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General James Jones: Hassan Rowhani Will Not Change Regime’s Direction

General James Jones  –Convention for Democracy in Iran, Villepinte, Paris, France

Convention for Democracy in Iran, Paris, June 22, 2013 - Thank you, thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, and [French].  First let me offer my congratulations to Mrs. Rajavi and to all of you for what you represent today by your attendance at this very important event, which symbolizes the struggle for democracy and freedom for the people of Iran and also, by example, oppressed people everywhere.  I'm proud to add my voice of support to you and to your cause. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we still live in a dangerous world.  But it is a world in which hopefully tyrants and tyranny are on the decline and freedom and liberty is on the rise. 

The Middle East is still the epicenter of most of that danger and today's event is symbolic of the here and now of that danger.  And as we all know Iran is still the dominant source of instability and danger in the region.  The outreach of its power and influence to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries, and through its use of proxies to destabilize the entire region, and through the steadfast advancement of its plan to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran's goals and vision are unmistakable.

Within the context of what is now a regional struggle, the leadership and the vision and the hope that all of you represent serves notice to Tehran that democracy is coming and that it is unstoppable. 

So to be clear, Iran's so-called election of Hassan Rowhani will not change the supreme leader's vision or his direction for the regime.  We should be clear on this.

Global continued sanctions should be maintained and nations who do not cooperate with an enhanced sanctions protocol should both be named and shamed.  The ultimate outcome of the crisis in Syria is critical to Iran's future and to the hope of freedom loving people everywhere. 

If Syria's advocates for democracy prevail, Iran loses.  It's as simple as that.  Pro-democracy movement must be supported and must be helped.  Neither the United States nor Europe can sit this one out.  The stakes are high and the impact is global. 

In 2004 the United States-led multinational force designated the people of Camp Ashraf as protected persons.  In 2009, the new government of Iraq accepted this responsibility for their security, and this responsibility and the way they have chosen to enact their responsibility has been an abject, shameful failure.  So in a geostrategic sense the latest cowardly attack of June 15th on Camp Liberty signals the real and persistent fear that the regime has with regard to your noble resolve and your determination. 

On a more human and humanitarian level it presents the continuing need for all nations to join in effective condemnation of these now multiple attacks on unarmed men, women and children. 

And to insist on greater focus by the United Nations on Baghdad and Tehran and the urgent need for the prompt evacuation and relocation of all innocent victims who today sit as human targets of a determined and unchecked enemy. 

So the world, with the regimes in Baghdad and Tehran, now recognize that the people of Ashraf and Liberty are not terrorists, rather they are the victims of brutal repression because of their ideas, their values, and those that you hold and we all hold as well.

And that is for a free and democratic Iran to come sooner rather than later.  Tehran knows that words and ideas are more powerful than any weapon, even a nuclear weapon.  So we are with you in this cause. 

May God give you the strength and courage on your path to victory. 

Thank you very much. 


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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf