National Iranian Congress

October  , 2017

President Trump’s New Strategy

Toward the Khamenei Regime

A New Era in U.S.-Iran Relations

President Donald J. Trump’s new strategy toward the Iranian regime announced on October 13, 2017 is a landmark in U.S. foreign policy – it marks the first time in over 30 years that the United States has adopted a comprehensive, coherent strategy for dealing with the Iranian regime.  The National Iranian Congress (NIC) wishes to express its deepest gratitude to President Trump for exposing the nature of the Khamenei regime and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with the Iranian people.

The NIC is especially grateful to the President for drawing the crucial distinction between the Khamenei regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the one hand, and the legitimate national institutions of the Iranian state on the other. As we noted in the NIC statement of December 5, 2016, congratulating the President-Elect Trump on his victory in the presidential election, four decades of Islamic fundamentalist propaganda against the U.S. and Israel paradoxically has produced a large young Iranian population that is not hostile to Washington and Jerusalem, but friendly; not fanatically attached to fundamentalist interpretations of Islam, but alienated from them and often from Islam itself.

Immediately imposing crippling new sanctions on the IRGC is a critical first step in the new U.S. approach to dealing with the threats posed to the U.S. and its allies. The IRGC sanctions will contribute to rolling back and defeating the Khamenei regime’s strategy in the Middle East.

With respect to the regime’s nuclear program and the nuclear deal itself, the NIC applauds the President’s courageous, resolute decision to reject certifying that the continued suspension of sanctions under the deal is appropriate. Pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the President went the extra mile in seeking to work with the Congress and U.S. allies to remedy the numerous fatal flaws in the nuclear arrangement. Our considered judgment, however, is that the Khamenei regime will never accept the changes required to allow President Trump to have high confidence that the terms of the arrangement will protect U.S. national security interests and that the regime’s compliance can be effectively verified. Moreover, it is very unlikely that the European participants in the nuclear deal will be willing to change any terms of the deal as even their willingness to do so would be seen politically as an embarrassing admission that the deal is deficient.  Consequently, we await the results achieved in the next two months.

The NIC position on the nuclear deal, as enunciated in our December 5, 2016 Statement, is that President Trump should withdraw from this arrangement. Hence, for our part, the NIC will strongly support the President in a decision to cancel U.S. participation in the nuclear deal when he is convinced that achieving a new, effectively verifiable arrangement with the Khamenei regime that meets U.S. national security needs simply will not succeed. Our oft repeated view is that the only likelihood of a nuclear weapons-free Iran lies in a free, democratic Iran.  The notion that the only alternative to seeking a nuclear deal with the Khamenei regime is war is an illusion created by the previous U.S. administration. The truth is that the oppressed majority of the Iranian people did not then, and do not today, support the Khamenei regime’s nuclear program or the nuclear deal and desperately want to be rid of the regime itself.

We in the National Iranian Congress cannot overemphasize that the effects of the nuclear deal have only encouraged more abuse from the already brutal Khamenei regime.  Oppression is at its harshest, yet at the same time, the President’s new policy toward the Khamenei regime has set in motion events that can overwhelm the regime’s grip on the Iranian people. We are so indebted to President Trump for ending the previous administration’s perverse policy of supporting the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Thank you, Mr. President.