Speech to Gathering of Iranians – Taverny, France
The following is the text of speech by Maryam Rajavi in the gathering of Iranians in northern Paris on June 26: J’ai été vraiment heureuse de participer au grand rassemblement des Iraniens à Taverny au nord de Paris
In the name of the arisen people of IranIn the name of the martyrs of this nation The stars of June 20, 1981, the shining and eternal lights;In the name of those who were massacred in 1988 and the stars of the current uprising;And in the name of the Iranian people’s democratic revolution, the victorious anthem of which we can hear
Greetings to all of you and your magnificent gathering today, on this momentous day of the anniversary of the birth of Imam Ali, the Prophet of Islam’s cousin and son-in-law. He is the great symbol of free human beings and the source of “we can and must.”
On your behalf, on behalf of my compatriots and on behalf of the [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – PMOI] in [Camp] Ashraf, Iraq, we offer our warmest praise to the creators of the uprising in Iran.
Hail to you, my emancipated and brave daughters and sons, hail to all my sisters and brothers across Iran, who rose up for freedom and once again brightened Iran.
Your uprising represents the triumph of a path for which Ashraf has been the standard bearer, leading the path to the overthrow of the velayat-e faqih [absolute clerical rule] regime and the establishment of liberty, equality and fraternity.
In your chants of “Down with the principle of the velayat-e faqih,” your uprising has unmistakably reiterated all that must not exist.
An end to religious slavery;An end to an era of dictatorship.
In your uprising, the Iranian people are saying that we do not want turbaned fascists;We do not want stoning, execution and limb amputation;We do not want forced veiling, compulsory religion and imposed rule;They are telling the mullahs to get lost from Iran.
The ruling mullahs have usurped the greatest right of the Iranian nation, the right to sovereignty.
We seek the people’s sovereignty to be restored. We want the Iranian people to have their vote, and we demand free elections.
Over the past year, [the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei did his utmost to marshal the forces of suppression, ranging from merging all security agencies into a single intelligence entity and setting up a new Bassij-affiliated organization to reestablishing the infamous Kahrizak detention center and applying a variety of tortures and assaults.
Nevertheless, through your demonstrations and protests day and night (on rooftops), which included 15 impressive uprisings, you rubbed Khamenei’s nose on the ground 15 times. How honorable was your great uprising on Ashura (December 27, 2009), when you conquered the streets in the heart of the capital.
And the day is not far when you will conquer all of our fettered Tehran.
Your uprising demonstrated that the young generation that has poured into the streets to call for freedom will not retreat into their homes.
Seven years ago, when the semi-coup against the Iranian Resistance was carried out on June 17, 2003 [during which NCRI offices were raided by the French police], Sediqeh Mojaveri and Neda Hassani sacrificed their lives to foil that conspiracy. In those moments when their painful loss became unbearable, I said to myself, their sacrifice will revive the spirit of struggle across Iran, elevating it to new heights.
I was confident that an endless sea of daring and audacious young women and men will step up to fill their place.
And now, behold Neda’s generation of, the martyrs of the 2009 uprising: Kianoush, Amir, Taraneh and Fatemeh.
Look at Sohrab, Ashkan, Maryam and Sorour. See the storm that they have set off.
So, we say to the mullahs that you have reached the end of the line.
As a famous Persian poet says, we are from a different spring and of a different kind and we shall begin life the moment yours ends.
Over the past year, the Iranian society expressed itself in the most eloquent manner and said: now is the time for change.
The entirety of this regime, which has set Iran aflame, has to be rejected. An organized movement is needed to navigate the flagship of freedom through the stormy seas of the uprising and the regime’s overthrow to the shores of democracy.
It is at this point that all eyes look to the Iranian nation’s great flagship, its vast fortune and its enormous asset: Ashraf.
Yes, indeed, Iran looks to Ashraf and to you the freedom-seeking Mojahedin in Ashraf.
Ashraf is the product and an asset of three decades of struggle for freedom.
It is the guidepost for the path to Iran’s freedom and those who struggle for it.
And it is an inspiration to those who have persevered and the generation of the uprising.
