Grand Iranian Rally in Paris Calls for Regime Change in Iran

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Iranian dissidents gathered in Paris for their annual rally to support democratic change in Iran, this weekend. The event, titled “United against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, change of regime by Iranian people and Resistance,” attracted tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates from around the world.

Also attending were over 600 legislators, jurists, and distinguished political figures from various political affiliations, including delegations from U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, and several Middle East and African nations.

The grand gathering was held while world powers and the Iranian regime are busy negotiating a final agreement over Iran’s long-contested nuclear program.

The Iranian resistance has warned against a potential deal that will not block the Iranian regime’s path to nuclear bombs, a concern that has been echoed by the U.S. Congress and many political figures around the world.

maryam rajavi in Paris
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi at the event in Paris

Speaking at the gathering was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Mrs. Rajavi criticized the West for adopting a flawed policy toward Iran’s nuclear program. “Unfortunately, western governments, the United States in particular, violated UN Security Council resolutions and offered major concessions, propelling the [Iranian] regime closer to the Bomb,” Rajavi said in her speech.

Mrs. Rajavi stressed that UN Security Council resolutions with respect to Iran’s nuclear program must be implemented fully, Iran’s uranium enrichment program must be halted completely, and snap inspections of suspect sites must be carried out without condition.

“The Iranian people and Resistance will not accept any agreement that does not dismantle the regime’s bomb-making infrastructure,” Rajavi stressed.

“We unequivocally support a non-nuclear Iran,” said former New York mayor Rudolph Guiliani, who also attended the event. “What it means is Iran should have no, none, zero nuclear capacity because the regime in Iran can’t be trusted with it.”

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Inside the event, United against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, change of regime by Iranian people and Resistance

Speakers emphasized that regime change is the ultimate solution to the problems the Iranian regime is causing across the world.

“That nuclear reactor that is taking up so much of our time is not the issue,” said U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, referring to Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor, which was first exposed by the NCRI in 2002. “The issue is whether or not the mullahs stay in power – As long as the mullahs are in power, it makes no difference whether or not you have a nuclear reactor because mullahs can obtain nuclear weapons from elsewhere.”

“If you do not want a nuclear-armed fundamentalist regime, stop appeasing it,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “There is a solution for ending the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program: regime change by the Iranian people and Resistance.”

“Democracy in Iran would be a great gift, not just to the Iranians themselves but to all the world,” said former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who also spoke at the event.

Also highlighted in the event was the situation in Camp Liberty, Iraq, where Iranian refugees and members of the Iranian resistance are living under inhumane conditions and the threat of terrorist attacks by proxies of the Iranian regime.

“The mullahs’ real aim is to annihilate the residents of Liberty or secure their surrender to the [Iranian] regime,” Mrs. Rajavi said, pointing to constant attacks and conspiracies carried out against the camp’s residents by the Iranian regime and its affiliates in Iraq.

The speakers reiterated the U.S. and U.N.’s responsibilities for the safety and security of the camp’s residents.

“The international community has not been able, and simply has not dared, to force a breakthrough, in the five years of siege around [Camp] Liberty,” said Ad Melkert, the former head of the UN mission in Iraq, UNAMI.

“The 2,500 refugees in Camp Liberty are the flag-bearers for the future of Iran,” stressed former MEP Struan Stevenson, who now presides over the Brussels-based European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). “They are heroes. I call on the U.S. and the UN to protect these people, not to betray them.”

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.