Madame Rajavi and friends, it is a distinct honor and privilege for me to join you in the fight for freedom and in the fight against religious fascism.
The people of Iran demand and deserve better than the brutal repression that they face at the hands of the mullahs in Tehran. Increasingly, the good news is that the West is abandoning the failed policies of engagement, of accommodation and of appeasement. These policies have failed the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom.
We must also put lie to the myth that [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and company are moderates. Look at their record: Eighteen hundred executions. Increased support for terrorism in the region and beyond. Brutal military support against Iran’s neighbors, and responsibility for crimes against humanity in Syria.
Rouhani has … been a leader in this regime for 38 long years. We must speak out strongly against the legitimacy of the recent elections. They are a farce. They are a sham; they are a fraud. Only friends and supporters of the regime were able to stand for election, and no women were allowed to run for president.
Instead of engagement, accommodation and appeasement, there is a better way.
The time has come for the Iranian people to take charge of their own future. The time has come for regime change in Iran. The crowd at this rally today is the best indication of the desire for the Iranian people to seek a new path. Let freedom-loving people everywhere support the aspirations of the Iranian people.
I was so thrilled to hear U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proclaim, “We must support the elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government.” And in conclusion, I’d like to acknowledge the courageous leadership of all of you in this hall today and especially the courageous leadership of Madame Rajavi. Thank you for your courage, and next year let’s meet in Tehran. Free Iran.
• Former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird also served as a Member of the House of Commons in Canada.
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