The Iranian Resistance held the third day of the “Free Iran World Summit” on Monday, July 12, 2021, vowing to redouble the efforts to free Iran, as all developments indicate another uprising is on the horizon.
Monday’s event focused on the regime’s systematic human rights violations, the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners across Iran, and the need to prosecute senior regime officials. Including the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, president-select Ebrahim Raisi, and Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, the newly appointed judiciary chief.
The first two days of the “Free Iran” world summit featured international dignitaries and opposition supporters attending this largest-ever online event. This event was attended by nearly 1,029 politicians, 11 former Prime Ministers, and 70 former ministers. The Iranian Resistance’s virtual event is joining people from more than 50,000 locations throughout 105 countries calling on the international community to support the Iranian people in their quest to overthrow the oppressive theocracy ruling Iran.
The Free Iran Global Summit is the voice of the largest organized resistance in Iran, calling for the clerical regime’s overthrow; and echoes the Iranian people’s voice calling for a democratic Iran.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
“When it comes to the Iranian people’s relationship with the regime, the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi, the henchman of the 1988 massacre, to the presidency of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship is a reflection of the era of its overthrow,” said Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in her address to the conference. “And in political terms, it is the end for illusions of moderation within the regime. It marks the failure of Western governments’ policy of complacency toward the religious fascism.”
“As far as the international community is concerned, this is a test of whether it will engage and deal with this genocidal regime or whether it will stand with the Iranian people.
“We say to the world community, especially to Western governments, that Mullah Raisi is a criminal guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in 1988.
“He is guilty because as one of the regime’s highest Judiciary officials during the last 40 years, he played a decisive role in the execution and murder of the Iranian people’s children.
“He is guilty because he is one of the leaders of a regime that killed 1,500 youths during the November 2019 uprising, a figure that researchers say is actually three times higher.
“Raisi is guilty because even today he defends all his past crimes and insists on continuing them.
“On behalf of the Iranian people and their Resistance, I emphasize that the United Nations and the international community should recognize the 1988 massacre in Iran as genocide and a crime against humanity.
“I call on the UN Security Council to take action to hold the leaders of the mullahs’ regime, especially Ali Khamenei, Raisi, and Ejeii, accountable for committing genocide and crimes against humanity. The United Nations must not allow Raisi to participate in the next session of the General Assembly. This would be an unforgivable insult to the peoples of all countries who send their representatives to the United Nations.”
Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and Presidential Candidate
No matter the mask they choose to wear, Ahmadinejad, Rouhani, Raisi, they are all one and the same. They are all part of this blood-thirsty monster sitting in history with contempt for the values we share.
They won’t prevail. The end is here, and it has a name and face. The name is the name of every Ashrafi, and the face is the face of you, Maryam Rajavi. It is because of the example of your resilience and determination that young people in Iran are daring to defy this homicidal regime.
You are the custodians of that precious truth that the mullahs have tried to erase and rewrite. And they can meddle with the pages of the history books, they can erase the traces of the mass graves that speak of their crimes, they can even force people under torture to submit to their lies or by paying them, but they will never succeed in taming your hearts.
What keeps you together is not the hatred, the fear or the rage, the vengeance and the ferociousness, but the dignifying thirst of justice and truth, and the immense transforming power of the love you share for your country.
It is because young Iranians know this that they are following you. It is because there is the face of a woman that has suffered and doesn’t give up that represents the strength and the good in sheer contrast to the evil faces of the mullahs that Iranians are envisioning today the end of their nightmare.
Robert Torricelli, U.S. Senator (1997-2003)
In 1988 when the regime waged war on its own people attempting to destroy the MEK through murder, those who sought compromise lost legitimacy. Those who would rule from within and seek change lost the right to rule.
Only one organization never sought compromise, has no blood on its hands, never denied the freedom of any arrangement, stood tall and has the means, the resources and determination, to rule a free and democratic Iran at peace with the world, the MEK, and only one leader, Mrs. Rajavi.
We may have our differences on many issues in America, but when it comes to ending this regime and standing alongside the Iranian people, you cannot get a thin piece of paper between us on our resolve. It builds by the year. One voice, one policy, from one country.
Now the great choice will be in the family of nations. Will they take a stand? Hear me clearly. If the United Nations decides that Raisi belongs to the United Nations, then the United Nations does not belong in New York. We must not host terrorists, despots, and mass murderers. Take a stand!
Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York City (1994-2001)
The choice just made by the Ayatollah has in many ways to me better indication of just how fragile this regime is, and just how close this regime is to collapse.
To put in charge of your government a man that is a mass murder… is extraordinarily stupid.
That’s a sign that you really feel that things are moving against you, and you have to become as brutal as possible. The selection of Raisi is exactly that.
I don’t know that the international world really understands how many protests there have been, how far they have gone, how they have permeated the entire country, and they have permeated the social structure of Iran. But the regime understands what all of these protests mean.
You, Madam Rajavi, and your brave and wonderful movement, you are at the core of this.
You are an obsessive compulsion for Ayatollah Khamenei. You are an obsessive compulsion for them, you are an obsessive compulsion for all of the criminals that run Iran. They have proven to us that you are a legitimate alternative. And yet we have so many in the West who close their ears to it.
All Americans are with you in your fight for freedom. We are willing to sacrifice as if we are fighting for our own freedom because we admire you so much and we know how much you can do for the world.
Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy (2014-2016)
The relation between your country, the Middle East, and in general between you and the rest of the world will be particularly interesting because in that area we will play a crucial role for the future of humanity.
The countries with great history have to be part of the right path for the future. Only if we recognize what is the priority today and for that I think Iran is at a crucial point.
I think we have to admit three very important points:
Firstly, without a clear message of refusing the theocracy and dictatorship in Iran it will be impossible to write a page of freedom and our values of liberty.
Secondly, we have to accept the idea for the European Union to try to give hope for the people who fight against the regime. I think we have a very good message, and this is a good time.
Thirdly, it is not the time to fight for a nuclear bomb in Iran. It is a time to fight against poverty in Iran because it is unacceptable in a country so rich not only in history but in assets as your country to be in this situation.
We have to come back to open the doors of Iran to the global community and the global community to Iran. But the only way is through regime change.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden (2006-2014)
100,000 or more people that originate from Iran are now actually living in Sweden, following very closely what happens in the Middle East and in Iran. I know that this is an example for many of you and remember this is what happens with suppression and dictatorship. People flee, try to find a better life, and it is very often the most entrepreneurial that are trying to get away the first. The ones you really need to create, the best of societies, will instead end up somewhere else. That is the price you pay when you suppress freedom and when you do not tolerate that people are different.
The autocrats, the people with absolute power, are always afraid of their own population. They are always controlling their own people because that is the kind of paranoia that always evolves in this kind of country.
We also see that where there is absolute power, we have seen that they want to show themselves as being more democratic. Therefore, we see efforts to deliver elections as they say because everyone wants to look as if they have the popular support of their people. But don’t believe them. What they do is that they rig elections. We have seen this in Russia, and we have definitely seen it in Iran.
We need to stand up and say there is a better solution and that is of course the search for democracy. Democracy is not just the cast of votes. It has to be fair elections, it has to be open, it has to be allowing everyone to search for public office, and also with the right to bring out their message, and you need to have free and open media.
No one should have absolute power. All over the world we have learned the lesson that all forms of power need to be balanced.
It is so important that you are gathering today because you are hoping for something better like many people are doing all over the world in reaction to totalitarian rule and authoritarian rulers.
Enda Kenny, Prime Minister of Ireland (2011-2017)
We cannot stand for the 1988 massacre. The United Nations and the European Council must do more.
The governments who deal with Iran must consistently raise the question of human rights, floggings, disappearances, executions, and the denial of the rights that we take for granted.
The United Nations, European Council, the Council of Europe, and every government doing business with Iran must consistently raise the question of human rights and the infringement of those rights by this autocratic government.
Carlo Cottarelli, Director of the International Monetary Fund (2014), Prime Minister of Italy (2018)
Iran has been at the center of the world’s culture and economic development. It is sad, upsetting, and disturbing to see the Iranian people going through such difficult times over the last decade.
Iran’s poor economic performance points at mistakes in domestic policies, lack of economic reform, and severe shortcomings in the economic governance framework.
Over the last decades in the post-revolution era, the Iranian economy suffered from severe economic mismanagement, which added to the economic consequences of the political mismanagement.
MEP Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium (1999-2008)
Iran will never become a democracy under the current regime. In the western press we talk a lot about hardliners and moderates, but I think as long as Khamenei holds the ultimate power, that is a hoax.
These elections were a farce and on top of this we cannot be sure that the official results have not been tampered with.
Today I want to also talk to you about the impact the election of Raisi will have for Iran’s relationship with the West.
The nuclear deal will only be possible and can only survive if the new Iranian leadership will allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to do its job and I highly doubt that Raisi will be supportive of nuclear inspections.
We should not expect Iran to open up to the West. Raisi in fact hates our democratic values and let us not forget that he is under U.S. sanctions over a past that includes the extrajudicial killings of thousands of political prisoners.
We will probably see Iran intensify its attempts to control developments in neighboring states. Iran’s missile program and a more powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps will be dangerous for the security of the region.
Biden will have a hard time convincing the American public and Congress that the deal will be in the interest of the United States.
I believe we should strive to revive the deal but not at any cost. I think it would be a fatal mistake to only focus on the nuclear threat and regard human rights violations as a secondary issue.
We must pursue a dual strategy in which we put human rights higher on the agenda while trying to establish a safer environment in the Middle East.
The EU is still seen as an honest broker and must take its responsibility. So, I urge the High Commission for Foreign Policy, Mr. Borrell, to step up and develop a comprehensive plan to defend basic human rights in Iran and organize collective security in the Persian Gulf. And in this plan, we must put more emphasis on human rights than we have so far.
Petre Roman, Prime Minister of Romania (1989-1991)
The Iranian people have great hope that there is a solution for a peaceful and prosperous Iran.
The newly elected president of Iran is accused of perpetrating crimes against humanity, and of course, that means the UN investigations has to pursue proper, correct and fair investigations.
The Iranians who are fighting inside the country are fighting for freedom. They are in difficult and sometimes perilous conditions and deserve our highest esteem.
It is time for Iran to be peaceful and prosperous. It is time for Iran to abandon the path of an aggressive or violent attitude with respect to its neighbors.
The conference featured live calls from Resistance Units members inside Iran. These people, who are supporters of the MEK, are joining the conference at great risks to their lives, and they had to cover their faces to avoid being identified by Iranian regime security forces.
