Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, addressed a conference at the European Parliament entitled “Iran: Prospects for Change and EU Policy” on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. She called for an international campaign to stop executions in Iran. Following are excerpts from her speech at EP:
As I speak to you today, the Iranian regime has started a new and unprecedented wave of executions. One hundred and sixteen prisoners have been executed since the beginning of May. It means one execution every 5 hours.
Three young protesters, who had been detained and tortured for months in Isfahan, were executed last Friday. The regime uses executions to create an atmosphere of terror and prevent an uprising. Despite massive repression, however, people protested these brutal executions in Tehran and various other cities.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing a lack of action from the European Union and its member states.
Isn’t opposing executions one of the well-known principles of the European Union?
So why do economic interests and political considerations downplay the importance of the human rights situation when it comes to Iran?
Echoing the voice of Iranian women
I am here today to echo the voice of the protesters in Iran, especially women, who have risen up against religious dictatorship. The message is that the Iranian people have risen to overthrow religious fascism. They reject tyranny in all forms and persist in fighting until they achieve freedom and democracy.
The uprising that began last September has created several significant developments: The regime’s overthrow is inevitable, the clerical regime has reached an impasse, the organized resistance within Iran has made a big leap forward, and the false alternatives have failed.
Let me briefly explain each of these developments:
One of the main reasons for the uprisings is the widespread anger and discontent in Iranian society. Such explosive capacity is particularly visible in the courageous confrontation of Iranian women against the regime’s forces. Iranian women play a leading role in the protests, now more than ever, impressing the world with their bravery.
A brave and dedicated young generation is determined to overthrow the regime.
At night in Tehran and other cities, people chant “death to Khamenei” from the roofs of their homes. Every Friday, anti-regime protests take place in Zahedan. Moreover, teachers’ protests, workers’ strikes, and demonstrations by retired people continue across the country.
Growth of the Resistance’s Social Networks inside Iran
Another significant development is the remarkable growth of social networks.
In its internal assessment, the regime considers the MEK as a group with unity, an organized structure, and the ability to infiltrate the country.
The regime also acknowledges its ability and a history of struggle and demonstrates a high intelligence capacity to mislead intelligence services. It also states that the MEK is the only organization with a clear alternative plan. They are, therefore, both shrewd and subversive.
A high-level committee has been formed to counter the People’s Mojahedin. Seven out of thirteen departments of the Foreign Ministry participate in this committee. Their objective is to discredit the Iranian Resistance.
By spreading false information, the regime aims to target the just and legitimate resistance of the Iranian people and undermine democratic foundations and the free flow of impartial information in Europe.
Failure of false alternatives
Another important outcome of the uprising is the failure of false alternatives, particularly those related to the remnants of the Shah and clerical dictatorships.
Some thought they could present these groups as uprising leaders through extensive propaganda, but they failed.
A strong democratic and organized movement exists in Iran, and 120,000 political dissidents have sacrificed their lives for freedom.
The people of Iran will not accept to return to the previous dictatorship that subjected them to years of oppression, with countless imprisonments and political executions under a single-party rule.
The ongoing developments during the uprising demonstrated that the protests alone are insufficient to overthrow the regime.
A committed and well-organized resistance movement is needed to confront a brutal regime.
The alternative to this regime is the very force that maintains the flame of resistance and plays a key role in organizing and spreading the protests.
19 years ago, during a meeting in the European Parliament, I said the mullahs in Tehran claim that any significant change requires a foreign war, and there is no option other than appeasement. But I said there is a third solution: change by the Iranian people and Resistance.
Now, I want to emphasize that this solution has emerged from the heart of the Iranian people’s uprising, and everyone can see it.
The real alternative has been born from a long-lasting battle, with generations sacrificing their lives for it. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, established in Tehran four decades ago, represents various beliefs.
Iranian Resistance, the anti-thesis of religious tyranny
The Iranian Resistance’s platform is based on a republic, separation of religion and state, full individual and social freedoms, gender equality, autonomy for ethnic nationalities, elimination of the death penalty, an independent judiciary, dissolving the IRGC, a non-nuclear Iran, and international and regional coexistence and cooperation.
At the center of this alternative is the MEK, which believes in democratic Islam and advocates for the separation of religion and state. Therefore, this resistance represents the antithesis of the religious dictatorship.
Blacklisting the IRGC
Today, it is widely accepted that the clerical regime has significantly weakened and lost its strategic abilities and resources. However, its hostilities have intensified, whether in seeking nuclear weapons or in supporting terrorism and warmongering even into the heart of Europe.
The contradiction in the Western approach to Iran is the outcome of the policy of appeasement. The regime has repeatedly targeted global peace and security and constantly violated international laws without facing any consequences. Even worse, it has received rewards and incentives.
Every hour of delay in adopting the right policy towards the religious dictatorship in Iran results in more executions for the people of Iran, more hostages for the world, and more drones for Europe.
The Iranian Resistance calls on the European Union to reconsider its previous policies towards Iran and:
• Include the IRGC in its list of terrorist organizations.
• Trigger the snapback mechanism and restore the sanctions stated in the six UN Security Council resolutions against the regime.
• Designate the regime as a serious threat to global peace and security under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.
• Recognize the Iranian people’s right to struggle to overthrow the regime and the Iranian youth’s legitimate struggle against the occupying IRGC.
• Finally, I ask you, honorable representatives, to urge your governments to join the international campaign to stop executions in Iran and stand with the Iranian people.
Thank you all very much.