Maryam Rajavi Addressing students in Iran
Greetings to you all,
To all Iranian youth,
And my dear sons and daughters who have risen in support of the Resistance in its struggle to free the Iranian people,
We sincerely salute and congratulate students in schools and universities in cities and villages across Iran. Today, the first day of the new school year, is another fresh start for them in acquiring knowledge and in their collective growth and progress. Their enthusiasm for learning will start changing the face of society beginning on this very day.
We also salute all the children and teenagers who cannot attend school or university for some reason, and those who have been forced to drop out.
The new school year marks the start of new activities that Iranian youth will embark on together. To every ear, the school bells that begin to ring after several months are the sound of the new generation’s vigor and vitality. It is the song of children who breathe new life to the gloomy streets as they tread along with books and backpacks, overcoming the depression and repression prevailing over society.
On the first day of school, we must extend special greetings to all of Iran’s teachers, instructors, professors and academics that teach and guide the young generation. These noble men and women overcome the difficulties of teaching under the mullahs’ rule to be able to educate their students with love and care.
The new school year begins at a time when the clerical regime has exhausted all deceitful avenues during 16 years of Rafsanjani and Khatami’s presidencies. This regime was eventually forced to put them aside disgracefully, frustrated and discouraged. It had to expose the true face of its dictatorial rule, the rule of velayat-e faqih or a supreme religious leader. In fact, the current situation is a turning point in every respect.
But what exactly does ‘turning point’ mean?
It is the point where a phenomenon takes a new path in its movement. For example, when some one finishes school and finds a job, it is a turning point in his/her life. In contemporary Iranian history, when the Khomeini regime cracked down on the last vestiges of freedoms achieved in the anti-monarchic revolution and opened fire on a peaceful demonstration by Tehran residents, it was a turning point in Iran’s political life and history.
Similarly, the current situation in Iran marks a new era. The regime is at a turning point with the Iranian society and its organized resistance on one hand, and with the international community on the other. The regime has tried everything and is left with no other option. This means that first of all, the regime has been defeated in its most basic policies. Secondly, the Iranian society has defied the regime in its entirety with its resistance and steadfastness and demands fundamental change.
Thus, the mullahs have stepped up suppression inside Iran, intensified their efforts to take over Iraq and are doing their utmost – in spite of international opposition – to acquire the atomic bomb. Over the past few months, this has turned into a global crisis.
The question is, what does the regime want atomic weapons for? Why all those nuclear sites and facilities across the country? Iran under the mullahs severely lags in industry, agriculture, education, services and healthcare. So, why is all that time and money spent on adventurous projects? What threatens the mullahs so badly that they are so adamant in manufacturing nuclear bombs? The answer is clear – they feel endangered by the young generation of school and university students. The mullahs fear society’s deep hatred and fury. They imagine that by acquiring the atom bomb, they would silence the Iranian people and take the international community hostage. They believe it would also allow them to continue the policy of exporting fundamentalism, which is the regime’s lifeline, and thus preserve their power.
But this is an illusion. This is the miscalculation of a regime that lacks popular base and legitimacy, and whose policies and rhetoric have all failed. In recent years, European countries have placated this regime for their own political and economic interests, providing it much-needed aid. Protected by these policies, and after spending huge sums of money, the mullahs have been able to complete their nuclear facility.
In return, the Iranian Resistance has exposed the mullahs’ strategy of ensuring its survival through acquisition of nuclear weapons. It first revealed the Iranian regime’s clandestine drive for atomic weapons 15 years ago. Through the selfless efforts of its members and the support of fellow Iranian nuclear experts, the Iranian Resistance has been able to disclose the regime’s most important and most secret nuclear sites.
Three years ago, the NCRI revealed the sites in Natanz and Arak, and thus uncovered the clerical regime’s 18 years of concealment. The effective revelation sparked the international community’s reaction. From then on, the mullahs’ nuclear activities were internationally monitored and its case was taken up by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Iranian Resistance’s efforts therefore contributed tremendously to global peace and security, and will continue to be instrumental in referring the mullahs’ nuclear case to the UN Security Council.
