On Saturday, the people of Khorramshahr, a city in southwestern Iran, poured into the streets to protest against poor living conditions and a lack of access to drinking water. Like many other protests happening across Iran, slogans against the highest authorities of the Iranian regime, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, accompanied Khorramshahr’s demonstrations. Instead of taking steps to address the people’s grievances, the regime responded by dispatching its security forces to crack down on the protesters. Clashes ensued as the deprived people of Khorramshahr refused to back down from fighting for their most basic rights.
Protests like those in Khorramshahr have become quite common since the turn of the year, when economic woes and government corruption triggered nationwide unrest across Iran. But what made the Khorramshahr demonstrations different was that they took place while tens of thousands of Iranians had gathered in Paris to support protesters in Iran.
Called “Free Iran 2018,” the event was attended by high-profile politicians and lawmakers from dozens of countries. The rally had two messages. To the people of Iran: You’re not alone. To the rest of the world: There’s a real and viable alternative to the tyrannical and extremist mullahs ruling in Iran.
“Since the January uprising, the signs of change in Iran and the regime’s overthrow have appeared. Through their uprisings and by relying on resistance units, the Iranian people have the leverage they need to topple this regime,” said Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the Iranian opposition coalition that organized the event.
Rajavi also stressed in her speech that an end to the policy of appeasement toward Tehran, which was the hallmark of the Obama administration, has been very effective in pushing back against the regime’s evil activities.
“The international shield safeguarding the regime has fallen by the way side. The mullahs have practically lost their [nuclear deal]. The avalanche of successive sanctions is hitting them hard, undercutting their ability to engage in warmongering and adventurism in the region,” Rajavi said.
In May, President Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, known informally as the Iran nuclear deal, and subsequently slapped new sanctions against the Iranian regime and anyone doing business with its entities. The event’s speakers, some of whom have close ties to the Trump administration, were unanimous in their belief that only regime change will solve the multitude of problems the Iranian people and the world face when it comes to the regime in Tehran.
“In the end, the only way to safety in the region is to replace the dictatorship with democracy, and that has to be our goal,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who took the floor with a delegation of American politicians from both sides of the aisle, including former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson.
“Our goal is very simple. It’s not to start negotiating. Our goal is to have a free, democratic Iran that respects the right of every individual,” Gingrich said.
“The reason Iran is in economic freefall when it’s been given a huge amount of money is because that money is stolen. It’s not spent on the people,” said Rudy Giuliani, lawyer to Trump and former mayor of New York City.
While the lives of the Iranian people spiraled down into poverty and misery, the Iranian regime was busy sending money, weapons, and troops to its proxies and allies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.
But unlike the Obama administration, which refused to support nationwide protests in Iran in 2009, the Trump administration has made clear that it is on the side of the people, Giuliani said
“I guarantee you the sanctions will become greater and greater and greater. This president does not intend to turn his back on freedom fighters,” Giuliani declared, adding, “Those who practice appeasement are going to find themselves shamed in world history.”
Giuliani also said that contrary to other countries in the Middle East, which have plunged into chaos in the past years, Iran has a solution. “Here, we’re not replacing a government with a government you don’t know. We have an alternative that’s built on a solid foundation,” Giuliani said, referring to the platform of NCRI, which calls for the establishment of a democratic, secular, and nuclear-free government that respects the rights of everyone regardless of gender, religion, and ethnicity.
“This meeting, combined with what’s happening inside Iran, combined with the toughness of the Trump administration gives us a genuine opportunity to really move much more dramatically and to move in the right direction,” Gingrich said in his speech.
On the morrow of the gathering, demonstrations resumed in Khorramshahr and its neighboring cities. The protesters— and the regime— know the world is watching, and is standing on the people’s side.
Source » washingtonexaminer