Ed Rendell, politician and former Governor of Pennsylvania, spoke at the “Free Iran” rally in Paris on 1st July. He opened his speech with mention of the many people who worked hard to free the people of Ashraf. He said that Bob Torricelli and Colonel Wes Martin deserve extra credit for the effort and time they put into the operation. He emphasized that they, like everyone involved in the operation, did not do what they did for credit or thanks but because they “became devout believers in the goodness and the talent that was in Ashraf, and we couldn’t let those good people die”.
He also said that the operation was very difficult because at the time the MEK was on the terror list and nobody wanted anything to do with the task. However, they persisted and eventually the situation was easier to control.
After much criticism about the Obama administration and its foreign policy errors, Rendell made the following point: “By the way, who did that desisting? Who was the Secretary of State who did that desisting? Let the record show it was Hillary Clinton. And who did Hillary Clinton work for? She worked for President Barack Obama. Now, when the State Department helped us get 3,000 Ashrafis to Albania, Bob Torricelli will tell you and anybody who was in on that will tell you that it was because of the work of the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry. And let me ask you a question, who did John Kerry work for? Barack Obama. So let’s be clear about this. Three thousand people are in Albania because of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and a lot of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, who rolled up their sleeves and worked hard because we believed in those people. We believed in their goodness, we believed in their talent, we believed in their energy, we believe that they could be a cornerstone to building a free Iran.”
He then said that the next step is to free Iran, something that this is the job of the people. He emphasized that the US must stand firmly behind them.
As well as giving the people of Iran freedom and democracy, Rendell highlighted that freeing Iran is also in the interests of the US because it will spell the end of extremism and will mean peace and security.
Rendell ended his speech by saying that he has never experience more accomplishment in his whole public career than he did when the people of Ashraf were freed. He said: “I have never felt a better feeling than knowing that my work and my energy somehow contributed in some small part to getting the people of Ashraf out of Iraq to safety. I’ve never felt prouder, I’ve never felt prouder of anything I’ve done in my public career. And I want to—this was its own reward, to see those faces on the screen tonight, that’s its own reward. You don’t have to thank me. It’s wonderful, it’s a great feeling.”