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07 Mar 2024

Iranian Opposition Leader: “Pioneer Women to Spearhead the Regime’s Overthrow”

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Iranian Opposition Leader: “Pioneer Women to Spearhead the Regime’s Overthrow”

At an international conference in Paris on Saturday, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi emphasized that resolving the crises in the Middle East hinges on “the overthrow of Iran’s fundamentalist religious dictatorship.”

Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, delivered the keynote address at the conference, organized in the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8.

The conference highlighted the pivotal role of Iranian women in sustaining the tense state of Iranian society, often characterized as ’embers beneath ashes,’ and advocated for strategies of resistance against the theocratic regime.

Dozens of prominent women political figures, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former senior officials, parliamentarians, and women’s activists from North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East addressed the conference.

“Women in the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the combatant women of Iran play a decisive role in achieving this goal,” Rajavi added in reference to the push for regime change.

Rajavi was interrupted several times by cheers from the crowd, which was mostly comprised of Iranian exiles.

While emphasizing the role of women in the recent uprisings in Iran, Rajavi said: “In the December 2017-January 2018 uprising, the November 2019 uprising, and the 2022 nationwide uprising sparked by the tragic murder of Zhina Amini, which continued for several months with the sacrifice of 750 protesters, brave women of Iran were at the forefront of these movements, showcasing to the world their pivotal role in the struggle.”

Rajavi expressed great confidence about the N triumph over the clerical regime and about establishing a democratic system that respects gender equality and the fundamental rights of the Iranian people in general and women in particular.

“These days, with great fanfare, the mullahs are holding a sham trial in absentia in Tehran for 104 members and officials of the PMOI [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran] and the Iranian Resistance… One of the most significant charges leveled by the regime’s prosecutor against this movement is that it has accepted women’s leadership. They are correct. Women’s leadership has challenged their regime’s existence.”

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the formar President of Latvia; Najat Vallaud Belkacem, former Minister of Education, Higher Education, and Research, Minister of Women’s Rights and Government’s spokesperson of France; Anneli Jäätteenmäki, former Prime of Finland; Michèle Alliot-Marie, former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France, Rosalía Arteaga Serrano, former President of Ecuador; Ana Helena Chacon Echeverria, former Vice-President of Costa Rica; Senator Erin McGreehan, Spokesperson of the Irish Senate on Equality and Children’s Affairs; and Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate, were among more than 70 the dignitaries who addressed the event.

The audience displayed an enthusiastic response to several video clips from women activists in Iran, who had sent their messages to the event.

Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former President of Latvia, said: “Today not only Iran is suffering a brutalized theocracy, but also Ukrainians. The regime has extra blood on its hands, by delivering weapons to Russia. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in their quest for freedom and democracy, for a government where religion is separated from the state, and there is no capital punishment. You will prevail.”

Former President of Ecuador Rosalía Arteaga Serrano called on the international community to “put an end to silence and recognize the right of the Iranian people to resist, to establish a republic with separation of religion and state as articulated by Maryam Rajavi and NCRI.”

Linda Chavez, who was White House Director of Public Liaison during the Regan administration, stressed: “If this movement is not a threat to the mullahs in Iran, why are they spending so much effort to demonize them?

While making reference to the Iranian regime’s plot to bomb the NCRI’s Free Iran World Summit in Paris in June 2018, by one of its diplomats, she said “Why would there be assassination attempts?… Maryam Rajavi’s message is a message of freedom, her 10-point plan is a plan to give the people of Iran the chance to choose their leader in a future free Iran, and I do not doubt if there were a free election, their choice will be Maryam Rajavi.”

Baroness O’Loan DBE, a member of the House of Lords in the UK, called “on European governments, especially the government of Albania, to counter Tehran’s illegal activities and uphold the rights of members of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran at Ashraf-3 in accordance with the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and international law. Failure to challenge [the regime’s Supreme Leader] Ali Khamenei, will further encourage more terrorism against the Iranian Resistance. Europe must stand with those fighting for freedom and democracy and to stand with the NCRI.

She went on to say, “The establishment of a democratic Iran will be a massive contribution to world peace. I applaud the MEK Resistance Units, who are bravely resisting against the brutal IRGC, which must be put on terrorist lists by all EU states. The Resistance Units have immeasurable courage.”

Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian Senator, and presidential candidate who was held hostage by FARC for several years, underscored: “This is not a gender war, but a cultural revolution. In the MEK is the feeling that the men and women are all together. Women are safe; they are partners with men. This is remarkable. These women in Iran are at the forefront of this battle. The Iranian regime is doing its utmost to demonize the MEK, and the terrorist plotting to assassinate members and supporters of the MEK.”

Despite widespread arrests, the activities of the MEK’s Resistance Units have steadily grown in the past year. Women have played a prominent role in these units. In response, the clerical regime has resorted to massive arrests of women activists in Iran. It recently imposed lengthy prison sentences on several female supporters of the MEK.


Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The President-elect of the NCRI for the period to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran

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