Solution to Iran problem can come from within
by David Amess
The recent victory of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, or PMOI/MEK, in being removed from a US list of terrorist groups may offer a different and novel alternative in dealing with the Islamic Republic, writes British MP
Until now, the international community looked to the United States to take the lead in the diplomatic impasse regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions. However, the results were not the best by any stretch of the imagination. The policy adopted by Washington and Brussels vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic was to impose sanctions on Iran, something that failed to bring about the desired results. The carrot and stick approach of sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the western countries against Iran and in turn rewarding it with incentives if the mullahs adhered to pressures from the west turned out to be a huge failure.
Iran continues to do what it wants to do regardless of the effects that sanctions may have on the country. There are three major dossiers in contention between Iran and the west. First is the nuclear issue, a subject that monopolised the west's attention with Iran. Second is Iran's support of terrorism and rogue regimes such as the support for Damascus. And third is Iran's heavy investment in research and development in the internet and the world wide web, with nefarious intent, such as hoping to infect western computer systems with harmful viruses that could eventually destabilise western defence systems.
Indeed the options available in dealing with Iran seemed limited and the results they promised were equally dismal. Mainly the choice was to either try to change the mullahs' behaviour through armed foreign military intervention, a prospect that promised disastrous outcomes, or increasing the status quo by giving in to the mullahs. However, suddenly the political landscape in Iran changed drastically last month when the US state department reversed a 15-year ruling, removing the MEK from its list of terrorist organisations. This change opens the way for the MEK to start focusing on bringing about changes inside Iran.
The timing for that change is right as the Iranian people are once again becoming restive, and despite the massive repressive measures taken by the Iranian authorities after the 2009 popular uprising that shook the foundation of regime, a major anti-government demonstration broke out once more on October 3 when Iranians took to the streets once more. This time the demonstration began over economic issues, but quickly turned anti-government with chants against Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, and against Iran's support of the Syrian regime, breaking out among the crowds.
It was not for lack of trying but despite the Iranian regime's failure to quell the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran through the massacre of some 120,000 of the organisation's activists in Iran and the launching of a massive campaign demonising the MEK, the mullahs still failed to achieve their objective. That was to create the myth that there exists no Iranian solution to the Iranian crisis and the west is stuck with choosing between the two above-mentioned policy options. The intent was to prevent any western policy to shift towards a democratic change by the Iranian people and their organised resistance.
The prevailing appeasement policy by the west during the past 25 years has provided impetus to the mullahs' campaign and contributed heavily to the mischief concocted by these mullahs. The delisting, which has given a new life to the MEK, has been in the words of the Iranian resistance leader Maryam Rajavi, "the most significant blow to the mullahs' foreign policy for the past 30 years". This was all the more evident in the mullahs' harsh reaction to the delisting that has continued throughout the past few weeks.
What does this change of status accomplish? It enables the MEK to focus its time and resources on bringing the change in Iran and this is exactly what rattles the mullahs. More importantly, it allows for change in Iran to come about through an Iranian solution, rather than any foreign military intervention or appeasement of the current regime. It allows change by the people of Iran and the Iranian organised resistance. As Mrs. Rajavi stressed during a recent speech to the European Parliament, "the Iranian resistance neither wants money nor weapons from the west". The west can expedite or slow down the process for democratic change in Iran.
It is time for a change of policy by the west. We should recognise the Iranian resistance and identify with a policy of regime change with the aim of establishing a democratic form of government in Iran. Given the options at hand, that should not be too difficult now.
David Amess is a Conservative member of parliament and a leading member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
Agreeing totally with Mr Amess', time for a democratic change in Iran through the people and their resistance movement.
I would like to reiterate Mr Amess' conclusion: The west "should recognise the Iranian resistance and identify with a policy of regime change with the aim of establishing a democratic form of government in Iran. Given the options at hand, that should not be too difficult now".
They have done so in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, so why hesitate in the case of Iran? The Iranian regime must be held accountable for crimes against humanity in international tribunal.
Juergista - Stockholm
Excellent article by David Amess. He is absolutely correct. The Iranian crisis has got an Iranian solution and that is the known as the democratic option. The PMOI/MEK is the most organised and popular organisation in Iran and it has sacrificed a lot for the cause of democracy and freedom in Iran.
mahtab - London
Mr Amess is spot on this issue.
The solution must come from within the Iranian people for there to be a long term real move forward in the Middle East.
Anna - London, UK
MEK is hated by all Iranians. Iranians will never accept the MEK as a resistance force to Mullah. Sweet dreams no more British or American BS.
Regime change is the only realistic policy that will work with Iran in particular since it has no cost to the west. Let the people of Iran and their organised resistance movement change the regime. The people of Iran must be able to choose their government.
The west must recognise the legitimate resistance to the brutal mullahs and reverse its 15 year policy of repressing and enchaining them. Mrs Clinton should act wisely and invite Mrs Rajavi to Washington for high level talks. This will frighten the mullahs more than sanctions or anything else.
Masoud - London
Thank you Mr Amess, an excellent article, regime change is the only way forward and it'll be very soon.
ali - Sheffield / United Kingdom
Regime change with the help of Iranian people and PMOI is the answer to Iran problem. Recognition of PMOI as an official democratic resistance will facilitate a democratic change in Iran.
Dariush - London
The best way to empower the Iranian people is to support their organised resistance movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq.
Sahar - London
Thank you so much David Amess for your article and your support. The only solution is to change the dictator and terrorist Mullah's regime of Iran by the strongest opposition - which is the MEK/People Mojahedin Organisation of Iran.
For about forty five years - they have been fighting for freedom, pace and human rights in Iran. They have most support from Iranians in Iran as you see right now, who are helping or supporting. And they are active in Iran.
People are being executed or are waiting to be executed including Ghlamreza Khosravi and many people like him. I hope this change happens soon and we can save a lots of lives.
Sar Faraz - London, England, MEK