September 21, 2017
Thousands of Iranian Americans from all across the United States were joined by New York residents and faith community leaders outside the United Nations Headquarters to denounce the presence of the Iranian regime’s president Hassan Rouhani at the UN, condemn human rights violations and terrorism and call for a free Iran.
The rally was broadcast live into Iran by different satellite television channels, including the Iranian resistance’s affiliate networks, as well as on social media. The rally for regime change by the Iranian people resonated well with the call by millions of Iranians who seek an end to the theocracy. Over the past year, anti-government demonstrations, protest acts, and strikes expanded nationwide, highlighting the vulnerable state of the Iranian regime.
The rally speakers highlighted the need for a new U.S. policy on Iran: recognition of the rights of the Iranian people for democratic change.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member, Eliot Engel (D-NY), told the jubilant crowd, “I see all these wonderful signs, but the one I like the best says ‘Free Iran,’” adding, “from within, change can come, because the Iranian people have always been able to do what’s right, and this terrible regime that strangles the Iranian people has got to end—and the sooner the better.”
Former senator Joe Lieberman, said, “when it comes to the cause of freedom in Iran the sun is shining brighter than ever before.” He said “Last year, there have been 11,000 protests throughout the country against the regime, against its corruption, against the exploitation of the economy by the IRGC, and against the denial of basic human and political rights.” Referring to the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, he added, “It’s time for a truth commission about what happened to those 30,000 human beings killed by the Iranian government…” He concluded, “by far the most organized and effective” opposition movement “is of course the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran [MEK].”
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton emphasized, “The motto should be that the regime will not celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2019… it’s very important that the United States declare as its official policy that the regime in Iran needs to change.”
“President Trump laid the ground work for that announcement in his speech to the General Assembly yesterday when he stressed that the prime victims of the regime in Tehran were the people of Iran themselves,” he added,
I, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, welcomed the remarks by the U.S. President for effectively echoing the desire of the Iranian people for regime change, which the Iranian opposition has been working toward for the past 36 years. She urged for a series of practical measures, including the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran as well as unhindered and intrusive inspection of military and non-military sites in Iran.
Former New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli, said, “history will remember that you never forgot the land of your birth or your parents, your culture, or your heritage. And what Rouhani needs to know is you will never give up on a free Iran, never.” Addressing thousands of MEK dissidents in Albania, he said, “Millions may be enslaved, but 3,000 free Iranian souls live in Albania at the point of the spear and to them, you have our admiration.”
“There are hundreds of members of Parliament in different countries—in European Parliament, in British Parliament, in Italian—who have signed documents and appeal to their governments to change course now vis-à-vis Iran, to expose Iran to the big violations of human rights, to the infringement of international agreements that they have perpetrated over the past years,” former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said.
Several members of the delegation of the Syrian opposition spoke and underscored that “Rouhani is a murderer and he brings all the terrorists from the world to Syria to kill the Syrians and occupy their land. This person helped the Syrian regime.”
Mahtab Amin, representing the Iranian youth, members of Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), told the large rally, “many of us were ourselves born following the 1979 revolution and due to the political persecution imposed on our families, have not yet had the chance to see the cities and town where our parents grew up…One day soon, we shall rejoice and celebrate the renewal of human rights, freedom, and democracy together in Iran.”