Esplanade des Invalides, Paris

Monday 11thDecember 2017

Sisters and Brothers,

There are rumours that Hassan Rouhani may be planning another visit to Europe. Rouhani is not welcome here in the West. We do not roll out the red carpet for criminals and murderers. Rouhani is not the ‘moderate’ the West believes him to be. He was Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian regime’s armed forces at the time of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and he undoubtedly was complicit in that atrocity.

Since he came to office as President in 2013, more than 3500 people have been executed in Iran….350 so far this year. Amnesty International has expressed its outrage at the accelerating number of executions and the level of human rights abuse under Rouhani. But Rouhani says the death penalty is God’s will. That’s why he has appointed a notorious executioner - Alireza Avaie - as his Justice Minister. Avaie has been on the EU terrorist list for human rights violations since 2011.

Rouhani’s government, under the ultimate control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condones torture and arbitrary imprisonment, discriminates against women and encourages public floggings, eye-gouging, amputations and hanging as a means of terrorizing its own population into docile submission. He has openly praised the IRGC and the Qods Force for their reign of terror in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, which has left hundreds of thousands dead.

According to newspaper reports, one of Rouhani’s sons committed suicide, leaving a note to his father in which he said: “I hate your government, your lies, your corruption, your religion, your double standard and your hypocrisy...I was forced to lie to my friends each day, telling them that my father isn't part of all of this. Telling them my father loves this nation, whereas I believe this to be untrue. It makes me sick seeing you, my father, kiss the hand of Khamenei"

Rouhani is a fake. He smiles at the cameras and pretends to be moderate, yet he has condoned the imprisonment of the young British mother, Nazanin Zhaghari Ratcliffe, on charges of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government. 

These are bogus charges. She is innocent and is being held as a hostage. But let me tell you something Mr Rouhani: I am guilty of plotting to overthrow your government. The only invitation to Europe that I will ever offer you is to a prison cell in The Hague.

Instead of appeasing the corrupt and murderous dictators in Tehran and welcoming them to cities like Paris, the EU should be demanding a full United Nations inquiry into the 1988 massacre, with Khamenei, Rouhani and their clique of killer clerics indicted for crimes against humanity.

Iran has a population of 80 million, around 50 million of which are under the age of 40. The Iranians are amongst the most highly educated people in the Middle East. That is why it is completely unsustainable that they are ruled by a medieval band of old, bearded, misogynist, corrupt gangster mullahs. They have turned Iran into a powderkeg ready to ignite at the slightest spark. Thank goodness we have a democratic opposition party under the inspiring leadership of Mrs Maryam Rajavi, ready to restore order when this gang of turbaned tyrants finally falls. It is Mrs Rajavi we want as President, not Hassan Rouhani.


Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), President of the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and Chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East.