Today, we begin the Iran Freedom Walk at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pa. Over the course of the next three weeks, we will walk the 200 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. We are marching to demonstrate our solidarity for peaceful change in Iran.
The clerics currently ruling Iran are a criminal mafia that has been exporting terrorism for 26 years. The mullahs have brutally repressed all forms of political and religious freedom within Iran. Their human-rights crimes against the Persian people are extensive, well-documented and brutal. The mullahs continue to preach hate, refusing to drop their chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” We have documented the abuses of the Islamic Republic of Iran – the mullahs of Iran have hijacked Islam as they have hijacked Iran.
The time is getting short. Even while the world presses the mullahs to drop their ambitions to develop nuclear weapons, the regime continues to insist upon the right to enrich uranium. Years of lies and deception about their secret nuclear weapons ambitions leave little hope that negotiations will resolve the problem.
The mullahs are headed down the path of confrontation with the United States and Israel. President Bush has sworn that the mullahs will never be allowed to possess nuclear weapons and he has insisted that the military option has not been taken off the table. Still, with the Iran Freedom Walk, we continue to believe we can support the forces of peaceful change within Iran.
We hope that our three-weeks march will fan the winds of freedom that are sweeping across the Middle East. We endorse non-violent activism and we plan to support whatever means of protest the Iranian people themselves choose to resist the fraudulent presidential election planned by the mullahs for one month from now, on June 17.
We pray that the Liberty Bell, which rang out across America in the first expressions of our freedom, will also ring across the world to Iran for the coming freedom of the Persian people.
Our walk will be broadcast day-by-day for three weeks by the Voice of America. We will also be followed by Radio Free Europe’s Radio Farda broadcasting into Iran. The extensive network of Iranian opposition radio and television has been organized by Mr. Morovati of Radio Sedaye Iran to march along with us and broadcast into Iran by the “illegal” satellite channels bravely received in Iran by those willing to risk their personal safety to hear the message of freedom. A estimated 40 million of Iran’s 70 million people are expected to hear and see the Iran Freedom March as it progresses.
This is a historic opportunity for the people of Iran to see that the people of America love the Persian people Over 1 million Persians today live in the United States, fully integrated into our society, living happy and productive lives, raising families and pursuing successful careers.
As we walk through the towns along the routes, we will stop to pray in churches, synagogues and mosques. We will interview town officials and local residents as we move along. This message of love and support for the Persian people will be an outpouring from America of our desire for freedom in Iran, a freedom we believe can be realized without a war.
We are asking for your support. Please contribute to our efforts. All donations – large and small – are appreciated. We ask for your prayers, as the time here is getting short. Iranians from the United States and around the world are coming to Philadelphia to walk with us. If you want to join us, please walk along. The daily schedule will be posted and updated on or website.
We make this march in the resolute determination that evil cannot long withstand the moral determination to call out abuses and stand resolute for freedom. The mullahs are unfit to rule and now it is time to show them the door.