Thousands of Iranians took part in a demonstration at the UN General Assembly yesterday, denouncing the presence of Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian regime’s president over his indifference to human rights in Iran.
“We are here to talk about three words that the Iranian regime doesn’t understand: human rights and democracy. People are here from all across the world to send a message that Iran needs to change.”
The demonstrators highlighted the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and pointed to the execution spree during Rouhani’s two-year tenure. There have been 2000 executions, including political dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities.
Prior to the demonstration 101 Iranian-American professionals and scholars signed a letter to President Obama blasting Rouhani’s administration and human rights record, saying that human rights should be the central element of Iran policy.
Young Iranian-Americans, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) came to New York from more than 40 states, chanted “no to Rouhani”, “Rouhani out of UN”, and carried pictures of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, Paris-based president-elect of the Iranian Resistance. They were joined by a large number of New Yorkers.
Former UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Prof. Alan Dershowitz were among the speakers. They were joined by faith community leaders, human rights and women’s rights activists.
“We need to stand with the people of Iran,” Richardson said, speaking to Iranian youth leaders at the rally outside the UN General Assembly. “We are here to talk about three words that the Iranian regime doesn’t understand: human rights and democracy. People are here from all across the world to send a message that Iran needs to change.”
“Rouhani is part of a regime whose survival is ensured only through daily executions, torture of prisoners, suppression of women and plundering of social wealth, as well as terrorism and destruction in the region. He is competing with the other major factions over his share of the power,” said Mrs. Rajavi in a message to the protesters.
She added, “Rouhani is not a representative of the Iranian people. He and his regime are murderers of the Iranian people and the main causes of creating crises in the region.”
“During Rouhani’s tenure, protests by teachers and workers have been met with arrests or dismissals. Lawyers, human rights defenders, bloggers, reporters, Sunni Muslims, Christians, priests, Jews, Dervishes, Baha’is, Kurds, Baluchis and Arabs continue to be imprisoned, while the rights and freedoms of women and youth are trampled upon on a daily basis.” Rajavi added in her message.
Rajavi said, “The solution to the Iranian and regional question lies in the hands of the Iranian people who demand the overthrow of this regime and the establishment of freedom and democracy.”
“Any act of appeasement, showing weakness and giving false hopes about the ruling clerics abandoning their efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon would be detrimental and constitutes a betrayal. As such, any loophole or pathway that the deceitful regime could use to manufacture a nuclear bomb must be closed,” she said.
Young Iranian-Americans, a number of whom had come to New York from as far away as California had a heavy presence in the demonstration that lasted several hours. They spoke at the rally, echoing the desire of the youth in Iran for democracy. They chanted We Are Voices of Iran.