Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General, addressed a panel discussion on the subject of “Protests in Iran and the Role of the Opposition” in a Paris suburb on June 29, 2018. The event was jointly organized by FEMO and APA. His remarks follow:
We are indeed at a very hopeful time. I think though there are dangers lurking if we’re not careful. Even as to this gathering, one report said that Speaker Gingrich and Mr. Giuliani were going to be addressing a controversial group. The problem with reporters is that when they go to write a story about something that they don’t know very much about, and that’s most things, they have a tendency to simply read the file. And so they’re going to read the past clips and report what had been reported before. And so I can’t stress strongly enough what Mitchell Reiss said about the need to make it clear who we are and what we stand for. And that this organization is something different from what has been portrayed. So far as the uprisings in Iran, there is a material difference between what we saw before and what we see now. These are widespread, they are not confined to Tehran, they didn’t start in Tehran. They are widespread throughout the country. And that is an enormously hopeful sign. In a perverse way, I think it may very well be that we owe a debt of gratitude, albeit it a lefthanded compliment, to the former president of the United States, who gave the Iranian government an enormous amount of money in connection with the JCPOA, and the population of Iran now sees that that money is not going into the economy, has not gone into the economy. They have seen no benefit from it. Instead, it has gone both to line the pockets of the people who oppressed them, and also in support of foreign adventures. And when you see the slogans at these uprisings, which are focused on telling the Iranian regime we’re not interested in Lebanon, we’re not interested in the problems of the Palestinians, we’re interested in the problems here. And we want the money used here. That is a very hopeful sign, what it shows is the communication in Iran is alive and well. I think one thing that we could do that would be helpful would be to provide people in Iran with means of communication so that they can get the message out to one another and throughout the country and keep this tide going.