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Honoring Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

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Mr. Speaker, I have great admiration for Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He is a courageous American leader who speaks with authority when it conies to the safety and security of the American people. On Saturday, March 24, 2012, on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Nowrouz, Mayor Giuliani addressed a conference in Paris attended by nearly 1,000 people to discuss ways to counter the Iranian threat and standing with the people of Iran and their organized opposition.

His remarks are crucial since they were preceded just a few days before by a campaign by unidentified U.S. Government officials who wanted to silence him and other senior former U.S. Government officials who had called for regime change in Iran and support for the Iranian opposition. Mayor Giuliani was flanked by other former officials including Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Ambassador John Bolton, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and others who called for the removal of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

They also called for the U.S. Government to uphold its written commitment to the safety and security of the 3,400 Iranian dissident residents of Camp Ashraf as well as those who relocated to Camp Liberty.

Mayor Giuliani and his colleagues have extensive support in the U.S. Congress who commend their work. In this respect, nearly 100 of my colleagues have co-sponsored H. Res. 60, which calls on the Secretary of State to remove the MEK from the terrorist list. I am pleased to submit Mayor Giuliani's remarks in Paris.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. I want to begin by joining Madam Rajavi in expressing my deep sympathy and empathy and prayers for the families of the victims of excessive fundamentalism here in France. As mayor of a city that suffered that fate over ten years ago, I think I have particular understanding of how much pain and suffering that causes. I also want to join Madam Rajavi in her pointing out that this is an example not of Islam or the Islamic religion, but an example of how any religion or ideology can be taken to excess by people who misuse it. And I think the people of France understand that as the people of America did. I also want to assure you, speaking for myself and so many of my colleagues, that anonymous, cowardly sources in the State Department or elsewhere who unknowingly are doing the bidding of the mullahs don't frighten me, won't stop me, won't stop any of us, ever. It would seem--thank you. It would seem to me that the resources of my government could be better used to try to figure out who these anonymous leakers are in the State Department who seem to be doing the bidding of the Iranian regime, rather than fighting for freedom and democracy and decency in Iran. But if anything, this will just make us more determined. I also want to congratulate all my colleagues who have shown great courage in dealing with this, as I knew they would. And really, it doesn't take a great deal of courage. It just takes doing the right thing. We believe we are right. We are aware of the pressures. And I'm going to tell you what I believe and I'm also going to tell you how I think this can be easily resolved in sort of a common sense, sensible way. First of all, I believe that, I believe that Camp Liberty is an inhumane and indecent place. I don't believe it's a detention facility at all. I think it's a prison camp. The amount of space that's being given to the people there is a couple of feet per person, well below the minimums for American prisons, significantly below what's given to accused terrorists at Guantanamo, for example. I believe it's a place in which there are prison guards and police that menace the people who now are at Camp Liberty. I believe that they are in danger, the people of Camp Liberty are in danger of possibly having the same fate as the people at Ashraf, of whom some 47 have already been killed, 11 in 2009 and 36 in 2011. And I believe that there is no facility in Camp Liberty for processing these people the way you would process people if, in fact, in good faith, America and the UN were living up to their promise. Now, I believe all these things in my heart. I've seen proof of it. I've seen indications of it. I've seen evidence of it. But I guess I could be wrong. Here's the way to find out. If the anonymous sources in the State Department are so convinced of the validity of what they're saying, and I say this with greatest respect also for the Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, for whom I have a great deal of respect; send me there. Let me go there. Let me see it with my own eyes. I have eyes. I have a brain. I have senses. If you bring me back, you can put me under oath and ask me to tell the truth about it. I can bring a camera with me so that we don't have to dispute whether I'm right or you're right. Let's see how much space they have. Let's see how decent or indecent these facilities are. Let's see if there are provisions being made to relocate people or there are not. In other words, let's see if my country that I love, the United States of America, is living up to the promise that it made to the people of Ashraf to protect them and to treat them decently or it's breaking that promise. I promise you, I will tell the truth about it if you let me go there. And if you don't want to send me, you can send Judge Mukasey or Tom Ridge or Patrick Kennedy or four or five of us and then you can put us before Congress and put us under oath and I assure you, we'll tell the truth about it and we'll get this resolved. Are we being misled or is the State Department breaking its promise to the people of Ashraf? Let's get an answer to it once and for all. I hope they take us seriously. And I hope they want to get this resolved because