Iran, In front of me Maryam Rajavi’s face is everywhere. I met this sea of people in golden yellow standing here in support of her. It is a wonderful sight. By looking at Maryam Rajavi’s calm, confident, and compassionate face, you see the face of the future. She will return to Tehran and so will you. Speech by Lord Russell-Johnston in the gathering of 20,000 Iranians in Paris.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly religious person but I was brought up in the Calvinist Christian tradition and so I know and I recognize that millions of people all over the world, also in Iran of course, derive strength and comfort from their religion. In no way would I wish to deny them that.
In no way would I wish to deprive them it’s practice. But what I do deny is the right of religious leaders, whether they be Muslims, Christians, Jewish or Hindu or whatever, to impose their values on society. That is certainly what is happening in Iran. Crudely and arrogantly. This great meeting says no to such arrogance and yes to freedom.
When the Iranian people overthrew the shah, it was in the search for freedom it was not to replace an autocracy with an even more intrusive and dictatorial theocracy. As has been said yesterday there was a sham election in Iran in which only the candidates with clerical approval could stand and from which women were excluded.
In Iran under the supposed moderate presidency of Khatami, twenty six people including eighteen women were sentenced to death by stoning, which is unbelievably cruel.
Now, as seems possible, if Rafsanjani succeeds Iran will have a president who has been personally responsible for many killings. He was specifically named in the court action in Berlin in 1997 and he was the main driving force behind the nuclear program.
I would also like to comment on the extraordinary and inexcusable French action two years ago yesterday. France whose separation of church and state is very specific and very strong cannot surely give comfort to a cruel brutal and theocratic state.
The allegations against the Iranian Resistance have been shown to be groundless, they should be withdrawn and the charges should be dropped and this should be done forthwith.
This cannot be said too often or stressed enough, until it happens; it is the considered view of everyone who has been involved in this situation.
In front of me Maryam Rajavi’s face is everywhere. I met this sea of people in golden yellow standing here in support of her. It is a wonderful sight. By looking at her calm, confident, and compassionate face, you see the face of the future. She will return to Tehran and so will you.