Linda Chavez – A former White House Director of Public Liaison and US expert to the UN Sub-Commission on human rights, moderated the gathering of Iranians for democratic change.
On June 27, a grand gathering of Iranians and supporters of the Iranian Resistance from 69 countries across the globe was held at the Villepinte Exposition in Paris with the participation of 600 political dignitaries, legislators and jurists from a wide spectrum of political tendencies .
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and the keynote speaker.
Thank you, thank you very much. Friends, great lovers of freedom, my brothers and my sisters, it is a pleasure to be here once again with you in Paris to celebrate all for regime change, all for freedom. The last time that we met one year ago in these halls in Paris، there had been an election in Iran and Hassan Rouhani had been elected president, something that was greeted with great optimism in the West, that was heralded in the newspapers, that was greeted by many Western governments as some sign that there was going to be a new Iran. Well, we have not seen a new Iran.
We have not seen any moderation from the Rouhani regime. Instead what we have seen is increased crackdowns, public executions and more persecution. We are now faced with the prospect of a nuclear Iran, as the various governments are negotiating and a July 20th deadline is looming in terms of nuclear negotiations. But I will tell you that no matter what happens in those negotiations, no matter what piece of paper is or is not produced at the end of that time, we will not be anything in terms of more freedom for Iran and peace and stability in the Middle East, and indeed the future of peace in the world, unless there is regime change in Iran.
Unfortunately it has also been one more year that we have seen the deterioration of things on the ground, for those 2,800 brave people who are in fact kept in what is nothing more than a prison camp in Iraq, namely Camp Liberty.
And if things were bad one year ago in Camp Liberty today they are in fact worse. We have seen more brutal attacks since the last time we met, we have seen 52 brave persons executed at the hands of those aligned with the Maliki government and at the direction of those in Iran. We have seen the kidnapping of individuals whose fate we still do not know. We have also seen in the last few weeks a terrible deterioration of conditions on the ground in Iraq generally, but more specifically at Camp Liberty.
On June 12th UNAMI left despite its directions to be there to oversee the protection of those residents. On June 15th we saw the UNHCR and UNAMI both having vacated the premises of Liberty and they have not yet returned. We have also seen that for the last ten days Iraqi forces who were supposedly on the outskirts of Camp Liberty to protect the residents turned their machine guns not against those who would attack Camp Liberty but against the residents of Camp Liberty.
We have seen, officers of the Ashraf Suppression Committee at the camp. They are there in fact to begin an attack, when they see the most opportune time, on the residents of Camp Liberty. We have also seen at the request of the Iranian regime that they have a plan in place that if in fact there is movement on the ground towards Baghdad that those who were in Camp liberty will in fact be slaughtered.
At the same time, the regime is making the absolutely absurd allegation that the residents of Camp Liberty are building tunnels underneath in order to escape and to join the forces of those that are attacking the Iraqi government. This is an outrage, this is a lie, this is a fabrication, and it is a fabrication that is in fact being put forth in order to justify an attack on those residents. Finally, the concrete bunkers that have been purchased that were there to protect those residents of Camp Liberty are not in fact in place.
There are 17,500 T-walls that are piled up outside the police station in Camp Liberty. Only 4%, 750 of those, have been actually put into place.
So we are gathered at a very important time here in Paris and we are going to have a very, very full schedule of speakers. I’m joined hear with Frances Townsend who was the National Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. And later in the program we will have speakers from delegations from all over the world that will be introduced to you. But I do want to mention one thing that will be at the conclusion, because I think it is important for you to know that at the conclusion of this event we are going to be hearing a videotaped presentation by some very important persons from around the world including John McCain, United State senator, senior member of the United States Senate and Republican nominee. You are also going to be brought a message by the chairman of the United States Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin. You are going to be brought a message by the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez. Also the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Congressman Ed Royce. You are going to hear form the former Vice President of Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi.