Time To Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable
The Iranian opposition holds an online conference, urging the international community to hold the Iranian regime to account for its ongoing human rights violations and confront its export of terrorism by re-imposing all sanctions on the mullahs’ regime. This event is held on the eve of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. Bipartisan U.S. lawmakers from both chambers and former senior officials from both sides of the Atlantic will join Iranians from 10,000 locations worldwide. The keynote speaker of this event is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
This conference and its panelists will discuss the Iranian regime’s repressive measures at home and its threats to the Middle East and the rest of the world and set forth the proper policy to effectively challenge Tehran’s aggressive behavior.
The online event is hosted by award-winning journalist Trish Regan.
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) September 18, 2020
This page presents a live report of this event. Its content will be updated throughout the day:
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 18, 2020
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI
NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi started her keynote speech by paying homage to Iranian wrestler and political prisoner Navid Afkari, executed by the Iranian regime on September 12 for taking part in anti-regime protests.
“Today, Navid Afkari lives on in the hearts and struggle of thousands of Resistance Units in Iran who will continue to resist and rise up for freedom and justice,” Madam Rajavi said.
“The people of Iran want this regime punished through a comprehensive boycott.
“Faced with executions and massacres, the people of Iran urge the United Nations, and the UN Security Council in particular, to restore snapback sanctions stipulated in the six UN resolutions against the clerical regime in Iran. Otherwise, Khamenei will continue to ravage the nation as his regime’s survival depends on murder and suppression.”
Regarding The Coronavirus Crisis in Iran, Madam Rajavi reminded that more than 105,000 people have lost their lives to the virus. “Just as is the case with executions and carnage, the mullahs’ regime ranks first in the rate of per capita coronavirus fatalities in the world,” she emphasized.
“[Rouhani and Khamenei] have in fact adopted the strategy of causing mass human casualties to protect their regime from the Iranian people’s protests and from the danger of being overthrown.
“The coronavirus is the mullahs’ strongest ally; imprisonment and executions are their most essential instruments of power; and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the most reliable killing machine to prop up their rule.”
As world leaders prepare for their yearly speeches at the UNGA, Madam Rajavi emphasized three important issues:
“First, a reminder of the fact that the clerical regime is at war with the people of Iran and with the world community.
“Second, the imperative to stop the wrongheaded international policies that practically aid the murderers of the people of Iran, allowing the religious fascism to violate the rights of the people of Iran and spread war and terrorism in the Middle East.
“And third, a call for the adoption of a three-pronged policy vis-à-vis the mullahs’ regime in Iran comprised of: human rights for the all Iranians, comprehensive boycott of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship; and recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance as well as the struggle in Iran to overthrow the mullahs and achieve freedom for the Iranian people.”
Madam Rajavi raised concern over the escalation of domestic repression by the regime. “The regime has been executing prisoners on political charges, including Moharebeh (waging war on God), rebellion, and participating in the uprisings,” she said.
In her speech, Madam Rajavi reminded how a damaging global policy has allowed the regime to continue its crimes, including the political and financial concessions unjustifiably granted to the regime in the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA); the freezing of six UN resolutions and lifting the sanctions in favor of the mullahs; and the opposition to the extension of the arms embargo against the regime.
“I must emphasize that any government coveting for deceitful inducements from the clerical regime would be nourishing a viper in their bosom,” she said. “It is a mistake to think that a reduction of international sanctions will result in the regime abandoning its belligerence. Ironically, it was under the auspices of the JCPOA that the Iranian regime’s terrorism ravaged Europe.”
The regime’s terrorist belligerence has manifested itself on several accounts in recent years, including a bombing attempt against the gathering of the Iranian Resistance near Paris in 2018. “For the first time in Europe’s modern history, we see a diplomat who had delivered a bomb was arrested in Germany. He has been jailed in Belgium for the past two years. Just imagine what would have happened if this bomb had exploded at our gathering in Villepinte near Paris,” Madam Rajavi said.
“Today, the regime is at its weakest point ever. In such circumstance, giving assistance to the mullahs will only increase the pain and suffering of the people of Iran, but of course, would not be able to save the regime from its certain downfall.”
“So, I would like to repeat and reiterate for the nth time the demand of the Iranian people:
- Human rights for the people of Iran
- Comprehensive sanctions against the religious dictatorship
- And recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance and the struggle for freedom in Iran”
Madam Rajavi once again criticized the international’s inaction toward the regime’s crimes.
“Indeed, why is it that the United Nations and the Security Council do not address the catastrophes that unfolded on direct orders by Khamenei in the days ensuing the November 2019 uprising?” she said.
