Iran's ruling mullahs say it's a cult of assassins. The U.S. State Department says it's a front for a shadowy Iranian terrorist group. But the National Council of the Resistance in Iran can count hawks from the George W. Bush era and European socialists among its strongest supporters, and the star attractions a boisterous NCRI rally here in Paris on June 28 included several Canadian MPs.
The NCRI gathering, which drew about 30,000 Iranian exiles from around the world, was more like an outdoor rock concert than a political rally. Jean Bouin Stadium in Taverny, a Paris suburb, was transformed into a sea of mauve hats and mauve sun umbrellas. Against a big-screen backdrop, the warm-up acts included speeches from former Algerian prime minister Ahmed Ghozali and former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar.
It was as surreal as it was spectacular. MP Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West), a soft-spoken United Church minister, chatted amiably offstage with John Bolton, the famously combative Iraq war enthusiast and former U.S. representative to the United Nations. NCRI president Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI's enigmatic president (some say her husband Masoud, the NCRI's official leader, may be dead), hovered overheard in a helicopter while European...More >>