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Former Canadian Conservative Leader Candice Bergen: Mrs. Rajavi Has Empowered Women Leadership for A Free Iran

Candice Bergen 2024

Honoring International Women’s Day at an event in Paris, Candice Bergen, former leader of the Canadian Conservative Party, delivered a speech praising the pivotal role of Iranian women in leading the Resistance movement and combating the clerical dictatorship in Iran.

Mrs. Bergen commended Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), for her leadership in empowering and mentoring other women to assume key roles in the fight for freedom, democracy, and equality in Iran.

Condemning the Iranian regime’s misogynistic practices, human rights violations, and destabilizing activities abroad, Bergen urged the West to end the policy of appeasement, which has only emboldened Tehran in its oppression and acts of terror.

The full text of Candice Bergen’s speech can be found below:

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you, Judy, so much. Judy and I did not compare notes, but you’re going to hear from my remarks that we are very much aligned, with our Canadian delegation, we’re very much aligned with our message.

First of all, thank you so much for having us. I love meeting and seeing my Iranian friends, whether from Canada or from around the world. You have such a beautiful spirit of joy and hope. There is no fear in this room. There is joy and hope, and it is beautiful, and it is infectious, so thank you for that.

Today is an incredible day as we’re leading up to International Day of Women to celebrate women and to celebrate today women who are at the forefront of the fight for democracy and freedom in Iran. And so, of course, we start today, so many of us are celebrating you, Madam Rajavi.

I have to tell you, I’ve heard you speak a number of times, but today I feel was one of the strongest speeches I’ve heard you deliver, and it was from your heart and from the way that you live. And so, thank you so much for that beautiful, beautiful speech.

It inspired us, and your leadership, your leadership is an inspiration to women and men. And I want to thank you for the way that you include men. We’re not saying women are against men in any way, shape, or form. We are together united for freedom, for democracy, for the values that we uphold, so thank you for that. Thank you for, and I’m celebrating today the women who are part of this movement, who have been put in positions of leadership by Madam Rajavi.

You have put these women in positions of leadership not just as tokens, not to check a box, not to fill a quota, but to provide real leadership and strong decision-making capabilities. And I happen to know, because sometimes we women are like this, we say, can we do this? I’m not sure if I’m the one that should do this. And you have said to these women, yes, you can, and I believe in you, and I’m going to mentor you.

And these women have risen up and provided such incredible leadership and servant leadership, and so I celebrate you today as well. And finally, and very importantly, I celebrate the women who are on the ground, and many of them are girls. Many of them are very young women who are in Iran right now. You know them.

I have not met them personally, but many of you know them, they’re your family members, they’re your friends’ family members, and they are literally sacrificing everything they have. And they are leading with love, they are not leading with fear or hatred, they are leading with bravery and hope.

And so, I salute them, and I just pray for their peace and their protection. So today is a day of celebration, but as Judy, my wonderful colleague, talked about, today is also a call for action. And my call for action is to these incredible women who are here with me. Many of you are on the front row, you’ve been invited as guests, and we are so honored and we feel so spoiled.

I’ll be honest, don’t we? We feel just spoiled and loved. But ladies, we have a responsibility. When we go back to our halls of power, whether elected office, whether we are interacting with people at the UN, whether we are interacting with our fellow leaders or fellow parliamentarians, NGOs, we need to speak truth to power.

And there has been far too much appeasement, even in the last year, far too much appeasement towards the regime in Iran. Too much of let’s just go along to get along, and we’ll do something tomorrow.

No, ladies, we have to, as we have been doing with grace and strength, I know Judy’s been doing this in Canada, we have to speak truth to power and end any approach of appeasement. Because Iran is the head of the serpent. Iran is the head of the serpent in this world and has caused so much division, hostility, and violence.

So, I am calling to action, and with that, I want to say that I am very, very proud to tell you that in a resounding show of solidarity, a coalition of international women dignitaries have united behind the cause of Iranian women fighting against Iran’s tyrannical regime.

Madam Rajavi, in your presence today, I want to announce a recent statement that has been supported by 400 women, personalities who are many, many of them are here today, some have not been able to attend, but they are all with us in spirit. The signatories include former world leaders, ministers, and officials, Nobel laureates, UN rapporteurs, members of parliament, renowned journalists and authors, women experts in all fields of study in the academic world, heads of NGOs, imagine women, the impact that we can have in all of those places for freedom.

These are the women who have signed this declaration. These female dignitaries are from over 40 countries, spanning five continents. At the forefront of this support is the condemnation of the Iranian’s regime, systematic repression of women.

The statement paints a stark picture of the regime’s misogynist practices, condemning the execution of countless women on political grounds over the past four decades. Importantly, this coalition rejects the policy of appeasement, arguing that it has only emboldened the regime to escalate its oppression tactics domestically, and it has engaged in destabilizing activities abroad.

We have seen that over this last year more than ever, and we condemn this policy of appeasement that has given the Iranian regime the thought that they can do what they’re doing. As one of those co-signatories, I want to quote, that it is our duty to stand in solidarity with these courageous women and their demand for regime change and the establishment of democracy, gender equality, and justice.

The Ten-Point Plan of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran for the Future of Iran, and her 12-point plan on women’s rights deserve our unequivocal support.

And again, we must acknowledge the remarkable resilience and bravery displayed by Iranian women in the face of immense adversity.

Thank you so much for all that you are doing. Thank you, ladies, and leaders, for what you’re doing. God bless each one of you. May you have peace and protection in all that you are doing.

Thank you.