Gunter Verheugen, a former vice president of the European Commission expressed a similar view in his speech at the event, wherein he repudiated what he called lies and misrepresentations about the Iranian resistance, emphasizing that it is the antithesis to the theocratic and anti-democratic ideology of the regime currently holding power in Tehran.
“On one side we have a regime that is by its very nature violent, repressive, and aggressive,” Verheugen said, outlining the “clear choice” faced by Western democracies in determining whether their interests are served by cooperating with Tehran or by supporting the resistance. The latter option, Verheugen said, “stands for freedom” and is obviously preferable to the theocratic regime that has been a 36-year enemy to Europe and the United States.
The head of the American delegation to Saturday’s rally outlined what NCRI supporters expect to emerge from large-scale Western backing of the Iranian resistance. He promised the crowd that the Iranian people and the world community would build a free republic on Iranian soil as a monument to the more than 120,000 martyrs who have been killed by the theocratic regime in the midst of their struggle for freedom.
The delegation’s introduction also emphasized that the groundwork for broad-based support of the resistance already exists in the US, as evidenced by the bipartisan nature of that delegation, which included former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton and former CIA Director James Woolsey.
Another member of the US delegation, California Republic Representative Dana Rohrabacher said of the American government and its people, “It is our obligation to work with you who struggle to promote liberty.” In a prerecorded video message broadcast at the event, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain added that standing up for freedom and human dignity is something that the American people have always done.
McCain also emphasized the antithetical relationship between the Iranian regime and the Iranian resistance, calling the regime the “true epicenter” of fundamentalism and terrorism in the Middle East. Expressing the same view of Tehran’s intrinsically extremist and anti-democratic nature, Rohrabacher used his speech at the rally to explicitly endorse regime change, noting that recent focus on the issue of nuclear negotiations is merely a distraction from broader concerns.
“The mullahs can get a nuclear weapon from somewhere else,” Rohrabacher said, indicating his belief that the regime cannot be expected to ever give up its desire for this expansion of its power. Other speakers expressed similar certainty about Tehran’s firm commitment to extend its power by other means as well, as through its meddling in places like Syria and Iraq. The crises in these areas were also highlighted by Rajavi to make the case for regime change as a necessary step toward their resolution.