Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 13, 2020—“Iranians have understood that the best way to have the criminals accountable for their 40 years of crimes, is to overthrow this tyranny, to win this war for freedom,” said the former senator and Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt during her speech at the Free Iran Global Summit 2020, held online at Ashraf 3 in connection to 30,000 locations in 102 countries.
During the nationwide uprisings of December 2017, November 2019 and January 2020 in Iran the people were chanting, “Down with dictators, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader,” "down with the principle of velayat-e faqih," "Down with Khamenei," and "Down with Rouhani," and "For 40 years we shed bloody tears, enough is enough, we'll take a stand."
Historic alliance of the Shah and the Mullahs
Forty-one years ago, the people of Iran overthrew the tyrannical monarchist regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlvai to establish democracy in their country. Their dreams were snatched by the mullahs, who seized power and established their own religious fascist regime. But as Betancourth pointed out in her speech, today, the mullahs are in power but the monarchists, despite their so-called enmity with the clerical rulers in Iran, prefer the regime to the free and democratic option that Iranians in the streets are chanting for.
“Ardeshir Zahedi, a former Iranian minister and most of all an ambassador to the United States from the Shah era attacked Washington for the elimination of regime’s death terrorist Qasem Soleimani,” Betancourt said. “In an interview, he accused the United States to be the real terrorists and he added that ‘I have always been and will always be proud of Qasem Soleimani. He was the one who sacrificed his life for his country, unlike those who sell themselves for money.’”
This is while Qasem Soleimani was considered by regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to be his successor, and the one who was to take over the command in Iran after him.
“Soleimani hands were stained with the blood of thousands of Iranians, Syrians, and Iraqis in working for a regime that has proven to be corrupt to the bone with wealthy leaders plundering the country’s resources while the population faces hunger, deprivation, and poverty,” Betancourt said. “Therefore, Ardeshir Zahedi remarks as a follower of the Shah cannot fool anyone, especially those protesters in the streets of Tehran and other rebellious cities.”
Attacking the MEK, what the Shah and the mullahs agreed upon
The objective alliance between theocrats and monarchists is much more visible in the way they both attack the Iranian democratic force, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
“In the current political and social atmosphere of Iran, the MEK is acting as a force that is uniting all protestors inside Iran and gathers international support outside its borders,” Betancourt said. “But the MEK has been the common targets of theocrats and monarchists because they see how people in Iran are recognizing their leadership as a unifying organized force to defeat the regime and open finally the way to democracy.”
Betancourt pointed out that for years, the mullahs’ regime has campaigned to portray the MEK as a terrorist organization and it has failed.
“They all have failed. Every single time when their accusations have been brought to a court of justice, an independent judge has made a point of honor, be it the States, in Britain, in Europe, to clean the name of the Iranian resistance and of its leaders from all the dirt the regime tried to pile up against them,” Betancourt said.
NCRI’s Maryam Rajavi accompanied by Ms. Ingrid Betancourt visit the exhibition of the Iranian people’s 120 years of struggle for freedom in Ashraf 3, MEK camp in Albania – July 12, 2019
Ashraf 3, the spearhead of the Iranian people struggling for freedom
“Today, they want to divide protestors inside Iran and within the resistance with the weird allegation that the MEK people in Ashraf are prisoners of their leaders unable to make their own decisions,” Betancourt said, referring to the residence of MEK members in Albania.
As is the case with many of the allegations the regime throws at MEK, this is exactly what the tyrannical regime of the mullahs is guilty of, Betancourt reminded.
“The regime holds the Iranian population as its prisoners, trying to brainwash them with lies and threats and even using the name of God to do evil,” she said. “That is the reason for millions of Iranians are protesting today. It’s a well-known strategy to accuse your accusers of what you're guilty of, turning tables, putting the blame on the other.”
But the allegations and falsehoods the regime has been directing toward the MEK have been debunked time and again, including in the impressive Free Iran 2020 summit, which brought together through internet thousands of people from all around the globe to advocate freedom and support the Iranian protesters and the Iranian resistance, Betancourt pointed out.
“It is foolish to think that anyone will fall into their lies and propaganda. Iranians know better than that,” she said.
Betancourt also explained that the MEK members are women and men who have suffered torture both in the Shah’s prisons and in the mullahs’ prisons, have seen their families and friends executed but have stayed and fought together because they know that they are the spearhead of the Iranian people struggling for freedom.
“You see, being an Ashrafian is not a second-best choice in life. It is not a solution against solitude or unemployment. It is the destiny chosen by women and men who don’t give up. It is the transformer’s option of the dreamer becoming the winner. Iran knows. They know where the truth is standing and who is flying its banner,” said Betancourt.