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Thousands of Iranians Rally Outside UN HQ

“NO” to Ahmadinejad; UN Protection Camp Ashraf

On Thursday, September 22, thousands of Iranian-Americans from across the U.S., held a rally at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, outside the United Nations, to protest against the presence of the Iranian regime’s criminal president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and to call for the UN protection of 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

In the colorful and enthusiastic rally, the protesters sought similar protection that the international community afforded the opposition in Libya to be extended to Iranian dissidents.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, former Senator Robert Torricelli, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Canada, David Kilgour, and Col. Wesley Martin (Ret.), Camp Ashraf commander in 2006, were among the event’s speakers.

 As the keynote speaker, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said in a message from Paris, “There is no doubt today that the United States has clearly abandoned
its international obligations towards Camp Ashraf… Following the massacres in July 2009 and April 2011, the U.S. bears even greater responsibility. In addition, by maintaining the unjust terror tag on the Mojahedin, the U.S. has provided the most important pretext to the Iraqi government to crack down on Ashraf.”

“It is necessary that the UN Secretary General provide practical guarantees. To this end, the Secretary General should declare Camp Ashraf as a demilitarized zone and under the permanent monitoring of the United Nations. The International community, especially the United States, must facilitate the protection of the UN mission.”

“I join my voice with those of everybody else, not only here but around the world--parliamentarians and legislatures, UK, European Union, literally thousands and thousands of men and women who've come to the cause of Camp Ashraf to say that we need to protect, we need to delist, and we need to relocate outside of Iraq,” said secretary Ridge referring to the urgent call of U.S. Members of Congress who have called for removing the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Ambassador John Bolton added, “It should be the policy of the United States to support the legitimate opposition to the regime in Tehran, just as it should be our position to prevent the regime from getting nuclear weapons. The uncontradicted testimony of officers of the American military who worked with the MeK... Officers of the highest rank in our military have been uniform that they saw no evidence of terrorist activity, intention, or capability.”

 “You know very well that the MEK/PMOI is not a terrorist organization. They are people wanting a free Iran. I call upon the United States government to do the right thing. End the lie. The MEK is not a terrorist organization; it is a political movement for a free Iran. End the foreign terrorist organization, and do it now,” Senator Torricelli said.

Col. Martin said, “Maryam Rajavi, a lady of enormous dignity and commitment to freedom and to stability in the Middle East, stands for democracy and peaceful co-existence in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, stands for religious extremism.”
 
“Congress strongly supports efforts [to delist the MEK] with a resolution cosponsored by 93 Members, H.Res. 60. This hold-over designation has been used by the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies to execute MEK members in Iraq and suppress any voice of dissent inside the country,” wrote a dozen Members of Congress to President Obama.

Association of Iranian - American in NY
22 September 2011

 

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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf