Maryam Rajavi: Religious dictatorship engulfed in crises – Iran ready for change
On the anniversary of the anti-monarchic revolution we pay homage to the martyrs of that great revolution.
Hail to the true pioneers and leaders of that revolution, whose blood, according to Ayatollah Taleqani, paved the way for change.
Hail to Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, the founders of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, and we salute Bijan Jazani, Massoud Ahmadzadeh, Amir Parviz Pouyan, Shokrollah Paknejad, Fatemeh Amini, Marzieh Oskouii and Azam Rouhi Ahangaran.
Feb. 8, is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Ashraf Rajavi and Moussa Khiabani and 17 of their comrades in 1982. The Iranian people’s whose aspirations and demands have been suppressed for the past 36 years, yet have not abandoned their cries for freedom and regime change for even one day. Just like the Shah’s monarchy, they will bring down the mullahs’ rule as well.
The young generation who was born after revolution of 79 asks what the February revolution was about. The February revolution represented the Iranian people’s resolve for change. It was an enthusiastic uprising for freedom,
The February revolution was the realization of the suppressed aspirations of a nation, whose trust was betrayed by Khomeini, who stole their revolution.
It was a revolution by a people who were thirsty for freedom, and sacrificed for it, gave their lives for freedom and heralded the overthrow of despotism.
Through their determination, spring of freedom blossomed. They were singing, “we are together, we stand together and we fight together. We will rise ready to offer our lives, we will rise and we will be victorious.”
But, let us see what happened to the February revolution?
Was it martyred? Yes, 120,000 times. It was flogged with millions of lashes, it was tortured and mutilated. It was suppressed and stoned.
But the people’s revolution did not surrender and did not accept humiliation and repentance. It rose up. It showed itself in the June 20, 1981 massive demonstration; in the National Liberation Army of Iran; in the Eternal Operation in 1988; in the July 1999 students’ demonstration; in the uprisings in Mashhad, Qazvin and Eslamshahr, in the June 2009 uprising, in the defiance of the political prisoners in ward 350 of Evin prisons, in Camp Ashraf and Liberty.
And now, the same cries are being heard even louder:
These chains of servitude and the weight of poverty and ignorance across the world may be destroyed any way possible.
On the anniversary of the February revolution, I declare on behalf of the Iranian Resistance:
1. Despite the most barbaric suppression, which is with little precedence in today’s world, the Iranian people have never submitted to the clerical regime. The mullahs’ strategy to pursue their nuclear program, exporting terrorism and fundamentalism has been defeated. Social discontent and the organized resistance have brought the regime to an impasse.
2. The clerical regime’s greatest defeat was the failure of its attacks and extensive campaign to destroy the Iranian Resistance, damage its unified ranks and strength and conspire against its leader.
By overcoming the most difficult tests, with a specific platform and programs and with more than three decades of struggle, the Iranian Resistance is the sole democratic alternative to this regime.
3. The velayat-e faqih regime is the fountainhead and the main sponsor of terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. The first and most important necessary step to confront extremism under the banner of Islam is to evict this regime from Iraq and Syria. Partnering with the mullahs’ regime in the coalition against the ISIS is a hundred times more dangerous than Islamic fundamentalism, whether Shiite or Sunni. It would only contribute to the expansion and deepening of the current catastrophe.
4. The appeasement policy of western governments in the course of the nuclear talks only emboldens the regime to pursue nuclear weapons. The clerical regime must be compelled to fully implement Security Council resolutions, stop uranium enrichment and allow snap inspections of all facilities and suspect sites.
5. The Iranian regime’s 36-year record of atrocities, especially the crimes at Camp Ashraf and the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, must be referred to the international criminal court by the United Nations. The world community must impose comprehensive sanctions on this regime and expel its agents and terrorists. It must recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the democratic alternative to this regime as well as the provisional government which would transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran.
