July 20, 2017

Iranian Mullahs Move To Consolidate Power

By Nasser Rashidi

Iran is on the verge of being referred to the United Nations Security Council for its now well-documented violations of the
international nuclear proliferation treaties. Simultaneously, the Canadian government has again sponsored a draft U.N.
resolution citing specific cases of human rights violations by the fundamentalist regime of Iran. For the past 25 years, the
international community has condemned this brutal regime over 51 times as documented by the U.N. High Commission on
Human Rights, European Union and other international organizations. Additionally, British Government recently revealed that
Iran has played a direct role in the murder of a number of British soldiers stationed in Iraq.

Acknowledging that these developments (including relentless pressure from opposition groups, namely the National Council
of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)) present a formidable treat to its survival, the mullahs have moved to consolidate the country’s
power structure.

Starting with the parliament, then the judiciary, and culminating with the appointment of Ahmadinejad (a former Revolutionary
Guard Commander) as the new president, Iran’s leaders have regrouped. These moves represent an intentional and
well-executed strategy of a government that historically resorted to instigating regional and international instability to cover its
own native illegitimacy. Their skillful use of governmental reform as a propaganda technique has truly been impressive.

In their most recent maneuver, Khamenei, the cleric who holds ultimate authority in Iran, has supposedly expanded the
authority of the Expediency Council (an appointive body led by the former president Rafsanjani). Council’s role would be to
resolve disputes between the legislative and executive branches. Considering the make up of the regime, its deliberate
cohesiveness, and that no true conflict exists amongst its ranks, such a move is simply designed to yet again project a face of
moderation.

In the past 16 years, the ayatollahs in Iran skillfully hid behind a veil of “moderation” (cast by their last two presidents:
Rafsanjani and then Khatami) to further strengthen their regime, build the worldwide web of terror, and advance their nuclear
weapons program. Not to be forgotten is the atrocities committed by these men at home, however. We must recall that as the
president for 8 years, Rafsanjani shared responsibility for the execution of 120,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the
main opposition, Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). Ironically, as Rafsanjani ordered the serial murder of the intellectuals and writers,
the newly appointed president Ahmadinejad carried out the orders.

Despite their propaganda to the contrary, Iran’s clerics are united in defending its long-secret nuclear program, and its
expansionist ways. As such, Rafsanjani is not somehow more democratic or different from the other fundamentalists ruling
Iran. Let us all be reminded that the mullahs in Iran collectively represent a bankrupt and fundamentalist ideology whose
survival depends on both internal oppression and expansion of a stone-age ideology. Harmonization of the country’s judicial,
legislative, and executive branches demonstrate the leadership’s cohesiveness and uniform ideology. Iran’s government, for
example, has planted officials from the Revolutionary Guards and country’s Security Forces in all key positions.

In 1994, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance, brought the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and the
Mullahs regime to the attention of the world. The Resistance documented and published a full analysis of the Islamic
fundamentalism led by the Mullahs regime in a book called “Islamic fundamentalism, the New Global Threat”, published in
1993.

To the Iranians, Ayatollahs exemplify and validate an ideology rooted in the dark ages. The civilized world is beginning to
accept that an expansionist ideology guides the mullah’s tactics & intentions as they relate to international peace, mutual
co-existence, and stability. Resorting to terrorism, brutal internal oppression, clandestine quest for nuclear weapons, and
futile diplomatic maneuvers are inevitable consequences of their strategically intelligent yet ideologically putrid world-view. The
unyielding quest for nuclear capability must, for example, be viewed as a central component of their need for self-preservation,
ideological expansionism, and reckless disregard for human dignity. Interestingly, in early 80’s, the supposedly “moderate”
Rafsanjani was central in jumpstarting Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons technology. This is because he then, as now, was
well aware that regime’s survival was/is directly tied to such activities and atrocities.

In evaluating the available options towards Iran, it is clear that a military intervention in Iran is not only politically challenging,
but will also lead to undue loss of life and resources. Furthermore, it is evident that the Iranian people would not support any
unilateral military engagement on the part of the west. Similarly, the appeasement policies of the recent past have proved a
dismal failure, principally because they ignore the will of the Iranian people.

As would be expected, the people of Iran wish nothing more than a free, democratic and secular republic. If we look hard
enough, we begin to see that they have shown us alternative solutions as well. There is a third and better option: regime
change to a democratic and populist rule by the Iranian people through legitimate and unhindered Resistance. By their long
struggle against fundamentalist in Tehran, the Iranian people’s organized resistance has demonstrated the ability and the will
necessary for this change, all without the need for direct foreign intervention.

Nasser Rashidi is an expert on Iran and a human rights activist. He is currently with the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy
Advocates (www.ncpda.com). He has been interviewed by the Voice of America (VOA-Farsi), and has written for the San Diego
Union (“Earthquake will not change Iran’s clerics”), National Review Online (“The End of So-Called ‘Reform'”), The Sun
Sentinel (“Legitimate resistance can prevail”).