All eyes turn toward you because, amid fire and blood, amid facing a deluge of conspiracy and terror, and amid being subjected to war crimes and crimes against humanity, you have kept the banner of honor and freedom hoisted as never before.
For more than seven years now, you have been persevering in the course of a battle, which is fraught with dangers and has proven to be unrelenting, complex and magnificent; a battle that is a shining star in the annals of struggles for liberation in contemporary times and reflects the Iranian people’s honor and national pride.
Indeed, you have turned Ashraf into an solid barrier against the evil designs of Iran’s religious dictator for Iraq.
For this reason, Khamenei referred to Ashraf as a source of nuisance and the devastation for his regime. But, 5.2 million Iraqis and three million of the country’s Shiites say [in declarations signed in June 2006 and June 2008] that you are their natural ally and partner in the struggle against the Iranian rulers’ occupation, terrorism and sectarianism.
The mullahs have said that their destiny is tied to developments in the streets of Baghdad, Beirut and Gaza. So, once you defeat the bilateral pacts aiming to suppress Ashraf, and once you break the siege on Ashraf, the regime will face setbacks that will undoubtedly turn into a landslide leading to the clerical regime’s overthrow.
No longer can anyone deny that the powerful roots of the Mojahedin in Ashraf run in the hearts and minds of Iranians, in the fabric of the Iranian society and the historical conscience of the nation since 45 years ago.
For this reason, the chants of the uprising echoed what you, in Ashraf, had first declared almost 30 years ago.
These are the realities which the mullahs saw and heard in the Iranian people’s uprising and which they find so terrifying.
So we declare to the mullahs: you can detain and torture our people and our youths for supporting the Mojahedin, for visiting Ashraf or for having relatives in Ashraf all you can.
You can issue death sentences for them. You can sentence an ailing 70-year-old father to death.
You can prosecute friends, supporters and even families of Ashraf residents inside Iran as “Moharebs” [“enemies of God”].
You can shout as much as you want in your court rooms that so long as the Mojahedin’s leadership remains, all of them and even their supporters are moharebs.
But, if the struggle and sacrifice for the freedom of the Iranian people is what you are referring to as Moharebeh [waging war on God], then indeed, we are all moharebs and proud of it.
We are fighting women and men and our struggle against the murderers of the Iranian people is precisely equivalent to standing with God and our people.
And you, the Mojahedin in Ashraf, have withstood all the various conspiracies that came your way over the past seven years, including some of the heaviest bombing raids which were carried out at the behest of the mullahs, the wave of terrorist explosions, attacks, assassinations, abductions and an oppressive siege.
What you displayed on July 28 and 29, 2009, became the focus of global attention.
Your unshielded bodies came under barbaric attacks by bullets and axes; Bulldozers and armored vehicles drove through defenseless and unarmed residents in Ashraf;There was unbridled savagery on the one side and never-ending perseverance on the other;
With 11 martyrs, four who died because they were denied medical treatment;With 130 maimed and 370 injured, who still have their bullet wounds.With 1,000 people beaten and bloodied; And with 36 abducted by the Iraqi government, which has appealed to the courts against their release several times.
So, greetings to you people of Ashraf, the Mojahedin of Iran’s freedom.
I salute and praise the leader and commander of the army of uprising and liberty, who showed the way forward for Ashraf and inspired all to persevere. He formulated the ideals, strategy, politics and legal aspects of Ashraf’s struggle with the greatest historical honor and pride.
And I salute your martyrs, Hanif and Siavash, Mehrdad and Alireza, Asghar and Amir, Fardin and Sha’ban, Mohammad Reza, Hossein and Mehrdad.
Indeed, this is the price for being the flag bearers for change in Iran.
This is Ashraf, the source of hope, the spring of freedom, a bridge to the future, exemplifying Iran’s greatest treasure, which the nation has in its possession as we speak. It is not some illusory promise. It exists, it is real, and indeed, it is present.
Ashraf is our asset for liberty, it falls in liberty’s tradition, and ultimately, it is the guarantor of liberty.