Just like the years when the mullahs beat the drums of war and insisted on continuing the Iran-Iraq war, they now insist on being armed with atomic weapons. At that time, they said they would continue the war until Tehran is ruined down to the last brick, and now they say that they wouldn’t abandon nuclear activities in exchange for the whole world.
Back then they tried to portray the anti-patriotic war as “sacred defense” and a national duty, but the Iranian Resistance’s peace plan exposed the ruling regime’s treacherous ruse. It shed light on the fact that the clerics’ real objective in the war was to export fundamentalism with mottos of “War, war, until earth is cleared of sedition”, and “Conquering Qods [Jerusalem] via Karbala”, and that was the reason why they thrust our country into the furnace of war.
And now, while the mullahs speak most deceitfully about national interests and about enhancing Iran’s nuclear technology, the Iranian Resistance and nuclear experts have proven that the clerics’ insistence on the A-bomb serves only to ensure the survival of their own regime.
It is imperative for Iran’s youth, especially students, to beware of the mullahs’ duplicity regarding the nuclear program and to inform others of the ominous danger posed by nuclear-armed mullahs.
You must close all the doors on the mullahs so they find no way to mislead people. Instead of serving as a tool for the regime’s survival, the atomic project must become a noose around their neck.
Why haven’t they used the exorbitant budget spent on nuclear sites to build universities and schools, develop the country, build industrial and agricultural facilities, and create jobs? This would have saved the Iranian people from sinking even further into poverty and deprivation.
Why are so many school classes still held in tents and huts? Why are there 10 million unemployed Iranian youth, including tens of thousands of young physicians and engineers? Why are Iran’s teachers and education ministry employees plagued with poverty? Why are millions of Iranian youth unable to go to university? Why are Iran’s university students deprived of the minimum resources needed for education, research and welfare?
The mullahs have no answers to these questions. They have been defeated in all political, economic, social and international affairs and reached the end of the line. That is why they have undertaken an extremist approach in their international relations and especially in domestic affairs, in a bid to save their regime.
In recent weeks, the mullahs have resorted to widespread, suppressive propaganda against what they call mobs and gangsters. They aim to intimidate the public, especially the young generation, under the pretext of a “social security plan”. They have declared parts of Tehran and other large cities as “apt to crime” and stationed anti-riot forces in those areas. They arrest people by the dozens and leave them handcuffed on the sidewalk for everyone to see and take a lesson. In Babol, they take youngsters in a humiliating parade around the city with their hands and feet in shackles. And in the Friday prayers, they preach inhuman punishment like cutting off hands and legs and execution.
The mullahs’ words and actions show their desperate need to intimidate the people. But like all dictators approaching the end of their time, they are dead wrong — they will no longer be able to terrorize Iranian society, or cover up their extremely fragile state. They will no longer be able to conceal their major international crisis from the Iranian people, nor prevent the boost in public morale.
The clerical regime is the weakest facing Iran’s young generation and students who have marshaled against it. This is a serious indication of the regime’s failure.
School and university students oppose the fundamentalist ruling clique and all its manifestations — its rules and regulations, culture, beliefs, mottos, values and backward policies. This conflict manifests itself in various ways throughout Iranian society — the walls, bus seats and telephone booths of every city are covered with graffiti attacking the mullahs. Youth defy the regime everyday and express their dissatisfaction in any possible way. On the days of soccer matches, all military and security forces are put on alert in fear of anti-government protests erupting after the game.
Every year on the Feast of Fire, demonstrations sweep the entire country, threatening an upheaval.
With each passing year, there are more reasons for the outbreak of these uprisings. In autumn 2001, in the wake of numerous youth protests following soccer matches, the Iranian regime officially declared that the cases of 1,000 teenagers were being examined for referral to court. In 2003, the mullahs’ Chief Justice announced that 4,000 students had been arrested during the extensive demonstrations of June and July.
