Tens of thousands of supporters of a dissident Iranian opposition group filled a vast convention hall here over the weekend to call for the downfall of Iran's theocratic government.
Onwards to freedom in Iran: Bipartisan voices call for democratic change
Onwards to freedom in Iran: Bipartisan voices call for democratic change is a Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Advocacy Department and the Organization of Iranian American Communities - U.S.
Let me say for the years we've been together, the times we have met both here and in America, it is a particularly great honor to have the opportunity to follow Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, who being here sends such a powerful signal that everyone who is opposed to the dictatorship is coming together to end the regime and bring freedom back to Iran.
We appreciate Madame Rajavi and all of you for the opportunity to find common ground. And I hope we can do that more after this coming election.
Was that a great speech by President-elect Rajavi? [applause with YES] Was that a huge accomplishment, a huge message, by having a member of the Saudi royal family here? [applause]
Our committee remains focused on the threat posed by the radical regime in Tehran. This is a threat you know all too well -- stripping the rights of the Iranian people has been a consistent policy of this brutal regime since it seized power.
"Stop this extravagance. Stop the reckless throwing of my country to the wind. Stop the screaming, the bloodshed, the mayhem. Stop doing what makes God's creatures mourn in tears." [Amid] retaliation for her exercise of what she believed was her civil right and her civic duty to challenge authoritarian evil, she courageously observed the following: "You may wish to have me burned or decide to stone me, but in your hand, match or stone will lose the power to harm me."
I wanted to say how sorry I am that I could not be with you this year. But as some of you may know I am the chairman of the host committee for the Democratic National Convention here in Philadelphia, which is going to be held in a few days.
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. There is a tradition that states that the Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH), once gestured towards his Persian companion Salman and said, "Even if faith were near the Pleiades, men from among the Persians would attain it."
I am deeply troubled by the escalation of human rights violations in Iran and the fragile situation in Iraq, which places your loved ones at Camp Liberty in grave danger. Fortunately, through strong bipartisan support in Congress, we are making some progress to ensure the safety and security of the brave men and women at Camp Liberty.
I cannot find any words capable of describing the trust you are bestowing on me other than to say that I am humbled and that your outpouring of emotion is a reminder of the great responsibility that you have put on my shoulders.
I can't begin these remarks without telling you what an enormous privilege it is to be here with you and also to witness, as we all did, the appearance and the speech of Prince Turki al Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
You know, so much changes and so much remains the same. A short time ago we were here trying to rationalize why the United States government would put this democratic movement on a foreign terrorist list. Absolutely insane. That has changed, and it was a product of your work and your inspiration, your faith, the struggle of those of your brothers and sisters in Iraq.
Hail to resistance and freedom.
It's incredible to me that Rouhani, the "moderate," the man who claims to be a moderate leader, in his three years in office is responsible for 2,500 executions, more than any other leader in Iran in the last 25 years. And can you imagine the U.N. sanctioned him for the execution of children? It doesn't get much worse. And so your work, the work of Mrs. Rajavi, and the principles that you all stand for here are increasingly important.
We are here today because we believe in freedom. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people. We stand against the mullahs who have caused untold terror to your beloved country with their oppression and reign of terror. The mullahs denied the people of Iran the pride of their extraordinary heritage, a heritage admired across the globe.
We meet at the first anniversary of the Vienna nuclear deal and as was entirely predictable, the hopes that that deal would bring peace and stability to the Middle East and the wider world have been proven to be mere illusions. Iran has changed neither its policies nor its behavior in the years since Vienna.
The great struggle of our generation is the struggle against terrorism, and the regime in Tehran is by far the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
In my early days in Iraq it didn't take me long to figure out that the United States and Iran had diametrically opposed objectives.
I have come today with friends of mine from the Albanian Parliament, from the right and left wing....