Calls grow for downfall of deceitful Iran regime

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KEY SUPPORT: Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, was one of the main speakers at the meeting in Paris.
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RALLYING AGAINST INJUSTICE: Maryam Radjavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, arrives at the council’s annual meeting in Le Bourget, near Paris. (AFP)
Updated 10 July 2016

Calls grow for downfall of deceitful Iran regime

PARIS: Thousands of Iranian opposition activists converged on Paris on Saturday to attend one of the biggest anti-regime rallies organized by the National Council for Resistance in Iran (NCRI).

High-profile figures took part in the event.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, also addressed the summit. His speech received an enthusiastic response from a chanting crowd.
Prince Turki said “Iranian people were the first victim of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini.”
Prince Turki vowed to stand by the Iranian opposition in its efforts to remove what he called the “Khomeini cancer”, referring to the founder of the Islamic Republic,
Prince Turki chronicled the history of friendship and cooperation between the Arab and Persian peoples, highlighting the cultural, religious and linguistic links they shared.
He suggested that the current tensions between Iran and Arab countries was exceptional in a history of otherwise cordial relations, singling out the current regime as being responsible for the tensions due to its continued interference in Arab affairs.
The head of the French-based Iranian opposition movement Free Iran said Tehran is concealing its “failure” by supporting “massacres” committed by the Syrian regime during an indoor rally in Paris.
According to Al Arabiya, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of NCRI, also said “those resisting Wilayat Al-Faqih regime are increasing and spreading their influence.”
Wilayat Al-Faqih, meaning the ‘Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist’ is Iran’s current system of clerical rule.
The opposition leader also warned that executions and arrests are taking place at a larger rate since the Iranian revolution in 1979.
She said “regime change” is the “only solution” for Iran to exit this “deteriorating” situation.
The NCRI said over 100,000 people have attended the “Free Iran” gathering so far.
Prince Turki also said “Arabs will always be respectful to Persians,” highlighting commonalities between the Middle Eastern entities.
The rally attendees, meanwhile, chanted “people want to topple (Iran) regime” in Arabic during his address.
To that, Prince Turki responded: “I, too, want the downfall of the regime”.
Prince Turki paid special tribute to the movement’s “martyrs” as well as its leader Mariam Rajavi and her late husband and former leader Massoud Rajavi for their struggle to bring an end to the radical regime in Iran.
Events of the conference were aired live on several Arabic news channels including Al Arabiya and Al Hadath as well as Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia.
The NCRI is also known as the People’s Mujahideen of Iran or by its acronym MeK, is classified as a terrorist organization by the Iranian government.


Polls tighten on eve of Britain’s Brexit election

Updated 30 min 36 sec ago

Polls tighten on eve of Britain’s Brexit election

  • Polls open on Thursday for the third time in four years in what is widely seen as a re-run of the 2016 referendum

MIDDLESBROUGH: Britain’s political party leaders on Wednesday criss-crossed the country in a frantic last-minute push for votes, after polls predicted a tight finish to a highly-charged general election aimed at settling the long-running Brexit crisis.
Polls open on Thursday for the third time in four years in what is widely seen as a re-run of the 2016 referendum in which a narrow majority opted to leave the EU.
Parliament’s splintered parties — some seeking broader independence and others wanting to keep Britain’s European ties — repeatedly rejected the divorce terms former prime minister Theresa May struck with Brussels.
Her tearful resignation brought Boris Johnson into the fray with a vow to succeed where she had failed.
The former London mayor and foreign minister has spent the campaign hammering home a “Get Brexit Done” message aimed solely at winning a majority that could let him get the deal passed by the end of next month.
Yet a closely watched poll showed his Conservatives’ lead over the main opposition Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn narrowing.
The YouGov study showed the Tories on course for a 28-seat majority in the 650-seat House of Commons under Britain’s first-past-the-post system.
It had forecast a 68-seat edge in a poll released on November 27.
“A Conservative majority is the most likely outcome but a hung parliament remains entirely plausible,” said University of Kent professor Matthew Goodwin.
A result in which the biggest party does not command a majority raises the possibility of Brexit being delayed for years or even canceled in a second referendum.
It could also end the political career of Johnson — a sharply polarizing figure whose appeal to core Tory voters made him the logical choice to replace the increasingly hapless May.
“It could not be tighter,” Johnson said while helping to load milk bottles onto delivery vehicles while campaigning in northern England. “We’re fighting for every vote.”
Turnout will be vital in Britain’s first December election in nearly a century. Rain and even snow are forecast for parts of election day.
Corbyn is a veteran leftist campaigner who confounded pollsters by coming within a whisker of winning the last election in 2017.
The teetotal socialist is pushing a radically left-wing program to overhaul public services and “end austerity” caused by the global financial meltdown of 2008-09.
But his vague stance on Brexit and accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour have forced several top members out of the party and shadowed his campaign.
Corbyn told the undecided that they could vote for “hope.”
“We will put money in your pocket because you deserve it. The richest and big business will pay for it,” he said.
Corbyn’s proposal for Brexit is for Labour to strike a more EU-friendly agreement with Brussels. Voters would then choose between that deal and the option of staying in the bloc.
But Brexit remains a political liability for Labour. Corbyn has said as little as possible about the subject and steered attention toward the taxpayer-funded National Healthcare System (NHS).
Labour accuses Johnson of abandoning the principle of free treatment for all by potentially opening up the NHS to “Big Pharma” in a post-Brexit trade deal with US President Donald Trump.
Both Johnson and Trump deny the claims.
Polling suggests Corbyn stands almost no chance of winning the election outright.
Yet support from the pro-EU Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats could still make him the first Labour prime minister since Gordon Brown in 2010.
SNP backing for a Labour coalition government could come at the cost of a promise to back a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The YouGov poll said the SNP was gaining momentum and on course to win 41 seats. But it projected just 15 seats for the Liberal Democrats.
Analysts believe the party made a mistake by initially promising to simply cancel Brexit.
“I don’t want Brexit of course, but we have to be pragmatic, it was a referendum, we have to abide by that,” Londoner Steve Banham told AFP.
The Lib Dems now promise to back a second referendum. But this stance makes them almost indistinguishable from Corbyn’s Labour.
Some potential voters voiced dispair at Britain’s political mess.
“Everyone thinks it’s all going to be over at the end of January if the Conservatives win but it won’t, it will just go on for years,” said voter Judy Wilkinson.