Iranian gathering in Paris, 9 July 2016
Excerpts from remarks by John Baird, former Foreign Minister of Canada
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. Over the years, billions of dollars have left Tehran to sow fear, violence, death and destruction. From Assad’s war against his own people, to a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, from a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, to arming Hezbollah with mis-siles targeting civilians in Israel, we must call the mullahs out on it.
For ten years, the world sanctioned this regime, finally with brutal effectiveness, to urge them, to pressure them to take a different course. And those sanctions were working. The sanctions were beginning to bite. Rouhani and his clerical regime don’t want to abandon their nuclear program. They want to rid themselves of the eco-nomic sanctions. They want more money for Hezbollah, more money for Assad to wage war against his own people, and more money to attack and undermine all of its neighbors in the region.
The people of Iran suffer each and every day under this regime. And despite the election of Rouhani, there has actually been a dramatic increase in this activity. The death penalty is routinely used against human rights ac-tivists and against dissidents.
We must call out this slick public relations campaign for what it is: a lie. We have so many allies in the fight against this brutal regime. But you know who our biggest ally in this struggle is? Friends, it is the people of Iran. Make no mistake whatsoever that the people of Iran do not support this regime and they want to see it overthrown. Each and every one of us need to stand in solidary with the people of Iran and come together and state clearly that the notion that Hassan Rouhani is a moderate or is a reformer, simply put, is a fraud.