“Why is it that the United Nations and the Security Council do not compel the clerical regime to admit international delegations to visit Iranian prisons and prisoners, particularly the detained protesters?
Madam Rajavi also raised concern on the ongoing persecution of political prisoners in Iran and the regime’s unaddressed crimes. “I urge the world public and the United Nations to take immediate action to save their lives,” she said. “The dossiers of the 1988 massacre and the massacre of protesters in November 2019 must be referred to the UN Security Council. It is time to stop granting immunity to Khamenei and other regime leaders and officials. They must face justice.
Regarding the continued relations of the international community with the mullahs’ regime, Madam Rajavi’s message was clear: “Boycott the clerical regime. Boycotting the regime helps the fight against terrorism, against suppression and against corruption. But every single dollar given to the regime will turn into a bullet that is fired into the hearts of youths in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
“Our people do not want uranium enrichment plants. Neither do they want a ballistic missiles program, or the regime’s criminal wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.”
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York
The regime is showing every indication that they’re on their last legs. Everyone knows they are a regime of terror. From the late 1970s until now, every year has been terror and slaughter. They have the worst record in killing their own people. But they continue to receive support from countries that should know better.
For too long, the United States was sympathetic to Iran. It seemed to be a priority to keep a dangerous nuclear agreement. Why? There’s no reason for it. Nor is there any reason for European governments to not support sanctions against the regime.
Since the administration has changed from one that was conciliatory to Iran to one that has imposed sanctions, there’s been a complete difference to what is happening in Iran.
The sanctions have been made more severe, and more have joined us. That pressure has brought about the protests in Iran that started two years ago and have remained continuous and gained more and more support. It began with people who have been fighting for freedom since the beginning, but it has expanded to the general population, to people who have suffered because the regime does not take care of its people and slaughters them.
The world is now facing a crucial question on the policy toward Iran. The dispute is on whether the arms embargo on the regime should be lifted or more severe sanctions should be imposed. The arms embargo is critical to keep the status quo in place, but we have to go further.
Europeans have refused to support the United States. They claim to defend freedom and democracy and human rights. But they have abandoned those principles. They are doing business with a barbaric regime. They have abandoned methods of pressure that can free the people of Iran from bondage.
They supposedly have high regards for human rights and lecture others. But what about the human rights of the Iranian people? All of the money they are giving to Iran and all the help they give Iran by turning their eye on the barbaric acts of the regime is getting people killed. Don’t you realize the money is going to terrorists, and terrorists kill people?
The regime is killing people. They’re a regime that is desperate, and the best indication is that they are striking out hard. The situation is getting worse in Iran. They recently executed wrestling champion Navid Afkari for protesting. He was protesting the barbarity of the regime. Mostafa Salehi was executed for the same charge. The MEK announced recently that 20 other people are on death row for political charges, for opposing the regime. That is a barbaric dictatorship. You should not be doing business with them.
The regime of terror has increased its terrorist activities against the Iranian opposition.
Three things must be priority:
- the suffering of the Iranian people and their desire for change. They’ve had enough of this regime.
- Preventing the regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The regime should not be trusted with nuclear weapons.
- There must be an end to the regime’s meddling and terrorist activities in the region and across the world. Terrorism and peace don’t go together. Agreements with people who sponsor terrorism are only agreements in words.
The real solution is in the hands of the Iranian people. The Iranian people want to control their own lives and nations. They want to be respected across the world. The MEK and NCRI present a democratic alternative to this regime of terror. They can take Iran through the transition. We have a government in exile that will make sure your country moves forward with prosperity. Iran is afraid of Madam Rajavi’s vision for a future Iran, her ten-point plan.
David Jones, British MP and former Secretary of State for Wales
Iran is at a pivotal moment in its history. The people of Iran demand genuine democracy and regime change. The regime responds with repression, execution, and torture. The regime resorts to terrorism against the Iranian opposition. They continue to defy international opinion, including the global outcry to stop the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari.
The UK, France, and Germany are mistaken in their adherence to the flawed nuclear deal that doesn’t hold the regime to account. It emboldens the regime to continue its domestic crackdown and export terrorism across the region.
I stress that the UK should support the reimposition of sanctions on the regime and an international inquiry into the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.
The coming debate in UNGA offers an opportunity for the UK and US to press for continued sanctions on the regime. By adopting a firm policy against the regime, the UK and the US and other western democracies should align themselves with the people of Iran and Madam Rajavi for a viable Iranian made solution to Iran.
The US and UK should stand with the Iranian people and the NCRI in their struggle to establish a free and democratic and secular Iran.