this is truly a humanitarian issue of gravest importance, above and beyond all of the other political issues. Twelve hundred people have now been moved to Camp Liberty. We are aware of what happened to the people in Camp Ashraf in 2009 and in 2011, where Maliki, doing the bidding of the Iranian government, had them killed. We have grave fears that somehow that may happen again and we have grave fears that this is not a decent, legitimate attempt to relocate people. This has to be resolved. This is beyond all of the other issues that are involved. Delisting, how to deal with the Iranian regime. This is just a matter of common decency and I am so disappointed. I can't express to you how disappointed I am in my government and the way they've acted here. They made a promise to protect these people and they are unwilling to live up to that promise. And we are going to fight very, very hard to make sure that they do. The second point that I would like to make is that I fear that this is all part of a dangerous and misguided approach that will yield many, many more problems beyond this. I believe that my president and my country, at least with regard to this policy, has a serious and dangerous misconception that you can negotiate with the mullahs, that you can negotiate with Ahmadinejad. I believe the President still is attempting to do that. He's still writing letters to the Ayatollah. I can't imagine what's in those letters. I don't even know how you begin a letter to an ayatollah. Dear Ayatollah, your eminence, your holiness, or I don't know what you call them, but in any event, President--Somehow I don't think letters are going to persuade him to become humane, decent, to embrace democracy, and to stop trying to develop nuclear weapons. I have a feeling that the only thing that will stop him and the only thing that will stop Ahmadinejad is if they see strength, if they see power, if they see determination, if they see an America that is willing to support the people that want to overthrow the regime of Iran. We are for--America is and has participated and has been for regime change in Egypt, regime change in Libya. We now talk of regime change in Syria. All of which is fine, particularly Syria. But much worse than all three combined is the regime in Iran for the last 20 or 30 years. So how can we possibly be for regime change in these three places, but we're not for regime change in the worst actor in the region, the biggest supporter of state sponsored terrorism in the world, and the biggest opponent of the United States of America, at least since 1980? So, how about we now are for regime change in Iran and we side with the people like you who hopefully can bring that about? There are people that say that you have no influence inside Iran. The same anonymous sources from the State Department then say that you're responsible for identifying Iranian nuclear scientists that the Israeli agents are killing. Well, you deny that. The Israelis deny that. But somehow I can't figure out if these anonymous sources are talking to each other. Either you have no influence inside Iran, in which case you couldn't possibly be responsible for fingering and identifying these scientists, or you have a lot of influence inside Iran, which is something, you know, we should take into consideration. So, these sources are so contradictory that I don't know how anybody can rely on them. Here's what I know. You, Madam Rajavi and all of you, stand for democracy. That's an American value. You stand for freedom of religion. That's an American value. You stand for a secular government. That's an American value. You stand for due process of law. You stand for a non-nuclear Iran. You stand for the rights of women. And these place that hates you the most is the Iranian government. The EU has delisted you. The United Kingdom has delisted you. I can't find any other place that lists you as a terrorist group but two. Iran, and they are executing people in Iran who they believe are members of the PMOI. One is up for execution right now. That shows how dangerous Iran thinks you are. I kind of get encouraged by groups that Iran finds dangerous. So, I think it's about time that the Secretary of State make a decision. Almost a year ago, she was ordered to make that decision. It's supposed to be made in 180 days. Again, from what I see, from the facts that I see--I don't have possession of all the secret facts--but so far every single fact that I've seen is that this organization stands for everything that gives us hope of a decent life and a decent future in Iran. And if there are any facts to the contrary, then why is it taking so darn long to make this decision that should have been made eight or nine or ten months ago? If you have facts that are contrary to that, it's really easy to write them and it's really easy to put it out there and it's really easy to file the decision. So, I hope that over the course of the next several months, we can accomplish two things. We can protect the people in Ashraf who are moving to Camp Liberty. We can get there. We can get to see it and we can allow them to make the changes that might be necessary to make it a decent and livable place. We can get them relocated to places where they can be safe. And we can finally see a delisting of a decision that was the wrong decision in the first place. It was a decision that was intended to placate. It was a decision that was intended to appease. It was a decision that was intended to try to set up a dialogue years ago that never worked. And right now, the enemy, the enemy of stopping a nuclear Iran is appeasement. That's the enemy. That's the false notion that has made Iran bolder, stronger, and more determined to become nuclear. Let's stop the appeasement. Let's stop trying to negotiate. Let's stop writing letters to the ayatollah. And let's stand up, united as Americans in saying we are for regime change in Iran and we will take any step necessary to stop Iran from becoming nuclear. Thank you.