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16 Aug 2004

Maryam Rajavi’s address at the gathering on June17, 2004 – Auvers-sur-Oise

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Maryam Rajavi’s address at the gathering on June17, 2004 – Auvers-sur-Oise

Maryam Rajavi’s address at the gathering on June17, 2004

ImageDo you not hear the foot steps of fundamen -talism in Iraq today? Are you not faced with the same threat in Muslim enclaves in European countries and America? Islamic fundamentalism as a serious threat requires an ideological and political solution. A tolerant and democratic Islam is the only effective response to the danger of fundamentalism, a threat far more dangerous than the mullahs’ nuclear threat.

In the name of God

In the name of Iran

And in the name of Freedom

Greetings to the distinguished audience, to the dignified citizens of France, distinguished political personalities and delegations, parliament deputies, human rights advocates and defenders of freedom from France and other countries. Your presence here today, revived the memories of the great solidarity of June 17 last year.

I offer my greetings and gratitude to the people of Auvers-sur-Oise, the neighbors and the great family of the Iranian Resistance, to Mayor Jean-Pierre Bequet and the esteemed members of Auvers’ city council, who rose in the name of France and its values to defend a resistance that had been unjustly suppressed.

My greetings and thanks to the residents of Fleurac, Vesoul, Chaumont, Privas and La Courtine, who were hosting those of us who were internally exiled.

My special thanks to Mr. Henri Leclerc and the team of lawyers who, with utmost dignity, conscience, independence, honesty and humanity, remained true to their oath as defense counsels.

What we are honoring today is before anything else a victory for you, who have always given us your backing, during what could have been the biggest test of our long stay in France. You proved that France’s democracy is alive and well, that it is faithful to her ideals. You proved that you will not remain indifferent to a righteous ideal and that you know how to rise up against injustice.

Greeting and a warm welcome to you, my beloved compatriots,

You, Iranian women, men and young people, abandoned your jobs, livelihood and families and rushed to help out a resistance movement, which is the manifestation of your resolve and outcries.

And, greetings from afar to my dear compatriots inside Iran,

Greetings to the free thinking and heroic people of Iran, women and men and our nation’s energetic young generation, who rose to offer your support the moment you heard the news. And you offered solidarity and shared our sorrow and joy despite suppression imposed by the clerics, confirming once again that no resistance could survive without the support of a nation, let alone persevering under the most difficult conditions.

And today, June 17, on this anniversary, we have again gathered here for resistance for freedom.

Sixty-four years ago, on June 18, 1940, in this land, overran by the Nazis, a voice echoed that heartened millions of French. It was the voice of Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the French Resistance, from exile in Britain. “Regardless of what happens, the flames of French Resistance must not and shall not be extinguished,” he roared.

Beyond time and place, these words bespeak of faith in “the right to resist against oppression.” A right that was enshrined 215 years ago in the second article of the declaration on human rights and citizenship during the French Revolution. It was enshrined as a “Human, natural and inviolable right.” And I add, “An inalienable right” for all human beings, across the globe and in all ages.

The Resistance against fascism was righteous and should have continued at all costs. In like vein, the resistance against the religious fascism ruling Iran is righteous and nothing will or can deny that right.

We, the victims of the June 17surprise attack had committed no crime other than resisting against religious fascism.

It was then officially announced that no weapons or explosives were found at Auvers-sur-Oise. Why then the need for an armada of 1,380 policemen?

What was the beating and assaulting of elderly mothers and fathers whose children had been executed by the clerical regime for?

What were all the propaganda, ballyhoo, the terrorist and sectarian labels for?

Was it because after a twenty-year presence and police protection here, in Auvers-sur-Oise, a sudden discovery was made about an association of offenders to organize crime?

Or was there not a deal in the making with an illegitimate regime against a legitimate resistance?

Many French personalities have told me that in their view, June 17 was the day of a great injustice in France. An injustice not just against a few, but against the rights of an oppressed nation to fight for freedom.

Should one not expect that in a democracy and a country of law, the hidden motives behind this unjustified raid must be revealed?

I said unequivocally in prison and in the court that you knew full well that the allegation of terrorism against us was absurd. But if resistance for freedom is considered a crime, then I would be honored to say that I am willing to spend the rest of my life behind bars. But I will not relent in my resistance for freedom.

