I am delighted to be here with you this evening, and to have this opportunity to address the World Affairs Council. We are here tonight to discuss a fundamental aspiration of millions of Iranians: The quest for freedom, democracy and human rights. This is an issue of epic proportions, but given our short time together this evening, I wish to share with you my thoughts on the path, rather than the obvious merits of our collective desire to achieve this goal.
However, before we discuss the future of my nation, I would like to briefly review with you some its recent, tragic history. The cataclysmic shift the clerical regime brought to my homeland and the region 30 years ago was immediate. The destabilization of the Middle East began as soon the revolutionary regime of Iran established itself and set out to implement its foremost mission: to export its brand of Islamic rule and Revolution beyond Iran’s borders, targeting the Middle East first.
The clerical regime’s vocal provocations enabled Iran’s long-standing nemesis, Saddam Hussein, to take advantage of the early chaotic days of the revolution to attack and invade strategically valuable territories within Iran, in September of 1980. This led to a long, disastrous war, lasting eight long-years and resulting in heavy casualties on both sides, with millions of Iranians killed, wounded, maimed and displaced from their ruined cities, towns and villages…. >>>