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Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Speech at the Conference, ‘Iran: Uprising and Resistance Against the Regime of Execution’

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Speech at the Conference, 'Iran: Uprising and Resistance Against the Regime of Execution'

Paris, October 7, 2023: Mr. Mike Pompeo, who served as the 70th Secretary of State of the United States, held a meeting with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
After their meeting, Mr. Pompeo delivered an impactful speech to a conference Entitle, “Iran: Uprising and Resistance Against the Regime of Execution” with NCRI members and their supporters.

The full text of Secretary Mike Pompeo’s speech follows:

Thank you all so much. Thank you for that incredibly kind introduction. It is a privilege to be here. It wasn’t easy to get here. You should know that neither the French government nor America’s State Department want me to be here, which brings me even more pride.

I didn’t want to miss this because like you, when I hear President Rajavi speak, I am inspired and I am heartened. You are so gracious, so lovely, so fierce in your determination. I am very confident that as you said, one day Iran will be that very free, very democratic place that everyone in this room wants it to be.

When I heard you speak, it reminded me of a man who I didn’t know well, but who was a mentor of mine, President Reagan, who bluntly looked at a nation that was repressing its people, committing terror around the world, and he said, this is really easy. We win, they lose. We can do that in Iran as well.

We are here to mark a special anniversary, and I of course want to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifice of so many brave Iranians over the past year. The brutal regime has committed a great many atrocities to silence their voices. You know we continue to see them. For those who will get a chance to see this, whether they are in Evin Prison or in a difficult place inside of Iran, know that we love you, we are with you, and we will never forget the responsibility we have to support what you are doing inside of that country. Thank you, and God bless you. You are an inspiration to all of us.

It’s worth noting too, today as I was traveling here, I learned that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a brave Iranian woman who sits in Evin Prison. Very remarkable lady, as best I can tell, who separated from her family to work on this important mission. You know the Nobel folks don’t always get it right, but when they acknowledge the work and the abhorrent treatment of the women inside of Iran, well then I want to give them a shout-out out too for recognizing that one day, this nation will be very different.

I last spoke to you back in July, just three months ago, and yet much has happened since then. It’s a short time, but yet one year after the beginning of the uprising, the regime is in a complete deadlock. It has no way out of the crisis, the conflict between the people and the government, which in fact in those 90 days has only intensified. The civil unrest has become more powerful. The regime responded with more executions, more repression, more imprisonment, more torture, exactly what one would expect from a scared set of leaders. This has indeed deepened the divide between the regime and its people, just as we know it would.

We should know that everyone in this room shares the same goals. They have shown that the IRGC, which keeps the regime in power by brutally suppressing protesters, has been shaken by the events of last year. Things are only going to get worse for it, I’m confident of that. I believe with all my heart for the Iranian people and the resistance informed and encouraged by the folks in this room today is stronger than they are.

We, each of us, everyone around the world must recognize what these uprisings are aimed at. They’re aimed at a democratic, free republic of Iran that is devoid of any form of dictatorship. That’s our objective. Everyone here shares that goal.

And I want to make three points clear before I leave you all today. First, no matter what the regime does, it is doomed to fail. Second, even as important, change in Iran can only be achieved by those who have been working toward it for decades, those who have paid the price for it and contain the organizational structure to accomplish that objective. These things don’t happen on their own. Finally, for the future, U.S. policy towards Iran has to be centered around support for this organized opposition and increasing pressure on the regime until it falls.

Look, many of you no doubt saw President Raisi’s recent remarks at the U.N. General Assembly. I was in New York that day. I was but a couple of blocks from there. You should know my wife was mad. She was mad because the appeasing United States government was protecting the butcher of Tehran while it was threatening the lives of me and my family. That is personal. But this isn’t about me. It’s not even about any of you. This is about a cause and a noble purpose that is far bigger than each of us.

These remarks he made, if you saw them, were absurd. He made absurd claims in his remarks, such as insisting that the regime favored peace in Ukraine as it sells drones that murder innocent Ukrainian civilians and support Vladimir Putin. But you know, even he couldn’t deny the effect the organized resistance inside of Iran has had on the regime’s ability to continue its brutal dictatorship. Indeed, you all, the organized resistance led by the MEK, every day is increasing its capability. It is delivering an even bigger push. Your work has made it far more difficult for the IRGC to inflict its brutal terror and mayhem on the people of Iran. Their numbers continue to grow. And despite mass arrests, the Iranian regime knows it’s on its back foot.

You all, the MEK, and your supporters have organized rallies abroad, too. One such rally, numbering in the thousands, happened on September 19th. It took place just across the street from the United Nations, protesting Raisi’s visit and in support of President Rajavi and her Ten-Point Plan for the future of Iran. It was glorious to watch traffic stop in New York.

I must say that even the fact that Raisi was permitted to travel to New York City and allowed to speak at the General Assembly, the United Nations, for goodness sake, a body that is supposed to support basic, the most fundamental human rights for each of us, frankly, it shows how destructive the effects of appeasement towards a murderous regime can be. That appeasement has been and remains the biggest outside obstacle to ending Iran’s state-sponsored terror, its rogue regional behavior, and its support for the Iranian people’s desire to struggle to bring about change in Iran. Appeasement will not work.

It was appalling that the Office of Special Envoy for Iran at the State Department, in the midst of the Iranian uprising, chose to focus his attacks on the MEK instead of supporting protesters who sought to please the Ayatollah, even using the same words that were used by the regime. Let me be clear. Attacks against those who seek freedom and democracy in Iran are absolutely deplorable, whether it comes from my government or anywhere else. No patriotic American, Republican or Democrat, should want this.

And speaking of absurd, six billion dollars. Six billion dollars of appeasement. More evidence that the Biden administration’s recent decision to pay to get Americans home to their families, something that I worked so hard to do for so long. We got 58 Americans home during my time in the Trump administration. Six billion dollars. Claims about this money can only be used for humanitarian purposes. You should laugh there. Let’s be clear. We know this. There is zero chance this money is going to benefit the Iranian people. None. You all know this. The regime just got six billion dollars to spread terror to America, to Israel, and to destroy its enemies all across the world. And they’ll use this money to go after Iranian dissidents both outside of the country and inside of the country. Six billion dollars to fund its brutal oppression of the organized resistance inside of Iran.

This is a page straight out of President Obama’s playbook. It saddens me that America has returned to this place, but it’s the same people. Obama officials made similar arguments when they funneled massive amounts of dollars to UNRRA. Those taxpayer dollars did almost nothing to support the people in the West Bank, but instead fueled the rise of Hamas. This case was made again when President Obama, without Senate approval, committed the American people to the 2015 deal, which put Iran on the pathway to a nuclear weapon and a nuclear weapons program, one that they’re on the cusp of achieving today. That money, that money did not benefit Iran’s people or move it towards freedom and any internal change. Instead, it did what that money always does. It fueled the Ayatollah’s capacity to harm the Iranian people.

Now, it’s probably not surprising because familiar faces from the Obama-JV team have returned to the Biden administration. One of them, quite fortunately, is now on unpaid leave. Madam Rajavi spoke to this. We now know that operating inside the United States government were people working on behalf of the United States ostensibly, but who were taking guidance from Foreign Minister Zarif and his henchmen inside of Iran. You know, I remember when I became Secretary of State, we cut off funding for UNRRA precisely because of this risk. We knew where this money would go. We knew that the previous administration had been listening to the leadership in Iran. We didn’t know that they were so deeply infiltrated inside our government.

You know, we were able to sanction Iran, put real pressure on them, and we still brought home two hostages. Mr. Wang and Mr. White came home to their families without giving one single dime to this terrorist regime.

This policy to which we have returned, not just to America, but to large European powers as well, it’s totally counterproductive. Iran’s newfound wealth, we’ll see it in the months and years ahead, it’ll fund terror abroad and oppress people at home. So let’s wake up, let’s get it right, all of us, not just the United States, but every one of us.

Listen to the voices of the Iranian people. In over 280 cities across all 31 provinces of Iran, they have rejected the ruling theocracy and made clear that the mullahs are not a permanent feature of this nation. Chants, chants like you all have said here today of down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Ayatollah, we do not need dictators. This should tell us everything we need to know about who we should be acting in support of. It could not be more morally clear.

