José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero-Paris, June-2014 – The Grand Gathering of Iranians

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero-Paris, June-2014 – The Grand Gathering of Iranians

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – Former Prime Minister of Spain

Thank you. Dear friends, we are here together again in Paris. We are here once again to support each other. We know that freedom’s course is a fair course. We know that the fight for freedom is often painful, but it’s worthwhile. Democracy through justice and dignity doesn’t accept the superiority of anyone. No faith, no interpretation of God, no culture is superior to humankind’s free will to live together. In Maryam Rajavi’s words we can hear democracy, liberty and human rights.

These are words that resound with a strength in Iran. Iran, your homeland, Iran, the birth place of a brilliant and profound civilization much admired by other peoples. The whole world is waiting for a completely democratic Iran, a non-nuclear Iran committed to peace in the Middle East. In a region where violence, fanaticism and death are growing, like in Iraq, Syria and many other areas, we exhort you to maintain a strong commitment to peace, to free speech, to dialogue, and to tolerance. Religion must look after religion and politics after politics. If politics is used in the name of religion it isn’t politics for everyone. And if politics isn’t for everyone there is no freedom.

I also ask you to maintain a steadfast commitment to equal rights for women. History doesn’t give us many reasons to feel proud of ourselves. Women have lived under domination and humiliation. And still today in most countries women suffer violence and injustices. Democracy does not exist without full rights for women. Justice doesn’t exist if women aren’t free. No faith, no ideology, no culture, no party can justify discrimination against women. We must demand human rights in all places and circumstances. We must demand civil liberties in all places and circumstances. The rule of law is that only way that the state and the law can remain that laws are respected and that we can live in safety. For the people to live with dignity they need an independent judiciary, civil laws, freedom of the media, a representative governments, and minority rights.

Dignity, dignity implies remembering those who lost their lives for liberty. Because injustice starts when we forget them. We remember today the Camp Liberty Iranians, and we demand that their security, their rights and future be guaranteed. Dear friends, our concern for the situation in the Middle East and the Iraq war grows every day. Violence, human rights relations, sectarian conflicts, failed states, economy, religion, the international community must act in the Middle East. The United Nations must (list) an international coalition with the United States, Russia, China, the European Union, the Islamic Conference and the (Europe League) to set up a political plan to encourage national unity governments in the crisis area. The Middle East, just like Iran, needs. When politic fails, hate, fanaticism and the worst of humankind win. And when dialogue and consensus prevail, pluralism is recognized, liberties are guaranteed and the secular estate opens up a time of peace and progress, like in Tunisia.

Dear friends, I would like to wish you good luck and encourage you to work together for peace, a peace for free men and women who respect all beliefs and don’t try to impose any on anyone. This is my wish for Iran and the Middle East. This is my wish for Iraq and the Middle East. Dignity, freedom, peace, human rights for Iran. Human rights for Iran. Thank you, thank you very much.