ANALYSIS: In the middle of election fever, Iran opposition gets major boost

As the regime in Iran is engulfed with major turbulence over its upcoming presidential election, scheduled for May 19, Tehran saw its concerns increase significantly as Senator John McCain, Chairman of the US Senate Armed Forces Committee and a very influential senior member of the Republican Party, visited Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania on Friday.

McCain went on to meet with Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a conglomerate of different Iranian dissident organizations and individuals seeking regime change in Iran. The PMOI/MEK is the largest of five different organizations in the NCRI.

The leading American senator also congratulated PMOI/MEK members on their successful relocation to Albania from Iraq after being the target of at least seven attacks by Iran-backed proxy militias in camps named Ashraf and Liberty near Baghdad from 2009 to 2016.

The visit signals the NCRI being the solution in the face of the regime in Iran, especially since Senator McCain endorsed the NCRI’s goals while considering the regime in Iran responsible for terrorism across the region and citing the Bashar Assad regime in Syria as just one such example.

“We now see an Iranian government that is attempting to extend its influence and tyranny throughout the Middle East. It is a fact that Bashar Assad would not be in power today if it had not been for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian help and Hezbollah that came in to Syria when Bashar Assad was about to fall,” Senator McCain said at a gathering held by the PMOI/MEK at one of their sites in the Albanian capital of Tirana.

‘Tyranny and terrorism’

“I express my condolences to everyone in this room who has lost a loved one as a result of the Iranian tyranny and terrorism. You have stood up, fought, and sacrificed for freedom, for the right to live free, for the right to determine your future, for the right that is God given. …I thank you for being an example,” Mr. McCain said as he also thanked the government of Albania for accepting the PMOI/MEK members.

Senator McCain commended Mrs. Rajavi’s leadership and emphasized, “Someday Iran will be free.” In her remarks NCRI President Maryam Rajavi also highlighted the atrocities committed by Tehran across the Middle East, most notably seen in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

“There is consensus on the destructive role of the clerical regime in the region and that the religious fascism ruling Iran is the main source of war, terrorism, crisis in the Middle East,” Mrs. Rajavi underscored, going on to explain how regime change in Iran is not only essential to bringing an end to gross human rights violations, but also considered a necessity for terminating war and crisis, and finally establishing peace and tranquility across the region.

As long as Iran’s mullahs are in power, Mrs. Rajavi said, they will continue to export their terrorism and fundamentalism in their quest to obtain dominating hegemony throughout the Middle East.

The nuclear program

This significant development places further spotlight on the regime in Iran, its nuclear program and its decades of support for terrorism throughout the Middle East. After enjoying eight years of appeasement and rapprochement from the US under the Obama administration, Iran is now facing extreme pressure after being placed “on notice” by the Trump administration and seeing its puppet, the Assad regime, being the target of a cruise missile attack that analysts say was highly calculated by the White House, both militarily and politically.

While not specifically mentioned during the Senator’s visit, one major initiative pursued by the NCRI is the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. This campaign enjoys vast bipartisan support in Congress and has the potential of delivering a major blow to Iran’s nefarious role in the Middle East.

It is a known fact that the IRGC is the main party training and dispatching foot-soldiers to Syria to maintain Assad in power, supporting Shiite extremists in Iraq in their killings of Sunnis and other minorities, and continuously funneling arms and other logistics to the Houthis in Yemen.

Senator McCain’s backing of the NCRI has escalated at a sensitive timing for Tehran as the regime is less than a month away from a crucial presidential election. The entire Iranian regime apparatus is currently engulfed in the resulting power struggles amongst feuding factions that can lead to massive protests and uprisings by the powder keg Iranian society.

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