(CNSNews.com) – Thousands of Iranian Americans gathered on June 21 outside the U.S. State Department to protest against the theocratic Islamic regime in Iran and to call for regime change in that country.
The activists said they want to see regime change carried out by the Iranian people. Also, former Sen. Bob Torricelli (D-N.J.) attended the rally and told CNSNews.com that he does not believe President Trump will go to war against Iran but that it is highly possible the president may order some selected military strikes.
“The Free Iran Rally” was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities. The event featured Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, who spoke via video feed; retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane; Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.); former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.); Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.); Sen. Torricellia; and a group of young Iranian Americans, among whom Ideen Saiedian, a student at Cornell University, was one of the primary speakers.
When asked by CNSNews.com whether he would support military action in Iran on the part of the United States, Saiedian said, “Our stance on this has been clear since day one, we support Iranian regime change by the Iranian people. And we support a firm U.S. policy against the government of Iran that chokes their lifeblood. So, economic sanctions to prevent them from being able to clamp down on both the civilians in Iran but also exporting their violence across into the region -- but there are mass uprisings in Iran that are endogenous from the people who are already there and we support their right to overthrow the regime.”
Saiedian also said in regards to what a new Iranian regime could look like that, “The Iranian people have one of the strongest, the most organized opposition movements. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, she has a 10-point plan for what a free Iran would look like, which is secular, democratic, has women’s rights, a free market economy, non-nuclear, and that is what a free Iran would look like.”
“That allows for Iranians to prosper,” he said, “unlike the past 40 years of a theocratic dictatorship, which has exported violence into the region and been based on this backwards interpretation of Islam.”
After the initial remarks, the protesters marched to the White House, where there were chants of “Down with terrorist regime in Iran” and “Rajavi yes, mullahs no; they are terrorists, they must go.”
President Trump has yet to take direct military action against Iran, but he has declared that the United States is still “cocked and loaded” after the incident when Iran downed a U.S. military drone.
CNSNews.com was also able to speak with former Senator Torricelli. When asked how confident he was about regime change in Iran happening in the next few years, the senator said, “I think that both the economic and the political situation in Iran is untenable. People in government can take a lot of punishment, but when you look at the economic decline, the political pressure, the separation of the people from the regime, if history is any guide this just can’t endure.”
Senator Torricelli also commented that in regards to aid coming from neighboring countries, “The most important thing is that the international community has taken a stand against the regime on nuclear weapons and on terrorism. The United States has taken an important stand on economic dislocation and isolation for Iran. Any governments in the region that would help us with the economic embargo on Iran would be doing an enormous contribution to a free Iran.”
When asked whether he thinks the United States will go to war with Iran, the senator said, “I don’t think the United States goes to war with Iran -- it would be a very brief struggle -- but I do think there is a military retaliation for this provocation of recent days.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), among other critics, has denounced any war with Iran on the part of the United States. “You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran,” he said. “Only Congress can declare war.”