I want to say to each one of you that the size and commitment of this gathering sends a powerful message to both our enemies in Tehran and the people of Iran who are yearning for change … that every one of you didn’t just made a decision to come here to this meeting. By making that decision, you have put yourself into history, and you have identified with a destiny that is a destiny for freedom.
One of the great freedom fighters in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King, said the moral arc of the universe bends slowly but it always bends toward justice. I want to say to you today that the political arc of the universe may bend slowly, but it always bends towards freedom. Sometimes we have to help to bend the arc more quickly, and that is what your presence here today can make possible.
The change in administrations in America has made a dramatic difference in our policy towards Iran. And I speak as a Democrat and somebody who supported Hillary Clinton.
The one thing that hasn’t changed in the Middle East is the behavior of the regime in Tehran. Their aggression continues throughout the region. Their support of terrorism which has killed so many, including many Americans, continues. Their repression of the human rights of the people of Iran continues. Raqqa was never the capital of Islamic extremism and terrorism. The capital, since 1979, of Islamic extremism and terrorism has been in Tehran under this extremist regime, and that is why it’s got to go.
But some things have changed inside Iran, and that’s at the level of the people. You can never suppress a people, you can never enslave a people forever. The people of Iran inside Iran have shown the courage to rise up. In the past year, there is a social movement that has adopted the cause of bringing to light what happened to the 30,000 Iranians, mostly members of the MEK, who were massacred in 1988 To just talk about that, to just talk about that, to hold Madame Rajavi’s picture up in public places, is a sign of the unrest of the people and the growing confidence of the people that change is near.
Long before the Berlin Wall collapsed, long before the Soviet Union fell, the United States was supporting resistance movements within the former Soviet Union. It is time for America, and hopefully some of our allies in Europe, to give whatever support we can to those who are fighting for freedom within Iran….
It’s hard not to see the resemblance between the resistance that you and the people of Iran are part of and those who fought for America’s freedom in the revolution in the 18th century. Or those who fought for the freedom of France during the 19th century. Or those who fought against Nazism and fascism and communism during the 20th century. And every one of those fights, every one of those struggles for freedom, ended successfully. And with the help of God and our continued partnership, this one will do. So I end with a prayer that sometime soon, maybe even next year, we are able to hold this meeting in a free Tehran in a free Iran.
• Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman represented Connecticut for 24 years. This is an excerpt from remarks he gave at the July 1 rally in Paris.
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