To Khamenei, who has planted the agents of his notorious Intelligence Ministry at the gates of Ashraf for the past five months, we say that in your humiliating theatrics, we see the blockade and demise of the velayat-e faqih in Tehran.
So, to the mullahs and their proxies we declare that you can take the dream of destroying Ashraf to your graves.
Regarding the mullahs’ plots against Ashraf, I must also emphasize that in accordance with international law, especially Article 45 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United States is considered to be responsible for the violation of the rights of Ashraf residents even after handing over security to the Iraqi government.
The responsibility to guarantee protection of Ashraf residents remains with the US on the basis of international law, in accordance with the agreements signed between the US forces with every single resident of Camp Ashraf, and on moral and humanitarian grounds.
We call on all governments to urge the United Nations to mandate its forces to directly assume the responsibility for protection of Ashraf.
We warn that as far as the Iranian people and Resistance are concerned, in addition to the Iraqi government, the US government and the United Nations would be responsible for any attack and bloodshed in Ashraf.
On behalf of all the defenders of Ashraf and my compatriots everywhere, let me make a solemn pledge that when the safety and security of Ashraf and its residents are at risk, we will never relinquish even the slightest bit of Ashraf’s legal and legitimate rights. Yes, let this be our word of honor.
Today, I was informed of the declaration and letters by 480,000 people in Diyala Province, where Ashraf is located. They have called for an end to the inhumane siege of Ashraf and for the UN to assume responsibility for the protection of Ashraf residents. The people of Diyala have asked US forces to guarantee the prohibition against violence and forced displacement of Ashraf residents.
They have also asked the government of Iraq to act in accordance with the resolutions of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and majorities in 20 parliaments, and recognize the legal status of the residents of Ashraf as protected refugees under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I sincerely thank the honorable people and tribes of Diyala. Hail to the courageous people of Diyala.
Over the past year, assaults and conspiracies by the regime against Ashraf were multiplied a hundred-fold.
Khamenei was convinced that in order to contain the uprising and mend the schism at the top of his regime, he must first eliminate Ashraf.
Khamenei also needed to destroy Ashraf to realize his evil designs in Iraq, because he viewed the Mojahedin in Ashraf as responsible for exposing his meddling and crimes and for leading the calls to curb the regime’s influence in Iraq.
Clearly, suppression in Iran and export of terrorism and fundamentalism are intrinsic to the clerical regime. Without it, the title of “the Supreme Leader of All Muslims around the world” loses its meaning and the Revolutionary Guards would vanish.
Thus, cutting off the hands of the mullahs from Baghdad will lead to ending its rule in Tehran.
For this reason, confronting the domination of the clerical regime in Iraq is significant for the Iranian people’s movement for freedom.
Accordingly, we ask, what right does the regime in Iran have to appoint a prime minister for Iraq or say that the premiership of Dr. Ayad Allawi, who has been elected by the people of Iraq, constitutes a red line?
Who is truly plotting to assassinate Dr. Allawi?
And who was it that disqualified the Secretary General of Iraqi National Movement, Dr. Saleh Mutlak, Dr. Dhafer Al-Ani and many other Al-Iraqiya candidates from taking part in the elections?
Was it not Khamenei who sent a message to Dr. Mutlak through his ambassador in Iraq that if he calls the Mojahedin terrorist just once, all doors would be open to him?
Dr. Mutlak’s sin is that he said, “The joint escapade of the Iranian regime and the Iraqi government outside the gates of Ashraf is a despicable act which seeks to justify the disgraceful siege and inhumane pressures against resisters who have dedicated their lives to freedom, their principles and their ideals.”
The renowned Shiite cleric, Mr. Ayad Jamal ad-Din, has also said, “I offer a litmus test to assess Iraqi political forces. Any force that is trying to expel the People’s Mojahedin Organization from Iraq shows that it has organic ties with the Iranian regime.”
Despite all conspiracies and threats, however, in the recent elections, the people of Iraq took a giant leap toward countering the Iranian regime and its proxies in their country.
This was to the extent that amid the firestorm of terrorism and fraud by Iran’s rulers, the Iraqi alternative came out of the elections as the winner.
