Iran resistance group says it will step up efforts to oust mullahs from Tehran
The group just completed its annual summit, held for the first time via video link.
In the aftermath of a three-day summit aimed at toppling the Tehran regime, leaders of the Iranian resistance say they plan to escalate their efforts to oust the ruling mullahs from power.
The annual event convened via Zoom on Friday for the first virtual gathering of the Free Iran Global Summit and continued through Monday. Participants beamed in from 30,000 locations in 102 countries, organizers told Just the News, and included high-profile allies such as Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, and others.
The event is over, organizers say, but the movement will press on.
"Internationally, the Iranian Resistance will step up its campaign to hold the regime leaders accountable for their atrocities," said Ali Safavi, an official with the foreign affairs committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran. This includes atrocities dating to 1988, when 30,000 political prisoners were massacred, he said.
"We will also concentrate on further isolating the regime politically and will encourage the international community, particularly the EU, to adopt a more decisive policy vis-à-vis Tehran in place of its current policy of accommodation," Safavi told Just the News.
Members of the resistance see their movement as gaining momentum — as do their allies.
The effort is "unique and powerful" and should come to fruit inside Iran, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said at the summit via video link.
The movement represents a serious threat to the regime, according to exile Amir Rad, who lives in Europe. "The regime no doubt is watching very closely," Rad said.
The government in Iran has referred to group leader Maryam Rajavi not as president-elect of a government in exile, which is how her supporters describe her, but as the "ringleader" of a terrorist group.
Other actions from the regime, some have suggested, show that the mullahs sense a cultural shift, and have made countermoves to assert themselves.
One such move was the execution on Monday of Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, whom Iran convicted of spying for Israel and the United States.
"We have no way to assess whether [the allegations of spying] are true," a retired Israeli intelligence official told The Media Line news agency. "But obviously, the [Iranians] have to show they're in control. So they say they caught a spy who was involved in the [Soleimani] killing."
Additionally, the regime increasingly has waged power struggles with ordinary citizens, observers say.
"In the last two years, on two major occasions, widespread protests erupted which were quite distinct from the unrest in the Islamic Republic over the last 40 years," wrote analyst Mehdi Khalaji in a July 17 paper for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "For the first time in its history, the Islamic Government found itself faced with a new type of internal opposition, one which came from the very strata of society that the regime and beneficiaries of the 1979 revolution had always portrayed as the backbone of the revolution: the mostaz’afin, or oppressed."
In these past two years, the government in Iran has cracked down on dissent, prompting many to revolt or to flee.
Those who fled Iran want to help others who remain there, Rad said. "It's a dedicated movement."
The main objective is to break the climate of fear and repression, which only bring more uprisings, Safavi said. "Despite many arrests and the regime's extraordinary security and repressive measures, more and more people, particularly the younger generation, are joining their ranks," he said.
Regime leaders are feeling the heat, he said.
"This has alarmed officials, from the regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, to Hassan Rouhani, to other security and intelligence officials," Safavi told Just the News.
The government in exile does not aim to substitute one group of autocrats with another, Rad said. It hopes to replace the mullahs' regime with a democratically-elected, non-nuclear republic.
"Maybe next year, we will have one," he said. "Until then, we will continue our efforts."
The Iran Interests Section of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C. acknowledged receiving an email from Just the News, but did not respond to questions.
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