Linda Chavez, Chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity and former Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison
Thank you very much. It is such a pleasure to be with you, Madame Rajavi. I wish that we could be together as we were in 2018. I remember those days outside of Paris in the suburbs, when you literally had 100,000 people coming to support your efforts to overturn the regime in Iran. And we were excited, we were joyous, we were there willing to confront the regime on various issues. And little did any of us know at the time that while we were there, in Villepinte, that the regime’s tentacles had reached out and were plotting to have a mass terrorist attack on that event. It has been three years since that event. And during that interim the people who were involved in planning that attack had been arrested and had been brought to trial. And I was very proud to be one of the persons who filed suit against those perpetrators about attempted terrorism. And they have now been sentenced with the organizer, the diplomat, an actual diplomat of Iran, sentenced to 20 years, and others getting sentences from 15 to 18 years. I bring that up, because I think it’s important to understand that Iran does not just persecute its own people within its own borders, but its reach goes global. The regime is able to reach out and to assassinate those who disagree with it. They send out their propagandists to attack Madame Rajavi and the POMI. They are on the assault constantly to try to keep those who want to bring democracy to Iran in check.
We heard from General Jones and from others throughout the day of the incredible consequence of a sham election this year in Iran, in which an actual butcher was elected. This is not a man whose hands are dipped in blood. This is a man whose whole body has been dipped in the blood of martyrs for freedom in Iran. And it is a striking commentary how little we have heard from Western countries about the election of this man. He is not somebody that reasonable governments, the democratic government should deal with. This is not someone who is a representative of the people of Iran. He is simply a representative of the Mullahs and their ironclad control.
So, what can be done? Well, I think the 1000s of people who are watching this event, who are participating in this event, in places throughout the world, can in fact, do something. And that something is to endorse the program that Madame Rajavi has been talking about for over a decade. And that is the 10-point plan that would bring the kind of stable democracy to Iran that all of us support a democracy that gives equal rights to men and women that does not impose a state religion but allows people to express their faith as they choose, that allows a judiciary to act independently and in which there are free and fair elections.
And finally, I would say that particularly given the question about a nuclear Iran that is on the table now with the United States having withdrawn from the agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons, Iran is now in pursuit. And they are making no bones about it. They are being very outspoken in their desire to be able to create the ability to create nuclear weapons. This is an affront, not just again to the people of Iran, but to the entire world. So, I would say the time is now, the time is now for those who support freedom in democracy in Iran to rise up to make their voices heard. And for those of us in the West, who already enjoy those freedoms to stand with those who are in fact, the beacons of freedom for the people of Iran. Thank you so much, Madame Rajavi for once again pulling us all together, and I am hopeful that the next time it is not simply on camera, but that we are able to see each other face to face and to support your valiant efforts. Thank you so much.