The new Iraqi government has yet to be formed. But, in any case, the regime’s strategy in Iraq has suffered a serious defeat.
Hail to the people of Iraq, who disrupted the regime’s plots to devour their country by their vote, determination and perseverance.
And now the time has come to evict and prevent the regime’s meddling in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen and other countries in the region.
Look how protests have formed from Basra to the Iraqi Kurdistan against the regime’s interference.
The courageous people of Afghanistan have also repeatedly demonstrated against the Iranian regime in recent months, protesting against the execution of deprived Afghan refugees in Iran.
We hail the people of our neighbor and brother nation, Afghanistan.
Over the past year, Khamenei failed both in containing the uprising and in mending the fissure at the top of his regime. He fears eliminating the rival faction and is at the same time incapable of absorbing it. Whatever option he ends up choosing, the Iranian people’s protests are poised to overthrow his regime.
You can see that now Khamenei is no longer the ultimate arbiter of the regime’s factions, nor is he their unifier. He has relegated to the position of the leader of the dominant faction.
Even Khamenei’s clerical allies have abandoned him.
The regime’s crisis of survival has also torn apart the ruling faction. Defections and passivity are decaying the regime’s hold on power, including within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its paramilitary Bassij Force.
On Khomeini’s death anniversary, both major factions, in their hostility towards each other, disgraced their Imam. And there were charges and counter charges of treason.
I ask the ruling mullahs:
What option do you have other than stinging yourself like a scorpion when surrounded by fire?
Tell us about your achievements, other holding the world record in the number of executions, and other than pushing the majority of the Iranian people below the poverty line?
And tell us what you have left other than petro-dollars and the Revolutionary Guards?
Look around you. Worst than an occupation force, you are surrounded by an oppressed nation.
You are surrounded by the curse of mothers, by the clenched fists of families reeling from oppression and injustice, and by the disdain of all sectors of society who do not want you, do not want you, do not want you.
Also, let me talk about those who want to preserve this despicable regime but with an improved look. We tell them you are wasting your time. It is impossible for this fragile dictatorship to remain in power.
You can admonish the youth from calling for the overthrow of the system. But, tell us, according to which religion or faith is rising up against a system of torture and rape considered a crime? And according to what religion or faith is submission and surrender to the regime justified?
Besides, why don’t you say what you have in mind in pointed terms?
Ahmadinejad said that the Ministry of Intelligence is a place of worship. We say that this notorious ministry must be abolished altogether.
What do you say?
Khamenei said the Revolutionary Guards is a welcome creation. We say this evil force has to be dismantled.
What do you say?
We say that the institution of the velayat-e faqih is a corrupt institution that must be completely abolished.
What do you say?
Stop talking so much about implementing the [mullahs’] constitution to the letter. Look at Evin and Kahrizak. That’s where the constitution is being followed to the letter.
Stop speaking so much about the idle potentials of the constitution. I remind you that [regime’s founder and former Supreme Leader] Khomeini tapped into these very potentials of the constitution to order the massacre of 30,000 Mojahed and other political prisoners in 1988.
And, stop warning so much that Khamenei and the dominant faction are deviating from the “Imam’s line” and Khomeini’s path. Khamenei is a cheap replica of Khomeini for our times, with the same sinister and ruthless characteristics.
You abandoned calling the Ahmadinejad government illegitimate, continued elevating Khomeini to the level of sanctity, and shed tears for his unpatriotic eight-year war with Iraq. Tell us why are you still clinching on to a regime that is about to drown?
You can try to cozy up to Khamenei, if you desire. But, know that as was the case during the past year, he will not make any concessions to you other than demanding your repentance.
Nevertheless, all opportunities have not been lost. Support the demands and slogans of those who take part in the uprising.
As far as we are concerned, you can criticize the Mojahedin and the resistance movement as much as you like. But acknowledge the right to sovereignty for the Iranian people and reject the entirety of absolute clerical rule. This will be to your benefit and you will find us on your side.
