Paris: France | Jun 27, 2014
By Iran News Update
As the annual Iran Liberation rally began in the Villepinte Exhibition Center outside of Paris, flags representing the Iraqi and Syrian resistance movements were paraded in from the rear of the venue, signifying the presence at this year’s events of moderate and secular delegations from each of those war torn countries, where broad consortiums of rebels are fighting against dictatorial regimes closely allied with Tehran.
As the flags circulated through the center of the crowd, tens of thousands of Iranian resistance members and supporters rose to their feet, clad in yellow shirts and hats as a show of universal solidarity. Some of them using plastic clapping-hands props provided by the organizers, the assembled crowd greeted the flag bearers with a standing ovation that lasted for minutes without interruption.
After about a minute, the familiar rhythm of a multi-lingual chant began, which anyone who had engaged in a progressive political rally would surely recognize as, “The people united will never been defeated.” The unity that is on display within this gathering every year evidently now seeks to stretch itself across at least three countries.
The presence of Iraqi and Syrian delegates at this event may have significant implications for the future of the Middle East, which is suffering an historical period of instability, with Iran at its center. The more than three year old Syrian Civil War has seen dramatic changes of fortune as Iranian shipments of arms and Quds Force operatives, along with recruitment of refugees and Shiite volunteers, turned the tide against the rebels at a time when the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad was assumed by many to be in its last throws.
Now, as rebel groups have begun to put pressure on the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki, in response to its exclusionary, Iranian-backed Shiite policies, Iran is taking approximately the same approach to that crisis, supplying military assistance to the Maliki regime, and helping to prop up two dictators at once.
600 parliamentarians and prominent political figures with different political inclinations from five continents have come to Paris to participate in this gathering of freedom loving Iranians, the supporters Villepinte: of the Iranian Resistance from 69 countries and five continents in Villepinte Hall in Paris. The key note speaker to the event is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance. Over 600 political figures, parliamentarians and jurists from all over the globe have entered Paris to participate in this gathering and to express their solidarity with the Iranian Resistance.
Mrs. Rajavi assessed Rouhani’s 12 months dire record and his empty promises in political, economic and social realms, in particular the catastrophic trend of the nationwide suppression and execution inside Iran and the continuation of regime’s warmongering in the region.
Maryam Rajavi offered a speech to this gathering about the crisis in Iraq, the Mullahs’ regime meddling, the strategic impact of Iraq in crisis on the trend of developments in Iran, the developments in Syria, as well as the prospect of the Mullahs’ regime. Mrs. Rajavi, together with the present personalities, discussed the solution to the current crisis in Iraq.
Dozens of prominent political figures, as well as special speakers from Syria, addressed this gathering on behalf of large delegations that have participated in the event. A number of prominent international figures also sent messages to declare their solidarity with this gathering.
Representatives of Iranian communities and associations, including the youth represented by more than 300 associations addressed the gathering, too.
Speakers to this program moderated by Ms. Linda Chavez, former White House Director of Public Liaison, and Ms. Frances Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor to U.S. President (2004-2008), are:
From the United States: Rudi Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and U.S. Presidential candidate (2008); Joseph Lieberman, former Senator; Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and U.S. Presidential candidate (2012); Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2005-2009); a delegation from U.S. Congress, including Ted Poe, Chair of Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non‐proliferation and Trade, Danny Davis, and Loretta Sanchez; Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security; General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the U.S. Army Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997-2001); General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the United States Army and Commander of Multi-National Force – Iraq (2004-2007); Louis Freeh, Director of FBI (1993-2001); Bill Richardson, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of New Mexico (2003-2011); John Bolton, former U.S. permanent Ambassador to the United Nations; Dennis Hastert, former speaker of the House of Representatives; Michael Mukasey, US Attorney General (2007-2009); Robert Torricelli, former Senator and legal representative of Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents; Robert Joseph, former US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security/; Ambassador Phillip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State (2009-2011); General James Conway, the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps; General David Phillips, former US Chief of Military Police and commander of all Police operation in Iraq; Colonel Wesley Martin, former commander of Anti-terrorism Force Protection for all Coalition Forces in Iraq and commander of U.S. protection at Camp Ashraf; Colonel Thomas Cantwell, commander of Ashraf protection, Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and White House Adviser for Middle East Policy; Lincoln Bloomfield, former undersecretary for State Department; Alan Dershowhitz, most prominent lawyer for Criminal law; Patricia Solis Doyle, Senior Adviser to the U.S. Presidential Campaign in 2008; Pedro Agramunt and Jordi Xucla, Head of EPP Group and Head of ALDE Group respectively at the European Council;
And from Arabian countries we had personalities such as Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria; Mohammed al-Aarabi, former foreign minister of Egypt; Saleh Alkalab, Senator and former minister from Jordan; Nejat Al-Astal legislator from Palestine;
Pandli Majko, former Prime Minster, on behalf of a large delegation from Albania;
From Canada: Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister, and Terrence young, Member of Parliament;
From Spain: Jose Louis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Prime Minister;
From Nordic countries: Geir Haarde, former Prime Minister of Iceland;
From the European Parliament: Alejo Vidal-Quadras, vice-President of European Parliament; Struan Stevenson, President of European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Iraq
From Britain: Alexander Carlile, prominent member of House of Lords on behalf of a high-level delegation from both British Houses, jurists, and prominent political and human rights activists in this country who participated in this gathering;
From France: Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France Liberte; Michele Alliot-Marie, French Minister of Defense, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Home Affairs (2002-2011); Bernard Kouchner, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Rama Yade, former Advisor to Foreign Minister on Human Rights and Vice President of French Radical Party; Jean-Pierre Béquet, member of Val d’Oise provincial council; Dominique Lefebvre, member of French National Assembly; Jean- François Legaret, Mayor of the 1th district of Paris; Jean-Pierre Michel, Senator and founder of French Committee for a Democratic Iran; Ms. Neli Rolland, Mayor of Villepinte;
From Italy: Giulio Maria Terzi, Minister of Foreign Affairs (until April 2013); Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential candidate in Colombia;
Günter Verhuegen, former Vice-President of the European Commission; Otto Bernhardt, Chair of German Committee in Solidarity with Free Iran; Adrianus Melkert, former leader of the Dutch Labour Party and Special Representative of UN Secretary General (2009 to 2011); Ardelean ben-oni, Senator from Romania.