21: 59 (GMT+1) : Mohammad Hosseini (Kak Baba Sheikh), Secretary-General of the Organization of Iranian Kurdistan Struggle (Khebat), addresses the audience and declares his group’s support for the struggle of the PMOI and NCRI to bring about regime change in Iran.
Adrianus Melkert, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, points to the human rights situation of the Iranian Resistance members in Camp Liberty. “I want to reiterate my commitment to continue to knock on closed doors as long as it takes, and encourage the international community to stop looking the other way. Despite all of our efforts, injustice continues to prevail. The international community has not been able, and simply has not dared, to force a breakthrough, in the five years of siege around [Camp] Liberty. … Bringing a close to the siege of Liberty is more than ever urgently needed. … Let me reiterate the immediate steps needed: US and EU member states accept quotas to accept asylum to, and pledge funds for, the resettlement of Camp Liberty residents; To have the UNHCR engage the government of Iraq on the status of Camp Liberty as a refugee camp under international law; and to encourage the government of Iraq to put in place an impartial committee to oversee the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.”
21: 47 (GMT+1) : Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, says: “Congratulations for your struggle. You are defending your people and the whole of humanity, and this is a battle you must win. One of the biggest joys I have today is to see a powerful woman leading the NCRI. I can see with my own eyes that equality is the first line of action in this organization. We support you and your movement, because like you, we are convinced that without equality there would be no justice.”
21: 20 (GMT+1) : Hoda Badran, Chair of the Network of Arab Women from Egypt, says: “The Iranian regime is not trustworthy. I know very well it is impossible for this regime to stay in power. Such regimes ruling in the name of Islam do not represent the people. We should continue the fight against extremism. We seek a non-nuclear Middle East.”
21: 06 (GMT+1) : Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential candidate of Colombia and former hostage, says: “We have gathered here to say: No to the regime of the mullahs; no to those who have enslaved half of the population. No to the regime of the mullahs which has legalized the rape of women. And, yes to a democratic opposition organized to defend freedom and democracy. We are celebrating the 50th year of the PMOI. Yes to supporting an opposition for democratic change in Iran.”
21: 04 (GMT+1) : Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell says: “Our Canadian prime minister recently said Iranians live under a tyranny. All of our parties support this notion. Democracy in Iran would be a great gift, not just to the Iranians themselves but to all the world. I can assure you that Canadians will rejoice with all of you when that day comes.”
21: 01 (GMT+1) : Albania’s state radio-television symphony orchestra gave an arousing live performance at the major Iran Freedom rally in solidarity with the Iranian Resistance for democracy.
20: 58 (GMT+1) : Philip J Crowley, Assistant US Secretary of State and State Department spokesperson from 2009 to 2011 says: “There is reason to hope. This is why change in the Middle East is inevitable. Intimidation can defer for a time, but power without the consent of the people is simply not sustainable. In this interconnected world, facts matter, the truth does get through, the people of Iran will hear the message we are providing today. They know what they lack: a real choice.”
20: 43 (GMT+1) : Prof Alan Dershowitz, renowned US lawyer and jurist, says: “I can attest to you that the current leaders of Iran are the worst international war criminals of the 21st century. They have murdered and have blood on their hands of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Any reasonable prosecutor with jurisdiction over their massive crimes would immediately haul these leaders in front of an international court. Instead of being indicted for their massive crimes, they are being rewarded by the lifting of sanctions in exchange for hollow promises [in the nuclear negotiations]. The time has come, indeed it has long passed, for justice. I propose here today the convening of an international tribunal, of respected scholars, former prospectors, judges, to investigate and to report on these international criminals. The world must be made aware of the crimes of this regime and of the criminals who now run the wonderful country of Iran. Ignorance of evil is complicit in evil.”
Maryam Rajavi’s address to the Iranian Resistance’s grand gathering – 13 june 2015 – Part 1
20: 12 (GMT+1) : General George Casey, former Commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq (2004-2007) and Chief of Staff of the US Army until 2011, says: “Iran has a destabilizing role in the region, which I have personal experience with. It is by now beyond dispute that the regime in Tehran is fomenting instability and conflict throughout the region, most notably in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Iran’s destructive role in the region must be curbed and deterred. By mid-2006, it was clear to me that the Iranian regime was providing military equipment to Shiite militias. This support was provided by the Quds Force, and it is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Coalition Forces and thousands of Iraqis. The Iranian regime is a state sponsor of terror. We could not have more diametrically opposed objectives. Iran’s destructive role in the region must be curbed and deterred; the regime’s support for terror must end.”
