Iran’s exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi on the sidelines of the rally in Los Angeles on February 11, 2023

Top Opponents Of Iranian Regime Deliver Speeches In US Rallies

Sunday, 02/12/2023

Prominent dissident figures participated in mass rallies of the Iranian diaspora in the US cities of Washington DC and Los Angeles on Saturday, calling for the downfall of the clerical regime. 

During a large gathering in Los Angeles, Iran’s exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi hailed Iranian women as “the first victims of the Islamic revolution in the last forty years."

He added that "Today, we are not just witnessing a 44-year-old resistance. Today in Iran, we are witnessing the first women's revolution in the world. Iranian women are not alone in their revolution and all men support them,” noting that Iranian women have always been in the vanguard of the fight against the regime. 

On the sidelines of an anti-regime rally, Pahlavi told Iran International that “we all know we agree on basic principles, otherwise there will be no understanding in practice.” Emphasizing the need to support civil activists and political prisoners in Iran, he said "Iran's Charter of Solidarity and Freedom", which is being finalized, includes the minimum principles of agreement for the majority of secular democratic forces.

Eight prominent opposition figures held a joint forum in Washington DC on February 10, signaling the emergence of a leadership council in the diaspora to campaign for international support in favor of Iran’s protest movement.

Calling for equal rights for all political and sexual orientations, he said the Iranian society is beautifully diverse with various ethnicities, languages and dialects, religions, sects, and opinions. “We should have such an intellectual plurality and challenge each other. Even if we compete with each other, competition does not mean enmity."

He also praised Sunni religious leader Mowlavi Abdolhamid for his remarks about Iran’s territorial integrity and the equality of all Iranians.

"We tell political prisoners and imprisoned protesters that they are not alone. We are your voice in the world. The world should support the people of Iran. The world should not insist on negotiating with a regime, which is rotten to the core in order to keep it alive, especially when the nation is chanting death to the dictator,” Pahlavi said, calling on international community to support the rights of the Iranian nations to choose their destiny.

In a massive demonstration in Washington DC, other dissident figures, such as rights activists Masih Alinejad, Nazanin Boniadi and Hamed Esmaeilion and popular Iranian stars, including Faramarz Aslani, Googoosh, and Shahin Najafi, also delivered speeches about the Islamic Republic’s atrocities and expressed hope for an end to the regime. 

Alinejad spoke about the regime’s discrimination and persecution of the LGBTQ community, heralding a new Iran where all have equal rights. She said that the day of celebration for the Iranian nation is when they are at the ballot box to decide the fate of their country. 

Esmaeilion, a Canadian Iranian protest leader talked of the crimes committed by the Islamic Republic, saying women of the country paid a heavy price for their basic freedoms. 

He added that the people of Iran should be ready for the next waves of protests, which will be stronger and bigger. 

Boniadi also called on other countries to sever their ties with the regime in Iran, saying, "We don't want any Western country to talk with the Iranian regime."

Iranians staged mass rallies in dozens of cities across the world calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic on Saturday, concurrent with the regime-sponsored events inside Iran on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Canada-based activist Hamed Esmaeilion speaking during the rally Washington DC

Iranians from various European cities traveled to the French capital Paris to express their anger at the brutalities of Iran’s rulers against unarmed civilian protesters. Iranians living in London also held a gathering and chanted slogans in support of the move to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Similar protests were held in Oslo, Bologna, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Nicosia, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Vienna, Sofia, Madrid, Istanbul, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Auckland, Stockholm, and Gutenberg.

This representative of young Iranians who have become full-fledged European citizens and politicians added, "We will be in Brussels on February 20." Alireza Akhundi, a member of the Swedish parliament, also spoke at the Paris rally, saying, "44 years ago a bitter incident happened in this city, and today we are all together and united for the revolution of the brave people of Iran."

In their historic joint event in Washington, the eight leading Iranian opposition figures called for support from democratic countries to change the regime in Iran and establish democracy.

Speaking at Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Pahlavi, Esmaeilion, Alinejad, and Boniadi as well as Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, actress Golshifteh Farahani, former captain of Iran’s national soccer team Ali Karimi and Secretary General of Komala Iranian Kurdish party Abdullah Mohtadi made a speech. 

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