6. The US government, the UN and the European Union must act consistent with their legal commitments and obligations to end the siege, especially the medical blockade, of Camp Liberty and declare the Camp as a refugee camp under UN monitoring. The US must provide and guarantee the protection of Camp Liberty or at least, as 4000 parliamentarians have declared, return some of the Mujahedin’s personal weaponry, which they need for their protection against the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and their affiliated militias. The Mujahedin voluntarily handed over these weapons to the US in 2003.
Thirty six years ago, Khomeini founded a religious dictatorship, bringing to power Islamic fundamentalism. This rule has not only enchained the Iranian people, but also has engulfed the Middle East in a bloody swamp and has targeted western countries.
The January 7 and 9 tragedies in Paris once reaffirmed that Islamic fundamentalism has declared war on humanity.
It is a lasting catastrophe, whose existence depends on destroying the resources and generations of people. Although, it has put on the mask of Islam, it is at war with the genuine principles and teachings of Islam and the Quran. Indeed, it is the greatest enemy of the Muslims. Not since the Mongols’ invasion in the Eight Century has any force shed Muslims’ blood as has Islamic fundamentalism.
This enmity has nothing to do with the Shiites nor the Sunnis, nor with any other belief or religion. Its most distinctive character is reliance on the clerical dictatorship in Iran.
If western governments had adopted a firm policy instead of showing weakness in the face of this regime’s terrorism or its offer of economic inducements, Islamic fundamentalism could have been contained and neutralized.
For more than three decades, western governments chose the policy of appeasing and giving concessions to the religious despotism ruling Iran.
Western governments enchained the largest and most effective organized movement in the history of Islam, namely the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which rose up against this barbaric fundamentalist regime, by placing it on the terrorist list and fabricating cases against it. They bombed its bases in the border region of Iraq; disarmed its members and put them under an oppressive blockade.
Similarly, they handed over Iraq to the terrorist Quds Force on a silver platter and remained silent vis-à-vis the mullahs’ crimes in Syria. Nevertheless, they could have confronted the regime by adopting a decisive policy.
That said, we are not pinning hope on the West to end the clerical rule, liberate Iran and rid the region of the mullahs’ clutches. We consider this task to be our duty and responsibility. We are confident that in virtue of this resistance and perseverance the dawn of victory will shine on Iran and brighten the world.
Iran’s tumultuous history has again created a situation where “the population is no longer content and those who rule cannot rule over them.” In other words, the time and conditions for change are upon us.
At this critical juncture, allow me to elaborate on a few points.
First, the nuclear crisis, second, the regime’s immersion in the quagmire of the wars in Syria and Iraq, third, its lack of legitimacy, stability and popular support, fourth, a schism among the ruling elite, fight, the implosion of the country’s economy and finally the massive social discontent and the role of the organized resistance.
As you may know, producing the nuclear bomb, which according to the regime’s experts has cost more than the eight-year war with Iraq, has acted as the backbone of Tehran’s machinery of suppression and the tool to expand the regime’s regional domination. This program has become the biggest challenge of its domestic and international policy.
If the regime were to abandon making a nuclear bomb, it would have to move on an entirely different track, leading to the implosion of religious dictatorship and the eruption of a general uprising.
And if it insists on making the bomb, that would lead to a major purge within the regime’s leadership and a confrontation with the Iranian people and the international community.
Indeed, the central factor that has caused the regime facing a deadlock is neither its fear of the US nor the West, but its fear of the Iranian people and the Resistance.
The regime is facing a similar impasse in its involvement in Iraq and Syria.
The question is why do the mullahs are in such dire need of exporting fundamentalism and terrorism beyond Iran’s borders?
Its Supreme National Security Council Secretary gave the answer: “We give blood in Iraq and Syria so that we would not have to give blood in Tehran.” And the Revolutionary Guards’ commander added, “We are defending our own borders miles away from our own borders.”
Indeed, this is the crux of the matter. Terrorism and crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria are being perpetrated to defend a regime whose very existence at home is in danger. The regime and its accomplices want to project power by committing this criminal meddling. But make no mistake. The Nazis perpetrated the greatest crimes in the final phase of the war. At that very moment, however, they were vulnerable and on the verge of defeat.
