Lord Maginnis of Drumglass is an independent member of the UK House of Lords and prominent member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom. He’s referring to the July 9 convention “Free Iran” where an enormous gathering of more than 100,000 Iranian expatriates and their international supporters joined in a massive show of force in Paris. The keynote speaker was Maryam Rajavi, the charismatic president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) who has assembled a solid show of support among Iranians at home and abroad.
The NCRI’s international political support, where bi-partisan politicians such as U.S. Democrats Howard Dean and Bill Richardson joined Republicans Newt Gingrich and John Bolton, and European politicians, parliamentary delegations, and global political personalities covering the political spectrum all came together in solidarity on a single issue, should not be understated.
A large influence in this joining together has been Mrs. Rajavi, herself. She calls for a democratic Iran, saying, “A new era will dawn in Iran; a society based on separation of religion and state, and gender equality will blossom.”
In what is deemed a purposeful statement by the Saudis, the gathering was also attended by Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud, a prominent member of the Saudi royal family, its former intelligence chief and a former ambassador to the United States and UK. This was first public Saudi support given to any group so opposed to the Iranian regime.
Lord Maginnis reports that, “Tehran’s immediate hysterical reaction to the gathering and its message included summoning the French ambassador to Tehran with the aim of intimidating the French for allowing a peaceful rally to take place in the ‘City of Light.’ Surely that’s a clear indication that the theocratic regime in Tehran is feeling the heat and that NCRI opposition is, increasingly, making an impact internationally.” This reaction sends a clear message.
“Though regime change is unlikely to happen overnight, the NCRI is a viable, moderate alternative that the hard-liners in Tehran regards as a threat. Western governments and others in the region should take this message seriously and perhaps reconsider their position in how they seek to reform a regime that has, time without number, broken its commitments and been consistently so deceitful and destructive.” Lord Maginnis concluded.