National Committee of Resistance of Iran – Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal on Friday should be seen as standing in solidarity with the Iranian people, according to a leading Iranian human rights expert.
Heshmat Alavi analysed the situation for Al Arabiya, noting that this represents a major turning point in US policy towards Iran, even if we still don’t know exactly what Congress will do to Iran. This may be the first time since the 1953 CIA-backed coup d’état during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower that a US President has not supported the ruling regime against its own people.
Alavi wrote: “Trump, however, has for the second time in less than a month stated his solidarity with the Iranian people. Iran has violated the very spirit of the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the entire accord is against US national security interests, according to Trump.”
This news was welcomed by the Iranian Resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which first brought the Iranian Regime’s nuclear ambitions to light in 2002.
NCRI President Maryam Rajavi said that the new US policy which condemns human rights violations, denies “the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities,” and opposes “IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people,” have been urgently needed.
She added: “[Trump’s acknowledgement that the regime] oppresses its people, abuses their rights, exports violence, destabilizes its neighbours, and sponsors terrorism abroad, [is recognition of its illegitimacy].”
The Iranian opposition were not the only ones celebrating; Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain all voiced their support for decertification. This is in line with April’s Riyadh conference where Trump called on other countries in the Middle East to recognise the threat of the Iranian Regime and take action against it.
However, there is one party that has not reacted positively. The Regime and its lobbies abroad.
Alavi wrote: “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s words depicted the devastating blow felt by the regime in its entirety, resorting to completely unorthodox and undiplomatic remarks for a president…This is further indication of how Tehran desperately needs the JCPOA to remain intact, and how Trump’s remarks of having the authority to unilaterally exit the deal has placed senior Iranian officials on their tiptoes.”
This is unclear as Congress now has 60 days to decide what to do but Trump has implored Congress to intensify the pressure on Iran and has ordered the Treasury Department to “fully sanction” the IRGC for supporting terrorism, but it is unclear exactly what this means.
Will the IRGC be sanctioned? Will they be considered a terrorist entity? Will they be placed on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list? Will they be subject to immigration restrictions?
Alavi wrote: “This development goes far beyond designating the IRGC and has a more drastic impact than merely decertifying the JCPOA. The Trump administration has announced a completely new policy.”
He continued: “Now that the entire IRGC is designated as a terrorist organization, we are seeing voices against this development, and Iranian lobbyists attempting to downgrade this turn of events, claiming it is merely sanctions and far different from a terrorist designation. The truth is that a policy that provided crucial support for Tehran through these years is witnessing major changes. This is rendering enormous concerns in Tehran. What needs comprehending is the scope of Trump’s major policy transition.”