|Patrick Kennedy – The Backward U.S. Policy Towards Iran|
|Sunday, 03 June 2012 12:05|
Washington, May 30, 2012 - Thank you very much. I'm honored to be with you once again and to share this podium, to show you how united we are that even on this stage represents the cross-section of the American political points of view from among the more conservative members of Congress and administration officials and political advisors to even the left, like a Kennedy, on the liberal side of the democratic party.
I just want to say to all of you, as Dick Morris points out, running a successful political campaign means you need to have as many people on your side as is possible because your objective is the same thing that unite all of us and that is we want to see a new day in Tehran where democracy is rule. (Applause.)
MR. KENNEDY: So perhaps it's worthwhile to reiterate what we agree on, both democrats and republicans, conservatives and liberals.
That is, we agree on the fact that U.S. foreign policy today towards Iran is backwards. We have labeled the main opposition to Tehran, the MeK, as the terrorist group while we negotiate with the real terrorists and those are the Mullahs in Tehran.
MR. KENNEDY: We have a humanitarian disaster and instead of the United Nations working to transfer the people of Ashraf to a safe location, we have Martin Kobler from the United Nations working to transfer people from their homes to a torture chamber in what is formerly Camp Liberty. Backwards.
Today we read in the newspaper about the tragedy in Syria where hundreds were killed over the weekend, women and children.
And the United Nations while that is happening is negotiating with Basher al-Assad. And Basher al-Assad's people are putting out that he didn't really do it, it was an Iranian-led militia group.
We're reminded, once again, that when we talk about dealing with the terrorist state of the Mullahs in Tehran we're talking about terrorism not 4 only internal to Iran, we're talking about terrorism and killing that's happening today in Syria because of Tehran.
And the fact that Tehran is one of the few remaining supporters internationally of Bashar al-Assad. Do we need another lesson as to what we're dealing with when we have these examples readily in front of us?
My contention today is what we need to do is send a separate signal to those that have been suggested today. And you've heard today how we need to threaten Tehran with force. You've heard today how we need to make sure that there are consequences, if sanctions don't work and negotiations don't proceed.
It is interesting that the State Department says two different things about the MeK. One, they say, well, they're very unpopular in Iran. We don't want to align ourselves with the MeK because it will impugn our support for the real democratic efforts within Iran.
Well you've seen from that book that 5 Colonel Hunt pointed out that Tehran has done everything they can to literally kill every member of the opposition including 120,000 Iranians who supported the MeK.
And why does Iran want to make sure that MeK remains on the terror list? Because they see the MeK as a mortal threat to their existence in Iran.
MR. KENNEDY: I would propose that the United States take advantage of one of the options at its disposal that could get the support of all the left and the liberals and the democrats who may not be as enamored with Dick Morris's view of how we should change regimes in Tehran. And that is to say how many Americans want more Americans to die on battlefields in the Middle East? I dare say that would unite both democrats and republicans who are sick and tired of Americans spilling their blood in the Middle East.
I would venture to say that if you told the truth to the American public and you said to them that there is an option. We're seeing it in the streets all 6 across Syria where people are rising up against the people who are brutally repressing through the dictatorship of Bashar Assad and yet they're still doing it and they're turning out in the streets. My faith is in the people of Iran to turn over and challenge --
MR. KENNEDY: -- and as Colonel Hunt said, who's going to be there the day after tomorrow? It's going to be the people of Iran who have to live with the consequences.
MR. KENNEDY: And I believe they need all the help they can get. And why it is U.S. foreign policy to tie the hands behind the most organized opposition, the best financed opposition, the most politically connected opposition, the MeK does not make sense to me when I see the Syrians plead for international, financial and political support to help them overturn Bashar Assad.
If we gave the Iranian people your support 7 and you are spread around the world, the diaspore of Iran stretches back to the Shah, the Mullahs. It's made up of the most successful Iranian people in that society. They are ready to finance and overthrow. The United States has to get out of the way and let them do it.
MR. KENNEDY: I want to let you know that my heart, as your heart, goes out to the poor people who are suffering as political pawns in this game and those are your families in Camp Ashraf.
I believe we need to make good on making sure they're treated as the refugees that they are. And wasn't it fantastic to hear Colonel Wesley Martin talk about how important they were in the United States.
MR. KENNEDY: We can do a lot of things simply by de-listing. We can unleash this great democratic opposition, finance it and support it without U.S. boots on the ground. We can avert, most 8 importantly near term, we can avert a human tragedy that is bound to take place if we continue to list the MeK as a terrorist organization because that's nothing but a pre-text for the Iraqi puppets of the Iranian regime to murder members of the MeK in Camp Liberty just like they did two times before.
We don't need to repeat this disaster. We need to make sure that this administration knows that they can do the easiest thing and the humanitarian thing. And as a politician, I always liked to do things that were both right and politically correct and could save the world. I think we have got an agenda. All of them are aligned by de-listing the MeK. Thank you.
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