The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held an online celebration for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on March 27 with many politicians and dignitaries who support the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom. One of these is former Colombian Senator Ingrid Betancourt and here we will look at her speech.

Betancourt began by talking about how the new year brings hope for change, especially for the end of the regime and the beginning of freedom, with actual fair elections. She said that Iran as run by the mullahs is a place when a warped interpretation of Islam justifies the suppression of women, discrimination against ethnic minorities, and any number of malign actions.

She said: “I know in my heart, intuition, and political observations, and my analysis of the historical facts that we see that we are witnessing the end of the mullahs’ obscurity.”

Betancourt then discussed the recent protests in Sistan and Baluchistan over the killing of protesters by the Revolutionary Guards, which resulted in regime buildings being stormed, as if the people were less afraid of dying than of living under the regime. She said the mullahs tried to repress this story in hopes of further appeasement by the West without actually having to abide by the nuclear deal, but that this is further evidence of the regime’s fragility.

She then spoke about the attempted bombing of the NCRI’s 2018 Free Iran rally in Paris, for which an Iranian diplomat and three accomplices were recently jailed in Belgium, saying it was effectively ignored by Europe in its continued appeasement, even though the prosecutor said the attack was ordered at the highest levels of the regime.

Betancourt said: “Killing innocent people to silence the Iranians’ right to express themselves is the signature of the barbarism of the mullahs at home. But it should in no way be tolerated in our country, and this realpolitik of accommodation and silence is dangerous for all citizens of the world. It is shocking, obviously, for us, as the potential victims of this attack. Still, above all, it is a betrayal against the Iranian people, who are fighting on this side towards Europe, which still appears as the worlds’ bastion and lighthouse of democracy and human rights.”

She advised that Europe must put the safety of its citizens above trade and hold Iran accountable to stop further acts of terrorism by the mullahs and to help the Iranian people obtain freedom.