Tens of Thousands Gather at
Free Iran 2018 – The Alternative
June 30 , 2018
As anti-government demonstrations, labor strikes, and other forms of protests continue in Iran, on Saturday, June 30, 2018, thousands of Iranian Americans joined tens of thousands of Iranians, former and current U.S. government officials, and parliamentarians from more than 40 countries participated at the ” Free Iran 2018 – the Alternative” gathering in Paris, France.
A co-sponsor of the event, Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC-US) and thousands of Iranian Americans from 40 states, united with distinguished U.S. and international political leaders as well as human rights activists to support the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its platform for a free, secular, democratic, and non-nuclear republic in Iran.
Event’s keynote speaker was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. In her remarks, she addressed the plight of the Iranian people and offered guidance for the international community. “I have come here to declare what you want: The overthrow of this regime is inevitable. Victory is certain and Iran will be free,” she told the tens of thousands of attendees, who cheered in response. Mrs. Rajavi noted that, “Since the January uprising, the signs of change in Iran and the regime’s overthrow have appeared. The prospects for the victory of Iran’s democratic revolution, devoid of the mullahs and the Shah are looming. Through their uprisings and by relying on resistance units, the Iranian people have the leverage they need to topple this regime.”
She also outlined 5 reasons pointing to looming downfall of the religious dictators in Iran:
1. “First, owing to the presence of the Resistance movement, the so-called solution within the religious fascism has become null and void.
2. “The second sign that the phase of the regime’s overthrow has arrived is that for the past six months the Iranian people have waged an uprising and a protest movement despite maximum suppression, despite the so-called suicides by the detainees in the mullahs’ prisons and despite daily arrests and executions designed to intimidate the public.”
3. “The third sign of the inevitable overthrow of the ruling religious fascism is that social tensions and economic crises, especially high prices, unemployment, poverty, and inequality have reached an irreversible point.”
4. “The fourth sign of the phase of the regime’s overthrow is that internationally, the mullahs have lost the most important backer of the policy of appeasement, namely the United States. The international shield safeguarding the regime has fallen by the way side.”
5. “The fifth and most important signal of the phase of the mullahs’ overthrow is that the very development which the mullahs feared the most has happened: the linkage between the fury of the deprived and oppressed and the organized Resistance movement.”
About the role Iranian people and resistance are playing in making democratic regime change possible in Iran, Madam Rajavi reminded international policymakers, governments, and the audience that, “the overthrow of this regime inevitably requires the willingness to pay the price, requires honesty and sacrifice, requires an organization and a strong political alternative, and requires resistance units and a liberty army…”
“We call for the establishment of a society based on freedom, democracy, and equality, which has clear demarcations with despotism and dependence as well as gender, ethnic and class discrimination” Mrs. Rajavi said, adding, “We have defended and will defend gender equality, the right to freely choose one’s attire, separation of religion and state, autonomy of nationalities, equal political and social rights for all citizens of Iran, abolition of the death penalty, freedom of expression, parties, the media, assembly, unions, associations and syndicates.”
From the United States, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Bill Richardson, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, 3 Retired Generals, a Former Prime Minister of Canada, congressional staff, religious leaders, and many more prominent dignitaries participated in the gathering.
Other prominent speakers included; Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kushner, and Former Foreign Minister of Italy Jiulio Terzi,
Iranian regime’s fear of this huge gathering and the growing prospect of democratic regime change in Iran became immediately evident when on July 2, 2018; European authorities announced that an diplomat attached to Iranian embassy in Austria and at least 2 Iranian terrorists living in Europe were arrested and charged for plotting to bomb the Free Iran 2018 – the Alternative rally.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani were among many officials and prominent personalities who condemned the clerical regime for plotting to kill thousands of innocent civilians, American citizens and using its embassies for terror plots.
In his remarks at the event, former New York Mayor and U.S. Presidential Candidate, Mr. Rudy Giuliani told the audience that the collapse of Iran’s Islamist regime “is around the corner.”
Former Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich called the gathering “impressive and emotionally powerful” and in his remarks recognized Madam Rajavi’s earlier remarks on freedom and its costs and said, “the only way to safety in the region is to replace the dictatorship with democracy…Freedom will come. It has been paid for by the blood of patriots. It has been paid for by the sweat of patriots. It has been paid for by those willing to stand up to the dictatorship.”
Mr. Bill Richardson, the former New Mexico governor and DNC Chairman, also spoke at the gatheri
ng and outlined why Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian resistance movement represent a viable alternative to Iran’s religious dictatorship:
“You’re the ones that have fought against the shah. You fought against the dictatorship, against the religious dictatorship. You were there in the trenches fighting and dying. And you represent a platform, a democratic platform of freedom and democracy. You stand for gender equality. You stand for the UN charter in human rights. You stand for free and fair elections. You stand for the private sector. You stand for the end of Sharia law. You stand for democracy and young people having an opportunity for a future. For a future with jobs.”
Among other prominent U.S. and international officials speaking or participating at the gathering were:
Former FBI Director, Louis Freeh
Ret. 4 Star General George Casey
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Former Senator Robert Toricelli
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Terzi
Former French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner
Bipartisan members of the United States Congress also sent messages of solidarity those attending the Iran Freedom 2018 – the Alternative gathering:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Ken Buck (R-CO)
Senator David Purdue (R-GA)
Senator John Boozman (R-AR)
Congressman Elliot Engel (D-NY)
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA)
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Congressman Steve Cohn (D-TN)
Congressman Paul Ruiz (D-CA)
Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Congressman Michael McClintock (R-CA)
Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL)
“To my brothers and sisters and fellow freedom fighters in Iran,” said
Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), “The brutal assaults, arrests and murder of the Iranian people by the Mullahs will not stop the people protesting the illicit regime.” In his message, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, praised Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi and reminded Iranians everywhere that they must keep their heads high and remember that they, “are on the right side of history. The tide is turning. The land of Iran the historical land of Persia does not belong to mullahs.”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) also expressed her “commitment and support” for “a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic Iran as addressed; and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10 point plan.” I believe that democratic change within Iran is within our reach.”
Addressing Iranian Americans and convention participants, Rep. Jackson added, “As you meet over these days and as you speak about freedom, the sound of your voices will reach to Iran and those who are fighting for freedom, separate and apart from an oppressive regime,
they will be victorious.”
Dr. Ramesh Sepehrad (right), an OIAC Advisory Board Member and a scholar, was the event’s co-moderator. She delivered a strong and passionate message in support of the Iranian resistance and longest suffering people of Iran.