More than 1,000 Barnet residents have returned from Paris after taking part in a mass protest against the Iranian regime.

Believed to be the largest gathering of Iranians since the 1979 revolution, around 50,000 Iranian citizens from around the world attended the rally at the Parc des Expositions Villepinte to call for tougher international policy on Iran.

Protesters criticised the blacklisting by the EU of Iran's main opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) as a terrorist organisation. The PMOI is the largest group in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Laila Jazayeri, director of the Association of Anglo-Iranian Women, said: "The terrorist listing of the PMOI has acted as the major obstacle for democratic change in Iran. The removal of this tag will send a message to Tehran that we no longer tolerate the aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons programme by this regime and we are serious in our fight against the global threat of Iran."

President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, speaking at the event on June 30, condemned the Western policy of appeasement towards the Iranian regime. Her speech was met with vigorous flag-waving, cheers, and chants of 'freedom is our indelible right.' She said: "We shall build a new Iran, a free society, and an advanced nation. We shall make execution and torture things of the past."

Other speakers came from the United States Congress, European parliaments and Middle Eastern parliaments. Representatives from the UK included Lord Slynn of Hadley and Andrew McKinley MP. In his speech, Mr McKinley described the inclusion of the PMOI on the terrorist list as unfair' and 'foolhardy'.

There have been more than 2,000 demonstrations in Iran this year, including the setting alight of 50 petrol stations in protest against petrol rationing.

Mrs Jazayeri added: "The key is that change is put in the hands of the people. Everyone refers to Iran' but no one asks the people. They are the ones who are suffering, and we are the ones who are worrying for our loved ones."