The 2020 California Convention for Free Iran, Supports the Uprising in Iran, Lauds the Elimination of Qassem Soleimani, and Mourns the Victims of the Plane Shoot Down.
Los Angeles, CA – January 12, 2020. Simultaneous with protests in universities in Iran, during which students tore down pictures of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his former henchman Qassem Soleimani, more than a thousand Iranian Americans from across California participated in the “2020 California Convention for Free Iran,” on Saturday, January 11, 2020 to support protesters and to call on the United States to maintain maximum pressure on the clerical regime.
In a video message, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance addressed the event and said, “The elimination of the terrorist Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, a few weeks after the November uprising delivered a crushing blow to the strategy of export of fundamentalism and terrorism…For this reason, the political groups and parties, Iranian and non-Iranian, who benefit from the continued rule of the mullahs’ regime are reeling over the Soleimani’s termination.”
A memorial ceremony was held in honor of the 176 victims of the Ukrainian passenger airline which was brought down by a missile fired by the IRGC, and the participants called for putting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani on trial for being directly responsible for this crime against humanity and three days of coverup.
Former members of congress and prominent Iran policy experts spoke at this event. Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) highlighted the importance of Iranian people’s democratic alternative to the regime and said, “history showed us how Mandela went from prison to presidency. I call Maryam Rajavi the modern-day champion against fascism.”
General James Conway (Ret.) who served as the 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said, “the best option for us and for the people of Iran is regime change within Iran – by Iranian people.”
Former Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) addressed the audience and said, “When it comes to ending the regime in Tehran, watch not simply what we say but what we do. There is not a division in the United States about bringing down the regime in Tehran.” “We are united as a people, Democrat or Republican, liberal and conservative, we want the destruction of the regime in Tehran,” Mr. Torricelli noted.
Bipartisan members of U.S. Congress issued statements to declare their solidarity for the people of Iran and their quest for freedom and democracy. In their respective messages, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman J. Luis Correa, and Congressman Paul Cook recognized bi-partisan support for pro-democracy protests in Iran. Congressman Sherman commended, “Maryam Rajavi’s advocacy for democracy, women’s rights and minority rights in Iran.” Congressman Correa and Congressman Cook both called on the international community to “compel the Iranian authorities to free all detailed protesters.” Several California Assembly members, State senators, and other local officials also issued statements in support of the democracy movement in Iran.
At the event, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr. discussed the key role Iranian resistance members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) are playing in Iran protests and urged the U.S. to maintain pressure on the Ayatollahs. Ambassador Bloomfield added, the “sovereignty of Iran belongs to the people, not to the corrupt dictators.”
During his speech, Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan applauded the resilience and effectiveness of a “cohesive, organized political opposition movement,” in Iran as seen in the ongoing protests in, success of Iranian dissidents in Albania, and the evolving U.S. Iran policy favoring the Iranian people.
Professor Sheehan, released a new book, Iran’s Resurgent Resistance, highlighting the experience of a bipartisan U.S. delegation visits with MEK opposition at Ashraf 3, in Albania, where the movement has a large presence.
Mr. Mohammad Shams, a renowned master of classical Iranian music also performed for the convention attendees.
The Convention, organized by Californian Society of Democracy in Iran and the Iranian American Community of Northern California, made the following policy recommendations:
- The Iranian regime is in a weak political, social, and economic position. The U.S. must now recognize the window of opportunity for geopolitical transformation in the region and maintain the maximum pressure and continue to hold the IRGC network across the region accountable for their terrorism.
- Iranian people and their resurgent resistance are stronger than ever. The U.S. should incorporate the people’s democratic aspiration, capabilities and the right to self determination as a centerpiece of their strategic decisions on Iran.