“During the past 40 years, the Iranian people have endured great pain and agony, and they are subject to brutal oppression by the rule of despotic models who have tried to silence our voices… your struggle is for their liberty and equality in a free Iran, and it has given us hope,” one of the speakers said.
Another, calling from Ahvaz, said, “We are very enthusiastic to visit you in Ahvaz. You are our hope while we are enduring great pain due to the lack of drinking water because of the despotic regime, while we are living near Karun, which is one of the biggest rivers in Iran.”
Calling from Tehran, a resistance unit member said, “I hope this will be the last year we watch your speech on satellite TV. I wish to promise you that next year we will have your speech in Tehran’s Freedom Square.”
Joe Lieberman, Senator from Connecticut (1989 – 2013)
There is only one solution that is left that will work and that is regime change in Iran. Everything else has been tried.
It is obvious that the regime itself will not change. So, the people of Iran, with the support of all of us outside of Iran, must change the regime.
The only viable course of action left is resistance and revolution, and I have never been more optimistic, my friends, that the regime in Iran is rotting at its core and is ready to fall.
In August of this year, instead of entering the presidential office in Tehran, Ebrahim Raisi should be led to the docket at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and charged with crimes against humanity.
The regime’s constant references and warnings about the MEK reveal its fear of the MEK and the NCRI. And it’s based on the fact that these organizations have exposed the regime’s worst behavior, its secret of nuclear weapons program, and its violent terrorist actions. The NCRI and MEK are clearly the most organized resistance organizations in Iran. They are the most competent and capable.
The NCRI and MEK are committed to enabling the people of Iran to choose their leaders in a free election.
How can world leaders, including America’s leaders, rationally negotiate with the regime that has killed thousands of American citizens and citizens of our allies and citizens, of course, of Iran itself? How could we negotiate with a nation that has constantly proven itself incapable of keeping its diplomatic promises, and how could we now possibly negotiate with a regime that has handpicked as its next president a mass murderer?
Raisi’s presidency ends the game of Iranian moderation as the Iranian people in their protests have chanted the game is over. That is why I believe the reality of Iran today leaves the people of Iran with only one option for a better life for themselves and their children, and that is regime change.
Each of us who live outside Iran must now decide and plan what will we do to support the Iranian Resistance as it rises up in revolution.
Here in America, we should work to convince the Biden administration that its own policies and values, which the President has said are to put human rights and democracy promotion at the heart of our foreign policy once again, must lead the administration to stop trying to negotiate with the evil government in Tehran and start supporting the people of Iran who want to overthrow it.
Biden’s lifetime record of bipartisanship and his campaign commitment last year to bring bipartisanship back to our government in Washington should convince him not to make any agreement with the regime in Tehran that does not have bipartisan support in Congress.
Robert Joseph, Former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security
Today the mullahs’ desperation is palpable. We can see it in the calls across Iran for an end to the intolerant and corrupt regime.
The people of Iran are rising up. They have simply had enough. They have seen their beloved country become a prison to those on the inside and a pariah to those on the outside.
The selection of Raisi as president is a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of the mullahs. Raisi is a documented mass murderer.
For my country and for others the first rule should be to do no harm. Do not take measures that will extend the life of the regime that will go down in history as one of pure evil.
We must stand for human rights and human dignity. We must be true to our words. We must not repeat the mistakes of 2015 when the regime was handed billions and billions of dollars which were then used to support terrorist proxies to commit acts of state terrorism, to kill hundreds of thousands in Syria and around the region and to expand the arsenal of missiles and other weapons.
No more resources for the regime. No more feeding the beast.
It is a common but false argument that stopping the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon by rejoining the JCPOA must be the first priority. In fact, the resources that would flow to the regime would prolong the regime. It would prolong the repression of the Iranian people and it would also prolong the nuclear threat itself.
The regime is cheated on every agreement it has made, the NPT, the safeguards agreement, the additional protocol, and the JCPOA, even before the U.S. withdrawal. Who can believe that the regime does not now have a covert program, something it has maintained for 40 years? Who would sign yet another agreement with a party that has cheating in its DNA?
Senator Lieberman is right. There is only one solution and that is regime change. Of course, we must prevent them from having to nuclear weapons, and we can best do that by applying real pressure and letting the people prevail over the dictatorship.
Michael Mukasey, U.S. Attorney General (2007-2009)
The so-called election as we heard was in fact a hollow exercise, a sham to make sure that Raisi was picked. Raisi was a prominent member of the death commissions that organized the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988. This is not someone that any decent person or government should negotiate with. This is someone who we should insist they put before an international tribunal.
If any further proof were needed to character this regime, it is readily available in the record of the trial of Asadullah Assadi that concluded this year in a Belgian court. Assadi was an Iranian diplomat convicted of using his diplomatic cover to fly a bomb from Iran to Europe. It was to be exploded at a Free Iran rally. This was state terrorism, not just state sponsored terrorism, but at direct act of the regime to commit a terrorist attack outside Iran.
This is not a regime that will behave like a normal government, one that adheres to internationally recognized norms. The only way to end this regime’s behavior is to end this regime.
There is already democratic alternative to the corrupt and terrorists regime of the ayatollahs. It is the NCRI with its ten-point program for a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic that guarantees equal rights for all people, men and women.
Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI (1993-2001)
The results of COVID in Iran particularly highlight the ineffectiveness of the regime but maybe more importantly the disregard that this regime has not just for human rights but for health rights.
