- Published on Monday, 04 February 2013 10:25
Mr Gingrich said the clerical regime must be toppled so exiled Iranians can return to a country free from tyranny.
The former speaker of the US House of Representatives pledged his support for all opponents of the regime at an international conference in Paris on Saturday Feb 2. He praised the National Council of Resistance of Iran as a 'movement for freedom, for democracy, for equality, not a movement for terrorism', and whose newly-found legal status in the US did not seem possible a few years ago.
He added: "And I commend your leader” Maryam Rajavi “for the extraordinary courage she has shown in standing up to a dictatorial regime quite capable of killing, torturing and assassinating."
Mr Gingrich said: "The dictatorship is not strong. The dictatorship is frightened. It would not be warning that anyone talking about free elections is engaged in sedition and is a traitor if it were not terrified of free elections.
"And why would a dictator be terrified of free elections? Because he knows he would lose them. Now if you have to distrust the people so much that you can't give them a choice, you give up all legitimacy."
The world's democracies should now be 'hammering away' at the illegitimate Iranian dictatorship, which did not deserve to be allowed to negotiate for its survival, Mr Gingrich told delegates.
He said: "Our goal should be to replace the dictatorship, not to find an agreement with it.
"Iran will inevitably be very aggressive, very risk-taking and very dangerous if this dictatorship has nuclear weapons.
"So there are only two choices. A choice of sooner or later being forced to confront the dictatorship, or a direct clear movement to undermine and replace the dictatorship as the only path to peace in the region, and build a free and independent Iran in which the people choose the government because the people will not choose war.
"The fact is, we need to isolate the dictatorship and establish as our goal its replacement."
Mr Gingrich described as 'total cynicism' the notion of building a prison for exiled Iranians and then calling it Camp Liberty.
He said: "The 3,100 people in Camp Liberty should be relocated to a free, democratic Iran where they can go home in security.
"We should not accept the premise that this dictatorship will last for years and years."
A generation ago, dictatorships still existed in Spain and across the iron curtian in countries like Estonia, the Czech Republic and Poland and the cause of freedom seemed hopeless until one morning 'freedom broke loose', Mr Gingrich said.
He added: "We should insist on continuing to increase the sanctions, continuing to increase the isolation, and we need a dramatically greater political campaign inside Iran to give every young Iranian hope that there is a better future.
"A future of freedom. A future of prosperity. A future without threats and a future where they can travel across the planet and not be afraid of their own government.
I believe that this movement and your president is a key step to a free Iran. I am honoured to be here. And I salute the courage all of you have, and in particular the courage she has."