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Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at Free Iran 2018 Rally

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at Free Iran 2018 Rally

 

Friends. We are here today. I am here today not to tell Iranians who their future government should be. We are here to tell them that the future government of Iran must be the choice of a free people of Iran. So thank you for your long battle for a free and democratic Iran.

For 10 years. The government I lead chose a course in foreign policy guided by freedom, democracy and justice, human rights, human equality, and human dignity. The same values that will someday soon be embraced in Tehran.

But that is not Iran today. Iran is ruled by a regime of cruel and tyrannical mullahs that represent the opposite of the best of the human values. It is the regime that stands for everything that is wrong. Not just in the region but in the world. It has sullied a great culture. It has sullied a great religion. That is why our government took a strong stand against the regime. We sponsored annual resolutions at the United Nations against Iran's Human rights abuses. We use sanctions to cut off the flow of funds to the Revolutionary Guards and other regime entities. We've formally listed the regime as an international state sponsor of terrorism. We passed legislation to allow victims to sue the regime for its atrocities. And friends we close the Canadian embassy in Tehran and told the mullahs to get out of Canada.

Friends the rulers of Iran have shown us time and time again that their words cannot be trusted. That is why the free world must judge the regime by its actions. And those are actions that seek neither justice nor peace. The mullahs' prisons continue to overflow with people jailed not for their crimes but for their consciences and the executioners work relentlessly. Women and girls are still treated as property not people. Religious minorities are still repressed and as much as the mullahs repress them the protests for change rise in the streets and they will keep rising until the regime is gone. Of course the regime continues its spread its extremism throughout the Middle East. It continues to aid terrorist throughout the region, it continues to impose suffering in neighboring countries. It continues to build missiles, it builds missiles friends to be able to deliver the nuclear weapons it claims it is not developing. The 2015 nuclear deal has not moderated the regime. It has made it more belligerent than ever. And friends that is why I was proud to sign a letter that appeared in the New York Times with my good friend John Baird with former Prime Minister John Howard with Nobel Peace Prize recipient David Trimble and many others supporting the American decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Friends we know what happened. We know that the cash flowing into Iran since the sanctions were lifted has meant not prosperity for the people but profit for the regime. We know that research supporting the development of a nuclear arsenal continues. We know that the regime has no desire to live in peace and harmony with the international community. Some in the West may pretend otherwise.

But we face these facts because we choose not the easy way but the right way. We stick by our principles, freedom, democracy, justice, human rights, human equality, and human dignity for the people of Iran. And I know that everyone here understands this. Otherwise you would have long ago given up your dreams for a new and better Iran. Friends do not give up hope. You have many around, many friends as today gathering shows from all around the world who want a new Iran, and Iran governed not by the hatreds of the past but by the people's aspirations for their future.

A new Iran that stands proudly alongside the free nations of the world. A new Iran that I know and that you know will come to pass and will come someday soon. Keep up the fight.

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