London, 4 Sep - Former Cincinnati mayor and US ambassador to the UN human rights commission, Ken Blackwell, in an article published on this week, expressed concern and doubt over the recent nuclear negotiations with Iran. He said that regardless of how the administration try and convince the world that the deal is good, it is essentially a “bad deal” that “fails at its core objective of closing all pathways for Tehran getting the bomb”.

The main areas for immediate concern are:

1. The verification mechanism, especially the 24 day notice period to be respected, which is far from ideal, especially given the regime’s history of deception, lies and concealment.
2. There is too much leniency surrounding the military aspect to previous nuclear activities.
3. Ali Hosseini-Tash, the deputy secretary for Strategic Affairs at Supreme National Security Council, was the IAEA counterpart in the agreement. (The NCRI revealed that Hosseini-Tash was instrumental in Tehran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons.)
4. The regime is still supporting terrorism and their military interference in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, etc. continues. Its appalling human rights record also continues.

Blackwell emphasised that opposition to the rapprochement is not “war-mongering”, and criticised President Obama for levying this argument against opponents to the deal as it has “injected undue partisanship into an issue that has grave significance for all Americans and all peace-loving peoples of the world”.

He said that the crux of the issue is the ayatollahs. Every president, for nearly 40 years, has tried to find and negotiate with the moderates in Iran. But, as echoed by the NCRI and other opposition groups, Blackwell states “there are no moderates” and reform is out of the question – it would mean the end of theocratic rule for the mullahs.

So what can be done? Blackwell believes that, first and foremost, change must be pursued and the NCRI are key to this. The NCRI, which he described as the “most visible, organized Iranian dissident movement”, has a strong following with activists inside and outside Iran. Their leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, who advocates a “secular, moderate, democratic Islam”, is leading with such force that it is making the regime restless.

The regime’s weakness and fear of the Resistance is evident. We see it in the harsh treatment of all activists – something that has been happening for decades, Blackwell says, adding that now is the time to bring change to Iran. Now, because “the ayatollahs are weaker and more susceptive to pressure than ever”. He said that we need to match the regime’s “deceptions and desperation with steadfast courage and vision”.



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