11 Feb 2020

Maryam Rajavi: No to Shah, No to Sheikh, Long Live the Iranian People’s Democratic Revolution

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Maryam Rajavi: No to Shah, No to Sheikh, Long Live the Iranian People’s Democratic Revolution

Remarks by Maryam Rajavi on the Anniversary of the Anti-Monarchic Revolution


Sisters and Brothers,
Member of Resistance Units,
My Dear Compatriots,

On the anniversary of the anti-monarchic revolution in 1979 and the Ashura of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in 1982, the day of martyrdom of (MEK members) Ashraf (Rajavi) and Moussa (Khiabani), we honor and commend the resolve of the heroic people of Iran, who on February 11, 1979, overthrew the Shah’s dictatorship which boasted of having a 700,000-strong military. The same resolve was exhibited on February 8, 1982, when the Iranian people’s most courageous sons and daughters laid down their lives, showing that they have never and will never surrender to those who robbed their freedom and people’s sovereignty.

From the February 11, 1979 uprising to June 20, 1981 to the blood-stained morning of February 8, 1982, the will to rebel and revolt has been fortified in the course of confrontation against the onslaught by Khomeini, who plundered the fruits of over 70 years of the people’s suffering and sacrifice.

Since then and as we saw in the recent uprisings, Iran has continually been consumed by restlessness, revolt and rebellion for freedom.

Yes, we – the people of Iran – have been suppressed and massacred a thousand times, but we have risen up from the ashes a thousand times more. We have faced a thousand defeats, but have risen up a thousand times more. And, the final uprising, which will mark the final day of the reprehensible life of the clerical regime, looms on the horizon,

Indeed, a nation that has never ceased to rise up and revolt will undoubtedly achieve freedom and reclaim the usurped people’s sovereignty.

We cherish the memories of the pioneers and true leaders of the anti-monarchic revolution, from Hanifnejad, Mohsen and Badizadegan to Ahmadzadeh, Pouyan and Jazani and Hamid Ashraf. Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Taleqani said it best: They were the ones who paved the way for the struggle and overthrow of the Shah’s regime and a flood for change sprang out from their spilled blood.

As Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi has said: “The evil spirit of Satan himself, the inhuman and deceitful Khomeini, the great thief of the century, succeeded in dominating the revolutionary atmosphere. Words and their meanings were slaughtered, too. The primary motto of the revolution, its very essence, was “freedom;” freedom, glorious freedom. … This is the motto that both the Shah and the Sheikh despise and dread, just as Satan fears any mention of God.”

The regime’s supreme leaders, Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, have gone to great lengths to fabricate and distort Iran’s modern history, contaminating it with the thinking of the mullahs. But, the memory of the pioneers of freedom and revolution continues to inspire and show the path forward: From the commander of the Jungle Movement Mirza Kuchak Khan to Seyed Hassan Moddarres, Abolqassem Aref Ghazvini, Dr. Taqi Arani and many other intellectual, freedom-loving and activist children of Iran, whose blood was viciously and brutally spilled by Reza Khan and his cronies and henchmen; to Karimpour Shirazi, set ablaze by the Shah’s agents, or Dr. Hossein Fatemi, the foreign minister in Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq’s nationalist government, who suffered from a fever but still executed by the Shah’s henchmen, and a long line of intellectuals and revolutionary elites, including Homayoun Katiraee, Abbas Meftahi, Ali Akbar Safaee Farahani, Ahmad Rezaee, Ali Bakeri, Ali Mihandoust, Kazem Zolanvar, Mostafa Javan Khoshdel, Khosrow Golesorkhi, Fatemeh Amini, Azam Rouhi Ahangaran, Marzieh Oskoui, and, finally, Mohammad Ali Jaberzadeh (Qassem), the great revolutionary who fought against two dictatorships and passed away on February 12, 2017.

And finally, the great revolutionary and combatant of freedom, Shokrollah Paknejad, who was the target of both the Shah’s and Khomeini’s vengeance. By executing him, Khomeini took revenge on behalf of the Shah.

Indeed, they planted the seeds of consciousness and awakening. They were the ones who sowed the seeds of revolution with their own lives and ensured its growth. And they were the ones who permeated the conscience and mindset of Iranian society with ideas of change and transformation.

How did Khomeini steal the revolution?

My Fellow Compatriots,

Khomeini stole the anti-monarchic revolution and all the passion and hope harbored by the people at the time. But, the question is: what kind of conditions and circumstances was he able to exploit to achieve his objective?

