NCRI - March 29. 2017 - Senator Robert Torricelli spoke at the Grand Gathering of the Iranian Resistance and its supporters celebrating the Great Nowruz, the following is an excerpt of his speech.
Thank you. My friends, it is only the first day of spring and already my prayers have been answered: a new Ashraf has been created before your eyes!
A new house of Iranian freedom has been built and you built it with your own hands. To those listening in Iran, someday your children’s children will walk these halls, the path of these buildings, look at monuments built in your honor and they will say “In the darkest hours of Iranian history, when all hope was lost, freedom had been vanquished, 3,000 brave souls never gave up, never gave in, kept free, built Ashraf and fought for Iranian freedom”.
It is hard to believe only four years ago we were dealing with the absurdity, the ridiculous notion that the MEK and the PMOI were on a terrorist list in America. Four years later, the United States organized the departure of the MEK from Camp Liberty, helped establish a new home in Albania, and now Donald Trump and the United States are eye-to-eye with the religious dictators in Tehran. And I don’t know about you but I’m betting on Donald Trump. It is important to understand the decisions which bring us here today. Because there was another course. Each of you could have remained trapped in Ashraf, surrounded by Iranian and Iraqi soldiers, killed one by one, losing not only your own lives but the chance to be a force in the fight for Iranian freedom. Or you could have stayed in Liberty, with rocket attacks, an eventual assault, and lost your own lives or a chance to be a force in the fight for Iranian freedom. A decision had to be made, and we all could offer advice, but late at night, when all the advisors were gone, one person had to make a decision: stand and die, or leave and fight; be proud to the death, locked in Liberty or Ashraf, or understand the one central truth of every revolutionary in history: no revolution was ever won being on the defensive. One woman had to make this decision. And in the course of Iranian history, saving 3,000 lives but more important, saving a movement, a spark, an idea, a hope, an inspiration for a new and free Iran, that decision was Mrs. Rajavi’s and that decision has made all the difference.
Now, I know there’s some of you who wonder “were we not better on the front lines, only miles from Iran than here in Albania or Paris, or America, or Britain?” I understand your doubts. Our friends from France can tell you the same, when De Gaulle organized the liberation of France from London; or Aquino organized the collapse of the Marcos’ government from New York; or when Mandela sat on Robben Island, planning the end of apartheid. It is not where you stand, it is how you fight. It is not where you are but that you never give up. It is where you understand where you are in history, and the weapons at your disposal. Like * once asked about the most important weapon in the collapse of communism, and he said “the cassette tape”. Your cassette tape is the internet, and social media. It is your gun, it is your rocket, it is your bomb, because it moves minds, it moves people and it brings down regimes. That is your mission that is why we sit in London and Paris and Berlin and New York and Tirana.
And now I want to speak to each and every one of you individually. As soldiers, your missions are different but all critical. Tomorrow morning, if you wake up and your mission is to make bread, you are feeding the people who represent the last best hope for a free Iran. If you do laundry, you are clothing people who are our only chance to remove the mullahs. If you’re on the Internet, you are the only voice reaching desperate people in Iran who need to hear that there’s hope and a better future, and that one of the world’s great civilizations, its first great empire in Persia need not be left behind in history. Iran can not only be everything it was in history, but it does not need to be left out of the march of history either. Wealth and prosperity is not only a European right, freedom is not simply an American privilege, to live without fear and incarceration and death is not something bestowed upon new republics. It can be part of the oldest civilizations on Earth. Iran does not need to be the exception. Iran can be the rule, every person deserves to be free, every child deserves a future, everyone deserves to be able to speak their mind, everyone deserves to be able to worship their gods as they choose. Iran will be the exception no more. Iran will join history, and live with the family of nations.
To the people of Iran who may hear our voices today: These proud 3,000 are the tip of the spear. A hard metal forged in death and suffering, and years of struggle. But behind that tip of the spear are millions of Iranians. And you all have a role. It does not matter that we are here as the proud 3,000. In every village and city in Iran, you have a mission; if you’re a simple student, writing graffiti on the wall, asking for a free Iran, that is a contribution. If you’re a worker forced to work in a factory for the Revolutionary Guards, you have a role, insuring that that product does not bring profits, as it otherwise might. If you’re a soldier in Iran, you have a role, never fire upon your own people. No proud army never killed one of their own citizens. Everyone in Iran has a role. The fact that you’re not in Ashraf does not mean you’re not part of the struggle. Big or small, take a stand! Be part of the future. Be part of a free Iran. Make your decision today to end the dictatorship, person by person, village by village, across Iran. Take a stand! Now!