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Maryam Rajavi’s Speech at the Paris International Conference


Maryam Rajavi
Maryam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi Website, 21 Oct 2013

Iran: Human rights, nuclear threat, Liberty’s protection, a call to save Ashraf hostages

Supporters of the Iranian Resistance,

I salute all of you, attending this conference against the violation of human rights in Iran and in support of provision of protection and security for the PMOI at Camp Liberty, the release of the seven Ashrafi hostages, and protest against human rights violations in Iran.

Today, I would like to talk about two important points.

First: The explosive social situation in Iran and the role of the Iranian Resistance, and especially the unique role and impact of events at Ashraf on September 1; and second, the weak status of the regime during its final phases, as a result of which the mullahs have resorted to deceptive tactics, whether from in their Supreme Leader’s office in Tehran or in New York or Geneva, for the nuclear weapons program.
Hail to the women and youth of Iran, those who were moved and inspired by the epic of Ashraf and the martyrdom of 52 heroes of freedom, and those who shared their heartfelt and loving sentiments in the numerous messages sent to the Iranian Resistance while stressing the need to continue and expand this struggle.

My message to these brave women and courageous youth is this: The story of Zohreh Ghaemi is a reflection of your determination and resolve to overthrow the religious fascism. So, rise up to achieve freedom, democracy and equality in Iran.

Yes, this is the full story: the freedom of our enchained nation and people. This was the underlying motivation of the epic of Ashraf and this was its message to the Iranian nation. Take a look and see what the enemy was after on September 1 on the one hand, and what was actually created on the other hand.

The Iranian regime sought to annihilate the PMOI or deal a severe blow to it at the hands of the Iraqi government.

In its mind, everyone must either surrender or repent or be annihilated.

Why did the mullahs commit this massacre? Because they have tested all other options with respect to this generation.

From executions and massacres to the terror listing, fabricating court cases, disseminating false information and demonization; and from psychological torture of the residents by using 320 loudspeakers for 2 years to placing a long siege and forcing a slow death on the sick;

And from forcible displacement to creating a prison at Camp Liberty.

But what in fact took place on September 1 was this:

A shining illustration of the refusal to surrender and waging resistance at any cost, which gave way to:

- blooming instead of annihilation
- Motivation and inspiration instead of surrender
- soaring to new heights and progression instead of recoiling or stopping
- And a shining epic instead of a harmful blow

All of which eternalized the traditions and path of Ashraf.

As Massoud said, “The legend of Ashraf is an enduring epic in the history of Iran and people around the globe… It is a brilliant manifestation of a hundred-fold struggle. Flames will arise from the blood of the Mujahedin shed at Camp Ashraf and will raze to the ground the anti-human regime.”

Why do we say that it was an epic? It was an epic because it was created completely through perseverance and defence of the cause of freedom.

It was an epic because it is rooted in an authentic and dynamic resistance movement, which inspires, paves the way and conveys a message.

Its message passes through the hard and weighty prison walls while creating a spirit of resistance and combativeness.

Its message burns down the thick curtains of despair, insecurity and ideology of avoiding to pay the price, while broadening hope, faith and spirit of resistance.

Its message lays bare the enemy’s fear, frailty and misery, to the extent that the enemy calls its operation bigger than the one against Operation Eternal Light.

This was a shining epic created at the hands of the generation of the innumerable, which spreads the message of martyrs everywhere. And they rise up 52 times more determined to fight in order to obtain freedom and democracy.

Indeed, from the blood of the martyrs thousands of tulips are blossoming all over Iran, thousand shining Zohrehs in the heavens of our nation, and a thousand blooming forests at every corner of our homeland.

The enemy believed that through the mass execution and kidnapping of the residents of Ashraf it will be able to “remove the threat from Iran’s borders.”

The regime’s spokesmen loudly proclaimed that “the PMOI must be wiped off the face of the Earth.”

But, contrary to their intentions, a wave of support and solidarity with the PMOI quickly gathered. The mullahs realized that the residents of Ashraf pose a threat to the regime’s existence not from the borders but from people’s homes, factories, and universities inside Iran.

In order to confront this wave, they organize events at universities on the basis of which the PMOI are put on ridiculous show trials.

They want to put on trial the people’s enthusiasm and passion to multiply Ashraf.

They want to put on trial Iranian youth’s longing and passion for freedom and equality. But we will never give up!

Do you remember the campaign of allegations, lies and demonization that they carried out against this Resistance?

On the one hand, with defamations and psychological warfare, and on the other hand by publishing lies in MOIS websites, state-run TV stations. They sought to remove all traces of resistance for freedom by resorting to attacks and animosity toward the person of Massoud Rajavi, the Leader of the Iranian Resistance. But they always faced defeat when encountering the generation of allegiance and conviction.

Yet we tell them that you can put freedom and equality on trial for as long as you want, but in the end you will certainly be defeated by it. In the end, it will be freedom and the army of freedom that will sweep aside the evil of your regime in Iran.

Distinguished Guests,

After the horrendous crime committed at Ashraf on September 1, who can really sleep easy?

At this very moment, our sisters and brothers at Liberty and also in Geneva, London, Melbourne, Berlin and Ottawa are going through their fiftieth day of hunger strike.

My heart aches tremendously when I see my sisters and brothers on hunger strike. Every hour of every day, I wish and pray that I can realize their wishes immediately so they can end their hunger strike.

On the basis of many requests by you, I have appealed to the residents at Liberty to end their strike. But they have said that the only way they can convey their protest with respect to the 7 hostages and the issue of protection at Liberty to everyone else is to make sacrifices with their own bodies. I am genuinely humbled in the face of your dedication and sacrifices from Liberty to across the world, and I applaud your courage and determination.

Indeed, what other conceivable asset is more valuable than your determination and love for liberating a nation that is in chains.

So hail to your determination and faith, to all of you who have roused the flames of the conscience of humanity. You should be proud.

Allow me to stress that the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, who have adopted silence and inaction contrary to their legal obligations bear the responsibility for the lives of the hostages, the well-being of the hunger strikers and all the related humanitarian and political consequences.

It is obvious that the Iraqi government committed massacre and took residents hostage on the orders of the mullahs. At the same time, the U.S. government bears responsibility for this massacre and hostage-taking from a political perspective. And it cannot shirk its responsibility for the following reasons:

First, the U.S. has recognized the status of every single Ashrafi as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Second, the U.S. has expressed a written commitment to every individual freedom fighter at Ashraf that it will protect them in exchange for giving up their weapons.

Third, the U.S. committed itself to their protection and security during the Ashrafis’ move to Liberty.

Fourth, the presence of the 100 PMOI members who had remained at Ashraf was on the basis of an agreement drawn up on the basis of an American initiative and signed onto by the U.S., the UN, the Iraqi government and Ashraf residents.

And, finally, senior U.S. government officials have repeatedly underscored their commitment to the protection of the PMOI, including at hearings in the House and Senate and also in official letters from the U.S. State Department to us. However, sadly, it was a series of betrayed American commitments that paved the way for this crime.

And this attitude continues to this day. Otherwise, while the U.S. is well aware of the role of the Iraqi government and Maliki personally in the massacre and hostage-taking, why has it chosen to continue its silence after 50 days?

And why is it not demanding the immediate release of the hostages from Maliki?

And, why is it intent on being deceived by the lies of the Iranian regime and Maliki? Now, all the freedom-seeking forces across the world are asking the American president why is he willing to welcome a murderer and a criminal at the White House? What good can washing the blood off his hands bring to America?

Welcoming such a figure is certainly not a source of pride. But now that the U.S. government is giving such an unjustified support, it bears responsibility for it.

Therefore, we tell the U.S. President to demand from the Iraqi government to release the seven hostages.

