Maryam Rajavi’s speech on the eve of the UN General Assembly Summit 2020
Maryam Rajavi’s speech on the eve of the UN General Assembly Summit in September 2020
On the brink of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, an online international summit, entitled "Trans-Atlantic Summit on Iran Policy, Time to Hold the Iranian Regime Accountable," brought together Iranians in various countries around the world from 10,000 locations.
Among the personalities who addressed the summit were 30 bipartisan U.S. lawmakers from the House and the Senate, including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bob Menendez, and dignitaries like Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, General James Jones, National Security Advisor to President Obama (2009-2010), Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Joseph Lieberman, former U.S. Senator, as well as the Rt. Hon. David Jones, MP from the UK, and Amb. Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy.
Speakers in the summit demanded justice for over 30,000 MEK and other activists, political prisoners massacred in 1988. They urged an end to the policy of appeasement and demanded those who ordered and carried out this great crime to be brought to justice.
Speakers also pointed to the criminal execution of champion wrestler Navid Afkari and urged international intervention to stop the wave of executions and death penalties for anti-regime protesters and especially those detained during the November 2019 uprising.
In the beginning of this summit, Maryam Rajavi addressed the audience:
Compatriots, distinguished personalities,
Six days ago, the execution of a courageous young man, a champion wrestler, enraged the people of Iran and cast a shadow of grief and sorrow over the entire nation. His name was Navid Afkari, a national hero in the uprising against the religious dictatorship.
His only crime was to rise up and fight to overthrow a regime which has devastated Iran and drenched it in blood while plundering the nation.
The people of Iran had been protesting for weeks against the death sentence handed down for him by Khamenei’s Judiciary. The people of Iran, human rights advocates, freedom lovers and athletes launched an unprecedented worldwide campaign to stop the inhuman verdict.
Today, Navid Afkari lives on in the hearts and struggle of thousands of Resistance Units in Iran who will continue to resist and rise up for freedom and justice.
Let us all applaud Navid Afkari, this champion of our people’s uprisings.
Yes, the people of Iran want this regime punished through a comprehensive boycott.
Faced with executions and massacres, the people of Iran urge the United Nations, and the UN Security Council in particular, to re-impose the six UN resolutions against the clerical regime in Iran. Otherwise, Khamenei will continue to ravage the nation as his regime's survival depends on murder and suppression. If Khamenei were to stop executions, he would lose control of the situation and uprisings simmering in the depths of Iranian society would erupt and overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism.
Coronavirus, an ally for the regime
As we speak, the number of coronavirus fatalities in my country has reached at least 105,000 individuals.
Just as is the case with executions and carnage, the mullahs’ regime ranks first in the rate of per capita coronavirus fatalities in the world.
Three days ago, the deputy Minister of Health admitted: “This is no longer a metaphorical wave… We are now stuck in a stormy ocean.” He went on to add: “The number of coronavirus cases in Tehran had increased from 900 to 1,800 per day.”
The president of the Medical Sciences University of Qom also asserted: “The status of this province has surpassed a super crisis.”
No one initially believed that the clerical regime had deliberately shot down the Ukrainian airliner when it first happened. Likewise, it is hard to believe that Khamenei and Rouhani are deliberately sending people to their deaths by exposing them to the coronavirus. But they have in fact adopted the strategy of causing mass human casualties to protect their regime from the Iranian people’s protests and from the danger of being overthrown.
The value of assets amassed by institutions and foundations controlled by Khamenei amounts to more than one trillion dollars. All these properties, assets and resources belong to the people of Iran but so far, not a cent of it has been allocated to their health and medical care.
Initially, it was announced that a billion Euros from the National Development Fund would be allocated to health and medical care and to combat the coronavirus.
However, the regime’s Health Minister revealed that they had received less than one-third of this budget. This is why they do not pay nurses and medical staff even as a considerable number of them have lost their lives to the virus.
The coronavirus is the mullahs’ strongest ally; imprisonment and executions are their most essential instruments of power; and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the most reliable killing machine to prop up their rule.
