Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP) (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Ali Khamenei

The Iranian regime’s hegemonic ambitions and human-rights abuses have not been altered by the nuclear agreement Tehran reached with world powers in July, two US-based Iranian-born experts said on Tuesday. If anything, they said, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has emboldened the powers-that-be in the Islamic Republic.

By: Ruthie Blum, The Algemeiner

Pooya Dayanim, president of the California-based Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee, and Reza Parchizadeh, co-chair of TahlilRooz, a Persian-language think thank, were responding to a statement made on Monday by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari – and reported by semi-official state news agency Fars — that nothing has changed, as far as Iran is concerned, in the aftermath of the JCPOA.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue moving on the orbit of its strategic policies in confrontation against terrorism as well as all other issues related to foreign policy and the agreement made on the special nuclear issue doesn’t affect the Islamic Republic of Iran’s macro policies,” Ansari told reporters during in his weekly press conference in Tehran. “The Islamic Republic of Iran adopts its policies based on the general principles of the country’s foreign policy in different fields and based on the existing realities, needs and necessities.”

The Iranian regime, Dayanim said, “has now made it clear that it is continuing its expansionist policies, growing its military and perfecting its ballistic-missile capabilities — whether anyone in the West likes it or not, or whether its actions are in contravention of the nuclear deal or not.” Ansari’s statement, he added, “is in line with the harsh comments that Supreme Leader Khamenei has been making over the past two weeks about the West, the United States and Israel.”

Ansari, said Dayanim, “made it crystal clear that the leadership is cherry-picking the Iran deal and implementing what it wants — and not implementing what it doesn’t want — and that its dangerous de-stabilizing policies will continue unabated.”

Furthermore, added Dayanim, “Such statements should be particularly embarrassing for US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, as Kerry’s own State Department again reported that Iran is still the top state sponsor of terrorism; and Amnesty International issued a release that repression in Iran has not been this bad in the past 20 years.”

Indeed, Dayanim concluded, “Iran has not changed and will not change. This is something the regime keeps telling us, yet we keep ignoring the harsh truth. The policy of detente with Iran has not caused regime change or behavioral change — or any change, for that matter. Instead, it has emboldened the regime, which has found that all it needs is a charming, smiling and lying foreign minister to appease the West and give it cover for its continued bad behavior.”

Parchizadeh concurred. “The significance of Ansari’s announcement is that while the Iranian regime wanted — and still wants — the JCPOA so that it can get the sanctions lifted and receive lots of money, when it comes to limiting its production and testing of missiles and curbing the regime’s influence in the region, most notably in Syria and Iraq, it has no deal with the US and the West,” he said. “All of this means that nothing is going to change inside Iran. The condition of human rights is going to remain tragic, and even further deteriorate. As long as the Islamist regime is there in Iran, nothing will change for the better.”

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