While world leaders prepare to address the annual UN General Assembly, a large crowd of Iranian-Americans gathered in a New York venue to voice their support for continued protests in Iran and to call on the international community to support the Iranian people and their resistance movement in the cause for regime change in Iran.
A large crowd of Iranian-Americans gathered in a New York
Titled “2018 Iran Uprising Summit: The Path to Freedom – the Alternative,” the event was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) and featured speeches by American and European politicians as well as discussion panels by Iranian communities and musical performances by Iranian youth.
Iranian youth discuss Iran uprisings
Panel of Iranians from Canada
A panel of Iranian youth who took the stage early on in the program discussed the growing wave of uprisings in Iran and their difference with previous cycles of protest in the country.
The youth, who came from the U.S. and Canada, underlined the role of “resistance units,” which they described as “small groups of MEK supporters who work in a very focused and targeted way.”
Resistance units have had an important role in organizing protests across the country since they started in late December 2018. They also represent Iranians from all areas of the society.
The panelists described the resistance units as the “wakened conscience” of the Iranian nation who are following the path of the thousands of MEK martyrs who have fallen for freedom in the past decades.
Maryam Rajavi: Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
The keynote speaker of the event was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who addressed the crowd through teleconference.
“Accelerating developments in Iran enhance the prospects of an Iran free of religious tyranny,” Mrs. Rajavi said, referring to the surge of protests that have been shaking the foundations of the ruling regime since December. The regime’s crackdown on demonstration and the arrest of protesters have not deterred the Iranian people in their resolve to overthrow the regime, Mrs. Rajavi added.
The regime’s impasse can be seen in its fear of the opposition, Mrs. Rajavi stressed. “The mullahs have no way of escaping the siege imposed by an array of dangers, which is why they have activated the regime’s most senior officials in their bid to deal major blows to the Iranian Resistance, while accepting the significant political risks and costs that such a strategy entails,” Mrs. Rajavi said in reference to a number of recent failed terror plots by Iranian regime agents in Europe and the U.S.
Mrs. Rajavi also emphasized that through its crimes and defiance of international norms, the Iranian regime is testing the will of the International community. “In such circumstances, a lack of resolve or a passive attitude by western governments will intensify the regime’s terrorist actions,” she said.
Mrs. Rajavi also spoke to the upcoming UN Security Council session, which will be hosted by the U.S. president and will likely be focused on Iran. “It is an urgent imperative that the Security Council address the flagrant violations of human rights in Iran, especially the torture and massacre of political prisoners, and the regime’s export of terrorism and warmongering in the Middle East Region. It must adopt binding measures to compel the regime to halt its crimes,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
While emphasizing that the Iranian people have all they need to overthrow the Iranian regime, Mrs. Rajavi reiterated the international community’s responsibility to support them in their uprisings. Mrs. Rajavi also stressed the need to cut off the financial lifelines of Tehran’s security and suppression apparatus and the need to shut down the Iranian regime’s embassies and expel its diplomats and operatives from all countries.
“Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime ruling it. That seat belongs to the Iranian people and Resistance,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded.
General James Jones: Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan is what the regime fears most
Former U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones
Former U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones, who spoke at the conference, called the Iranian regime “the chief antagonist of peace in the Middle East,” a role that is displayed by the regime’s violent intervention in countries of the region.
“Passivity in face of this tyrannical regime has no place in our policies and governments,” Jones said, calling on the international community to adopt a firm stance toward the regime of Tehran.
Jones also spoke about the nationwide protests in Iran. “The regime has in typical fashion arrested thousands of people. There have been many deaths. But the protests continue,” Jones said, stressing that it is the responsibility of the international community to support protesters in Iran.
Jones voiced his support for the Iranian opposition and Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan. “These ten principles, Jeffersonian principles, is what the regime fears most,” Jones said.
Jones concluded his remarks with a message to the Iranian regime: “Your days are numbered. They are numbered because your people will not stop in their demands for a government that reflects their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations.”
Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Iran is entitled to freedom and
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
“Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy, should be led by leaders like Madame Rajavi and others,” said Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and current advisor and lawyer to the U.S. president. “That will be the only assurance of a peaceful Iran.”
Giuliani also spoke about the Iranian regime’s increased terrorist operations against the Iranian opposition. “I must say to the Iranian government, you must be truly afraid of being overthrown,” he said. “We will not forget that you have murdered many, many Americans. You have taken our diplomats hostage to humiliate us. We understand who our friends are and who our enemies are. And you are our enemy.”
Giuliani reminded that Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s current president who presents himself as a reformist, has more blood on his hands than his “hard-liner” predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “[Rouhani] was a reformer,” Giuliani said. “He reformed the methods of murder and murdered more people.” Executions in Iran have seen an unprecedented spike during Rouhani’s presidency.
Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and current advisor and lawyer to the U.S. president
The Iranian regime is resorting to irrational terrorist tactics against the Iranian opposition “because you’re so pathetically afraid that the MEK is going to overthrow your government,” Giuliani said.
