Uniting for Freedom, Democracy & Equality

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Former Federal Minister of Defense of Germany, Addresses the Free Iran 2022

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Former Federal Minister of Defense of Germany
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Former Federal Minister of Defense of Germany

Excerpts of speech of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Former Federal Minister of Defense of Germany, at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:

Ladies and gentlemen, dear Madam President, Maryam Rajavi, thank you for your kind invitation to address you as this distinguished audience. It is very special and precious for me to address you, mainly because in this audience we have so many former political prisoners with us who suffered years of torture in prisons. Some under the shah dictatorship and more under the theocratic dictatorship.

You paid the ultimate price for your country’s freedom, for all of us, but especially for you. The decision taken by a Swedish court to have found Hamid Noury, a former Iranian official, guilty of war crimes in connection with the mass executions of political prisoners in Iran in 1988, have been a huge one.

As Human Rights Watch said. The ruling sent a message to the most senior Iranian officials implicated in these crimes that they can’t remain beyond the reach of justice forever. This decision was and is your victory and the victory of the principle of universal jurisdiction.

It proves that to fight a dictatorial regime, it’s necessary to have a strong international commitment. And dictatorial, that what the regime in Tehran is, and worse, a regime that supports terrorism and the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, a regime that still oppresses the people of Iran to this day.

So especially we as western countries, we have to answer the question, what is the right policy towards Iran? What do we want to achieve? We want what you fight for. An Iran that is democratic, free, and safe to live in. For nearly four decades, we have been searching for a constructive policy to encourage the Iranian regime to change its behavior. It doesn’t matter whether you call it constructive policy, critical dialogue, or working with the moderate faction.

All possibilities have been exhausted in the hope of having some impact on the regime. After years of searching for a really powerful, moderate faction within the regime and years of trying to change the regime’s behavior, no real progress has been made.

But on the contrary, today this regime is more than ever engaged in terrorism, hostage taking, meddling in the international affairs of other countries, through its terrorist proxies, and continuing more vigorously.

To put it bluntly, our efforts have failed. And we have to ask ourselves critically. Why is that so? What did we do wrong? Have we seen clearly enough the real nature of the ruling regime?

The fact, it’s a totalitarian regime based on absolute rule of one supreme leader, who acts above law? Have we been looking too long for something that doesn’t exist within the regime, a really powerful moderate faction? Have we underestimated the Iranian people and their desire for democracy, freedom, and peace? And finally, have we always given sufficient support to the organized opposition inside and outside Iran? I think we haven’t done it enough.

But I’m absolutely convinced this regime can be overcome if we work towards it together, and especially as western countries, with more determination. With the same determination I see on the face of those who have suffered so much in the past but never gave up, with the same determination I see in the brave women and men across Iran who are fighting for a better, brighter future. We should be inspired by this determination.

We must adopt a firmer policy on Iran. We shouldn’t make concession to the regime in the way and hope that it will change its behavior.

We must make it clear that we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed by the current regime. Instead of this, let human rights be an effective factor in shaping our policy towards Iran.

And let there be accountability regarding the Iranian regime’s crimes committed against Iranian people and its terrorism and destructive behavior outside Iran.

Let us pay attention to the desire of the Iranian people seeking freedom and democracy. We know that change cannot be provided from the outside.

All the more, we have to stand by the Iranian people and their struggle for freedom. They reject Shah’s dictatorship and theocratic dictatorship and want a republic based on democratic values.

Maryam Rajavi has stipulated the vision of such a republic and the way ahead in a Ten Point Plan for the future of Iran. This is the true alternative, the correct vision for a democratic, free, peaceful and people respecting Iran. This is the Iran the world needs. Let us work together on it.