Getting rid of mullah tyranny: 'Iran Freedom 2018' conference mulls new alternatives
Tens of thousands of people and hundreds of political figures, lawmakers from U.S., Europe and the Middle East attended the grand gathering of Iran's democratic opposition groups in Paris on June 30 to call for regime change in Iran, seeking the current tyranny's replacement with the powerful alternative of democracy. Even members of the People's Mojahedin of Iran, residing in Albania, joined the grand gathering via satellite, and there were thousands of them.
The prominent personalities who addressed the grand rally included Rudy Giuliani, U.S. presidential hopeful and the former Mayor of New York; Newt Gingrich, U.S. presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House of Representatives; former Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General; Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI; and Gen. George Casey, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, from the United States; Stephen Harper and John Baird, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada; Bernard Kouchner and Philippe Douste-Blazy, former Foreign Ministers and RamaYade former Minister of Human Rights of France; Ambassador Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy; Sid Ahmad Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria; Eduard Lintner, former German Deputy Interior Minister; Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Michele de Vaucouleurs and Philippe Gosselin, French parliamentarians; Senator Roberto Rampi, representing the Italian delegation; Anna Fotyga, former Foreign Minister of Poland and Member of the European Parliament; Pandeli Majko, Minister of State and former Prime Minister of Albania; Ben-Oni Ardelean, Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania; Saleh al-Qalab, former Publicity Minister of Jordan; and Nazir Hakim, General Director of the Syrian opposition coalition.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, was the keynote speaker. In her address to the gathering, Mrs. Rajavi pointed out: “A passionate generation thirsty for freedom has risen to take over the entire country and take back Iran from the occupiers, the mullahs. The workers at Haft-Tapeh, the steel workers, the farmers of Varzaneh, the youth in Kazerun, the truck drivers and owners all across the country, the Bazaaris, the youth in Lalehzar, Ferdowsi, Shoush, Mellat and Ekbatan in Tehran, exhibited enormous courage in confronting the ruthless security forces. This is the Iranian nation’s fight. The regime’s overthrow is inevitable. Victory is certain and Iran will be free. The prospects of an Iran devoid of the mullahs and the Shah are looming.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and current lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, said: “To those countries that continue to support Iran, you are paying for a regime that deprives women and children of their rights and kills opposition. How much better are you than the terrorists?”
He also went on to say: "Thank God Trump turned his back on the Iran deal, Europe should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to do business with Iran. I guarantee that the sanctions will only get worse. Trump does not intend to turn his back on freedom fighters.”
Frances Townsend, former assistant to the U.S. president for homeland security and counterterrorism said: “History tells us the women have run this movement and the NCRI. We can see this today in the streets of Tehran, where women are standing up despite being hurt.
Philippe Douste-Blazy a United Nations official and former French center-right politician: “The Iranian people want freedom and democracy. The U.N. Secretary General said that he is disturbed by the executions in Iran. Amnesty International reported that many protesters have been killed. Let’s support freedom in Iran that is led by Maryam Rajavi.”
Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy: “we are very close to a free Iran. We bring our support to Maryam Rajavi and all freedom fighters in Iran. Our unconditional support is even more determined now that that theocracy is trying to crush the opposition.”
Delegation from Canada led by John Baird, former Foreign Minister of Canada: “We come together to support regime change in Iran. We must not ignore the people of Iran and we must not ignore their desire for regime change. It is time to stand with the people of Iran and support them in their quest for freedom and democracy. It's time for the mullahs to go.”
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives: “I want to thank all of you for being here today, the willingness of so many people to come from so many places show the support for freedom in Iran.”
“Let me also remind you how much things have changed in the past two years, from an administration that deluded itself about the regime to one that gets tough on Iran. The U.S. will increase sanctions until the regime goes.”
From Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI: “The regime has exported terrorism all around the world - that has not changed. What has changed however is the people in Iran and their protests.”
From the Syrian delegation led by Nazir Hakim: “People want the fall of the regime. I salute the free rebellions of our people who stand in the face of dictatorships and fight. We salute the hero’s resistance of the Iranian people who are facing the dictatorship in Iran. There is a true resistance. We are battling the same regime in Syria.”
Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate, specializing in political and economic issues relating to Iran and the Middle East.