Once again Iran has voiced its determination to defy the United Nations Security Council, vowing to press ahead with plans to expand its nuclear program.
‘Iran does not trade its rights in return for incentives,’ said government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham in response to an EU offer of further talks with Tehran. ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t need incentives from Europe to obtain its rights.’
These are not empty words coming out of Tehran. Diplomats working with the International Atomic Energy Agency told Reuters earlier this month that the regime had begun installing advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges in its Natanz enrichment complex, work speeding Iran’s effort to build a nuclear weapon.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the resistance coalition which back in 2002 first told the World of the regime’s clandestine nuclear projects, revealed in February that two new nuclear warhead production complexes had been established at Mojdeh on the south-eastern outskirts of Tehran and at Khojir further southeast.
The NCRI says it gets its information from one of its member groups, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), which ironically was proscribed as a terrorist organization by the British Government in 2001 at the behest of the mullahs’ regime. (The Clinton administration did the same in the US a few years earlier for the same reason.)
Earlier this month, the regime’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that a suspension of Tehran’s nuclear program was a ‘non-negotiable subject’, another clear indication that his regime has no plans to heed the demands of the IAEA and Security Council. Furthermore, not only through its nuclear projects does the regime demonstrate its belligerent attitude and contempt for the international community. In neighbouring Iraq, the regime’s Revolutionary Guards Qods Force is arming, funding, and training Shiite militias to carry out attacks on British and Coalition forces and on law-abiding Iraqis who just want to get on with their lives.
The Coalition confirmed earlier this month that they arrested two insurgents preparing Iranian-made rockets for an attack south of Baghdad earlier this month; and at the end of last month in the city of Basra, the regime backed radical Shiite militias engaged in heavy fighting with the Iraqi security forces which left some 700 people dead. Only a few days earlier, according to General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, the Tehran-trained, equipped and funded insurgents carried out a barrage of mortar and rocket attacks in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.
There were press stories that, according to intelligence reports received by the Foreign Office, the five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq last year may be being held in Tehran; and surely all these matters point to the fact that it is high time the UK government and the EU abandon the futile policy of appeasing the mullahs in Tehran and instead back the Iranian people in their struggle to establish freedom and democracy in their homeland.
No sensible person argues for foreign military intervention in Iran, the effects of which could be catastrophic. But what we surely can and must do is work to see an end to the mullahs by support for the Iranian Resistance.
The PMOI, which has a base in Iraq’s Diyala Province, has gained the support of 5.2 million Iraqis, and as recently as November last year 300,000 Iraqi Shiites signed a petition backing the PMOI and calling for an end to ‘Iranian terrorist interferences’ in Iraq.
In December 2006 the European Court of Justice annulled the proscription of the PMOI, and in November 2007 the Proscribed Organisation Appeal Commission, set up by the British Parliament to hear appeals against proscription, found the ban on the PMOI “flawed” and “perverse,” and demanded that it be lifted by the Home Secretary forthwith. It must have given the mullahs much pleasure to see the government refuse to do so.
The PMOI, the main force of change in Iran, must be removed from the terrorist list so that it is no longer hampered in its work, and the UK must lobby the Security Council and the EU to adopt comprehensive sanctions against Tehran over its refusal to act as a responsible member of the international community.