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300 Iranian-Americans Petition Biden To Focus On Human Rights In Iran

Over 300 prominent Iranian-Americans from Iranian Professionals' Ad Hoc Committee on Iran many of who have ties to the opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Policy have urged President Joe Biden to focus on defending human rights and democracy in his approach toward Iran.

In an open letter to President Biden that was released on Wednesday, April 7, as negotiations between world powers and the Islamic Republic representatives for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal continue in Vienna, the signatories also urged him "to support the will of the Iranian people for establishing a secular non-nuclear democracy."

The signatories emphasized: “No sanctions relief or concessions should be provided to the Iranian regime, unless that regime verifiably ends its human rights abuses in Iran and terrorism abroad, and abandons its destructive support for proxies in the region."

“Many of the co-signers of the letter were the would-be targets of a terror plot by the Iranian regime in June 2018 near Paris, for which a Vienna -based Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was arrested and sentenced to 20 years by a Belgian Court in February 2021,” Professor Kazem Kazerounian, one of the leading organizers of the letter said.

The rally in Paris was organized by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) opposition group. The MEK was previously allied to Saddam Hussein and is considered a ‘terrorist’ group by Tehran.

The signatories of the letter also warned that human rights and democracy must be a central and constant part of American policy toward Iran, and avoid mistakes of the past four decades such as the “myth” that a moderate faction within the Islamic Republic that can take power.

“Forty years of searching for phantom moderates in the regime has been miserably futile. Instead, more frequent and more intense popular uprisings, particularly involving the younger generation, are the new reality of Iran. America must not lose this historic opportunity to stand on the side of the Iranian people," said Reza Tand, an executive vice president in the environmental sciences industry.

The letter, signed by researchers, university professors, physicists, founders, and masters of industries, also points out the Islamic Republic’s “horrifying” human rights history and suppression of protests.

Jila K Andalib, a technology executive, stated: "The letter reflects the views of many Iranian-Americans who are in contact with their family members in Iran, many of whom are victims of repression, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, or the 1,500 killed during the November 2019 uprising."

The Vienna meeting over reviving Iran’s 2015 deal with world powers opened on Tuesday. The Biden administration has made it clear that its priority will be to return Iran to the nuclear deal, and the agreement will become a platform to bring up the issues of intervention in other countries, terrorism, and human rights. 

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