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From Canada, Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister spoke at the Iranian Gathering in Paris


Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell
PM Kim Campbell: "... I am honored to be here with my colleagues who are current and former members of the Canadian Parliament.
And one of my colleagues is going to address you as well so I’ll be brief because you don’t need more speeches and in fact I was trying to think what I could tell you that you hadn’t already heard. All of the grizzly news about how terrible things are in Iran. You don’t need me to repeat it. One of the themes we have been hearing all day is that the mullahs’ regime has to go and it will go, and that we all believe.
So when we look at Iran there are a lot of similarities. The same kind of highly centralized, brutal government, and the Soviet Union was a very brutal place. When I was there in the early 1970s it was Brezhnev’s time and dissidents were sent to mental hospitals where they were given psychotropic drugs to zap their frontal loads. You can imagine if you are an intellectual the last thing in the world you want is for someone to destroy your mind. And so it was a pretty good deterrent from people getting too disruptive. So, when look at Iran the question is how will it come apart? We know now that the sanctions against Iran are the toughest sanctions that have ever been imposed on any country in the world and we know they are hurting. We know there is a crisis now with the uprising in Iraq, in Syria and in Iraq as issues, etc. We just don’t really quite know how it will happen. But I think it is important for us all to understand that the break may come that when we are least expecting it, and we have to accept the fact that we don’t know how it’s going to happen, and that’s why we have to be ready, we have to be watching, because something, somewhere is going to give. It might be in the military.
You know it’s interesting, when president Rouhani was elected, one of the reasons I think that so many countries in the West were prepared to give him a little bit of room is because they thought do you think he might be the Iranian Gorbachev and he sure did a good job at, you know, I’m a new guy, I’m going to be kind of moderate. Well just early this month the Foreign Minister of Canada John Baird published an article in Foreign Policy Magazine where he reviewed the year of Rouhani’s presidency and he made it very clear that not only were no promises kept, but everything has worsened and the betrayal is very severe and you heard about it today and I don’t have to tell you about twice as many executions and political prisoners and all of that kind of stuff. We know that. So, so much for the Iranian Gorbachev.
But its understanding that people are looking for that, and all I can say to you is you have got to keep looking. You have to keep watching because it may happen very quickly. I look up at this wonderful rally and it reminds me about 21, 22 years ago when I was running for the leadership of my party. There was a governing party in Canada. When I ran for the leadership it looked a lot like this but the hats were pink because if I won I would be the first woman prime minister of Canada.
Every one of us here, every elected politician from a democracy that’s been here today has been part of a rally like this. We waive signs and you have funny noisemakers and you have crazy hats. But the nice thing about our experience as we went from those rallies into elections campaigns, into making our democratic institutions work. You don’t have that luxury. You go from this wonderful rally back to the situation where you are watching, hoping, concerned about your countrymen and women, and all I can say it is will happen, and this rally will be one day an election rally in Tehran.
So I want to just say to you all, as an old Soviet hand, somebody who didn’t know any better than any other expert how it was going to come to an end, but it did. All I can say to is pay attention, be brave and be ready. We’ll be there with you."


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