Reported by: Nima Sharif
On Saturday, June 23 2012, about a hundred thousand supporters of the Iranian resistance gathered in a Rally in Paris to show support for the Iranian Resistance and its President-elect Maryam Rajavi. The cheering and screaming crowd continued for hours calling for a ‘democratic change’ in Iran and expressed support for residents of Camps Ashraf and Liberty – were members of the main Iranian opposition group MEK reside in Iraq.
Also at the rally, several hundred politicians and personalities from United States, Europe and Middle East countries made their presence noticeable. Some of the personalities made short speeches in support of a regime change in Iran and expressed their support for the wishes of the large crowd of Iranians gathered at the rally.
For years advocates of the Iranian regime and those in support of what is called the appeasement policy toward Iranian regime in the U.S. State Department, have been trying to sideline the existing and ever-growing Iranian resistance, led by the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK, by depicting the organization to be a small cult with no support among Iranians and as the Iranian mullahs refer to it a “group-let”; one that has no significance in developments in Iran and the region.
But the Saturday’s rally in Paris showed otherwise.
“The State Department called me and said, ‘You should not get involved with the PMOI (MEK) because they are a small cult organization of no more than 2,000 people,’” said Governor Ed Rendell to the applauding crowd at the rally. “There are 2,000 people in the first four rows here tonight,” he ridiculed such statements.
The MEK and the greater Iranian resistance as a whole, with their President, Maryam Rajavi, today, represent, not a small dissident group, but an international movement, known globally for its stance against fundamentalism, terrorism and undemocratic values that are advanced and advocated by the Iranian regime throughout the Middle East region specifically and the world.
Supporters of the Iranian resistance say that President Maryam Rajavi provides a serious alternative to unthinkable solutions in dealing with Iran such as war or having to put up with the nuclear armed mullahs’ regime. This alternative solution undoubtedly involves the Iranian people and their democratic resistance in exile which in fact is the only exiled group that can bring together such a crowd aboard as it has been proven in recent years.
“In my career I’ve always had the view that it’s important to negotiate with those that you disagree with,” Governor Bill Richardson told the rally. “But Iran, again is thumbing its nose at the international community because Iran wants to build nuclear weapons,” he warned referring to the unending and fruitless negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons development. “So the time has come for all of us to recognize that these negotiations have not worked.”
“But my country must send a very clear message to Tehran. First and foremost again, and it has to happen within four months, a decision—the MEK needs to be delisted,” said Richardson referring to a Washington court ruling back in May that gives the U.S. State Department four months to make a decision on keeping the organization on its terror list or remove it. “Secondly,” he added, “America’s leadership in the world and the UN should demand that the MEK members in Camp Ashraf and Liberty must be supported every single way.”
In his speech, Michael Mukasey, a former judge and Attorney General of the United States pointed to the large number of Iranian supporters attending the rally and said it makes “a joke out of the claim that this is a small splinter organization. Some small splinter!”
The Rally in Paris rejected the unjust and outdated terrorism tag on the MEK by the U.S. State Department to be a historic disrespect to the Iranian people and their struggle and right to bring about change in their country and achieve democracy and freedom.
The Rally was definitely a show of mussel by the MEK and the Iranian resistance. It shows that Iranian people are determined and united in one voice to bring about a democratic change in their country and cannot be sidelined or ignored.
“One hundred thousand of you came here today because you believe in democracy, freedom and change,” said Philip Crowley, former Undersecretary of State and State Department spokesman adding, “I am here to tell you that we hear you in the United States. And even more importantly, the regime in Tehran hears you as well, which is why they fear you as they do.”