But sadly, if we continue to appease Iran, it will continue to exploit this weakness for its own gain, as it has in the past. And this won’t stay inside of Iran. Indeed, that’s already happening, and you all know this. Look at where I last was with you, Ashraf 3 in Albania. Look at the attacks against MEK members there. The basic security, the most fundamental rights of Ashraf 3’s residents should be incredibly important to every nation and to all peoples. Any of us who value freedom should understand that they should have their rights too. It was about a year ago that I had the privilege to get there. I met with the brave, noble men and women who have committed their lives to liberating their country at great risk to themselves and their families. Many among them were witnesses, survivors of the 1988 massacre perpetrated by the same man who spoke at the UN General Assembly last week, the butcher of Tehran, Mr. Raisi. So many of his victims belonged to the MEK. Indeed, they were his primary target. But because of their dedication, their joy, and their commitment to freedom for all Iranians, they are the focus of the mullahs’ wrath, but they are seen in the eyes of our God as true heroes.

I was absolutely… You know, when you serve as America’s Secretary of State, you have bad days. You see dark things. But I must say, I was appalled by the attack on Ashraf 3 on June 20th of this year. And it’s to no one’s surprise, it was highly and repeatedly celebrated by the regime in Iran and its top leaders. Indeed, they simply demanded more attacks, more extradition, and more destruction of these freedom fighters. We should be clear, it was the Biden administration’s policy of appeasement towards Iran that left Ashraf 3 residents vulnerable to this very attack and to further intimidation. When we show deference to the Ayatollah and his cronies, their victims, their victims lose our protection.

Look, we can do more. I believe that the United States should do everything in its power to help the Albanian government withstand threats, intimidation, and blackmail by the Iranian regime. I know they’re feeling pressure. They can see it. We can do better. The resolution filed in the House of Representatives after the attack on Ashraf 3 has already gained bipartisan support. That should encourage us all, over 100 House members, to sign this petition. It’s simple. It calls on the United States government, in cooperation with our ally Albania, to ensure the full protection of the Iranian political refugees that live at Ashraf 3. Pretty simple. This should be the guideline for United States policy, and it should be how we deal with the people, the heroes at Ashraf 3, and deny the Iranian regime its wishes there.

I want to close with joy and opportunity, because I believe it is real, and it is deserving. As we seek to support the resistance movement inside Iran and out, we must consider what the future should hold for Iran, what it should look like, and what is it we want. Everyone here wants freedom for the Iranian people. Let’s talk about how we can achieve it, how we can build something that can not only replace the regime but do so in a way that is lasting and secures freedom for everyone inside of that beautiful nation.

As I’ve said before, Iran will never return to the dictatorship of the Shah, nor will it settle for the current theocracy in Iran. The remnants of the past monarchy have failed to gain any traction during the uprising over the past year. The Shah’s supporters were exposed when they heavily relied on collaboration with the IRGC. What Iran needs is something that looks and feels like the people in this room. People who simply want freedom for all. A governance model that is reflective of the people’s will. We don’t need dictatorships. We need freedom.

It’s our moment. It’s the time. I’m confident. Our ask should be simple. We should ask every leader to support the brave Iranians who are inside of the country and who stand daily at great risk to themselves and their families against this theocracy. We’ve seen what happens in one year, a year of powerful, unyielding protests. These protests ride on the backs of those who have gone before them. Forty years of organized opposition to Iran.

My country has a responsibility as well. We have historically been a nation that defends human rights broadly and everywhere. And while we don’t always get it right, we know what is right. And in this case, the American people, regardless of who our leaders may be today, the American people would know what is right for the people of Iran. Freedom, democracy, the ability to raise their families in the way they want, and a failing regime in Iran no longer stand in the way of that.

When I look at the group assembled today, I know that some of you have loved ones who are inside the country. Some of you have loved ones who have been murdered by the regime. Some of you have friends or family who are in prison today or under threat from the Iranian regime. My wife and I pray for each of you, as do so many of my fellow congregants in the United States. Know that we think about you often, and we pray for you. We know that the work that you’re doing is important and noble and decent, and in the finest tradition, humanity.

Let us not forget to win and make sure that the Ayatollah and his kleptocratic theocracy lose. Let us not forget about all those who have sacrificed so much to get us to where we are today. And let us not forget that our work continues to be noble, decent and right. And when we do this righteous project to lead Iran back to a place where the people of Iran once again can continue to live their lives as they see fit, this day will come upon us soon. I know it will be so. I’m inspired to be here. Thank you, President Rajavi. Thank you.

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