|International conference in Paris looks at change in Iran in 2013|
Conference emphasizes need to adopt resolute policy toward clerical regime, recognize Iranian Resistance, support 10-point plan of Maryam Rajavi, return Liberty residents to Ashraf
On Saturday, February 2, on the eve of the thirty-fourth anniversary of the Anti-Monarchy revolution in Iran, on the invitation of the French Committee for a Free Iran, an international conference was held in Paris, titled “Anniversary of Revolution, Change in 2013”, where many prominent dignitaries from France, Europe, United States and parliamentary delegations from Egypt, Spain, Czech Republic and Estonia participated and offered speeches.
Speakers to the conference, chaired by Jean Pierre Spitzer, were: Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance; Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Speaker of House of Representatives and U.S. presidential candidate (2012); Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the U.S. Democratic Party (2005-2009) and U.S. presidential candidate (2004); Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico (2003-2011), U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, and Energy Secretary to Clinton administration; Dominique Lefebvre, member of French National Assembly; Ambassador Phillip Crowley, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (2009-2011); and also from the Spanish parliamentary delegation, Carmen Quintanilla (Chair of Women’s Committee), Jose Maria Chiquillo, member of Senate Foreign Affairs Commission, and Jordi Xucla, member of parliament; Raid Juku-Kalle member of parliament, and Rait Maruste, Chair of parliament’s Constitutional Legal Committee and former judge of EU Human Rights Court , for Estonian parliamentary delegation; from Czech Republic: Stanislav Polcak, Head of Constitutional Legal Committee of the Czech Parliament; Tahar Boumedia, a former senior UN official in charge of Camp Ashraf file in Iraq; Atef Makhalif, member of Egyptian parliament delegation; Aude de Thuin, Founder and president of the Women's Forum for Economy and Society in France; John Sano, National Clandestine Service's first Deputy Director and member of CIA Intelligence Management; Colonel Wesley Martin, former commander for anti-terrorism for coalition forces in Iraq and U.S. Commander for Ashraf protection.
Member of French National Assembly Dominique Lefebvre, in conference’s opening speech, while pointing to the statement by the majority of French National Assembly in support of the 10-point platform of Mrs. Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, which espouses universal values, called for the recognition of the Iranian Resistance aimed at establishing fundamental freedoms and democracy in Iran.
Speakers condemned forcible eviction of Ashraf residents and their transfer to Liberty prison and in light of conditions where Government of Iraq has paid no heed to statements by the High Commissioner for Refugees regarding residents’ freedom of movement, called for the return of Ashraf residents to the modern town they have built in 26 years with their own toil and treasure.
They also condemned continuous breach of commitments and biased actions by Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Iraq Martin Kobler in closing the eyes to conspiracies, pressures and tyrannical blockade of Camp Liberty and violation of its residents’ rights and called on the UN Secretary-General to replace Martin Kobler with an impartial representative.
Mrs. Rajavi, in the speech she delivered to the conference enumerated clerical regime’s insoluble crises and stated that this ruling theocracy has lost its pillars and consumed its reserves to continue its rule and has entered into its final phase. Sham presidential election which has aggravated the power struggle and regime’s internal crises shall accelerate its downfall. This election whose only candidates are criminals involved in torture, massacre and plunder against Iranian people for 34 years has no legitimacy whatsoever in the eyes of the Iranian people and they shall be boycotted nationwide.
She added, “Some in the west view the mullahs’ export of terrorism and fundamentalism as a sign of their power. But this is a major blunder. In order to contain an extremely disgruntled population, mullahs have resorted to warmongering and intervention in other countries. This is a mechanism for maintaining power. Without export of fundamentalism, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the backbone of the velayat-e faqih, will lose its raison d’être and quickly implode.”
Pointing out the Iranian regime’s role in spread of fundamentalism and terrorism to Islamic world including Africa and Mali, Mrs. Rajavi said, “terrorism is a tactic emanating from an Islamic fundamentalist ideology. Similar to any other ideology, fundamentalism cannot effectively spread globally without having an epicenter. The military and security confrontation with this phenomenon in different parts of the world cannot in-and-of itself uproot this threat. Effective confrontation requires two yardsticks: First, resoluteness before the godfather of fundamentalism in Tehran; the epicenter of fundamentalism must not be appeased; its tentacles must be cut off. Second, an ideological and cultural alternative, namely a tolerant and democratic Islam, similar to the Islam espoused by the People’s Mojahedin. Absent such a model, the fundamentalists will again penetrate the ranks of Muslim masses, most of whom grapple with poverty and injustice.”
“The Iraqi Government, acting at the behest of the Iranian regime, and in collusion with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq, evicted them from their home and forced them into Liberty prison. It prevented them from transferring their property to Liberty. Practically, it has denied the right to ownership of their property. The pretext was that interviews for refugee status determination had to be conducted outside Camp Ashraf. Now that the UNHCR has interviewed more than 2,000 residents and only five have been relocated outside Iraq, this forcible eviction must end and Liberty residents, especially those already interviewed by the UNHCR, must be returned to Camp Ashraf and from there be resettled in third countries”, said Mrs. Rajavi in another part of her speech.
She added, “Ashraf residents are protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the U.S. signed an agreement with each and every one of them to protect them until their final disposition in return for consolidating their weapons. The United States can in no way abandon its own responsibility vis-à-vis Ashraf residents by passing it on to the United Nations whose representative is at the service of New Iraq’s dictatorship. The failure to uphold this responsibility has resulted in two massacres, 50 killed and 1,130 wounded, an oppressive four -year siege and a collective forced eviction.”
Reading out her 10 point platform for the Iran of tomorrow, Maryam Rajavi underscored, “our answer to 34 years of dictatorship, decline and backwardness is summed up in three words: Freedom, democracy and equality.” (Text of the platform is attached below this statement)
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