U.S. General James Conway said the Iranian regime is actively helping terrorists around the world carry out brutal massacres in U.S. and European cities, a British publication wrote on Sunday.
In an interview with Britain’s Daily Star Online, General Conway, who was the commander of the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010, said he is “not surprised” at evidence that has recently come to light that Iran’s regime is providing support for Al-Qaeda. This alliance was laid bare in a recently-released trove of documents that were found in September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hide-out in 2011.
“I am not surprised at all [that Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda]. Iran is one of the four states that have not given up on using terrorism as a source of national power. I think Tehran regime will resort to any nefarious means that they think is useful in their efforts. Although they might seem to be dogs and cats in regards to origins of Al-Qaeda and in light of Iran being a Shi’ite country, but for the Iran regime, it is finding common bed-fellows against a common cause and enemy,” he said.
General Conway also addressed a conference in Paris this weekend that was organized by the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MEK), which has repeatedly accused Iran of exporting Islamist fundamentalism around the world, the Daily Star wrote.
The PMOI (MEK) is the largest and most active opposition movement in Iran that supports a totally secular political system in the country, the article said, adding that the organization was also the first to expose the very existence of Iran’s nuclear programme two decades ago.
General Conway also warned of potential attacks during holidays and anniversaries of significant events – such as the Twin Towers attacks.
“I am always worried about [attacks]. I do not have any specific information but whenever you get around the holiday season, anytime you are around 9/11 – I mean special dates in their perspective – you cannot drop your guard. Al-Qaeda, ISIS and groups like that like nothing more than striking a major strike inside the U.S.,” he said.
The former general of the Marines has said that the U.S. would no longer play softball with the Iranian Regime. Conway said that the U.S.’s decision to blacklist the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) was the right thing to do and told Iran that the U.S. would no longer appease the Regime.
“it is a signal from our new administration that we are no longer playing softball with the Iranian regime. The game now is hardball. And I have lots of hope that it will have far-reaching effects in terms of the economic aspect. It is not truly sanctions, but it is a sanction-like activity when you look at all the activities of the IRGC in trade and banking and similar activities,” he said.
He also hoped that European and U.S. allies would follow in the U.S.’s footsteps and blacklist the IRGC too, noting that he saw positive signs on that front.
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi has called on all western governments to designate the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist entity”, the article said. She welcomed the new U.S. policy to “condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights” in Iran and “to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.”
She said acknowledgment that under the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the regime “oppresses its people, abuses their rights” and “exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad,” is a recognition of the illegitimacy of the Iranian regime.
Mrs. Rajavi said previous U.S. administrations’ policies of turning a blind eye on flagrant human rights violations in Iran, the regime’s deadly meddling in the region and concessions made to it in the course of the JCPOA have been disastrous, and for which the people of Iran and region have paid heavily. The most destructive part of this policy has been the terrorist designation of the legitimate opposition to the regime, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), for 15 years, at the behest of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
The U.S. has already blacklisted the IRGC, but European allies have yet to do the same. Conway praised the Iranian Resistance as “an ally to the U.S. and the West” after first meeting them when he served in Iraq. He also addressed the rising dissent within Iran that he hoped would bring Regime change. He said:
“Enthusiasm and momentum for change by the Iranian people seems to be in a good direction. I really think Iranians were close to bring about regime change in 2009 and they probably learned a few lessons from that. What will happen in the next year or two, I don’t know. I hope it happens and if it happens, I hope it happens before the nuclear deal with Iran (that was signed in 2015) reaches to its close.”