Speech of Maryam Rajavi - Anniversary of Ashraf Massacre
Eviction of the Iranian regime, the only solution for the crisis of Iraq
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I salute all of you and the distinguished guests. I am grateful for Mr. Colcombe’s remarks.
A year after the blood-soaked epic at Ashraf and the mass murder of 52 proud Mojaheds, with their sacred blood still percolating and paving the path ahead, the government of henchmen in Baghdad, formed by puppets of the ruling theocracy in Iran, has been ousted. But, the Mojahedin and the Iranian Resistance have remained steadfast, strong, and revitalized, and they will remain so until they uproot the oppressive regime of the velayat-e faqih.
In the past 11 years, the ruling religious fascism in Iran perpetrated every conceivable atrocity and crime to preserve its dominance over Iraq, from the hysteric massacre of the people of Iraq, to the inhumane siege and successive attacks on Ashraf and Liberty. But, ultimately and ironically, the greatest defeat of the mullahs occurred in Iraq. Signs of the final phase of the regime and the chalice of poison of being overthrow have emerged before anywhere else and more than everywhere else in Iraq itself.
Until a few weeks ago, the appeasers and allies of the ruling theocracy in Iran showed little doubt that Nuri al-Maliki will hold onto power in Baghdad. But, to their astonishment and disbelief, their hopes were suddenly dashed. Therefore, there is equally no doubt that Khamenei’s reign of power will also crumble. Indeed, and without any doubt, Khamenei’s fortress will collapse.
Indeed, Maliki’s army imploded and so will Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards who will not be able to stand the whirlwind of the Iranian people’s resolve and determination.
In view of these unprecedented developments and their consequences, which have impacted the ruling theocracy in Tehran, the situation in the entire Middle East and the policies of Europe and the U.S., I find it necessary to recall a number of points:
1. The fall of Maliki was a strategic blow to the velayat-e faqih regime in Iran. Right up to the last second, the mullahs spared no effort to preserve Maliki's power. Ultimately however, groups under his command crumbled under the pressure of the uprising and the resistance of the Iraqi people, which in the end managed to oust Maliki. As a result, the regime's chief launch pad for exporting fundamentalism to the rest of the region and the arrangement of its forces have broken down in the very country where it had set up defensive barriers. Now, while Khamenei and Maliki are doing their utmost to turn back the clock, in fact a return to the previous balance of power in Iraq is impossible.
2. The new Iraqi government will be tested by the degree to which it distances itself from the Iranian regime. To this end, nationalist and religious leaders as well the Tribal Council and the Assembly of Muslim Scholars are demanding the purging of the military and security apparatuses from the Iranian regime’s operatives. Topping their list of demands are a halt to the bombing of civilians, the release of political prisoners, especially women and Sunni inmates, the return of refugees and the dissolution of all militias. They have also insisted on the formation of a nationalist, inclusive government that would embody genuine representatives of all sectors and tendencies of the Iraqi society as well as holding truly free elections under the auspices of the United Nations and uninhibited by the Iranian regime’s influence.
3. The murderous rampage and brutality committed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, its massacre of the Yazidis, the oppression and humiliation of Christians and women and the heinous beheading of innocent journalists has scarred the conscience of the world.
With the same manner, terrorist bands in Iraq, such as the Asa’eb Al-Haq, Kata’eb Hezbollah and the Ninth Badr Corps, who operate under orders from Tehran, have perpetrated repeated massacres of prisoners, blown up mosques and murdered worshipers and have engaged in horrifying murder, pillage and terrorizing of populations.
Clearly, however, the growth and expansion of these extremist, terrorist and anti-Islamic groups are before anything else a by-product of the Iranian regime’s domination over Iraq as well as Maliki’s suppressive policies against the Sunnis. Thus, while confronting ISIS is absolutely necessary, attempting to thwart it would ultimately prove fruitless unless it is accompanied by evicting the Iranian regime and its affiliated terrorist groupings from Iraq.
4. Inaction on the part of Western powers, particularly the United States, with respect to Assad’s inhumane crimes and the eight-year-long support for Maliki, has played a significant role in the emergence and expansion of extremism. Such inaction has emboldened the Iranian regime to augment its meddling in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, by storming into Yemen and dispatching its clerics and Revolutionary Guards and effectively occupying large swaths of that country.
The fire raging through the Middle East today is a price the United States is paying for kowtowing to despots, especially the Iranian regime, at the expense of our nations.
President Francois Hollande correctly said that we should not feel obliged to choose between two forms of barbarism that feed off each other. And I add that the second type of barbarism is the by-product of the first and has grown under the protective umbrella of Khomeini and the ruling theocracy in Iran.
5. Through its deceitful support for the global desire to confront ISIS, a repeat of a scenario seen in 2003, and under the pretext of trying to help the United States, the Iranian regime is trying to repair its damaged position in Iraq. I emphasize that making the Iranian regime a partner in containing the Iraqi crisis will only aggravate the threat posed by ISIS and would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
6. The catastrophes that are taking place in Iraq today emanate from the fact that the U.S. gave a share of governance of Iraq to the Iranian regime. By withdrawing its forces from Iraq, it practically handed over the country to the mullahs' militias. Therefore, I warn that those who ignore this disaster and are again calling for the Iranian regime to play a role in containing the Iraqi crisis are setting the stage for an even greater catastrophe. Does this regime not slaughter the Iraqi people every single day through its bloodthirsty militias? So, how could the band of henchmen become peacekeepers? How could a band of thieves be expected to act as policemen?
7. Amid the crisis in Iraq, the mullahs are engaging in deceptive tactics to find a way out of the nuclear impasse. They want to either delay the signing of the final agreement or impose their demands on it, such that they would preserve their ability to obtain nuclear weapons. I warn that any agreement that does not include the complete implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, a total halt to enrichment and allowing of snap inspections will leave the path open for the regime to obtain nuclear arms.
8. The central banker of extremism and Islamic fundamentalism in today’s world is Tehran under the rule of the theocratic regime. The cultural and ideological solution to this ominous phenomenon is the focus on a democratic Islam. The antithesis to fundamentalism and extremism is a tolerant interpretation of Islam, which heralds gender equality, defends freedom, democracy and human rights and seeks social justice. This is the very Islam, which Massoud Rajavi, leader of Resistance has insisted upon especially during the 36-year reign of the mullahs. He has shown the Iranian people that Khomeini and his criminal band are neither Muslim nor Shiites, but are enemies of Islam and other religions. Politically, Iraq too has only one solution, and that is the eviction of the Iranian regime from that country.
9. Recently, the Maliki government, in a petty act of vengeance to please Khamenei after the major blow he received in Iraq, has stepped up the harassment of the Mojahedin at Camp Liberty. By cutting off power, fuel, medical services and other essentials, he is trying to force them into surrender.
Last week, during a trip to Baghdad by the mullahs’ Foreign Minister, members of the mullahs' Supreme National Security Council thanked Maliki’s National Security Advisor for stepping up the siege at Liberty. They stressed that in addition to water, power and fuel, they should disrupt all services in order to make life unbearable for the residents.
During Maliki’s final days in office, Maliki and the mullahs are exerting such pressures to tell others that they are still dominant in Iraq. And we say precisely for this reason that they must be uprooted and evicted from Iraq. They should know that none of these pressures will weaken the determination of the Mojahedin at Liberty. To the contrary, it will only strengthen the Mojahedin’s resolve and the ongoing campaign of Ashrafies around the world.
10. Here I must declare that recognizing and respecting the refugee rights of the combatants of freedom at Liberty, which have been repeatedly underscored by the UNHCR and parliamentarians in Iraq and other countries, is an important indicator of the conduct of the new government in Iraq. As the Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi has said, “How to deal with the religious dictatorship ruling Iran is the litmus test and the red line for Iraqi political forces because democracy in Iraq and Iran in this geopolitical situation and historical juncture are intertwined; one guarantees the other.”
After the ousting of a government which in the past eight years murdered the Mojahedin by placing blockades and conducting barbaric attacks, the time has now come to end this inhumane siege.