Raisi is a documented suspect in war crimes but also crimes against humanity against the Iranian people. The international community, particularly its legal community and the responsible heads of states all over the world, should push very strongly for accountability and for bringing people to justice who have committed atrocious crimes.
Our government should keep [the regime’s criminal record] in mind as it tries to renegotiate a new pact [with the regime].
We will keep in mind this perspective which is a long view but a critical accountability issue which has to be addressed, and we will have the means and the will to do it and it will be the final act of justice against the regime that has abandoned any notion of justice.
John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor (2018 -2019)
It was evident from the outset that Raisi was the supreme leader’s preferred candidate, and they were going to take whatever steps necessary to make sure he was declared the winner.
I think when you couple that very low turnout with the rising level of protest in 2019 and 2020, again all around Iran, it shows just how fragile the regime support is and how ultimately its survival depends on the Revolutionary Guards.
The elevation of Raisi proves a number of very important points, most importantly, that there is no moderation in the views of the regime or in their objectives around the world.
I think you are going to see a continuation and I fear even an increase in internal repression since the people of Iran, and a continuation and even increase in belligerence internationally, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
The real objectives of the regime in Tehran are not peace and security in the region. It is hegemony.
We have seen in the past couple of years in Europe and elsewhere increasing evidence that it is indeed the government of Iran itself, their diplomats, and their officials who are directing and aiding terrorist activities.
I think the selection of Raisi also proves that making concessions to the regime will not change their behavior. They view concessions by the West as a sign of weakness, and you know historically it is not strength that is provocative when viewed by authoritarian regimes; weakness is provocative. So, the more weakness we show, the more likely the ayatollah will cause trouble.
The efforts of the NCRI over the years to discover the secrets of the regime and its nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missile program, and making those pieces of information public have had a profoundly positive impact on the global debate about the threat posed by the regime.
We can say right now that the United States should not re-enter the JCPOA. It ought to continue efforts to expose the fallacies of that agreement and the dangers that it poses.
The United States should not lift its economic sanctions. They should continue in place and we should aid the people of Iran who are legitimate opponents of the regime who seek nothing more than freedom and the opportunity to pick their own government.
Our declared policy and its declared objective should be to overthrow the regime of the mullahs and replace it with a popularly elected government of the Iranian people.
Marc Ginsberg, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco (1994-1998)
In order to devise a proper strategy for Iran the United States has to take into account several myths which its supporters continue to traffic. One of the first myths of course is that this regime is allegedly moderate. The record of its domestic and foreign policies include repression at home and acts of state sponsored terrorism abroad.
A second myth that is propagated is that somehow rather if we just get back into the Iran nuclear agreement that was negotiated in 2015 all will be well and that Iran will moderate, and it will change its behavior in the Middle East. Before the previous administration withdrew from it Iran was secretly violating the Iran nuclear deal behind the very backs of the signatories as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency. All of the signatories to support must ask themselves and objectively ask themselves can they pretend to permit Iran to claim that it is abiding by an agreement that it violated from day one? The deception that continues to be propagated by Iran that Iran will do anything and everything to avoid a nuclear weapons development program is a sham while it inexorably continues its march to develop a nuclear weapon.
The third myth is that this regime is too powerful to implode on itself. While true that it will use any act of terror to eradicate its opponents, but the proof is really clear that the majority of Iranians want this dictatorship to crumble, and they have placed their lives in the streets of Tehran and throughout the cities of Iran to prove that they are not only willing to put their lives on the line but they are refusing to accept the ayatollahs edict that they vote in this last election which is a sham election.
There are democratic alternatives who enjoy the popular support of millions of Iranians suffering, truly represented by both at home and abroad by Madam Rajavi, the MEK and the NCRI.
Garry Kasparov, World Chess Champion, Pro-democratic political activist
The people of Iran are living under a tyrannical regime today. They deserve to determine their own lives. The interference caused by the regime damages the people of the country first.
The new president Ebrahim Raisi was chosen to play a role. The message is that the regime will not hesitate to commit more atrocities.
How can the free world, the world of democracies that supposedly values human life, negotiate with a regime of murders? How can the leaders of countries like the United States, which often talks about the importance of human rights, sit across the table from Raisi whose role in the 1988 massacre is well established?
Of course, they should not, not at the same table, not in the same room. Dictatorships do not change because of diplomacy and negotiations. They do not liberalize from engagement or deals or kindness. They only understand power. So, their power must be reduced.
The United States is repeating a terrible mistake by negotiating with Iran’s leaders in Vienna. These negotiations are waste of time for everyone except the regime that benefits from this elevated status.
The international community must bring maximum pressure on the Iranian regime to isolate its leaders and to support those fighting for democracy and human rights in Iran. To do anything less is to forget the crimes of the past, ignore the crimes of the present, and to enable the crimes of the future.
Ms. Matin Karim
Several former political prisoners addressed the conference and gave harrowing accounts of what happened in Iran’s prisons during the 1988 massacre, and the role of regime president Ebrahim Raisi.
Ms. Matin Karim spoke about the brutal tortures in the regime’s prisons that she witnessed when she was only 15 years old. She had first-hand experience of Raisi’s treatment of political prisoners, including torture, fake executions, and other pressure.
Mr. Majed Karim
Mr. Majed Karim, who also spent several years in Iran’s prisons, spoke about Raisi’s roles in Karaj prison. Raisi was on a mission to eradicate MEK members and supporters, Karim said. Raisi was especially harsh against students who supported the MEK and insulted their families. Some of his friends were executed under Raisi’s orders. Others were killed under torture under Raisi’s watch.
Mr. Mohamad Farmani
Mr. Mohammad Farmani, who was arrested in June 1981, described his experience. Raisi, as the prosecutor in the city of Karaj at the time, played a key role in the arrest, suppression, issuing fake charges, and executing prisoners. Farmani personally witnessed several executions.
Mr. Saleh Kohandel
Also speaking at the event was Mr. Saleh Kohandel, who spent 12 years of his life in prison on charges of supporting the PMOI. He has known several political prisoners who were executed by the Iranian regime. In his remarks, Kohandel spoke about the pressure the regime imposed on political prisoners, including depriving them of medical care and subjecting them to physical torture. He also spoke about the high spirits of the political prisoners, how they defied the pressure imposed by the regime, how they helped ordinary prisoners and informed them about the crimes of the regime.
John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011-2015)
I want to say to you very clearly the people of Iran that the Canadian people are with you in your great struggle. One of the proudest moments that I had in public life over 20 years in government was the day when Canada made a big decision. Ten years ago, we said that we wanted nothing to do with the terrorists supporting, human rights violating regime in Tehran.
Western leaders must understand the charade and myth of reform, and that appeasement is possible in Iran is simply a mirage. It has failed for more than 40 years.
I want to join you in calling for accountability for this regime’s human rights violations, mass murders, repression, and for its support of terrorism not just in the region but frankly around the world.
I have a message for Ebrahim Raisi: you are not a legitimate leader, and you are not a legitimately elected president. The Iranian people will hold you to account for your actions and the world will hold you accountable for the blood on your hands.
Tony Clement, Canadian Minister of Industry (2008-2011) / Minister of Health (2006-2008)
We are all aware of the trials and tribulations suffered by the Iranian people as a direct result of the murderous Iranian regime. This is a decades-long tragedy now.
The recent national elections, or so-called elections, illustrates no softening of the regime’s authoritarian activities both at home and around the world. But this forum illustrates there can be hope and justice.
The regime’s state sponsorship of terrorism is well known. Less well known is perhaps the harassment of and threats to the Iranian diaspora, including Iranian Canadians. I have personally heard accounts of this harassment designed to quell critical voices and replace them with mouthpieces for the regime spouting the established narrative.
Canada, through its Parliament and diplomats, continues to demand accountability for the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 by the Iranian military with so many people aboard with connection to Canada. This further illustrates how important it is to hold Iranian authorities to account.
We must never forget about past atrocities simply because new atrocities have been committed. They all show a continuing and unabated course of conduct by the Iranian government.
Where does the Iranian regime share information, come to terms with its wrongs, and seek justice for the survivors? The short answer is this is not a trait of the Iranian regime, nor will it ever be so long as this government is in control.
Judy Sgro, Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2003-2005)
What strikes me most in this sham election was the overwhelming boycott by various strata of the Iranian society who in hundreds and thousands of online messages said that their vote is to overthrow this tyrannical regime.
The resilience and commitment of Ashraf 3 residents for a free and democratic Iran during these unimaginable difficult times is commendable.
By standing by the principles of Madam Rajavi’s ten-point plan, sooner or later, responsible actors will have to come and join the rally if they want to avoid the cycle of violence and warmongering.
Wayne Easter, Canadian MP, Member of the Joint Interparliamentary Council, Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food (2004–2006)
It is long past time for real justice and accountability in Iran.
Canada’s long called on Iranian authorities to uphold and respect democratic and human rights, including the right to freedom and expression.
Canada has also experienced that lack of accountability by Iran for the victims of Flight PS752.
Iran’s leadership will go far in terms of its abuse of authority in its denial of human rights and international law.
Mimi Kodheli, Minister of Defence of Albania (2013–2017)
Albania fully aligns with the EU, NATO, Council of Europe and IAEA positions of the issues of democracy, human rights, international, and nuclear security related to Iran.
Albania firmly believes and remains committed to the safeguard and promotion of the democratic principles and values it has always been standing by those who seek and fight for tolerance, democracy, and human rights which for us represents the foundation of peace and the foundation of our unconditional support in the fight against terrorism and all forms of fundamentalism.
Authorities across the Albanian political spectrum have expressed dismay over the Iranian regime’s hostile and malicious stands and activities towards and within the territory of Albania.
Albania remains firm in its commitment alongside NATO, the US, and other partner countries in the fight against international terrorism, and any act that endangers world stability and peace. In several cases Albanian authorities have identified and prevented dangerous activities organized by individuals linked with Iranian terrorist groups.
Albania in general has always been a shining example of tolerance and religious coexistence where people respect each other as equals regardless of faith and cultural backgrounds.
Ad Melkert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq (2009–2011)
More than 40 years have passed since the first call for justice after the 1988 mass killings in Iran. Last September, seven7 special UN rapporteurs addressed the Iranian regime in a letter which was, according to the UN procedures, made public after the addressee failed to respond.
With more than 40 years passed and the indignation and impatience of the international community growing, I cosigned an open letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights seeking a Commission of Inquiry into crimes that took place in Iran in 1988.
It has become even more urgent now that international humanitarian law prevails, and consequences be drawn as Iran’s presidency will change in just a few weeks from now.
