Being an Ashrafian is fighting for freedom, truth and life
Ingrid Betancourt – former senator and Colombian presidential candidate
Speech to FreeIran2020 Global Summit: Call for Justice – July 19, 2020
In the anti-regime protest in January this year, people were chanting ‘Down with dictators, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader.’
It could seem odd for outsiders to see Iranians bringing back through the ashes of history the name of the Shah simultaneously with the name of the leader of today’s dictatorship.
Surprisingly, more than a historical parallel, they are referring to an ongoing alliance.
Alliance of dictators against democratic forces
In the history of Iran, these two political factions, monarchists and theocrats have always been helping each other against democratic forces.
In the 1953 Coup d’etat against Prime Minister Mossadeq, a liberal reformist who was opening a democratic path for Iranians, Ayatollah Kashani (the religious leader at the time) acted in alliance with the Shah to bring Mossadeq down, accusing him of being a communist, and putting an end to this early Iranian spring.
Today, the mullahs are in power. But the monarchists despite all their enmity with this regime prefer this regime to the free and democratic option that Iranians in the streets are claiming for.
Interestingly enough, recently, Ardeshir Zahedi, a former Iranian minister and most of all an ambassador to the United States from the Shah era, attacked Washington for the military operation against Qassem Soleimani.
He said in an interview that the United States were the real terrorists and he added, ‘I have always been and will always be proud of Qassem Soleimani. He was the one who sacrificed his life for his country unlike those who sell themselves for money.’
We all know that Qassem Soleimani was considered by Khamenei himself to be his preferred one, his successor… and we also know that Qassem Soleimani has been accused of executing thousands of Iranians, working for a regime that has proven to be corrupt to the bone, with wealthy leaders plundering on the country’s resources while their fellow citizens face hunger and deprivation.
So, what was Ardeshir Zahedi talking about as a follower of the Shah? Who was he trying to fool?
In fact, what people in the streets in Iran are telling us is that they have not been fooled, at all. They understand better that anyone who these two forces (are) and how these two forces play together in order to continue exploiting and robbing the country to their personal benefit.
The objective alliance between theocrats and monarchists is also visible in another particular issue: in the way they both attack the Iranian democratic forces that are uniting all protesters inside Iran, and gathering international support outside its borders. Those are for both of them the real enemy. Namely, the NCRI and specially the MEK have been their common target because they (the theocrats and monarchists) can see how people in Iran are recognizing their (the NCRI and MEK’s) leadership as a unifying organized force to defeat the regime and open, finally, the way to democracy.
For years, the mullahs’ regime has campaigned to portray the MEK as a terrorist organization and they all have failed.
Every single time, when their accusations have been brought to a court of justice, an independent judge has made a point of honor, be it in the States, in Britain, in Europe, to clean the name of the Iranian Resistance and of its leaders from all the dirt the regime tried to pile up against them.
Today, they want to divide protesters inside Iran and within the Resistance with the weird allegation that the MEK people in Ashraf are prisoners of their leaders, unable to make their own decisions. This is precisely what the tyrannical regime of the mullahs is guilty of.
The regime holds Iranian population as its prisoners. Trying to brainwash them with lies and threats and even using the name of God to do evil.
That is the reason for millions of Iranians to be protesting as we speak, inside Iran and abroad. It is a well-known strategy to accuse your accusers of what you are guilty of. Turning tables, putting the blame on the other.
But after the impressive summit for freedom held two days ago, which brought together through internet thousands of people from all over the globe to advocate freely and support the Iranian protesters and Iranian Resistance, it is foolish to think that anyone will fall in to their lies and propaganda.
Iranians know better than that.
What does it mean to be an Ashrafian?
The members of the MEK are women and men who have suffered torture both in the Shah’s prisons and in the mullahs’ prisons.
They have seen their families and friends executed. They know who took away their freedom and who is the liar. They have stayed together, living together, in Iraq, in Paris, in Tirana or wherever it might be. Fighting together because they know that they are the spearhead of the Iranian warriors for freedom.
Their choice is to remain together, knowing of course that they can leave it anytime if they wish to do so. And that they can have their own private life whenever they decide to…
You see, being an Ashrafian is not a second best choice in life; it is not a solution against solitude or unemployment; it is not an escaping strategy or transitional mode; it is not being the puppet of anyone.
What the regime doesn’t understand is that a woman, Maryam Rajavi, is the leader of this Resistance, a woman that has suffered and sacrificed as much or more than any of its members, a woman that cannot be bought or intimidated or even silenced because she is the voice of millions.
She is the hope of millions. She is not the torturer, but the victim.
She is not the prison guard, but the key to freedom.
She is not a despot like her enemies, but a justice fighter.
Her strength is her lack of personal ambition.
She lives for the people. She does not impose herself. She does not manipulate.
She is carried by the people. All the millions of Iranians, victims of the clerical regime.
Being like her, an Ashrafian, is I think the closest we can imagine today, to being an apocalyptic warrior. It is a stuff for heroes.
It is the destiny chosen by women and men who do not give up. It is the transformer’s option of the dreamer becoming the winner.
Iranians know, they know where the truth is standing, and who is flying its banner. And even though I have not been called in my personal life to sacrifice as much as Ashrafies for Iran, I declare myself proudly to be an Ashrafian, because I have chosen, as you have, to struggle against oppression, lies and death and to abide in every way to freedom, truth and life.
Iranians have understood that the best way to have the criminals accountable for their 40 years of crimes is to overthrow this tyranny, to win this war for freedom. Hazer, Hazer, Hazer.