John Baird at the Free Iran World Summit 2021 on 12 July 2021

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John Baird, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

Thank you. Thank you very much. I am so honored and thrilled to be with you today. Particularly pleased to be joined by two new Canadian colleagues who will speak following my remarks. I’m so pleased to as well join many, many Canadians of Iranian background who are watching online across the country. I’m also very pleased to say hello to my friends at Camp Ashraf. I’m sorry that I can’t be physically with you today. But I want you to know my heart and my enthusiasm are with you today. There’s one group of people we know who are also watching. There are millions of people in Iran watching today’s event online or will watch it online. And I want to say to you very clearly, the people of Iran, that the Canadian people are with you in your great struggle.

One of the proudest moments that I had in public life over 20 years in government was the day when Canada made a big decision 10 years ago. We said that we wanted nothing to do with a terrorist supporting the human rights violating regime in Tehran. We formally broke off diplomatic relations with the regime and we kicked the mullahs henchmen out of Canada. That was real Canadian leadership. There will be a day when Madame Rajavi will pick the mullahs from power in Tehran. Raisi’s installation as president is clear evidence that he is deeply afraid of the uprisings going on across Iran. The mullahs have made a radical hardliner president with the blood of 30,000 freedom fighters on his hands. Western leaders must understand the charade, the myth of reform, and that appeasement is possible in Iran is simply a mirage. It has failed for more than 40 years.

I am also really pleased to be able to recognize the moral leadership and courage of the president of Slovenia. He has called on Raisi to account for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 MEK prisoners, he has angered the zealots and the mullahs, and friends, he should wear that as a badge of honor. The world needs more leadership like this. I want to join you in calling for accountability for this regime’s human rights violations, for its mass murders and for its repression, and for its support of terrorism, not just in the region, but frankly, around the world. And I have a message for Abraham where he sees you are not a legitimate leader. You are not a legitimately elected president. The Iranian people will hold you to account for your actions, and the world will hold you accountable for the blood on your hands.

Madame Rajavi, I am so pleased to call you a friend. I admire your courage. I admire your leadership. I admire your 10-point plan. We in Canada stand with you to pursue a better day for the people of Iran. Next year, let’s hope we can meet and gather in a free Tehran. [I’m ready]