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Iran Opposition Group Rallies in Washington for Regime Change

Iran Opposition Group Rallies in Washington for Regime Change

Friday, 21 June, 2019 - 17:30
Supporters of Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq at a rally in Washington in 2013. (Reuters)

Members of the Iranian Mujahedeen-e-Khalq opposition group rallied in Washington on Friday for regime change in Tehran.

Clad in yellow vests emblazoned with the words "Free Iran," more than 1,000 members of the group gathered outside the State Department to demand an end to Iran's theocratic government.

After the rally, the demonstrators were to march to the White House to press their case.

"We have and will continue to declare that what we seek is the regime's overthrow, overthrow, overthrow," the group's Paris-based leader Maryam Rajavi said in a video message to the crowd, which also included current and former US lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Known as the MEK, the group has hosted Trump's hawkish national security adviser John Bolton at previous events and the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is a supporter.

Iran views the group as a threat, and last year its annual rally in Paris that Giuliani attended was the target of a Tehran-backed bomb plot that was thwarted by arrests.

An Austrian-based Iranian diplomat is being held in Belgium, where police found bomb material in the car of a couple of Iranian origin.

Friday’s demonstration comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Trump said Friday that he had approved but then called off military strikes against Iran to retaliate for Iran's downing of a US drone in the Gulf.

The destruction of the drone was the latest in an escalating series of incidents in the Gulf region, a critical artery for global oil supplies, since mid-May, including explosive strikes on six oil tankers.

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