On February 8, thousands of Iranians rallied and marched in Paris to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iranian people’s uprising against the Shah’s dictatorship.
The march started in Paris’s Denfert Rochereau Square and ended at Les Invalides in front of the French National Assembly. The protesters condemned the continuing human rights violations in Iran, increasing terrorist plots of the regime, and the regime’s continuing missile and nuclear programs. They supported the social movements and protests by the Iranian people against the mullahs’ dictatorship.
A message from Maryam Rajavi, to the demonstrations was shown on the widescreen. She said, with the overthrow of the Shah’s corrupt dictatorship and his regime of torture, his true successors, namely Khomeini and Khamenei, took over the helms. Now is the turn of the mullahs to be overthrown.
She added, our nation has started a new era, a new phase, in her battle to bring down the mullahs’ theocratic rule. Therefore, they expect the international community to respect their struggle and recognize their high goal of liberating Iran and the entire world from the evil and mischief of the mullahs’ religious fascism. Western governments bear double responsibility in this regard because they have had a role in preserving this regime particularly in the past two decades.
The gathering was supported by a large number of Iranian communities in Europe, human rights organizations, trade unions, and parliamentary committees and mayors from Paris’s districts and the Île-de-France region. Personalities who addressed the event included: Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France Libertés – Fondation Danielle-Mitterrand; Michèle de Vaucouleurs, member of France’s National Assembly and President of the French Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran; Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria; Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament and President of the International Committee In Search of Justice; George Sabra, prominent representative of the Syrian opposition; Jean-François Legaret, Mayor of Paris’ 1st District; Gérard Lauton, representative of France’s National Union of Higher Education; Jean-Pierre Michel, former Senator and founder of the French Committee for a Democratic Iran; François Colcombet, President of the Foundation for Middle Eastern Studies (FEMO); and Pierre Bercis, President of Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme.
In his address, Gilbert Mitterrand referred to a recent report by Amnesty International which called 2018 the year of shame for Iran during which 7,000 people were arrested for protesting against the regime. He went on to conclude that the Iranian Resistance is the alternative to mullahs.
Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras said, “I call on the EU to take a hard line with this theocratic and terrorist regime which has no future. The EU must stop its appeasement policies and support the Iranian opposition instead of the mullahs. Appeasement only encourages the mullahs to commit more crimes in Iran and more terrorism in Europe. The EU has to put the entire Iranian Intelligence Ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on its terrorism blacklist.”
Michèle de Vaucouleurs said, “I am here today to testify that as a Member of Parliament, I find the human rights situation in Iran truly regrettable, and I hope this year will be the last year that you have to endure these sufferings.”
Senator Jean-Pierre Michel said, “I want to call upon our governments, European governments, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mrs. Federica Mogherini, do not fear the Iranian Resistance. Open your eyes and ears. Retake the dignity that the status of Europe brings upon you, take back the dignity of the Europeans. Support the Iranian Resistance.”
The powerful march that swept through the streets of Paris in the cold weather with the rhythms of the drums and passionate slogans reflected the strength of the spirit of resistance among Iranians and the participating demonstrators. It reflected the voices of the Iranian people who never stopped their protests and strikes over the past year.
At the end of the march, the final statement of the rally was announced. It condemned the terrorist acts of the mullahs against the opposition in Europe, the continued proliferation of dangerous missiles and nuclear weapons, the continuing repression and killings in Iran, and in the regional wars. It further urged the international community to decisively confront the regime and to recognize the right of the Iranian people and Resistance to overthrow the clerical regime.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 8, 2019