(AFP) – Jun 20, 2009
VILLEPINTE, France (AFP) — Thousands of people joined a rally outside Paris organised by Iranian exiles to show solidarity with Iran's reform movement, protesting the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
About 800 opponents of the Tehran regime also gathered in Brussels outside the Iranian embassy, blasting Ahmadinejad's victory at the polls as a coup, the Belga news agency reported.
Maryam Radjavi, a protest organiser in France, declared that there "exists no solution for Iran and for its people who are angry, if there is not a democratic change and free elections under the auspices of the UN."
Radjavi is the leader of the National Council of Iranian Resistance, whose main member is the Iranian People's Mujahedeen Organisation, considered a strong Iranian opposition group in exile.
The Mujahedeen, which seeks to overthrow Iran's Islamic regime, is branded a terrorist organisation by the United States, while the European Union only removed it from its blacklist earlier this year.
It was founded in 1965 in opposition to the shah of Iran, but was sidelined by the rival clerical regime, which toppled the shah in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"We have to remove the religious dictatorship and all the repressive organs" of government, Radjavi told the crowd of protesters from several European countries, many carrying yellow flags, the colour of their organisation.
"I declare that we, the Iranian people, are the true winners of the election that the regime organised.
"We Iranians thirst for freedom in the world and at Achraf," she added, referring to a refuge camp for some 3,500 Iranian mujahedeen in Iraq.
In the Belgian capital, several Belgian politicians also joined the demonstration near Iran's embassy.
"We have seen a coup d'etat by Ahmadinejad," said a spokesman for the demo, Ali Samad, stressing that "several sources on site (in Iran) have witnessed fraud" in the voting.
Tehran has been rocked by daily demonstrations since the election last weekend drew accusations by the defeated challengers of massive vote fraud.
Police and regime militiamen have clashed with protesters, who mostly back moderate candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, in a violent crackdown that has left up to 10 people dead, according to Amnesty International.
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