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Free Iran 2018 Gathering, events as it Happened

Free Iran 2018 Gathering
Free Iran 2018 Gathering

Report by PMOI/MEK

 

Paris, June 30, 2018 - The Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition was held in Paris on Saturday, June 30 where tens of thousands of NCRI and PMOI/MEK supporters together with hundreds of international dignitaries, senior former officials, lawmakers, and human rights activists attended. The grand rally is held annually to promote the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran. Speakers from dozens of countries from five continents emphasis the need to confront the regime's malign and terrorist activities outside Iran as well as human rights abuses inside the country.

This year the gathering was quite different from the previous 14 rallies considering the continued protest/uprisings in the country which began last December and has been going on since.

The participants of the #FreeIran2018 rally in Paris expressed support for the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people, including the Bazaar merchants who have risen up recently against the regime’s corrupt policies.

 

The events of the Free Iran rally as it happened:

1:30 PM local time: Free Iran Gathering 2018 starts. The event is being broadcast live on INTV and across different channels on the internet.

Free Iran Gathering is being held on the 30th anniversary of the 1988 massacre, where the Iranian regime executed more than 30 thousand political prisoners, most of them members and supporters of PMOI/MEK.

 

1:30 PM: Representatives of Iranian communities take the stage. Dr. Jahansouz, one of the members of the Iranian communities says, “Protests taking place in Iran are inclusive and are happening across the country.

“The national currency has collapsed. The wealth of the Iranian people have been depleted by the corrupt Revolutionary guards. The people of Iran want to overthrow the mullahs’ regime. The demands of the people are the same that the PMOI/MEK have been saying for four decades,” Jahansouz says.

Following Jahasouz’s remarks, a video is broadcast in memory of the victims of the 1988 massacre, a depiction of the “death corridors,” the minutes-length trials and the executions.

 

1:45 PM: The audience stands up in memory of the victims of the 1988 massacre and applauds for one minute.

The mayors of France’s municipalities and French MPs take the floor. Jean Francois Legaret, Mayor of the 8th arrondissement of Paris, speaks first:

“We will continue to support you until you reach victory and Mme. Rajavi becomes victorious,” Legaret says. Legaret also voices his support for Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for a free Iran. “The uprisings in Iran have troubled the regime immensely. We hope to see Mrs. Rajavi in Iran very soon.”

 

Francois Colcombet, French MP

Francois Colcombet, French MP

 

Philippe Gosselin, French Parliamentarian: “We are happy to see such as rally for the Iranian resistance. We hope to see your country become free from religious dictatorship soon. The Iranian regime is destabilizing the region. Your country has changed a lot in recent times. We must continue to push for more change.”

Francois Colcombet, French MP, reminds of the historic role of the PMOI/MEK in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran and the amicable relationships of the late French President Francois Mitterand and Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian resistance.

Following Colcombet’s remarks, a video is broadcast which quickly shows the 40 year history of the PMOI/MEK’s struggle against the mullahs’ regime.

 

A screen shows the 40-year history of the PMOIMEK’s struggle against the mullahs’ regime.

A screen shows the 40-year history of the PMOIMEK’s struggle against the mullahs’ regime.

 

2:00 PM local time: Delegation of European Parliament and Belgian parliamentarians take the stage to express their support the Iranian people and the Iranian resistance.

 

Delegation of European Parliament and Belgian parliamentarians

Delegation of European Parliament and Belgian parliamentarians

 

“Today there are 1000 Ashrafs in Iran and it’s our job to support them. We’re the group of friends for free Iran,” said Tunne Kelam, MEP from Estonia. “The moment has arrived to end the illusion that butchers can become more human and civilized.”

“We have one choice: To support the restoration of freedom and dignity to the people of Iran,” Kelam concluded.

“I salute the people of Iran and your great leader Maryam Rajavi,” said Anna Elzbieta Fotyga, MP from Belgian Parliament in her speech. “We remember your heroes and we stand by you in promoting truth and bringing those who are responsible for massacres in Iran to justice.”