But, even before all this, in his message on April 27, 2010, [the Leader of the Iranian Resistance] Massoud Rajavi once again “vehemently” called “on the dominant faction to respect the rights, share and demands of Messrs [Mir Hossein] Moussavi and [Mehdi] Karroubi within the framework of the regime,” and emphasized “the need for their protection.”
Owing to the uprising and the perseverance of Ashraf, the velayat-e faqih reached a point where appeasement is no longer effective. The fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions has not left any room for the policy of appeasement.
We tell Western governments:
For years, you engaged in futile negotiations with this regime. You bought time for it to complete its nuclear installations. You helped those affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards to assume power in Iraq. You included the PMOI on the list of terrorist organizations and betrayed the Iranian people’s resistance. You provided the regime with the windfall gains of such a policy. Ultimately, however, you reached a dead-end.
We ask the US government, did you not sign an agreement with each and every resident of Ashraf in which you pledged to protect them in return for consolidating their weapons?
Why did you abandon protecting the residents of Ashraf?
Why did you clearly renege on your promise before the Iranian people and the world public?
And, we ask policymakers in France: Is handing over a ruthless terrorist and murderer to the regime in Tehran legal? Or as the French media wrote, is it not merely kneeling, but actually prostrating before the mullahs?
We say that now this road has come to its end. You saw for yourselves that this decadent regime lacks the slightest flexibility or openness. So, it is incumbent upon you to reverse the wrong course you had taken.
So, from our point of view, the new Security Council resolution and complementary sanctions adopted by the US and Europe are necessary, but insufficient. Nevertheless, we insist that you do not hesitate in implementing these provisions.
The Iranian people, of course, demand far more than this; they demand that this regime must go.
We demand that you stop the purchase of oil and gas from this regime right now.
The oil, the resulting revenues of which are spent on Evin [prison] and Kahrizak torture centers, should remain in oil wells for the Iranian people.
Iran’s gas reserves should remain untapped instead of being allocated to the Revolutionary Guards.
We demand that Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and other regime leaders be tried by an international tribunal for genocide, namely the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.
We also demand that all restrictions that have been imposed on the Iranian Resistance in Europe and the United States be lifted.
The time has now come to close the file on a despicable and baseless dossier that has been acting against the Iranian Resistance in France for the past nine years.
The time has now come for the US State Department to remove the terrorist label against the PMOI.
It is incumbent upon you to acknowledge the right of the Iranian people and Resistance in demanding regime change.
It is incumbent upon you to recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran and shun this regime, its representatives, spokesmen, advocates and operatives.
Today, we are witnesses to the declaration of majorities in 23 parliaments and 3,500 parliamentarians in 44 countries in defense of Ashraf and the Iranian people’s uprising.
2172 French mayors who rose up to defend the rights of Ashraf residents and the Iran uprising are have also done the same thing and their statement represents a golden and memorable document for the Iranian people.
In these declarations, representatives of more than a billion people around the world have rushed to welcome freedom and democracy in Iran.
It is on the basis of such acts of support that we recognize the United States and the Europe with the honor and humanity which is characteristic of those personalities who rose up to defend the resistance for freedom; those who came to our aid during the most difficult times.
The likes of Mrs. Danielle Mitterrand, Mrs. Anissa Boumediene, Dr. Vidal Quadras, Lord Corbett, Struan Stevenson, Paulo Casaca, Alain Vivien and Sid Ahmed Ghozali, who are all symbols of advocating democracy in today’s world.
And, I also have to mention our brothers and sisters in Arab and Muslim countries for their great solidarity with this resistance.
Please allow me here to say a few words in French to our friends from other countries.
[… In French …]
The velayat-e faqih regime will certainly be overthrown.
The regime’s decadence is not the only testament to this reality. The true evidence is the steadfastness of your brave children against this regime. Those, who like the residents of Ashraf, continue to resist at all costs; those who keep the uprisings alive amidst darkness and repression; and those who stand resolute and keep their fighting spirit before the hangman’s noose.
So, we are with you, prisoners in Evin and Gohardasht, when you ask to be next on the list to be executed.
We are with you, the 27 political prisoners, who are on death row.
