Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, Senator Brownback, Congressman Sherman, members of the media; Good morning and thank you for your attendance.
My wife and I are proud to be here today, standing in support of, and lending our voice to the courageous struggle and sacrifice of our compatriots who are resisting and defying, every single day, the repressive clerical regime of Iran.
It honors me to stand here today in the presence of men and women who have endured the most vicious, heinous, tortures and humiliations at the hands of their jailers — the clerical regime of Iran.
This is an unprecedented gathering; in the past, the coming together of Iranians, with such varied political orientations, has been an uneasy task. Today, however, we stand here together – united, in defiance to the clerical dictatorship holding our homeland hostage.
This is important as it coincides with the Washington visit of Mr. Khatami, who for eight years personally forwarded the agenda of a regime that has inspired, funded, directed and sponsored militancy internationally, and suppression at home.
There are many first hand stories that will be told here today. In the interest of equal time, I ask that you hear and retell these stories as they belong to real victims of atrocities committed under the administration of Mr. Khatami, currently on tour of the United States.
Let it be clear that, regardless of Mr. Khatami’s propaganda tour and smiling rhetoric, the true nature of the regime he represents is far different than what he wants you to believe.
Today, Iranians of all walks of life and political persuasion are committed to put and end to militancy, chaos and obscurantism; replacing it with civility, the rule of law and modernity. We seek to liberate our homeland; gain freedom and sovereignty for our compatriots; and herald an era of peace, progress and prosperity, under a secular, democratic government.
l salute and bow my head to the heroic struggles and sacrifices of my brave compatriots and turn the microphone over to them.