Convention for Democracy in Iran, Paris, June 22, 2013 - Thank you, thank you. Thank you. [applause] Can you hear me in the back? [applause] Can you hear me on the right, in the bleachers? [applause] How about out on the left?
Good. Now here's what's important, I need you to be heard in Berlin and London and Rome and Paris and Washington, because people have come here with answers. I've got a question and I need an answer. Can an election where a dictator chooses who to get to run ever be legitimate?
TORICELLI: Can a regime which kills innocent people of its own blood, the fruit of Iran and liberty, ever have a legitimate right to rule?
TORICELLI: Can the mullahs, who have forced children into poverty, women into prostitution, drugs on the streets of Tehran, ever have a right to rule the great people of Iran?
TORICELLI: Do we want regime change or just a change? [applause] Is it enough to just change faces of the dictators?
TORICELLI: Do we want an election where the people choose their own candidates and make their own choice? [applause]
Now as I have spoken with you I want all of us to speak to those people in Camp Liberty and the brave 100 at Ashraf who hear our voices now. In every struggle of every nation there's a long and difficult road that gets traveled. To the French it led to the Bastille. In America, it was Yorktown. Make no mistake, in a hundred years the schoolchildren of Iran will learn that the road to Iranian freedom led through Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. [applause]
To those brave hundred who stand alone in Ashraf, to those 3,100 who have faced death and suffering and oppression in Liberty, you are the point of the spear. Generations will admire what you did, your courage, your bravery, your belief in the Iranian people, and that you never gave up, you never gave up. You stood strong in the face of the mullahs. We admire you and we will never, ever forget you. [applause]
And finally, I want us all to make this pledge. I was here several years ago. I was here last year. I am here this year. Many of you have been coming to events and standing strong not for years but for decades. I want us to pledge, we will come back, we will stand up, we will fight until the last of these mullahs has seen the gates of hell. [applause]
I know sometimes it seems difficult. And I know you can be discouraged. But I leave you with this—Mandela stood alone on Robin Island, he was never discouraged. Walesa walked alone on the streets of a shipyard, he was never discouraged. Aquino got off a plane in the Philippines, he was not discouraged. They were one. We are many. They won because of a part of the inevitability of human life, the victory of liberty, the victory of justice. We will win this fight as sure as you are here today. We will see the mullahs’ fall. Liberty will be restored in Iran. God bless you all. [applause]
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