Transcript of remarks by Gov. Tom Ridge, first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, from 2003 to 2005 at worldwide internet conference focusing on the mullahs’ support for terrorism and shutting down its embassies- July 20, 2020.Thank you very much. It is an honor and a privilege to be associated with so many distinguished speakers today. I want to tip my hat initially, I see an old friend, Struan Stevenson there. And Struan, it’s good to be in your company. I chaired the National Organization on Disability and disabled people applaud this way, so I applaud Madame Rajavi. I applaud the distinguished guests. And I applaud the men and women and the patriots in Ashraf 3.
"They’re united in providing home, support, and protection to Ashraf 3 is something that’s very important to their friends in the United States." Tom Ridge @iran_policy #FreeIran2020 #Iran #sponsored https://t.co/3uXAt2jmlS
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) August 17, 2020
The global summit may be at least to date unprecedented in its scale and its mission. Think about this for a moment. The organizational creativity and the ingenuity and the technical skills that brought together individuals from over 100 countries at 30,000 locations in support of The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in support of the patriots of Ashraf, The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), in support of the freedom-loving people of Iran, I don’t believe to date that any enterprise or any organization, large or small, government or private sector, has undertaken such an extraordinary effort with such unique and powerful results.
One would think that if you take that ingenuity and that creativity and that commitment to excellence and that positive reach and positive connection globally if you took that mindset that exists outside of Iran and you relocate it inside Iran, what a different, positive place the country would be at this point. Particularly build on the history of Persia. Build on the incredible educational capabilities and intellect of the Iranian people. You take all that and put it on the history and the foundation of the existing population within Iran, what an incredible place Iran would be and how it would reemerge in the global community as the peace-loving intellectual leader not only within the country but within the region.
Tom Ridge .@RidgeGlobal to #FreeIran2020 Global Summit: Appeasement with the Iranian gov't will not lead to peace. It never has & never will. We need to ask EU countries to rid themselves of the diplomatic core of the regime & #ExpelIranDiplomatTerrorists https://t.co/KlaHrHg3A3
— Dowlat Nowrouzi (@DowlatNowrouzi) July 20, 2020
But unfortunately, the challenge we have before us is that the tentacles of terrorism still reach out from Tehran. This Rouhani and the mullahs and their oppressive society have turned their backs on the people of Iran. I dare say they have probably squandered billions of dollars, as President Bush said back in I think it was 2002, they were part of the axis of evil, spreading their evil with those tentacles of terrorism throughout the world. And instead of using those dollars that they had at their disposal to enhance the quality of life of citizens of Iran and to approve educational opportunities to help people remove themselves from the restraints of poverty, they’ve used it to continue to export their terrorism and repression around the world. And it is global. Let’s make no mistake about it. I’m not sure I can list all the countries but permit me to start with the countries where their tentacles have reached and influenced. Iraq. There’s a hidden occupation of Iran in Iraq. Syria. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, gone as far as Argentina. Lebanon. And I know I’m missing many more, but that’s just the point.
New Protests in Southern #Iraq Against #Iran Regime
The people of Iraq turned the Muharram mourning ceremony into another uprising against the #Iranian regime’s meddling and its terrorist proxy groups.https://t.co/cM6CtzGDxV
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 1, 2020
The Mullahs and Rouhani over seethe central bank of terrorism. And what we discovered over the past several years is that the embassies in many of the countries have become branch banks. And it is within those embassies that logistical support for spies and terrorists are made. It is within those embassies that they stimulate chaos and anti-government activity and certainly anti-Western activity in other spots around the world.
The Iraqi people are protesting the #Iranian regime’s use of Shiism to impose a deadly presence in #Iraq. The #PMOI #MEK has called for the international community to oppose the Iranian regime’s terrorism in #Iraq. #Iranhttps://t.co/xwZ26l0Gnf pic.twitter.com/PfTnzPGHTn
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) September 2, 2020
And what we’ve also learned over the past several years is that appeasement doesn’t work. Just completed several books on Churchill talking about one of the chapters focused on Neville Chamberlain’s multiple meetings with Hitler and his announcement after the final meeting concluded when he returned to London and he said, “peace is at hand.” And we know how appeasement to that rapacious, oppressive, individual worked out. But we need to learn some lessons from history. Appeasement with the Iranian government will not lead to peace. It never has, appeasement never has and it never will. And so what we need to do is we need to ask these countries where they’ve established these embassies to rid themselves of their diplomatic corps, particularly in those countries where we can identify terrorist activity, much of it built and designed to undermine those governments in and of themselves.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 23, 2020
As we’ve said during the course of this three-day summit, it’s time for the world to embrace regime change. It’s time for the world to recognize that within the NCRI, this incredible organization led by a leader who has been able to generate over the past 15 years that I’ve been working with this group global support for her vision, and the vision of Iran, a non-nuclear Iran that understands and promotes gender equality, freedom of speech, separation of religion and state. So, I say to those that have participated during the past three days of this unprecedented summit, for those who continue to publicly, loudly, and consistently proclaim their support for the NCRI and for the freedom-loving people of Iran, that I’m very, very proud to be part of this group. It grows larger and more global every year.
People of #Iran are taking to the streets to voice their discontent with the #Iranian regime People from all across the country from very different backgrounds have joined together to make the Iranian regime hear their dissenthttps://t.co/ABEVWHfFt0#MEK #COVID19 @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/iXAcna8VTz
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 16, 2020
And I will say finally when I conclude to the residents of Ashraf 3, I have followed your history since you worked with the U.S. Army way back when in Iraq and you got no greater supporter and someone who loves you more than our mutual friend Wes Martin. So, I’ve heard many stories about your individual acts of bravery and sacrifice. And I’ve known full well what you’ve endured at Ashraf 1 and Ashraf 2, and I’m grateful that the people of Albania and the government of Albania has embraced you and given you a place to at least call your temporary home until we meet again in Tehran. But the struggle, the sacrifice, and your commitment frankly is an inspiration to all of us who have joined together over the past decade-plus to see to it that someday you have the opportunity to return and rebuild on the history and the tradition of the glorious world of Persia a new and peace-loving Iran.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) July 17, 2020
I’m pleased to be on that mission with you. And I plan on staying with you like all of the others who have participated in this three-day global summit to remain with you until we achieve victory, and when we’ll be dancing together in the streets of Tehran. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with you, grateful for the opportunity to be associated with such a distinguished group of global leaders, Parliamentarians, human activists, and thank you for that opportunity. May God bless you on your journey to a free, independent, and non-nuclear Iran.