I said there and I repeat here that I, like my sisters and brothers, joined this resistance, fully accepting all the hardships, tortures and even execution. What is regrettable is that why do we have to be the victim of this injustice and go to prison in France?

How eloquently did Mr. Michel Tubiana put it last year when he said that the raid on Auvers-sur-Oise was a “service” Paris rendered to Tehran and that the Judiciary had been used to accommodate a political demand.

Fortunately, on July 3, 2003, France’s judiciary demonstrated that it was unwilling to bow to political considerations and voted for the release of all those detained. Last year, five expulsion orders and forced relocations were overturned one after the other.

Despite the failure of the sinister June 17 scheme, the mullahs are continuing to use the lever of trade and a misinformation campaign to take advantage of France’s Judiciary to achieve their objectives.

Since last September, we have had information that the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry has filed lawsuits against the People’s Mojahedin through different agencies and under various covers. This is part of the Iranian regime’s effort to fabricate a case against the Iranian Resistance by referring to an operation undertaken in Iran several years ago and completely unrelated to those in France.

Here, I call on the people of France, intellectuals, human rights advocates, parliamentarians, judges and jurists not to remain silent in the face of this fabrication and new conspiracy by the mullahs designed to take advantage of France’s judiciary.

As an eminent French jurist said, “The worst thing is that in an unsuitable cohabitation, an independent judicial system bow to the demands of a government which tortures ‘rights.'”

Let me make one thing clear: We wholeheartedly welcome any impartial investigation because we have nothing to hide. This is why, last year I used this podium to ask President Chirac to form a special investigative commission and check the veracity of the information on the Mojahedin and the Iranian Resistance that reaches France’s intelligence services.

The magnificent anniversary of the Iranian Resistance and the Day of Martyrs and Political Prisoners are approaching.

In remembrance of our martyrs

June 20, also marks the start of the Resistance to put popular sovereignty and vote in place of a totalitarian and reactionary dictatorship. It is also the anniversary of the formation of the National Liberation Army of Iran.

Let us, therefore, use this podium to salute the martyrs of freedom, the prisoners of freedom and the combatants of freedom.

Hail to the pioneers, standard bearers and vanguards of freedom. Hail to the eternal lights and gleaming stars of freedom.

Greetings to the blazing lovers of freedom, Sedigheh Mojaveri and Neda Hassani and other sky-high outcries of freedom and national dignity…

I wish that relevant officials and authorities had informed me earlier and had allowed my message to reach my compatriots sooner or permitted me, as I requested, to see a few of them to assure them of the safety of those detained, so as to alleviate their concern and prevent what happened. Regrettably, in those days, all of our officials were being detained.

In short, in the past year, I went to sleep every night and woke up every morning thinking of them, those described by the world media as human torches and those who suffered much torment during a strenuous 17-day hunger strike. I bow before so much sacrifice and selflessness and hope that once the ruling theocracy ruling our nation is uprooted, the Iranian people and Resistance would not have to offer so much sacrifice.

Freedom fighters

In the past year, the pressure of the ruling mullahs on the Iranian Resistance matched their pressures and conspiracies of the past quarter century. I would, therefore, not be exaggerating to say that the combatants of freedom and the Resistance’s activists matched their resistance and steadfastness of the past 25 years in trying to successfully overcome the past year’s crises and conspiracies.

So, allow me to send my greetings and our greetings from this podium to the combatants of this Resistance, the vanguards of Iran’s freedom in Ashraf city, the beloved, resolute and proud Ashraf,

The city of the brave, home to heroines and heroes,

The bastion of the Iranian nation’s dignity and resistance,

This jade terrain of peace and good neighborliness between the nations of Iran and Iraq,

The resolute mountain of steadfastness in the face of the onslaught by the mullahs’ savagery, fundamentalism and terrorism,

Greetings to the leaders of liberation, the Liberation Army, the generation of Massoud [Rajavi], the children of [Mohammad] Hanifnejad, the grandchildren of [Mohammad] Mossadeq, Mirza Kuchek-khan and Sattar Khan, those remind us of the resistance of Amirkhiz district against the King’s soldiers during the constitutional revolution, those who brought down the white flag of surrender and hoisted the crimson flag of perseverance with their chants of “May shame of surrender never be upon us…”

And greetings to the champion of all champions, the hero of all heroes, the icon of resistance, forbearance and faith, Mojahedin’s Secretary General Mojgan Parsaii, who symbolized the resolve, patience, steadfastness, honesty and sacrifice of those in the proud city of Ashraf, those who, amid a fight for survival, sketched the epic of remaining tenacious and blissful.

Thanks God that in this path and in this year of Resistance, the Almighty aroused the people’s aware conscience in your defense.

This was particularly the case with the dignified, brother nation of Iraq, who rose in your defense. Last month, some 30,000 Iraqis joined you to celebrate the birth of the Prophet of Islam and 300,000 others formally offered their unprecedented support and demanded that you remain in Iraq.

And 300 Iraqi jurists and lawyers declared, “While expressing solidarity with the statement signed by 300,000 Iraqis, we demand emphatically that the Mojahedin remain in Iraq as an obstacle against fundamentalism until democracy is established in Iran.”

All of this came at a time when the clerical regime conspired extensively against the presence of the Mojahedin in Iraq and even dictated the decree by the Iraqi Governing Council to expel the Mojahedin.

Afterwards, there was a surge in popular and legal protests in Iraq and the rest of world. Many members of the Iraqi Governing Council and most non-governmental parties told the Mojahedin, or sent them messages, that they do not accept and oppose the decree dictated by the Iranian regime.

As a free-thinking human being, I declare: Defending the combatants of freedom in Ashraf is the nationalist and patriotic duty of all Iranians with whatever belief and opinion. It is also the humanitarian duty for all human rights advocates and freedom-lovers across the globe.

Some 305 members of the British Parliament, a majority in the Italian Parliament and many members of the U.S. Congress and parliaments in Europe and Australia also defended the Mojahedin and emphasized on the need for their presence in Iraq.

Legal opinions by the most eminent international lawyers and jurists, including the Paris and Washington Declarations, which have been signed by 1,000 jurists and lawyers across the world, state that the Mojahedin members based in Ashraf city are civilians under the protections of the Fourth Geneva Conventions. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees have also confirmed this status.

And this was how you triumphed in proving the righteousness of the Iranian Resistance and in pursuing your fight for freedom. You and our nation must be congratulated on this perseverance and show of pride.

Esteemed friends, supporters of the Iranian Resistance,

Symbols of demagoguery

The mullahs, the enemies of the resistance, have these days become the symbols of demagoguery, deception and threat to humanity by seeking weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear bomb.

The headlines of European newspapers write: “The Islamic Republic lied to the world for 19 years.”

After the visit to Tehran by the EU-3 foreign ministers and the signing of an agreement, the mullahs again breached their promises, making it clear that the clerics were continuing their efforts to obtain nuclear arms.

In May and June the clerical regime was again under the international spot light for its lies, deceptions and misleading intelligence services.

Officials in the United States are stating unequivocally that they were deceived by the mullahs with respect to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

The Los Angeles Times quoted an informed official on May 25, as saying that “by deceiving the U.S.,” the mullahs ruling Iran “undertook one of the biggest spy operations in contemporary world and in fact mislead the world’s biggest superpower.”

Indeed, it has been established that those who were giving intelligence to the Americans and were paid for it, were either agents of the mullahs’ Intelligence Ministry or the information was fabricated entirely by Tehran’s intelligence agencies.

The mullahs deceived the only superpower in the world on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq through such a distorted and false campaign. Imagine for a moment what they have done in the past 25 years in spreading propaganda about the Iranian Resistance as the main threat and alternative to their regime and how many other intelligence services they have deceived. Believe me, they have done a hundred times more and fed mountains of lies to intelligence agencies of different countries.

One must ask the clerical regime and its intelligence agents: were you not saying that in the prisons of Iraq thousands of disaffected Mojahedin members have been incarcerated. How is it that the former government of Iraq was toppled and the coalition forces controlled the entire country, but not even one member of the Mojahedin was found to have been imprisoned? Similarly, not even one member of the Mojahedin was found to have come to France to engage in violent and unlawful action in France.

You recall that last July 3, as soon as I left prison, I spoke at this podium about the mullahs’ extensive schemes to deceive a number of French services. Had they not received misleading information, they would not have needed to mobilize all their forces, helicopters, boats and blowing up doors and windows in order to investigate and inspect. Who had provided the false information that the Mojahedin had transferred their headquarters to France and intend to carry out terrorist activities? Who had said that the Mojahedin were planning to attack the U.S. embassy?

