Dozens of MEPs and many parliamentary staff attended this meeting. Speakers included : Two Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness (Ireland) and Ryszard Czarnecki (Poland), MEPs Robert Rochefort (France), Jan Zahradil (Czech Republic), Fernando Mauro (Spain), Petri Sarvamaa (Finland), Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland), Anthea McIntyre (UK), Tunne Kelam (Estonia), Jaromir Stetina (Czech Republic) and Alejo Vidal-Quadras (Spain) who was Vice-President of the European parliament (1999-2014). The guest speaker was a former senior Iranian diplomat, Perviz Khazai, representing the Iranian opposition NCRI in Nordic countries.

Vice President Ryszard Czernecki said “Thirty six years ago on this day, the regime of the Shah was overthrown and Khomeini came to power. For Iranian people it is both a happy day and a sad day because the regime of Khomeini has shown to be much worse than the Shah. In reality, Ayatollah Khomeini was a thief of the revolution. We now have a religious dictatorship in Iran. The people of Iran with such a long history deserve much better than this. They do not deserve to be ruled by these mullahs.” He added: “Mullahs like Rouhani are not moderate. They are all part of this religious establishment. The Iranian people do not want this regime. But they are afraid because Rouhani has executed more people than Ahmadinejad.”

Gérard Deprez stressed “During Rouhani, the expansion of fundamentalism and export of terrorism has continued faster than before. The Iranian terrorist Quds force and the Revolutionary Guards are now openly occupying many parts of Iraq and Syria and are also destabilising Yemen. So from every angle we look at it, we are faced with a criminal regime and an international outlaw that abuses human rights and that respects no international principles or regulations.”

Janusz Wojcheihowski said “In today’s world that we see a rise of Islamic fundamentalism, we are lucky to have an Iranian Muslim force, the PMOI which is secular, democratic, believes in the rights of women and wants a peaceful relationship with its neighbours.”

Robert Rochefort said “We are just over a month from the terrorist attacks in Paris. We think that there is a link between all these bad forces, from Daesh (ISIS) terrorist attacks to the power in Tehran. The Iranian resistance movement said long time ago that it could happen. We are now all in the same boat, fighting the same enemy which is what happened in Paris but also what is happening now in Syria, Iraq in Iran and the rest of the world.”

Anthea McIntyre said “As a woman I want to say how very much I admire Maryam Rajavi. She has with great dignity articulated the case for free Iran, a really inspiring leader and I think it is wonderful we have a woman leading the resistance movement, it’s a great asset.”

Perviz Khazai emphasized on the important role of the PMOI, as a Muslim democratic movement, to “clear up the mess” of the Islamic fundamentalists.

Other speakers stressed that the Iranian regime, based on the “absolute rule of the supreme clergy” is the source and the main sponsor of terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. The first and most important necessary step to confront extremism under the banner of Islam is to evict this regime from Iraq and Syria.

The situation of PMOI members in Camp Liberty, being repressed by Iraqi government at behest of Iran was also raised in the meeting. Many MEPs have stressed that these refugees need to be protected and the inhuman medical siege imposed by Iraq has to end immediately.

Deprez concluded “The question is what we should do with such a theocratic regime? Some say we must work with Iran to avoid further tensions, and recognize it as an important regional player and even to make partnership with it in the fight against ISIS to stabilize the region! However Iran has always been the main source of instability in the Middle East. It is the only Islamic fundamentalist expansionist country in power today and so long as the mullahs remain in power, the region will never see stability.”

“We must help the Iranian people and its organized resistance under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi to overthrow this dictatorship so that people in Iran will once again see freedom and democracy coming to their country. I think Europe and the west must stop making compromises with this terrorist regime. We cannot compromise with human lives.”

Office of Gérard Deprez, Chair of Friends of a Free Iran, European Parliament, Strasbourg