20,000 Iranians demonstrating outside UN in New York call for expulsion of Ahmadinejad from UN
Simultaneous with the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Iranian regime, at the United Nations, 20,000 Iranians and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, held a major protest outside the United Nations in New York to say that he is the enemy of Iranian people. Demonstrators described Ahmadinejad as a terrorist and his presence at the UN as an insult to the people of Iran and called for his expulsion from the world body.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, in a video message to the rally said those who allowed Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly had made an "unjustifiable decision" and described it as "an undeniable testament" to their "disregard for the violations of human rights in Iran." She condemned the policy of appeasement toward the Iranian regime over the past 30 years and said, "The only solution for the Iranian crisis is democratic change by the Iranian people and their organized Resistance."
Mrs. Rajavi called on the UN General Assembly, the Security Council and all UN member states to condemn the regime as the worst violator of human rights in the world today and set up a special tribunal to bring to trial the leaders of this regime for crimes against humanity, including the execution of 30,000 political prisoners. She also called on them to expel the representatives of the clerical regime from the United Nations and said that Iran's seat at the UN must be rendered to the Iranian Resistance, which, in the current circumstances, represents the Iranian people. She reminded them to assume their responsibilities in protecting the PMOI in Camp Ashraf and by stationing US forces and posting a UN monitoring team in Ashraf, prevent the continuing siege, suppression, further conspiracy and psychological warfare against its residents.
A number of distinguished American and international personalities including Rudolph Giuliani, US presidential candidate and former New York Mayor, and John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and Assistant Secretary of State, addressed the rally.
Mr. Guiliani said, "It is time here in America to right the wrong that has been done to you and your cause out of the misguided notion that the violent and tyrannical regime of Iran could be mollified. It is about time that we change the listing of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on the terror list. I have studied terrorism for over 35 years. I have investigated terrorism and I have seen first hand, in my city the devastation that terrorism can bring about. This is not a terrorist organization. This is an organization dedicated to achieving freedom and dignity for its people. It is time for the rest of our Congress to join 83 members, Democrats and Republicans who have supported House Resolution 1431, which calls for the lifting of this unjust, unfair and inaccurate designation. It has been lifted by the British government. It has been lifted by the European Union. It should be lifted by the US Congress, and President Obama should support it as a defender of freedom."
In his address, Mr. Bolton said, "The evidence I think is overwhelming that during the Clinton administration the MEK was put on the terrorist list because it was thought to be a way to open dialogue between the United States and Iran. That is an illegitimate basis to make a decision about any organization; and we have seen in recent years that opinion within the US government has tended towards delisting the MEK, and at the end of the Bush administration Secretary Rice decided not to do that for essentially the same reason as the Clinton administration put the group on the list to begin with, to open channels of communication with Iran. No good American supports terrorism, but no good American believes that people should be discriminated against to open a channel of communication with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
David Amess, Member of the British Parliament from the Conservative Party, and the Very Reverend Dr. David Lowry, Director of the Center of Peace and Reconciliation at the Desmond Tutu Center, among other speakers declared their support for the Iranian Resistance and the rights of 3,400 residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, who are "Protected Persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The demonstrators demanded guarantees for the rights and protection of Ashraf residents. They strongly condemned the 20-months long unlawful and inhumane siege on Ashraf and 8-months of psychological torture of the residents by agents of the Iranian regime in Iraq and called on the UN to intervene immediately to end these criminal acts. They emphasized that the US government must guarantee protection of Ashraf and prevent brutality against its residents and their forcible displacement. They also called for the observer team of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to be permanently stationed at the Camp.
By reminding the Secretary of State of the US Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ruling, which said that refusing to remove the PMOI from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) violated the due process, and that seriously challenged the sources for the information used by the State Department, the participants in the rally said that there were no justification to maintain the terror designation.
Iranians emphasized that the designation did not have any realistic basis from outset and it was done solely at the behest of the Iranian regime and its lobbies and it has been part of the shameful policy of appeasement of the mullahs. The regime has been taking advantage of this unlawful designation to target supporters of PMOI inside Iran and the residents of Ashraf with its conspiracies.
- Maryam Rajavi: US government must respect the rule of law and justice, remove PMOI from terror list
- US Congress presses Clinton to lift restrictions from PMOI
- Rally in Paris in protest to death sentences against political prisoners
- US Court of Appeals rules that decision by Secretary of State to maintain the PMOI on the FTO list violated due process and lacked sufficient evidence.
- Hundreds of Ashraf residents in urgent need of medical care; U.S., UNAMI must intervene to end inhumane siege of Ashraf