July 11, 2021, was the second day of the Free Iran World Summit 2021, which the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) holds every year to promote democratic regime change in the country as the Iranian people have made very clear that they want. This is especially important considering the volatile state of the country right now.
The main focus of the Sunday event was for dozens of global dignitaries from all over Europe and the Arab world to show their support for regime change by and for the Iranian people. We will look at their speeches here.
The first person to speak was Maryam Rajavi, President of the NCRI, who said that the international community must end its support of the “nuclear-armed butcher” that is the regime, saying that it’s “on the brink of collapse” as the crises (water shortage, food insecurity, economic collapse) increase across the country.
She said that appeasement was only enriching the regime and allowing them to increase their nuclear activity, terrorism, warmongering, and domestic repression, which is counter to the international community’s intention.
Rajavi said that any deals with the regime must ensure the withdrawal of “the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon”, as well as the end to the torture and execution of Iranians.
She said: “Anything less, in any wrapping, is tantamount to caving into the mullahs’ nuclear catastrophe [which is] an important part of Khamenei’s strategy to escape his overthrow… Despite all these sufferings, the Iranian people and their Resistance are determined to overthrow the religious dictatorship. And it will not matter if the regime is nuclear-armed or not, we will overthrow it.”
The British delegation then took the virtual stage, with former House of Commons Speaker Baroness Betty Boothroyd speaking about the recent presidential elections and the people’s boycott after the Resistance’s campaign. She advised that the Iranian people had made their feelings very clear when they didn’t come out to vote, showing that they want “genuine change”.
Boothroyd said: “After Raisi emerged as president in Iran the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States of America must unite behind the NCRI, its president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and the people of Iran because they are our best allies to secure a free Iran.”
She called for the UK government and the West to take a firm policy on Iran over its abuse of Iranians, terrorism, regional interference, and hostage-taking. She laid out the need for “tougher sanctions” because the regime has “contempt” for positive talks or change.
Baroness Sandy Verma also supported the need to do more to hold the regime to account for “crimes against humanity”, particularly Raisi. She further advised that Iran, unlike many other states under a regime, has a “democratic alternative” that can provide “a viable roadmap to establish a free and democratic and secular” country.
She said: “The future of Iran is determined by its people, and they have risen under the leadership of women to secure a free and democratic Iran. The UK and the West and the rest of the world should stand by you, recognizing and backing the popular struggle for democratic change in Iran led by NCRI.”
Then, MP Steve McCabe agreed with the need to support the Resistance, saying that if the West had listened to them years ago, then we might be in a very different state right now about the regime.
He said: “We have a second chance. We’ve seen the farce of the latest presidential election in Iran. We’ve witnessed the treachery over the nuclear deal. Now is the time to stand with the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.”
Next up was MP Bob Blackman, who advised that there is major support for bringing the Iranian regime to justice for their crimes, particularly the 1988 massacre, and said that the United Nations Security Council must refer Raisi to the International Criminal Court and try him for his roles in the execution of thousands of political prisoners, particularly in 1988 and 2019.
Then, it was the turn of the French delegation, beginning with MP Philippe Gosselin, who promised that French parliamentarians supported the Resistance and called on the French Foreign Ministry and Foreign Minister to encourage the international community to enact a firm policy on Iran and support the Resistance.
MP Michèle de Vaucouleurs said: “We are in solidarity with the cause of freedom of Iran and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. We support the fight against terrorism. We are proud to call on our authorities to take action on Iran’s terrorist activities and its repression of its people. The recent election in Iran has confirmed there are no moderates in Iran.”
MP Yannick Favennec, who is on the Parliament’s Defense Committee, gave a frank assessment of the situation saying that there are two sides; one is “increased poverty and misery”, with money wasted on the regime’s military and nuclear ambitions, while the other side is a “growing resistance movement” made up of the people who want freedom.
Jean-François Legaret, the co-president of the Committee of French Representatives for a Democratic Iran, spoke about the “outrageous” election, calling it “an insult to democracy” and saying that there’s “no room for freedom” under the mullahs, especially now that Raisi, who “oversaw repression and executions”, is president.
Then, Jean-Pierre Muller, a member of the Departmental Council of Val d’Oise, said: “This regime does not respect human rights. Raisi was responsible for the massacre of prisoners in 1988. The Iranians are going through an economic crisis and a health crisis. The people are revolting. They organized an uprising in 2019. The regime can’t escape its fate.”
The delegation from the European parliament was the next group to speak. MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White was first to speak, saying that the pandemic has “wreaked havoc” on Iranians and the fact that they boycotted the presidential election proves that the people don’t trust the regime, so the international community needs to bring Raisi to justice for his crimes using the European Union’s existing tools because the regime is incapable of internal reform.
He said: “The right policy should not just focus on the regime’s nuclear weapons program but also its ballistic missile program, its sponsoring of terrorism, its regional malign influence, and its human rights violations. All these elements should be part of a coherent and comprehensive policy towards the regime. The European Union and the international community should stand with the people of Iran in their quest for freedom.”
Francisco Javier Zarzalejos Nieto, an MEP from Spain, said that it’s appalling that Raisi not only was involved in the 1988 massacre but also that he expressed pride in the murder of protesters.
He said: “We cannot have business as usual. We cannot close our eyes to human rights violations and the repression of women. We cannot ignore the Iranian regime of terrorism. We have to show our commitment to democracy and human rights and our support for the Iranian people.”
Then, Slovenia MEP Milan Zver expressed support for the Iranian people’s right to “to live in a free, stable, inclusive, and democratic country” and condemned the arrest of protesters and torture and execution of prisoners, saying that the international community must do everything in their power to end these human rights violations.
Zver said: “I have continuously appealed to the European Commission and Council to raise human rights violation as a core component of the bilateral relation with Iran and to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses.”
Another Slovenian MEP, Franc Bogovič, explained that the Iranian people are demanding democratic change and hoped that those in the West who kept trying to moderates in this regime can see that there’s “no moderate within murderous dictatorships”.
Former Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat also spoke at this point, saying that Iran should be free from the regime, which is waging “destructive wars in the Gulf” through religious sedition, as well as the support of terrorists, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.
He said: “We must refuse the mullahs’ rule. We must promote peace and collaboration. We must pressure Europe and the US to avoid the trap of the nuclear deal. Some European countries are giving concessions to the regime even if it comes at the cost to the people of Iran and the region.”
At this point, the conference featured videos from inside Iran, with people from all sectors of society expressing their support for the NCRI and their hope for a free Iran.
Following the videos, former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali said: “The NCRI is not only serving its own people, but it is serving stability and peace across the region and the world. Standing with this resistance against the regime is our duty. Long live the [NCRI]. We stand with you.”
Then, the Yemeni Ambassador to France Dr. Riyadh Yassin spoke about how the regime is supporting the Houthi militias who are currently destroying Yemen through civil war but noted that he is confident of victory because there is “no other path than the restoration of peace and stability”.
Afterward, the Albanian delegation addressed the conference, which is especially notable because thousands of Resistance members have been granted refuge in the country to save them from the attacks that they were being subjected to by the regime.
Democratic Party leader Edmond Spaho spoke first, saying that Albania supports all people oppressed by the regime and that he is concerned by ongoing human rights abuses.
He said: “Our government expelled the Iranian ambassador in Albania as well as three diplomats of the Iranian embassy for their engagements in terrorist plots against the [Resistance] in Tirana. Members of the Albanian Parliament from the Democratic Party of Albania support the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the legitimate alternative to bring about peace and freedom in Iran.”
Then, Foreign Affairs Committee Secretary Elona Gjebrea said that the regime’s installation of Raisi shows how desperate the regime is and stressed that Raisi must be brought to justice.
Former MP Namik Koplikut explained that the world has the “moral obligation” to support the Resistance and the people against the “evil” regime, while another former MP, Klevis Balliu, stressed that Rajavi’s alternative of democracy and freedom is “amazing” and “inspiring”.
After that, MP Orjola Pampuri advised that “dictators are not forever” and that she was happy to see change coming to Iran, but stressed that the country will not advance under the regime, which is why she supports the Resistance.
The German delegation then made their statements. Former German Bundestag Speaker Prof Dr. Rita Süssmuth spoke about how the regime is incapable of change and that the alternative is “the great organization of President Maryam Rajavi”.
She said: “Maryam Rajavi fights with a whole series of emancipated women. Women are not only the force of change but also the force that is building the future. Women are strong and live responsibly, and this belongs to the future of Iran.”