- The regime will be brought down by the Iranian people. The U.S. can help by diplomatically recognizing the democratic alternative to the Iranian regime, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Stand with the Iranian People Uprising for Freedom
Los Angeles Convention Center
Saturday, January 11, 2020, 2pm
California Society For Democracy in Iran
Iranian American Community of Northern California
On Saturday, January 11, 2020; Iranian Americans from across California will converge in Los Angeles to participate in the California Convention for a Free Iran to express support for nationwide protests in Iran. The event is organized by California Society for Democracy in Iran (CSDI) and the Iranian American Community of Northern California (IACNC).
National political leaders, as well as California’s civic, student and business leaders will participate in this gathering. Scheduled speakers include:
0 Honorable Patrick Kennedy
0 Former Senator Robert Toricelli
0 Ambassador Lincoln P. Bloomfield
Proposed Event Resolutions include the call for:
- United States to lead efforts leading to referral of the Iranian regime and the case on brutal killing and torture of Iranian protest to U.N. Security Council.
- S. Government and tech companies to deny Iranian regime access to censorship tool & technology.
- Urge the U.S. to maintain pressure on Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force (IRGC).
Beginning on November 15, 2019; Iranian people yet again took to streets to protest against the clerical regime, demanding their basic human right sand wanting an end to religious tyranny. In response, the regime completely cut off access to information and the Internet, and used lethal force to subdue the uprising.
Video footage, eyewitness testimony from people in Iran, information gathered from human rights activists, and news reports from Iran reveal a horrific pattern of unlawful killings of protesters by Iranian security forces, which have used excessive and lethal force in response to legitimate protests in more than 165 cities across Iran.
With near complete internet shutdown, the regime initially prevented the world from witnessing the full extent of the protests as well as the severe crackdown, attacks, arrests, beatings, torture, imprisonment, and killings in reprisal for the unrest. More importantly, without access to the internet and unable to communicate, thousands of protesters were left vulnerable, unable to scape persecution or avoid capture or other IRGC reprisals.
The United Nations said that it verified video footage indicating, “severe violence was used against protesters, including armed members of security forces shooting from the roof of a justice department building in one city, and from helicopters in another”… and “footage showing security forces shooting unarmed demonstrators from behind as they ran away and other straight on,“ in other words shooting to kill.”
The latest information compiled from inside Iran suggest the following:
- Number of impacted provinces: 31 (all of Iran’s provinces)
- Number of impacted cities: 187
- Number of protesters killed: over 1500
- Number of wounded: over 4,000
- Number of detainees: over 12,000
- Over 1000 IRGC & Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei owned banks burned
Scope and organization of this uprising is evident in the words of regime leaders. Salar Abnoush, Commander of Operations of the Bassij Organization said, for example, “There was an all-out world war against the state and the revolution. A strange and incredible coordination in the current sedition was formed and they were only waiting for a spark to destroy the country. Additional information will be provided after extracting confessions. As a field person, I believe God was our savior…” (ISNA News Agency, Nov 21, 2019)
The IRGC-affiliated Javan newspaper also wrote: “The manner in which rioters appeared on the scene shows full well that they entered through a communications network and that they were organized, equipped, coordinated, and had a well-defined and secure communications network, and conducted secret maneuvers. They used predetermined codes.” (November 19) Yadollah Javani, IRGC’s Deputy for Political Affairs called the protests, “incidents, so widespread and so extensive – were unprecedented in the 40-year history of the Islamic revolution,” and said, “What happened in the final days of Aban (mid-November) was a far-reaching, new phenomenon.”
Iranian opposition recently released names of additional 28 killed in the recent protests in Iran and estimated that Iranian regime has killed at least 1500 people thus far. Thousands more have been arrested and face torture and forced disappearance.
Bipartisan members of Congress and prominent U.S. officials have publicly expressed solitary with the Iranian people.
House Foreign Affairs Committee is now evaluating H.Res.752, “Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes.” Additionally, with over 120 bipartisan cosponsors, H.Res Resolution 374 continues to express the sense of Congress, “Condemning Iranian state-sponsored terrorism and expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.