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Robert Torricelli: Events in Liberty Part of Final Showdown to A Free Iran

Brussels, March 27 2013 - Thank you, thank you very much, thank you very much, thank you very much. I promised to be remindful of the 5 minutes; I haven’t been able to order lunch in five minutes. Our British colleagues who are fund of noting how my country has destroyed the English language, one of the ways that we destroyed it is the ability to talk very fast and I will do my best for that today.

Our conversation is about Liberty and Ashraf but I think everybody in the room knows it is really about Iran. What is happening in Liberty is pretty much a part of the final showdown for free Iran. It is what is happening in Syria or wherever else the Iranian regime employs its terrorism.  This is a proxy fight on that regime and it is one more reason why we, the international community, dare not loose.

I was thinking something, listening to the discourse here this morning that is happening, you know, history is so hard to see when you see it up close. But a wonderful thing is happening here today in the western world. This European parliament is becoming the conscious of the western world. And what a wonderful thing it is to see. What a wonderful thing, and what a time for you to come into your own, whenever needed more than now to be heard on behalf of the people of camp Liberty and of a free Iran.


The simple reality is we, the international community and each of our institutions; need to accept a certain truth. There is one thing to accept about the Mullahs in Iran as we try to appease them, accommodate them, and compromise with them in failure after failure after failure. At some point you take a person out their world, they are not interested in appeasement. They are not interested in compromise. It speaks to the best of this parliament and my congress and the international community that we have tried and tried and tried. It is a good statement about us, but it will not work. Sometimes you have to look the truth in the face.


In my country, I suspect as I am sensing in this parliament, a very broad coalition was formed in support of the MEK. Not simply because we think it is the best opposition group, because in reality it is the only opposition group. The Mullahs have destroyed any independent voice. There is no one left standing that has organization and leadership and resources and willing to make the sacrifice of lives to bring freedom to the oppressed people of Iran. So, from democrats, republicans, left and right, as I am sensing in this parliament we stand firmly behind the MEK as the one organization that can end this nightmare for the Iranian people.

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The road to a free Tehran today is through Liberty. It is important to understand the attack on the Liberty. Much as those who sat in our chairs 15 year ago, 10 years ago saw the attack on Sarajevo not an attack on the people who lived there, but on credibility of your parliament and my congress and the United Nations and international community. We gave our word for the security of these people. The UN gave its commitment. We were there to protect their lives and we didn’t. I understood the outrage of the Sarajevo and Ruanda and host of other places. I don’t understand the silence here. They didn’t attack the people of Liberty. They attacked the credibility of the UN and Europe and America. We were attacked. You, me. And we were left ???(5:06) That is the issue that is before us today.

Now the people of camp Liberty, not in anger but in de facto of accommodation to de facto that we didn’t keep our word have made a simple request: they want to leave. And to leave, they want to return to the relative safety of camp Ashraf. Not an unreasonable request. Or they want simply the means to be defended in Liberty. I will tell you what they want and anyone here tell me where it is unreasonable. They owned bullet proof western helmets. They want no money. They want no gifts. They owned them. They are at Ashraf. They would like them brought to Liberty. Is this unreasonable? The US’s military had left t-walls for blast protection around the places were men and women now sleep in camp Liberty. For exactly this kind of attack, they exist; they are paid for by our tax payers. They would like them back to the camp Liberty to defend against another attack. Unreasonable? Is there something wrong with that? They would like blast protection bunkers. They would like to know there is a safety zone around the camp from which rockets cannot be launched. Who here can argue with one of those requests?

Who here can argue with one of those requests? Instead we are told by my government and perhaps yours that security lies not in these means but in leaving the country. I would accept that if we were talking about 3200 people, but we moved 7 in the last year. The casualty count of death is greater than those who moved. But the request is; is that 70 or a 100 or 200? If you take every country, now willing to accept people from Liberty, everyone, assume there are no problems and get them all out tomorrow, it might be 500 people. 2700 remain. No helmets, no t-walls, no glass protection, no safety, facing imminent attack. 2700.

If I were to say that in this room, this room is going to be attacked, 10 of you can leave and the remained will stay and face death, would you? And if you did, what kind of people are you? There is a wonderful quote that I remember all my life at the end of the battle of France and as the battle of Britain was beginning, the Germans sent a message to Churchill. Would he surrender? He was so contemptuous, he didn’t answer. He simply said: what kind of people do they think we are? What kind of people would live in camp Liberty, if they would leave their children, their brothers, their sisters, their comrades, people whom they have lived with for 26 years? And a few would run for the door and leave the rest to fight for their lives. What kind of people would they be?

That is not an answer for security. Tell me where we were wrong in what we have asked for? Tell me that having a few leave and having the rest behind is right and we will do it. Which you know it is not and that is the line that separates us today.

How do we move this? Those diplomats who prescribed accommodation with Iranians or leaving Liberty or remaining in danger and waiting and waiting for the Iraqi’s fraud protection, they do not work for themselves. They are not (9:03) to themselves. They work for you, or for me. They are answerable in a democratic society to our constituencies.

I know it is the hardest thing in politics is to see history up close. You can never say where it is going or where it is came from even if after few years have become obvious.

Here is what is obvious: Even as we speak the seeds of the end of the Iranian regime are being planted. You can see it in Syria, you can see it in Iraq, you can tell in international chambers. It is there. It is coming; someday soon it will appear, obvious as it can be.

By being here today you have chosen sides. You have done the greatest thing any parliamentarian can do. And why I believe this parliament has become the conscious of the western world.

Anybody can stand with a rich.  Anybody can take the side of the powerful. Anybody can be intimidated by nuclear weapons. Anybody can be intimidated by oil.  But those who will stand with the poor over the rich, the weak over strong, they not only inherit history but in moments like this, can be proud of it the rest of their lives.

Not only that you are the side of the rich but from everything I believe you are on the side of the winning. We have weeks, days, not months not years to save the lives of the people of Liberty. Remind your diplomats who they work for and remind them the kind of parliament that you want to be and everything that Europe should represent to the world. This is that moment.

Thank you very much for having me in this moment.

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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf