Donald Trump urged to get tough on Iranian rights

A group of Republicans, Democrats and retired military officers has asked President-elect Donald Trump to abandon President’s Obama’s soft approach to Iran’s “brutal repression” and take a stand that puts the U.S. “on the right side of history.”

In a hand-delivered letter, 23 signatories express hope that Mr. Trump will begin an alliance with Iran’s main resistance group, a dramatic shift that would surely send shock waves through the halls of the Islamic republic.

A boost to Iranian dissidents is that former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Guiliani, one of the closest outside advisers to Mr. Trump, signed the letter.

The former officials say the U.S. lost all available leverage with Iran by delivering financial and political concessions in exchange for the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which blocks Tehran’s ability to build nuclear weapons for 10 years.

In return, the anticipated better behavior by Iran’s hard-line regime has not materialized. Tehran has executed 3,000 people, including women and juveniles, since so-called reformer Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.

“It is now clear that Iran’s leaders have shown no interest in reciprocating the U.S. overture beyond the terms of the JCPOA which gained them significant rewards,” the letter says. “Through their extremely high rate of executions at home, and destructive sectarian warfare in support of the [Bashar] Assad regime in Syria and proxy Shiite militias in Iraq, Iran’s rulers have directly targeted U.S. strategic interests, policies and principles, and those of our allies and friends in the Middle East.”


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