Major ‘Free Iran’ Summit Sees World Leaders Gather to Support Iranian Uprising: ‘Beginning of a Revolution for Freedom’

Illustration picture shows a protest march organised for a free Iran, Saturday 15 June 201

Over 500 world leaders and officials gathered at a prominent Iranian opposition group’s annual summit in France supporting the current uprising in Iran after a court reversed the French government’s decision to ban the event’s thousands-strong outdoor rally.

On Saturday, hundreds of officials and dignitaries from across the world gathered on the outskirts of Paris to attend the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’s Free Iran 2023 World Summit and voice support for the organization’s efforts in support of a free Iran.

Titled “Onward to a Democratic Republic,” the convention, which took place at the NCRI headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris, featured an array of prominent figures, legislators, former world leaders, and government officials from the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Speakers included NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi, former US Vice President Mike Pence, British ex-Prime Minister Liz Truss, former US national security advisors John Bolton and General James Jones, former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, President Donald Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, former Canadian premier Stephen Harper, and Republican Congressman Lance Gooden from Texas, among over 500 other high-profile personalities.

At the start of the summit, Rajavi addressed those attending the grand rally in Paris’ Vauban Square.

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U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

“Appeasement towards the mullahs’ regime may lead to more bloodshed among our people,” she told the meeting, arguing that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will yet meet his “inevitable downfall.”

Addressing the conference outside Paris, former VP Pence suggested that the “Iranian regime has never been weaker than it is today” in light of the ongoing protests.

“This is not just another protest but the beginning of a revolution for freedom,” he said. “One of the biggest lies the ruling regime has sold to the world is that there is no alternative.”

“No oppressive regime can last forever,” he added.

Subsequently, ex-British PM Truss warned of the “rising threat from authoritarian regimes across the world,” while vowing she would “never give up hope for a free and democratic Iran.”

“Democracy is under threat around the world. Now is the time to turn our backs on accommodation and appeasement,” she added.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that any new nuclear deal with Tehran would merely serve as a “calamity for the Iranian people and the world,” as he lauded Rajavi’s leadership for “laying the groundwork for a free, sovereign and democratic republic in Iran.” 

Claiming the people of Iran “continue to show that they wish to live in a free and democratic nation,” former Canadian premier Stephen Harper noted that the current protests in Iran are “rooted in over 40 year of organized resistance” as the women in Iran “have long understood that their rights, and equality, and even their personhood can only be realized with the overthrow of the [Iranian] regime and its primitive ideology.”

John Bolton, who served as the National Security Advisor under Trump, highlighted the “critical point in history of Iran” that the world is currently witnessing, as he criticized the 2015 Obama nuclear deal and called on countries to “cut [Iran’s] lifelines off and allow the people’s voice to be heard.” 

Expressing appreciation for the young people “risking their lives to stand up to this regime,” U.S. Representative Lance Gooden (R-TX) insisted that he, along with California Democrat Raul Ruiz, “represent the majority view of the United States Congress.” 

“We are proud to stand by you, Madame Rajavi; and on behalf of all members of Congress — we are with you,” he stated.

As the meeting took place, a rally staged in the center of the French capital saw thousands of supporters and Iranian expatriates from across Europe waving flags and chanting slogans in support of a free Iran.

In a last-minute ruling on Friday, a court in France reversed the French government’s original decision to ban the rally, in what was hailed as a “major blow” to Tehran’s repressive Islamic regime and a major victory for its opponents.

The move came after France initially chose to ban the demonstration over terror fears, according to a letter sent to the organizers and reported by Reuters.

At the time of the banning earlier this month, the NCRI expressed outrage over what it termed a “disgraceful act against democracy,” while accusing France of “succumbing” to Iranian pressure.

But on Friday, following the Iranian opposition group’s filing of a legal complaint, the Paris administrative court reversed the French authorities’ cancellation of the event, calling it “a serious and manifestly illegal attack on the freedom to demonstrate.”

Subsequently, the NCRI vowed to proceed and hold the demonstration in central Paris on Saturday, as it called the court ruling “a heavy blow to the clerical regime and the policy of appeasement.”

In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News on Friday, NCRI’s Ali Safavi, who serves as president of Near East Policy Research (NEPR), welcomed the French judiciary’s authorization, claiming the ruling “thwarted the clerical regime’s attempt to exploit fabricated ‘security concerns’ to stifle democracy and free speech, thereby striking a major blow to the repressive regime and policies of appeasement towards it.”

Speaking to a roaring applause at the conference’s smaller gathering on Friday, former US Senator Joseph Lieberman congratulated the NCRI and activists on the “extraordinary victory” in the courts of Paris, as he hailed the “victory for freedom” in Iran and France, as well as the “extraordinary setback for the tyrants in Tehran.”

The events come as massive protests have swept Iran following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the Islamic theocracy’s notorious “morality police” for violating strict requirements for women to keep their heads covered in public.

Since then, a slew of incidents involving abuses and deaths at the hands of the regime have been documented during an ongoing clampdown on protests, with clips circulating showing Iranian regime officers brutally assaulting protesters.

In response, criticisms of the Islamic regime and its tactics continue to grow.

In May, over a hundred former world leaders penned an open letter to the heads of the U.S., Canada, the E.U., and the U.K. calling for the regime in Tehran to be held accountable for its long-running crimes against humanity.

Among the more than 100 signatories of the letter, including 50 former presidents and 47 former prime ministers, were former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Italian ex-premier Matteo Renzi.

Meanwhile, a joint congressional House caucus hearing voiced support for the Iranian people’s uprising, following a wave of recent executions by the Islamic regime in an attempt to contain unrest in the country.

In March, a bipartisan House majority endorsed a resolution expressing Congress’s support for a democratic Republic of Iran while calling for a new Iran policy in light of continued protests by the Iranian people and increasing repression by the “theocratic thugs who have oppressed them for far too long.”

The resolution, sponsored by 224 U.S. House members, supports Iran’s uprisings for a secular republic, while noting Rajavi’s “Ten Point Plan” to ensure Iranians’ freedom of expression and assembly — as well as the right to choose their elected leaders — is the “path toward a free, secular, Democratic and non-nuclear Iran.”

According to the NCRI, Iran — the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide — is currently witnessing a revolution “in the making,” with the Islamic Republic no longer capable of containing the current uprising.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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