The truth is that that great and popular revolt represented the evolution of a movement that began with the Constitutional Revolution of 1906. It was the result of the Iranian people’s suffering and sacrifices. It was the result of successive movements which entailed great sacrifice. These included the Jungle Movement, and uprisings led by Shiekh Mohammad Khiabani, Colonel Mohammad Taqi-Khan Pessian, Tangestanis, Chakoutahis, the nationalist movement led by the great Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, and the 1970s movements filled with sacrifices by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and the Fadaees. That popular revolution (in 1979) was the result of the numerous sacrifices and suffering endured by the MEK and other activists who were martyred in the fields of battle or in the torture chambers of the Shah’s dictatorship or Reza Shah.

The imposter Khomeini emerged from a sordid ancestry that included Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri and mullah Abolqassem Kashani, who were doggedly allied with and aided the ruling tyranny. Khomeini and his circle of mullahs, who began to dominate the Iranian people’s destiny, had nothing to do with this struggle and the suffering associated with it; they had neither endured any pain or suffering for the achievement of freedom for the Iranian people, nor had they any fundamental belief in freedom or democracy.

The Shah’s tyranny and the suppression of nationalist parties and revolutionary movements paved the way for Khomeini’s ascent.

Internationally, the clear aiding and abetting of Khomeini by Western governments helped the great thief of the century to grab power.

If he had even the most miniscule degree of sympathy with the essence of the revolution and the democratic demands of the leaders of the uprising, he would not have destroyed the edifice of the revolution over the heads of revolutionaries as soon as he established his rule.

Had Khomeini allowed the revolution to progress on its natural trajectory, had he allowed the people the opportunity to make their natural choice, and had he refrained suppressed the MEK through en masse executions, brutal torture, and a notorious machinery of espionage and terrorism, Iran would have obtained sustainable freedom and democracy despite all the ebbs and flows.

Many of those executed by the clerical regime in the 1980s and during the massacre of 1988 were the same passionate youth who inspired and organized the uprisings before the revolution in 1978 and 1979.

We must underscore the fact that the usurpation of the revolution’s leadership was also an outcome of the reactionary thought and class dispositions within Iranian society.

Khomeini and his demagogy did not descend from the heavens. Rather, he “reflected the blemishes and sediments hidden in the depths of society.”

Massoud Rajavi has said that in so far as it concerns the social foundations of the (Khomeini) regime, they represent “all of the historical weaknesses, disorganization, ignorance, and backwardness of our society. Beyond all this, he contaminated and violated the word ‘revolution.'”

Collaboration of the Shah and the Sheikh

Ironically, when the Shah was in power, the mullahs collaborated with him and his infamous SAVAK (secret police). Now that the mullahs are in power, the remnants of the Shah’s regime have sided with the mullahs’ notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and publicly say that they intend to recruit the regime’s IRGC and the paramilitary Bassij members.

For their part, the mullahs go to great lengths to propagate monarchist social media propaganda and the fantasy of the Shah’s remnants aspiring to return Iran to the past. They do this to defy the prospect of a free and democratic future.

Otherwise, it is common knowledge that the return of the monarchist fascism, which was overthrown by a widespread revolution and with chants of “death to the Shah” by millions of Iranians, is impossible. Even in Afghanistan and Iraq, where monarchies were not overthrown by revolution but through coup d’état, monarchy did not have the slightest chance of making a comeback, despite the favorable disposition of foreign powers,

On the anniversary of the anti-monarchic revolution, allow me to underscore this fundamental fact that the great revolution of 1979 and all of the suffering and torture endured by the Iranian people, has not disappeared nor has it been burnt into ashes. Not a single drop of blood that was spilled on the ground in order to make that revolution into reality has been in vain or wasted. Rather, as Massoud has said, “It ascended to the sky, became denser, and descended again as the dew of awareness on the Iranian people so that they could distinguish between right and wrong.”

But, has this awareness permeated Iranian hearts and minds spontaneously? Was it by accident that the response of the people of Iran to reactionary ideology and theocracy morphed into resistance for freedom?

How was it that after the establishment of Khomeini’s rule, marred by all its suppression and deception, Iran became the flower garden of struggle and uprising instead of the salt marsh of despair? How was it that Iran’s political and social environment did not mirror the years following the August 1953 coup (against Mossadeq)?

Massoud Rajavi once said the following about the life and death test for the Iranian people in the context of Khomeini’s rule: “In a land of naïveté and fantasy, one may reach the conclusion that everything had to be readily available without paying the price and without passing any tests; therefore, we would only have been saddled with the responsibility to pick the fruits of the tree of freedom in a utopian heaven! Under this assumption, it is not clear if, fundamentally, we – each and every one of us and our people – bear any role, responsibility or duty. But, if we dispense with romantic interpretations and childish expectations, then it would become clear that … due to concrete historical, social, and class reasons, a great threat exists, and each individual, each group and each movement, consistent with their method of confrontation and addressing that threat, acquires its role as well as its value; some surrender, some cooperate, some retreat, some feel they are owed something, some weep, moan and complain, and others rise up, wage a resistance and struggle against that threat.”