Right now, there are at least 8,000 school students in the mullahs’ prisons. Due to the large number of imprisoned youth, every prison has allocated a separate ward to minors.
These are signs of the Iranian youth’s opposition to the ruling regime, and their refusal to be subdued by official crackdowns.
Over the past 26 years, the Iranian regime has employed every means to oppress students and wield control over their everyday lives — from street searches and imprisonment to torture and public executions. Last month, Amnesty International announced that the Iranian regime executed 7 minors over the past year.
Although the regime is aware of the international reaction to the execution of minors, it won’t stop persecuting and executing youth because it knows this generation pioneers the resistance.
By carrying out these inhuman sentences in public, the clerical regime seeks to create an atmosphere of terror to thwart any act of protest by the youth. The only thing the regime has ever done for Iranian youth is to suppress them and to restrain their talents and potentials. Under the mullahs’ rule, the nation’s educational standards have deteriorated and resources for higher education diminished.
Why else would millions of students be studying in classrooms that do not meet the standards of construction and could collapse any day? Moreover, most classrooms are overcrowded and many schools do not have libraries and sports facilities.
Why do a million school students flunk each year? Why are Iranian teachers are under so much pressure?
Intimidation and suppression are the most important manifestations of the mullahs’ disgraceful record in the field of education. Their abysmal record includes 283 suicides of school students in a year in Tehran, as well as hundreds of thousands of dropouts every year who leave school merely because of poverty, and an increase in child labor by 7 million children per year.
The same despicable situation applies to the universities. The mullahs’ record in higher education includes
decline in the scientific level of universities, which has internationally discredited them
soaring rate of brain drain, which tops all other countries
spread of addiction among university students, and increase in psychological disorders and depression which has afflicted at least 20% of students
In a word, the mullahs have left Iran’s educational system in ruins. Instead, they have created the most corrupt relationships in society by suppression, rampant poverty and vice, which have victimized young women and girls before any one else.
Dear students and young men and women of Iran,
You detest the clerical regime with your body and soul. Therefore, you must defy the values, culture, convictions, views and demands of this regime. You must wash away evil and depravity from your own hearts and the heart of your society, although I know that under a corrupt regime, this is an extremely difficult task.
In the 26 years of their rule, the mullahs have tried to keep the young generation in the dark about Iran’s organized resistance and the relentless battle going on for the past quarter of the century. To do so, they have resorted to suppression, terror and deceit. They try to portray as terrorists and homeless refugees those who have given their lives in this Resistance, the freedom fighters who remain steadfast in Ashraf City, the organized network of forces of this resistance inside the country who must keep their activities clandestine under the conditions of extreme repression and the Iranian exiles who express their opposition to this regime around the world. They try to pretend that there is no resistance and no genuine struggle. It is your duty to advocate the culture of resistance among yourselves and understand that you are living in a society bearing a roaring resistance. 120,000 of the most aware and precious children of Iran have given their lives to the cause of their nation’s freedom. Most of them were high school and university students.
The Iranian nation takes pride in its Resistance. That’s why people across the world do not consider Khamenei and Ahmadinejad as representatives of Iran. The Iranian people are identified by the prestigious symbols of their Resistance – from Dr. Mossadeq and PMOI founder Hanifnejad to Massoud Rajavi.
Some fellow Iranians have said that if it weren’t for this Resistance, and in particular Massoud’s efforts for creating a vast opposition that voices and pursues the Iranian nation’s demands and democratic aspirations, other nations would identify us with the clerical dictatorship. Today, however, this Resistance brings Iranians the prestige of a nation fighting for freedom, and thus prevents Khomeini and Khamenei from being able to tarnish their image.
The courageous children of Iran in Ashraf have stood against the most ruthless dictatorship in history and tuned their city into the Iranian people’s bulwark of freedom. They have made many achievements for their people by remaining steadfast and by acquiring lofty values purity, sincerity and sacrifice. They have also become outstanding models for anyone yearning for freedom.