We are with you women, who reveal your fingers whose nails have been pulled out by Khamenei’s henchmen.
You women, who fearlessly expose the vicious tortures in prisons; those who, instead of being demoralized, expose Khamenei’s henchmen.
We are with you, the students, workers and teachers, who are incarcerated because of your righteous protests.
We salute each and every one of you, who are persevering in Evin, Gohardasht, Sanandaj, Adel-Abad and other prisons.
And we hail the children of the people of Kurdistan, Farzad, Shirin, Ali and Farhad and other political prisoners who were hanged in different Iranian cities by Khamenei’s murderous thugs.
Our greetings to all the martyrs, peshmargas and the people of Iranian Kurdistan. Those, who like the Organization for the Struggle of the People of Iranian Kurdistan (Khebat) correctly believe that moderation within this regime is nothing but a mirage and insist on their unremitting struggle until the overthrow of this regime and reject any negotiations with it.
Here, I must also remember the proud mothers and fathers who have transformed their grief and pain into a source of inspiration for the Iranian people.
I specifically have in mind an unforgettable symbol among these mothers: my sister, Forough Hassani, the mother of Neda Hassani, who did not abandon defending the ideals of her daughter to her very last day. And now, I see the spirit of Forough in hundreds of brave mothers who gather outside the regime’s torture chambers and courts, putting Khamenei and his regime on trial every day.
Our greetings and praise to all of them.
And finally, I wish to address you, activists, supporters and friends of the resistance.
Those of you who waged a hunger strike for 72 days in defense of Ashraf. You Iranians, far from your homeland, kept this resistance alive and powerful.
Each and every one of you has an enormous responsibility in obtaining freedom for Iran.
When you return to your homes and jobs in Europe, America, Canada and Australia, remember to continue organizing the campaign to defend the uprising and Ashraf.
Compel governments to change their policy in favor of the Iranian people.
And believe me, it is you who will ultimately remodel the international community’s policy towards Iran.
So, once again, renew your pledge with yourselves and your compatriots. Show that you are resolute and ready to do what it takes to realize the freedom of the Iranian people and your pledge to them.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran has bestowed me with a great, and frankly arduous, responsibility. For this reason, I must be the first to renew that pledge.
At this moment, I can, of course, see mourning mothers, and the agony and pain that the Iranian people, especially women, have gone through [over the last three decades]; And, I also see the dreams and hopes of generations being dashed by the murderous Khomeini and his heirs.
I pledge before you and the Iranian people:
• For the revival of all the blood that was shed for Iran’s freedom;• For the creation of a new society, based on freedom, equality, democracy, respect for human rights and separation of religion and state; • a society, based on gender equality, where women have equal and active participation in political leadership; • an Iran, where Kurds, Baluchis and Arabs, as well as all those suffering from dual oppression, attain equal rights and freedoms; • A country, where young people could expand their talents and creativity without suppression and restrictions and play a fitting role in running the affairs of their homeland; and• A nuclear-free Iran that seeks peace and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors and diplomatic relations with all countries around the world.
I pray to and ask God to make me worthy of my responsibilities in this struggle, to the very end and to my last breath.
In the course of this unrelenting struggle, I have nothing to count on but God’s benevolence, a leader like Massoud Rajavi, and the compassion and support that all of you have to offer. But, this in itself is everything.
What force can be more decisive than your love, your compassion, your tears and your prayers? What kind of power can trump your genuine solidarity?
So, let us march on with your support. And, let us call upon everyone to gather around the torch and banner hoisted for the regime’s overthrow, namely the resolute Ashraf and for the sake of freedom for the Iranian people.
Undoubtedly, the same power that placed this great ideal before us will also empower us to realize it. The same will and determination that protected Ashraf in the most challenging circumstances, the force that flared up the uprisings in the darkest of nights in Iran, will also establish freedom and democracy.
I believe in this magnificent future with my all heart and soul, and will sacrifice everything I have to make it happen.
We have sacrificed everything so that the Iranian nation could gain everything. And so it shall be.
Hail to freedom,Hail to the people of IranHail to all of you