Retired Gen. Jack Keane tells Iranian protesters that freedom is coming at DC event

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Retired Gen. Jack Keane tells Iranian protesters that freedom is coming at DC event

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Retired Gen. Jack Keane told an audience of Iranian-Americans that freedom was coming to the people of Iran, during an Iranian policy event in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

Keane, who has served as the Army’s acting chief of staff and vice chief of staff, told the audience that the people of the United States stood with the Iranian protesters that are protesting the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini died while in Iranian police custody earlier this year, for not wearing her hijab correctly.

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“The Iranian people are showing the world that they are willing to put at risk everything that they care about in their lives, to fight for freedom,” Keane said. “We in the United States who live every day in freedom, and who also fought to get freedom, stand strong with the people of Iran. Because this is different. We can see it, we can hear it, and we can feel it. This is a revolution that has taken place. I say to the people of Iran that it is coming, free at last, free at last.”

Keane said the uprising in Iran felt different this year, than the previous protests in 2009 and 2019, because the Iranian people are calling for a change in the regime. Protesters are also demanding a nuclear-free Iran, a democratic Iran, and equal rights for women.

“This is about the young and the old. It is about Persians, Arabs and Kurds. It’s about a hundred plus cities that are protesting across the entire swath of the nation,” Keane said. “This is about a nation uniting behind a single goal. That goal is the mullahs must go, and the Iranian Republic must end.”

The U.S. has felt the effects of Iranian regimes as well, Keane said, highlighting the attacks on U.S. troops in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait in the second half of the 20th century. Keane then echoed the demands of the Iranian protesters, urging the Biden administration to end talks of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

“Now is the time but the United States to take a strong, aggressive leadership role inspired by the people of Iran and what we’ve been witnessing for over 90 days,” Keane said. “The policy decision should be to stop negotiations with Iran right now, to double down on sanctions, and to reach out to the Arab States and Israel to strengthen and expand the Abraham accords.”

Protesters in Iran have not asked the U.S. to send troops to help overthrow the current regime, instead only asking for an end to the nuclear talks. The Biden administration has declined those requests.

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Keane’s comments occurred during a bipartisan Iranian policy summit put on by the Organization of Iranian American Communities, which included speeches from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former official during the Ronald Reagan administration Linda Chavez, and former U.S. ambassadors Sam Brownback and Gary Locke. It also included a message from Maryam Ravaji, who is the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Protests in Iran have been ongoing for four months now, but has been met with a violent crackdown by Iranian police. The regime executed its first protester, who injured a paramilitary officer during the civic unrest, earlier this month.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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