MEP Jérard Deprez: “The Iranian opposition has much support in Europe and especially in Belgium, my country. European governments should recognize that this regime has no future and should recognize the Iranian resistance.”

 

2:15 PM Paris time: The delegation from Middle East and North Africa take the floor.

 

Nejat al-Astal MP from Palestine

Nejat al-Astal MP from Palestine

 

Nejat al-Astal from Palestine: “I appreciate your role to change Iran and I support your role in achieving human rights and restoring the rights of women in Iran. We stand with you in defending human dignity. The Iranian regime’s intervention in Palestine is preventing the establishment of peace.”

Saleh al-Qalab from Jordan: “The victory has started. We’re very close to triumph. I believe that next year, we’ll be celebrating in Iran. 40 years of dictatorship and massacring the Iranian people and intervening in neighboring countries ends here. There are people who are trying to clear the image of Shah. They are trying to assassinate your revolution. We know they will not succeed because you’re true.

“The Iranian regime meddles in the countries of the region to convince its people that it is fighting for Shiites. But this regime has nothing to do with Shiites.”

Najimeh Taitai, former Education minister of Morocco: “Hopefully, the next gathering will be in Iran. The dictatorship of mullahs has reached its limits. People of Iran from all walks of life are in the streets and want regime change.”

 

2:25 PM: Video played at the Free Iran Gathering shows the support of the Iranian people for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, despite the threats to their lives.

 

The support of the Iranian people for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi

The support of the Iranian people for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi enters the Villepinte hall to deliver her speech and is greeted by a very enthusiastic crowd.

 

2:46 PM CET: During the speech of Mrs. Rajavi, video and images of Ashraf 3, the new headquarters of PMOI in Albania, is displayed. Subsequently, the PMOI members in Albania join the gathering through live broadcast. Thousands of PMOI members join the crowd in their chants and slogans in support of the Iranian people.

 

3:30 PM: Following Mrs. Rajavi’s speech, the Iranian resistance’s national anthem is played and the crowd in Paris and Albania sings in unison.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi pays homage to the martyrs of the PMOI and the Iranian resistance by signing a message on the book of martyrs and attaching flowers to the monument of martyrs.

 

3:45 PM Paris time: Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and longtime friend of the Iranian resistance, takes the floor to deliver his speech.

 

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City

 

Mayor Giuliani: When the people take to the streets and protest day after day, no matter how much they’re oppressed and how many of them are killed, they continue to grow and they threaten to topple the regime, then freedom is around the corner!

The president of the United States supported the protesters when they took to the streets in December. To the countries that are doing business to Iran, you are paying the regime that deprives women and children from their rights and murders people because of their religion.

What we need to do now is not to lose our determination. It’s time to put real pressure. My president turned his back on that very dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran and said I’m not going to compromise with the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. This president does not intend to turn his back on freedom fighters.

In Iran, we have an alternative built on a very solid foundation.

The era of appeasement is over. Those who practiced appeasement are going to find themselves shamed. Never forget that the government of mullahs is not about religion—it’s about stealing. When the mullahs are given money, they don’t spend it on the people. The people should demand the mullahs, “Give us what you stole!”

We fought a worldwide battle to unshed the unfair label of terrorism in United States, in United Kingdom and in Europe. We won that battle.

You’ve been able to form resistance units all over Iran. Those protests are being coordinated, and what this means is that we have an alternative.

Next year, at this time, I want us to have this convention in Tehran.

 

3:55 PM: Mayor Giuliani is joined by a delegation of American dignitaries that have supported the Iranian resistance in the past years.

 

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took the floor and delivers his speech

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took the floor and delivers his speech

 

Speaker Gingrich: Your presence here today helps communicate support for the people of Iran. Two years ago we had an administration that was committed to weakness and to send cash to the regime. Today the administration is determined to stop the dictatorship and the sanctions will continue to get tougher and tougher.

We need to have a campaign to shame the European governments who are unwilling to support freedom and democracy. We need to insist that they join the sanctions once again. Our goal is simple, to have a free democratic Iran that respects the rights of every individual.

I believe with all my heart that we are on the side of history. Human beings would rather govern themselves. Freedom will come. It has been paid for by the blood of patriots and those willing to stand up to the dictatorship.

I want you to know that we are committed to communicating in our country that there is a movement and opportunity for democracy and equal rights and that movement is right here today. Your being here makes a difference. You’re sending a signal. You’re helping the morale of the people.

I look forward to the day when this meeting can be in Tehran, in a free country.

 

4:05 PM: Senator Robert Torricelli takes the floor.

Senator Torricelli: We may have our differences, but every one us stands behind Donald Trump in seeing the destruction of the mullahs to the end.

 

Senator Robert Torricelli

Senator Robert Torricelli

 

We stand with the people of Ashraf, with the MEK, with the people of Iran fighting for freedom in the streets of Iran. I’m betting that we will win.

To those brave souls in the streets of Tehran, look to Ashraf. Being Iranian doesn’t mean you have to be poor, live in oppression. Being Iranian means you can be prosperous and have a future for your children.

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson: (To the crowd) Are you ready for regime change in Iran? Are you ready for Madame Rajavi as president of Iran? Are you ready for the dictatorship to end?

All you read about is water shortage, corruption, executions, enormous political unrest. You know why? Because the end is near. What you’re seeing is enormous change. I want you to know that America stands behind you.

 

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson

 

A lot of people ask is there an alternative to the mullahs, the dictatorship? The answer is yes, it’s the resistance, Madame Rajavi, the MEK. You were there in the trenches, fighting and dying. You represent a platform of freedom and democracy, for equality, free and fair elections. You stand for young people having a future with jobs.

The power is with you, everyone in this room. Each one of you represents thousands in Iran. The end is near.

 

4:15 PM local time: The social media is buzzing with messages about the convention, #freeIran2018 and #IStandWithMaryamRajavi.

Next, the Canadian delegation, parliamentarians and dignitaries take the floor.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Baird: Appeasement has failed. The people of Iran want change. We join with the people of Iran to tell the mullahs that it’s time for change, it’s time to end the corruption. It’s time for the mullahs to go.

 

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Baird

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Baird

 

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: We are here to express our support democratic change in Iran. We are here to tell the Iranian people their future government should be their choice. Iran is ruled by a regime of cruel and tyrannical mullahs. The regime stands for everything that is wrong. It has sullied a great culture.

We sponsored a UN resolution against Iran’s human rights abuses. We formally listed the regime as an international state sponsor of terrorism.

 

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

 

The executioners of the regime work relentlessly. Women, girls, minorities are repressed. The people are rising for their rights and will continue until the regime is gone.

The regime continues to spread extremism in the region. It continues to build missiles. The 2015 nuclear deal has not moderated the regime. It has made it more belligerent. That’s why I supported the decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The clash flowing into Iran since the sanctions were lifted has created profit for the regime, not prosperity for the people. We choose not the easy way, but the right way. We want human dignity and equality for the people of Iran.

Do not give up hope. You have many friends who want a new Iran that represents the people’s aspirations for the future.

Keep up the fight. Long live free Iran.

 

4:30 PM Paris time: Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner: Despite the fact that some European politicians do not agree in removing the nuclear deal, they agree with you that we must get rid of the mullahs in Iran and to build a real democracy with the people.

 

Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

 

My friends, be clear in supporting freedom and democracy. In the name of the French people, we will be absolutely supportive of you program and will be with you.

 

4:35 PM: A presentation on stage celebrates the Lion and Sun, the symbol of the Iranian people which the mullahs removed from the national flag after the revolution.

