week that they will push for tougher action on Iran and its Islamist rulers. 

The Republican and Democratic House members attended a gathering organised by the OIAC in Washington where they spoke.

The OIAC is connected to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian dissident movement. It is striving for a non-nuclear, democratic and secular Iran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which is led by the MEK is aiming to end the ruling of the “religious dictatorship” which is currently ruling the country. 

The political director of the OIAC, Majid Sadeghpour, said that the group is keen to work with the Trump administration to form a “successful policy” with regards to Iran. He added that he believes Iran is the greatest threat to national security in the United States.

President Trump took office ten days ago, and Iran and the rest of the world are yet to hear how he will deal with the threat posed by Iran. Will he follow through on the promises he made during his campaign? He famously slammed Obama for providing international sanctions relief to Iran in the 2015 deal.

Trump said the deal was the worst he had ever seen and said it was a “disaster”. He said that if he became president he would renegotiate it or scrap it altogether. 

Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said at the OIAC gathering last week that she wanted to see an expansion on current sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

She said: “It is time that we put the tools that we have created to use, broadening our sanctions so that they include IRGC-controlled businesses and subsidiaries. We must target the (Iranian) regime at every turn, not only enforcing the sanctions that have been too long neglected, but expanding their scope whenever and wherever possible.”

As a result of the sanctions relief, Iran is permitted to buy Western aircraft. In December it was announced that Iran Air is to buy 80 aircraft from US company Boeing in a deal worth $16 billion. However, new legislation could complicate the sale. Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman co-sponsored a bill that requires the Trump administration to flag up incidences of Iran using commercial aircraft for illicit military activities. Sherman has claimed that Iran has used civilian aircraft to participate in war crimes in Syria. 

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said that the leaders of Iran should be held accountable for the numerous war crimes and human rights violations they have committed. He also said that he was a fervent supporter of pro-democracy movements to replace the ruling mullahs. 

The MEK has long been providing the US with information about the happenings in Iran. They exposed Iran’s nuclear ambitions, despite Iran’s insistence that it was not seeking nuclear weapons.