Joseph Lieberman – Former Member of the US Senate, Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 2000 election
Thank you very much. Thank you for that wonderful, warm welcome. I am honored to join you today in a great cause, which is the cause of freedom and human rights and independence for the people of Iran. I am honored to stand at this podium after President-Elect Rajavi. But it’s not so easy to follow such a great speech. It was brilliant, it was honorable. It was visionary. Madame Rajavi did what a great leader does: she set out a path to victory and gave us all a reasonable hope that we will succeed in liberating the people of Iran. I am honored to be here, and may I say as we used to say in the United States Senate on a point of personal privilege I am honored to be here with my wife Hadassah Esther Lieberman. I was going to say she’s the one over there in the yellow jacket. She had the wisdom to wear a yellow jacket today.
My friends, I want first to thank each of you in this massive crowd for the effort you’ve made to come here from all over the world to be part of this resistance. In doing so, I hope you know that you are not just attending another meeting, you have chosen to be part of history, part of changing history. And it is a long history of patriotic and courageous people who have fought for and achieved their freedom. It is a history that goes back, if I may say so, to the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. It’s the same fight, the same fight that was waged by the brave Americans who won our independence through revolution in the 18th century. To all the French patriots who fought for and won their freedom in their revolution in the 19th century. To the brave soldiers who defeated Nazism and fascism in the Second World War. To the heroic people whose revolutionary uprisings collapsed the Soviet Union in the 20th century. To the people of the Arab world who have risen up for their freedom and opportunity in our time. By choosing to be here today you join that history and advance it, because you and we are engaged in a historic struggle to liberate the people of Iran, a great nation with a proud history, from the evil regime that is holding them hostage. And we will do it.
Madame Rajavi referred to the religious fundamentalists who are temporarily at the head of the Iranian government. They are religious, but in the American review they are leading a government that is profoundly sacrilegious. And they are doing that because they are denying the people of Iran the human rights to life, liberty and happiness that the American Declaration of Independence makes clear is the endowment of every individual on earth not from the government but from God Almighty. That is why the American revolutionaries in the 18th century, men like Jefferson and Franklin, declared that resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. And so I say today to the people of Iran, the people of the resistance, and I say it also to the tyrants who today rule over Iran, never forget resistance to tyrant is obedience to God.
In resisting the current regime in Iran, we must be realistic. We must not close our eyes to what they do or our ears to what they say. It is a year now since the soft smile of Rouhani has replaced the threatening grimace of Ahmadinejad. But I ask you, my friends, has anything else about the policies of Iran changed in the last year? [No!] I couldn’t agree with you more. They have not changed. Iran under Rouhani continues to directly support mass murder of the innocent people of Syria. Iran under Rouhani continues to fund and train violent murdering terrorists in the Middle East and beyond. Iran under Rouhani continues to insist on maintaining its nuclear capability and the systems and weapons to deliver it. Iran under Rouhani continues to punish imprison Iranians who simply want to speak their minds. And it does more than that. As Madame Rajavi said so powerfully, in increasing numbers it kills the dissidents by hanging. Iran under Rouhani continues to leave the people of Iran suffering economically from poverty and unemployment.
And yet in spite of all that that as I say we can see with our eyes, we can hear with our ears, there are those outside Iran, including people in high places, who want to see Iran as they wish it would be not as it is today. And I’m afraid some of those are in the United States of America. Those who meet with the regime, who trust its representatives, who consider working with Iran and Iraq, deceive themselves. But more than that they endanger the rest of us. Their hopes blind their eyes to the truth nothing has changed in Iran under Rouhani and Khamenei. They are the enemies of freedom, the enemies of America, and the enemies of the people of Iran. There is only one sure way to secure the world from the threat that this regime in Tehran represents. It is for the Iranian people to overthrow these tyrants and for freedom-loving people throughout the world to support this next great revolution.
You of the National Council of Resistance to Iran know all this and have fought valiantly and effectively to wake up the world’s leaders from their sleep and illusions before it is too late. I thank you for that. And I want to thank you as an American for all you have done to enable America to have the intelligence necessary to protect our people and our allies from Iranian-backed terrorism and Iranian nuclear weapons. We could not do it without your help.
So it is time for America to come to our values, America which we proudly call the land of the free and the home of the brave, it is time for us to give full support to the brave Iranians of the resistance for today fighting to be free. Remember the warning from Dante that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality. There is a moral crisis in Iran today. There is a moral crisis at Camp Liberty in Iraq today. And for anyone, including particularly America, to remain neutral in the face of these moral crises is just plain wrong. I want to say to you that the program of the National Resistance of Iran is totally consistent with American values. You’re not just the enemy of our enemies, you are our friends, our allies, our brothers and sisters, our partners in pursuit of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. The spread of freedom is our shared goal, and it is our destiny. And I will tell you, as you can see by the extraordinary group of American leaders that are here today, that support for the resistance is growing in America. As a matter of fact I said to one of my friends from America today that in Washington these days you don’t see this kind of bipartisan delegation that you see here in France in support of the resistance.
Now let me say finally really to echo the moving words of Madame Rajavi, we know that the battle ahead will not be easy but we will not surrender. And I hope you will take comfort and encouragement in the words of one of the original freedom fighters in America, Thomas Paine, who said, “Tyranny is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation, the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.” So, let us go forward from this extraordinary event prepared to pay any price and bear any burden to assure a glorious triumph of liberty for the people of Iran that will make the world a better and safer place for us and our children. Thank you, god bless you.