 

The Lion and Sun, the symbol of the Iranian people

The Lion and Sun, the symbol of the Iranian people

 

4:40 PM: Raid Yassine, Ambassador of Yemen in Paris, former Foreign Minister of Yemen:

I would like to give you the warm regards of the Yemeni president, who is fighting against the Iranian regime’s groups in Yemen. Mrs. Rajavi is the hero of the Iranian people.

We will do anything in our power to end the interference of the Iranian regime in the region. We can’t remain silent. The militias supported by Iran are killing innocent people. The regime is supporting them militarily and with resources.

 

Raid Yassine, Ambassador of Yemen

Raid Yassine, Ambassador of Yemen

 

4:45 PM CET: Delegation of Iranians who have just left Iran take the floor.

Parya Kohandel: To the regime, you have failed to separate the Mojahedin from the people. Today the regime is faced with its final phases. It’s doing anything to stretch its life for one more day. As Massoud Rajavi said, the revolution demands a price.

 

Parya Kohandel

Parya Kohandel

 

If there have been moments where we have doubted, now there’s no doubt. Mrs. Rajavi has paved the way for us. Every one of us have suffered. But our generation lacks nothing. We are in solidarity.

We are resolute to create an Iran that is no place for the mullahs. We are proud to have Mrs. Rajavi at the head of the alternative. She is the nightmare of the mullahs. We are passionate and ready and enthusiastic.

 

4:50 PM Paris time: Two great friends of the Iranian resistance, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former FBI director Louis Freeh take the stage.

General Mukasey: We hope that the mullahs will topple, but it requires more effort. You’re here to show that that effort is forthcoming. Our efforts will not end until we greet each other in a peaceful and free Iran.

 

General Mukasey

General Mukasey

 

Director Freeh: You are the people who are blowing the wind of change in Iran. The winds and the force of change is not only irrevocable in Iran, but it is blowing with increasing force. The regime’s agenda of terrorism has not changed.

Last week was the anniversary of the IRGC’s bombing of Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia. The regime’s export of terrorism has not changed. But the sentiment in the streets of Iran has changed. The value of rial is dropping.

 

Former FBI Director Freeh

Former FBI Director Freeh

 

To the freedom fighters in Iran, we support you. We are there for you. We are amazed at your courage and bravery. You are the tip of the spear for liberty.

My message to the oppressors in Iran, to the terrorist regime, to the criminals torturing their citizens: we have the ability to bring those criminals to justice. I have experience in this. There are things that are called evidence, witnesses… The criminals who have committed crimes will fill the courts of the international community. They will be brought to justice.

 

5:00 PM: Former French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy:

The situation in Iran is changing, is no longer in favor of the extremist regime. It’s in favor of the people, who want democracy and peace.

 

Former French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy

Former French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy

 

Let’s encourage this wind of change, let’s encourage the alternative. You represent the alternative Madame Rajavi.

5:05 PM: A video is played which depicts the activities of the networks of PMOI/MEK in Iran, in all cities and across the country

 

A video is played which depicts the activities of the networks of PMOI/MEK in Iran

A video is played which depicts the activities of the networks of PMOI/MEK in Iran

 

 

5:06 PM Paris time: The British delegation takes the stage.

David Amess: In our country, we enjoy freedom. We want the Iranian people to enjoy the same freedoms that we do. We have a very large number of Brits here to join you in this cry for freedom.

 

David Amess

David Amess

 

We stand united with each and every one of you in this battle. You protests are shaking the theocracy to its core.

Madame Rajavi, dear friends, we are here to say we stand with you and the Iranian people as you strive for a better future.

Matthew Offord: I commend Madame Rajavi for her ten-point plan. The plan offers the people of Iran a free, secular and democratic country based on freedom of speech and religion and respect for minorities and peaceful coexistence with the world. Let the mullahs know that there is a plan and an alternative to their regime.

Theresa Villiers: I’m proud to support the Iranian women who are calling for change and democracy, who chant “down with the dictator.” I admire their courage and determination. I share your appeal for freedom for women in Iran. Let us all hope that one day Mrs. Rajavi will be able to put into effect her ten-point plan for free Iran.

