Maryam Rajavi’s Message to the London Conference
Maryam Rajavi‘s message to the London Conference titled “Iran Hardliners in power – Iranian Resistance and EU policy under UK Presidency”
Distinguished Members of Parliament
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Iranian People have spoken.
Reports and eyewitness accounts from 15,000 polling stations across Iran show that more than 90 percent of eligible voters stayed away from the mullahs’ sham elections. Turnout was even lower in the second round. This widespread boycott was a historic NO to religious fascism and a decisive Yes to democratic change in Iran.
By putting a Revolutionary Guards commander at the helm of the executive, the clerical regime’s Supreme Leader completed the Revolutionary Guards’ grip on the levers of power.
For the first time in the past 26 years of theocratic rule in Iran, all power has been consolidated in the hands of one faction. Weakened and facing acute crises, the ayatollahs could longer tolerate the very factions with whom it had shared power. Their powerbase has shrunk further. Their regime has become more fragile than ever. Khamenei is trying to counter aggravating domestic and international crises facing his regime by “circling the wagons,” eliminating rivals, stepping up repression and export of terrorism, and continuing his bid to obtain nuclear weapons. He knew that another Rafsanjani presidency would not resolve any problem, but could lead to an implosion of the clerical leadership.
Iranians have a nickname for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They call him the “Terminator”, because he is a terrorist, a hostage-taker and a professional assassin. In the early years of Khomeini’s rule, he was involved in the hostage-taking of American diplomats in Tehran and was later among key officials in the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s office in Evin prison. Supervised by the Butcher of Evin, Assadollah Lajevardi, he personally tortured and executed thousands of freedom fighters. He played a major role in the murder of Dr. Kazem Sami, a minister in Mehdi Bazargan’s cabinet and in the assassination of Dr. Abdurrahman Qassemlou in Vienna. He was among the founders of the ayatollahs’ “Storm troopers, the Ansar-e Hezbollah, who carried out attacks on demonstrations by students, women and other disenchanted sectors of society.
Ahmadinejad’s recent comments shine some light on the darkness of his mind. Earlier this year, he told an interviewer, “We did not have a revolution to bring about democracy.” Last week, he said, “The waves of Islamic Revolution will soon conquer the world. We are seeing the signs of that already.”
As for the nuclear talks with the Europeans, he warned, “We must impose our own conditions on them, not vice versa.”
He described human rights as “a threadbare pretext and a nauseating issue” and insisted “women will have no place in my cabinet and I strongly oppose such artificial pretenses.”
Here we are, as the past 16-years, which the mullahs and their spin-doctors outside Iran billed as the “reform process,” turned out to be the longest and most tortuous route from religious tyranny to religious tyranny.
The mullahs, aided by certain Western governments, used this ploy to prolong their appalling rule, exacting a heavy price from the Iranian people and freedom fighters through greater executions and torture, pervasive repression and increasing impoverishment.
The millions in Iran, who have paid the price of appeasement with their blood, tears, and sweat in all these years; the mothers whose children were executed; the young boys and girls who were flogged in public for trivial offences, have a right to ask European Union policy makers, why?
Why did you justify your aid to this religious dictatorship under the veneer of “promoting moderation within the Islamic regime”? And what did you achieve through all these concessions and abject submission to the mullahs’ every demand? What was the result other than encouraging and strengthening the most radical factions within the ruling clique? Was this not a green light to the ruling theocracy to continue to repress, torture and execute?
Indeed, under the pretext of “supporting moderation”, the European Union turned a blind eye on the massacre of political prisoners in Iran.
Under the pretext of a goodwill gesture to “moderate leaders in Iran,” they labeled the Iranian people’s legitimate resistance and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) as terrorist.
Under the cloak of “constructive engagement’ they quietly returned to Tehran terrorists who had been dispatched to murder dissidents in Vienna and Paris and did not prosecute the mullahs’ terrorists who launched dozens of attacks in Europe.
And they capitulated to the mullahs’ demands to exert enormous pressures and restrictions on the Iranian Resistance and political refugees. By trampling upon Europe’s traditions and values, they even denied them the right to free speech and assembly.
