WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a briefing on Capitol Hill, sponsored and organized by Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) and the Organization of Iranian American Communities-US (OIAC), entitled "Iran Presidential Election: Status Quo or Change," lawmakers and scholars rejected the May 19 election as a sham, which is neither free nor fair and called on the international community and the U.S. to stand with the demands of the Iranian people.
In his opening remarks, OIAC Political Director Majid Sadeghpour, thanked Rep. Garrett for his attendance at this event, and welcomed the panelists.
In his remarks, Rep. Garrett said that the election will not bring any change and expressed the hope that the U.S. would avoid policies, which would "avoid things like the 1988 dissident massacre," or the opportunity lost in the 2009 uprising "where the United States sat idly by." He said the Iranian people desire "democracy and self determination."
Rep. Coffman said that it is a tragedy that candidates in the Iranian regime's election have "to go through a vetting process through the religious leaders of the country."
"Election is a tool designed to achieve the appearance of legitimacy while reinforcing the regime's hold on power," said Prof. Sheehan, who moderated the panel.
NCRI's Deputy Director Jafarzadeh highlighted the recently-published book by the NCRI-US, entitled, "Presidential Elections in Iran: Changing Faces, Status Quo Policies," underscoring, "We're talking about selections in Iran versus elections, but as we all know the vast majority of the Iranian people stay away from the ballot boxes as they have always done."
Dr. Berman emphasized, "The faces may change, the names may change, and you sort of see that a little bit in the current cycle, but every person, regardless of what they say, is part of a broad continuum of Khamenei's thought."
In emphasizing the need to impose sanctions on the regime, Lee Smith added, "If people want to know what this regime looks like, look at Syria, look at Yemen, look at what's happening in the Persian Gulf, look at what's happening in the Red Sea. Look at how much money the IRGC makes. Look at what Hezbollah is doing around the world."
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SOURCE Organization of Iranian American Communities - U.S. (OIAC)