Gen. James Jones, the first National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama
There’s no question that Iran is the number one supporter of terrorism in many parts of the world. There’s no question their ultimate goal is to develop nuclear weapons. This regime has identified itself as the enemy of the people.
Navid Afkari was executed despite a global outcry. They plotted to assassinate a US ambassador. What Iran is and has been for the past decades is beyond question. The question is what do we do about it?
The current agreement executed in Washington would send shockwaves in Tehran because the circle of countries that are in direct opposition to what Iran is doing is growing by leaps and bounds.
There should be more isolation of leaders of Iran. They should not be welcomed in countries that support freedom and democracy. We must support the Iranian people. We must support the NCRI and the people of Iran. They are the ones who will topple the regime. They will usher in a new era for the history of Iran.
General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
In the last year, 1,500 brave Iranians were killed by the mullahs because they protested the regime’s tyranny. 12,000 are in prison and are being tortured. Navid Afkari, the champion, was murdered by the regime this week.
The JCPOA had provided the mullahs with $150 billion to fuel terrorism and given Iran a path to nuclear weapons. Qassem Soleimani, who ran Iran’s proxy wars and terror campaigns, was finally killed. His death was a major turning point for the leaders in the region to form an alliance against the mullahs.
The mullahs’ system is failing the Iranian people. Khamenei is trying to create a global economic crisis by disrupting the flow of oil, and he has failed.
The people of Iran recognize the regime is on its heels, is more isolated than ever. The people see and feel the momentum gaining against the mullahs. The Iranian people know they are the point of the spear, they are on a path to regime change. Not only are they in the streets demonstrating against the regime, but they are also targeting the regime’s facilities and symbols.
We in the US are inspired by the Iranian people’s raw courage and by Maryam Rajavi’s leadership, and what she will achieve as president of Iran. We identify completely with the people protesting in the streets of Iran.
Pandeli Majko former Prime Minister of Albania
Iran has turned the Middle East into a battlefield. The aggravated economic situation in Iran could have consequences. In this situation we should be cautious and prepared. It is clear that any vacuum left by the West will be filled by Iran. This could elevate the status of Iran in the Middle East.
We have helped MEK, but we have also helped ourselves. We are honored to have been considered a second home for the opposition of Iran.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
The Iranian regime remains the leading state-sponsor of terrorism, violates its treaty obligations, and continues its disregard for human rights. They are destabilizing the Middle East, funding Shiite militias in Iraq, supporting the Assad regime in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon. They are trying to interfere in America’s election process.
The regime neglected its own people, suppressed information about the coronavirus outbreak, they refused support from the world. There are no limits they won’t go to to harm the citizens of Iran. A failed regime in Iran has done everything it can to make Soleimani a martyr. But we know he was a bad person. He pretended to be a high-ranking military official but he was really a terrorist in a uniform. Thankfully, he was eliminated.
Strengthening sanctions on Iran is a proper response to its continued aggressions. The people of Iran have paid a much bigger price than dealing with sanctions because of the government they are dealing with. The behavior of the government hasn’t changed after the JCPOA.
We need to be concerned about the daily situation of the people of Iran. We’ve seen an escalation of protests in the last two years. People carry on the fight. No matter how brutal the regime gets, no matter how harsh the sentences, how many political prisoners are executed, you continue to lead in that fight. We have to listen to the Iranian people as they chant down the dictatorship. The US stands with the people of Iran.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
It is an absolute necessity that we hold the regime’s officials to account for their crimes against humanity. There is no outrage the regime will not commit. They tortured a confession out of Navid Afkari and they executed him. We must hold them to account for this crime.
The mullahs not only violently oppress their own people, but also seek to project that oppression to other people across the world.
Iran’s regime continues to finance terror and endangers the security of us and our allies. The snapback denies the regime resources and slows the nuclear program. Iran has consistently been in violation of nuclear restrictions before, during and after the negotiation of the deal.
I remain committed to ensure that the Iranian regime is ultimately brought down.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
There’s an enormous difference between the clerics ruling Iran and the people. Iran has contributed to mankind in many ways. Their leaders are radical clerics who want to eradicate everyone who stands in front of them.
Not long ago, Iran was home to three major religions. Now it is governed by a radical regime. This battle is not simply to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and support terrorism. Our battle is to give Iran back to its people.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
The government in Tehran continues to commit gross human rights violations in Iran and in the region. It has destabilized countries and prevented peace across the Middle East. At home, peaceful activists and human rights activists are arrested and tortured.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez
Unfortunately, the Iranian regime continues to show the world it has no intention of changing its oppressive and reprehensible behavior.