But in all these long years of appeasement, dirty deals and up-for-sale values and principles, the voices of conscience and dignity around the world never remained silent. The courageous and dignified women and men addressing your splendid gathering today consistently expressed their solidarity with the Iranian people and Resistance and supported the just cause of freedom and democracy in Iran. How better to put it than to recall what Lord Clarke said in a similar gathering in March in Westminster. He said that noble men such as Lord Corbett have devoted their political careers to the cause of freedom for the people of Iran.
And today I say to all of you, as shining examples of courage and integrity, that the people and history of Iran will for ever remember the friends who stood by them in the darkest hours of our nation. I am confident that Britain’s history will one day appreciate the invaluable stance of those who put the true interests of your country and your people before any temporary commercial or political consideration.
As you all know, the Iranian Resistance repeatedly stated in the past 16 years that “a viper never gives birth to a dove,” and that religious fascism in Iran could never become a moderate state. Now, we stand vindicated and the need for a new policy toward Iran is becoming increasingly obvious. Prime Minster Tony Blair said, “It would be a serious mistake if he (Ahmadinejad) thought that we are going to go soft on them, … because we are not.” And U.S. President George Bush declared, “Today, Iran is ruled by men who suppress liberty at home and spread terror across the world”, and called the sham elections “undemocratic”.
When the Italian government denounced the “fraudulent practices in Iran’s elections”, the mullahs’ Parliament Speaker canceled his official visit to Rome. In Brussels, the President of the Senate refused to receive a visiting official delegation from Iran.
But this is not enough. With the coming to power of Ahmadinejad, the clock for the mullahs’ nuclear bomb is ticking faster and time is to the detriment of peace, tranquility and stability in the region and the world.
To Western countries, I say: Every day that goes by, the mullahs inch closer to the nuclear bomb. It is time to stop appeasement at once. It is time to make a final choice between a theocratic state in Iran bent on continuing its destructive policies, or supporting democratic change in that country. If democratic change is the choice, then no first step would be more effective than removing the terror label against the PMOI.
Time is of the essence. The need for a new policy is all the more pressing, as some governments are desperately trying to salvage the bankrupt and catastrophic policy of appeasement. They speak of Ahmadinejad’s election with the “strong participation of the people in the election.” At the price of putting peace and tranquility in the region in jeopardy and of allowing the mullahs to continue their brutal suppression of the Iranian people, these governments’ sole concern is to save their lucrative deals and hold on to a foothold in that part of the world.
But let it be known that speaking of “strong participation” in the election farce and praising a terrorist assassin as “the popularly-elected President” is an unforgettable affront to the nation, history and civilization of Iran. To them, I say: Rest assured that the mullahs are on their way out, and that it is unwise to continue putting all your money on a losing horse.
In such critical circumstances, Britain faces a heavy responsibility, particularly in the coming months when it will be holding the presidencies of both EU and the G8. Britain must take the lead in launching a new European initiative on Iran; one that would forge a transatlantic consensus in support of democratic change in Iran and prevent the crisis from slipping spontaneously toward war and military confrontation.
Through the boycott of the election, the Iranian people again declared their readiness for change. The first step to side with the Iranian people would be to remove the PMOI from the terrorist list. More than 1,000 parliament deputies in Europe and 500 pre-eminent European jurists have called for such a move. This would thwart the clerical regime’s biggest ploy to impede fundamental change in Iran.
I believe that since the end of the Cold War, the world has not faced a decision and a choice as important as the one it faces on Iran today. Never before has the choice between freedom and dictatorship, peace and crisis, coexistence and confrontation, friendship and hostility, hope and despair been clearer.
In these crucial moments, member states of the European Union face a momentous responsibility. To continue appeasing the mullahs will push the future of humanity in the twenty-first century toward violence, terrorism and confrontation. Conversely, siding with the Iranian people and supporting democratic change in Iran would serve the cause of democracy, peace and coexistence. This is the choice before the world.
I am confident that through the endeavors of each and every one of you, the friends of freedom and democracy in Iran, and with the support of the British public, the government of the United Kingdom could be swayed into making the right choice.
Along this path, we need the backing of all of you freedom-loving women and men.
Thank you very much.
- Tags: Iran, Maryam Rajavi, MEK, NCRI