PMOI, Iranian society’s defiant spirit against Khomeini

A review of these events confirm that since the establishment of Khomeini’s rule, the MEK and the Iranian Resistance, thanks particularly to the leadership of Massoud Rajavi, triggered protests and organized the opposition of Iranian society against Khomeini.

During the 28 months (starting on February 11, 1979) until June 20, 1981, when the Khomeini regime was taking shape, the MEK represented the protesting spirit of Iranian society.

The MEK represented the decisive, resounding and boisterous “No!” of the Iranian people against a violent tyranny that had sprang up from the depths of history.

The MEK refused to call Khomeini’s reactionary movement the “Revolution and Islamic revolution;” they refused to vote for the regime’s constitution whose bedrock principle was the velayat-e faqih or absolute clerical rule; and they refused to accept misogyny, the mullahs’ Sharia laws, and suppression of freedoms under the pretext of fighting the West and imperialism.

Then, with the June 20, 1981 uprising, they cemented the decisive demarcation between the Iranian people’s front and that of the clerical regime. They thus set the foundations for the clerical regime’s overthrow and paved the way for Iranian history to move toward obtaining freedom.

So, where can we witness the crystallization of Iranian society’s awareness in this blood-stained confrontation and after the mullahs’ rule?

The answer lies in the MEK, in the National Liberation Army, in the Resistance Units and rebellious youth, and in the numerous uprisings across Iran.

This awareness and consciousness can be seen in the promulgation of the idea of gender equality, especially among the youth.

This is the most important achievement of Iranian society against the misogynist regime.

The future of Iran, under any circumstances, will be based on equality between women and men.

The awareness and consciousness of Iranian society can be witnessed in the popular acceptance of the idea of separation of religious and state.

The future of Iran will definitely unfold with the rejection of religious dictatorship and compulsory religion.

Yes, society’s profound awareness can be seen in the defeat of reactionary ideology and fundamentalism. It can be seen in the chants of the Iranian people’s uprisings: “down with the principle of velayat-e faqih” (absolute clerical rule).

Moreover, one can witness the reflection of the consciousness and maturity of Iranian society in the perseverance of a democratic alternative: The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The NCRI is the flag-bearer of the regime’s overthrow and the persistent advocate of the most important principles and values needed for the demarcation against this regime and for establishing a future democratic Iran.

This is the alternative that Massoud founded against the monster of reactionary ideology and religious despotism. Thanks to his efforts, his policies, the NCRI’s decisive stance and insistence on resistance at any cost, as well as its persistence on freedom and democracy, the velayat-e faqih regime and its allies have been dealt repeated political blows.

The two major uprisings in recent months demonstrated the blazing readiness of the Iranian people to overthrow the regime

My Fellow Compatriots,

The two major uprisings in recent months demonstrated the blazing readiness of the Iranian people to overthrow the regime. They exhibited the readiness to burn down the entire edifice of the regime and all the evils associated with a theocracy; and a readiness to take a great political and social leap that can shape new arrangements on the basis of freedom and democracy.

Khamenei and his murderous IRGC killed over 1,500 rebellious youth (in November 2019). These are the blood-drenched martyrs who bore the promise of daylight and were messengers of freedom and defeat of tyranny. The flames arising from their blood inspired the January 2020 uprising.

Now, those uprisings have become the burning fires under the ashes. The flames of these protests are becoming ever more powerful in the heart of Iranian society.

These uprisings proved that the determination to rebel and rise up has permeated every aspect of Iranian society.

The resolve for this rebellion and fighting spirit is manifested in Resistance Units, who are active all over Iran and spark this larger fire. Resistance Units represent the torches of those uprisings and rebellious youth are leading the way for greater and more decisive uprisings.

The November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings dealt devastating blows to the clerical regime, from which they cannot and will never be able to recover.

They cannot restore their lost stability and equilibrium. And they cannot prevent the defections and internal erosion within the regime, the IRGC and the unpopular Bassij.

They cannot thwart the burning rage that can resurface at any moment.

This is especially true now that Iraq has also been engulfed by uprising and rebellion and Khamenei can no longer rely on Iraq as a strategic extension of his regime.

The uprising of the heroic people and youth of our neighboring country Iraq has dealt another major blow to the clerical regime and has closed the mullahs’ route to escape their eventual overthrow.

The sham parliamentary election is a bid to postpone the Iranian people’s rage against the regime

The tensions, weaknesses and chaos prevailing the regime’s parliamentary elections are the outcomes of these uprisings, which have shaken the ground underneath the mullahs from Beirut to Baghdad and to Tehran.

