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07 Feb 2012

Maryam Rajavi: Sanctions must be coupled with respect for the Iranian people’s resolve for regime change

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Maryam Rajavi: Sanctions must be coupled with respect for the Iranian people’s resolve for regime change

Speech to Euro MPs in Brussels

Mr. President,
Distinguished Members of the European Parliament
Distinguished personalities from the United States
Dear Friends,
I am very delighted that this session is being held at the European Parliament regarding the situation of Iran and the Iranian Resistance.
This is the first time that we have gathered here since the extension of the deadline to close Camp Ashraf.
That threat was removed due to a great campaign carried out by Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Mr. Struan Stevenson, Mr Jim Higgins, Mrs. Bauer, Mr. Sonegard and other friends at the Parliamentary Committee for a Free Iran.
It was the largest human rights project at the European Parliament and averted an imminent massacre.
I would also like to extend my gratitude for the efforts made by our American friends to prevent the defeat of a peaceful solution by the Iranian mullahs and the Iraqi government.
Last week, I once again reiterated the readiness of 400 Ashraf residents to be transferred to Liberty along with their vehicles and moveable belongings.
This is the consistent position of the Iranian Resistance and the residents of Ashraf, and it has been repeatedly reiterated since December 21, 2011 for several times.
Because the fundamental principle for us is to protect the lives of Ashraf residents along with their dignity.
Following the April 8 massacre, the mullahs and their proxies in Iraq claimed that the residents of Ashraf caused the massacre by committing violence, in a bid to eliminate their dissenting members.
Similarly, today they are claiming that I am obstructing the start of the UNHCR’s work, and it is the residents and their leadership who are obstructing the process of relocation to Liberty.
In December they claimed that Camp Liberty is ready and tried to make it appear as if the problem was with the residents who refused to transfer.
But after more than a month later on January 31, it was announced that only one seventh of Camp Liberty was ready.
In fact, the Iraqi government has repeatedly been violating the MOU with mullahs’ encouragement.
Through missile attacks on Ashraf and imposing homelessness upon the residents and by transforming Liberty to a place that resembles a prison rather than a refugee camp:
-tall walls,
-Iraqi police station inside the camp,
-no right to leave the camp,
-no right to approach UN observers without Iraqi police permission.

We heard for a long time that they said the residents’ leadership is preventing the UNHCR from starting its work.
Now it is the UNHCR that has formally declared that it is Iraq that is obstructing its work.
The massacres of July 2009 and April 2011 also started with these same excuses and with the same accusations against the residents.
The UN, US and the EU must not allow the Iraqi government to continue committing these violations.
With these lies and violations the mullahs intend to pave the way for another humanitarian tragedy.
The international community must not remain silent.
As I have declared on several occasions, and most recently on February 2, we are still committed to a transfer to Liberty and only demand minimum assurances in the new camp.
This includes a safe environment without any resort to violence,
– the right to private property including their belongings and vehicles,
– and no Iraqi police station inside the camp.
Overlooking these minimum requirements would be to trample upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and treaties relating to the International Humanitarian Law.
These requirements show the seriousness of the Iranian Resistance to protect this very process.
According to the report by the shelter expert, the situation in the camp clearly fails to meet the international standards and cannot be certified by the UNHCR.
Anyone who is seeking to prevent the defeat of a peaceful solution and to avoid another massacre would call for these minimum assurances.
Absent of human rights standards, another tragedy would be awaiting the residents in the next phase.
Because, behind all these pressures is a regime that needs to destroy its opposition.
Just as they have done with regard to their nuclear dossier, the mullahs want to deceive the international community with regard to Ashraf residents in order to commit a greater massacre.
Indeed, they have constantly violated the standards but now the residents must answer why they want to take their belongings and vehicles with them?
Where does the root of these questions and restrictions lie?
UN, US and EU should not allow the mullahs and the Iraqi government to put aside the political honor and dignity of Iranian dissidents and not to facilitate another massacre.
I have come to the house of democracy in Europe to ask you, as the pioneers of the European parliament to ask the European and American governments to fulfill their responsibility in this regard:
First, by preventing another tragedy by adopting appropriate measures to save the peaceful solution.
Second, by accepting some of the sick and wounded residents in the European countries.

Dear Friends,
Allow me to also highlight the recent important decision adopted by the European Union in the form of imposing sanctions against the mullahs’ oil exports and central bank.
This is truly a major step.
I hope that other countries in the world would also support these sanctions.
For too many years, Europe and the US tried to give concessions to the Iranian regime to convince it to give up its nuclear program.
But this policy proved to be fruitless; not because the concessions were limited. But because the mullahs cannot give up their drive towards the bomb. On February 3, Khamenei stressed that he would not back off his nuclear program. Why?
Because the mullahs have no guarantee for their survival.
They would only give up their attempts if they feel their existence is in danger.
Thus sanctions are necessary. But, sanctions have to be coupled with respect for the Iranian people’s resolve to change the regime.
Suppression and executions in Iran, the domination of Iraq and Lebanon and meddling in other locations, suppression of Ashraf residents and the nuclear program are not isolated phenomena.
So long as the mullahs retain the power to suppress and execute, they will also develop nuclear bombs.
Nuclear weapons are the by-product of this evil force.
So, any retreat with regards to the suppression of Ashraf or the regime’s terrorism would empower the force that produces nuclear weapons.
I want to conclude that the key to the Iranian problem, including its nuclear program, is the Iranian people’s Resistance.
There is an enormous potential in Iran to overthrow the mullahs.
This was demonstrated in the uprisings of 2009 and 2011.
This potential, with the leadership of the resistance movement, is capable of creating fundamental change in Iran.
This is a resistance that has sacrificed much, and will continue to do so, for a democratic and free society, a republic based on the separation of religion and state, the equality of women and men, the abolishment of the death sentence, and a non-nuclear Iran.
I thank you all very much.

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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