Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, former Director of Policy Planning in the US Department of State
My name is Mitchell Reiss. I’m a former American ambassador. It is my pleasure to be able to speak today to the Free Iran World Summit. That word ‘free’ in other words, like in freedom, democracy and human rights, unfortunately doesn’t hold much meaning these days inside Iran. The latest presidential election was a sham with less than 20%, perhaps as few as 10% of the people of Iran actually bothering to vote. Why was that? Because so many of the candidates had been eliminated from the ballot by the regime unilaterally and arbitrarily. The low voter turnout was despite threats by Ayatollah Khamenei that voting was something that was essential, that if you didn’t vote, it was a religious sin, and yet people still stayed away. The next president is clearly a puppet of the Mullahs. And you have to ask yourself, why was this one man selected? Why was he allowed to run for office, when so many others were denied that opportunity? And I think the answer is clear. It’s because of his history of repression and terror in obedience to the religious authorities in their repression of the Iranian people for so many years, dating back to the late 1980s when he served as a member of the death commission that resulted in 30,000 people being executed. Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called for Special Investigations into the role of this death commission and clearly any investigation must also examine his culpability for this crime against humanity.
So, there’s no doubt that the regime in Iran once more is illegitimate. It doesn’t enjoy the will of the people. In fact, the people have indicated that they don’t support this regime. And it stands against a much better vision, a much more hopeful vision for Iran, one that is based on freedom and democracy and human rights and dignity, where people can assemble freely. They can read the books they want, they can post on social media as they wish, they can speak up. That’s the vision that Madame Rajavi has established for a new Iran. It’s very attractive. It is very appealing to millions of people across Iran and indeed across the world. But it is feared, terribly feared by the regime and the mullahs now control the levers of power in Tehran. The good news is time in history is on the side of Madame Rajavi and freedom for the Iranian people. Hope must be kept alive, because that’s what will eventually win the day.
So, it’s my pleasure, again, to speak to you today and to say that many people around the world, millions of people, stand with the Iranian people and their hopes and dreams for a better future. And we’re with you and we encourage you and we support the vision that Madame Rajavi has established for a new Iran.