“What you are calling for is right for the rest of the world,” Goldsmith told the estimated crowd of 100,000 people who had assembled for the event outside of Paris, where the NCRI is headquartered. As the speech by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi made clear, what the supporters of the group are calling for is regime change in Iran as soon as possible. Rajavi described this outcome as the “only fix” for the various crises destabilizing the Middle East today.
Following on this line, Goldsmith’s speech emphasized the global dimensions of crises related to the Iranian regime, saying that the problem of fundamentalism is growing throughout the world and that it affects everyone, particularly the peoples of modern democratic states. “We have to identify the roots of the problem,” Goldsmith said, pointing to the theocratic government in Tehran as an archetype for Islamic extremism in the Middle East.
In a video message to the event, US Republican Senator John McCain described the Iranian regime as the “true epicenter” of fundamentalism and terrorism in the region. As part of an American delegation to the event consisting of dozens of figures from diverse background and both political parties, McCain described the Iranian resistance as a group standing up for freedom and human dignity, adding that the American people have always supported such movements in the past.
The contrast between this movement and the repressive theocratic Iranian regime was a central message of Saturday’s event, and the essential principle behind Goldsmith’s and others’ assertion that regime change in Iran would be beneficial to the world at large. Former European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen, also speaking to the crowd, criticized current Western policy toward Iran by presenting the stark choice between a pro-democratic resistance movement and a regime that is “by its very nature violent, repressive, and aggressive.”
Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican Representative from the state of California, said of Western policymakers, “It is our obligation to work with you who struggle to promote liberty.” Various speakers including Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that government leaders have by and large not done so in the recent past, instead offering “major concessions” to Iran in nuclear negotiations and by ignoring Iran’s destabilizing influence in Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East.
Several members of the American delegation, including former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Hugh Shelton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, used Saturday’s rally to read out a letter to President Obama and all American presidential candidates urging a change in policy toward collaboration with the Iranian resistance and stronger policy initiatives against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, regional meddling, and human rights abuses.