Speech by Maryam Rajavi, Iran Freedom Gathering, 30 June 2018
On Saturday, June 30, 2018, the Iranian Resistance’s grand gathering was held in Paris, France. Delegations from various countries including prominent politicians, members of parliaments, mayors, elected representatives, and international experts on Iran attended the event. The speakers declared their support for the Iranian people’s uprising and the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. They called on the international community to adopt a firm policy against the mullahs’ religious fascist tyranny and stand by the arisen people of Iran. Below is the full text of her remarks.
My fellow compatriots,
Elected representatives, the honorable dignitaries from across the world
Greetings to all of you and to my dear compatriots in Iran and the world over. The first thing that must be said today is that flames of the auspicious and liberating uprising are again rising in Tehran and across Iran: Again, Mashhad and Shiraz, Bandar Abbas and Qeshm, Karaj and Kermanshah, Shahriar, Islamshahr, Kashan, Arak, Isfahan, Ram Hormuz, and many other towns and cities.
Indeed, the uprising cannot be extinguished and will continue without respite, constantly expanding and deepening.
The roar in the cities and of rebellious youths are the heartbeats of the Iranian nation in the euphoria over a free Iran.
The thunderous cities and the rebellious youths are the heartbeats of the Iranian nation in the euphoria for a free Iran.
Hail to my fellow compatriots in Khorramshahr who are thirsting for water and for freedom. You, who explicitly told the mullahs that their prayers are not acceptable to God.
I have come here on behalf of a Resistance movement which has offered its entire existence to ensure the victory of the Iran uprising, and for Iran’s freedom, pride, and magnificence.
To the arisen people of Iran,
I have come here to declare what you want: The overthrow of this regime is inevitable. Victory is certain and Iran will be free.
And we salute the Mojahedin in Ashraf 3, their home. Congratulations for constructing it with your own hands.
And onwards toward 1,000 Ashrafs (resistance units) in our occupied homeland.
The leverage for the overthrow
Since the January uprising, the signs of change in Iran and the regime’s overthrow have appeared. The prospects for the victory of Iran’s democratic revolution, devoid of the mullahs and the Shah are looming. Through their uprisings and by relying on resistance units, the Iranian people have the leverage they need to topple this regime.
How and where can we see these realities?
First, owing to the presence of the Resistance movement, the so-called solution within the religious fascism has become null and void.
The rebellious population and youth have ended the era of posturing for both factions of the regime. These are the very fearless youth who have chosen the path to fight on and to go on maximum offense no matter what the cost.
The continuation of the uprising and the protest movement despite maximum suppression
The second sign that the phase of the regime’s overthrow has arrived is that for the past six months the Iranian people have waged an uprising and a protest movement despite maximum suppression, despite the so-called suicides by the detainees in the mullahs’ prisons and despite daily arrests and executions designed to intimidate the public.
The workers at Haft-Tapeh sugar cane factory resumed their uprising. Then, the workers at Ahvaz steel factory, and farmers in Isfahan rose up. Friday prayer worshipers in Isfahan turned their backs on Khamenei’s Friday prayer leader and roared “back to the enemy and facing the nation.”
Isfahan Province was still simmering when our Arab compatriots in Khuzestan, especially in Ahvaz, rose up. Then came Kurdistan as the lengthy strike in Baneh aroused everyone’s admiration. Then, in the roadmap to overthrow, a new role model emerged: Kazerun, the city of uprising, fire and blood, with daring women, who with their brothers, rocks in hand, overran the heavily-armed enemy forces, imitating the resistance we saw at Camp Ashraf.
It was there when the uprising accelerated. The strike by toiling truck drivers and owners in 285 cities and in 31 provinces shook the regime to its foundation for 12 days.
Teachers, the retirees, the swindled, and workers of hundreds of production centers rose up day after day. And last week, the Tehran bazaar rose up and ignited the uprising in Tehran and other cities.
Iran rose up again, with all its children, with all its nationalities and ethnicities.
Truly, where is the destination? A free Iran, by eradicating dictatorship and plunder, and by bringing down Khamenei from his seat.
An explosive and irreversible situation
The third sign of the inevitable overthrow of the ruling religious fascism is that social tensions and economic crises, especially high prices, unemployment, poverty, and inequality have reached an irreversible point. Everyone senses the explosive state of society. And the mullahs can offer neither a solution nor are willing or able to resolve the problems.
The velayat-e faqih lacks any legitimacy. Khamenei’s standing has plummeted dramatically. The regime has run out of cash. The Revolutionary Guards and the unpopular Bassij forces have been hit with defections. The moderation masquerade to preserve the regime has been unmasked. And the regime in its entirety is drowning in the abyss of internal feuding.
And now, it is the regime’s advocates who are admitting the existence of two warring governments at the top of the ruling establishment. One of them openly said, “We are getting close to purge one of the two governments, either the hidden government will take full control of governance, or will be forced to relinquish parts of its authority.”
The collapse of appeasement policy
The fourth sign of the phase of the regime’s overthrow is that internationally, the mullahs have lost the most important backer of the policy of appeasement, namely the United States. The international shield safeguarding the regime has fallen by the way side. The mullahs have practically lost their JCPOA. The avalanche of successive sanctions is hitting them hard, undercutting their ability to engage in warmongering and adventurism in the region. An arms and oil embargo, demanded by the Iranian Resistance since four decades ago, is in the process of being implemented. And the era of labelling, bombing and suppressing the opposition at the behest of the regime has come to an end.
The blood of martyrs and suffering of those detained fuel the fire of the uprisings
The fifth and most important signal of the phase of the mullahs’ overthrow is that the very development which the mullahs feared the most has happened: the linkage between the fury of the deprived and oppressed and the organized Resistance movement. All regime leaders have repeatedly acknowledged this fact. And in this way, they are admitting that the regime’s end is coming.
Indeed, the regime’s overthrow is coming.
In 2013, following the massacre of 52 Mojahedin members at Camp Ashraf, when several others were taken hostage, Massoud Rajavi announced the roadmap for creating 1,000 Ashrafs (resistance units) inside Iran so that the organization which leads the uprising could be linked with the arisen people of Iran. Accordingly, units and councils for the national resistance became the tip of the spear of the strategy for uprising and overthrow in Iran’s risen and rebellious cities. This is how the blood of the martyrs and the suffering of those detained since June 20, 1981 until today, are fueling the uprisings. As Massoud Rajavi said, “If Iran stands, the world will stand with us and by our side.”
A passionate generation thirsty for freedom has risen. Those taking part in the uprising joined by resistance units have opened a new path. Rise up and walk along this path. Join hands with them and respond to their call for a free Iran. And say you are ready.
You saw that the people of Varzaneh took over the city’s entry points. Kazerunis took over the streets, and truck drivers and owners took over the highways. And you saw how the young people in Tehran, in Lalehzar, Ferdowsi, Shoush, Mellat and Ekbatan exhibited enormous courage in confronting the ruthless security agents and built entrenchments in the streets.
This is the Iranian nation’s fight to take over the entire country and take back Iran from the occupiers, the mullahs.
The overthrow of this regime requires resistance units and a liberation army
The campaign to create phony alternatives has become prevalent these days. And this too is another sign of the phase of the regime’s overthrow. But the crux of the matter is how they are going to actually bring down this regime. This is especially the case because the blood of the martyrs has permanently blocked the path to reform within the clerical regime and the return of the monarchy.
Now, if one can topple this regime without an organization and leadership, without passing through the test of time and sacrifice, without paying any price, and without any sacrifice, we say, please, go ahead and don’t delay.
If one can restore the people’s sovereignty without a history of fighting against two regimes, without drawing the lines with dictatorship and dependency, without a nationwide resistance and the galaxy of its martyrs, without challenging the principle of the velayat-e faqih and fake moderates, we say go ahead and don’t delay.
If one can topple the mullahs without challenging Khomeini over the unpatriotic Iran-Iraq war, ending the inferno of that war, and discrediting the motto of “liberating Qods via Karbala”; without compelling Khomeini to accept the ceasefire by launching 100 military operations by the National Liberation Army of Iran, which captured the city of Mehran and marched to the gates of Kermanshah; and without exposing the regime’s nuclear weapons, missile, chemical and microbiological programs and facilities, yes, go ahead and don’t delay.
If without exposing the regime’s human rights abuses and crimes in 64 UN resolutions, without the campaign for justice for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, without the campaign by the supporters of the resistance worldwide and insisting on the rights of the Iranian nation for four decades, without the specific platform and programs of the NCRI and the Provisional Government for the transition of sovereignty to the Iranian people, and finally without a tested leader, who has guided this ferocious struggle for five decades, one can leap frog this fifty-year path in one night and create real change, while dreaming about foreign support, we say go ahead, the ball is in your court.
But let me say, such a fantasy is only possible with an Iraq-like occupation, meaning through a foreign intervention. Such a scenario already has a foregone conclusion.
In these 40 years, all the claimants who were unwilling to pay the price tested their chances. But the realities and experience have shown that this dark and evil regime will neither be reformed, nor turn “green” or “velvet.”
The overthrow of this regime inevitably requires the willingness to pay the price, requires honesty and sacrifice; requires an organization and a strong political alternative, and requires resistance units and a liberation army.
Nevertheless, as Massoud Rajavi said when appraising the January uprising, “We are not rivals to anyone seeking to assume power. And most certainly, no one can rival the MEK when it comes to honesty, sacrifice and paying the price.”
National Solidarity Front to overthrow the religious dictatorship
16 years ago, the Iranian Resistance adopted the plan on the National Solidarity Front for the Overthrow of the Ruling Religious Dictatorship and declared that it was prepared to cooperate will all forces who want a republican form of government, who are committed to the complete rejection of the velayat-e faqih regime and who struggle for a democratic, independent Iran, based on separation of religion and state.
In the past four decades, the NCRI, beyond typical political rhetoric, has paid a heavy price in blood and treasure for each and every one of its declarations, ratifications and commitments.
We call for the establishment of a society, based on freedom, democracy, and equality, which has clear demarcations with despotism and dependence as well as gender, ethnic and class discrimination. We have defended and will defend gender equality, the right to freely choose one attire, separation of religion and state, autonomy of nationalities, equal political and social rights for all citizens of Iran, abolition of death penalty, freedom of expression, parties, the media, assembly, unions, associations, councils and syndicates.
The NCRI’s 12-point plan for the autonomy of the Iranian Kurdistan, adopted and announced 35 years ago, continues to be one of the most comprehensive global examples addressing the rights of nationalities. A free and non-nuclear Iran will promote peaceful coexistence with its neighbors, and welcomes regional and international cooperation.
This is the visage of the democratic alternative which rejects the mullahs’ rule or any form of dictatorship.
In this path, the first step is to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran. By relying on the Iranian people and a popular base one can avert chaos and insecurity and safeguard the integrity of Iran and Iranians, rendering it a proud nation.
According to the NCRI’s program, following the regime’s overthrow, a provisional six-month government will be formed, whose primary task is to form a constituent assembly through free elections with the general, direct, equal and secret ballot. This constituent assembly must draft the constitution of the new republic within two years and put it to vote. It must also set up the principal institutions of the new republic based on the people’s vote.
The violated sovereignty of the Iranian people must be revived
We believe it is possible to eradicate high prices, poverty, unemployment, shanty dwelling, water shortage and environmental calamities. But, before anything else, the trampled political rights, specifically the right to sovereignty of the Iranian people, must be restored and revived. This is the aim of our Resistance and the raison d’etre for the NCRI.
But the Iranian regime has benefitted the most by denying the wherewithal enjoyed by this Resistance and this alternative and by using western appeasers to suppress this movement.
Therefore, as far as Iran in concerned, without recognizing the Resistance and the right to resist, the damages the policy of appeasement has inflicted on the Iranian people cannot be rectified.
As we have always stated, and I repeat, the task of overthrowing the regime, bringing about democratic change and establishing a free Iran rests on our shoulders and those of the Iranian people. At the same time, we welcome any retreat by the mullahs. Because one thousand chalices of poison serve the interests of 1,000 Ashrafs, or resistance units.
Today, the brave children of Iran are completely immersed with the task of uprisings. I hail the courageous women of Iran, who are leading the way everywhere. I also hail the young people and members of resistance units, who even in captivity underscore their PMOI identity, which terrifies the regime.
Giving it all to advance the uprising
I call on you to give practical support to the uprisings. All Iranians, wherever they are, can help and advance the uprising. Also, you, the Iranian youth, who are present here, can do a lot. This is our commitment and our pledge to the Iranian nation to put everything in the service of the uprisings, give it all and sacrifice at all fronts to advance the uprising.
Literally, every moment and every second with the uprising, and every one for the uprising.
I hail all the martyrs and the defiant prisoners from June 20, 1981, until today. I hail those eternal flames of love, Sediqeh Mojaveri and Neda Hassani, on the 15th anniversary of their martyrdom. May their memories and names last forever!
I am well aware that your unsparing emotions is directed at the galaxy of the martyrs of the Resistance and the Iranian people’s liberation army as well as those in the uprisings, the resistance units and the steadfast prisoners and especially those massacred in 1988 in the regime’s prisons 30 years ago.
From the depth of the dark night
A Rose blossoms
Winter will no doubt pass
The harbinger of spring with thousands of roses will certainly follow
Hail to freedom
Hail to the people of Iran
Hail to all of you.