 

Roger Godsiff

Roger Godsiff

 

Roger Godsiff: It’s an honor to be with you today at this critical juncture. The time for a change of policy toward Iran is long overdue. My colleagues in the European Union should join the U.S. in recognizing the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy. We must recognize the Iranian regime for what it is: a terrorist regime. It can never be a partner for peace.

Long live a free and democratic Iran.

 

5:20 PM: The Italian and San Marino delegation takes the stage.

Former Italian Prime Minister Julio Terzi:

We support Madame Rajavi and the freedom fighters in Iran. This is in the interest of all humanity. Our unconditional support for president Rajavi and the PMOI/MEK is more than before.

A large part of the Italian society believes that being with you means standing on the right side of history.

 

Former Italian Prime Minister Julio Terzi

Former Italian Prime Minister Julio Terzi

 

A declaration by the Italian Senate condemns the Iranian regime’s human rights violations, especially the executioners of 30 thousand political prisoners.

The people of Iran have been at war with the regime. Americans and Europeans must test their commitments. No better opportunity exists than support for the Iranian resistance and regime change in Iran.

Senator Paolo Corsini: Your fight is our fight. We support a free and democratic Iran. We remember the martyrs who gave their life for this cause. A free Iran will bring stability to the whole region. Today the Iranian regime is destabilizing  the entire world. We need a free Iran for all the world.

We stand with you today and thank you for your fight. We are together in this fight. Long live free Iran.

 

Senator Paolo Corsini

Senator Paolo Corsini

 

5:30 PM local time: A broad delegation from various European countries take the floor.

Former German deputy Interior Minister Eduard Lintner: I admire the resoluteness and decisiveness with which you carry out this battle. The regime of Iran does everything to suppress peaceful demonstrations. The world and governments of western democracies know that since December 2017, the Iranian people are fighting back against the regime.

 

Former German deputy Interior Minister Eduard Lintner

Former German deputy Interior Minister Eduard Lintner

 

The government squanders a lot of money for the IRGC, which is the main pillar of its power.

We are very thankful for your clear words. Here in our European countries, we have come to realize we need firm action. The Iranian regime must be brought to justice for its destabilizing effect in the region. We support your determination for regime change and democracy in Iran.

Martin Patzelt, Member of Germany Bundestag: I admire your courage. The time is up for dictators in Iran. There’s a democratic alternative, the NCRI. It has faced all the challenges for 38 years and proven it can stand up to the regime.

 

Martin Patzelt, Member of Germany Bundestag

Martin Patzelt, Member of Germany Bundestag

 

In support of the ongoing protests, the NCRI has made major contributions. It has committed itself to the standards of the rule of law and human rights. The ten-point plan is a reliable platform that is also established in western democracies. Mrs. Rajavi has not moved an inch from the fight for freedom of all people.

Marcin Swiecicki, Member of Parliament from Poland: You have Maryam Rajavi, a great leader. You have NCRI that also seem to be prepared for change and transition to the rule of law.

 

Marcin Swiecicki, Member of Parliament from Poland

Marcin Swiecicki, Member of Parliament from Poland

 

Two years ago, we could still read that there are “moderates” in Iran, that can have dialog with the world. They won’t even have dialog with their own people. We should drop all the illusions. I am sure that you will win and Iran will be ruled by a democratic government.

 

5:45 PM: An exposition symbolizes the ongoing protests of the Iranian people, despite the hardships and suppression imposed by the Iranian regime. The solidarity between the Iranian people and the networks of the PMOI, free Iran will become a reality.

 

An exposition symbolizes the ongoing protests of the Iranian people

An exposition symbolizes the ongoing protests of the Iranian people

 

Next, various art groups perform in support of freedom and democracy in Iran.

 

various art groups perform in support of freedom and democracy

various art groups perform in support of freedom and democracy

 

 

6:00 PM Paris time: Mrs. Rajavi declares that the PMOI members will connect directly with the convention and address the crowd.

