A couple moments ago, I was walking outside and had a brief conversation with a woman who has lost six family members in the struggle for a free Iran. It’s an extraordinary and a very personal reminder as to why we are all here together. It’s an honor and a privilege for all of us to join you in this cause. We join you in solidarity to raise our voices in support of a free Iran, regime change, and certainly the strong and inspirational leadership of Madame Rajavi.
Only the light of liberty can overcome and replace the darkness of the tyrannical Iranian regime. That light of liberty, ignited and sustained by the martyrs, by the men and women of Ashraf and Liberty, and those who’ve managed to survive that terror and now in Albania. The poet and patriot and human rights advocate Simin Behbahani envisioned the new Iran and the end of the darkness when she wrote, “My country, I will build you again, if need be with bricks from my life. I will build columns to support your roof, if need be with my bones. I will inhale again the perfume of flowers favored by your youth. I will wash away the blood off your body with torrents of my tears. And once more the darkness will leave the house.” The darkness will leave the house with a free Iran. .
There’s only one popular, organized, and magnificently led organization that can provide the democratic alternative to the existing regime. Only one group with proven leadership. Only one group with an exciting and clear vision for the future of Iran. A group led by an inspiring Muslim woman who mirrors the aspirations of the Iranian people who seek a secular republic with gender equality, separation of church and state, respect for human rights and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. A new Iran so that someday the spirit of freedom, a Persian spring will erupt through a regime change led by you, by the martyrs who have preceded you, under the leadership of Madame Rajavi. I join with you, and we need to join the entire global community to raise their voices, sustain their voices and call throughout the international community: We want a free Iran.
• Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge served as Secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security Department. This excerpt is from remarks he gave at the July 1 rally in Paris.
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