Stephen Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, addressed at the Free Iran World Summit 2021 on July 10, 2021.
As you mark this, the Free Iran World Summit 2021, I am as always pleased to join you from Canada, in what may well be the largest virtual global gathering this year. Many of us are regular attendees of this marquee event, which demonstrates not only the breadth and endurance of opposition to the fascist, religious dictatorship in Tehran, but also the determination to see it replaced.
Friends, the Ayatollah’s government tells many lies. But perhaps even more disturbing are the lies that others repeat on its behalf. One of the biggest lies is that the regime possesses some mysterious faction of so-called moderates. Year after year, we’ve been told that if we handle the regime with kid gloves, we strengthen the position of these so-called moderates, and that this will allow them to rise in the regime, and to change its course.
Of course, this was the philosophy behind the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, not only did the JCPOA leave the mullahs closer to a nuclear weapons capacity than ever before continuing to accumulate enriched Iranian, continuing to work on missile delivery systems, continuing to keep its nuclear facilities operating, continuing to conceal the truth from inspectors. Not only that.
The million spent on the implementation of the JCPOA. We’re used to further develop the reach and the capacity of the terrorist network that the regime supports throughout the Middle East. And the desire of some to renew the JCPOA has so emboldened the regime, that in its latest Sham election, all pretenses of a so-called moderate candidacy were dispensed with.
The government I lead was never fooled by the supposed existence of a phantom moderate faction. Those allowed to run for president of Iran or to hold any office whatsoever must be diehard disciples of the Ayatollah, and his extremist philosophy. Any known moderate is imprisoned or killed. But this year Sham election reached a new low even for this regime. The winning candidate to be clear, not the elected candidate, the chosen winner, did not even pretend to be a moderate.
In fact, Ebrahim Raisi is the very person whom the regime has long entrusted to jail or kill anyone who is actually moderate. In 1988, as one of the four members of the prosecution committee, he ordered the execution of some 30,000 political prisoners. For these actions, he rocketed up the chain of command in the regime, becoming, before his selection as president, the Ayatollah’s Chief Justice.
Let’s be crystal clear. Ebrahim Raisi is a criminal, guilty of crimes against humanity. He is a living symbol of the folly of trying to appease the Ayatollahs regime. Shame on any government in the world that would sit down and try to negotiate anything with an administration led by Ebrahim Raisi.
Friends, while the regime in Tehran has reached these new lows, it’s important to note that in the past year, others in the Middle East have been providing the world with a positive and hopeful example. I speak of the actions of the United Arab Emirates, the governments of Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, the State of Israel, and of course, the United States.
There Ebrahim accords are a remarkable achievement, not simply for establishing peace and diplomatic relations between these nations, but also and more importantly, for showing that faith and the common roots of Islam, Christianity and Judaism can be and should be an instrument of reconciliation between people between the peoples of the Earth. What a contrast to the use of religion by the Ayatollah is regime as a weapon of conflict and hate, and what a contrast that is in turn to you in the National Council of Iran, which is one of President Rajavi’s of core concepts, calls for the separation of religion and state, and the freedom of religion and faith, and of course, peaceful coexistence with all other nations.
Friends like you, I believe that the regime is, in fact, weakening. That the selection of an open and bloodstained extremist as president, betrays a regime so worried about its survival, that it dare not risk any shadow of deviation from the Ayatollah’s extremist direction. And like you, I believe that the Iranian people who have suffered more than any other from the tyranny of this theocracy, you’re in more than any other, for it to end and for it to be replaced by the democratic, secular and pluralist forces that the NCRI represents.
Friends, as I’ve said before, keep up the fight for the day of victory is coming. The regime sponsorship of terrorism has only swelled the ranks of its opponents around the world. And its pursuit of nuclear weapons cannot save it from the opposition of its own people. So friends, continue your struggle, keep hope alive, and prepare for the new Iran that will come to pass through your efforts. And thank you for allowing me to be part of this great event once again this year. Merci beaucoup.