Maryam Rajavi :Iran uprising, time to march on
At a conference entitled, “Regime Change in Iran; Onwards with 1000 Ashrafs”
featuring former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Robert Torricelli, Col. Wesley Martin, and a group of members and supporters of the Iranian Resistance, Maryam Rajavi said:
I welcome you to this conference.
I bow to the glorious uprising of the Iranian people and to the courage and sacrifice of those rising to achieve freedom and democracy.
Infinite salutes to the thousands who have been incarcerated in torture chambers for standing up to Khamenei.
Hail to the martyrs of the uprising and to the innocent youths who lost their lives under torture.
Let me express my deepest sympathies with you, the parents who are mourning the loss of your children and loved ones, these days. I empathize with you, the men and women inquiring about your children outside the regime’s prisons in the freezing cold.
We are all too familiar with these pains and sufferings:
- with anxiety over not hearing anything about the fate of our sisters and brothers under torture;
- with the shock and restlessness that come with learning of the execution or martyrdom of our comrades; and with the indescribable excitement and hope generated by the uprising.
Your presence at the burial ceremonies of the martyrs moved the country. May your numbers grow larger and larger in such gatherings so that the mullahs would understand that their overthrow is expedited when they spill blood of these martyrs.
Here, I would like to commend all the people of Iran, high school and university students, boys, and girls, particularly the women, and all my fellow compatriots who took the honor and dignity of Iran and Iranians to the next level before the eyes of the international community.
Hail to all of you, because through your uprising, and by sacrificing your children and risking your lives and property, you said no to this anti-human regime.
Without any doubt, all of us will march on together, until we overthrow this corrupt and criminal regime.
Victory belongs to you.
Let us rise and honor the memory of all the martyrs and those who rose up by a minute-long applaud.
The uprising which erupted on December 28, in Iran, spread to 142 cities across the country with breakneck speed.
The uprising showed that the Iranian society is in an explosive state, simmering with discontent. It showed that the regime is much weaker than perceived.
It showed that the billions of dollars of windfall from the nuclear deal did nothing to cure the regime’s instability.
And finally, the uprising showed that the people of Iran detest both regime factions and want it overthrown in its entirety.
The Iran uprising emanated from three major changes:
First, the wall of fear in Iranian cities suffered cracks. This can be seen in the audacity and bravery of the young protesters. It is now the mullahs who are shaking in fear.
Second, the myth of the invincibility of Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guard Corps has been proven false. Of course, this criminal force has no scruples about committing crimes. But it will be defeated by the power of our people’s desire for freedom. This explains why it failed to prevent the eruption of the uprising and more importantly, could not prevent it from spreading.
And third, a new force with a fighting spirit, demanding freedom and equality arose from the heart of Iran’s long-suffering cities.
This movement showed that the Iranian society has a force within itself capable of overthrowing the theocratic regime.
In his speech on January 9, Khamenei said, “These incidents had been organized.” The MEK implemented the plans. He added, “The MEK had prepared for this months ago” and “the MEK’s media outlets had called for it.”
He said the MEK was at the apex of the triangle that incited the uprising. He attributed the other two angles to foreign powers.
The real triangle of the uprising, however, is something else. In the triangle of the uprising, the MEK is situated at one angle. The other angle is the regime which is rotten and no longer able to continue its rule. The third angle is the volatile state of the society and our people’s discontent. They can no longer tolerate the regime.
This uprising is the embodiment of the Iranian nation’s resolve and is inspired by a great and historic perseverance to overthrow the mullahs’ religious tyranny.
The uprising in Iran has also swept away many misleading speculations aimed at preserving the regime.
The uprising is not a byproduct of an internal power struggle. To the contrary, it is another nail in the coffin of the masquerade about moderation.
The uprising is not a conspiracy by foreign powers; rather it has discredited Western governments’ appeasement of the ruling theocracy.
This uprising is, of course, impacted by the public’s rage over the mullahs’ plundering of their wealth. Poverty, unemployment, and class differences have inspired it. But it is not a protest limited to demands for necessities of life.
This is a revolt for freedom and popular sovereignty to establish social justice and prosperity.
This uprising is not a spontaneous and sudden upheaval by the hungry.
You saw that during protests and gatherings in 142 cities, not even a single shop or business or personal property was attacked. The protesters targeted centers of suppression and plunder that have been maintained through executions, arrests, and torture.
This is an uprising against religious tyranny, deception, and lies under the banner of Islam.
Therefore, this uprising marks the beginning of a genuine spring for the nations of the Middle East to topple fundamentalism. It is also a harbinger of hope for the whole world.
This uprising was not an act of despair, but overflowing with hope for fundamental change in Iran. Indeed, the darkness of disbelief and insecurity is approaching its end. Now، the dawn of certainty and faith in victory is looming.
The message of this uprising is what the Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi said, “We say to the reactionary Caliph, Khamenei: 30 years of absolute despotic rule, nurtured by wars in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq, appeasement, Daesh and Al-Qaeda is enough. Now, you better step down, otherwise the people will bring you down from your throne and throw you to the ground.”
Another point that I must stress, is that the mullahs cannot prevent the resurgence of the uprisings, because they only depend on their deeply-hated repressive organs. They have lost the most important component of their power to enchain the society. Therefore:
The regime’s claims of enjoying a broad base of social support and its election shams are useless. The claims by the mullahs’ spin doctors about their popularity among the impoverished have been proven hollow. Today, those very same destitute and toiling masses have besieged the mullahs.