Over the weekend, despite local and international appeals, the Iranian regime hanged a wrestling champion, Navid Afkari. His crime was participating in a protest against the regime. With no evidence and a forced confession, the regime convicted him for killing an undercover agent. We know the real reason they wanted him silenced. He was a strong voice for the voiceless against a repressive regime and for justice for his fellow compatriots. And of course, Navid is not the first person the regime has sought to silence.
Over the past year, we’ve seen them prove again on the world stage that they are not interested in making peace with their neighbors or respecting Iranian human rights. Beyond its abuses of people at home, the regime continues to support terrorism and the brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad, and continues its path towards nuclear weapons.
While in Congress we may have different approaches about the best way to address the threat from Iran, rest assured, that we remain united against the regime’s fundamental abuses against its citizens, oppression and denying fundamental rights to women, jailing peaceful activists, and threatening journalists.
Moreover, we stand united in our efforts to prevent Iran from continuing to export its ideology in the form of terrorist actors and destabilizing activities. And we are united in preventing Iran from threatening her neighbors and the world with a nuclear weapon.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman
Our conflict is with the fundamentalist regime that oppresses the people of Iran. I will continue to advocate for a tough policy that prevents them from acquiring nuclear weapons and suppress the people.
The regime must protect the rights of citizens and stop their destabilizing activities. The Iranian people desire freedom.
U.S. Senator Martha McSally
Its time for Iran to stop suppressing its people, and sponsoring terrorism and instead of becoming a positive actor in the Middle East. I’m inspired by the Iranian people who continue to put their lives on the line to protest the murderous Iranian regime. America stands with the protesters demanding their God given rights for freedom.
It’s time for Iran to provide freedom and opportunity to its citizens and become a responsible actor in the region. The U.S. and the international community must continue to hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations and reprehensive behavior. We must endeavor to end their dangerous proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism and the repression of their own citizens. Our world cannot be stable while the number one sponsor of terrorism continues to operate.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
For decades, Iran has cracked down on dissenters and peaceful protesters. Navid Afkari is one of the latest victims of Iran’s brutal regime. The United States condemns his execution and continues to stand with the people of Iran.
Joseph Lieberman, former U.S. Senator from Connecticut
We have tried everything to change the behavior of the regime of Iran. It’s time for a conclusion. The regime will not change. We must change the regime in Iran. That is what we mean when we say freedom for the people in Iran. Sanctions must be extended. We must convince our allies in Europe to join us.
The regime can’t be trusted to be negotiated with. They proved that with their response to the nuclear deal.
The people of Iran across national boundaries will join together in a new union. We are ready to support the freedom fighters in Iran in their uprising. We will not remain silent as you fight to bring about change.
Kelly Ayotte, former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
We are for freedom for the Iranian people. It is well past time for the Iranian people to elect their representatives and have a government that protects their rights. The mullahs must go. That is the view on both sides of the aisle in Washington. And we know there is an alternative: Madam Rajavi’s ten-point plan.
We are at an important juncture. We know the Iranian people want peace. They don’t want their government to support terrorist and violence as it has. The mullahs have spent the people’s money on weapons that threaten the peace of the world and the Iranian people themselves. They spend billions on terror groups. The regime has plotted terrorist attacks around the world.
The Iranian people have suffered the most, and our hearts go out to them. The example of their barbarity is the recent execution of the heroic wrestler.
Despite the reign of terror of the mullahs, there are those in the international community who are poised to give the mullahs relief from the arms embargo. It is really important that the arms embargo remains in place. If other nations don’t support this, they will regret it by seeing the harm Iran will do.
Iran has asked for sanctions relief through the JCPOA, yet it doesn’t comply with the JCPOA. Our European friends can’t hide behind the JCPOA and argue Iran should be provided relief from sanctions when Iran is not even complying with the JCPOA.
It is time for the world to come together. Together, we can make sure there is peace and freedom in Iran. The people of Iran deserve to live in freedom and prosperity.
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
The dictatorship is getting more and more desperate and the public is getting more and more unhappy. The fact that the killing of Soleimani did not result in an explosion of terrorist action is indicative of the mullahs’ power waning. But we still have a distance to go until we reach a free and peaceful Iran.
I think what you’re doing is going to defeat the dictatorship. With each passing year, the people realize the future can’t be the mullahs, the Revolutionary Guards. I think you’re meeting at a key time, there will be more positive things happening, the forces of freedom will become stronger, the mullahs will become weaker and less capable.
Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary for Arms Control & International Security of the U.S. Department of State
The Resistance Units are the true beacons of freedom. You’ve endured suffering at the hands of the regime for standing up for democracy and a secular republic. Your sacrifices and your success will inspire the next generation in Iran.
