London, 18 May – A prominent US lawmaker said that there are no elections in Iran because the Regime decides the victor, not the people.
Joseph Lieberman, who was a Democratic Senator from Connecticut between 1989 and 2013, compared the Iranian process to that used by the US and France and assessed that the Iranian election was not a democratic one.
Lieberman told Voice of America’s Persian service, that the Regime is responsible for hand-picking the election candidates and would not choose a real opposition candidate.
He said: “Once you look carefully, there is no great difference between these six [candidates]…. this election will change nothing, because the Iranian regime is based on [the] supreme leader. Ayatollah Khamenei is the supreme leader and controls everything. Presidents come and go. It is Ayatollah Khamenei who decides and does not change. Even after [the] JCPOA (2015’s nuclear agreement), according to them, Iran has remained hostile to America.”
When asked to explain why he thought the nuclear deal had not worked as President Obama and his administration hoped, Lieberman replied that Khamenei had always been steadfast that the relationship Iran had with America (and indeed, the world) would not change, even while President Rouhani promised it would.
He also said that the Obama administration was not reactive enough to Iran’s violations.
He said: “[We] paid a heavy price for the nuclear accord and did not regard Iran’s infractions and misuses as a sign of things to come. He even went far enough to bribe Iran in order to get them to sign that accord.”
He continued: “But Trump has completely different attitude and perception. He wants to have complete control over Iran’s behaviour. Any sanctions proposed by the Congress, he will sign them. Of course, if we want to place our judgements according to the government’s slogans. Although the slogans are not militancy, but at the same time they are sharp. I hope Trump continues to rigorously to impose sanctions and acts powerfully towards the Iranian government. Give them only things they deserve to have.”
Of course, while the sanctions were liefted that did not guarantee foreign investment. Many US banks are wary of investing because of the very real possibility that the sanctions could be reimposed at any time.
When asked if he thought that the US job prospects made the idea of not re-imposing sanctions on Iran worthwhile, he replied that morals were more important that money.
Lieberman, who is currently interviewing to be Director of the FBI, reported that Iran is the number one state sponsor of terror, is deeply involved in the Syrian and the Yemeni civil wars, and is well versed in quashing dissent among its own people.