NewsSpecial WireIran exiles hold protest rallies in 40 cities worldwide

Iran exiles hold protest rallies in 40 cities worldwide

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Iran Focus: London/Berlin/Washington, DC, Jul. 10 – Iranian exiles in 40 different cities in Europe and North America held rallies, gatherings, and seminars on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy students in Iran. Participants in the rallies also strongly condemned the July 7 bombings in London which claimed more than 50 lives. Protesters carried signs reading “Punish the REAL terrorists” and urged the international community to support the Iranian opposition’s efforts to bring about democratic change in Iran. Iran Focus

London / Berlin / Washington, DC, Jul. 10 – Iranian exiles in 40 different cities in Europe and North America held rallies, gatherings, and seminars on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy students in Iran.

Participants in the rallies also strongly condemned the July 7 bombings in London which claimed more than 50 lives. Protesters carried signs reading “Punish the REAL terrorists” and urged the international community to support the Iranian opposition’s efforts to bring about democratic change in Iran.

A number of parliamentarians, political and human rights personalities, and representatives of Iranian associations addressed the gatherings, which were mainly organised by supporters of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran.

In Washington DC, Iranians taking part at a symposium organised by the Near East Democratic Association of Iran in George Washington University denounced Thursday’s bombings and said that the heart of Islamic fundamentalism, which they blamed for the terrorist attacks, was “beating in Tehran”.

Speakers said that the brutal crackdown on the 1999 pro-democracy demonstrations in Iran failed to extinguish anti-government protests by students, women, and the young. Every year thousands of students in Iran are brutally suppressed, injured and arrested in protest demonstrations, they said.

In light of ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ascendance to power as President, participants called on the West to stop appeasing the Iranian regime and instead help empower the Iranian opposition.

Iranians called for removal of the People’s Mujahedin (PMOI/MeK) from terrorism lists in the European Union and the United States, saying that the group was a legitimate resistance movement against a regime which terrorises its people at home and sponsors terrorism abroad.

The U.S. State Department designated the MeK as a terrorist organisation in 1997 in what Clinton administration officials later said was part of efforts to thaw relations with Tehran.

In Berlin, demonstrators waved tri-coloured Iranian flags and chanted “Cry of every Iranian is freedom”. Similar rallies were held in several other German cities, including Hamburg, Bremen, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Cologne.

Other European capitals and major cities, including Brussels, The Hague, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Rome, Vienna, Berne and Luxembourg, were the sites of rallies honouring the sacrifices of those who defy the ruling theocracy in Iran.

Iranians as widely apart as those in Sydney and in Denver, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Atlanta, and San Diego in the United States and Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver in Canada held similar rallies.

A resolution issued at the end of the world-wide protests stated that the consolidation of power by hardliners within the regime was a “by-product of the Western policy of appeasement [towards Tehran”>”.

“Appeasement not only failed to bring about moderation in Iran, but also gave the mullahs freer reins to suppress the people, export terrorism, and pursue nuclear weapons with greater impetus,” the resolution read.

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