20: 05 (GMT+1) : Highlights of today’s major rally in Paris for Iran Freedom
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20: 00 (GMT+1) : Former CIA director James Woolsey says: “In trying to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, we are negotiating with theocratic, totalitarian, genocidal, imperial liars. The reach of the regime’s forces through the Qods Force and Hezbollah and others is not going to stop. It is increasing and will continue. We do not have, in my judgment, a reasonable chance of persuading the ayatollahs to agree with us on any sensible approach toward nuclear weapons. The agreement that is being negotiated is worse than worthless. It will only add to the impetus behind moving toward more and more nuclearization of the Middle East and the outside world. We need to stop that.”
19: 33 (GMT+1) :John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN and Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control, says: The ayatollahs have never been closer to getting deliverable nuclear weapons. They are clearly intent on getting an agreement with the P5+1 that will lock that achievement in. There is no evidence that the people of Iran want the ayatollahs to have nuclear weapons. The NCRI platform has long made it clear that in a democratic Iran there would be no nuclear weapons. The MEK has done more to make the world aware of the clandestine nuclear program of the ayatollahs than anyone else. Negotiations and sanctions have not slowed down the nuclear weapons program at all nor Iran’s offensive behavior, its aide to Hezbollah, Assad regime, Houthis, or the Baghdad government. It is critical that the world understand the consequences of what happened. This agreement is fundamentally flawed. The agreement does not cover the ayatollahs’ ballistic missile program, weaponization efforts. This regime has been lying for 35 years. This deal will legitimatize the mullahs’ enrichment program. The real solution to the ayatollahs’ nuclear weapons program is to get rid of the ayatollahs.
Gov. Bill Richardson, former US Ambassador to the UN, US Energy Secretary (1998-2001), former Governor of New Mexico says: This regime has tortured and repressed its people for too long a time. The regime should stop helping Hezbollah, Hamas, the regime in Syria … free political prisoners, free the American marine, the American journalist, and all political prisoners. That would be a start. DO you know where the democratic alternative is? It is right here, it is you. It is democracy, it is the people of Iran that you represent. I’m proud to be with you, this huge crowd.
Judge Michael Mukasey, the 81st Attorney General of the US says: “There has been little outreach by the free world to the Iranian opposition. There should be such outreach. The mullahs’ regime is obsessed with trying to eliminate the PMOI and the NCRI. There is good reason for that obsession. Our governments should cooperate with the PMOI and NCRI and eventually bring about regime change. That is the only way that Iran’s neighbors can live in peace, and the only way that the rest of the world can live in peace is that you, rather than they, are in control.
19: 15 (GMT+1) : Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a Republican candidate in the 2008 US presidential elections, says: “The ayatollah must go. He and Rouhani and Ahmadinejad and all of the rest of them should be put on trial for crimes against humanity for the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people they have killed, and it is about time we stop ignoring it. Where is our decency and morality? We have allowed this for years, hundreds of thousands of Iranians slaughtered, more being slaughtered today than before. American soldiers killed by the Quds Force. For how much longer are we going to allow this? What happened to the America that supports democracy and freedom?”
“In Syria, we draw red lines, and like cowards, we sit back.”
“We unequivocally support a non-nuclear Iran. What does a non-nuclear Iran mean? It does not mean two months or one year away from being able to have a nuclear missile. It doesn’t mean an Iran that will become a nuclear power in 10 years. What it means is Iran should have no, none, zero nuclear capacity because the regime in Iran can’t be trusted with it.”
“There is an alternative: Madam Rajavi, the NCRI, all of you, and all of the people inside Iran, who yearn for all human beings yearn for: freedom, respect, dignity, an ability to live with the religion of their choice and a country that respects the right of women. How could you make that more clear by having a woman running this organization.”
“I am extremely embarrassed by the fact that my country has broken its promise to people who are now in a concentration camp called Liberty. They lied to us. I am ashamed and I am here to apologize, and we will do everything we can to make good on that promise.”
“I will not support a candidate who does not have the moral fiber and the courage to stand up to the ayatollah and tell him we are going to do everything we can to get you out and you will never become a nuclear power. I will make sure every single candidate is asked: are you for regime change in Iran?”
“To the people of Camp Liberty: you bear the biggest burden. You are conducting yourself with dignity and strength and show us what the future of Iran can be. You show us the character of the people of Iran.”
18: 50 (GMT+1) :Elaine Chao, former US Secretary of Labor, says: While other countries are empowering women, Iran has been penalizing women. Seventy-seven fields of study are prohibited for women. To Iranian women: We see you, we hear you, and you are not forgotten. No regime, however repressive or brutal, can stand against fundamental reforms forever.
