Today (Monday, July 12), was the third and final day of the Free Iran 2021 World Summit, where the participants vowed to continue their fight to overthrow the religious dictatorship that is plaguing the country, through an uprising by and for the people.
This day of the Summit, which is held every year by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), was focused on the human rights abuses that the regime has carried out over the past 40 years, particularly the 1988 massacre when 30,000 political prisoners were slaughtered in just a few weeks, and the urgent need to prosecute senior regime officials, especially Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, and Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i.
The first speaker was NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, who advised that Raisi’s appointment as president proved that the regime is in its final days. Why else would the mullahs install one of the most heinous mass murderers into the second-most powerful position of the country? Obviously, this shows that there is no moderation in the regime, which is what the Resistance have been saying for years, and that this is a fork in the road for the international community.
She said: “We say to the world community, especially to Western governments, that Mullah Raisi is a criminal guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in 1988. He is guilty because as one of the regime’s highest Judiciary officials during the last 40 years, he played a decisive role in the execution and murder of the Iranian people’s children. He is guilty because he is one of the leaders of a regime that killed 1,500 youths during the November 2019 uprising, a figure that researchers say is actually three times higher. Raisi is guilty because even today he defends all his past crimes and insists on continuing them.”
Rajavi called on the UN Security Council to bring the regime’s criminals to justice.
Next to speak was former Colombian Senator Ingrid Betancourt who advised that all the mullahs are alike in their crimes and their contempt for democratic values, but that they wouldn’t survive because of the work of the Resistance.
Then, US Senator Robert Torricelli spoke about how the regime “waged war on its own people” during the 1988 massacre, mostly the 30,000 slaughtered political prisoners, but also the few mullahs who criticized the massacre and were stripped of power. He said that the US stood with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and called on the rest of the world, particularly the UN, to do the same and refuse negotiations with Raisi.
The former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that the world must take a stand against the regime and provide support to the people if they wanted to continue saying that they were dedicated to human rights.
He said: “It is not the time to fight for a nuclear bomb in Iran. It is a time to fight against poverty in Iran because it is unacceptable in a country so rich not only in history but in assets as your country to be in this situation. We have to come back to open the doors of Iran to the global community and the global community to Iran. But the only way is through regime change.”
Former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt noted that 100,000 people of Iranian descent now live in his country because they needed to escape the regime, but because it’s easier for highly-skilled individuals to leave the country, this has led to a brain drain that has destroyed the country even further; although this, of course, is still the regime’s fault.
He said: “We need to stand up and say there is a better solution and that is of course the search for democracy. Democracy is not just the cast of votes. It has to be fair elections, it has to be open, it has to be allowing everyone to search for public office, and also with the right to bring out their message, and you need to have free and open media.”
Enda Kenny, the former Irish Prime Minister, spoke about the need to do more to counter human rights abuses in Iran, specifically floggings, disappearances, and executions, and called on every government or international body that interacts with Iran to “consistently raise the question of human rights and the infringement of those rights”.
MEP Guy Verhofstadt explained that Iran can never become a democracy under the mullahs, citing again the falseness of the moderation myth, and calling the election a “farce”. He said Raisi would never work with the rest of the world on important issues because the new Iranian president “hates our democratic values”.
He said: “We must pursue a dual strategy in which we put human rights higher on the agenda while trying to establish a safer environment in the Middle East.”
Petre Roman, the former Prime Minister of Romania, explained that Raisi is accused of “crimes against humanity”, which is why the UN must seek “proper, correct and fair investigations”, to help the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom.
There was a short interlude from the politicians’ speeches at that point to feature the live videos from Iranians, who risked their lives to publicly support the Resistance, as the regime criminalizes dissent and has killed many Iranians for it.
The three speakers explained the “great pain and agony” they endure under the regime and how their struggle for freedom was met with “brutal oppression”. One person from Tehran echoed a familiar cry of the Summit, which is ‘next year in Tehran’.
Then, former US Senator Joe Lieberman took the stage to advise that there’s only one option left to help the Iranian people and that is regime change, but that the mullahs would not make the change themselves and so the people must have help from the international community to overthrow the regime.
After all, the Resistance, which has long been maligned by the regime, wants the people to elect their own leaders and has consistently exposed the regime’s crimes, including its nuclear weapons program and terrorism.
Lieberman said: “Raisi’s presidency ends the game of Iranian moderation as the Iranian people in their protests have chanted the game is over. That is why I believe the reality of Iran today leaves the people of Iran with only one option for a better life for themselves and their children, and that is regime change.”
He called on everyone outside Iran to support the Iranian people in their quest for regime change, especially those in the US who could stop the Biden administration from re-joining the nuclear deal and legitimizing the regime. (Joe Biden previously said that he wouldn’t re-join the nuclear deal while the regime was still in violation of it.)
Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey advised that the election was “a hollow exercise” to ensure Raisi’s ascension and stressed that no one should be negotiating with Raisi or the regime because the mullahs need to be brought to justice for their crimes.
He said: “If any further proof were needed to character this regime, it is readily available in the record of the trial of Asadullah Assadi that concluded this year in a Belgian court. Assadi was an Iranian diplomat convicted of using his diplomatic cover to fly a bomb from Iran to Europe. It was to be exploded at a Free Iran rally. This was state terrorism, not just state-sponsored terrorism, but a direct act of the regime to commit a terrorist attack outside Iran.”
Louis Freeh, the former Director of the FBI, cited Raisi’s war crimes and crimes against humanity as reasons for all “responsible” heads of states to bring the mullahs to justice and refuse to negotiate with the regime as this only emboldens and legitimizes them.
He said: “We will keep in mind this perspective which is a long view but a critical accountability issue which has to be addressed, and we will have the means and the will to do it and it will be the final act of justice against the regime that has abandoned any notion of justice.”
Then, former US Ambassador Marc Ginsberg said that the US should refuse to believe the myths that the regime promotes about itself, specifically that the mullahs can be moderate, that the resumption of the nuclear deal would reign in the regime’s behavior, or that the regime is too powerful to collapse.
He said: “There are democratic alternatives who enjoy the popular support of millions of Iranians suffering, truly represented by both at home and abroad by Madam Rajavi, the MEK, and the NCRI.”
The Summit then turned to former political prisoners who could give evidence about what it was like to be in the prisoners during the massacre and Raisi’s role therein. Matin Karim, Majed Karim, Mohamad Farmani, and Saleh Kohandel detailed the various forms of physical and psychological torture that they experienced or witnessed.
The previous two days of the Summit featured various global dignitaries and Resistance activists, including over 1000 politicians, 11 former Prime Ministers, and 70 former ministers. It was the biggest-ever online event centered on overthrowing the Iranian regime and establishing a democratic government, connecting 50,000 places in 105 countries.