Bundestag Member Martin Patzelt explained that Europe has spent so long looking for moderates in the regime and this was a mistake because this idea was an illusion and it ignored the NCRI. He explained that the Iranian people’s protests and election boycott show that the regime has “completely lost [the] trust of the people”, while the Resistance has widespread support.
Kees de Vries, another Bundestag Member, said: “The fact that the majority of the Iranian friends has certified the illegitimacy of this regime by abstaining from the election is important. I stand by the Iranian people on the path to freedom and democracy.”
Next came the Italian delegation, with Senator Lucio Malan being foreright about what needs to be done.
He said: “Enough with appeasement. We must acknowledge that in Tehran there is a clerical regime whose only principle is to increase its power. The western world must stop pretending to think that Iran is a real democracy, and it must acknowledge the real situation. It must recognize the resistance in Iran led by Maryam Rajavi.”
MP Antonio Tasso advised that this is the “final stage” of the “cruel regime” and that the western world must support the people and the Resistance in the fight for “human dignity, honesty, courage, rights, and freedom”.
MP Stefania Pezzopane said: “We will continue to insist on the fact that our relations with Iran must be conditioned to the improvement of human rights. This is a priority. We should not give up our convictions and the EU must not accept to have someone like the current president as a reference point for Iran.”
The next delegation was from Scandanavia. Kimmo Sasi, a former Finnish Minister, advised that “Iran is, unfortunately, a dictatorship”, which means that appeasement won’t work and the only way to ensure change is through “popular revolution”.
Sasi said: “It’s very important that the EU brings all the crimes of the Iranian regime to the International Court of Law to guarantee that these people cannot escape the proceedings of the court of law. It’s time for the European Union to cooperate with Iranian people and give all the resources to the people in Iran to use to make a better world.”
Former Iceland Environment Minister Edvard Júlíus Sólnes then spoke about the elections, which proved that internal reform is “impossible”, as the Resistance has consistently said. He advised western democracies that the regime only has contempt for them and that they should not be negotiating with “criminals”.
Then, former Denmark Culture Minister Uffe Elbaek said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Iran. You deserve to live in a democratic republic. Iran’s election was not free and the man who became president is a criminal. I support Mrs. Rajavi and her plan for human rights and a democratic Iran.”
The next to speak was former Norwegian MP Lars Rise who stressed that the “overthrowing of the regime” by the Resistance was not far away and that Raisi “should be in the International Criminal Court in The Hague”.
The President of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian Parliament, Azzam al-Ahmad, explained that the “brotherhood” between Palestine and the Resistance went back “more than half a century” to stand up against injustice and that he believed that victory is coming.
A small delegation of women’s rights advocates was the next to speak. First was Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela, who advised that women are oppressed under the regime; including restrictions on education, employment, leaving their house, and freedom of dress.
She said: “We call upon the international community to condemn and demonize such acts against them. They need to support the people of Iran against this brutal regime. We must acknowledge the brave women and men who have laid their lives and given everything against the system.”
Then, Aude de Thuin, the founder and President of the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society in France, said that the international community could not “remain silent” any longer and praised the activism of the Resistance women who risk their lives for freedom.
Valentina Leskaj, Vice-President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, said: “I have seen so many Iranian women who have bravely chosen to fight for human rights and justice against the dictatorship. But I strongly believe that the [Resistance] has given us a strong message regarding women’s rights. This resistance has shown respect for women’s rights and justice when they choose to have Madame Rajavi, a woman leader in front of the mullahs.”
Then Ranjana Kumari, the Director of Centre for Social Research in India, explained that Rajavi’s ten-point plan would guarantee women’s “fundamental freedom and rights, equality before the law, and equal participation in political leadership”.
Swiss MP Laurence Fehlmann Rielle said: “The women of Iran have stood against the misogynistic regime of Iran. The Iranian Resistance is a source of hope for the women of Iran. They deserve our support in restoring democracy in Iran. We will continue our campaign to rally Swiss parliamentarians to support the struggle of the people of Iran.”
The opening day of the Summit saw 50,000 locations in 105 countries across six continents connect virtually to urge the international community to support Iranians in their effort to overthrow the mullahs and institute a democratic government. During the largest online event ever, we saw 1,029 legislators, 11 former Prime Ministers, and 70 former ministers take part.
The event will conclude tomorrow.