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Iran wants nukes to foster extremism, opposition leader tells US

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, says only solution is regime change

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian opposition party National Council of Resistance of Iran, smiles as she attends an international conference on Iranian policy in Brussels in 2011. (photo credit: Yves Logghe/AP)
Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian opposition party National Council of Resistance of Iran, smiles as she attends an international conference on Iranian policy in Brussels in 2011. (photo credit: Yves Logghe/AP)

WASHINGTON — A top Iranian opposition leader told a US House subcommittee Wednesday that Iranians have dubbed their government the “godfather” of the Islamic State militant group.

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, also said Tehran wants nuclear weapons to foster Islamic extremism.

“The ultimate solution to this problem is regime change,” Rajavi said.

Testifying before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee via videoconference from France, Rajavi discussed international negotiations underway to get Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions crippling its economy.

She warned against giving Iran too many concessions, saying it would embolden its leaders to be more aggressive in meddling in other nations.

She said the US and five other nations in talks with Iran must demand that it completely stop enriching uranium and shut down its nuclear sites, missile programs and other programs. While there is no final deal yet, emerging details of an agreement fall short of her demands.

“None of the sanctions should be lifted before an agreement has been signed that effectively and definitively denies the mullahs the bomb,” Rajavi said. “Otherwise, the regime will spend billions of unfrozen assets to buy weapons, including advanced missiles from Russia.”

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