By Sivan Gamliel
It was recently reported that the Biden administration believes that it has until the end of the month to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal. Otherwise, they would be forced to take aggressive steps against the Iranian regime. However, Dr. Rojan Ashtab, a Kurdish political activist, believes that even giving these talks till the end of the month is a colossal disaster waiting to happen.
According to him, “Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. They have engaged in hostage taking, raids, intervened in countries that are allied with America, and cooperated with terrorist organizations. This problem will not be solved till the Islamic Republic is overthrown, but the US government is not yet ready to overthrow the Iranian regime. Therefore, the prospect of resolving these disputes soon appears difficult.”
Dr. Ashtab claims that there is little reason to believe that Iran will abide by any new nuclear agreement, just as they never truly obeyed the previous one: “The Tehran government never implemented the memorandum and did not give up its clandestine activities including access to nuclear weapons. At that time, then President Obama handed over seized Iranian assets and ignored Iran’s criminal activities against the Iranian people. The Americans also ignored Iranian interference in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and so on. But, it was to no avail.”
He noted that under the Trump administration, the US pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, hoping to negotiate a fresh one that would take Iran’s missile program, terrorist activity and poor human rights record into account. The previous nuclear deal did not cover any of these important issues. However, the mullahs just suffered crippling economic losses, refusing to negotiate a new one under President Trump, predicting that the Democrats would soon return to power and give them a better deal. As it turned out, their prophesy came true. Nevertheless, it has still been an uphill struggle to negotiate a new nuclear deal, as Iran does not really intend to comply with it and is just seeking sanctions relief.
Dr. Ashtab complains that even though regime change in Tehran is the only true solution to the nuclear issue, the United States “has done virtually nothing to help the Iranian people overthrow this regime and has given the mullahs the freedom to brutally suppress the opposition.” For example, due to the massive Green Movement Protests in 2009, then US President Barack Obama was infamous for his silence and lack of support.
When anti-regime protests broke out under US President Donald Trump, he gave more verbal and emotional support to the protesters than Obama did. However, he did not really provide Iranian dissidents with logistical and military support, preferring a “maximum pressure” campaign that would imply many economic sanctions on Iran than any sort of more active US involvement. After all, he was an isolationist, who felt that America should not get involved in other countries. So yes, he was a cheerleader, but the Iranian people needed more than just cheerleading.
And now, we got President Biden, who is not much better than Obama. Even a cheerleader we lack in the White House. Despite Iran’s atrocious human rights record, Dr. Ashtab predicted: “We will soon see an agreement between Iran, the US and the West. Yet, Iran will secretly try to expand its nuclear program to the point of building a nuclear weapon.”
Furthermore, he warned that “the lifting of sanctions will free up Iran’s hand to suppress the struggle for freedom of the Iranian people including the Kurdish nation, which has been fighting against this regime for its freedom and national rights for forty years. It will also lead to the expansion of terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East, and this will adversely affect the Kurds.”
Dr. Ashraf concluded: “It is no secret that the Kurdish people in Iran have been persecuted ethnically, linguistically and politically. Students, intellectuals, poets, writers and journalists are imprisoned and tortured. Kurdish political activists have also been assassinated. If American sanctions on Iran are lifted or reduced, then the Iranian regime’s capabilities will be greater and it will be easier to suppress the Iranian opposition.” And in the long run, this goes contrary to America’s interests: “Mr. Biden’s agreement to lift sanctions and to agree on the nuclear issue is also not to the satisfaction of the American political and diplomatic experts.”