It’s so inspiring to see that not even the world’s worst pandemic since 1918 has stopped you from assembling to remind the world that not only is there an organized and strong resistance to the clerical regime that rules Tehran today, but equally importantly, there is a government ready to take over tomorrow.
The MEK has done a great deal for the people of Iran and for the world. But, perhaps the greatest testimony to your effectiveness is the fact that the Iranian regime hates you so much and will stop at nothing to destroy you. That speaks volumes. It says that they consider you a threat and, frankly, whatever’s bad for the Iranian regime is good for the rest of the world.
We talked a lot during the proceedings about the Iranian government’s use of embassies abroad, of diplomats, of intelligence, of civilian government tools to terrorize not only its opponents, but those who support you such as the United States and governments of Europe. Again, that’s a testimony to the MEK’s effectiveness and power. What has accelerated this hostility is, in addition to what you were doing outside of Iran, is what is happening inside Iran. We’ve seen over the past year and a half that the Iranian people are fed up with the mullahs and are rising up. Despite all their efforts to stop people from speaking out against the Islamic regime and the principles of the Islamic revolution, the people of Iran, your relatives, are not stopping. They’re going stronger than ever, and it doesn’t look like anything can stop them.
I served as a U.S. diplomat in the Middle East for over 25 years and as the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain. I can tell you that I saw firsthand, what you all know too well, that the Iranian regime has a sophisticated and coordinated plan to spread terror and violence and destabilization throughout the region. They practice what they preach, and will use the kind of repression and violence that they use against their own people against anybody who disagrees with them, whether they’re Iranian or not.
The MEK and your efforts have been instrumental in exposing this conspiracy of terror by the government of Tehran over many years. You’ve had some very important successes, disrupting the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities, so they tried to destroy, discredit and demonize you in and out of Iran. They have funded information campaigns against you. They have tried to convince journalists, governments, and think tanks, that the MEK is an outlaw organization that doesn’t represent Iranians and has no following inside Iran. Well, again, the fact that they’re saying this indicates to me that the opposite is true. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be spending all this money and effort to present a false narrative.
So, where should we go from here? This is maybe the fourth or fifth gathering that I’ve joined, and you have been waging the struggle for a whole lot longer. I will offer only a couple of suggestions, , number one, the power of Iran lies in its people. The United States and the friends of Iran and the MEK in Europe and elsewhere need to do everything they can to empower the Iranian people, support their struggle for freedom, and support opposition movements on the frontlines. This is how we build a more prosperous and peaceful Iran along the lines of Madame Rajavi’s 10-Point Plan. The second thing, we need to pay more attention to countering the propaganda campaign against the MEK, against what you represent, against what you’re doing. In addition to trying to bomb or murder you into silence, the Iranian regime is trying to out propagandize you. What’s important for us to do is to tell the truth about the Iranian opposition, to share what we see in our gatherings such as this, and to allow the rest of the world to understand that the Iranian people want something better for their country. That vision is represented by all of you, by Madame Rajavi, and by the great work you are doing.
I’ll conclude by saying congratulations for defying nature and having a gathering of this size, this importance, this significance and impact, in the most difficult of circumstances. It is a reflection of your passion, of your commitment, and of your dedication to what is a very worthy and noble cause. And thank you, Madame Rajavi for your leadership and for the example that you set for all of us.