Excerpts of speech of Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada, at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:
Madame Rajavi, distinguished guests from around the world, ladies and gentlemen, friends, it’s a real pleasure to be able to speak to you again. I’m just sorry that the threats from the terrorist government in Iran have rendered it impossible to do this in person this year.
Friends, it’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, but there has been a silver lining, and it is this. The theocratic dictatorship in Tehran is weaker than ever. Friends, few in the world have done as poorly during this period as the administration of Khamenri and Raisi.
Reports indicate that their response to the pandemic was uniquely incompetent. But that’s not surprising. In a regime which cares more about funding nuclear weapons development and terrorist proxy organizations than it does about delivering services to its people. With pandemic deaths, collapsing buildings and 300% price increases, protests have been breaking out everywhere in Iran. And friends, the protesters are not yelling anti-Western and anti-Semitic slogans. They are shouting Death to the dictator Khamenri.
And this organization, the NCRI, and your Resistance Units have made your presence felt. There have been, I’m told, over two and a half thousand acts of defiance of various types, including last February, the disruption of state controlled radio and television, allowing messages to be broadcast directly to the Iranian people by Madame Rajavi.
Friends, we always say that the Iranian people must choose their own future. But we know there is only one choice that all great peoples aspire to, and that is the choice of freedom and democracy, not the dictatorship of today and not the dictatorship of the past. Friends, Madame Rajavi and you of the NCRI have made a clear commitment to a Ten – Point Plan for a bright future for the Iranian people.
Let’s repeat those ten points once again, because we can never say them enough. Democracy, pluralism, the rule of law and justice, human rights, peaceful coexistence and gender equality, private property and a market economy, the separation of religion and state, and a non-nuclear Iran. Friends, that Ten Point Plan, your ten point plan is the future. It’s the future the world wants. It’s the future Iranians need.
But let’s be clear about why Iranians and the world need that better future. For one, the regime continues its obsessive pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. Despite signing the JCPOA, Tehran has already accumulated and enriched uranium stockpiles over ten times the threshold allowed in the nuclear deal. It’s now a mere two to three weeks from completing enrichment to weapons grade uranium, should it choose to do so.
Friends, what kind of delusional weakness possesses some of our Western leaders that they want to recommit to such a weak nuclear deal with these fanatics?
But the malevolent nature of the regime does not stop at nuclear weapons. For decades now, the mullahs have been exporting death and destruction through their support of terrorist proxies across the Middle East. But not just in the region. Right now, as innocent millions in Ukraine suffer, the Ayatollah’s regime is working on supplying its drone technology to the war criminal Vladimir Putin. And as we remember well, in 2018, the Iranian regime planned to bomb our meeting in Paris.
This is not some fanciful conspiracy theory. An Iranian diplomat was convicted to 20 years in prison in Belgium for his role in that plot. Now, as we know, the Belgian government has agreed to a treaty to release that terrorist it’s motivated to save the lives of innocent foreigners held hostage by the Islamic Republic. But the motivation for this agreement does not change the nature of its action. It constitutes a frightening appeasement of Iran’s international terrorist activity and a validation of its strategy of hostage diplomacy.
This agreement is quite literally a deal with the devil. And we add our voices to all those everywhere in the world calling on the Belgian government to end this agreement. Friends, in the past, those who wanted to accommodate the hateful, extremist and brutal regime in Tehran would claim to be seeking agreements with the regime’s so-called moderates.
But now, between Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Raisi, all pretense of the phantom moderate faction has been dropped. Just as the regime reflexively holds foreigners hostage, so it just as easily fires live ammunition on its own citizens protesting living conditions.
So let’s stop making agreements with these characters. Stop the negotiations, stop the accommodation, stop the appeasement. As I’ve said before, the right policy, the only realistic policy in dealing with this regime, is not weakness. It is strength. It is not to soften sanctions.
It is to toughen them. It is not to accept human rights violations, it is to condemn them. It is not to excuse its institutions. It is to list them as agents of terror. And it is not to develop relations with its file regime.
It is to do what my government did in Canada close down the regime’s embassies around the world. The right policy is to stand with the NCRI and to stand with the Iranian people. So I say again to you, my friends, do not relent in your fight and never, ever give up hope.
The Ayatollah’s regime will, in due course, be swept away by the tide of a great people seeking freedom and democracy. So keep your vision of freedom and democracy alive, and it will eventually come to pass.
Thank you once again for allowing me to be part of this great event this year.