Nasrin Massih, deputy secretary general of PMOI/MEK: We salute you from Ashraf 3. On the anniversary of the resistance against the Iranian regime, we pay tribute to the martyrs. The PMOI are proud to sacrifice everything so that they can obtain everything for their people.

 

Nasrin Massih, deputy secretary general of PMOI/MEK

Nasrin Massih, deputy secretary general of PMOI/MEK

 

Your support made our persistence and resistance against the worst dictatorship in contemporary history possible.

The regime can’t stop the truth with deceit and conspiracy.

Hejrat Moezi, member of the PMOI Central Council: With the growing uprisings in Iran, we are approaching the goal of freedom. I have personally experienced the Iranian regime’s suppression. The large number of Iranian youth in the resistance movement shows the regime’s failure.

 

6:10 PM: Delegation of Iranian experts take the floor.

Kazem Kazerounian: The protests in recent days show that the fall of the regime will happen soon. Technological progress is also having its effect on the political and economic landscape of Iran. We’re at the cusp of a revolution and these advances will help it considerably and support the people. The regime of Iran is the enemy of science. Only a government that is in line with scientific progress and seeks the welfare of its people will be able to assume power.

 

Delegation of Iranian experts take the floor

The delegation of Iranian experts take the floor

 

A video shows activists paying homage to the martyrs of PMOI and the victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. Flowers were laid on the graves of martyrs on behalf of Mrs. Rajavi and the participants of the Free Iran Gathering.

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Along with the videos, voice recordings convey messages of determination and resoluteness to continue the uprising until freedom in Iran is achieved. At the same time, PMOI members in Albania are holding pictures of martyrs symbolizing four decades of resistance against the tyranny of the mullahs’ regime.

 

PMOI members in Albania are holding pictures of martyrs symbolizing four decades of resistance against the tyranny of the mullahs’ regime

PMOI members in Albania are holding pictures of martyrs symbolizing four decades of resistance against the tyranny of the mullahs’ regime

 

6:20 PM: Popular singer Marjan takes the stage to perform a song titled, “It’s time to overthrow (the Iranian regime).”

 

Popular singer Marjan

Popular singer Marjan

 

6:25 PM local time: NCRI member Zinat Mirhashemi takes the floor to address the audience.

Mirhashemi: Thank you all for your contribution to the resistance of the Iranian people. In every corner of Iran, we can see several generations of the Iranian people are joining our struggle to say no to the Islamic Republic.

At the forefront of this struggle are workers, teachers, farmers, nurses, and especially the women. The people will no longer tolerate tyranny and oppression of the regime.

The struggles of the people entered a new phase in January. The people don’t believe in change from within the regime but by overthrowing the Iranian regime.

 

NCRI member Zinat Mirhashemi

NCRI member Zinat Mirhashemi

 

The regime has only added to the misery of the Iranian people and the environmental disaster of the country through its mismanagement and its violent meddling in the region. The people are showing that they want to get rid of the dictatorship.

We pay tribute to the martyrs of freedom in Iran. These martyrs helped pave the way for what we’re seeing today. We can see a future where we can avenge their death and this day will stay in history forever.

We hope that next year, this gathering will take place in a democratic Iran. As Mrs. Rajavi said, victory will come.

 

6:30 PM: Delegation from Syria takes the stage to address the gathering.

Nazir Hakim, Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition: I salute the rebellion of our people who stand in the face of dictatorship and fight both the Iranian and the Syrian regime. We salute the heroic resistance of the Iranian people who are facing the dictatorship in Iran. There’s true resistance of our brothers and sisters and we’re battling the same regimes. We hope we will win.

 

Nazir Hakim, Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition:

Nazir Hakim, Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition

 

We will win against the tyrants of Damascus and Tehran. I salute anyone who protest against dictatorship. The hopes of the Syrian people revived when we saw our brothers and sisters in Iran protesting and chanting slogans against the dictatorship that has been affecting the entire region.

