Free Iran rally deserves Western support

Michael J. Totten wrote an article for the World Affairs website in which he discusses the Iranian Resistance, in particular the huge rally held every year in Paris which he attended. 

He said the People’s Mujahadeen of Iran (PMOI / MEK) were wrongly added to the list of designated foreign terrorist organisations by the US on the insistence of the Iranian regime. He said the Khomeinists assert that the PMOI is “contaminated” with atheism and the “Western plague.” They are also critical that the movement is led by a woman – Maryam Rajavi.

Totten highlighted that the MEK were designated a terrorist organization because Bill Clinton wanted to improve relations with Iran and he was simply trying to please the alleged “moderate” Mohammad Khatami who turned out not to be moderate at all.

Moderation, he said, is exemplified by the MEK, giving their 10-point platform for a future Iran as an example.

1.                  A republic based on universal suffrage.

2.                  Individual freedoms, including free expression and a free press.

3.                  The abolition of the death penalty.

4.                  Separation of mosque and state.

5.                  Gender equality.

6.                  The rule of law.

7.                  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

8.                  Private property and a market economy.

9.                  A foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence.

10.              A non-nuclear Iran.

Totten points out that the ten points “read like the first draft of a constitution in a modern liberal democracy”.

He asks: “Under what theory should the West spurn these people in favor of a government that tortures dissidents, supports terrorist armies all over the Middle East and hangs homosexuals from cranes in the capital?”

Totten believes it is a disgrace that the US called the group terrorists. He said: “It’s disgraceful that the United States called them terrorists at the behest of a totalitarian regime, but that’s the kind of thing that happens when we try to make peace with our enemies before they’re ready to stop being our enemies. At least Hillary Clinton, when she was Secretary of State, had the decency to reverse what her husband did, but not until after a years-long legal battle finally forced her.”

Speaking about the 9th July “Free Iran” rally in Paris, he said the huge turnout was impressive and shows exactly how popular the Resistance is. He said the day was full of “thunderous speeches, riveting films, and music and dance”. The speakers were high profile officials from the United States, the European Union and the Middle East, including Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal. 

He mentioned that some of the high profile American guests included former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, former Senator Robert Torricelli and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was scheduled to be there but did not attend due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Totten points out that these speakers came to Paris not just to support the opposition, but also to support regime-change in Iran. He also said that it was “refreshing to see so many American officials from across the political spectrum on the same stage agreeing with each other about something so fundamental”. 

He adds: “Donald Trump, meanwhile, would have prohibited every single one of the MEK’s members and supporters from even entering the United States on a tourist visa before he finally climbed down from his ludicrous proposition to ban every foreign Muslim on earth from setting foot on American soil.”

Speaking about the members of the opposition he said: “(…) these Iranian folks are the real deal, and it’s nice to see Western capitals treat them accordingly.”