The regime’s deception under the banner of Islam is no longer effective but will prove counter-productive. Today, protesters attack the symbols of the mullahs’ religious demagoguery. According to regime officials, people attacked the offices of 60 Friday prayer leaders.
The mullahs’ charlatanism, portraying themselves as defenders of the abased, has been totally exposed. Today, the very same abased cry out in the streets: People must beg while the supreme leader lives like a God.
The policy of denying people’s demands and outcries has failed. Today, the regime’s leaders and officials have been compelled to admit to a part of our people’s demands.
And finally, the policy of covering up and denying the MEK’s deep roots within Iranian society has reached a deadlock. The most senior regime officials, including Khamenei, Rouhani and Khatami are acknowledging this movement’s significant role in advancing the uprising and the impact of its ideals and slogans in society.
At the height of the 1979 uprisings, messages of protesters had checkmated the Shah’s corrupt dictatorship. Now, the religious fascist regime has lost its most important weapon and its duplicitous safeguards.
I would like to conclude that from now on, the Iranian society will not return to the conditions preceding the uprising, nor is the religious dictatorship capable of regaining its previous balance. This means that the confrontation between the people of Iran and the ruling regime will intensify and the power struggle among the regime’s internal factions will aggravate.
In his recent remarks, Khamenei acknowledged the continuation of the protests. He said, “This is a battle of the nation against anti-nation, the battle of Iran against anti-Iran, and the battle of Islam against anti-Islam and it will henceforth continue.”
Yes, we say: The battle of our nation and our country, Iran, will continue against the diehard enemy of Iran and all Iranians, namely the velayat-e faqih regime.
The steadfastness of prisoners at the time of the 1988 massacre, the perseverance in Ashraf and Liberty with its martyrs and wounded, and the sacrifice of our youths in the streets today, are all the continuation of this battle.
But in the end, it is the people of Iran who will overcome the religious dictatorship.
Another point I must reiterate is the decisive role of the alternative. In this confrontation, our great asset for the advancement of the uprising is the existence of a democratic alternative that represents the Iranian people’s freedom-seeking aspirations.
This alternative is rooted in the Iranian people’s democratic struggles during the Constitutional Revolution in 1906.
This alternative inherits the most genuine traditions and values of the oil nationalization movement led by Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq and of the anti-monarchic revolution, which have evolved into the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the most enduring political coalition in Iran.
And finally, this alternative relies on a long and an all-out perseverance of a generation of the Mojahedin and freedom fighters, who have always been ready to sacrifice. At the helm of this Resistance is its leader, Massoud Rajavi, who founded this alternative to defend the democratic aspirations of the people of Iran and achieve freedom and democracy. He has led and advanced forward this movement under the most turbulent circumstances.
Our platform and aspirations for the future of Iran is the common outcry of protesters in cities across Iran:
The establishment of a free and democratic republic, based on separation of religion and state, and gender equality, equal participation of women in political leadership, autonomy of Iran’s various ethnic groups within Iran’s territorial integrity, pluralism, abolition of the death penalty and equal economic opportunities for all.
So, I would like to address my fellow compatriots and particularly the protesters and say:
Your courageous uprising proved that 1000 bastions of battle and rebellion is the correct answer to the simmering situation in Iran and society’s readiness for an uprising. Earlier, during the mullahs’ election sham, you proved this strategy by exposing the criminal candidate, Raissi
In rushing to the aid of earthquake victims in Kermanshah Province and providing them relief, you demonstrated that this is the right path and is the way forward.
As I said two years ago, in the Resistance’s annual gathering:
The question is not whether the ruling theocracy will be overthrown. The question is how we can reach that goal more quickly. We can do so by establishing 1,000 Ashrafs, namely 1,000 bastions of rebellion and resistance against the ruling theocracy.
The symbolism of establishing 1,000 Ashrafs really speaks to an attempt to unearth the repressed potentials; it means joining together the countless individuals who are currently scattered and disconnected, and it means encouraging people to invite the real hope in their hearts and minds that the beast can be brought down. Yes, we can, and we must!
Indeed, you, Iran’s valiant youths, my brave daughters and sons across the country, you showed that you can take to the streets even under a massive and anti-human repression, not once, not ten times, but hundreds of times in 142 cities.
Your speed in expanding the protests took over the IRGC. Your bravery and courage overcame the regime’s force of intimidation, and your determination and resolve shattered the spell of disbelief and despair imposed by the ruling mullahs.
And now, this capability guarantees the continuation of your struggle. You have found the secret to victory and freedom, which is the expansion and continuation of the protests, and strikes, and sit-ins. No power can prevent the continuation of your uprising. Flogging, torture, and execution cannot counter your power of hope and faith.
In the face of your unity and the organized movement, the mullahs’ theocracy is doomed to fall and destruction.
A free and democratic republic is within reach.
Our people urge the United Nations and all governments to pressure the clerical regime to free those arrested in recent protests and hold them accountable regarding those who have disappeared.
The United Nations must form a commission of inquiry to investigate the arbitrary arrests of thousands of people and the killing of prisoners under torture.
I call on all Iranians around the world to endeavor with everything in their power for the release of young protesters from jail. Yes, we will not relent. We will not give up until our children are freed from Khamenei’s dungeons.
Our people expect that the governments around the world severe their relations with the clerical regime. The people of Iran urge all governments and businesses to cut their trade and commercial relations with the IRGC, which is torturing and killing the protesters. They urge the UN and the world to recognize the Iranian people’s struggle to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship.
This is the right of a brave people who are at the forefront of the struggle against a regime which is a threat to global peace and security. So, I call on the world to assist the uprising in Iran.
Thank you all very much.