At Trans-Atlantic summit, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi outlines three pillars of an effective policy vis-a-vis the theocratic regime.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 25, 2020 — Days before the start of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, an online global event, “Trans-Atlantic Summit on Iran Policy, Time to Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable,” was held on September 18, 2020, which brought together Iranians from 10,000 locations around the world. The summit was broadcast live into Iran and livestreamed on Twitter and Facebook in five different languages.
A focus of the summit was the strategic necessity of reinstating all UN sanctions on Tehran as long as its barbaric suppression of protesters and terrorism and belligerence continues. The summit also focused on supporting the Iranian’s people’s Resistance and uprisings to bring about democratic change.
A bipartisan array of members of the US Senate and House of Representatives, as well as distinguished personalities were joined by parliamentarians from across the Atlantic, calling for a free Iran and support for a new path toward peace and security. More than 30 US lawmakers addressed the summit, including senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Judy Chu (D-CA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani; General James Jones, first National Security Advisor to President Obama; General Jack Keane, former Vice-Chief of Staff of the United States Army; Hon. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House; former senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); and Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; also addressed the conference.
From Europe, Hon. David Jones and Hon. Bob Blackman, senior members of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons; Hon. Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, and Hon. Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania, spoke.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was the summit’s keynote speaker. In her opening remarks, she paid tribute to Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestling champion recently executed by the regime, adding: “Faced with executions and massacres, the people of Iran urge the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council, in particular, to restore the snapback sanctions stipulated in six U.N. resolutions against the clerical regime in Iran. Otherwise, Khamenei will continue to ravage the nation, as his regime’s survival depends on murder and suppression. If Khamenei were to stop executions, he would lose control of the situation, and uprisings simmering in the depths of Iranian society would erupt and overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism.”
The NCRI President-elect continued: “What we say is this: Boycott the clerical regime. Boycotting the regime helps the fight against terrorism, against suppression and against corruption. Every single dollar given to the regime will turn into a bullet that is fired into the hearts of youths in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen… Our people do not want uranium enrichment plants. Neither do they want a ballistic missile program, nor the regime’s criminal wars… There must be an end to the wrongheaded international policies that in practice aid the murderers of the Iranian people, allowing the religious fascism to violate the rights of the people of Iran and spread war and terrorism in the Middle East.”
In closing, Mrs. Rajavi outlined three pillars of an effective policy vis-a-vis the theocratic regime: human rights for all the people of Iran, comprehensive sanctions against the religious dictatorship, and recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance and struggle for freedom.
Highlights of remarks by some of the speakers at the summit, which was emceed by Ms. Trish Regan, include:
SENATOR ROY BLUNT, CHAIR OF THE REPUBLICAN POLICY COMMITTEE: Iran has simply increased its destructive activities after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA, did not work. Strengthening sanctions is an appropriate response to Iran’s continued aggression. We need to be concerned about the daily attacks on the people of Iran who, through their uprisings, their protests and strikes, have been seeking regime change. And we really see an escalation of those protests in the last two years.
SENATOR TED CRUZ, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Iran’s tyrannical and evil regime continues to finance and export terror, endangering the lives of Americans and the national security of both us and our allies. By using our existing authority to invoke the snapback sanctions mechanism, we have taken a necessary step to counter Iran’s aggression, to deny the regime resources and to significantly slow the development and deployment of Iran’s nuclear program.
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ, RANKING MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: While in Congress we may have differing approaches about the best way to address the threat from Iran, rest assured that we remain united against the regime’s fundamental abuses against its citizens, oppressing and denying fundamental rights to women, jailing peaceful activists, threatening journalists. Moreover, we stand united in our efforts to prevent Iran from continuing to export its ideology in the form of terrorist actors and destabilizing activities. And we are united in preventing Iran from being able to threaten her neighbors and the world with a nuclear weapon.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, ACTING CHAIRMAN OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: This battle, your battle, our battle, is not simply to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not simply to keep Iran from continuing to sponsor terrorism—this is all very important—the real battle is to give Iran back to the Iranian people so they can reclaim the greatness of an extraordinary civilization and once again be the home of a peaceful country in which people from all different backgrounds live together and contribute to the world..
SENATOR JEANNE SHAHEEN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: The regime denies its people the right to freedom of assembly, expression and association. I’m an original sponsor of legislation [S.Res.539] that expresses support for the rights of the people of Iran to determine their own future and condemns the Iranian regime for its crackdown against legitimate protests.
SENATOR ROB PORTMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS: The people of Iran deserve better than a government that spends its scarce resources on proxy forces and terrorism instead of domestic priorities.
SENATOR MARTHA MCSALLY, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: The U.S. and the international community must continue to hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations and reprehensible behavior. Our world cannot be stable while the number one sponsor of terror continues to operate.
SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: It is a privilege to send greetings to everyone attending the Summit to Support a Free Iran. I also send my regards to each of today’s speakers, who are joining in this important effort to support democracy and freedom for the Iranian people.
SENATOR RON JOHNSON, CHAIRMAN, HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: For decades, Iran has cracked down on dissenters and peaceful protestors. Navid Afkari is one of the latest victims of Iran’s brutal regime. The United States condemns his execution and continues to stand with the people of Iran.
REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Iran’s rulers are beginning to fear the resistance. The Iranian opposition to the regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is steadily gaining momentum and has thus become the main target of the regime’s global terrorists. Dozens of the Iranian regime’s so-called diplomats as well as its agents have been expelled or jailed by European nations, including Belgium, France, Albania, as well as the United States, for their terror plots, particularly against NCRI officials.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON-LEE, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: I rise to be able to support the fighters in Iran for human rights, and to stand with those like Madam Rajavi, who want human rights, and the fight against the abuses, the horrible abuses that people are facing in Iran who just simply want justice, equality and human rights. I’m standing with the message of Mrs. Rajavi, that we want freedom.
REP. TED YOHO, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: We must remember those who have given their lives in the past for a free Iran and a better future for their children, especially the 30,000 political prisoners who lost their lives in the 1988 massacre. To the people of Iran, please know that America stands with you in wanting to provide a better life, free from oppression and fear, and we strongly support the fundamental rights of all Iranians to the rights and liberties that all should be free to enjoy.
REP. JUDY CHU, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Today, we remember the thousands of political prisoners who were massacred in Iran in 1988, simply for having the courage to express their political opinions. But even decades later, Iran refuses to acknowledge the killings or even tell the families where their loved ones are buried. That is because many of those responsible are still in power today, and Iran’s mullahs are continuing to oppress their people and export terror.
REP. LANCE GOODEN, FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: I support the 10-point plan that Madam Rajavi has put out, as I know all of you do… And I also want to encourage people of Iran fighting oppression, to stay strong and know that you have friends around the world who believe in you and in a free Iran.
REP. PAUL GOSAR, OVERSIGHT AND REFORM COMMITTEE : House Resolution 374, of which I’m an original sponsor condemns Iranian state sponsored terrorism, and expresses support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran. We are working hard in support of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and her vision for Iran’s future.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: We cannot allow the Ayatollah and his corrupt government to continue these atrocities against the Iranian people. And that’s why 220 of my colleagues and I have joined Representative Tom McClintock’s House Resolution 374 to condemn the regime’s sponsorship for terrorism, and support the Iranian people’s desire for a free Iran.
MAYOR RUDI GIULIANI: There must be an end to the regime’s destructive meddling in the activities of other countries in the region and terrorism all throughout the world. The MEK or the NCRI present a dramatic democratic alternative to this regime of terror. They have a government-in-waiting that can take Iran through the transition. Iran is deathly afraid of Madame Rajavi’s whole vision for a future Iran. Madame Rajavi wants to have a free Iran.
HON. NEWT GINGRICH: The distance we have to go to Mrs. Rajavi’s dream of a unified, peaceful, democratic Iran, an Iran that is back as part of the world of nations that are free, an Iran where people can freely travel to and from the country, that dream still has a lot of work to turn it into reality. I commend each of you for being personally involved. I want you to know that this kind of patriotism, this kind of dedication, is what is necessary if we are to defeat dictatorships.
GENERAL JAMES JONES: There should be more isolation of the leaders of Iran. They should not be welcomed in countries that support freedom and democracy. We must support the Iranian people. We must support the NCRI and the people of Iran. They are the ones who will topple the regime. They will usher in a new era for the history of Iran. I am deeply appreciative of the leadership of Madam Rajavi and her Jeffersonian ten-point plan.
GENERAL JACK KEANE: I join my American colleagues in fully supporting your resistance movement, your drive for a free Iran, your willingness, under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi, to inspire the people of Iran and the people around the world by vividly bringing to the world’s attention the struggle of the Iranian people for their freedom.
SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: I’m a Democrat, and you know how long has been my support of freedom for the people of Iran and opposition to this regime. There are many more like me in the Democratic party. You’ve seen Democratic members of Congress address you today… So, you have bipartisan support in Congress. Once the Iran regime falls, the beneficiaries will not just be the people of Iran who will finally be given their freedom, and the NCRI will play a leading role in bringing that about.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE: The mullahs must go. And we know there is an alternative. Mrs. Rajavi and the NCRI, your ten-point plan presents a great alternative for the Iranian people, one that envisions a peaceful, democratic country and a future based on universal suffrage, gender equality, freedom of speech, separation of religion and state, and of course a non-nuclear Iran. Sanctions should be implemented, and I believe also that there is a bipartisan consensus in the U.S. Congress.
AMBASSADOR ROBERT JOSEPH: Let me begin by thanking our friends at Ashraf 3 who are with us today. You and your brothers and sisters inside Iran, the resistance units, are the true beacons of freedom. For over a generation, you have endured unspeakable suffering at the hands of the regime, as you stood up for your values—democracy, human rights, equality of the sexes, and a secular republic, where sovereignty resides with the people, not with the corrupt ruling class.
HON. GIULIO TERZI: I regret the present European attitude on Iran… Serious pressure must be exerted on the Iranian regime. The regime in Tehran must understand that it will pay a heavy price. A true European deterrence is needed.
HON. DAVID JONES: The coming debate in the UN General Assembly offers an opportunity for the UK and the US to press for the continuation of those sanctions, encouraging other nations to follow the principled approach based on a hard-headed response to the reality of the situation in Iran and not to follow appeasement, by adopting a firm resolve to hold the regime’s leaders to account at an international level for past crimes against humanity and current the people of Iran, and the pro-democracy movement that’s led by Madame Rajavi, supporting a viable Iranian-made solution to the current regime in Tehran.
HON. BOB BLACKMAN: Appeasing the theocratic leaders in Tehran by overlooking their breaches of their obligations under the Nuclear Deal will not bring about moderation or reforms to the benefit of the Iranian people. The international community should agree to and establish an independent international inquiry into the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners… The time has come to stand with the people of Iran and their resistance movement, the NCRI, and its leader, Madame Rajavi.
HON. PANDELI MAJKO: The Mujahedeen [MEK] and Madame Rajavi, the woman of peace, are the alternative for a lasting peace between East and the West. In the future, they may turn into an alternative for internal dialogue in Iranian society. Their survival keeps hope not only for freedom in Iran but also for the relationship between East and West.
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