Col. Wesley Martin, a former commander of US forces at Camp Ashraf who also served as Anti-terrorism/Force Protection Officer of all Coalition forces in Iraq, reiterated his support for the cause of the Iranian Resistance.
18: 39 (GMT+1) : Gen. Shelton as well as Gov. Tom Ridge, former US Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI; Gov. Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the US Democratic National Committee; and Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, read out a new declaration by nearly forty prominent Americans including former senior US civilian and military officials and governors calling for a more comprehensive policy approach toward Iran, including dialogue with the Iranian opposition.
On the nuclear issue, the statement says that a peaceful solution “cannot be achieved by making concessions to Iran but rather by making clear that Iran will be denied any potential opportunity to obtain a nuclear bomb.” They underscore the necessity of clarifying “Possible Military Dimension (PMD) activities of Iran before a comprehensive deal can be signed.”
On the crisis in the region, the US dignitaries state that “Iran’s destructive role throughout the region must be curbed and deterred. Far from being part of the solution, Iran is a major part of the problem.”
“We call on our government to break the stalemate and engage in respectful dialogue with the Iranian opposition, consistent with our country’s policy of dialogue with all political groups. Whatever the outcome of nuclear negotiations and in virtually any possible scenario, the wishes of the Iranian people and their desire for change must be taken into consideration.”
The authors of the four-page statement further express their support for the 10-point plan for the future of Iran long advocated by Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi which will, they state, “restore political legitimacy through universal suffrage, guarantee rights for all citizens and particularly women and minorities, end the cruel excesses of the judiciary and establish the rule of law, end the nightmare of fundamentalist Islamic dictatorship by once again separating church and state, protect property rights, promote equal opportunity and environmental protections, and – last but certainly not least – seek a non-nuclear Iran, free of weapons of mass destruction.”
18: 25 (GMT+1) : General Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says: “Far from being a part of a solution [to the Middle East crisis], Iran is a major part of the problem. There should be no direct or indirect cooperation with Iran under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Iran has been a major engine of Islamic extremism and fundamentalism. It is globally recognized as the primary sponsor of terrorism. We should be more vigilant and more vocal about human rights abuses by the regime. Our failure to stand for basic principles and rights only encourages the regime to violate them further with impunity. Nuclear negotiations must not inadvertently provide an undeserved veneer of legitimacy. A successful policy toward Iran and the Middle East cannot be based on denial of these realities.
Young Iranians play percussions to bring out the voice of Resistance in Iran.
18: 11 (GMT+1) :Gissoo Shakeri, an Iranian dissident singer, poet, and writer who is also a women’s rights activist is now performing an Iranian classical song. Shakeri started classical singing in 1980.
18: 09 (GMT+1) : British Conservative lawmaker David Amess MP says: “I am inspired by Madam Rajavi’s leadership. In particular, I am inspired by her 10-point plan for the future of Iran.” He expressed hope that the 10-point plan can someday be implemented in Iran by Mrs. Rajavi.
17: 55 (GMT+1) : Steve McCabe, Member of Parliament from the UK’s Labour Party, says: “Opponents of this Resistance say it doesn’t have support among the Iranian people. Look at the people here today from all over the world. If the PMOI does not have support, where do all these people come from? If it does not have support in Iran, how do we know about the mullahs’ nuclear program? We know because ordinary Iranians have risked their lives to pass this information to the NCRI. If this resistance does not have popular support, why do the mullahs fear it so much? I’m very proud to stand here today as part of the British delegation, to stand with Iranian friends, to call for the end of this theocracy which is destroying the lives of ordinary Iranians. I call on the British government to support the people of Iran. Allow real opposition to flourish. Support Iranian demands for open and democratic elections. Let’s join together to back a free Iran.”
17: 53 (GMT+1) : Rt. Hon. David Jones, UK Member of Parliament and former Secretary of State for Wales, says: “It was a shameful decision to brand the PMOI a terrorist organization. That was a profoundly wrong decision by the UK, U.S., and the EU, which set back the cause of democracy in Iran by many years. It was your leader, Marayam Rajavi, who decided to challenge that unfair proscription in the courts. She placed her trust in the independence of the judiciary in the US, UK, and the EU. And she succeeded to have the PMOI de-proscribed.”
17: 50 (GMT+1) : The Rt. Hon. Lord Peter Goldsmith, QC, former Attorney General of the UK says: You are here today to demonstrate your commitment to human rights, to democracy, to the rule of law, and to a free Iran. I’m proud to be one of those here with you, not only because your cause is right for Iran and the people of Iran, not only because it is wonderful to be celebrating and looking forward to liberty … but also because what you are calling for is right for the rest of the world. To tackle extremism and Islamic fundamentalism is something that we have to deal with as well. It is our fight for survival, too. The regime in Tehran is perhaps the biggest part of the promotion of extremism and terrorism. … With the NCRI, with your hugely impressive president, we see how the Muslim world … is taking on the challenge. So, today, as I attend this extraordinary meeting, I’m inspired and utterly impressed by your commitment. You are sending a clear message to the world about your need for freedom and democracy. The world needs to hear it because it needs the same thing that you need.
The UK Parliamentary and legal delegation is now speaking.
17: 11 (GMT+1) : Narges Azdanlou, Member of the PMOI’s Central Committee, now speaking: “This is the generation that raises the banner of “We can and we must.” The PMOI is the only hope of the Iranian people for the establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran. It was thanks to the leadership of Maryam Rajavi that throughout these years, especially the last 12 years, the PMOI stood tall and overcame all obstacles. We will persevere and we vow to build a thousand Ashrafs and armies of liberation to overthrow the caliph of fundamentalism and terrorism.”
17: 01 (GMT+1) : Video message broadcast from U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee: “Your cause is our cause and your fight is our fight. … Iran is setting fire to sectarian tensions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.”
The Iranian regime is the “true epicenter of radical Islamic extremism in the world.”
Sen. McCain said the PMOI members at Camp Liberty are in danger and the Obama administration is taking far too long to relocate them to safety. He vowed to introduce legislation to protect the residents of Camp Liberty.
16: 59 (GMT+1) : US Rep. Robert Pittenger says: “We stand with you in solidarity against three decades of tyranny and against Islamic extremists. We stand against a nuclear agreement. We, the American people and Congress, will make sure that we have the final word on any nuclear agreement with Iran. We stand against the role the Iranian regime has played to spread terrorism around the world. I congratulate Madame Rajavi for her leadership.”
16: 53 (GMT+1) : US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, says: “Lovers of liberty, I salute you. I see a day coming when thugs riding motorcycle will not beat peaceful people up in streets in order to silent them in Iran. I see a day when no longer will women asking for their rights be thrown in the jail, beaten and raped and murdered. I see a day when elections will be held in Iran, and the mullahs won’t be choosing the candidates. I see a day when the people of Camp Liberty will be welcomed home in a free Iran as heroes. Today, it is my honor to join you, to remind the corrupt mullahs ruling Iran today that their day is coming, and it will come soon. I am here to join these brave people who struggle for liberty.”
“We in the U.S. Congress will not be satisfied with negotiations that leave in power brutal corrupt tyrants who hold power because of their hold on aggressive and fanatical beliefs. “We will not back away from your cause.” That nuclear reactor that is taking up so much of our time is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the mullahs stay in power. It’s whether we are going to have regime change in Iran that counts. As long as the mullahs are in power, it makes no difference whether or not you have a nuclear reactor because mullahs can obtain nuclear weapons from elsewhere. This has been a ruse. I say now is the time we must work together, to stand tall. I am proud to stand with you today, God bless you, and God bless your cause.”
16: 51 (GMT+1) : Robert Torricelli, former Member of the US Senate, reiterates his commitment to supporting the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran.
16: 40 (GMT+1) : Günter Verheugen, former Vice President of the European Commission (2005-2010), says: “The main source of violence and oppression in the region is in Tehran. And there is only one viable option to bring peace to the whole region: the mullahs have to go, and there should be a democratic Iran, which will fully respect the common human values, freedom, democracy, rule of law, and protection of human rights. This will not be achieved if policymakers appease the rulers of Iran. The only way to get rid of the nuclear threat is to get rid of the regime itself. We have a credible alternative, which is supporting the democratic opposition, the movement that is assembled here this afternoon in Paris, showing the world that change in Iran is possible. It can be done, as President Rajavi said. … Our governments have to make a choice, which is not a difficult one. We call on them to choose the side that represents freedom; choose the democratic opposition in Iran.
16: 32 (GMT+1) : Bernard Kouchner, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, says: Today, we have heard a message of hope. Nothing is ever going to stop you in your march toward democracy. Women have a huge role for bringing about democracy in Iran. We should pay tribute to Mrs. Rajavi for her efforts to champion this role for women. … You have fought over 50 years for democracy, and Maryam Rajavi paved the way. In France, we should support this fight.
16: 30 (GMT+1) : Michele Alliot-Marie, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Justice and Home Affairs, speaks in support of Mrs. Rajavi’s movement for democracy in Iran.
16: 00 (GMT+1) :
Cheers here for
— Linda Chavez (@chavezlinda) & a rejection of Islamic extremism at this weekend’s event deadline, a huge gathering of supporters is scheduled for 6/13 http://t.co/zVEQoiOaY3
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) June 12, 2015