Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you very much, It is obviously a great occasion to celebrate delisting of MEK, a listing that should have never taken place to begin with. All credits to Madam Rajavi and everybody who worked so hard to do that.
The real question is what comes next and the pressure we should feel because of brevity of time that we may have to act is something to focus on. We are at a potentially critical moment throughout the Middle East. In the US we are focused on the assassination of four Americans in Ben Ghazi, on September 11th, the 11th anniversary of first September 11.
Who can say in the time since this meeting began and the time it ends what else would happen in the Middle East, in Syria, in Libya, in Gaze, in Yemen, in Jordan. We are in a point where forces in the region have begun to move beyond the control of governments to influence. I am very much worried that if we don’t cease the opportunity provided by the delisting of MEK to accomplish the objective of regime change in Iran the moment may passes by because the imperative to have an effective opposition is on us right now. It took a long time, too long, to get the terrorist designation lifted and it has limited the time that we may have to effect a regime change.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - At the invitation of the French Committee for a Democratic Iran, a conference was held in Paris on November 17, 2012 to discuss prospect of change in Iran after the delisting of the MeK in the US. Being the first of such conferences after the Secretary Clinton's decision to delist the MeK, the hall was packed and several hundreds were not able to get into the conference hall.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and several US prominent personalities as well as a parliamentary delegation from Egypt and a delegation from the Syrian opposition addressed the conference. Francois Colcombet, a founding member of the French Committee for Democratic Iran made the opening remarks. The conference was chaired by Senator Robert Torricelli.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you! Thank you senator, thank you! Thank you very very much!
I have to begin by engaging in a very small parochial privilege. The first capital of the United States, the place where George Washington was sworn in as the President of the United States was New York City. Sorry! But that aside, we agree on everything else! [audience laughing with applause]
This is a wonderful meeting and it is a perfect time to do it. Because as the senator pointed out Churchill taught us that at certain points, you reach a stage in a fight and you can adequately describe it as the end of the beginning, and I believe we have done that. When we all came together at first, that all seemed highly impossible, but now, there has been delisting, now there is the ability of this wonderful coalition under Madam Rajavi to be able to advocate all over the world including in the United states. This is a victory that is a very very important one that makes a lot of other things possible. It would not have been possible, as the others pointed out, without your tremendous support.
Thank you so much for the honour of being with you, to celebrate what many thought was going to be impossible. And that was to get the U.S Department of States to reverse its position on listing of the FTO and to delist the MEK.
So we are here today to celebrate that. Why? Not only for the reasons that have just been said. Because, the MEK represents the most organized, political, financial organization that is opposed through democratic means to the ruling Mullahs in Tehran.
And it is important if we are ultimately to get the support of the United States congress and the rest of the world behind Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. It is important that we first delist this horrible terror-tag that has plagued the ability of the MEK to do what it is in the interest not only of the people of Iran but to do what is in the interest of all free and loving people and that is to end the tyrannical theocracy that has been brutally repressing the people of Tehran.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you! Thank you! Hey Dave there is a cup of water here if you’re misspelling this time! Mrs. Rajavi! I thank you for your kind gift. Special attention is given to three words: freedom, democracy and peace. Freedom, democracy and peace in Iran will be the beginning of peace throughout the Middle East and bring great stability throughout the world. [applause]
In return, please allow me to present you a vase produced by Native Americans in New Mexico, a state where multiple races and multiple religions--- Mayor Giuliani has it on your left please. [applause] And … Thank you! As I mentioned it was produced by Native Americans in New Mexico a state of multiple races, multiple religions that came together as citizens of one nation dedicated to freedom, democracy and peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a special request. First, would all the former residents of camp Ashraf please stand up! Second request: Would everyone in this room who has a family member or a personal friend in Ashraf please stand up. Ladies, and gentlemen of the panel, I present to you one of the thousands of reasons the residents of Liberty and Ashraf must be brought out now. To the residents of Liberty and Ashraf I present to you your loved ones who stand for you now and they stand for you always. [applause]
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you. I guess that comes with boots on the ground! Thank you. Thank you! Madam Rajavi! Distinguished Guests! Friends and most importantly the protected persons at Camp Liberty and those remaining at Camp Ashraf!
It’s an honor for Dawn, Sarah and I to be with you here tonight. [applause} And this is time to celebrate the delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist List. But you know, us soldiers tried to tell the State Department’s representative who never went to Ashraf in 2003, 2004, 2005, and every year since: there are no terrorists at Camp Ashraf. [applause}
It took them a long time to figure that out and some court action on top of it. In fact, who is at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty? The best hope for democratic regime change in Iran, that’s who’s there. [applause}
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. It is a great honor for me to be here, but it is also a very humbling experience to be on a same podium with so many illustrious Americans, Europeans, Latin Americans, and others from around the world. I think one of the things that was most humbling is to be asked to be here as part of the celebration of the victory of delisting the MEK on the Terrorist list of the United States. But I think one thing we have to remember is that as great a victory as that was, and it was accomplished only because there was the bipartisan support in the United States, as great a victory as that was it is simply a means to an end. It is not the victory that we are seeking as long as there is not freedom in camp Liberty; as long as there is not freedom for the people in Iran we have not achieved our end.
I am confident that with the leadership of the PMOI and with the leadership of Madam Rajavi that goal will in fact be a reality and it will happen soon. But it will not, it will not happen unless there is support for the democracies around the World. We have seen a great blossoming of freedom and a yearning for democracy throughout the Arab world, throughout Africa, throughout the entire world. But one of the things that we have also seen is that you can have an election, but you may not bring true democracy to a country if you do not have the fundamentals of democracy. Democracy is about more than simple elections. It is about the rule of law. It is about the rights of individuals. It is about equality of all persons for the majority and minority. It is about the idea that all of us are created equal in the eyes of God and we are all endowed by that creator with equal and fundamental rights, and that is what Mrs. Rajavi has been fighting for in the resistance movement and that is what the people of Iran deserve. It is time for my government to give up the notion of engagement. You cannot engage with tyranny. You cannot engage with those who would repress their people. The time for engagement is over, and the time for the support for democracy of the people of Iran is now.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you, thank you. Frist of all I must congratulate Madam Rajavi, all of you in this hall and everyone who is watching around the world, who have worked so hard and so long to persuade the State Department to remove MEK the Foreign Terrorist List.
You were told that the State Department would never change its mind and that the cause is hopeless. Well, you never lost hope. You were not intimidated, you were not discouraged, and you certainly were not silenced, and because of your patience and persistence justice prevailed. Congratulations!
Madam Rajavi, when I told my daughter I was coming over to see you she asked me to send her congratulations and best wishes. So you see, you are not just inspiring all of us here in this hall this evening. You are inspiring a young generation of Americans who are learning for the first time of your courage and your commitment to freedom and democracy. And I know that all of them are so eager to welcome you to the United States.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you to you, thank you to you. Because it is true that this is a very nice moment to share. It is a great victory of having obtained the delisting of the MEK and it is a double victory because not only it was so difficult, it was so difficult to obtain it. As I was listening every body talking I was just recalling what this meant to all of us, how we were witnessing on the internet those pages and loads of misinformation, of lies of all kind of dirty things said about your movement, your organization and about the people that were backing you up to extremes that are quit appalling to just reflect upon. I was thinking for example in the attempt of assassination of a high civil servant of one of those countries that are considered by the Iranian government as being countries to whom they have relations and off course not only that assassination was against let us say a friendly country but it was also a manipulation to be able to say afterwards that it was the MEK who had done the assassination in order to just reinforce the idea that we were in front of terrorist organization. So, really all these years fighting for the delisting gave us some thing that we have to cherish which is the knowledge of our adversary of our enemy. We know whom we have in front of us, we know who they are because we suffered from whom they are. We know that they lie, we that that they are extremist we know that they do not have any kind of boundaries in order to achieve their goals .
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you, First of all, let me express my gratitude to join my colleagues in the celebration. Before I share with you some prepared remarks, I just want to assure you that the intensity of our commitment to see this through is great today and greater than it has ever been. We are grateful to be with you today to celebrate as Senator Torricelli said the first step toward a free Iran.
I have got this great idea, Madam Rajavi, after the mullahs are replaced and there is a free Iran, my colleagues and I want to sit in the US senate and nominate Senator Torricelli as the first ambassador to Iran. He has done a great job. We are grateful for his sustained commitment and passion about this effort.
Madam Rajavi, my colleagues and I, all we meet again after a lengthy and historic effort that has finally resulted in the removal of the unjust and unwanted designation of MEK as a terrorist organization. As Bob (Torricelli) said it is the first step in the journey to free people in a free Iran.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you very much, as we stand here and some sit there, it is worthwhile assessing where we are and how we got here because it contains important lessons for where we are going and how we are going to get there.
This horrible designation wasn’t removed gradually. It took a lot of efforts and it took the death of some of the people in Ashraf. It took the persistence of Mrs. Rajavi and the persistence of the people on the stage and your persistence. But it didn’t happen gradually. When it happened, the listing was there one day and it was gone the next day. There is nothing gradual about that. That is not an unfamiliar experience in the spread of freedom. The Berlin wall was there one day and one day it was not. It took a lot of efforts, it took a lot of pressure, but it didn’t happen gradually.
Paris, November 17, 2012 - Thank you all very much, Let me begin by saying I apologize, I will not be able to hear my comrades speak because I have a contractual obligation back in Pennsylvania. I flew in this morning and I am flying back to the US early this evening. I will be out of the US for 27 hours and in the air for 14 of those 27 hours. But I wouldn’t have missed this for anything, because it is time for us to take a little time out in the struggle to celebrate what we have achieved.
When General Washington crossed the Delver and made a surprise attack on the British army in Trenton, after that victory all across the young country celebrated. They knew that it was just the beginning, as Senator Torricelli said they knew there was a long road ahead. They didn’t know it would be 7 years but they knew there were long battles ahead and challenges and uncertainty, but they took a moment to celebrate what they have accomplished. So, here today we can take a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished.
Paris, Novermber 17, 2012 - My friends, I know it has been said several times, I know you’re going to hear it many more times today, but it sounds so good, forgive me if I say it myself: the FTO is repealed, the opposition is united, and now the fight goes on to Tehran for a free Iran.
The fact that the FTO was unjust, the reality that it never should have happened makes our success no less significant. As a diastral community, with friends on every corner of the globe, we worked, we united, and we have brought under the singular leadership of the PMOI the cause of Iranian freedom.
It is darkest hour, words that free people will always remember, Winston Churchill said to his people after their victory in their battle of Britain, “This is not the end, it is not the beginning of the end but, it is the beginning.”