European officials and politicians who addressed a large Iranian rally in Strasbourg Monday vowed to help list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
“I’m here on behalf of the European Parliament and on behalf of 500 million European citizens to tell you that we are with you … That the women, men, students standing up in Iran have inspired the world,” the European Parliament’s speaker, Roberta Metsola, said in an address to the rally. “Your cry ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ has been heard in every corner of the globe. You are on the right side of history, and you will make history,” she said.
“I have just addressed a rally and repeated the European Parliament’s call for a more forceful response to the terror unleashed by the regime of Iran. The people on the streets chanting Women Life Freedom will make history,” Metsola tweeted after her address to the rally.
“We will rescue our Iran from [the hands of] the mullahs,” Darya Safai, a Belgian-Iranian member of the Belgian Parliament told the participants in the rally. She vowed she would make every effort as an MP to tell her peers that it is putting the IRGC on the EU list of terrorist organizations is important not only for the Iranian people but also for “a safer world”.
Holding the IRGC responsible for “feeding and funding” many terrorist groups in the region, including Fatemiyoun and Zeynabiyoun who fight in Syria, the Hezbollah of Lebanon, the Islamic Jihad of Palestine and the Hashd al-Shaabi of Iraq. “We will do something for the IRGC to be known as the mother of international terrorism,” she said.
Liwa Fatemiyoun, or Fatemiyoun Brigade, and its Pakistani equivalent Zeynabiyoun are militia recruited by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) since 2014 from Shia Afghans and Pakistanis to fight in Syria alongside Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
While stressing that listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization is “only the first step” against the Iranian regime, Abir Al-Sahlani, representative of Sweden in the European Parliament, said the people of Iran have conquered the world with three words: Woman, Life, Freedom. The Iranian people deserve to enjoy basic human rights, freedom and democracy, she said.
Meanwhile, Charlie Weimers, a conservative member of the European Parliament who had been invited to join the Strasbourg rally as one of the speakers, in a tweet Sunday said his speech had been canceled by the organizers for “security reasons”. “Other speakers such as Abir Al-Sahlani, party colleague of the organizer, are not cancelled. I’m not going to lie. This is disappointing,” he wrote.
Some activists have criticized the cancelation of Weimers’ speech. “I have followed Weimers’ political activities for the past 20 years. He has always been the voice of the Iranians. Canceling his speech was a disappointment,” Arvin Khoshnood, a researcher of Iranian politics in Sweden, tweeted.
In his tweet, Khoshnood blamed Alireza Akhondi, a Swedish-Iranian member of the Swedish Parliament who organized Monday’s event in Strasbourg, for the cancellation. “Unity against the Islamic Republic is of outmost importance. Why exclude someone who can benefit the Iranian freedom cause?” he asked Akhondi.
Some social media users have alleged that Akhondi and other organizers canceled Weimers’ speech because he is well-known for supporting Iran's former crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, and they did not want Weimers to promote him in his speech.
“Charlie Weimers has been standing by the side of Iranians for a long time and on the right side of the history,” one of the critics tweeted. “His speech in Strasbourg was canceled because the enemies of Iran lost their mental security [for the fear of] him uttering the name Pahlavi,” he wrote.