In view of their written and repeated commitments, the United States and the UN must ask the new Iraqi government to guarantee the security and protection of the residents and to remove all obstacles to providing the security requirements. It must guarantee unhindered access to medical and logistical services. It must release the seven Ashraf hostages and accept the placement of a unit of the Blue Helmets at Liberty and UN investigations into the six massacres that have occurred while bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice.
The first anniversary of the epic of Ashraf, which paved the ideological path ahead, has heralded many breakthroughs both political and socially. In the past 11 years, the besieged Ashraf was the front line of the struggle against the ruling theocracy in Iran and became an example of defiance in the face of the Maliki government’s crimes in Iraq.
It was in such circumstances that millions of Iraqis, both Shiites and Sunnis, signed several declarations in support of the Mojahedin and called for an end to the occupation of their country by the mullahs’ regime. The Mojahedin persevered against attacks launched by the puppet Prime Minister of Iraq and paid a heavy price for it, inspiring the Iraqi people in the process. They opened the path to a struggle which has shaken all the foundations of the dictatorship in Iran.
Among the people who are born and then pass away, there are those whose lives are innovative and invigorating. Their death does not translate into non-existence, but rather an eternal existence. For they are the creators of the spiritual power and the enduring life which propel humanity forward. This is the secret to the splendor and magnificence of humanity, from Spartacus to Jesus Christ, and to Hossein, son of Ali, in whom and in their life and their martyrdom, history dusts off the path towards the ideal of perfection. There served as the guiding lights, signposts and sources of hope for the salvation of human kind from slavery and self-alienation.
The 52 Ashrafis, led by Zohreh Qa’emi and Giti Givechian, are known for successfully carrying this mantle. As the most senior leaders of this movement of several generations, they persevered at Ashraf equipped with the highest degree of awareness, a profound worldview and a deep understanding of the circumstances while having faith in the tactics and strategy of this struggle.
They knew where they stood, at the core of critical developments. They knew the kind of breakthroughs that would emerge from their steadfastness and martyrdom. The heroism is not just because of their unprecedented bravery and valor on September 1, but because they never chose to surrender to the prevailing conditions and the balance of power, particularly at a time when everyone's preference is to pay the minimum possible price. They never discounted the prospects for victory and did not view their effort as being in vain.
They insisted on their commitment to freedom and with their valiant presence, they disrupted the enemy’s conspiracies and disgraced it. This is how they gave meaning to the strategic bastion of struggle and inspired and motivated the Iranian people. And they sowed the seeds of 1,000 Ashrafs across Iran.
Day after day, the Iranian people, through their messages of solidarity, in their writings and moving poems, regardless of their political tendencies, beautifully associated themselves with this epic act of resistance. And the message of Ashraf conquered prison walls at Evin, Gohardasht and other prisons across Iran and advocated steadfastness and defiance. The prisoners made pledges to the martyred heroes and heroines and a rebellious bastion formed at Evin’s ward 350. We hail these proud heroes and heroines a thousand times.
Indeed, the ruling theocracy was bent on saving itself through the massacre of Ashrafies. But take a look now, and you will see how internal and external crises are engulfing the totality of the regime itself. The pent-up anger within Iranian society continues to erupt these day through the admirable protests in different cities. The prisoners are rebellious and a power struggle has broken out at the pinnacle of the regime, not to mention the economic bankruptcy.
Indeed, this inhuman regime is doomed to be overthrown and the Iranian nation will no doubt attain freedom.
On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Mojahedin, we pay tribute and honor the memory of the founding member, Mohammad Hanifnejad and his comrades in arms who founded this solid and deep-rooted movement.
The mantle of advancing this movement was passed onto Massoud Rajavi from Hanifnejad. And it is this national treasure trove and the founding force of tomorrow which will turn the darkness of despotism and backwardness into the brightness of the free Iran of tomorrow.
Hail to all the martyrs of the cause of freedom;
Hail to the valiant Ashrafi women and youths, who continue to work to expand the struggle and uprisings to overthrow the ruling theocracy.
They are engaged in a struggle for a free, prosperous and democratic Iran.
That is the day we hope will soon come.
Hail to freedom, Hail to the people of Iran.
- Tags: Iranian Resistance