Thursday 16thJuly 2015
IPU ROOM, WESTMINSTER HALL, HOUSE OF COMMONS
THE NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN IS AN HISTORIC MISTAKE
With our attention distracted by the on-going economic crisis in Greece, the eyes of the world have been diverted from the unfolding calamity in Vienna, where President Obama and the P5 + 1 nations have bulldozed through a nuclear deal with Iran. Determined to secure his footnote in history, Obama swept aside all warnings and fears and signed an agreement that effectively ends sanctions on the Iranian regime and releases over $150 billion of assets that were previously frozen. The West gets virtually nothing but empty promises in return.
This is a windfall for a regime whose biggest export is terror; a regime which funds Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, Bashir al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the brutal Shi’ite militias in Iraq. It is a windfall for the mullahs’ nuclear programme, which far from being suspended, will now be accelerated and it is a windfall for Iran’s expanding ballistic missile programme, which has intercontinental missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and striking targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia or even Europe. Indeed, encouraged by this progress, Vladimir Putin has also now decided to renew a contract to deliver S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran.
The nuclear deal with Iran will also trigger an arms race in the Middle East, creating a domino effect, with countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt rushing to buy nuclear weapons technology from Pakistan or other nuclear nations.
The Saudi Ambassador to the UK recently stated that "all the options are on the table,"including the possibility that the kingdom will take possession of nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
Obama’s footnote in the history books may not make for comfortable reading. The fact that the talks have gone on for 22 months, with deadlines repeatedly set and missed, should have been enough to sound alarm bells in Washington. The only reason the talks took place at all was because Iran was bleeding to death. With rampant corruption and incompetence, the Iranian leadership has allowed large sections of the economy to collapse.
The impact of sanctions on Iran, coupled with the recent collapse in oil revenues, has crippled the theocratic regime. Welfare handouts are being savagely cut, food prices continue to rise; the black market is burgeoning. While the top leaders live a life of luxury, anger is building amongst the poor. Increased repression, mass arrests, public hangings and floggings have been the regime’s response, because what they fear more than anything is popular fury spilling over into a new revolution, sweeping the fascist ayatollahs and their henchmen from power.
Extinguishing the fires that are raging around the Middle East will not be achieved by handing a box of matches to the arsonist. By signing the agreement with Iran, the P5 + 1 nations have missed a unique opportunity to topple a rogue nation and restore peace and stability to the region.Ending sanctions and the subsequent release of assets will revitalize the Iranian economy and ensure the regime’s survival. As the number one state sponsor of terrorism Iran will finance new military capability; they will invest in the terrorist Quds Force and the murderous Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which spread their brand of theocratic fascism across the zone and in countries around the world. The Iranian regime wishes to become the dominant force in the Middle East and they will grasp this opportunity to achieve that goal.
We must wake up the fact that the agreement signed in Vienna is not worth the paper it is printed on. It is ludicrous to believe that Iran can be trusted on this issue when they have repeatedly duped the West over their nuclear intentions for the past 12 years. The ink was no sooner dry on the original agreement signed in Lausanne earlier this year, than it was rejected virtually line by line by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The same will happen again, but this time the Americans will turn a blind eye. The fact that US Secretary of State John Kerry has been billeted in Vienna non-stop for the past two weeks, despite all of the other international crises that would normally require his attention, is proof positive of Obama’s desperation to go down in history as the president who signed an historic deal with Iran.
Iran’s foreign minister - Javad Zarif, claims that the nuclear deal will “open up new horizons”, enabling Tehran to join “the international battle against the increasingly brutal extremism that is engulfing the Middle East.”The idea that Iran will become an active partner with the West in the fight against terrorism is absurd. It is particularly galling to hear these words from Javad Zarif, who in January this year, laid a wreath at the grave in Lebanon of the notorious Hizbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyeh, who was responsible for the attacks in the 1980s on French and American forces in Beirut, hijacking civilian aircraft and taking international hostages.It is a great irony that in the same week the EU bailed out a bankrupted Greece, the West has bailed out a bankrupted Iran. We have saved the birthplace of democracy in the West and simultaneously dealt a deathblow to democracy in the Middle East.
The horror fiction writer Stephen King said that ‘the trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.’It is a good description for the horror story that has unfolded in Vienna. Why is it in the Middle East that we always get it so wrong?
We backed Nouri al-Maliki during his two disastrous terms as Prime Minister in Iraq, despite the fact that he was a puppet of the Iranian regime and laid the foundations for ISIS by waging a ruthless sectarian campaign against Iraqi Sunnis. He was also one of the most corrupt leaders in history, stealing billions from the Iraqi people. Iraq earned over $550 billion in oil revenues since Maliki came to power in 2006 and yet most of it has simply disappeared.
