Helping the “Third Option” Bring Regime Change to Iran
by Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker
World Defense Review/ Codex Politics/ International Analyst Network, 25 February 2010
Given the overwhelming body of evidence that demonstrates the Islamic Republic of Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and belligerent behavior against American and Western governments and/or their allies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, and Israel, it is time to impose a strict regime of sanctions and embargoes on the Iranian regime. As Iran imports some 40% of the refined petroleum products that it uses, we need to cut off the supply that the Islamic regime imports from abroad. So too, any equipment that can have possible military usage must be embargoed. Travel abroad by Iranian government and military figures should be proscribed and all Iranian government foreign assets frozen. Such steps, if vigorously enforced, will cause the Iranian populous, which overwhelmingly despises the clerical regime, to actively oppose it.
Next, we need to announce to the Iranian government that continued hostile action by Iran, such as the training and supplying of terrorist proxies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or the Palestinian territories will result in retaliatory strikes against the original sources of the weapons, the funds, and the trainers, staring on 1 July 2010; from that date forward, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be held accountable for all of the misdeeds of its proxies. Iranian territorial waters, airspace, and grounds will witness incursions as necessary to curtail the regime’s belligerent behavior. Israel’s strike against the Syrian nuclear facility on the upper Euphrates River on September 6, 2007, should be viewed as a paradigm for handling hostile Iranian actions that its proxies carry out under the direction of the regime’s Sepah-e Pasdaran—the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Now, let’s examine the “Third Option”. The Third Option is the empowerment of the Iranian people itself, aided by the Iranian people’s oldest, best organized, and most popular opposition groups—the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)—to rise up and change the regime. Iranians are fed up with the theocratic government of the fundamentalists and want to create a secular democracy. If free and fair elections were held in Iran today, some 90+% would vote to throw the clerics and their supporters out of office permanently. So why has this not happened yet?
Through a sustained campaign of disinformation, bribery, and bluff, the Iranian mullah regime succeeded in slandering the PMOI and through the bribery of unscrupulous, greedy individuals and governments in the West, convinced the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to proscribe the PMOI and NCRI as terrorists, thereby denying the legitimate Iranian opposition the right to organize and raise funds to underwrite a campaign of resistance to the tyrannical regime in Tehran. Nonetheless, the Iranian people, yearning to free their homeland, raised the fees for the NCRI/PMOI to mount a lengthy legal battle to overturn the UK and EU decisions against them. In May 2008, the UK’s highest court upheld a decision by a lower court to reject the British Home Office’s designation of the NCRI and PMOI as terrorist organizations, and ordered the British government to remove them from the Proscribed List immediately. A similar victorious legal judgment was obtained in the EU high court in December 2008. The list of Congressmen and Senators that have called upon the U.S. Department of State to do likewise obtains from both sides of the aisle, and I am proud to say that—led by Democratic Congressman Bob Filner and Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, both of California, the Congressional Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus is a significant voice in Washington calling for freedom and justice for the cause of the Iranian people.
When one reads the 2008 article by Lord Corbett of Vale (member of the UK House of Lords from the Labor Party, and chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom), studies the British high court’s decision, reviews the White Papers produced by the Iran Policy Committee, the DLA Piper report commissioned four years ago by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Dr. Neil Livingstone, an informed opinion may be developed. Then, if one interviews the leadership of the NCRI and PMOI—actions that some of us have performed as private, concerned citizens—one ought to come to the only logical and just conclusion, and demand that the NCRI and PMOI be removed from the State Department’s List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Such an action is and has been the worst nightmare of the Supreme Leader Khamene’i and the IRGC for the last thirteen years, ever since these two resistance organizations were proscribed in the United States. De-listing the NCRI and PMOI will tell the regime that we finally mean business, and it will tell the Iranian people that we really do stand with them in their quest to achieve liberty.
The Khamene’i regime is fragile; daily we see thousands and thousands of brave Iranians taking to the streets to voice their desire to end the current regime and bring a secular democracy to their homeland. Regime change by the Iranian people is very possible if we stop aiding the mullahs and their clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The time to act is now, before the IRGC succeeds in building a nuclear device.
Remember: the “Third Option” is the only way to stop the mullahs and also avoid another American entanglement in a costly foreign war. Now is the time to exercise this option wholeheartedly.
Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching elected officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of such fundamentalism. The organization’s web site is www.adme.ws. Additional articles by Rabbi Zucker can be found at www.analyst-network.com .
 Michael R. Gordon & Jeffrey Gettleman, “U.S. Officials Say Israel Struck in Sudan”, The New York Times, March 26, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/world/africa/27sudan.html?_r=1, and Robert Mackey, “The Sudan Airstrike Mystery”, The New York Times, March 26, 2009,http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/sudan-airstrike-mystery/, Debka, “US-Egyptian Red Sea hunt for Iranian ship carrying 60-tons of arms for Hamas”,http://docstalk.blogspot.com/2009/01/us-egyptian-red-sea-hunt-for-iranian.html, January 23, 2009, Debka, “US Warships Board Iranian Ship Carrying Arms For Hamas”,http://patdollard.com/2009/01/us-warships-board-iranian-ship-carrying-arms-for-hamas/, January 24, 2009, Al-Usbu, “Report: ‘Iranian ship sunk while bringing weapons to Gaza’”,http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=210123, April 26, 2009. See also: Haaretz Service, “Iran arms ship bound for Gaza downed near Sudan”, Haaretz, April 27, 2009,http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1081215.html, Yossi Melman, “ANALYSIS: Arms ship seizure just another battle in the secret war with Iran”, Haaretz, November 5, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1125896.html; Elias Bejjani, “Extinguish Lebanon’s Inferno before it Burns You”, Global Politician, January 28, 2010, http://www.globalpolitician.com/26198-lebanon, and Ibid, “Shiite Lebanese are fleeing Hezbollah’s ministate”, Global Politician, January 22, 2010, http://www.globalpolitician.com/26180-hezbollah-lebanon.
 Uzi Mahnaimi, Sarah Baxter, and Michael Sheridan, “Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’”, The Sunday Times, September 16, 2007, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2461421.ece
 The term “Third Option” was coined by President-elect Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in a speech given several years ago.
 Also known by its name in Farsi: Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)
 Amil Imani, “Empowering Iranians”, Arutz Sheva, January 14, 2010, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/9260.
 See especially: Iran Policy Committee, A White Paper: Appeasing the Ayatollahs and Suppressing Democracy: U.S. Policy and the Iranian Opposition, IPC, Washington, DC, 2006.
 DLA Piper, Iran: Foreign Policy Challenges and Choices-Empowering the Democratic Opposition, A Report to the Government of the United States, November 2006. (For additional documentation, also see: Neil Livingstone, Courting Disaster: How a Biased, Inaccurate RAND Corporation Report Imperils Lives, Flouts International Law, and Betrays Its Own Standards, ExecutiveAction, LLC, Washington, DC, January 2010.)
 See section “Why Were MEK & NCRI Designated?” in Raymond Tanter, “EUROPE AND THE IRANIAN OPPOSITION”, inFocus, Winter 2007, (Vol. I:3), http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/95/europe-and-the-iranian-opposition
 Saba Farzan, “Iran’s Revolution Devoured By Its Own Children”, Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2010, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704820904575054810881353520.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.