Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 20, 2020—Iranians from across the globe, alongside their international supporters, held an online conference on Saturday, June 20, marking the 39th anniversary of their resistance movement against the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran.
Renowned global dignitaries joined this virtual event to express their solidarity and sympathy with the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement in their ongoing struggle to establish freedom, democracy and human rights in Iran.
On June 20, 1981, the mullahs’ regime, under orders directly from regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini, launched a massive and deadly crackdown against freedom-loving Iranians, especially members and supporters of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). This signalled the end of any hope of political measures aimed at reforming the regime and made crystal clear the mullahs’ die-hard determination to safeguard their dictatorship at all costs, including launching a massacre against the Iranian people.
The first and foremost victim of the Iranian regime’s four decades of atrocities ever since that day have been Iran’s nation. This indisputable reality further legitimizes the Iranian people’s nationwide resistance movement against the mullahs’ regime.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi
“Iran’s 40-year history clearly shows the necessity and rightfulness of June 20, 1981. For this reason, the passage of all these years has failed to push it into oblivion,” NCRI President Maryam Rajavi said during her keynote speech at the conference.
In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi laid out the sacrifices made by the members of the Iranian Resistance during the decades that have passed since that fateful day, including the summer 1988 massacre of political prisoners in the dungeons of the regime and the mullahs’ numerous terrorist attacks and plots against resistance members across the globe.
“The rebellious generation which has risen up in the current uprisings of the people of Iran, has blossomed from the rightfulness of those sacrifices,” Mrs. Rajavi added.
“The uprisings which began in December 2017 and culminated to the furious uprising in November 2019, has brought the strategy (of resistance) launched on June 20, 1981, into fruition in Iran’s streets. That strategy is now speaking loud and clear.”
Mrs. Rajavi stressed that despite the regime’s widespread efforts to suppress uprisings, the protests movement is growing thanks to the efforts of the brave Resistance Units inside Iran.
Online conference by the Iranian Resistance for freedom and democracy in Iran (June 2020)
“[Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and [President Hassan] Rouhani are trying to obstruct the path leading to the threat of uprisings and overthrow by implementing a strategy of inflicting death and mass human casualties. But this barrier lacks in strength and will not last long, because the mullahs are stuck in a vortex leading to their overthrow,” the NCRI President continued.
A measure of the regime’s desperate situation is its ongoing demonization campaign.
“There is not a single day in which the regime ceases to spread lies and demonization against the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance. But, this attempt has backfired and inadvertently, every day, the regime is actually pointing the Iranian society and especially the youth who are seeking freedom and justice to the direction of its democratic alternative,” the Iranian opposition President added.
Mrs. Rajavi stressed that the Iranian Resistance will shatter the chain of plots by the clerical regime in its final phase.
“At this juncture, for the crisis-ridden regime, the crux of the matter is to eliminate the sole democratic alternative to ensure the mullahs’ survival,” she continued.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi
Also worth noting is the regime’s continued terrorist attempts against the Iranian Resistance, which has become the focus of international attention in the past few years.
“The regime’s leaders must face justice as the greatest perpetrators of terrorism in the world today as should their agents and mercenaries inside and outside Iran,” the NCRI President emphasized.
Mrs. Rajavi reiterated that the people of Iran have made it clear through their uprisings that they want to overthrow the mullahs’ regime. Her message to the international community: “We have always said and reiterate that this regime should not be allowed to obtain even a single bullet; it should not pocket even a single dollar in oil revenues; and it should not spend even a single dollar out of revenues that belong to the Iranian people.”
She also underlined the need for continued sanctions and the restoration of UN Security Council resolutions against the regime.
“The global community must recognize the right to resist against the religious tyranny by the rebellious youth, Resistance Units and the Iranian people,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded.
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Íngrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator, and presidential candidate
“Since the beginning, the mullahs’ regime betrayed the trust of the Iranian people. Thanks to evidence gathered by the MEK, we know the regime has executed 120,000 opponents since 1979,” said Íngrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and presidential candidate.
“In the past 40 years, the regime has resorted to all means to destroy the resistance and its most organized member, the MEK. Its diplomacy has been to obtain appeasement from foreign countries and ban, deport and extradite MEK members,” she added.
“But the people of Iran have never accepted the regime in the past 40 years and have resisted. We are proud to be part of this resistance.
“The people are voicing for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime. Their slogans are: ‘Reformers, hardliners, the game is over,’ ‘Death to Khamenei,’ and ‘The enemy is right here, not in America.’ This is in line with the calls made by the MEK,” Senator Betancourt continued.
“The regime resorted to brutal violence during the 2019 protests, killing at least 1,500 people. But the uprising has shown the overthrow of the regime is possible, and the role of the MEK is not only instrumental but essential,” Mrs. Betancourt emphasized.
“In Iran, the regime exploited the coronavirus crisis as a shield against public protests and uprisings. At least 51,000 people, but the regime claims that it has killed less than 10,000. Unlike other countries, the regime is not supporting the people during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“The MEK is the only organization in the world that has fully embraced gender equality. Facing the most misogynistic regime in the world, a woman is leading the way, and we are proud of it,” the former Colombian presidential candidate highlighted.
“Today, the Iranian regime faces its most severe crisis of its 40 years of existence. It is at an impasse with no solution. The game is over. And we, all of us, we know that for Iran, to unlock the door to its democracy and peace, Maryam Rajavi and MEK are key.”
Faisal Odeh Al Rfouh, former Jordanian minister, Professor, University of Jordan
“The tyranny of the mullahs continues to this day. The international community must not remain silent about this,” said Faisal Odeh Al Rfouh, former Jordanian minister.
“Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the regime has abandoned the people and does not even declare how many people have been killed. The people of Iran are increasingly dying of COVID-19. Tens of thousands of prisoners are dealing with coronavirus. Some tried to flee prisons to escape COVID-19 infection, but the regime arrested and executed them.
“The regime is not interested in the health of the people. They only care about their own authority. They are using the coronavirus to kill the people. Instead, the regime is spending its money in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq,” Professor Al Rfouh added.
“The regime is facing many crises, including the coronavirus crisis, economic crisis, social crisis, and internal disputes. The strategy of the regime is to export terrorism abroad. The entire region has lost its stability and security because of the meddling of the mullahs’ regime.
“Regime change will restore security and stability in the region,” Professor Al Rfouh continued.
Hermann Tertsch, Member of the European Parliament
“Even with all the appeasement and collaboration the regime has enjoyed by western countries, it is in a critical phase. The resistance is stronger every day. We still have enormous tasks in fighting this common enemy of the Iranian people and all freedom-loving people across the world,” said European Parliament Member Hermann Tertsch.
“All forces must unite to support the resistance in Iran to finish this history of terror that is 40 years old.
“I hope that the NCRI celebrates in not a long time the triumph of bringing democracy to Iran,” the MEP concluded.
Former Spanish Senator Margarita Duran Vadell
“The activities of Resistance Units inside Iran has been a major factor for bringing change to Iran. It’s time for Europe to take concrete actions to make the regime know that we have a firm policy and we stand with the people of Iran,” said former Spanish Senator Margarita Duran Vadell.
“I have studied the regime's reactions to this movement. They have tried to destroy the image of the resistance as all dictators do. But the resistance stands taller and stronger than ever. We are not unwise to listen to this nasty regime. We are proud to stand with you Mrs. Rajavi. Let’s move toward a free Iran,” the former Spanish senator concluded.
Rita Süssmuth, Speaker of the German Bundestag - 1988 to 1998
“You’re a bright example Mrs. Rajavi. Your main goal is equality and equal value of men and women, in leadership positions, to show people we are not without power. The equality of men and women is an important chapter for freedom in Iran or any other country in the world,” Rita Süssmuth, former Speaker of the German Bundestag from 1988 to 1998.
“We all hope for freedom in Iran very soon. It’s about change that you are living and showing to all of us. We are happy that you are leading this example. It’s been 40 years and you have been tireless. We always need examples like you who are leading at the moment.
“I hope that you are brave and will continue to do great things,” the former German Bundestag Speaker added.
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Rama Yade, former French Secretary of Human Rights
“The mobilization of youth as never before is your victory. Ashraf 3 is your victory. Nothing can prevent your greatest victory,” said Rama Yade, former French Secretary of Human Rights. “We are together, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”
Antonio Tasso, Member of the Italian Parliament
“In Iran, the youth are suppressed and arrested. This regime exploits even the novel coronavirus to kill political prisoners. This situation is unfortunately met with silence from Europe,” said Italian MP Antonio Tasso.
“Our states must condemn the leaders of this regime who have killed political prisoners in 1988 and protesters in 2019. We can not accept the appeasement attitude. The European Union must take a step forward. We must stand with the Iranian people,” Mr. Tasso added.
“We must be with the victims of the regime’s cruelties. We must acknowledge that the regime must not have a seat at the United Nations. I stand by the side of your organized resistance,” the Italian MP concluded. “I am an Ashrafi.”
Michele de Vaucouleurs, Member of the French National Assembly
“I am impressed by the uprisings of Iranian women and girls who are the victims of the regime’s misogynist rule. Honor crimes in Iran show the misogyny of the mullahs. The constitution of the theocratic government protects these crimes,” said French National Assembly Member Michele de Vaucouleurs.
“I renew my support for the initiative of Mrs. Rajavi to protect the rights of women in Iran,” she concluded.
Steve McCabe, Member of UK Parliament, former Parliamentary Whip
“It’s 40 years since the people’s revolution has been hijacked by the mullahs. They’re twisting and distorting religious beliefs for their own power. Throughout these years, the NCRI has survived,” said British MP Steve McCabe, a former Parliamentary Whip.
“Now the people are chanting down with the dictator, down with the supreme leader. The Iranian people know that a different future is possible. They know that Maryam Rajavi can lead the country to a different future. That is why the regime tries so hard to damage the reputation of the opposition,” Mr. McCabe added.
“The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has admitted that it employs agents against the PMOI because of the growing support for the opposition. It doesn’t matter what the regime does. It is finished,” he continued.
“After 40 years, people are tired. There is a possible alternative future. I want the British government to be open in its support for NCRI and Madame Rajavi. Iran will be free,” British MP Steve McCabe concluded.
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Former Senator Robert Torricelli
“The vision of a free, independent, democratic Iran at peace with its neighbors has been the vision then, and is the vision now. We don’t sit at a table with the mullahs. Today we celebrate what we believe is an ensuing victory that is more than on the horizon,” said former Senator Robert Torricelli in his remarks to the online rally.
“All people, no matter how suppressed, it doesn’t make a difference. Dictators all suffer the same end.
“To be in this struggle in the last 30 years has been one of the proudest fights of my life. When the history of the new Iranian revolution will be written, they will be proud of the leadership and decisions made by the Iranian Resistance. In every city and street across the nation, slogans and statements are coordinated and brought to the movement. The MEK and Mrs. Rajavi are virtually welcomed in most capitals across the world,” Senator Torricelli continued.i
“The distance we have traveled is almost unimaginable. The burden in this fight is not equally shared. Humanity is pushed forth by a brave few. You were part of this for 10, 20, 40 years. Some of you have paid prices that are beyond money. It has been your burden in history.
“There is a reward. For generations and generations, as has been in America, France and nations all across the world, generations will remember, study and appreciate what you did.
“To Mrs. Rajavi, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to join this fight. You have not only saved the movement and your struggle, but you have saved your people. History bends toward justice, and justice, in this case, is success and victory,” Senator Torricelli concluded.
Baroness Verma, former UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
“During these difficult times, we must remember the four long decades of sacrifice that have been made. Over 120,000 PMOI members have been tortured and executed. Yet the regime has not been able to silence the resistance movement led by my dear sister Maryam Rajavi,” said Barones Sandy Verma, former UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development.
“Today, the regime is terrified by the organized NCRI resistance movement, its president-elect and its support among the young generation in Iran. Regime officials warn of popular protests because of growing dissent in the Iranian society,” she added.
“The world is witnessing the rejection of dictatorship in anti-regime protests. It is vital to stand up to suppression and tyranny. The UK has an opportunity to show that there is a viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime. The people of Iran deserve a prosperous future. No government, group, or individual must rest easy until the people of Iran enjoy freedom. We remain with you, we will be there in celebration with madam Rajavi and all of you,” Baroness Sandy Verma concluded.
Speeches by members of the Iranian Resistance
The event also featured speeches by the members and supporters of the Iranian Resistance who gave accounts of the crimes committed by the mullahs’ regime and the hopes of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy.
Masoumeh Malek Mohammadi
“The martyrs made this resistance out of their suffering and their sacrifice for freedom. This resistance will overthrow the mullahs’ regime. I salute the generation of the June 20 uprising. They never relinquished their resistance. They went through the torture chambers and executions, 14 years of steadfastness in camps Ashraf and Liberty. And today, they stand for the liberty of the people of Iran,” said senior PMOI official Masoumeh Malek Mohammadi.
“I salute all of you for being part of this resistance. We are proud for 40 years of resistance against the most brutal regime. The resistance against the regime began on June 20, 1981. The people said no to the mullahs’ regime. Khomeini had closed all venues for political activity. We had to organize this demonstration at all costs,” Ms. Mohammadi added.
Ms. Mohammadi gave an account of how the demonstration took place despite the regime’s suppression.
“The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) opened fire, but more people joined the demonstration and called out long live freedom. The IRGC attacked the crowd. People opened their homes and shops to shelter the demonstrations against the Guards. All around Tehran, the people were chanting that we have sacrificed our lives for freedom and will stay true to this pledge.
“The mass executions started that night. Young men and women were executed, even teenagers. I was arrested and taken to prison. MEK members and supporters, even in prison, stood tall against the mullahs’ regime. On some days hundreds of MEK members were sent to the gallows. They were not willing to submit to the regime even though they knew they would face execution,” this senior PMOI official continued.
“It is not unexpected of the regime to commit these crimes to continue this survival. What is surprising however, is the commitment of this resistance to its goal. This is a generation that has consciously decided to stand up for freedom and pay the price,” Ms. Malek Mohammadi said.
MEK supporter Amineh Gharaee- Norway
“My father was executed in 1988 because of his support for the PMOI. Shortly after the 1988 massacre, the MEK unveiled information about the executions to the international community. Because of the efforts of the MEK, and thanks to the tireless efforts of Mrs. Rajavi, this call for justice has become an international movement,” said Amineh Gharee, a PMOI supporter in Norway.
“Unfortunately, we have heard that the Swiss government is closing the dossier of the murder of Dr. Kazem Rajavi. This has shocked us. Dr. Rajavi was following up on the case of the 1988 massacre and this is why the regime murdered him. As one of the children of the victims of the 1988 massacre, I would like to express my anger,” she added.
MEK supporter Sina Adhami - United Kingdom
“The UK has an appeasement policy toward Iran that has not worked and will never work. How much longer must the Iranian people suffer? The people of Iran want regime change. The UK and members of the international community have long closed their eyes. To be on the right side of history, the UK government must engage with the Iranian Resistance instead of the regime. As Iranians, we stand with our people who protest in the streets and our leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. The mullahs have no way out and will be overthrown,” said MEK supporter Sina Adhami from the United Kingdom.
Fariba Dashti, representative of the Association of Iranian Physicians in Sweden
“Today, Iran’s youth, the Resistance Units are poised to overthrow the regime. The regime’s destructive policies regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak has not prevented the youth from continuing their activities against the regime,” said Farida Dashti, representative of the Association of Iranian Physicians in Sweden.