Maryam Rajavi’s Message to the Conference at the UK Parliament
Iran: One Year into Iran’s Popular Uprising, Onward to a Democratic Republic
It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to address your conference today.
I would like to first thank you for the declaration by 525 members of both Houses of the UK Parliament extending support to the people of Iran and the National Council of Resistance for the establishment of a democratic republic.
I would also like to commend you for your efforts, particularly by the Honorable MP, Bob Blackman, to have the IRGC designated as a terrorist entity.
One year ago, a nationwide uprising began in Iran, which persisted for several months, despite a brutal crackdown. Seven hundred and fifty young men and women, including teenagers, were shot to death or killed under torture by the IRGC. Others lost their eyes after being shot by pellet guns.
Backed by four decades of resistance, the Iranian people’s determination to overthrow the regime, and the fighting spirit of the injured and the parents of the victims have astonished the world.
Women’s leading role in the uprising which has been the result of four decades of struggle by Iranian women in the PMOI and other groups, has impressed everyone.
Some 1,000 prominent women from around the world who are well recognized in leadership, science, art, and social affairs have issued a statement supporting the vanguard role of women in the Iranian Resistance, on the eve of the anniversary of the Iran uprising.
The declaration is a sign of international solidarity with the brave women and girls in Iran.
Allow me to address two questions, today.
Firstly, is the regime stronger or weaker compared to before the uprising.
Secondly, what lessons can everyone learn from the uprising and its consequences.
The regime and its supporters claim that the uprisings have been fully suppressed and that the regime is stronger. But, what is the reality?
The reality is that the regime is more vulnerable and more fragile because the deep economic, social, and political crises that led to the uprising continue to persist.
The situation has worsened in every respect, and the crises have deepened. The escalation of executions, mass arrests, and intensified suppression indicate the regime’s weakness and fear of another uprising.
In addition, regime officials constantly express concern about the PMOI’s growing support among the younger generation, who join the Resistance.
Now, the second topic: What lessons can we draw from the uprising?
Lesson number 1: The people of Iran are determined to overthrow the mullahs’ regime. This undeniable truth must be taken into account by governments to correct their policies towards Iran.
Lesson number 2: Contrary to the false narrative spread by the regime and advocates of the appeasement policy, there is a viable and organized force within Iran, led by PMOI Resistance Units. They are capable of leading the struggle to overthrow the regime.
Lesson number 3: The people of Iran reject all forms of dictatorship. They desire a democratic system and a future where all citizens are equal before the law, with no one enjoying privileges over others.
The slogan “down with the oppressor, be it the shah or the mullahs,” chanted across the country, reflects this desire.
They seek a democratic republic based on the separation of religion and state, and gender equality. These principles are embraced by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, with a democratic platform.
As the alternative to the mullahs’ regime, the NCRI is prepared for a smooth transition of power to the people’s elected representatives, after the regime’s downfall.
All governments must remember that in 1978, world powers considered Iran under the Shah to be an island of stability. But the Shah’s dictatorship was toppled in less than a year by the people’s uprising and the will of the majority of the Iranian people. The mullahs’ regime is far more fragile, today.
The policy of appeasement must be set aside. It will only embolden the mullahs’ terrorist regime to commit more crimes and violate human rights in Iran, and engage in more terrorism, and hostage-taking. The appeasement policy has prolonged the regime’s rule.
A new policy, is long overdue, one that relies on the Iranian people and their desires rather than on oppressive rulers.
Supporters of the Iranian Resistance,
For many years, in the face of the policy of appeasement, you have advocated for firmness vis-à-vis this regime and stood by the Iranian people and their Resistance.
Today, the world is beginning to recognize this fact.
So, on behalf of the Iranian Resistance, I would like to thank you for choosing the right side. Time is working against the regime and in favor of the Iranian people.
Now is the time to take all necessary measures to bring the criminals, namely Khamenei, Raisi, and other oppressors of the Iranian people to justice.
The Iranian people’s revolution will win. As the late Lord Corbett has said, “Iran will be free. Yes, this regime will be overthrown, and a democratic republic will be established.”
Once again, thank you for this opportunity, and I wish you every success.