Tens of thousands of Iranians rallied in Paris on 1st July 2023 to support the ongoing uprising in Iran and the establishment of a democratic republic. The rally coincided with the Free Iran World Summit 2023, held at the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Over 500 prominent political figures, including lawmakers, former presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and senior officials from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, attended the Summit, along with distinguished MEPs. The event was a powerful show of support for the Iranian people's democratic aspirations.
The Free Iran World Summit and the Paris rally on 1st July 2023 held notable significance due to their successful execution despite the Iranian regime's attempts to thwart them. In an effort to halt these events, the Iranian regime attempted to strike deals with Western nations. It even resorted to bargaining over European hostages it had in custody, but these attempts proved unsuccessful.
A ban on the rally was proposed by the French Prefecture, citing security concerns, following a 90-minute dialogue between the French President and Iran's President, Ebrahim Raisi. Yet, the event organisers contested this prohibition, and the ban was lifted on 30th June by the administrative court of Paris due to its severe infringement on freedom of expression. Despite the interference attempts, tens of thousands of Iranians from across the globe attended the rally, embodying their dedication to liberty and democratic principles. Concurrently, the Free Iran World Summit was also held without hindrance.
The Summit witnessed an unprecedented international consensus backing the Iranian people's movement toward a democratic republic. It featured speeches from nine former Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, and nine Foreign Ministers representing the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, Finland, Lithuania, and Malta. Other significant contributors included past Speakers from the U.K. House of Commons, Germany's Bundestag, and former Deputy National Security Advisers to U.S. Presidents. 25 ex-ministers from various nations graced the event, and all expressed their support for the Iranian people's democratic ambitions and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi's 10-Point Plan for a future Iran.
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance for the transitional period, said in her remarks, "Appeasement towards the mullahs' regime may lead to more bloodshed among our people and our resistance, it may lengthen the list of executions, and it may fill more prisons. Yet, it will be futile in protecting Khamenei from his inevitable downfall. ... Regardless of whether the JCPOA is active, the era of religious fascism has drawn to a close, and the sun of its existence is setting on the horizon of its downfall." She added, "Just like the Shah's dictatorship, the religious dictatorship is teetering on the brink of collapse. As you couldn't keep the Shah's regime afloat, you cannot prop up the mullahs, not even with crutches, nor by suppressing the Iranian Resistance."
She added, "Khamenei and his Guard Corps (IRGC) are painfully aware of the future uprisings. Consequently, they call upon the USA and Europe to intervene, obstruct the transformation in Iran, suppress the leaders of the popular uprising, and limit their fundamental rights of freedom of expression, assembly, and political engagement under the pretense of security or national sovereignty. Is this truly indicative of 21st-century Europe?"
The speakers included Mike Pence, the former Vice President of the United States; Liz Truss, Stephen Harper, Guy Verhofstadt, Enda Kenny, Janez Janša, Avdullah Hoti, Petre Roman, and Geir Haarde, the former prime ministers of the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia, Kosovo, Romania, and Iceland respectively; Rita Süssmuth, and John Bercow, the former speakers of the German Bundestag and the U.K. House of Commons; General James Jones and John Bolton, former national security advisors to the United States Presidents; Michèle Alliot-Marie, Hubert Védrine, and Bernard Kouchner, the former foreign ministers of France; and Mike Pompeo, Giulio Terzi, John Baird, Azo Balis, Erkki Tuomioja, Francis Zammit, former foreign ministries of the United States, Italy, Canada, Lithuania, Finland, and Malta.
The global community has heard the Iranian people's appeal for freedom and democracy, responding with a resolute endorsement. As their struggle for freedom moves forward, sustaining international solidarity with the Iranian people and supporting their pursuit of a more promising future remains imperative.