Remarks by Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, at the “International Initiative for Policy on Iran” conference at the NCRI HQ in Paris
Several former presidents, prime ministers from Europe and Latin America, and other political personalities participated in a conference entitled “International Initiative for Policy on Iran,” announcing a historical statement by 117 former world leaders about a democratic republic in Iran.
The event on Thursday, June 21, 2023, at the headquarters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran at Auvers-sur-Oise, Paris, featured the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi.
Ms. Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2007 to 2010 and one of the signatories of the historical statement, attended the conference and made the following remarks.
Yulia Tymoshenko: Iranian people’s victory is just as important as the victory of Ukraine
Dear respected President Rajavi, dear Maryam, dear friends, colleagues, esteemed leaders,
Today, our joint work is of utmost importance. I have come to you from Ukraine, where a real, intense, bloody, and heartbreaking war has been going on for 17 months.
Today, I am here with you while ballistic missiles hit Ukraine daily. Our children are being killed under these missiles daily, and my people are fighting with the entire world’s support. And the question arises, how can I leave my country in such a heartbreaking situation and come to you? Why did I do this?
I did this because I fully understand that the victory of the Iranian people is as important as the victory of the Ukrainian people for the world and each of us. Today, like Ukrainians, you are standing for the whole world. I have come because I am witnessing the emergence of a new International of Dictators in the modern world.
Some say that the war in Ukraine is a marginalized, local war, but this is an absolute mistake.
Therefore, when you and I, our two nations, stand against this evil, we stand for freedom, happiness, and justice worldwide. Today, I want to thank you for your courage.
Yulia Tymoshenko: The truth is on your side
I want to thank all of you who are fighting for a free Iran for your struggle. Because I personally know how difficult it is.
In Ukraine, too, we fought against autocratic regimes for decades after gaining independence. We know what imprisonment is, we know what political assassinations are, we know what oppression is. And we know what a popular uprising is because our side has led such an uprising more than once.
And therefore, I know how difficult it is for you. But do not stop in any case. Yes, it is good that the world is uniting.
It’s great that many world leaders are standing beside you. But I want to tell you that without your work, struggle, and victory in your homeland, no one will help you as much as you can help yourselves.
So, unite and be victorious. All the power is in your hands, and the possibility of winning exists. This is what I want you to know. Because they told us Ukrainians that winning is impossible. They said we would somehow reach a compromise. But I tell you that it is possible to defeat the regimes. And you don’t need to negotiate with anyone. You only need to move forward because the truth is on your side. Power is in your hands, and we believe in you. We have faith in you.
Yulia Tymoshenko: Ukraine to sanction the IRGC
I also want to tell you that our parliament, one month ago, imposed the toughest sanctions against the Iranian regime by approving a resolution. The entire parliament unanimously voted for it. And now, I am here with you because I want the letter signed by other countries’ leaders to inspire other nations to adopt similar resolutions, make the same decisions, and impose strict sanctions against the Iranian regime. And I believe that today, this is possible.
In addition, in the next session of our parliament in Ukraine, we will examine another document prepared by Hryoiry Nemyria, who is actually present in this hall. This document is against the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to initiate severe global sanctions against them.
Yulia Tymoshenko: The future is yours
I also believe it is highly symbolic that the popular resistance movement is led by a Muslim woman, Ms. Maryam (Rajavi). When I came to you, I had the opportunity to meet her. Still, I also watched her from a distance and saw incredible confidence, power, and truth in a strong woman. And I wish for you, Ms. Maryam, not only victory but also to become the spirit of your people so that they follow you and show the world, under your leadership, that evil is weak.
I know it is essential to defeat the regime, but what’s even more important is for you to show your people the path to a bright, beautiful, and joyful future. And you can do that. You have a robust 10-point plan for Iran’s future that will bring about fundamental change. This program is meant for the future of Iran and needs to be realized dynamically and with strength.
I also know very well how strong women are in Iran. Even here, in this gathering, I see women from Iran. And now, I’m addressing you. We watch your heroic struggle. We know it is much harder for you as a woman to fight and demand your rights than men. But we stand with you in this, for the sake of our own families, for the sake of our children. I have seen how the recent uprising carried the faces of courageous women.
I know that you are being killed and thrown into prison today. But I want to tell you that because I have experienced similar issues, I believe your people, families, and children will give you the strength to overcome all these trials. There is no affliction that you cannot surpass. So, keep moving forward. And I believe that you and I will meet again after the victory of Ukraine, which is inevitable, just as the victory of the Iranian people is inevitable. We will embrace you and celebrate your victory and ours; this is how the future will be.