In 1994, the clerical regime abducted, mutilated and killed the Christian pastors and bishops and blamed it on the Mojahedin. United Nations Rapporteur went to Iran and investigated. He reported that the mullahs’ claims were totally false and fabricated. Now, you tell me what would the meaning of accepting the demands of such a regime to label a legitimate Resistance as terrorist and replacing the executioner with the victim.

An Italian political personality said, “The inclusion of the Mojahedin in the terrorist list is an embarrassment to us and to Europe. This list only provides a pretext to engage in deals with the clerical regime and a cover to conceal its shameful behavior in Europe. So long as the Mojahedin remains in the list, one cannot accept Europe’s struggle for human rights and freedom and against terrorism.”

Free elections

The fact is that the inclusion of the name of the People’s Mojahedin in the terror lists of the U.S. State Department and the European Union, is a flagrant injustice, changing the places of the oppressed and the oppressor.

Most recently, in describing terrorists, the U.S. President said that terrorists are afraid of free elections more than anything else.

Why don’t we all accept free elections as yardstick to distinguish between terrorism and legitimate resistance?

We totally accept it. On behalf of the Resistance last autumn, in addition to a referendum, I proposed the same yardstick to define and recognize terrorism. There are many definitions, some of them quite technical. But, this issue is political in nature and thus requires a political definition, demarcation and yardstick.

For nearly a quarter century, the Iranian Resistance has declared that it is moving forward on the basis of free elections, which governs its approach to the mullahs. In other words, we want free elections on the basis of popular but not clerical sovereignty because the constitution gives the mullahs absolute hegemony over all affairs of the state and the nation.

We want free elections under the supervision of the United Nations or any other competent international body. But will the mullahs agree to that? Have they agreed to free elections in the past 25 years? It is well-known that in 1980, Massoud Rajavi was a presidential candidate supported by the younger generation. He was supported by all democratic forces, Iranian Kurds, national and religious minorities as well as the young and women, but Khomeini vetoed his candidacy with a fatwa because he had not voted for the velayat-e faqih constitution.

In the most recent parliamentary elections in February this year, the mullahs even eliminated Khatami’s faction, which shared in all the crimes of the past 25 years, including the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Even the European Union denounced that election and questioned its legitimacy. In truth, the mullahs fear free elections in Iran more than anything else.

Nevertheless, our Resistance has given an ultimatum to the usurper mullahs. If they claim to have popular support and the Resistance lacks such support, why do they not agree to a United Nations sponsored referendum for regime change?

And now let me ask the European Union and the U.S. State Department: Is it the Iranian Resistance that is afraid of free elections or the regime ruling Iran?

Who is then a terrorist? And what crime has this Resistance committed? Is it not a fact that this Resistance has itself been the victim of terrorists ruling Iran? Please do not beguile the public and answer these questions.

Islamic Fundamentalism, The New Global Threat

Appeasing the religious, terrorist dictatorship and giving into their demands has been generally justified under the pretext of supporting the moderate mullahs. It truth, the most extremist wing of the theocracy has benefited from it.

Last year marked the end of the myth of moderation and reform within the clerical regime. Last year also proved the righteousness of the Iranian Resistance’s strategy. The NCRI president had declared many years ago that the a snake never gives birth to a dove and that velayat-e faqih regime lacks the capacity to reform and that pinning hope on the regime’s internal faction was futile.

After seven years of championing reform, the clerical regime eliminated Khatami’s faction during last February’s parliamentary elections. Now, the Parliament and other government institutions are becoming more and more dominated by the Revolutionary Guards.

At the same time, Revolutionary Guards commanders stage conferences in Tehran to recruit volunteers for terrorist operations in Iraq and elsewhere.

The policy of appeasement with the mullahs had no result other than the rise in domestic suppression, export of fundamentalism and terrorism beyond Iran’s borders.

Since the early 1990s, the Iranian Resistance spoke of “Islamic Fundamentalism” as ‘The New Global Threat” and warned about it. Few took this warning seriously. But, as time went by, painful catastrophes such as September the 11th, the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and the plight of Muslims in Western countries proved the veracity of the Iranian Resistance’s assessments.

Do you not hear the foot steps of fundamentalism in Iraq today? Are you not faced with the same threat in Muslim enclaves in European countries and America? Islamic fundamentalism as a serious threat requires an ideological and political solution. A tolerant and democratic Islam is the only effective response to the danger of fundamentalism, a threat far more dangerous than the mullahs’ nuclear threat.