The end of the religious dictatorship is in sight. Even the policy of appeasement can’t save the religious dictatorship from its ultimate fate. We’re at a crossroads. The future of Iran will be affected by decisions made in the next months.
We’ll snap back sanctions on the regime because of violations of the JCPOA. The regime openly acknowledges the violations. Will other countries follow the US lead to snap back sanctions? The practical effect is that companies will not want to do business with Iran. Companies will have to choose whether they will do business with the U.S. or Iran.
What will US policy be in Iran in the next administration? After the elections, will the US maintain a policy of maximum pressure or return to appeasement? The hope that the regime will reform is just a fantasy.
Iran’s economy is in freefall, driven to bankruptcy because of the regime’s incompetence and its pursuit of terrorism. The mullahs know the people will never forgive them for the tens of thousands of deaths due to the pandemic. The mass killings in Iran are an act of desperation.
What lies ahead? One path is to return to the failed policies of the past, often characterized as diplomacy over war. This is a masquerade, a false choice. We know the nuclear deal didn’t put the regime on a more moderate path.
The central problem is not the absence of an agreement or negotiations. More negotiations will only lead to more brutality. The problem is the regime itself. It will never abandon terrorism.
The second path is to continue maximum pressure against the regime. We must deny the regime any legitimacy. Most important, we must support the democratic opposition. It is the Iranian people who will decide the future.
Tom McClintock, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Thirty-two years ago, the Iranian regime waged a brutal campaign of torturing and executing thousands of its citizens, who were in prison for merely exercising their fundamental human right, to express their own opinions. The Supreme Leader’s Death Committee sought out those whose political ideas were regarded as incompatible with the theocratic state and ensured that they would simply disappear. To date, the Iranian government continues to deny this atrocity and still frequently calls upon the Revolutionary Guards to wage violence against its own people, peacefully protesting and dissenting from the political regime.
Today’s Iran is full of impassioned citizens who are demanding liberty, justice and fundamental human rights. But if we fail to hold this rogue regime accountable, there’s no telling what it may decide to do next about those who long for such basic freedoms.
As the mullahs have become more repressive and extreme, the international resistance to them has become stronger and more resolute.
It’s more important than ever to elevate the voices of the Iranian people who are experiencing every day the consequences of a regime committed to foreign and domestic chaos and terror. It is becoming increasingly evident that Iran’s rulers are beginning to fear the resistance.
Despite domestic and international acknowledgement of Iran’s oppression, the regime has remained intent on provocation and destabilization. It remains clear that the regime is willing to crush its economy and kill its own people for the sake of nuclear aspirations and spreading terror, further jeopardizing the safety of the Iranian people and threatening the peace of the world.
The Iranian Resistance remains as a target of repression in Iran. Many of its supporters have recently been arrested in Iran for their affiliation with this movement. Last November, the regime murdered at least 1,500 innocent Iranians protesting its cover-ups, its mismanagement and its rank corruption.
While progress has been made, it’s clear that today’s regime is just as willing as Khomeini’s to silence those who call attention to this brutality. True change will require treating the Iranian dictatorship as the international pariah that it is. And it will require providing every ounce of moral and material support that the Iranian opposition needs to rid their nation of this fascist Islamic dictatorship, to restore their proud heritage of Persia, and to restore their rightful place among the civilized nations of the world.
Paul Gosar, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
House Resolution 374 condemns Iranian state sponsored terrorism and supports the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom. We will stand with the people of Iran. I condemn the execution of Navid Afkari. Let’s make his sacrifice propel us toward democracy.
Sheila Jackson Lee, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
I rise to be able to support the fighters in Iran for human rights, and to stand with those like Madam Rajavi, who want human rights and the fights against the abuses, the horrible abuses that people are facing in Iran who just simply want justice, equality and human rights.
Human rights are deserved by the people of Iran. The freedom fighters, the peaceful freedom fighters who are trying to stand against the regime, they need the support of those of us who love human rights and human dignity. How stunning and shocking that a champion wrestler, Navid Afkari, was killed simply because he was participating in a peaceful protest. We must have the United Nations investigate these human rights abuses.
Raul Ruiz, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
These egregious human rights violations can’t stand. I stand with you, the people of the United States stand with you. You are not alone in your fight. American support you in your fight for freedom and democracy. We will keep up the fight until the people of Iran are truly free.
Lance Gooden, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
I support the ten-point plan that Madam Rajavi has put out as I know all of you do. I want to encourage you and just let you know that you have friends in the U.S. that are supporting your efforts. We believe that you are making progress and we’re making progress alongside you. And I also want to encourage people that are in Iran and that are fighting oppression to stay strong and know that you have friends around the world that believe in you and that believe in a free Iran.
Fatmir Mediu, leader of the Republican Party and former Minister of Defense of Albania
We are blessed to have you in our country. You’re an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for giving us family and friends from all around the world. We must think more about what we can do in the future.
Freedom is the right of every individual and nation, including Iran. We should stick together and work together to hold the regime accountable.
The UN is an organization of nations, formed to help the people. They must decide how they can help the Iranian people. The people want life and freedom, not nuclear bombs. The regime is massacring the people. We should think about what we can do about that.
The Iranian people are against terrorism. It’s important that everyone knows what the Iranian regime is doing in Albania, in the Middle East and around the world. It’s time to stand for what is right.
The regime doesn’t care about the economy of Iran and the people as it only thinks about its military capability. The regime is looking for other allies across the world. It is important that all countries stick together and come up with a solution that can help the Iranian Resistance.
Klajda Gjosha former Albanian Minister of European Integration
It is unacceptable what is happening in Iran, the torture and executions. I really support what Madam Rajavi is doing for the people of Iran. It is time for the international community to respond with concrete measures to this regime, which is a real danger for the region and the world.
We call on the world to investigate the 1988 massacre. There’s a need to end impunity. The international community must also take action to end executions in Iran.
Regime change is the only hope for the Iranian people to live in freedom. Iran is a wonderful country that deserves a government that works for the people.
British MP Bob Blackman
In the coming days, world leaders will gather for the UNGA. There should be three pressing issues regarding Iran:
– Extending the UN arms embargo on Iran
– Reimposing international sanctions on the regime. Allowing the regime to legally buy sophisticated weapons will not bring about peace in our lifetimes. Appeasing the theocratic leaders in Tehran will not bring about moderation or reforms.
– Time to hold Iran’s regime accountable. The international community must establish an independent inquiring into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.
I urge the UK government to work with our American allies to engage in this process. The time has come to stand with the Iranian Resistance movement and its leader Madam Rajavi. The NCRI provides an alternative and solution to the Iranian regime’s threat.
The people of Iran are showing extreme courage and paying the highest price as they demand change in the streets of Iran. The international community must stand with the people of Iran and the NCRI.
Tom Emmer, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Thirty-two years ago, between late July and September of 1988, Iranian authorities arrested and executed thousands of political prisoners. Little peace exists for the families of these prisoners who were dumped in unmarked graves. The Iranian government has refused to acknowledge the killings and destroyed burial sites, forbidding commemorations for the victims. This anniversary doesn’t just call us to mourn those killed for their convictions, it reminds us just how brutal a government can become in order to suppress free expression.
Too many Iranians have been punished for asking to participate in their own government. Thousands have been arrested or killed as part of legitimate protests, and this violence towards those seeking a free and open democracy must come to an end.
Judy Chu, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
We remember the thousands of political prisoners massacred in Iran. Even decades later, Iran refuses to acknowledge the killings. Many of those responsible are still in power today. Just this month we saw the cruel execution of Navid Afkari. While Navid’s case gained international attention, we can’t forget the thousands of others who are being tortured in prisons. We reject this assault on the Iranian people. We must also reject Iran’s terrorism. The Iranian regime must know we oppose its violence and oppression. That’s why I support the extension of the arms embargo on the regime. The Iranian people deserve to be free from the harsh and violent rule of the mullahs.
Moslem Eskandar-Filabi, Chairman of the Sports Committee of the NCRI
I salute Iran and I salute all participants in this event. The dreadful news of the brutal execution of one of the young and brave athletes of Iran, the heroic fighter Navid Afraki. His execution has shaken Iran and the world. The mullahs, in rule for 40 years, have held the Iranian people captive. This regime is not only a catastrophe for Iran, but the region and across the globe.
From the very beginning when Khomeini hijacked the 1979 revolution, this resistance movement has stood up to his regime. Thousands of national heroes of Iran have been executed ever since and many more have risen against this regime. Thousands have not agreed to succumb to the regime’s demands, standing courageously against the mullahs.
Those who gave billions of dollars to the regime through the 2015 nuclear deal for them to stay in power crushed upon human rights principles. For the past 40 years the people of Iran have seen and felt the horrible practice of this regime. Since there has been no practical action against this regime’s crimes, the mullahs have developed into a cancerous regime.
The Iranian people’s issue with this regime is not only nuclear. It’s mainly about human rights violations. The international community should hold this regime accountable for its crimes.