Despite this, it took a Herculean effort to persuade the Americans that Maliki should not be allowed to continue as Prime Minister for a third consecutive term. Haider al-Abadi took over last year, but Maliki remains in high office as Vice President of Iraq and he still occupies the Prime Minister’s palace in the green zone in Baghdad. He refuses to budge and indeed there is increasing evidence that he is behind a campaign to undermine and unseat the government of Haider al-Abadi in a bid to return to power.
Some essential government bodies, including the propaganda department, the central bank and many other important institutions, are under the direct control of Maliki. So too are the Popular Mobilisation Militias, commanded by Hadi Amery, Jamal Mohammad Jafar and Falleh Fayaz - all known agents of the Iranian regime. By blocking every effort by the Abadi government to achieve national reconciliation, Maliki and his Iranian sponsors have actively contributed to the growth and expansion of ISIS and have increased the divisions between Iraqis.
Maliki’s Iranian-led Shi’ite faction has blocked the arming and training of the Sunni residents in the predominantly Sunni areas around Baghdad and other Sunni provinces, effectively preventing them from protecting themselves against ISIS. Indeed daily the Shi’ite militias are committing atrocities in the Sunni regions of Iraq including beheadings, burning people alive and firing rockets blindly into residential areas.
Such atrocities are simply driving the Iraqi Sunnis to support ISIS in preference to the brutal Shi’ite militias.
After nearly a year of initial hopes that the crisis in Iraq could be resolved through genuine national reconciliation and the establishment of an inclusive government, not only has no action been taken, but in fact the situation in Iraq has got much worse. Iraqi citizens, who have suffered from decades of violence and oppression, are now witnessing the destruction of their country.
According to official reports, none of the political agreements on which the Abadi government was formed have been realised, including the amnesty law that was supposed to cover people who were falsely arrested by Maliki and forced, under torture, to confess to acts of terror. In the draft of a new law, all the people who were supposed to be covered under this amnesty have now been excluded. Indeed the new “Audit & Justice” law takes no steps towards national reconciliation and in the new “National Guard” law the demands of the Sunni provinces that were suppressed under Maliki have not been addressed.
Currently, millions of Iraqis have been displaced and are facing hunger and danger on a daily basis. In addition, hundreds of Iraqis are killed and wounded every day in assassinations and terrorist explosions, with no hope in sight for an end to the crisis. Everyone knows that the solution for the future of Iraq has to be political. Without preventing the Iranian regime’s interference in Iraq nothing will be solved.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of decisiveness and the on-going appeasement policy of the United States and the EU towards Iran, the mullahs in Tehran have been given a free hand in Iraq. The result of this policy has been the intensification of insecurity and destruction and an inability to fight ISIS effectively. The nuclear agreement and the ending of sanctions will simply exacerbate this situation.
The IRGC’s most senior commander - General Qasem Suleimani is leading the brutal Iranian armed and funded Shi’ia militias in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, waging a genocidal campaign against the Iraqi Sunni population in the process. The IRGC and Suleimani are listed terrorists in the US and have American blood on their hands. Yet Obama and the West seem reconciled to the idea that Suleimani is an ally in the battle against ISIS. To believe that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” in this context is a grave mistake. Suleimani is an avowed enemy of the United States and will be overjoyed at the ending of sanctions and the ending of the freeze on the IRGC’s international assets.
The nuclear agreement signed by the P5 + 1 nations is a major setback and an historic mistake. A resurgent Iran will now attempt to extend its evil dominion across the Middle East. Having effectively aided and abetted this calamity, the West has now excluded itself from any future solution to the unfolding crisis. We must now look to the Arab coalition created by Saudi Arabia as a counter-balance to aggressive Iranian expansionism. They have mounted a credible campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and could be encouraged to become more involved in Syria and Iraq with the objective of neutralising Iranian interference in both.
Whoever takes on the challenge of countering Iran should be certain of one thing; there is a credible Opposition movement waiting in the wings to take over power from the evil mullahs. The PMOI and their inspirational leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi are ready to restore democracy, justice, human rights and women’s rights in Iran. They will ban nuclear weapons, end the death penalty and separate church and state. Theirs is a vision of freedom and liberty for the oppressed millions in Iran. It is a vision that they have fought and died for.
Their self-sacrifice has been an inspiration to us all and is the reason why I have entitled my new book: ‘SELF-SACRIFICE – Life with the Iranian Mojahedin’, which I am honoured to launch here at this meeting in the House of Commons today.