Uniting for Freedom, Democracy & Equality

Remarks by Robert Torricelli–Free Iran Global Summit, July 17, 2020

Former United States Representative and Senator from New Jersey Robert Torricelli joined the Online Free Iran Global Summit. In his remarks, Sen. Torricelli asserted his support of the Iranian people’s desire for freedom, justice, equality, and the rule of law.

On July 17, the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held its annual gathering. However, regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic, freedom-loving Iranians managed to hold the gathering virtually within joint and tireless efforts. In this respect, the NCRI connected 30,000 locations to Ashraf-3, home to members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Here is the speech of Sen. Torricelli: 

And then a special recognition, if I could, to some of the people I admire most, the point of the spear in the struggle for Iranian freedom, the residents of Ashraf, who also spend their every waking hour thinking about how to maneuver the Iranian people into a new, prosperous, and free future. We are now writing the last chapter in this struggle for freedom.

Mayor Giuliani cited before the great wisdom of struggles often comes not from its leaders but from the streets, from people themselves, who are putting themselves on the line. You can hear in cities and towns all across Iran today a common message. Reformers, hardliners, the game is up. It is over. Or simply, give us our country back. The Shah, the mullahs, dictators all, give us our country back. The people are speaking to us. As in the past, we had to speak to them, now the voice is theirs across the country.

In every struggle, we look for milestones. Are we closer this year than last year? How is this year different than times before? The evidence is overwhelming and sometimes captured in single events. For many people in Iran the inability of the mullahs to speak the truth even about the destruction of the Ukrainian airline, getting caught lying to desperate families, the people of Iran, the people of the world, other governments.

If you can’t tell the truth to a mother and father about the loss of their children in shooting down an airliner, can you be telling the truth about government resources? Can you be trusted with the future of a nation?

And then the pandemic. At a time when the world is spending trillions of dollars, marshaling all of its resources to save people from the pandemic, in Iran, tens of thousands of deaths and money not going to protect them or their families or hospitals or buying medical equipment, but to revolutions and terrorist attacks in Lebanon and Yemen, to building an atomic weapon which has done nothing but ostracizes Iran from the civilized nations of the world, to pay the salaries of the Revolutionary Guards.

This is how you would spend your resources? Not medical care? Not food? Not keeping employment? But even in the face of the pandemic, maintaining terrorist attacks? These are your priorities? This is how what was clear to many of us years ago has become clear now to people across Iran. The game is up. We see you now for who you are.

Today, the international community has probably the most effective embargo and economic isolation of Iran in history. This is not an American problem. The Iranian government has reached out to the Europeans and they have said no. They have reached out to regimes across the world.

Today for the first time in human history, repressive regimes denying all freedom, all economic opportunity, all prosperity, is limited to but a handful of nations: North Korea, Cuba, and the largest among them, Iran. These few regimes are all that stand between general recognition of economic opportunity and some modicum of freedom at least, and global opportunity. The world stands united as never before.

But yet, as my country was reminded in a time of peril of our own, to some generations much is given, of this generation much is expected. I know it is not fair for young Iranians. Other generations of Iranians in a long and proud history have lived free and in prosperity.

Indeed, Iranian civilization and the Persian kingdoms were the centers of world progress. I know it is not fair. But it is a reality. The young of Iran are going to have to earn their own freedom, their own time of prosperity. And we can offer words. Maryam Rajavi can offer leadership. The people of Ashraf can give their efforts. The people around the world can give their dollars and their euros and their yen. But in the end, this will be won on the streets.

Today in Iran if you are hearing our words, take a quiet moment. Everyone can do something. Decide upon your role, how you will stand with Maryam Rajavi. If you’re an oil worker, do you really want the product that you are pulling out of the earth to go to fueling the corruption of the mullahs who are sending billions of dollars to Swiss bank accounts? Or fueling terrorist attacks across the world?

Is this what you want of your labor? You can do something to slow down production. If you are a student, even among your studies, you have a moment you can take to the streets. If you are a shopkeeper, can you not withhold some taxation that is going to fund the Revolutionary Guards? Everyone can. If you are retired, if you are unemployed, if you are at home, a simple slogan printed on a wall can inspire other Iranians. Choose what you want to do.

Thousands have died. Tens of thousands have been imprisoned. We are not asking you to do that. We are asking you to do something. Hazer, hazer, hazer [ready to stand]. Stand with Maryam Rajavi. Take a stand. We will never abandon you. We are all with you until the end. Iran will rejoin the family of nations. But you need to take your stand today. Thank you.