The regime’s forces in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, while committing crimes and genocide, are on the slippery slope of defeat and implosion.
Iraq and Syria are not the scenes of victory for the mullahs, since they are being dragged into the quagmire of these two wars more and more every day. The adverse economic and social implications of these conflicts only exacerbate the regime’s internal feuding.
And if they pull out of these two wars, the fragile foundations of the velayat-e faqih will receive another blow. Either way, the road to the regime’s overthrow will be paved.
The regime’s decadence and inability is reflected in the tensions within the ruling apparatus, which suffers from a deficit in legitimacy and popular base and has been has suffered a rupture at the top.
This regime is illegitimate. An ocean of blood separates the mullahs from the Iranian people. The mullahs have solely relied on force and oppression and are immersed in corruption, lies and criminality.
This regime lacks a popular base. If a truly free election (which is of course a red line for the regime’s supreme leader) is held in Iran, the mullahs and all regime factions will not secure more than a few percent of the vote.
This regime suffers from serious instability because popular discontent is increasing by the day. In Iran, the rule of law does not exist and insecurity governs daily life. Instability and insecurity have reduced the level of foreign investment in Iran to nearly zero.
Another source of this tension is a corroding contradiction within the ruling apparatus. Why did the regime suffer a schism at the top despite Khamenei’s efforts to keep the regime intact? The 2009 uprising and the Iranian Resistance imposed such a schism on the regime. Fearing a repeat of the June 2009 uprising, Khamenei prevented a run-off in the presidential elections and acquiesced to the presidency of a cleric from the purged faction. This caused a major schism among the ruling elite.
Another important factor that has brought the country to the brink of change is the implosion of Iranian economy and the inability of the regime to contain it. Economic growth has turned negative every year. The official currency has lost 70 percent of its value. Inflation, even according to government figures, is 25 percent. The banking system is bankrupt. Two thirds of production and industrial units have been either shut down or are idle. A deep recession has paralyzed all the markets. The number of the unemployed has reach 10 million, meaning out of every five citizen two are do not have a job.
Iranian households suffer from hunger due to poverty and destitution. Twelve million sleep hungry each night. Previously, the general problem was poverty. Now it is hunger. At no time in Iran’s history has class disparity been as large as during the mullahs’ reign.
In a speech in 1971, Khomeini demagogically blamed the Shah’s dictatorship for the people of Baluchistan selling their daughters to make ends meet. Now, not only in Baluchistan, but in the heart of Tehran, one sees painful advertisement on the sale of young girls and body parts.
If the mullahs ignore the economic implosion, it would lead to the eruption of popular protests. And if they decide to contain it, they will have to reduce the budget for domestic suppression and the export of terrorism, rendering the totality of the regime defenseless and will pave the way for realization of people’s will.
Regime’s continued atrocities create public discontent on hourly basis.
Discontent resulting from executions that happen every 8 hours, and thousands who are still on death row, torturing to death of prisoners, inhumane conduct of the judiciary with 19 million cases against the population, the oppressive crackdown on music, theater, movies as well as internet sites and social media and especially criminal measures, such as splashing acid on women for the type of their attire.
As a result, the relationship between the Iranian people and the ruling regime resembles a relationship that the people of an occupied country have with the forces occupying their country.
In addition, the regime has adopted a law which orders the paramilitary Bassij to crackdown on women and youth in the streets on the pretext of enjoining good. It also hastily launched military exercises to prepare the Revolutionary Guards for urban warfare. And it has increased the number of agencies responsible for suppression, control and censorship to 75.
Regime officials acknowledge that there were 3,000 acts of protests across the country. In Baluchistan, Khuzestan and Kurdistan protests have led to armed confrontation with regime agents.
The resistance of Mojahedin and militant prisoners is continuing. Their hunger strikes has made the regime utterly desperate. Hail to all of them.
Far beyond any crisis, one has to highlight the decisive impact of the resistance movement, which is the source of the regime’s enduring instability.
Under Massoud Rajavi’s leadership, this resistance founded a movement of perseverance against religious fascism, exposed religious retrogression and played a determining role in the intellectual and cultural defeat of Islamic fundamentalism by advocating the genuine and democratic Islam
This resistance movement opposed Khomeini’s unpatriotic war and impeded the regime’s nuclear program by exposing the largest, yet secret, nuclear sites and centers.
This resistance has played a key role in exposing grave violation of human rights in Iran.
It led the struggle for gender equality, activating Iranian women’s repressed potentials.
This resistance has always called on all of our compatriots, especially the youth, to resist. During the June 2009 uprising, it helped the formation of many networks.
This resistance, with a generation of selfless women and men who pursue the lofty ideal of freedom, namely the residents of Camp Liberty, has been a source of inspiration to Iranian women and youth.
That the mullahs have focused their energy on destroying the Mojahedin in Ashraf and Liberty bespeaks of their paranoia over the force that will overthrow them.
In the past eight years, the mullahs had ordered Maliki to do his utmost to eliminate the residents of Ashraf.
Twenty-seven criminal attacks, including six massacres and one hostage taking, were undertaken by the orders of Khamenei.
Internationally, one of the regime’s persistent demands during negotiations with any western government is to increase pressures on the MEK.
The case of June 17, 2003 in France over the past 15 years was orchestrated by the mullahs in Tehran. They furnished all kinds of fabrications or false testimonies. In 2011, the French Judiciary dismissed the terrorism charge and in September 2014, another ruling was issued through which all financial allegations were also rejected. Yet the mullahs made another appeal through the lawyer of an individual who was deceased 9 years ago. As William Bourdon said, this appeal represented the thousandth time a foreign power tries to exploit and take advantage of the French judicial system. Despite all this, two days ago, the French judiciary dismissed this scandalous appeal, which was unprecedented in global judicial history, while also reiterating its dismissal of all allegations against the Iranian Resistance.
Clearly, where human conscience and justice reign, the Iranian Resistance wins. But, these fabricated cases demonstrate the extent of the regime’s fear of this movement.
Inside Iran, too, mere sympathy with the MEK and any level of communication or aid to them would amount to crossing the regime’s brightest red line and would be severely suppressed.
Despite all this, Iran’s history is not characterized by the darkness and cruelty impressed upon it by this regime. It is rather characterized by the shining light that emanates from the perseverance of a nation and its Resistance.
As such, under the rule of the religious tyranny, the MEK represents the undying conscience of the Iranian nation and is writing the annals of Iranian history toward victory.
In the words of Massoud: When the devil’s inferno spreads, and when henchmen run rampant, the key to survival and growth lies in one word: sacrifice. … The MEK, from their founders to their members and sympathizers across Iran and all over the world, have capably learned how to write the history of their people and their homeland.”
And, now, you freedom-loving women and men, disenchanted youth, workers, teachers, students and my dear compatriots,
You can, with the support of your Mojahed and activist children, overthrow this regime.
Despite the unbridled suppression, poverty, unemployment, suffering and misery imposed by this regime, despite its warmongering and export of terrorism, and despite all the political deal makings, you and your children in the army of liberation will have the last word.
Dictators, in their attempt to confront popular uprisings, promote despair and the futility of resistance against them. Therefore, you must do the opposite by spreading hope for freedom, revolution and change, and know that however many crimes this regime commits, and however long its rule lasts, it cannot escape being overthrown.
Yes, it is you who, with the support of the organized resistance movement, can overthrow the religious fascism and liberate Iran.
Yes, you represent Iran; you are Iran.
So, I call on you to rise up for a free Iran, free elections, the establishment of a pluralist republic on the basis of the separation of religion and state, to build a society based on gender equality, an Iran devoid of torture, executions, and the mullahs’ Sharia laws, and a non-nuclear Iran.