The Constitutionalist Party of Iran and Iranian Americans for Liberty Warn Against US Election Meddling by Groups with Ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran Government and Urge Democratic Delegates to Vote Against Proposals Related to Iran in The Draft Democratic Party Platform
In 2015, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice introduced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. They expressed hope that the agreement would inspire change in the Islamic Republic’s behavior, motivating Iran to become a responsible member of the international community.
Contrary to the aspirations of the Obama-Biden administration, the Iranian regime turned around and used the financial rewards of the JCPOA to enhance its sponsorship of terrorism through regional and international malign adventurism. As many US policymakers predicted, the regime increased its nefarious activities once the agreement was signed. Prior to the deal, both Secretaries of State under the Obama administration – Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, repeatedly designated the regime as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Using the riches gained consequent to the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic’s financed proxy Shia militia groups in Iraq and Syria- resulting in the death or injury to over 600 US Service Members. As the crisis in Syria escalated, sectarian violence perpetrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) led to hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost, including those murdered by chemical weapons. Millions of civilians were displaced from their homes, resulting in a refugee crisis unlike the world had ever witnessed. Furthermore, the Islamic State was afforded the opportunity to grow and strengthen amidst the regional instability created by the IRGC.
Conclusively, the JCPOA failed to achieve its stated goals and only served as a tool of the Islamic Republic to buy time while it carried on with its campaign of destruction.
Witnessing the regime’s increased and continued sponsorship of terrorism and destruction, President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, thereby returning to the policy that was in place during President Obama’s first term. Those sanctions were so effective that Vice President Joe Biden touted them during his 2012 vice-presidential debate with Speaker Paul Ryan.
Undeniably, US policy with Iran, under President Trump, has largely succeeded in limiting the Islamic Republic’s financial resources, stifling the flow of funding to the IRGC in Iraq and Syria. These circumstances have motivated groups in the US with suspected ties to the Iranian regime to hijack the Democratic Party’s foreign policy platform and turn it into a vessel to push an agenda supportive of the Islamic Republic.
The Constitutionalist Party of Iran and Iranian Americans for Liberty are deeply concerned that the draft of the Democratic Party’s proposed platform fails to consider these realities. It appears no lessons were learned from previous policy errors of the Obama administration.
We are particularly concerned that such misguided policy will further provide material assistance to the Islamic Republic to fortify terrorism and intensify sectarian wars in the Middle East.
Aside from the promise of a return to the JCPOA, we are disappointed in other Iran policies in the draft Democratic Party Platform; in particular, the Party’s insinuation of support for the current regime. Understandably, it is not diplomatically advisable for a foreign power to announce a formal policy of pursuing “regime change” in another nation-state. It is equally deplorable for the United States government (or a presidential hopeful) to announce as a policy that it does NOT support regime change.
We believe it is up to the people of Iran to decide their desired form of government and leaders. Foreign powers should refrain from meddling in Iran and sabotaging the Iranian people’s aspiration for liberty, democracy, and justice. Only the Iranian people – not the US government – have the undisputed right to pursue regime change, if so desired.
By the mere mention of a “regime change policy,” or lack thereof, the Democratic Party is suggesting it will back the Islamic Republic in the event the Iranian people decide to replace it. This is a disconcerting gesture by the Democratic Party, which carries an honorable history of standing up to Apartheid and totalitarian regimes in support of people’s democratic aspirations. By this action, the Democratic Party risks aligning itself with one of the most brutal regimes in modern history, a regime that has been hostile to the United States from its inception and continues to victimize the Iranian people.
The language used in the proposals suggests a monumental failure to recognize the realities on the ground in Iran and the endorsement of murder, mayhem, and bigotry. Let us not forget that this is a regime that has an extensive record of imprisoning journalists, persecuting activists, executing members of the LGBTQ+ community, and discriminatory violence against women, ethnic and religious minorities. Supporting this regime on the pretense of avoiding regime change is both hypocritical and contradictory.
Many challenges facing the Islamic Republic are self-inflicted - the result of many years of incompetence and corruption. Despite the disinformation promulgated by pro-regime syndicates in the US, the Iranian people suffer because of the regime’s mismanagement of its financial resources, abysmal environmental policies, and absence of basic social liberties. The regime is at best a slightly toned-down version of ISIS.
In the last three years many brave Iranians have taken to the streets in protests over the immense social and economic injustice they experience everyday- only to be slaughtered on site by the regime. The concept of blaming US policies for a myriad of problems that are expected consequences of totalitarianism in Iran are obsolete, as are redundant and futile strategies meant to camouflage the utter failures of the Islamic Republic. The “blame America first” talking point is a “go to” for pro-regime factions in the US. The agenda of regime appeasement advocated by these groups creates a deep divide within the Iranian-American community. The pro-regime factions’ dismissiveness of human rights violations in
Iran, coupled with their profound hostility towards anti-regime Iranian-Americans, only furthers discord and animosity.
We also wish to point out that many Iranians view the wrong-headed foreign policy adopted by another Democratic administration, that of President Jimmy Carter, as a key factor contributing to the rise of the Ayatollahs in Iran. President Carter’s policies resulted in a monumental defeat for the Iranian people, human rights and regional stability in the Middle East. We fear that once again naively aligning with the Ayatollahs will result in a similar foreign policy disaster. We and other Iranian-Americans recently raised these concerns in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign.
In closing, we disagree with the Iran-related policies outlined in the Party’s draft platform. Engaging with a regime that is a sworn enemy of the United States – whose slogan is “Death to America” – and who victimizes its own people for the past four decades, will result in no benefits to the US and only tarnish a legacy of support for freedom and liberty. We ask and encourage Democratic delegates to vote against policies related to Iran in the draft Democratic Party platform.
Diplomacy with the enemy is not congruent to appeasing it.