- - Monday, July 17, 2017

The fact that many of you are here today is proof that one day soon we will see freedom and democracy in Iran, your original home. We will see it.

The path to democracy is always long. It’s always hard. But important things do take time; they are not easy. Have faith and hope that one day the people of Iran will be able to throw off the shackles of the supreme leader and become a nation committed to the rule of law and freedom for everybody. And that will happen soon. I mean there’s Iranian dissidents and exiles — two and a half million throughout the world. And I think we have all two and a half million right here in this room, it seems like.

Thirty years ago … the government, Khomeini, murdered 30,000 people because they were political dissidents. They wanted a regime change. And here we are, almost 30 years later. It’s time to have a day of reckoning for those people that were murdered.

So I say to you, you daughters of democracy, you sons of liberty, do not give up. Do not despair. Because on the horizon, the sun is rising for a new Iran … And so I encourage you young people and the young people of Iran … take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations and make sure that the ayatollah knows that you want a free and independent country and free elections.

As we celebrate in the United States Independence Day, we will think about independence for Iran, so that they can be a free people. And the day is coming when the mullahs will reap what they have sown. They will be held accountable for their crimes. They will be tried in international courts of justice. And the people of Iran will be free. Do not give up. Be strong and courageous. Be bold, because it’s important.

Republican Rep. Ted Poe represents the 2nd Congressional District in Texas and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. This excerpt is from his remarks to the July 1 rally in Paris.

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