The international athletic community should expel Iran from global competitions for the execution of Navid Afkari.
We Iranians have to free our country through Resistance Units. These murderers must be removed from the history of Iran. The mullahs no longer have any legitimacy and soon we will see the uprising to bring down the mullahs.
The UN must recognize the right of the Iranian people to bring down this regime. The mullahs do not represent the Iranian people and should be expelled from the UN.
Jan Schakowsky, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Thank you so much for allowing me to join you today via video to discuss the human rights situation in Iran. Without a doubt, the treatment that minorities receive in Iran is deplorable. This is a regime that brutally represses minorities and political opposition, violates due process, executes minors, detains foreign nationals and violates the most basic human rights that any person in the world should ask for. Too many people have disappeared or have been murdered at the hands of the regime. This includes people like Navid Afkari and other human rights activists.
The human rights record of the Iranian regime deserves to be condemned by all responsible nations in the entire world. My congressional district is home to one of the most beautiful and peaceful Baháʼí temples in the world. In Wilmette, Illinois, the Baháʼí are free to worship and celebrate without fear of any kind of government repression. This is not the case in Iran, where they suffer persecution and violence. It is incumbent on all Americans to support Iranian Americans and Iranians in Iran in their quest for democracy and freedom in their country.
We have to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and other weapons of war. We have to isolate the Iranian regime diplomatically and we must support activists inside Iran working to secure a better and more peaceful Iran. One thing I can say for certain in these uncertain times is that I will stand with you and in a bipartisan way, the United States Congress also stands with you. I will continue to fight to hold the Iranian regime accountable and work toward the day that Iran is free, secure and democratic. And that day will come. Thank you so much.
Dan Crenshaw, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
I join you today because freedom and human rights matter. The Iranian people’s freedom and human rights matter. The regime of the Ayatollah has been built for decades on the violation of those rights with grave and serious oppression and violence against those who dare challenge them.
The past few days, we saw the unjust and unreasonable execution of Navid Afkari, who had been tortured into making a confession. We know about Navid because he was an athlete. But how many executions happen that we don’t know about. How many more forced confessions? How many more denials of human rights is the regime guilty of? We know thousands were arrested and killed in 1988. We have the seen the regime again and again, since it came to power, exercise its brutality. In 1979, ’88, 2009 and from 2019 to today when the Iranian people take to the streets to demand their rights, rights given to them by God, not from the Ayatollah, not from government.
The regime has shown who they are. They have shown their violence and they have shown their brutality. We cannot allow the Ayatollah and his corrupt government to continue these atrocities against the Iranian people. And that’s why I was proud to support my colleagues and House Resolution 752 and support the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests. We want the Iranian people to know we see what is happening in your country and we are with you. That is why 220 of my colleagues and I have joined Representative Tom McClintock’s House Resolution 374 to condemn the regime’s sponsorship for terrorism and support the Iranian people’s desire for a free Iran.
Cannot be fooled by the regime like the previous administration was in 2015. There is no moderation with them. There is no peacemaker among them. We cannot and must not legitimize them. We’ve seen those consequences of those actions as the Ayatollah has exploited his terror across the region while ignoring his people at home. We must recognize the brutality of the Ayatollah and his regime and instead of staying silent and hoping things get better, we proudly and openly stand with the brave Iranian people who are standing up and demanding to be recognized, who are demanding their God-given freedom and respect for their human rights.
We support the Iranian people not just because we oppose the Ayatollah, but because we know the Iranian people. As a Houstonian, I’m proud to say that our city has approximately 70,000 residents of Iranian descent. They’re business owners, doctors, professors, even an astronaut, and a captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, many of whom I’ve come to know personally. I’m proud to stand with you and be your voice in this important and noble cause.
David Joyce, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Iran has long denied the Iranian people their human rights. As many as 1,500 protesters were killed in the November 2019 protests. We support the Iranian people, democracy and freedom. I was proud to support a resolution condemning the Iranian regime’s human rights violations. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to support the Iranian people. The American people are with you.
Robert Aderholt, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The human rights violations we have seen in Iran since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 are some of the worst in the world. It is extremely important that we stand with the people of Iran and for them to know that they are not alone.
Giulio Terzi, former Italian Foreign Minister
A large part of the international community and the Iranian people are becoming angry at the failure of the UN Security Council to recognize the threat of the Iranian regime to the world. The Iranian regime is the number one state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. Lifting the arms embargo would make Iran enormously powerful with more sophisticated weapons. The Iranian regime would be emboldened in its nefarious activities and terrorist actions.
