John Bolton Former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Thank you very much. Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here today. I want to say that even as the Middle East descends into chaos that the principal threat to peace and security in the region and really globally remains the Ayatollah’s nuclear weapons program. Combined with the regime’s role in financing terrorism, the world’s central banker of international terrorism for 35 years, the Ayatollahs have been the principal cause for the destabilizing of the Middle East, resulting in conflicts that are erasing national boundaries and fostering the collapse of the regional states.
Iran’s nuclear weapons, when it achieves that objective, will make this situation even worse. And it won’t stop with Iran, because the onward proliferation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Turkey will make this already volatile region even more dangerous. But even as chaos and terror spread in Iraq, the United States must follow policies that do not enhance the power of the regime in Tehran because otherwise it will simply spread the problem and even more broadly and risk even greater military hostilities. Even as we address other terrorist threats in the region like Al Qaeda or ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which are becoming increasingly urgent, these responses should be undertaken with a clear strategy to defeat the terrorists without directly or indirectly aiding the regime in Iran and legitimizing either it or its nuclear weapons program. Instead of working with the regime in Tehran now is the time to overthrow the regime in Tehran.
On the Iranian nuclear issue the policy of the United States has been very nearly the opposite of what we should be doing. Last December’s nuclear deal in Geneva was a triumph for the ayatollahs and in fact is the worst example of appeasement since Munich in 1938. The Ayatollahs were desperate for a deal. They had enormous internal dissent, especially among Iran’s young people. They faced the consequences of 35 years of bad economic policy and the consequences of the world’s economic sanctions. The deal that they achieved unfortunately represents not the strength of the ayatollahs but the weakness of the West. Did essentially nothing to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program and it failed to address key issues like full disclosure and adequate international inspections, the weaponization activity that’s critical to a functioning nuclear weapon, Iran’s ballistic missile program or its cooperation with rogue states like North Korea. Extending the negotiations for another six months, which appears likely, will only allow the regime more time to advance its nuclear weapons program and avoid economic pressure from the West.
It is a myth that the Iranian people support the ayatollah’s nuclear weapons program. They know better than anybody else that nuclear weapons for the ayatollahs and the Pasdaran are their trump card to stay in power. Legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program as the Geneva deal did, and making it permanent, legitimizes the regime. The last result that we need. The people of Iran understand how devastating this would be for their hopes for free and fair elections and a representative government. In fact for the last ten to 15 years it’s been the MEK more than any other group that has brought to the public attention of the world key aspects of the Ayatollah’s nuclear program to make it clear just how dangerous a threat that it is. Now the policies we should pursue I think are clear. The first thing I want to say is to address the people of the United States, because this is precisely not the time to retreat into isolationism. This is a time for the United States and the West as a whole to support all the legitimate opposition forces, that commit to a nuclear free Iran and representative government as Madame Rajavi’s platform for the future does. The only sound approach is that the declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ totalitarian regime as soon as possible. Thank you very much.
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