The infighting among the mullahs’ factions has been exacerbated in recent days. Khamenei and his Guardian Council have disqualified the majority of the rival faction’s candidates, including 90 current members of the regime’s Majlis (parliament).

For its part, the rival faction has spared no effort to humiliate Khamenei and discredit the upcoming sham elections.

The Iranian Resistance has on numerous occasions revealed that, in addition to systematic fraud, the regime announces the results of every sham election after multiplying the number of fabricated votes in the last stages conducted at the Interior Ministry. Now, the regime’s own president admits to these fabricated numbers at the elections office of the Interior Ministry. He recently said: “What happens when in the end, they want to tally (the votes). … Many elections face problems during the vote count.”

Yes, many elections, and in reality all of the sham elections over the past forty years – without exception – have been marred by vote rigging and multiplying the results. But, the core issue is that the intention behind such fraudulent and sham elections is to hide the fact that the people’s sovereignty has been stolen. The main purpose of the regime’s sham elections is to try to delay the burning rage against the illegitimate rule of the mullahs. The main purpose of this show is to conceal suppression, murder and plunder.

The crux of the matter is to conceal the suffering of a nation, a majority of whom have slid below the poverty line, 20 million of them live in the fringes of cities, and 10 million are unemployed.

But our people know full well that a parliament formed based on this sham election is a “parliament” of barbarism, lies and evil. The laws that this parliament has ratified over the past 40 years have served and will serve no purpose other than increasing suppression, misogyny, and plunder, and are contrary to the people’s interests and therefore null and void.

All of the regime’s parliament deputies are among those involved in the regime’s crimes and treachery.

Today, Khamenei is trying to fill the reactionary parliament with absolute loyalists. This is because he sees closing ranks as the solution to dealing with the current crisis. But, whether he succeeds or fails in this endeavor, in the end, the clerical regime has no way out and cannot forestall its overthrow.

The Iranian people have cast their real vote during the November 2019 and January 2020 uprisings. This vote is summarized in the slogans of “down with the principle of velayat-e faqih,” “death to Khamenei,” and “death to Rouhani.” And on this basis, the people will boycott the mullahs’ illegitimate parliamentary elections more than ever before.

The boycott of the sham elections is a patriotic duty and the bond of the Iranian people with their martyrs, especially the over 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising. This boycott sides with the demands of the arisen people and students in January for the overthrow of the entirety of the illegitimate regime of the velayat-e faqih.

Indeed, the vote of the Iranian people is “overthrow.”

Our vote is overthrow.

The first and last word is overthrow, overthrow, and overthrow.

Five nationwide uprisings have put the spotlight on the demarcation with the Shah and the Sheikh

My Fellow Compatriots,
People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran,

In 1979, the ceaseless protests by people in various cities brought about the Shah’s overthrow.

And, now, the same uprisings that show no signs of abating, despite the clerical regime’s brutal suppression, and, now, with the assistance of Resistance Units and the Army of Liberation, will bring about the Sheikh’s overthrow.

Fortunately, owing to numerous sacrifices, and the martyrdom of over 120,000 of the most conscious MEK and other activists of Iran, the Iranian Resistance has cemented the “No Shah, No Sheikh” demarcation lines. And on this basis, the Iranian Resistance guides the widespread social disenchantment, protests, and public rebellion toward the overthrow of the velayat-e faqih regime.

Five nationwide uprisings from December 2017 to January 2020, have underscored this demarcation through the activism of the masses on the ground.

In December 2017, protestors announced the end for the regime’s violent factions, from “reformers” to “hardliners.” In November 2019, they rained down the fire of the people’s rage on the entirety of the regime. And, in January 2020, they said: we want neither the crown nor the turban.

No to Shah, no to Sheikh. Long live the democratic revolution of the Iranian people.
Yes, to freedom, yes to democracy and yes to equality.

Now, it is high time to establish an Iran free from any form of dictatorship; an Iran devoid of torture, execution, and religious and gender discrimination.

The time has come to establish a republic based on the free vote of the Iranian people, based on the separation of religion and state, and based on pluralism, justice and equality.

Sisters and brothers,

I would like to end my remarks by honoring the memory of eight MEK martyrs who lost their lives during a missile attack on Camp Liberty on February 9, 2013.

Members of the MEK have planted the seeds of uprising and revolution across Iran by sacrificing their own lives. This is a Resistance and uprising that will triumph. Now, it is these defiant youths and Resistance Units who, in unison with the combatants of freedom, will sing:

We march in lockstep, we are one, we are partners, we sing from the same song sheet;
Ready to sacrifice, we will rise up, and we will be triumphant.

Hail to freedom
Hail to martyrs of freedom
Hail to the heroic people of Iran.

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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