Former Vice President Mike Pence is overseas, currently speaking with and to members of the opposition movement in Iran.
The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), also known as the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, is a resistance movement in exile. They oppose the current regime in Iran and hope for a future Iran that promises real democracy and separates the religious leaders of the country from the seat of government.
In his speech, Pence recalled being in Congress and watching as then-President Barack Obama did nothing during the Arab Spring.
In 2009, like so many other Americans, I remember watching with great hope and anticipation as the people of Iran rose up to claim their birthright of freedom. In the 2009 uprising, millions of courageous young men and young women filled the streets of Tehran and Tabriz, and what appeared for all the world to see, in every city and village in between, denouncing the clearly fraudulent elections and demanding an end to decades of repression. Those brave protesters looked to the leader of the free world for support. But as I saw firsthand as a member of Congress, then the President of the United States remained silent. But I knew where the heart of the American people was. And so, as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I saw that lack of action for what it was: an abdication of American leadership as courageous Iranians took to the street on behalf of freedom. The American cause is freedom. And in this cause, we must never be silent.
Pence also decried the weakness on display in the current administration, noting how quickly the Biden team ran back into the arms of the Iranian government with promises of more money and more support without any real means of check Iran’s nuclear program in check.
Peace is only possible through strength. President Biden’s reembrace of the JCPOA with new concessions offered to the tyrants in Tehran, with each passing day, with the virtual abandonment of our ally Israel and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the adversaries of freedom are sensing weakness in the American administration. They’ve been emboldened to test our resolve.
And let me be clear. There’s one person responsible for the merciless war being waged in Ukraine, and that is Vladimir Putin. And Putin must be held to account. But there is no doubt, there is no doubt that going hand in hand to the regime in Tehran, reopening the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Russia, the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan have sent emissions that have emboldened those who would use violence to perpetrate their political goals. Weakness arouses evil. And the evil rising in Iran and around the world speaks to the weakness projected by the current American administration.
Pence’s statement is right on the money. It was American weakness that showed Vladimir Putin he can get away with whatever he wants to, and it’s American weakness saying the same thing to Iran’s government. America’s cause, as Pence said above, is freedom. Giving in to tyrants and dictators betrays that cause.
None of this is to say America should be getting ready for another adventure into the Middle East. But it’s important to note just how vital the United States is in the region. Countries all throughout the region look to the U.S. as one of the biggest opponents to the tyranny and instability Iran brings into the region. Our allies – Israel first and foremost among them – need that influence and backing in order to oppose the chaos that Iran brings into the Arab world.
But the current and previous Democrat administrations have given up any pretext of caring about our allies’ interest in that part of the world, and as a result, the worst of the worst there feel emboldened. It’s no wonder some of our allies would look to Russia for support instead of us. Our absence hurts not just them, but us as well.
Mike Pence understands that. Mike Pompeo, who visited the MEK back in May, also understands that. There are many in the GOP who understand how important our role is in that region of the world, and in recognizing that, they appear ready to re-commit to propose assisting (politically) in the stabilization of the country and the region.