Full text of speech by Tom Garrett at Grand Gathering – 2017

Aug 22
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By Staff Writer, Iran Probe

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Thank You immensely, an amazing honor to stand in front so many people who like every other person in the world love freedom. 

My name is Tom Garrett up from the fifth Congressional District of Virginia where the first representative elected to serving Congress was a man named James Madison who drafted the Constitution of the United States and where our third president Thomas Jefferson lived when he drafted the following words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The world needs to know the scope and scale of the oppression of the Iranian regime, the world needs to know. 

As American I tend to break things down into American terms so if you take the 120,000 people murdered by this regime in 1979 and 1988 and 2009 and you convert for the population difference between the United States it would be the equivalent of all the Americans who died in the entire second World War. That was perpetrated by a nation on its own people; many times as many were imprisoned; many times again more exiled. From an American perspective that's as many Americans as died in the second World War, that the prison population not in prison for crimes of theft or violence but it for crimes of thought and conscience. The size of the Population in New Mexico and its exile community the size of the entire population of the state of New York.

The world needs to know and I am here to tell them and you are here to tell them and we will tell the world. Like many of the Millennials that my colleague congressman Poe addressed I don't remember very well the events of 1988 but I do remember watching in 2009 during the Green Revolution first with respect and owe an admiration and then with shame and horror and disgust as people rose up and demanded freedom and the world community and the American government did nothing and I will not stand for that at the very least.

I will raise my voice and stand united with the people who insist on a free Iran.  I didn't go to Congress to watch. You didn't come here to watch. I came to change business as usual you came to change business as usual. Let us put our friends and our enemies on notice alike we are many and we will prevail. There can be no change however without addressing the instant of horror the props of the oppressive mullahs. The IRGC must be eviscerated I thank congressman Poe congressman McCaul my colleagues to the IRGC terror designation bill.

The IRGC controls the entire black market economy they control a huge percentage of the entire economy; they use those monies to fund terror literally across the globe, to oppress voices of dissent in Iran and to kill Iranians in their own streets. So I will say this, not specifically to the people of Iran gathered here today but to the leaders from around the world it is time for us to ask the world community if they would rather do business with the United States or with the IRGC. 

And so in the spirit of universal brotherhood and respect for all peaceful practitioners of all faiths, I'll leave by adapting a historical phrase, it is my sincerest hope that I see each and every one of you again next year in Tehran.

Congressman Thomas Garrett Jr., is the United States Representative for Virginia's 5th congressional district. Congressman Garrett formerly represented the 22nd District in the Virginia Senate. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General under Virginia Attorney General



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