“We can accomplish telling those people in Iran who are standing up to the threat of violence and murder and destruction that we have their back,” Giuliani said.
While stressing the need international support for the protesters in Iran, Mayor Giuliani reminded the crowd that “Really what’s keeping this alive, and the regime understands it, is you. It’s the work you’re doing, and the people who have that same courage and that same tenacity and that same desire for freedom, who are your brothers and sisters in Iran, who are at the point of the spear. They’re the ones who are putting their lives on the line.”
Giuliani stressed that the Iranian regime sees the MEK as an existential threat to its rule and fears its own overthrow. “It could be in a few days, months, couple of years. But it’s going to happen. They’re going to be overthrown,” he said. “The people of Iran have obviously had enough.”
Bernard Kouchner: Iran has an alternative
Former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner
“We are dealing with a brutal regime that suppresses its own people,” said former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, adding that “The prime victims of this regime are the Iranian people themselves.”
Describing the Iranian regime’s brutal role in the countries of the Middle East region, Kouchner said, “This regime’s behavior in the region is unacceptable. There’s hardly any problem in the region in which the Iranian regime doesn’t play a malign role.”
Kouchner also warned against the Iranian regime’s terror activities in Europe, including an attempt to bomb the rally of the Iranian opposition in France in June.
Praising the uprisings in Iran, Kouchner said, “The people of Iran have expressed their desire for a republic based on separation of church and state. They want no more theocratic regime.” Kouchner also stressed that “Iran has an alternative, a democratic alternative, which is struggling for a secular Iran.”
General Attorney Michael Mukasey: The U.S. should support the activities of the MEK
Former U.S. General Attorney Michael Mukasey
Available intelligence shows the regime continues to build facilities to continue its nuclear program, despite Tehran saying it is not doing so, said former U.S. General Attorney Michael Mukasey, adding that the problem posed by the current regime is way beyond the threat of nuclear weapons.
“Under the current regime, there’s a theocratic and despotism. It finances terrorism both inside and outside its borders,” Mukasey said.
The regime’s destructive ideology has turned against itself, Mukasey explained, highlighted by the discontent in Iran that has shown itself in repeated and widespread demonstrations.
“The demonstrations and protesters come from all segments of the society,” Mukasey observed, adding that their slogans include things like “down with Khamenei” and “down with Rouhani” and target the regime’s meddling in neighboring countries and its rhetoric to try frame foreign countries for the economic woes of the country.
“The protesters will not be brought off with half measures,” Mukasey said, adding that the chief cause of the economic problems of Iran is the corruption at the core of the Iranian regime.
“The regime is absolutely frantic about the threat posed by the MEK,” Mukasey said, which manifests itself in the statements and remarks by the regime’s highest authorities as well as the regime’s terrorist attempts against Iranian opposition members abroad. “Acts of violence like that on another country are acts of war,” Mukasey said.
“The United States should support the activities of the MEK. It would drive the mullahs crazy,” Mukasey said, explaining that it would show the people inside and outside the country that there’s an alternative to the regime.
“We have to focus every effort to bring about regime change, and there’s no group better fit to participate in that effort than MEK.”
Women’s rights activists discuss the role of Iranian youth and women in Iran’s uprisings
“Women play an active role in the Iranian uprisings,” said Soudabeh Sharif, an Iranian women’s rights activist. “Let us not forget that the women’s call for regime change did not begin in the recent uprisings. It began four decades ago.”
Women play an active role in the Iranian uprisings
Sharif also said that the Iranian women have paid the heaviest price for freedom. “It is no wonder that the effective opposition against Tehran’s ruling is led by a women, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”
“There’s no doubt that the regime’s days are numbered,” Sharif said. “We Iranian women stand behind Mrs. Rajavi wholeheartedly.”
Sadaf Mirzaii, an Iranian student who was born and raised in the U.S., said that although she has never seen her country, she always dreams of going to Iran one day, and the struggles of the Iranian youth of past and present generations have inspired her to support her people in their struggle for freedom.
“I continue to raise my fist along the people of Iran who are taking part in the uprisings,” Mirzaii said.
Giulio Terzi: The UN Security Council must address Tehran’s terrorism
Former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi
“After the nuclear deal, the regime has only become more violent and more corrupt,” said former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi. And that violence is showing itself in the regime’s behavior toward protests across Iran, which have continued despite heavy crackdown by authorities.
“To great anxiety of the mullahs, there is a true alternative to this dictatorship. In the West they try to appease the mullahs,” Terzi said, warning that by hiding the real nature of the Iranian threat, the West and European countries threaten to throw away a real opportunity to bring peace to the Middle East.
Terzi called for a multifaceted approach aimed at ending Tehran’s support of terror, its nuclear threat, its genocidal behavior across the Middle East. “The UN Security Council should firmly address Tehran’s growing use of terror plots,” Terzi said. “To European leaders, act in real support of the Iranian people and their aspirations. Hold Tehran to account for its malign and suppressive behavior.”