On Saturday, former US vice president Mike Pence and British ex-prime minister Liz Truss expressed their support for an exiled Iran opposition movement. They criticized the Western approach of “appeasement” towards Iran’s clerical authorities.
They spoke at a meeting near Paris for the People’s Mujahedin (MEK) group, which is banned by Tehran. Meanwhile, thousands of MEK supporters held a rally in the heart of Paris, despite the initial ban imposed by the police.
The MEK and its political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), do not have universal support among the Iranian diaspora. However, they do have the backing of several prominent former US and European officials.
Pence, who served as vice president under Donald Trump and is now running against him for the Republican nomination, spoke at a conference in Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris. He expressed his belief that the Iranian regime is currently at its weakest point, citing the protest movement that began in September.
He said, “This protest is more than just another one. It marks the start of a revolution for freedom.” He also added, “The ruling regime has deceived the world by claiming that there are no other options, but that’s a huge lie.”
Pence, who spoke at the meeting in person and previously met with Maryam Rajavi, the leader of MEK, at their headquarters in Albania, expressed his belief that no oppressive regime can endure indefinitely.
Truss, who served as Britain’s prime minister for a short period, expressed concern about the increasing threat posed by authoritarian regimes worldwide. She specifically mentioned the leadership of Xi Jinping in China and Vladimir Putin in Russia.
These regimes feel more confident because the free world hasn’t taken sufficient action. I will always hold onto hope for a free and democratic Iran.
Democracy is facing challenges in various parts of the world. She said that it is now the right moment to stop accommodating and appeasing.
Mike Pompeo, who served as Trump’s secretary of state, is a well-known supporter of the group. He recently expressed his concerns about entering into a new deal with Tehran regarding its nuclear program. Pompeo believes that such a deal would have negative consequences for both the Iranian people and the world.
There were also other notable supporters of MEK, such as former Canadian premier Stephen Harper and former Belgian prime minister and prominent MEP Guy Verhofstadt.
Rajavi expressed concern that if we continue to appease the mullahs’ regime, it could result in more violence and harm to our people. He also mentioned that such appeasement would not be effective in preventing the eventual downfall of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Last week, the Paris police made the group upset when they announced that their rally was banned. The police cited concerns about potential tensions with other Iranian factions and the risk of an attack as the reasons for the ban.
However, the ban was overturned by the Paris administrative court, a move that the MEK claimed demonstrated Western “appeasement” towards Iran.
A large crowd of people gathered in Place Vauban, right in the heart of Paris, for the rally. Supporters from various parts of Europe came together for this event.
We don’t want either the regime of the mullahs or the regime of the shah. The Iranians are not interested in regressing. “I believe we are making progress towards democracy,” expressed Massoumeh Raouf, a supporter who shared that she had previously been a political prisoner in Iran.