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25 Apr 2005

Maryam Rajavi’s Message to the Iranian Convention in Brussels

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Maryam Rajavi’s Message to the Iranian Convention in Brussels

Greetings to all of you, political personalities, representatives of Iranian associations, and our beloved compatriots in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Thank you, Mr. Paulo Casaca, the distinguished member of the European Parliament, for your kind words. In our times, those who engage in politics with dignity, humanity and exalted ideals must be commended and Casaca is certainly one such imminent person.

Let us first send our greetings to those who rose up in Khuzistan. Let us observe a minute of silence to honor the memory of our martyrs in blood-drenched Khuzistan.

We hail the uprising in Khuzistan and popular protests in Kurdistan, Tehran and across Iran.

Today, the cry for freedom reverberates across Iran. The demand is the same everywhere: democratic change. The Kurds, the Azeris, and the Baluchis are making such demand, as are those in Tehran, Khorassan and Isfahan, and those in Ashraf and in Khuzistan.

Let us hail those young men and women in Ahwaz who were murdered in cold blood. And let us wish for the quick recovery of the many wounded in Ahwaz, Mahshahr, Abadan, Shoush, Masjed Soleiman, Howeizeh, Dezful and Sarband.

What were the Ahwazis and our Arab compatriots demanding that deserved bullets in return?

Our sixty-two fellow-Iranians who were slain in Khuzistan followed in the footsteps of 120,000 martyrs for the cause of freedom in Iran. They did not die in vein, and their blood has replenished the tree of liberty in our country.

Hospitals in Ahwaz were overflowing with those wounded during the uprising. Thousands were arrested and new arrests are being made even as we speak. They even arrested many of the wounded in hospitals.

In some areas, they opened fire on protesters from helicopters and summarily executed a number of young people during the protests in the streets.

This was the regime’s response to the people who protested. This was the response to the people who were demanding freedom. And this is repeated every time.

Indeed, how much longer are the killing and injustice going to continue?
How much longer is the oppression of deprived masses going to continue?

Why should our people in the oil-rich Province of Khuzistan suffer from water shortage?

Why should they have to grapple with poverty, illness and homelessness? How much longer are the just protests of the people going to be turned into a bloodbath?

The answer is clear: so long as the bloodthirsty mullahs’ rule continues, such barbarity, oppression and calamity are going to go on. For this reason, the ruling theocracy must be brought down. For this reason, we say those who appease the clerical regime have their hands stained with the blood of the Iranian people.

I say to those policymakers who want to moderate the mullahs: this is the consequence of your policy of appeasement. Do you not see? Do you not see how they massacre teenagers in the streets of Ahwaz? Why are you keeping silent in the face of all this brutality?

My fellow-Iranians,

It was my firm conviction in the unflinching resolve, ability and competence of the Iranian people to take their destiny into their own hands, and my deep belief in the capacity and qualifications of the organized resistance movement, that I drove me to offer a third option on Iran, namely, democratic change brought about by the Iranian people and their resistance movement.

I reiterated that the solution to the Iranian problem was neither war and foreign military intervention, nor appeasement of the ruling mullahs. I said the Iranian people and Resistance could bring down the ruling theocracy and realize freedom and democracy in Iran. Recent developments in the region and on the international scene, especially events inside Iran, have validated these assertions.

Inside Iran, the protests, which reached a peak in Khuzistan, reflected the turmoil across the nation. Our Kurdish compatriots, particularly those in the city of Mahabad, staged repeated protests in recent weeks. In Tehran, protests during a soccer match, the protest gathering of women on March 8 and the Festival of Fire protests nationwide, in which millions took part, are indicative of this situation. They show that Iranian society is in dire need of the third option, which relies on the resistance of the Iranian people. It rests on democracy and the Iranian people’s free choice.

Regionally, an unprecedented development, which testified to the viability of the idea of democratic change by relying on the Iranian people and Resistance, was the declaration by 2.8 million Iraqis in support of the People’s Mojahedin and the Iranian Resistance. This unprecedented initiative, in which every component of Iraqi society, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Shiites, Sunnis, Christians and members of other religions and denominations took part, delivered a major political blow to the clerical regime’s fundamentalism and meddling in Iraq. It also reaffirmed the stature of the Mojahedin and the bastion of the Iranian people’s freedom, Ashraf, in advancing peace, freedom and democracy in that region. The combatants of freedom in Ashraf should be proud of their perseverance, which is bearing fruit now.

Internationally, many developments shed light on the catastrophic failure of the policy of appeasement. Conversely, the third option has been welcomed by a large number of Euro-MPs, members of national parliaments in Europe, and personalities as well as groups advocating peace and human rights.

Extensive efforts by Iranians in recent months to advocate the third option have been very effective. Less than two weeks ago, Iranians in the U.S. and before them in Britain rose to actively support democratic change in Iran. Now, you have done the same in Brussels.

History will always remember that when the evil alliance of theocracy and appeasement brought misery to our country, freedom-loving Iranians such as yourselves did everything in their power to back the correct political path to free Iran from the yoke of the mullahs.

Indeed, contrary to what the mullahs and their backers are trying to portray, Iran is not identified with a bunch of killers who have divided power among themselves. This mafia of power and plunder is a tiny minority. If Western appeasers stop backing them, this mafia cannot continue to thwart the Iranian people’s resolve to gain freedom.

One indication of the extent of the Iranian people’s distain toward the mullahs and the latter’s lack of legitimacy is the continuing trend among Iranians, especially young people, to seek asylum abroad. They love their homeland, but repression and other calamities have left them with no choice but to leave Iran.

Regrettably, the European governments, in pursuit of appeasing Tehran, have exerted an assortment of pressures and privations on these refugees.

In recent years, thousands of Iranian refugees have remained in limbo here in Belgium, in the Netherlands, in Italy, in France, in Britain and in Scandinavian countries because their requests for asylum have been rejected. Many asylum-seekers have committed suicide and become victims of deals between a number of European countries and the clerical regime. I am tormented and saddened to hear about the difficult plight of asylum-seekers, especially my sisters in refugee camps.

At the outset of the nationwide Resistance, its leader had emphasized, “Asylum-seekers are members of the great family of the Iranian Resistance.” The rights and freedoms of refugees must, therefore, be respected everywhere.

While the conduct of Western governments violates unalienable human rights and refugee conventions, Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights underscores, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

The 1951 Geneva Convention grants refugee rights to all those facing danger and harbouring genuine fear of persecution and all parties to the Convention are obliged to accept such persons as refugees.

But the sacred right of asylum is being violated more and more year after year. The European countries are justifying this shameful conduct, a result of appeasement, under various pretexts.

The unrelenting struggle waged by the Iranian Resistance has exposed the real objectives behind the policy of appeasement. It has become crystal clear that appeasement means a shameful deal in which the Europeans receive “lucrative political and economic concessions” and the clerical regime receives “the nuclear bomb, the terror label against the Resistance and free rein to violate human rights, export terrorism and fundamentalism.”

Yesterday was the anniversary of the martyrdom of Prof. Kazem Rajavi, the great martyr to the cause of human rights in Iran, who was assassinated in Geneva. Owing to the policy of appeasement, Tehran’s terrorists who shed his blood have escaped justice.

This policy was pursued on the pretext of supporting the elusive moderates in Iran. It only allowed the mullahs to advance their nuclear weapons project with impunity.

Three years ago, the Iranian Resistance exposed the top-secret nuclear sites, which no one knew about, and ended 18 years of concealment by the mullahs. However, instead of being sanctioned, the mullahs gained more time to get closer to a nuclear bomb due to appeasement.

It is regrettable that today some European countries are even speaking off accepting a “nuclear Iran” and are trying to bring Iran into the nuclear club. It is also regrettable that some are demanding that Europe stop its opposition to uranium enrichment by Iran. Indeed, the European policymakers are rearing a snake within human society.

