27 January 2005 Edition

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Opposition rally in Paris

Up to 30,000 Iranian exiles are due to flock to Paris on 10 February to protest against the human rights record of the fundamentalist regime in Tehran and the torture of political prisoners. The organisers, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is calling for international support for the rally.

In December last year, the United Nations General Assembly passed a motion condemning the violations of human rights in Iran, while the European Parliament supported a similar resolution in January of this year, after Maryam Rajavi, the President of the NCRI addressed a sitting of the parliament in Strasbourg in December.

The February rally, as well as highlighting the extent of the abuses of human rights in Iran under the mullahs, is calling on EU countries, particularly Britain and France, who have multi-billion dollar business interests in Iran, to end their policy of "constructive engagement" with the country.

The opposition is calling on the United States and the EU "to end their designation of the NCRI and PMOI as terrorist, recognise us as the legitimate opposition and to support our calls to isolate the regime".

And responding to the latest noises coming out of Washington that the United States administration is considering military intervention in Iran, opponents say that "the only losers in such an intervention will be the people of Iran.

"The vast majority of Iranians demand regime change. Neither appeasing Tehran nor an Iraqi style military invasion is the answer," says the NCRI. "The most viable and effective solution is to support democratic change in Iran by relying on the Iranian people and resistance".

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