A former Iranian political prisoner, Ahmad Batebi, will join a delegation of Iranian dissidents on a goodwill mission to Israel next week, he told Fox News in an exclusive interview. He also attacked the Biden administration over its decision to reengage in negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal.
Batebi’s critique follows the Biden administration’s decision earlier this year to resume nuclear talks with Iran and comes just one day after the FBI said Iranian intelligence agents plotted to abduct an Iranian American journalist on U.S. soil.
“Negotiation is just the time you give them for making bombs, atomic bombs,” Batebi said. “If the Biden administration continues this policy, definitely you will get a bad result, and Biden is responsible.”
Batebi was arrested in 1999 while protesting against the oppressive Iranian regime. He was imprisoned for nearly a decade until he escaped and fled through Iraq. Batebi ultimately received asylum in the U.S.
“Yesterday, the FBI released a new statement, an important statement, about four Iranian Intelligence Service members in the United States who tried to kidnap an Iranian American journalist. They are here, they are in our home,” Batebi, now a U.S. citizen, said.
“In Vienna, [the United States] has negotiations for a nuclear deal. How is it possible that the U.S government can accept that the Iranian regime comes here to kidnap an American, on American soil? And [on the] other side, they go talk to, you know, [to] this regime [on the] other side,” Batebi told Fox News.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he continued.
Next week, Batebi will join over a dozen Iranian expatriates and dissidents on a historic trip to Israel to show solidarity with the Israeli people, who endured thousands of rocket attacks from Iranian-backed Hamas earlier this year.
Several former U.S. officials will accompany Batebi and the other dissidents, including Len Khodorkovsky, a former deputy assistant secretary and senior adviser at the State Department who said participants will meet with Israeli government officials, business leaders and civil society groups.
Bijan R. Kian, a board member with the Institute for Voices of Liberty, which organized the trip, believes bringing free Iranians to Israel can help build a better future between the people of both nations.
“We organized this historic mission to Israel to show the solidarity of free Iranians with the people of Israel, and to separate freedom-seeking people of Iran from the criminal, inept and corrupt regime that has forced itself upon them,” Kian said.
“We come to Israel in the spirit of Cyrus the Great, remembering our ancient bond of friendship and looking forward to building a better future, and strengthening the relationships between the people of Israel and the people of Iran in tomorrow’s free Iran,” Kian continued.
Batebi told Fox News: “This is [the] first time that a group of non-Jewish Iranian people will go to Israel.”
Despite decades of tension between Iran and Israel, Batebi said Iran “didn’t have any problem with Israel” prior to the Islamic revolution. He said he’s hopeful a cultural relationship between the people of both countries can improve relations.
“All these issues [are from] four decades of Islamic Republic in Iran,” Batebi told Fox News. “I strongly believe cultural relationship can break this wall and cultural relationship can build up a new relationship for both countries.”
Original News : https://news.yahoo.com/escaped-iranian-prisoner-embark-historic-182445797.html