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The Free Iran World Summit 2019

Remarks by Former Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița at the Free Iran 2024 World Summit

Former Moldovan PM Natalia Gavrilița

On June 29, 2024, at the Free Iran 2024 World Summit hosted at the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) headquarters in Paris, former Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița, delivered a powerful speech. Ms. Gavrilița emphasized the importance of supporting the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy, freedom, and human rights. Addressing Maryam Rajavi and attendees, Gavrilița highlighted the critical moment facing Iran following the death of Ebrahim Raisi and the recent sham elections. Gavrilița praised the leadership of Maryam Rajavi and the significant strides made by women in Iran’s movement for change.

A translated version of former Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița’s speech follows:

Thank you. Madam Rajavi, dignitaries and parliamentarians from around the world, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to stand before you alongside esteemed leaders from Iran and from around the world, united in our steadfast support for women’s leadership and enduring values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.

This year’s summit holds particular significance due to the increasing instability within the Iranian regime. The death of Ebrahim Raisi and the subsequent sham elections have further destabilized the theocracy, creating a pivotal moment for change.

Yesterday we saw the Iranian people clearly say no to the regime by refusing to cast their vote in the so-called elections. I stand here, just like President Kaljulaid speaking before me, as a woman who grew up in the Soviet Union and saw that regime collapse, and as a woman who knows that the bravery of Iranian women and men will lead to regime change in Iran.

And the Iranian people’s fight is our fight as well, as we’ve heard so eloquently from many speakers before me. It is because drones provided by the Iranian regime are killing people in our neighboring Ukraine, and I salute the Ukrainian women here. It’s because the Iranian regime is sponsoring terrorists in the Middle East. It’s because this regime, alongside other autocracies like Russia, North Korea, and China, is threatening and undermining the desire for freedom and democracy of people worldwide.

We’ve seen time and again, and I’m not saying anything new, you’ve heard it from every speaker before me, appeasing autocratic regimes does not work, whether in Iran or Russia, and it does not lead to positive change. Appeasement is not deterrence. It only emboldens those who seek to suppress the rights and aspirations of their people. We must stand firm in our support for those who are fighting for their freedoms.

I want to stress here the importance of diaspora participation in shaping a nation’s future. In my own country, in Moldova, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of diaspora engagement. Our citizens living abroad have provided a strong impetus for choosing a European-style development model based on democratic principles, rather than a pro-Russian autocratic alternative.

I’m certain that this autumn, when Moldovans will vote in a referendum to enshrine the new integration into our Constitution, our diaspora will once again rise to the occasion and ensure that our path toward a democratic European future is irreversible.

Similarly, the Iranian diaspora has a crucial role to play in supporting the democratic aspirations of their homeland. Your engagement, your voices, and your unwavering commitment to a free Iran are powerful catalysts for change. Whether you engage with politicians in host countries, support the resistance, or show up at events like this, your contribution is essential. And I salute the people here in Paris, as well as the people in Berlin and in Albania, Iran, and elsewhere.

Coming from a country where, for a while, we were the only country in the world where both the President and the Prime Minister were women, during which time we made significant strides in our journey towards freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, I want to also stress the importance of women’s leadership.

Madam Rajavi’s example is inspiring girls and women in Iran. Women have also made the ultimate sacrifice, showing extraordinary courage in leading the movement for change. Last year, I talked about the sacrifice of young women like Mahsa Amini, and we need to recognize that these women are not only fighting for gender equality, but they are fighting for human rights for all, and they are leading this movement for change. We must continue to apply pressure on the Iranian regime.

The declaration of parliamentarians from around the world that we’ve heard about, calling for tougher measures against the regime, including listing the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, is a big step in the right direction. There is, as we’ve heard today, widespread support for Madam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan for a democratic republic in Iran that respects human rights, promotes gender equality, and separates religion from state affairs, aligning with global democratic values. The international community must stand in support of the Iranian people and its condemnation of human rights abuses.

The path to freedom is never easy, but it is always worth pursuing. To the people of Iran, both within the country and in the diaspora, know that you are not alone in your struggle. Your courage, your resilience, and your unwavering commitment to freedom and democracy inspire us all. As you face this critical moment, remember the words that have become a rallying cry for your movement.

Women. Life. Freedom. Thank you.

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Remarks by Former Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița at the Free Iran 2024 World Summit