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20 Jul 2023

Libero Interview with Maryam Rajavi: “Iran from rich to beggar with Islamic regime”

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Libero Interview with Maryam Rajavi: “Iran from rich to beggar with Islamic regime”

Welcomed by representatives of the Italian Parliament, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian Resistance, talks about the democratic project and her hopes for a democratic Iran.

What do you think of your trip to Italy?

First of all, I appreciate the hospitality of the Italian people and their politicians. The country’s elected representatives have understood very well over the years that the Middle East and the world will never know peace as long as the Iranian regime exists.
On the other hand, Italian parliamentarians have experienced the Iranian Resistance at first hand, and have become convinced that the National Council of Resistance of Iran offers a serious alternative, and that its program can lead Iran to democracy, and the region and the world to take a major step towards peace and tranquillity. Our Italian friends have learned that the People’s Mujahedin organization has fought for 58 years against two dictatorships to obtain democracy, and has paid the necessary price for freedom.

Prior to this trip, we had received the support of the majority of representatives of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Italian Republic, from all parties, for the uprising in Iran and the organized resistance to establish a democratic republic.
The support of the majority of the Italian Parliament comes in the context of the support of 3,600 parliamentarians from around the world, including the majority of the US House of Representatives, both Houses of Parliament and the French National Assembly, who have stressed the right of the Iranian people to repudiate monarchical and theocratic dictatorships and the need to adopt a firm policy towards the Iranian regime, placing the Pashtun Corps on the list of terrorist groups and holding the mullahs responsible for the crimes committed and threats made by the regime. The document was also signed by 123 former presidents and prime ministers and 75 Nobel Prize laureates.

On July 1, the National Council of Resistance of Iran welcomed more than 500 political figures from different parties on five continents, including former US Vice-President Mike Pence, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss and former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as three former French foreign ministers. In Italy, Senator Giulio Trezzi, head of the Senate’s European Commission and former Foreign Minister, was present at the head of a non-partisan delegation of several dozen people.

The reason for this support is that, on the one hand, the Iranian regime leaves no doubt that it cannot be reformed, that it will not cease repression, that it will not abandon terrorism and the fomenting of wars abroad, and that it will not give up the construction of a nuclear bomb. On the other hand, the world now sees that there is a democratic alternative that will free Iran and the world from the theocratic dictatorship that rules Iran.

What is the situation in your country, Iran?

The situation in Iran is explosive. In a very rich country, with the world’s second-largest gas reserves and fourth-largest oil reserves, over 70% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The price of consumer goods has risen by 483% over the last five years.
The reason for this is, on the one hand, the government’s systematic corruption and, on the other, its squandering of the people’s wealth on oppression, nuclear projects and its warmongering policies.
The mullah regime, in absolute social isolation, has resorted to an intensification of executions and repression to maintain itself in power. Since December 2017, 11 nationwide uprisings have taken place in Iran.
Even the regime’s own authorities and press constantly raise the prospect of social explosions larger than 2022.

What worries you most?

More than anything, I worry about my daughters and sons, sons of Iran who are being executed and tortured in medieval prisons. Unfortunately, these crimes are met with inaction on the part of the international community.
I am concerned by the deteriorating economic situation of the people, who are becoming poorer by the day. Another problem is the policy of appeasement which, since the oppression, has contributed most to the regime’s survival. Part of the appeasement policy has been to exert pressure and restrictions on the Iranian Resistance.
A policy opposed by the majority of Italian parliamentarians. This destructive and self-defeating policy must end forever!

We have witnessed the extraordinary role played by women in the Iranian uprising. Why do you think this is? What role will women play in Iran’s future?

We are faced with a religious dictatorship whose misogyny is one of its most obvious characteristics. On the other hand, the People’s Mujahedin and the Iranian Resistance have been a source of hope for girls and women, confronting misogyny with conviction and commitment. During this period, women have been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy and equality, and their slogan is: “No to compulsory hijab! No to compulsory religion! No to compulsory government! Naturally, tens of thousands of women and girls have been arrested, tortured or executed. The Iranian Resistance’s ten-point program clearly stipulates “total equality of women and men in political, social, cultural and economic rights and equal participation of women in political leadership, the abolition of all discrimination, the right to freely choose one’s clothing, marriage, divorce, education and work. It is forbidden to exploit women in any capacity whatsoever”.

What can you say about the resistance units in Iran, their activities and their importance?

Resistance units throughout Iran play a decisive role in organizing and leading the uprisings. In addition to this social network of the People’s Mojahedin, the families of martyrs and prisoners and resistance networks are very active within the regime in informing the population, collecting financial aid, gathering information and performing other tasks.
The Iranian regime has repeatedly admitted that the leaders of the uprising came from the People’s Mujahedin. A few days ago, Pasdar Ghalibaf, the regime’s parliamentary spokesman, declared that the most important factor in the organization of last year’s uprising was the People’s Mojahedin. Between the start of the uprising and March 20, 2023 (Iranian New Year), 3,626 supporters of the People’s Mujahedin were arrested or disappeared. However, the internal resistance network is more active than ever. At the meeting on July 1, 10,000 video clips of resistance units from all over Iran, made over the last few days and weeks, were shown.

How do you plan to establish democracy and secularism in your country?

We’re counting on three things to establish democracy and secularism.
Firstly, after 100 years of dictatorship and three revolutions, the Iranian people are better prepared for democracy and secularism.

Secondly, the alternative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran is ready, with a democratic platform, for the peaceful transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people. According to the plan of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, after the overthrow of the regime, an interim government will be formed, whose main task is to organize elections for the Constituent Assembly for a period of up to six months. The Constituent Assembly is responsible for drafting the constitution of the republic and temporarily administering the country by appointing a new interim government.
Third point: the existence of an organized and universal resistance, with the People’s Mujahedin organization at its heart.

What role can democratic governments play?

We don’t want foreign governments to be responsible for overthrowing the Iranian regime. This is the responsibility of the Iranian people and their organized resistance.
We want them to recognize the right of the Iranian people and their youth to defend themselves against the Pasdaran, to put the IRGC on the list of terrorist groups, and not to aid the enemy of the Iranian people with a policy of appeasement. Demands on which the Iranian people and parliament are fully aligned.

Are you optimistic about Iran’s future?

Absolutely. After the overthrow of the theocratic dictatorship and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Iran, based on the separation of religion and government, we will have total equality between men and women, autonomy for nationalities, the abolition of the death penalty and a non-nuclear Iran.
The world will have a completely different Iran. I have never hoped so much for the overthrow of the mullahs and the arrival of democracy in Iran as I do today.

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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