Judge Ted Poe Member of US Congress:
Thank you for inviting me to be here today. I am Ted Poe, I am from, the state of Texas and glad to be here today. I represent, not the United States, I represent my own opinions. Dana Rohrabacher is a great freedom fighter and he has been for a number of years and I consider him a great friend and it's an honor to be here with him today.
There are growing signs that the efforts of the Iranian people are cracking, the iron grip, the iron fist of the illegitimate regime in Iran. The mullahs are nervous. They can't sleep at night. The Iranian people are keeping them awake. The young people of Iran are giving them nightmares. Freedom is also giving them nightmares. The regime will never change. We have learned that through history. History is the great teacher. It is never going to change. It will never moderate. They will never compromise their iron totalitarian grip on the people. So, there can be no peace with the mullahs. People cry “Peace! Peace!” but there can be no peace as long as they're one Iranian murdered in the streets and hung from a lamppost. There can be no peace.
The regime in Tehran knows no bounds. In 2009, we watched as the regime imprisoned, beat, tortured, and killed the people of Iran. Many young people. And you know what? They're doing it again. History is the great teacher. The mullahs will not change. They arrest and they kill protesters whose only cry, the only cry they have, that you have, is for a free Iran. The champions of Liberty are once again persecuted by the Supreme Leader's cronies.
Now, we see the young people take to the streets. All the enthusiasm of the millennials are taken to the streets because they want a free Iran. Iran has earned the title of the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. There are 198 countries, give or take two or three, and in all of those nations, Iran, the number one state sponsor of terrorism. The regime not only funds terrorist groups in the world, the regime terrorizes its own people. How shameful is that? It rules through fear and oppression. It wants the people to be fearful of the regime. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is freedom. And freedom is on the way. Any regime that has to terrorize its own people to maintain power is an illegitimate regime and should not be in power. The freedom-loving people of Iran, those here, those in many countries and those in Iran, will not back down. I'm convinced, as an outsider that they will not, you will not back down.
The opposition is as fierce as ever and the people are fighting on the streets with their words, with the freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble. This is why the regime is fighting back with brutality, because what you do and say is working. You know, a regime that denies freedom to others does not deserve it for themselves. And these protesters, you protesters, fearlessly take to the street despite the brutality and chants of death of the dictator, forget about Syria, and think about us. The world always and should admire these freedom fighters. As Rama Yad said earlier wherever she is, I think she's over there, women are involved, young women, and maybe more women than men are involved in this fight for freedom. My grandmother, who was the most important person in my life, lived to be 99 years of age, was pretty strong-willed, I'll give that her that word. She must have been Iranian because she is just like the women of Iran today. You know, the mullahs down in Tehran don't care about the people of Iran. They really don't. They only care about two things: power and money. Your money! Money they take from you, the people of Iran, and put in their pockets, and also to fund terrorism throughout the world.
You know, the mullahs of Iran are at war. They're at war with the Iranian people. The mullahs are at war with your neighbors, in Yemen. The mullahs are at war with the people of Syria. And the mullahs are at war with all peoples who believe in freedom. Instead of improving the economy in Iran and ensuring that the average Iranian can make a living, they send hundreds of millions of dollars of Iranian people's money to export terrorism throughout the world. What does that mean? That means that there are groups that the Iranian government gives money to, to pillage, rape and murder other people's throughout the world. Wherever there is turmoil in the world, just look around, the mullahs are there, with their terrorist groups. They have used thugs and the IRGC and their proxy Hezbollah to sort discord throughout the Middle East. Not only that, Hezbollah, that is funded by the IRGC, that is funded by the Iranian government, has been raising money for their terrorist exploits by drug trafficking in South America. That's close to home! I take that personal, that they are doing that. They've been pumping tons of drugs into the United States and they use the pursuit proceeds to spill American blood and to make a profit off the sale of drugs and raise it for their terrorist activities. All government-sponsored. When the regime bankrolls this terrorism, Iranian civilians at home suffer. As my friend Mr. Rohrabacher has said, they suffer from the lack of jobs - they suffer from not getting paid, they suffer from pensions, because that money is going somewhere else. The people of Iran, your family members, they've been imprisoned, tortured, brutally murdered.
For years, this has been going on. Good folks in the camps in Iraq were constantly targeted by the IRGC, in the Camp Ashraf, Camp Liberty, the murders of those folks cannot ever be forgotten. And the world must remember that all those people murdered in Iraq, in the camps, not one of the killers has ever been brought to trial to stand for justice for what they have committed. And I commend the people for continuing to fight for what they believe in. You know, the MEK for example, has gone to Albania. It's good of the Albanians to take the MEK there. They call it Camp Ashraf number 3, but Camp Ashraf number 4 is going to be in Tehran, it's not going to be in Albania.
And we know the Iranian government has increased its spy network in Albania. Who are they spying on in Albania? Well, no one other than the Iranians that are there. You know the American people in my opinion, and I and Mr. Rohrabacher from California and other members of Congress, stand ready to help you face these criminals that call themselves a government.
Yes, there must be a regime change. But let me make it very clear, this regime change must be not from outside powers, outside governments coming in and militarily changing the regime - we've seen that happen in the Middle East - this regime change must be from the people of Iran that live in Iran and that live throughout the world. The United States however must make sure that we have a strategy to neutralize the IRGC’s activity outside of Iran. You know, the United States, I think, can open up through its satellite technique the internet so that people in Iran can communicate with each other on social media. We've recently designated the IRGC and their band of thugs for their terrorist activity and I've introduced legislation that would put terrorist’s sanctions on their farm proxies in Iraq and Syria as well.
I used to be a judge in Texas for a long time, and one thing that I learned as a judge that I believed in every day, was the word justice. And there is no justice for the people of Iran, there's not, by anybody’s standard throughout the world. There's no justice. That is sad. But that should increase the fire in your belly to be strong and fight for what you believe in, freedom.
I said history is a great teacher, it is. And Mr. Rohrabacher mentioned Lafayette, who we think the world of in the United States. Many years ago in our history, we had a 33 year-old, a young person who helped lead the American Revolution, it's not a bunch of old guys or gals. It's the young people that change history. His name was Thomas Jefferson and at the age of 33, he pinned what he thought were the reasons why America should have a new regime. And here's what he said: Listen to me, we hold these truths to be self-proving, we hold these truths to be self-evident, “that all men and women are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain rights, that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights.” Stay with me, “That when any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter it or abolish it and institute a new government”. It is the right of the people to change the regime in Iran, a new government, whether that's a new government under Madam Rajavi’s 10-point plan or some other form of democracy. It needs a new government by the people.
The tide is turning and the days of this terrorist regime in Tehran are numbered. And it will be the Iranian people who bring them to justice. So, I say to you, you daughters of democracy, you sons of liberty, your youthful young patriots, do not grow wary, be strong and courageous and let the people of Iran sing a new song, one of peace, one of liberty, one of freedom, one of breaking off the chains of slavery, and let the people sing a new song. So, I tell you freedom fighters to rise up and soon we will go arm in arm marching through the streets of Tehran singing a new song of freedom, liberty and peace. And that's just the way it is. Thank you.