Addressing the regime’s officials, Massoud Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance Leader, has said: “If you do not intend to crack down on the public, stoke wars and export terrorism, one army should be sufficient for you. Do not impose the astronomical expenses of the IRGC on the people of Iran. Dissolve the IRGC and spend the money used for its expenses on health and medical care instead, and pay the salaries of nurses, workers, teachers and public sector employees.”
Today, the most impactful and profitable sectors of Iran’s industries, mines, communications, banks and construction companies are exclusively owned by Khamenei and the IRGC. Their wealth surpasses one trillion dollars. Every year, due to pervasive corruption and plunder in the mullahs’ regime and the IRGC, tens of billions of dollars are taken out of the country.
Members of the mullahs’ parliament estimate that the IRGC has spent up to 30 billion dollars on its war operations in Syria. The actual figures are of course several folds higher. The IRGC additionally spends exorbitant sums of money on the Lebanese Hezbollah, Kata’eb in Iraq, the Ansarallah (Houthi) militia in Yemen and other proxy groups.
The Iranian people's demands
On the eve of the UN General Assembly summit and on behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I would like to draw the attention of all governments and international bodies to three fundamental issues:
First, a reminder of the fact that the clerical regime is at war with the people of Iran and with the world community.
Second, the imperative to stop the wrongheaded international policies that practically aid the murderers of the people of Iran, allowing the religious fascism to violate the rights of the people of Iran and spread war and terrorism in the Middle East.
And third, a call for the adoption of a three-pronged policy vis-à-vis the mullahs’ regime in Iran comprised of: human rights for all Iranians, comprehensive boycott of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship; and recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance as well as the struggle in Iran to overthrow the mullahs and achieve freedom for the Iranian people.
As for the first issue, namely the regime’s war on the people of Iran and the international community, please consider the developments that unfolded over the past three years:
Since the uprising in December 2017-January 2018, when Iranian society entered a new phase of uprisings, the regime stepped up its crimes and adventures in three dimensions: First, escalation of the public crackdown, including the slaughter of an upwards of 1,500 young people and teenagers in the November 2019 uprising and a widespread arrest and torture of the detainees.
The regime has been executing prisoners on political charges, including Moharebeh (waging war on God), rebellion, and participating in the uprisings. A number of prisoners are currently on death row in Dastgerd Prison of Isfahan, the Great Tehran Penitentiary, the Central Prison of Mashhad (Vakilabad), the Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, the Shaiban Prison of Ahvaz, the prisons of Urmia, Khorramabad and Sanandaj, as well as a number of supporters of the PMOI/MEK in Evin Prison in Tehran.
The second dimension involves the regime’s attacks on vessels and oil tankers in international waters, launching missiles on oil installations and the airport in Saudi Arabia, and missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.
And the third dimension involves the regime’s demonization campaign and escalation of terrorist plots against the PMOI/MEK and the Iranian Resistance, as well as against other opponents in different countries.
Fellow compatriots, distinguished guests,
The experience of the past 40 years of the clerical regime's rule in Iran has shown that it has continued its rule by committing 120,000 executions on political grounds, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, 90 percent of whom belonged to the PMOI/MEK. The regime has been condemned 66 times so far by the UN General Assembly as well as in the Human Rights Commission and Council for its gross human rights violations. The mullahs hold the world record in this regard just as they do with regards to terrorism, the reach of which expands from Baghdad and Beirut to Buenos Aires.
As you are aware, the Iranian Resistance has been exposing the regime’s secret nuclear, missile and chemical projects since three decades ago. We seek a non-nuclear Iran that can live in peace and solidarity with its neighbors.
Damaging western policies
At this point, allow me to recall the devastating consequences of the policies which have aided the clerical regime in continuing its crimes by emboldening and granting them immunity.
They include the political and financial concessions unjustifiably granted to the regime in the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA); the freezing of six UN resolutions and lifting the sanctions in favor of the mullahs; and the opposition to the extension of the arms embargo against the regime.