The voice of Iran and Syria represent the voice of freedom everywhere. We know that change is coming. As a resistance we call for peace and justice and security and freedom and respect of every religion and gender. That is what we’re trying to do in Syria and Iran.

This is a cancerous regime. It should be removed. We need your words and also your support. The future is for the Iranian resistance and the Iranian people who are in the streets today. Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan guarantees that Iran will be free. The Syrian and Iranian people are one.

 

6:40 PM: A video of recent protests in Iran is played, showing the people confront the regime and its repressive forces in different cities of Iran and chanting slogans against the regime in its entirety and its highest authorities.

 

A video played, showing the people confront the regime and its repressive forces

A video played, showing the people confront the regime and its repressive forces

 

 

6:45 PM: Delegation from Albania takes the floor to address the Free Iran Gathering

Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania: We understand each other from the language of the heart. Albania’s choice was to help the Iranian people who were in need. This is the reason that 3,000 Iranians are sheltered in Albania. We are waiting to see you soon in Tehran.

 

Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania

Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania

 

Fatmir Mediu, Leader of Albanian Republican Party: Many people ask why Albanians offer help to our Iranian friends. We want to live with each other’s happiness. We have suffered as you suffered under dictatorship. The same is happening today in your country.

The Iranian people are standing up for their liberty and we are supporting them. The international community will see what’s happening in Iran. Many have sacrificed their lives. No power lasts forever. Only one thing lasts forever: The dream of living free.

 

Fatmir Mediu, Leader of Albanian Republican Party

Fatmir Mediu, Leader of Albanian Republican Party

 

6:50 PM: After the speeches by the Albanian delegation, a group of Albanian artists take the stage to perform a traditional Albanian song.

 

A group of Albanian artists

A group of Albanian artists

 

6:50 PM CET: Frances Townsend, former assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, takes the floor.

Townsend: Women continue to lead this movement and this is a great threat to the regime. The women are the roses that will lead Iran to the future. To the women of Ashraf we say, we are proud of your courage and are inspired by your courage.

 

Townsend

Frances Townsend, former assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

 

6:55 PM Paris time: A delegation of distinguished women with great achievements take the floor to address the convention.

Rama Yade, former French Minister of Human Rights: The women of Iran are continuing to lead since six months despite the threats.

One thing is for sure. Change in Iran will not come from outside, simply because Iran belongs to Iranians.

 

Rama Yade, former French Minister of Human Rights

Rama Yade, former French Minister of Human Rights

 

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and presidential candidate: Since Dec. 28, we are witnessing how Maryam Rajavi has been delivering what she promised. Here, a few years ago, she announced 1000 Ashraf to topple the corrupt dictatorship in Tehran. That is happening right now.

Maryam has brought to life a thousand Ashraf, but it is the courage of all the people fighting in the streets of Iran that will bring this uprising to victory.

 

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and presidential candidate

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and presidential candidate

 

To the thousands of women leading the protests, the mothers, daughters, sisters of the 1988 massacre victims, to the people who are fighting against the corruption of the mullahs, to the 80 million Iranian people taken hostage by the mullahs, we are with you inch by inch to the path to democracy.

 

7:00 PM: A delegation of women’s rights activists take the floor.

 

A delegation of women’s rights activists

A delegation of women’s rights activists

 

Maria Candida Almeida, Deputy Attorney General and former Attorney General of Portugal: We are delivering a statement to Madame Rajavi, the symbol of hope.

The people of Iran deserve the support of the world.

Ranjana Kumari, Equality movement activist from India: Women are the force for change in Iran. We support their courage. The message of the Iranian people to the regime is, “Your days are numbered.”

Iranians have clearly made their mind for regime change and the establishment of separation of religion and politics.

Elena Alverdin: All the women who have been detained must be detained immediately.

We commend the relentless efforts of Mrs. Rajavi and her ten-point plan in tomorrow’s Iran.

 

7:05 PM local time: The delegation of women call on Mrs. Rajavi to join them and offer their statement to her.

