Maryam Rajavi addresses a hearing at the U.S. Congress sponsored by the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus and the Human Rights and Democracy in Iran Caucus
Thursday, May 18, 2023 – At the invitation of the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus and the Human Rights and Democracy in Iran Caucus, a hearing was held at the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Nancy Mace, the co-chairs of the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus, and House Representatives Tom McClintock, the co-chair of the Human Rights and Democracy in Iran Caucus, Steve Cohen, Danny Davis, Lance Gooden, Randy Weber, and Ruben Gallego attended the hearing. The U.S. House Representatives expressed their support for the Iranian people’s uprising and Resistance in remarks made at the hearing. Maryam Rajavi participated in the hearing via a video link and delivered a speech. Following are excerpts of her remarks:
Let me speak briefly about the latest situation in Iran.
The uprising that started in September last year changed Iran’s political scene. The uprising did not happen overnight, and the leading role of women did not happen by accident.
The uprising was on the one hand the result of more than 40 years of struggle of the Iranian people and resistance, paying a heavy price, and on the other hand, the result of the role women have played in the leadership of the resistance during the past few decades.
Wave of executions to contain the uprising
To contain the uprising and preserve its rule, the regime relies on brutal suppression of protests including increase in executions and widespread arrests. At least 94 people have been hanged since the beginning of May. Fourteen prisoners were executed this morning. The goal is to create an atmosphere of terror to confront the uprising.
The mullahs have intensified the repression, especially against women. They have organized chemical attacks on girls’ schools.
They create many restrictions for women to impose the compulsory hijab. Many women are arrested. The Iranian women’s slogan is “With or without hijab, onwards to revolution.”
And I have always emphasized: No to compulsory hijab, no to compulsory religion and no to compulsory government.
The situation will not return to the pre-September period
The mullahs also engage in a disinformation and demonization campaign to promote the narrative that there is no alternative to the ruling regime.
Recently, documents were disclosed from the mullahs’ foreign ministry regarding their project to discredit the resistance.
However, the uprising showed: People are no longer willing to tolerate the current conditions and the situation will not return to the pre-September period. The Iranian people’s desire is a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic.
Today, more than half of the 460 members of the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, are women. In the PMOI/MEK, women have played a leading role at all levels over the last 30 years.
Freedom and people’s sovereignty
We believe that the Iranian people and Resistance can overthrow the regime.
The most important principle we believe in is freedom. One hundred and twenty thousand of Iran’s children have sacrificed their lives for freedom.
We and our people insist on people’s sovereignty and reject all kinds of dictatorship: Both the religious and monarchic dictatorships. The common slogan of the Iranian people in this uprising was “No to the Shah, no to the Mullahs.”
We seek freedom and democracy for our people whatever the cost. We call on all governments to recognize the struggle of the Iranian people to overthrow the regime. We call on them to confirm the legitimacy of self-defense for Iran’s youth against the IRGC.
The House Resolution 100, which you initiated, is the best example of a correct policy towards Iran.