By INU Staff
INU - Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been criticized for speaking at the “Free Iran” rally near Paris on June 30th. Harper thanked the tens of thousands of participants of the event for their “long battle for a free and democratic Iran,” but didn’t endorse any political party.
Harper was joined by Canada’s former prime minister, Liberal MP Judy Sgro, former Conservative foreign minister John Baird, former Liberal MP Raymonde Folco, former Conservative MP Paul Forseth, Liberal supporter David Matas, Conservative MP Candice Bergen, and David Kilgour, a former Liberal cabinet minister.
The European Parliament passed a declaration in 2010, that called on the United States to remove the PMOI from the American list. The resolution became official when more than half the members of the 736-seat chamber signed the resolution, making it official. It also called on Iraq to cease its blockade of Camp Ashraf, a settlement of more than 3,000 Iranian dissidents near the border between the two countries.
Regarding the Iranian Opposition’s Grand Gathering in Paris, Struan Stevenson, who represented Scotland in the European Parliament for 15 years and is now co-ordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change said, “The nationwide protests (currently underway) covered all 31 Iranian provinces and 142 cities. The 80 million Iranian citizens, over half of whom are under 30, have made it clear that they are fed up with fundamentalist rule. They are fed up with living in poverty as the venally corrupt mullahs siphon off the country’s wealth to fill their pockets and to finance conflict and terror throughout the Middle East.”
After the event, it was learned that plot had been intercepted to bomb the hall near the Charles De Gaulle airport where the rally was held had been exposed. A diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was arrested in Germany over the terror threat that was discovered by Belgian authorities. Three other suspects were arrested in France and Germany. A PMOI official alleged the individual arrested in Germany had been station chief of Iran’s ministry of intelligence and security (MOIS) in Vienna since 2014.
Tens of thousands of members of the Iranian diaspora and their supporters from across the world came to the event to hear National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) president-elect Maryam Rajavi. An umbrella bloc of opposition groups in exile, the NCRI seeks an end to Shi’ite Muslim clerical rule in Iran, Mrs. Rajavi wants to restore peace, freedom, democracy, and human rights, as well as to stop torture and the death penalty, and end foreign meddling. Her 10-point plan calls for a new constitution based on gender equality, separation of religion and state, and a non-nuclear Iran.