Conference at the Parliament of Norway, “Iran’s democratic revolution – an uprising for freedom and democracy”
Maryam Rajavi: 44 years after the anti-monarchical revolution, a new revolution to end religious tyranny is in the making
The Friends of a Free Iran Committee (FOFI) held a conference at the Parliament of Norway, featuring the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and a number of MPs. Maryam Rajavi joined the conference online and addressed the audience.
Mr. Geir Hilmar Haarde, former Prime Minister of Iceland, Mr. Kimmo Sasi, former Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, and Mr. Edvard Sólnes, former Icelandic Minister of the Environment, also addressed the conference.
Mr. Struan Stevenson also introduced his latest book on the Iranian people’s century-long struggle against two dictatorships.
Honorable members of parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m delighted to see you. I had the opportunity to visit Norway several times, and I would like to first thank Norwegian MPs for their support of the Iranian people’s Resistance over these years.
Our movement has been fighting against the religious tyranny ruling our country for 44 years. A hundred and twenty thousand people have laid down their lives on this path for Iran’s freedom. And hundreds of thousands of other men and women have suffered brutal torture in prison to this end.
All the hardships, pain, and suffering could not undermine the determination of Iran’s freedom fighters to end the dictatorship and establish a free republic in Iran.
A movement for Iran’s freedom
Of course, the struggle of this movement for freedom has a more extended history dating back to Shah’s dictatorship.
At that time, all the democratic forces, including the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, were suppressed by the Shah’s notorious secret Police, SAVAK. Their leaders were imprisoned and executed.
So, Khomeini took advantage of this situation and hijacked the leadership of the people’s revolution against the Shah’s dictatorship and established a religious dictatorship in Iran.
Today, 44 years later, a new revolution is in the making. The Iranian people’s democratic revolution will end religious tyranny. People have been shouting in the streets for five months that this is a revolution.
They have no demands from the regime. They want to overthrow the mullahs’ regime. The era of religious tyranny in Iran is over. Iranian society is in an explosive state.
On one side is the people of Iran, and on the other is the ruling regime with its repressive agencies, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Regardless of any ups and downs in the process of the uprising, the situation will never return to before the start of the protests.
The Iranian regime’s strategy to counter the uprising
I will briefly address two issues: First the regime’s strategy to deal with the uprising and Second the status of the Iranian Resistance.
The regime’s strategy to deal with the uprising has two aspects. One aspect is brutal repression.
During the protests of the last five months, at least 750 people were killed by the repressive forces, and more than 30,000 were arrested.
Prisoners are brutally tortured. So far, four protestors have been executed, and death sentences have been issued for dozens.
The other aspect is extensive political and propaganda efforts to discourage the people from rising up. The regime wants to distract the uprising from its main goals.
One of the regime’s key tactics is to launch massive campaigns to spread a big lie. It claims that there is no credible and democratic alternative, concluding that regime change will lead to chaos.
For this reason, the regime intensified its demonization and disinformation campaign against the NCRI and the PMOI during the uprising.
Without a democratic alternative such as the NCRI, the regime can convince the international community that they have no other way but to get along with the current regime.
The regime also has another tactic, which is using the elements affiliated with the Shah’s dictatorship. The Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC also deploy such elements to divert the uprising.
However, in the last five months, the Iranian people – in Iran and abroad – defeated this plot with their slogans of death to the oppressor – be it the Shah or Khamenei.
Despite the regime’s efforts, the future is bright.
A decisive factor is women’s active presence in the uprising.
Women’s leading role in the uprising is a reaction to 44 years of repression and is inspired by the struggle of tens of thousands of freedom fighters and PMOI female members who were imprisoned, tortured, and executed over these years.
Women’s participation in all levels of the Iranian Resistance has created an enormous capacity in Iranian women.
On the other hand, the resistance network in Iran is continuously expanding. The Resistance units, formed all over Iran, play a decisive role in the protests in different regions. Despite widespread arrests, young people are joining the Resistance Units every day.
I have a dream
The National Council of Resistance is a democratic coalition of different political forces with a detailed plan for the future of Iran.
The NCRI’s goal is to establish a democratic and free republic based on free elections, separation of religion and state, gender equality, rejection of all discriminations against religious minorities, and recognition of autonomy for oppressed ethnic groups within Iran’s borders.
In November 2006, I told the Norwegian parliament, and I repeat:
• I have a dream:
• For an Iran free of execution and torture.
• For a country where all citizens could express their beliefs and have the right to vote freely to determine their own destiny.
• For a country where everyone shall be free to choose their clothing and way of life.
• For a country where women enjoy equal rights, including in political leadership.
• For a country where all citizens with various beliefs and religions could live side by side in peace.
• For a country where no citizen would be prosecuted for their beliefs or thoughts.
• And for a country that would be committed to coexistence with its neighbors.
What I said that day was not a personal wish, but the desire of the people of Iran. Today, the world hears these demands in the slogans of the Iranian people.
It is time for the European countries to hear the Iranian people’s voice. It should put the IRGC on the terrorist list, shut down the Iranian regime’s embassies in their countries and recognize the Resistance of the Iranian people and their right to self-defense.
Thank you all.