Struan delivered the following speech to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Grand Rally in Villepinte, France, outside Paris, on Saturday 22 June 2013.
I am often asked - “What is it like, as a politician, to stand on a stage in front of 100,000 people and make a speech? Are you not scared, are you not nervous?” My answer is always the same, “Why should I be scared or nervous? You are my friends, my family, my brothers and my sisters.”
We have just witnessed another fraudulent election in Iran; one fascist President has been replaced by another; democracy has once again been scorned. For the West to portray one of the 6 candidates approved by Khamenei as a moderate is simply a joke! The truth is the proud people of Iran remain in chains, imprisoned by a false ideology and oppressed by a tyrannical regime.
Thomas Jefferson famously said: “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty”. There is no question that the mullah’s regime now fears the people and above all they fear the biggest, legitimate opposition – the PMOI, because the PMOI embraces all the values that they hate - freedom, democracy, the rights of women, the rights of minorities and an end to tyranny and oppression.
That is why I am proud to call the PMOI my friends, my family, my brothers and my sisters. Together we have confronted those who sought to blacklist the PMOI and we were victorious.
Together we have exposed the lies and duplicity of senior UN officials and achieved their dismissal. Together we have confronted and unmasked the architects of torture and murder in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and we will hold them to account.
Together we will achieve the re-settlement of the brave refugees in Camp Liberty. Their safety is our number one priority. Last Saturday they were subjected to another vicious rocket attack….the third this year. Two were killed and over 70 injured. We warned after the last two attacks that there was no way that we could return to business as usual; there was no way that we could simply ignore these appalling atrocities and continue the UNHCR interviews as if nothing had happened. We insisted on the restoration of the concrete T-walls and the residents’ hard hats and armoured vests. We asked even for shovels to be provided so that these defenceless refugees could dig trenches where they could take shelter from future attacks. But all of our requests have been denied.
Now, a week since the last, savage attack last Saturday, two unexploded rockets remain lying in Camp Liberty. Not a single Iraqi Government official or military expert has been to the camp to look at the damage or remove the unexploded ordnance. Even the UNAMI officials have stopped coming to the camp in a display of abject cowardice. The 3200 refugees have been abandoned….exposed without protection in a half square kilometre killing zone.
Well today we must tell them that they have not been forgotten. We must thank them for their bravery and tell them that their suffering and sacrifice has been our guiding light. Their struggle against oppression has inspired the oppressed masses in Iran.
We must tell the USA and the UN that the rocket attack last Saturday could have been foreseen and could have been prevented by them and we hold them responsible for the deaths and injuries that occurred. We must demand here today that all 3200 refugees in Camp Liberty must immediately be returned to the relative safe haven of Camp Ashraf before being re-settled to countries of safety.
Let us remember the words of Thomas Jefferson and confront our enemies. That is the only certain way to restore freedom and democracy in Iran. Soon, Khamenei’s evil regime will be history. But that history will always pay tribute to the brave men and women of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and to Mrs Maryam Rajavi for her unwavering leadership and courage in the face of adversity.
Ladies and Gentlemen; my brothers & sisters; please give a huge welcome to the President-elect of the National Council for Resistance in Iran – Mrs Maryam Rajavi.
STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP