On September 3, a large ceremony was held in commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the founding of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf 3, Albania, where thousands of MEK members reside. During the event, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistane of Iran (NCRI), delivered a speech, in which she reflected on more than half-a-decade of struggle for freedom by the Iranian Resistance, and role of the MEK and Iranian Resistance Units in keeping the flame of uprisings alive in Iran. Below are excerpts of Mrs. Rajavi's speech, originally published on her own website:
What is PMOI’s message for the younger generation?
Courageous members of resistance units!
Mothers, fathers, honorable men and women who have supported and protected the Mojahedin with your sacrifices, lives, and hearts!
Sisters and brothers!
Congratulations to you and to the people of Iran on the beginning of the 55th year of the auspicious existence of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
We are also approaching the anniversary of Ashura1 which is the day when our blood-drenched ideal was born. It is the birthday of our strategy based on the willingness to pay the price without expecting any rewards. It is the founding anniversary of our path and tradition of remaining truthful to your cause and sacrificing for it.
Let us send thousands of salutes to the great founders of the PMOI/MEK, the great martyrs of the history of resistance for freedom and equality, Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Asghar Badizadegan.
PMOI founders shattered the impasse in the Iranian people’s struggle
The founders of the PMOI/MEK stepped into a difficult and unfamiliar path, but they broke through the impasse by an admirable faith and confidence. They started everything anew, a professional struggle based on an ideology which rejected exploitation, and promoted sacrifice and selflessness.
How eloquent was father Taleghani who said they (the PMOI founders) opened the way and the blood spilt from their bodies gave way to floods which overthrew the monarchic dictatorship...
Today, the great founder of the PMOI, Mohammad Hanifnejad, is watching us and is present among us. He can see that the seed he planted has now turned into a lush and blossoming jungle.
I am truly proud to be a member of an organization founded by the greatest progressive leader in Iran’s contemporary history. I am proud to be a member of an organization and a resistance movement led by Massoud Rajavi for five decades in a formidable struggle against two dictatorships, and towards progress and evolution.
A long line extending to Tehran
From the bottom of my heart, I am proud to be a member of an organization and a movement where women have been at the helm for over 30 years of its 54-year existence. The Secretary Generals leading the PMOI/MEK in these years are my dear sisters: Fahimeh Arvani, Shahrzad Sadr, Mahvash Sepehri, Beheshteh Shadrou, Mojgan Parsaii, Sedigheh Hosseini, Zohreh Akhyani and Zahra Merrikhi.
Qualified and competent women from Azerbaijan, Tehran, Kurdistan, Gilan, Khuzistan, Semnan and Mazandaran. Every one of them has represented great values in the ranks of the organization. They have been symbols of sincerity and integrity, energy and vivacity, strength and firmness, leadership and resilience, selflessness, modesty and humility, accountability, truthfulness, steadfastness, patience and triumph.
Indeed, beyond being the Secretary Generals of the PMOI/MEK, they are the focal points of hope for the people of Iran.
And now, they have been replicated in the ranks of the Central Council of the PMOI/MEK made up of 1,000 women in the leadership of this organization. Each and every one of them is a symbol of new creative values in humanity and struggle, in their present battle and for re-building tomorrow’s Iran.
PMOI spearheads liberation of Iranian society from tyranny, discrimination and injustice
Two years from now, the solar calendar will end its 14th century. The latest century in Iran’s history can be summed up in the shifting of power among four despots and two dictatorships of kings and mullahs, who were hand in hand in creating this savage tyranny.
In contrast, the Iranian people’s movement entered the scene with the Constitutional Revolution, creating a new equation in which Iran’s destiny was no longer determined by the ruling despots, colonialist powers and the mullahs. The people of Iran also got engaged as a front and rose up to gain their freedoms and sovereignty.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran has played an important part in such revolutionary progress in the past century. Its history reflects the process of empowerment of the prospect of freedom, popular sovereignty, justice and equality in Iran.
The essence of the PMOI’s quest is freedom and equality
The PMOI/MEK is a treasure trove filled with the Iranian people’s historical steadfastness. And I assure you that this organization spearheads the Iranian society’s quest for liberation from tyranny, discrimination and injustice, and it will realize the true aspirations of the people of Iran for a glorious future.
This has been the subject of the PMOI’s 54-year struggle. It has been the goal of 120,000 of the best children of the people of Iran. This is what hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have been tortured and suffered for, and millions and millions of dissidents have endured its pain under oppression. The essence of the PMOI’s quest is freedom and equality.
In contrast to the one-dimensional outlooks of various opposing schools of thought over the past two centuries, the PMOI set both freedom and equality as their goals. They have risen up for breaking the chains of repression, and for eliminating discrimination and injustice. The PMOI has made great sacrifices over the past 40 years in its struggle for freedom. The PMOI’s name is synonymous with the word “freedom.” At the same time, this is a movement determined to obliterate oppression and exploitation...
Just 17 days after Khomeini usurped the Iranian people’s sovereignty in 1979, he issued an order to confiscate all public properties and declared them as booties of his own forces.
Over the past 40 years, claiming public properties as war booties has been the consistent policy of the mullahs’ regime.
They have taken over public lands, forests, natural resources, waters, the environment, banks, the national money market, factories, public companies, the lion’s share of oil, gas and petrochemical revenues, communications, and the market of internet software.
Of course, Khamenei has occasionally issued calls to fight corruption, in reaction to public outrage. This is while he, himself, is the biggest thief in Iran’s history. By ruthless thievery, he has set up big private cartels. The outcome of this organized corruption, has been destitution, poverty and homelessness of the Iranian people.
Today, the situation in Iran is so disastrous that people have to sell their kidneys; they have to sleep on the streets; women even sell their infants, and destitute women do not have any form of support. All honorable Iranians are deeply upset by such tragic conditions. The PMOI started its struggle with two simultaneous mottos to save the people of Iran: freedom and refuting all forms of discrimination and oppression….
The organization which was founded by Mohammad Hanifnejad and led by Massoud Rajavi, has borne the standard and opened the way for democratic Islam.
Over the past half a century, the PMOI/MEK has acted as a formidable barrier against the onslaught of medieval, despotic and misogynistic thoughts using the name of Islam.
In the beginning, Mohammad Hanifnejad rejected those interpretations of Islam which advocated exploitation. He showed that Islam does not defend oppressive classes, but is on the side of the deprived and the oppressed.
The PMOI/MEK also rejected and discredited the mullahs’ abuse of Islam to gain power and wealth. They showed that the dynamism of Islam and the Quran could be understood only in the course of a democratic political and social struggle.
A decade later, Massoud Rajavi underlined the threat posed by the reactionary religious outlooks, drew the line between the Islam which the PMOI believed in and the reactionary version which later seized power.
The PMOI’s greatest mission was to stand up to Khomeini
The greatest mission of the Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK) was to stand up to Khomeini, who for the first time in Iran’s history, enjoyed religious authority, political power and legitimacy emanating from a popular revolution, all together. And this is how he turned into the most hideous force in the history of Iran.
The Mojahedin’s ideological and political mission will continue until the religious fascism ruling Iran is overthrown.
In line with this mission and in response to this great responsibility, the PMOI/MEK demonstrated their total contrast to the ruling religious reaction by emphasizing on women’s equality and liberties.
The PMOI believes in the original faith introduced by Mohammad (the Prophet of Islam) whose emancipating message rejected class oppression as well as racial and gender discrimination. It defends women’s equality and the autonomy of oppressed ethnic groups. It advocates people’s sovereignty and does not accept any form of coercion and compulsion.
What is the PMOI’s message for the younger generation?
And today, what is the message of the PMOI/MEK for the younger generation? What message do they have for the Iranian society in the beginning of their 55th year of existence? The message is clearly this:
It is possible to break the chains of repression and exploitation.
It is possible to liberate society from gender discrimination and create new relations based on gender equality and human solidarity.
Freedom and justice are part and parcel.
It is possible to instate freedom, justice and equality and the PMOI/MEK has risen to realize this goal.
It is possible to have a genuine antithesis based on democratic Islam overcome ignorance, superstition and reaction disguised in the cloak of Islam.
Having compensated for the shortcomings of the revolutions of the past century, the Iranian Resistance has matured in the 21st century and borne fruit in the course of its struggle for freedom and equality.
This is the organization, the tradition, the path and practice of the deprived but aware youths of Iran who created the uprisings of December 2017 and January 2018.
This is the movement and ideal of youths who have formed their resistance units and kept the flame of Iran’s uprising alight in every city across the country and inside the cells and wards of Khamenei’s prisons.
They are resisting everywhere. By relying on its people, the great Army of Freedom will also take the same path to turn this dark page of Iran’s history.
One day, Khomeini addressed the PMOI/MEK and said, “If I knew that there was an infinitesimal possibility that you would give up on what you are planning to do, I would have compromised with you…” (Ruhollah Khomeini, May 12, 1981)
Yes, there is not an infinitesimal possibility that the PMOI/MEK would give up on their plan for freedom and popular sovereignty and the overthrow of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship.
And this is the pride which shines throughout the history of the PMOI/MEK.
They endured captivity in the cage and coffin2, they went through the 1988 massacre; they went to the gallows by the thousands; they lied down before Humvees and bulldozers in Ashraf; their bodies were hanged from the cliff in Charzebar3 or from beams in half-constructed buildings in cities across Iran, but there never was an infinitesimal possibility for them to give up their fight, and they will not do so until the day Iran is free.
In the contemporary history of Iran, the PMOI/MEK is known for their commitment to carry on their bloody shoulders any burden that is necessary for the advancement of their struggle.
And today, I want to give assurances to the people of Iran that the PMOI/MEK is capable of overthrowing the regime by relying on their people. They are capable of replacing religious tyranny with freedom, democracy, and separation of religion and state. They can replace distrust with trust, insecurity and fear with security, and injustice with equality.
They are capable of leading Iran towards freedom, prosperity and progress.
1- Ashura is the day of martyrdom of the third Shiite leader, Imam Hussein.
2-PMOI prisoners were kept for months in small containers similar to cages and coffins to torture and break them.
3-Charzebar is a narrow road going through the mountains of Kermanshah. In 1988, Sara Tolou was stabbed in the heart and hanged from a tree on the top of a cliff in Charzebar by Khomeini’s revolutionary guards.