As a European and former diplomat, I feel regretful that the attitude of self-censorship toward Iran’s regime remains. Europe has a double standard strategy of pursuing the convenience of the moment. I find it even more shocking during these days.
At the moment, the EU trio Germany, UK and France favor the Iranian position and pretend there is no problem there. Why wasn’t the case of Navid Afkari mentioned in the speech of the President of the European Council? Why weren’t the torture and pain inflicted on Navid and his family considered? Why wasn’t this crime enough to call for immediate measures?
The pattern of murder and disappearance have continued since the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. All of this has been ignored by the European Union.
We know the murder of Dr. Kazem Rajavi has been the subject of a judicial process in Switzerland. The justice system in Switzerland has placed this case as part of a framework of genocide and crime against humanity. But the EU remains silent and accomplice in some way.
The embassies of the regime must be shut down. Iranian agents are assassinating opponents. We must raise our voice, and we must react. The place to react is the UN. We have to put together the necessary action to bring back Iran to the rule of law and respect of human law and dignity.
French Hill, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
We must not forget the people of Iran who are living under repression. The horrific nature of the mullahs was put on full display in the arrest, torture and execution of Navid Afkari. He was executed in secret without notification to his lawyer or family. We must support change in Iran. I support the people of Iran in their efforts to chart a future free of terror and oppression.
Ted Yoho, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
We must remember those who have given their lives in the past for a free Iran and a better future for their children, especially the 30,000 political prisoners who lost their lives in the 1988 massacre.
America is not a perfect nation but our country prides itself on protecting basic rights to liberty and freedom, both at home and abroad. Congress must continue to serve this mission in regards to countries like Iran, where free thought is often brutally oppressed.
To the people of Iran, please know that America stands with you in wanting to provide a better life, free from oppression and fear and we strongly support the fundamental rights of all Iranians to the rights and liberties that all should be free to enjoy.
Brad Schneider, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Your activism and engagement on this issue is critical as our democracies hold the Iranian government accountable for its egregious human rights record.
In recent protests against the government over the past 18 months, as many as 1,500 protesters have reportedly been killed for their activism.
These most recent actions are part of a decades-long history of the Iranian regime’s abuse of its own people, as your organization knows all too well.
The Iranian people deserve our support in recognizing the 1988 massacre and other tragedies of the past and their voices deserve to be heard today, as the Iranian people continue to voice their opposition to the Iranian regime.
The United States must always stand with people around the world exercising their political rights, and we must always play a leadership role in holding the Iranian regime accountable for its misdeeds abroad and against their own people.
Don Bacon, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Iranian regime is the leading exporter of terror, and they undermine many countries of its neighbors.
We, as the American people, desire to have a country of Iran that is peaceful, that is peaceful with its neighbors, and peaceful with us. We don’t want friction with the Iranian people. So it’s not about the people of Iran. We want peace. It’s really the regime. In the regime, the mullahs endanger their neighbors. It’s intolerable. But even beyond that, what the regime does to its people is even worse.
So the people of America, we stand with the Iranians. We want you to have a country that respects you and a country that plays well and works well with its neighbors.
Glenn Grothman, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Historically, Iran was known for being one of the greatest countries in the world because they respected everybody. I know you want to return to the days where Iran was a world leader in human rights. I hope one of these years, we can meet at a time where all your relatives in Iran live in a free republic.
Jody Hice, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The US has endured tremendous hostility by Iran until we took out General Soleimani. But the people of Iran are still living under oppression. I stand with the people of Iran.
Gus Bilirakis, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Iran has been a destabilizing and antagonizing force in the Middle East for far too long. The Iranian regime continues to wage a campaign of terror against those who only wish for a free society. Their attacks on those advocating for democratic reform should shock all Americans and freedom-loving people around the world.
We must continue to empower the oppressed and ensure that their voices are not silenced during this difficult time. The United States will always stand with those fighting for the right for free speech and democracy. We will continue to stand with the Iranian citizens until their goal of a free democratic society becomes a reality.
Lori Trahan, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
As we observe the 32nd anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, I continue to be reminded of the egregious human rights violations committed by the Iranian government for more than 40 years. It’s shameful and infuriating that to this day, no Iranian official has been held accountable for their crimes.
I’m glad to join with you to ensure that the international community knows just how much the people of Iran truly want a secular, democratic, and nuclear-free nation. I applaud you all for convening this summit, and I look forward to joining you in person again once it’s safe to do so.
Kathleen Rice, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
I urge the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime and establish a mechanism by which the UN Security Council can monitor such violations. Iranians in every corner of the country have been protesting and rallying in support of a free Iran. Their continued struggle for basic human rights calls for nothing less than our unwavering support.