Yes to RajaviProtest by Iranians, supporters of the main Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) across the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Thursday to condemn the presence of Hassan Rouhani at the UN was widely covered by news media.
Associated Press reported that former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle told those gathered in the rain at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza that tens of thousands of people have been jailed under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the Iranian regime should be overthrown.
“That should be the stated policy of the United States,” said Bolton, who was the top U.S. diplomat to the United Nations from 2005-2006 under President George W. Bush, the report added.
“Former U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson and Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter Kerry Kennedy also attended.”
ABC News reported:
“Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi was scheduled to deliver a speech via satellite, but bad weather disrupted the link-up. Instead, a speaker read her prepared remarks to the crowd. People chanted the National Council of Resistance head’s name several times throughout the protest.”
Neither rainy skies nor Rouhani’s engaging manner kept his critics, especially the opposition group known as the MEK, from gathering outside the U.N. to protest. Hamid Azimi, an MEK supporter with the Iranian-American Community of Northern California, traveled to New York to urge the West to look past Rouhani’s charm to the ongoing oppressive policies beneath. He compared Rouhani to past Iranian moderates such as former President Mohammad Khatami.
“It’s déjà vu all over again, and this time around Rouhani is even worse,” Azimi says. “The first year that he’s been in power we’ve had over 1,000 people executed in Iran. Every seven hours a person is getting executed. Things in Iran have not changed for the better.”
Human rights groups cite lower figures but have expressed alarm at what they call a “surge of executions” during Rouhani’s tenure.
The Washington Post reported:
As Rouhani spoke, hundreds gathered in a plaza outside the U.N. to protest what they said was Iran’s continued support of terrorism and its poor record on human rights. Among those gathered in the rain at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza amid tight security were former Sen. Tom Daschle and former U.S. diplomats John Bolton and Bill Richardson.