On Saturday, June 13, a cavernous convention hall in Paris will be filled with over 100,000 people who will be joined together in what has become an annual rite of summer; energizing and galvanizing for regime change in Iran and a global movement to turn the Islamic state back to a free, democratic country.
It’s a significant meeting earning wide praise in global news media, blogs, columnists and opinion pages including the Washington Times, The Hill, American Thinker, the Chicago Sun-Times and Western Free Press.
Organized by the Iranian diaspora supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the group’s president, the Grand Gathering of Iranian expatriates will include a formidable array of 600 political dignitaries, including former Democratic and Republican administration officials and 120 parliamentarians from more than 60 countries.
Just a few of the noteworthy luminaries will include a bipartisan delegation from the U.S. Congress, General Hugh Shelton (former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff), Gov. Howard Dean (former chair of the Democratic National Committee), Alan Dershowitz (renowned jurist and human rights activist), Michelle Alliot Marie (former defense and foreign minister of France), Sid Ahmed Ghozali (former prime minister of Algeria), Gunter Verhugen (former vice president of the European Commission), and many others.
The fact that Iran, a regime led by mullahs who enforce a brutal suppression of human rights and engage in actively exporting proxy wars and terror for a corrupted ideology, could bring such a wide diversity of political parties, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and economic backgrounds together united in one common goal is irony of the highest order.
The timing of the meeting is also auspicious coming just two weeks before a self-imposed deadline of June 30 for the P5+1 group of nations to come to final agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. The gathering is an opportunity to shine a global spotlight on the dangerous shortcomings in the proposed deal and what still needs to be done to ensure global security.
In an interview with the Washington Times’ Guy Taylor, Mrs. Rajavi warned that “the failure to prevent the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq after the 2003 Iraq War, which morphed into the gradual occupation of Iraq by the Iranian regime, gave an unprecedented boost to the growth of fundamentalism.”
“Similarly, the [Khamenei] regime’s crimes in Syria and Iraq and the genocide against Sunnis, which is accompanied by Western silence, have enabled the rise of [the Islamic State],” Mrs. Rajavi added.
It’s a sentiment shared by Linda Chavez, author, syndicated columnist and radio talk show host, wrote in an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times that “when it comes to supporting our ‘partners on the front lines,’ the one group that gets the cold shoulder from this administration is the organized Iranian opposition. Tehran faces growing internal opposition, which it has answered by engaging in more repression of its own people. Since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013, Iran has executed more than 1,700 people, a higher total than at a similar point in former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tenure. These executions signal that the Iranian regime is growing weaker, not stronger.”
Raymond Tanter, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan and president of the American Committee on Human Rights, echoed the same support for the NCRI in his editorial in The Hill saying “it is only prudent for the West to listen to Iranian dissidents as well in formulating a sound policy on Iran.”
Listening to that voice, the voice of leaders like Mrs. Rajavi, gives the voiceless millions not only in Iran, but also in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and other places where the Iran regime’s long reach of terror funding and proxies have caused uncountable deaths and inflicted untold suffering on men, women and children a powerful ally in the fight for freedom and regime change in Iran.
As Ken Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in American Thinker: “the voices of these leaders and world-renowned experts will also be joined by thousands of Iranians whose brothers and sisters in Iran are brutally repressed. Their voices not only tell of the threat Iran poses, but also testify to the popularly supported democratic alternative to the Iranian regime. It may not happen tomorrow, or even the next day, but Iran’s actions at home and across the region exposes the leadership’s hardline, irrational beliefs and the importance of the alternative these Iranians represent.”
To join and watch the gathering live, go online at www.iranfreedom.org and use the hashtag of #iranfeedom and help make a difference.
By Michael Tomlinson