Those heroes and heroines are bringing freedom to Iran. They have stood against the mullahs’ strategy of warmongering, export of fundamentalism and interference in Iraq.
The young generation in Ashraf has passed its historical test along with the rest of the freedom-loving men and women. The youth in Ashraf have also become models of steadfastness, sacrifice and faith.
It is your duty to follow the path of those champions by exposing the regime’s lies and countering its suppression.
You should join the Resistance, read the biographies of its heroes and those who were slain in this path, and study the history of the clerical regime and the resistance movement that has stood up against it.
The ruling clerics are vehemently trying to crush the spirit of freedom and resistance among the young generation. They call the young men and women of Iran mobs and gangsters and employ the most despicable and humiliating measures to break their morale, their will and their personalities. I urge Iranian youth to take up leadership roles in demanding their people’s rights and striving to free the nation. You are a generation that is aware, so you bear responsibility in determining the fate of your society. Taking part in this struggle will help you develop the traits of a serious and responsible person with a strong willpower and above all, human values.
The scourge of addiction sweeping Iran, primarily victimizing the youth, is the result of a premeditated policy by the mullahs that seeks to disable the youth. Regime officials actually run the thriving narcotics business. Before the hike in oil prices, the annual profits from narcotics rivaled the oil income.
It is up to you to counter the mullahs’ conspiracy to entrap Iranian youth in addiction. You must always be cheerful, and rush to aid your peers who have fallen prey to the mullahs’ policies.
The clerics advocate despair, dejection and depression in society, particularly for the young generation, whom they wish to overwhelm with problems. That’s why you must counter every toxic word of the mullahs, who wish to poison society with despair, misery, helplessness and inability. Keep in mind that each one of you is an ocean of power and creativity who can do great things for your people and country.
The mullahs have made prevalent a spirit of division and separation amongst the people through suppressive measures and by advocating mistrust, suspicion, libel and vengefulness. Iranian society was once an ideal for other nations because of the goodwill and friendship among its people. These days unfortunately, relationships between relatives and even family members are subject to all sorts of quarrels and coldness. So young Iranians must defy the clerical regime’s attempts to sow discord and be the first to love and express your affection for others. Support your friends and family in the hard times, and foil the mullahs’ bid to defile the lofty Iranian culture that is renowned for love and friendship.
The mullahs view women as second hand citizens, and under this backward outlook, they oppress them, discriminate against them, and subject them to many misogynist policies.
Female university and school students have proven their competence in all educational fields, so why are they discriminated against in society? It is your duty to defend women’s equality against this inhuman policy and to instill this value in yourselves.
My dear daughters in schools and universities,
You must not submit to this regime’s pressure, discriminations and the abnormal relations it has founded.
And you, my dear sons, must counter any type of harassment, oppression and violation of the rights of women and girls in your home, neighborhood, and school. To do so, you must first view them as equal human beings.
The clerical regime advocates evil, malice and dishonesty. It is your duty as the new generation to defend human values and rise up against the lies, duplicity and hypocrisy of the ruling fundamentalism. You must practice honesty and decency, show kindness and sacrifice for your friends and classmates. Listen to their criticism with an open mind, and learn to admit your mistakes. Rush to the aid of the underprivileged and the ailing. Always remember that the most priceless possession is not money, wealth or even a good job, but human values.
Dear Iranian students,
You are the hope of Iran and the future is in your hands. It is your determination that will realize freedom and democracy.
In the free Iran of tomorrow, in a society emancipated from the mullahs’ dictatorship, Iranian youth will play their role in founding an advanced, modern and democratic country. In tomorrow’s free Iran, youth will play a serious role in running schools, universities, offices and whole cities, making their country flourish.
With such a generation, the Iranian people will definitely achieve victory, freedom and a bright future.
I wish you all the best.