Timo Juhani Soini, Foreign Minister of Finland (2015–2019) & Deputy Prime Minister (2015-2017)
The system of Iran doesn’t give people a chance for a democratic society. But the country has all the basic elements for success.
Human rights violations have not only continued but they have increased after Raisi was nominated as judiciary chief in November 2019.
Iranians really have the capability to cry for freedom and it is getting louder every day, and no president can stop or silence it.
Dictators are clinging to each other. They fear all kinds of revolutions. Every ideology, religion, belief, or value becomes secondary and irrelevant, and the number one goal remains to stay in power.
They keep Assad in power in Syria, they have mutual interests and serve the same kind of mentality and in order to avoid official direct involvement in the crisis they support proxy groups in different parts of the Middle East.
When it comes to the West the United States and Europe must adopt a common unified policy. You must have a justifiable long-term policy to follow systematically. 600 million Europeans need a calm and harmonious voice. Human rights must be protected and promoted both home and abroad.
The Iranian people need friends and supporters, but the key ingredient for sustainable change can only stem from the Iranians themselves.
Audronius Ažubalis, Foreign Minister of Lithuania (2010-2012)
Today we hear talks about the possibility that United States sanctions will be removed as a part of a revival of the nuclear accord, and it is warmly supported by some EU Member States such as France and Germany.
Just imagine how tempting it would be for the mullahs’ regime to use oil revenues to fund their economic and military goals and to strengthen their internal repression apparatus.
But even in this difficult situation at home it should be clear that Raisi is not prepared to compromise on nuclear talks, and in his first interview with the media he has made this clear.
Even if we if he did accept a compromise on issues like the nuclear program, ballistic missiles, and destabilizing activities in the region, the question remains: should Europe turn its back to its democratic human rights principles and hold dialogue with a man who is a criminal against humanity?
Iran is after China the country that has the highest number of executions. They execute athletes, journalists, and even minors in large numbers.
I just want to express my sincere support to the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and later supported by Senator Lieberman. We have to push for President Raisi to be investigated by the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity, including murder, forced disappearance, and torture.
We see that Iran has a democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Let us stand with them and the people of Iran.
Eduard Kukan, Foreign Minister of Slovakia (1998-2006) , MEP (2009-2019)
From my own experience I know that there are many European politicians who are supporting Madame Rajavi and the movement she leads.
We cannot close our eyes over the violations which this regime in Iran commits, its repression of women, and the crushing of its opposition.
The people of Iran have had enough. They deserve much better than they have had for the past 40 years.
Alexandr Vondra, Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic (2010-2012), Deputy Prime Minister (2007-2009), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2007), MEP
Iran is a theocratic dictatorship and a major threat to peace in the region, as well as the entire world. The current Iranian regime has its roots in its medieval nature. It finds it necessary to export its fundamentalist ideology for its survival and under the banner of religion.
Now that Khamenei is extremely weak and frightening by a society that is like a powder keg, he has no other choice than to bring up Ebrahim Raisi.
In the West we must finally change our policy. The EU has spent too much time trying to appease Iran and its regime. We clearly see that this policy has not brought any positive results. The JCPOA agreement serves just the regime to find a hidden route to build its bomb.
We should have no illusion about the regime’s true nature and this regime must not be our partner. It is an enemy and I would do my best in the European Parliament to stress this point.
We must offer our support to the democratic alternative of Iran. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is led by a woman, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and she has a plan for the future of Iran.
Ryszard Kalisz, Minister of the Interior of Poland (2004–2005)
In the past few decades, the religious dictatorship has destroyed Iran and brought war and terrorism to the Middle East.
It is time for the international community to stand in solidarity with the Iranian people who are calling for freedom and democracy in order to rebuild their country and live in prosperity.
The international community and especially the European Union cannot remain silent in the face of such outrageous treatment of human rights defenders in Iran.
I would like to draw attention to the very bad economic situation in Iran in connection with the action of Iranian authorities. Iran’s economic situation is dramatic, and we all know how negative actions of authorities influence the society.
Iran must be a democracy.
Lord Henry Bellingham, Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2010-2012)
It is over 42 years you have been standing firm for your beliefs, your principles, for the people because you believe in people having the right to vote and the right to have their say.
I just say to you and your supporters, your friends, that you have got a very large number of people in our Parliament in the UK, in different parliaments across Europe, in America, and the whole of the free world who are absolutely behind you. We want you to succeed. We want your movement to succeed. We want democracy for Iran.
Gilbert Mitterrand, President of the French Human Rights organization Foundation France Libertes
The election of Raisi reveals the true tragic nature of the Iranian regime. It is a true insult to the memory of the 1988 massacre victims and an insult to their families.
This election is also an admission of the regime that is in place only through terror. It is also a challenge to international diplomacy and France in particular. It is a challenge that shows the Iranian regime who will always stand against human rights.
We need to spell out our request or demands. The alternative is necessary and is always possible. It is possible because democracy is born from the people, not the regime. Raisi’s presidency is proof that this regime won’t be democratic.
A path for democratic Iran exists. It is symbolized in the ten-point plan.
Silence at this moment, with Raisi as the regime’s president, is unacceptable. It is time for the international community to realize and demand change in Iran. How can international institutions remain silent? I am proud to speak out for the liberty of Iran.
Tritan Shehu, Albanian MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs (1996-1997)
Freedom and democracy is a fundamental and universal right, and the people of Iran deserve it. They suffer from the misuse of religion, government corruption, and more. I fully understand why they want democracy.
It is necessary to avoid fundamentalism, which creates the ground for terrorism. We want peaceful cohabitation between nations. This can be guaranteed through the establishment of democracy.
Corinne Lepage, French Minister of the Environment (1995-1997)
I wish to support your journey to bless your people with the power to choose, the freedom to choose leaders, destiny, job, religion, partners, etc. I see in Iran that activists and freedom fighters are persecuted.
The presidency of Raisi only makes the situation worse. We must be alarmed by this situation and the crimes committed by this person. I would like to say to the Iranian people that I am beside you and wish that western states are more courageous when they talk about Iran.
We want to share values that need to be defended. Authoritarian regimes that deny rights cannot be supported.
Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister of State for European Affairs (2011-2013)
The Islamic Republic of Iran poses a serious threat to the Middle East and the international community in general through its nuclear program and its financial and logistical support for various terrorist groups.
For me the undemocratic process and the election result are a clear sign that the ruling elite in Iran is primarily interested in perpetuating its own power which happens at the expense of the Iranian population.
The economy is weakened and more and more people in Iran are expressing their dissatisfaction with the theocratic regime that is in place.
The turnout of the Iranian population in the most recent election, which was below 50%, a historic low, shows that the public is losing faith. The result shows a profound alienation between the leadership and large parts of the population.
Of course, free and fair elections have never existed since the foundation of the Islamic Republic, but the recent election saw a gross abuse of the system as Raisi was designated as the next president.
He is simply an old figure of the regime and more than this he has been intimately involved in the regime’s brutal practices over the years. He was instrumental in the officially denied mass executions of the regime’s opponents.
Raisi’s selection represents a further obstacle to the normalization of relations with Iran. His elevation will exacerbate domestic and regional problems that Iran is involved in one way or another throughout the Middle East.
Rama Yade, Secretary of Human Rights of France (2007-2009)
The policy toward Iran seems to be at a standstill. We know the violations that the regime has committed.
We need to have more liberty and freedom. Iranians are tired of this regime, and they want change. I don’t believe that the international community is so blind and naïve. We all know the reality of Iran. We also know your program and what you want for the future of Iran. You are a model for the future of Iran, for democracy.
The international community doesn’t want to see the reality and decided to go along with the regime. This agreement will not reach anywhere, and we are aware of this.
Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs of the U.S. (2001-2005)
In 2021 with Ebrahim Raisi set to become Iran’s next president, no one disputes that Iran’s people are victims of another brutal and corrupt dictatorship, this time cynically promoting the supreme leader as the embodiment of religious and political authority. Raisi’s background is impossible to whitewash.
Today for my country and others is similar to the one faced in 1953. Will you support corrupt dictatorship, or will you respect the people of Iran in their demand for legitimate self-governance?
This year an Iranian diplomat in Europe received a 20-year sentence from a Belgian court for attempting to bomb the 2018 “Free Iran” gathering in France.
It is time for the world to get its basic facts straight on who is and who is not a terrorist. 40 years of regime deception, propaganda, and disinformation are dissolving as the walls close in on the embattled regime in Tehran.
My government tried for years to persuade Iran to reform its behavior and improve relations. In every one of these crisis areas [in the Middle East] the obstacle to progress is Iran and its proxy militias.
So now comes Ebrahim Raisi, a man personally implicated in one of the worst crimes against humanity since World War II. The massacre of an estimated 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. His elevation through a staged electoral charade obliges all of us, our governments, and our news media correspondence to face the truth and to speak the truth. There will never be peace, warmer relations, or robust trade with Iran under this regime.
In many ways this is another Mosaddeq moment. His goal of a democratic Iran benefiting from the wealth of the nation has never died. It lives on within the walls of Ashraf 3. Let us stand together, say no to tyranny and corruption, and yes to a free Iran.
Theresa Payton, Chief Information Officer of the White House (2006-2008)
The regime has allocated a large number of people to influence pages on most spaces across the Internet. The government masterfully leverages platforms such as Wikipedia, fake accounts on social media, and conducts sophisticated web-based manipulation campaigns to suppress the people of Iran.
The Iranian government’s playbook is not only a danger for the people of Iran but all democracies around the world.
This is our call to action. The world needs to come together and dedicate ourselves to a bold, new approach for freedom, for the people of Iran.
Step one: we need a comprehensive strategy across all countries to work across governments and the private sector to enable the citizens of Iran to achieve a free and democratic republic of Iran.
Step two: we need to ensure that the people of Iran can share in real time threats that could have an impact on their anti-regime protests and their calls for democracy.
Step three: we need to continue to provide financial backing, expert advice, traditional media, and social media influence campaigns to support freedom, honesty, and transparency for the people of Iran.
Ms. Zinat Hashemi, Member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
The boiling anger of the Iranian people is the result of what the regime has done in the past four decades. It is reaping what it has sown. It has sacrificed everything the people had for its own survival. But it couldn’t destroy the people’s hope for change and a better future. Today, the resistance has roots everywhere across Iran.
This resistance represents the future of Iran.
Kak Baba Sheikh Hosseini, Secretary-General of the Iranian Kurdistan’s Khebat Organization
The regime is oppressing the Kurdish people. It is the enemy of all the people of Iran. This regime is anti-human. It has based its power on suppression and brutality. The ruling clerics put up a sham election every four years to try to present themselves as legitimate. This year, the result was clear from the beginning. Raisi, the regime’s new president, is responsible for the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. This election shows the regime has no legitimacy.