I must emphasize that any government coveting for deceitful inducements from the clerical regime would be nourishing a viper in their bosom.
It is a mistake to think that a reduction of international sanctions will result in the regime abandoning its belligerence. Ironically, it was under the auspices of the JCPOA that the Iranian regime’s terrorism ravaged Europe.
Recently, in an article published by Le Figaro, the U.S. Secretary of State rightly pointed out that the Iranian regime answered the West’s appeasement with bloodshed and belligerence. He further noted that the policy of appeasement had no benefit and it advanced the Iranian regime’s grand strategy. He reminded that the people of Iran are the primary victims of the savagery of this regime and that the regime’s security forces had killed some 1,500 protesters over the past year alone.
Yes, the Iranian Resistance was the first to warn that giving concessions to the mullahs would embolden them even more.
Ten years ago, in a speech at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 25, 2011, and before the slaughter of Ashraf residents on April 8, 2011, I pointed out that giving concessions to this regime, like feeding the crocodile, has made them greedier.
Now, after a decade, consider the outcome:
For the first time in Europe’s modern history, we see a diplomat who had delivered a bomb to the terrorists was arrested in Germany. He has been jailed in Belgium for the past two years. Just imagine what would have happened if this bomb had exploded at our gathering in Villepinte near Paris.
In addition, another seven of the regime’s diplomats have been expelled over the past two years from France, Albania, and the Netherlands.
On the other hand, the Iranian people’s uprisings – from December 2017 to November 2019 and January 2020 – have dispensed with all illusions about the stability of the clerical regime.
Today, the regime is at its weakest point ever. In such circumstance, giving assistance to the mullahs will only increase the pain and suffering of the people of Iran, but of course, would not be able to save the regime from its certain downfall.
Navid Afkari's final message
So, I would like to repeat and reiterate for the nth time the demand of the Iranian people:
-Human rights for the people of Iran
-Comprehensive sanctions against the religious dictatorship
-And recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance and the struggle for freedom in Iran
With regards to human rights, I would like to draw the attention of all governments, and especially the United Nations, to the report released by Amnesty International.
Amnesty International points to “mass arrests, disappearances and torture” of protesters during the November 2019 uprising and adds that the mullahs deliberately used lethal weapons, and arrested in the span of only a few days more than 7,000 men, women and children between 10 and 18 years of age.
Indeed, why is it that the United Nations and the Security Council do not address the catastrophes that unfolded on direct orders by Khamenei in the days ensuing the November 2019 uprising?
Why is it that the United Nations and the Security Council do not compel the clerical regime to admit international delegations to visit Iranian prisons and prisoners, particularly the detained protesters?
Currently, a number of prisoners supporting the PMOI/MEK have been convicted of Moharebeh (waging war on God) and sentenced to death by the Evin Courthouse. They are in danger of execution. I urge the world public and the United Nations to take immediate action to save their lives.
The dossiers of the 1988 massacre and the massacre of protesters in November 2019 must be referred to the UN Security Council. It is time to stop granting immunity to Khamenei and other regime leaders and officials. They must face justice.
As for sanctions, I must reiterate that the people of Iran were attacked and slaughtered last November for protesting against gasoline price hikes. They want the pipelines that fuel the mullahs’ killing machine and terrorism to be destroyed.
According to official reports, billions of dollars of oil revenues disappear every year. In other words, they end up in the coffers of Ali Khamenei.
What we say is this: Boycott the clerical regime. Boycotting the regime helps the fight against terrorism, against suppression and against corruption. But every single dollar given to the regime will turn into a bullet that is fired into the hearts of youths in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Our people do not want uranium enrichment plants. Neither do they want a ballistic missiles program, or the regime’s criminal wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
Referring to his struggle against the clerical regime, he said that he is fighting against the most ruthless adversary in human history.
Yes, this is the most ruthless adversary in human history. And there is no doubt that it will be toppled as a result of the struggle and uprisings of the courageous youths and the great Army of Freedom.
I thank you all.