 

7:10 PM: In tandem with the Free Iran Gathering, protests are taking place in Khoramshahr, Khuzestan. The crowd at the gathering chant slogans in support of protesters in Iran.

Next, Salman al-Ansari from Saudi Arabia takes the stage.

Al-Ansari: I congratulate you for sending a message of peace. The people of Iran have been the victim of their regime, who has killed pregnant women and 12-year-old girls. Those who remain silent in face of the regime should be ashamed.

 

Al-Ansari

Al-Ansari

 

Even the Mecca was the victim of a plot by the Iranian regime. Today is a victory for civilized and knowledgeable Iran, not the Iran of Khomeini and Khamenei and Soleimani and Rouhani. The regime of Tehran is an extremist regime and against everything the Quran represents.

I would like to reiterate my solidarity and my support, because we have and will always be by your side and will remain to be so until we free Iran.

 

7:25 PM: General George Casey, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, takes the floor to address the Free Iran Gathering.

General Casey: Many of us in the U.S. military have seen how Iran uses terrorism to accomplish its objectives. In Iraq it used sectarian violence to achieve its goals.

 

General Casey

General George Casey

 

Iran is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of coalition forces and thousands of Iraqis.

Today they are still destabilizing the region. Change must come to Iran before it can behave correctly.

7:30 PM: A song performed by orchestra headed by Shams with the voice of several Iranian singers

 

A song performed by orchestra headed by Shams with the voice of several Iranian singers

A song performed by orchestra headed by Shams with the voice of several Iranian singers

 

Melkert

Ed Melkert

 

Your cause responds to a global concern about export of terror and threat to peace. Your cause resonates far beyond the borders of Iran. The voice of citizens must resonate beyond the sounds of guns and those hiding behind them.

Our common wish is that Iran will become a beacon of trust and stability. The day is drawing closer that change will become.

 

7:40: Another song performed by Shams, a traditional Iranian warrior song.

 

A traditional Iranian warrior song.

A traditional Iranian warrior song.

 

 7:50 PM: Kak Baba Sheikh Hossein, Secretary General of Khebat organization, Iranian Kurdish opposition movement, takes the floor.

The NCRI is the only alternative to the regime of Iran. I salute the freedom fighters of Iran and the Kurd fighters.

 

Kak Baba Sheikh Hossein, Secretary General of Khebat organization

Kak Baba Sheikh Hossein, Secretary General of Khebat organization

 

 

8:00 PM Paris time: Romanian delegation takes the floor to address the Free Iran Gathering

Ben-Oni Ardelean, Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania: We believe that we all have to be a free society. We support you. Stay on track. Be on the right side.

 

Ben-Oni Ardelean, Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania

Ben-Oni Ardelean, Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania

 

Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, Member of Swiss Federal Parliament: Madame Rajavi’s ten-point plan is supported across the world. We will support and with the efforts of the Iranian people, it will become possible. Long live the Iranian people.

 

Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, Member of Swiss Federal Parliament

Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, Member of Swiss Federal Parliament

 

Next, the youth delegation from Poland and Slovakia took the floor. Their members expressed their concern with the situation in Iran and their support for the fight for human rights in Iran. 

 

The youth delegation from Poland and Slovakia

The youth delegation from Poland and Slovakia

 

A delegation from Poland: Equal rights matter a lot. We oppose injustice. Maryam Rajavi is a symbol of freedom.

We share the pain of the people of Iran. We as the Polish nation are perfectly familiar with your plight.

 

 A Delegation from Poland

A Delegation from Poland

 

8:15 PM Paris time: Footage shown of protests in Khorramshahr, Khuzestan, and clashes between the people and the regime’s security forces.

At the end of the event, a delegation of Iranian organizations and communities from across the world take the floor. These were the communities that supported and helped organize the Free Iran Gathering.

 

A delegation of Iranian organizations and communities from across the world

A delegation of Iranian organizations and communities from across the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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