Klajda Gjosha, Albanian Minister of European Integration (2013-2017)
I am very proud that Albania has become a shelter for the Iranian opposition and for the people that have suffered and have stood up to the regime that has captured the state of Iran. They are great alternative. We are supporting them here in Albania. What is happening in Iran is absolutely unacceptable and for the international community this should be more cautious and all of us should turn our attention towards the people of Iran.
Senator Michal Kaminski, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate
It is very important to notice that in recent times the Iranian regime is becoming more and more aggressive. But it is also important to note that this aggressiveness is not out of strength. This aggressiveness is rather a signal of weakness of the regime because the people in Iran are really disappointed with the policies of Iranian regime. This government is not able to represent the very basic interests of its own people.
I think it is very important from the international community to express our willingness to fully investigate this cruel crime which was committed by Iranian regimes officers in 1988. It is important because we cannot move forward without prosecuting the people who are responsible for such crimes.
Frances Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor to the U.S. President (2004-2007)
The current regime has no interest in meaningful reform which would by a necessity to remove them from power. While the world engages with Iran on its nuclear weapons program the many other malign activities of the regime must not be ignored.
Even signing the JCPOA seems to have had no impact on the regime’s terrorist activities.
There is a continued effort to hold the Islamic republic of Iran accountable for these acts of terrorism.
Iran is still lobbying to reverse the sanctions put in place and it could be closer than we think. As recently as Friday the US Treasury removed three Iranian nationals from its list of individuals who are subject to certain U.S. sanctions.
The economic consequences of sanctions continue to be a motivating factor pushing the regime back to the negotiating table and now is no time to back off what has been an enormously effective sanctions program.
The sham election of Ebrahim Raisi is a reminder to the governments in Europe and the United States that making concessions to this machine under any pretext would become counterproductive.
Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for the future of Iran continues to be a solid framework for a future democratic republic. There is a viable alternative to the current situation, and we must not forget that.
General James Conway, 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps
Even after the death of Soleimani Iran has continued to play a role as the pariah of the Middle East.
Another hardliner was elected as president of Iran, this one with even more blood on his hands than his predecessor. His unfortunate election should send a strong message to any who hoped that a more moderate government might come to power.
You have the leadership in place to guide you through to success. Leadership is about inspiring goals to follow about making correct and timely decisions.
General Jack Keane, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (1999-2003)
I have joined my American colleagues in fully supporting your resistance movement, your drive for a free Iran, and your willingness under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi to inspire the people of Iran and the people around the world by vividly bringing to the world’s attention the struggle of the Iranian people for their freedom.
In another sham Iranian election, the supreme leader selects the candidates who can run in the election and also preselects the winner. Now Ebrahim Raisi, a mass murderer condemned internationally for killing and imprisoning his own people, is selected. Iran has removed the phony pretense of appointing a president willing to collaborate with the international community and improve life at home for the Iranian people.
We are entering a very dangerous and precarious time as the Biden administration is pursuing a policy of appeasement and fully intends to renew the original nuclear deal of 2015.
The Biden administration and their European allies refused to accept the truth that Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon in secret regardless of any deal in order to preserve their regime.
The United States must once and for all abandon the idea of appeasing Iran and that Iran can be trusted.
General Chuck Wald, Deputy Commander of the U.S. European Command (2002-2006)
The ascension to presidency of Ebrahim Raisi put an end to the myth of moderation within this regime.
The answer to this regime is not more concessions but a firm stand and a clear message to Tehran that this time around there will be a more comprehensive sanctions by the international community.
The regime only understands the language of strength and nothing else.
Mario Díaz-Balart, U.S. congressman
Iran will be free because of your efforts. Iran will be free because the Iranian people are demanding freedom.
Mary Landrieu, Former U.S. Senator
It’s a pleasure for me to join all of you today and lend my voice to your great and noble work to free Iran from oppressive leadership. Your work to get Iran on a stronger, more vibrant, more hopeful path not only will help your country but will help freedom loving people all over the world.
Nathan Sales, Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS within the U.S. Department of State (2017-2021)-Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (2017-2020)
For more than 40 years you have stood up for democracy and liberty, confident that a better day is coming. Your example is an inspiration to all freedom loving peoples around the world.
Ultimately, the Islamic Republic is a theocratic regime that seeks to consolidate and export its ideology, and terrorism is one of its main tools for doing so.
It is important to always remember that the first victims of the Iranian regime’s terrorism are the Iranian people themselves. For decades the IRGC has looted the Iranian economy, corruptly enriching itself at the people’s expense.
Any policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran has to begin with a simple principle: first do no harm. What that means is at a minimum, do not hand the regime resources that will use to support terrorism around the world. Do not hand the regime resources it will use to further entrench itself and violently suppress those who are calling for change. We know that terrorism sanctions work. Sanctions deny terrorists the money they need to plot attacks.
Remember, the point of sanctions is to change behavior. Until Tehran changes its behavior those sanctions need to stay in place.
Senator John Boozman
I support the efforts of the Iranian people to bring change and democracy to their country. I am disturbed by the ongoing human rights violations in Iran, and I support the Iranian people in their pursuit for peace.
I also remain committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program. Yours is a noble cause and it is very important that we continue the dialogue on this matter.