Let me now say a few words to the mullahs about their oppression of the Iranian nation.

In the past quarter century, you suppressed the Iranian people.

You executed 120,000 on political charges.

You imprisoned and brutally tortured hundreds of thousands of others. You flogged, stoned to death and gouged out eyes. You tried to instill terror and intimidation in society through torture and execution. But you failed to extinguish the Resistance.

In the name of Cultural Revolution, you shut down Iran’s universities and executed thousands upon thousands of university and high school students. You opened fired on the students and young people during the uprisings of June 20, 1981, July 1999 and those which followed. You even attacked on students’ dormitories and ransacked them. And now, terrified of the students’ uprising on the anniversary of July 1999 uprising, you have stepped up repression and arrests. You have suppressed protests by Iran’s noble teachers and crackdown on demonstrations by thousands of Iranian women who protest against your misogynous conduct and propaganda.

The flame of Resistance

You should know, however, that you cannot extinguish the outcry for freedom and the resistance of a nation. The flames of Resistance against religious fascism, for the establishment of freedom must not and will not die down.

The resistance for the freedom democracy and popular sovereignty,

The Resistance for gender equality, the separation of church and state, good neighborliness, international cooperation and friendship and against gender and religious discrimination will continue and not extinguished.

The destiny of this resistance would be determined inside Iran and by the Iranian people.

Thus, with respect to the allegations and labels, I say, having been inspired by what Dr. Mossadeq said during at the time of his arrest and during his trial at a military tribunal:

We are not ignorant of the main reason for the difficulties we come face-to-face. Our biggest sin is that we have arisen to resist for the liberation of our people from the clutches of religious fascism. Now then, if resistance for freedom is considered a crime, we are proud to have committed such a major sin. We are proud to go to prison for the sake of freedom. We are proud to be slain in the path of freedom. We will never renounce our resistance for freedom; we will persevere in our resistance for freedom.

In one word, I resist, therefore I am. We resist, therefore we are.

My message is one of truth, justice and friendship between nations. This is the message of a great nation and a great culture to another great nation and another great culture: France

Contrary to the clerical regime, our way is not one of nuclear weapons, zealotry, intolerance and vengeance. Our way is not disruption and chaos at the borders.

We respect the people of France, its laws and its hospitality. Whether in France, in Italy, in Britain, in Germany or in other countries, we only seek respect for the constitution and laws of these countries and the freedom of expression, an inalienable principle of democracy.

We say that no one should surrender to the blackmail and pressures of the mullahs to export suppression, which is no more than exporting terrorism.

Stand away from this regime. You should rest assured that the Iranian people and Resistance will settle their score with this regime.

In this respect, I call on all aware human beings across the world and dignified French citizens to express their solidarity with the Iranian Resistance. I also extend my gratitude for the invaluable support they offered the Iranian Resistance in the past year.

Once again, I thank the support by the people of Auvers-sur-Oise and the state of Val d’Oise, the Iranian Resistance’s neighbors and extended family and their humanitarian and diligent solidarity.

Two striking cords could be identified amid this expression of solidarity. First, persevering on the primacy of human values and second, the ideal of freedom. These two have been the essence and spirit of a quarter century of our resistance against the religious and inhuman fascism that rules Iran. We are resisting against a regime that could be summed up in two words: an anti-human dictatorship. Our Resistance, therefore, could be described in two words as well: ideal of freedom and human values.

These are precisely the values evident in the anti-Nazi resistance of the people of France. These values have bound the history of our two nations and in reality, all mankind. And they will remain at the core of all human society until eternity.

In the past year, you repeatedly and deeply affected my and my fellow Iranian compatriots

Your unsparing material and moral support on June 17, which sook all Iranians and the French, and when the reports about the Bam earthquake came and when we, together, heard the good and the bad news.

I must say that we cried twice. Once for the victims of the earthquake catastrophe in Iran and once for the sea of affection and solidarity you offered us.

Here, I like to present to you, friends of the hard time, a gift, a poem from the eminent poet in my country, Ahmad Shamlou:

Nowhere and at no time, has the outcry for life remained unanswered,

I am alive,

My outcry is not without an answer,

Your kind heart is the reply to my outcry,

Night, has surrounded us all around,

I look at you,

I believe in the sun,

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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