On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I again warn that appeasement with the mullahs would be detrimental for the Europeans and would became a catastrophe which would harm everyone.

Owing to the policy of appeasement, the Europeans have shelved Iran’s rights abuses at the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

I declare that silence vis-à-vis the violation of the most basic rights of the Iranian people and silence vis-à-vis the suppression of popular uprisings by the Iranian people are contrary to all principles of democracy. This silence must be broken.

The ruling henchmen who muzzle the voice of freedom in Iran must be held to account.

It was in the framework of appeasement that without any legal justification the People’s Mojahedin, the main component of the Iranian Resistance, was included in the terrorist list and subjected to a variety of pressures and restrictions.

This oppressive tag, which amounts to giving into blackmail to a terrorist regime at the expense of a legitimate resistance, must be removed.

In the context of the policy of appeasement, the Europeans supported Khatami for eight years, though he was among those responsible for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. They claimed this was necessary to cultivate the moderate faction within the regime. But it was the operational wing of the Supreme Leader that gained dominance. Today, those who attached students’ dormitories and murdered dissidents and ran the torture and interrogation chambers have gained the upper hand.

Was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights not formulated in Europe? Was the right to asylum not enshrined in the constitution of most European countries? Have European governments not been among the original founders of the idea of the separation of church and state?

Why are they sacrificing their political and ethical principles under the footsteps of the mullahs?

Why did they cave in to mullahs’ demands during the nuclear talks to keep the Iranian Resistance on the terrorism list? Why are they hindering the freedom of the Iranian people?

As you are holding your convention in Brussels, the seat of the European Union, I want to reiterate that the European Union is facing a historic test: Either, as some European countries are acting, the foundations of the union will rest on cooperation with the most barbaric regime of modern times, or they will return to the values that Europe has always cherished.

I call on those in the position of responsibility and decision making in the European Union, as well as members of the European Parliament, to prevent such a prospect, which also ignores the highest interests of the Europe.

Facing an acute crisis, the clerical regime is now trying to stage-manage another election to enlist the support of appeasers.

I, therefore, announce on behalf of the Iranian Resistance: The upcoming presidential election farce is completely illegitimate and will be overwhelmingly boycotted by the Iranian people. This farce has no semblance of genuine elections. It is neither free nor fair. The person who will be announced as president will not be an elected official voted into office by the people.

I call on international bodies to declare the election sham as illegitimate and prevent the clerics from taking advantage of this masquerade. According to international law, a regime which ruthlessly massacres its citizens in the streets of Ahwaz and other cities is not qualified to hold elections.

Fellow Iranians,

Today, the Iranian nation is longing for freedom. This priceless gem is only attained through the unrelenting struggle and national solidarity of our people. This capability abounds in your hands, resolve and hearts.

It is upon you to be resolute, to organize a worldwide protest movement and force the appeasers to stop supporting the mullahs and stop being accomplice in the suppression of the Iranian people. You can compel them to remove the main obstacle in front of change in Iran: the terror tag against the People’s Mojahedin.

Contrary to the propaganda by the clerical regime and its backers, today our nation enjoys the highest degree of consensus and solidarity to attain freedom and democracy. Regardless of any political orientation, belief, idea or ethnic background, our people are of one mind when it comes to the establishment of a republic based on the vote of the people, the separation of church and state, pluralism and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This consensus, achieved through a century-long tortuous and painful struggle, is our greatest asset and guarantees our people’s victory.

Democracy is our path, guide, aim and ideal. Without democracy in Iran, there will be no peace, stability and tranquillity in the region. Democracy in Iran will pave the way for true prosperity and progress for Iranians. It will also serve as key to peace and tranquillity in this region of the world.

In Iran today, the cry is freedom. Our people do not deserve this oppression and hardship. Iranians deserve freedom and justice.

The shining sun of the Iranian nation’s perseverance is overtaking darkness.

Dawn is before us.

Freedom will triumph.

Thank you.

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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