Dear Friends,

As I have noted on previous occasions, the Iranian regime’s real objective is not to have the PMOI leave Liberty or Iraq, but their goal is to have them surrender or physically annihilate the PMOI altogether. And now after all these episodes, Liberty’s lack of security has become an urgent issue. The trend of relocating residents to other countries is also an extremely slow process. For this reason, as I have repeatedly warned over the past two years, I must reiterate that all those who disregard the issue of security at Liberty by galling back on the false promise of quick transfer of the PMOI to other countries are in practice putting themselves in the camp of the enemy and against the PMOI.

Therefore, we call on the U.S., Europe and the UN to being a series of immediate initiatives so that:

- Cut off economic aid and weapons ties to Iraq until the Iraqi government frees the hostages and fulfills the requirements for the provision of security at Camp Liberty.
- Post a monitoring team and a unit of UN Blue Helmets at Liberty on a permanent basis.
- The UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights must carry out an independent probe into the crimes committed on September 1 and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Without such probe, Maliki will try to produce a manipulated report to wash its hands from blood and pave the way for further crimes.
Even the police station at Liberty refuses to accept complaints of families of victims and survivals of September 1 massacre.
- The residents of Liberty are all considered to be refugees. As a result, the U.S. and Europe can quickly accept all of them, and as a first step those who are sick or injured, something that they have not do so far. Just a few days ago, Hamid Shakeri died as a result of the medical siege in camp Liberty after a long time of struggling with his illness. This heroic PMOI member was the fifteenth resident at Liberty and Ashraf who was martyred as a result of the inhumane siege. Let us remember this heroic Ashrafi.

Distinguished Guests,

The attack against Ashraf was a desperate attempt to delay the overthrow of a regime that sees itself in its last phase and on the brink of overthrow.

A persecuted society exceedingly prepared to rise up, a collapsed economy, the failed policy of uniting the regime, and the regime’s situation in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, have all closed options for the velayat-e faqih regime to advance or retreat.

The mullahs are feeling threatened from every angle. For this reason, on the one hand they have resorted to the massacre of PMOI members and slaughter of the Syrian people using chemical weapons, as well as accelerating their nuclear weapons production and over five hundred hangings in the last ten months including execution of our Sunnite compatriots, but on the other hand they try to deceive the international community through mullah Rouhani’s maneuvers and gestures.

In truth, the mullahs are at an impasse when it comes to the war against the Iranian people and the international community. That is why they have resorted to the slogan of moderation and leniency. Yes, a scheme is being implemented to trick and deceive, and the director of this scheme is the very man who was in charge of deceiving the U.S. envoy at the time of the Iran Gate fiasco, and a man who also concealed the regime’s work on nuclear sites during negotiations with the European Troika in 2003.

The mullahs’ approach during the recent negotiations with the P5+1 in Geneva was pursuing the same goal of creating an opportunity for a regime engulfed in crises. They declared uranium enrichment as a red line and deferred the signing of additional protocols with unannounced inspections to an unknown date in the future.

I must warn that any agreement which does not include the stopping of centrifuges, the closing of all nuclear sites, and demanding the signing of the Additional Protocol by the mullahs will have the opposite result.

On the basis of a policy described by Khamenei as “heroic leniency,” the mullahs are seeking an urgent airway or breathing passage so they can advance their nuclear weapons project in secret. A project with more than 19000 centrifuges, a reactor at Arak to produce plutonium, over 180 kg of uranium enriched up to 20 percent, and a number of declared and undeclared sites.

The Iranian people do not want the nuclear program, which has cost the Iranian economy at least one hundred billion dollars. This unpatriotic program must come to a halt today.

Putting an end to the mullahs’ nuclear program needs a shift in the West’s policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime. The only response should be firmness, firmness, and more firmness. Otherwise, you will not see any retreat by the mullahs. If you want to avoid regretting your deeds in the near future, stop the appeasement of this regime and do not threaten freedom and human rights in Iran and peace and security in the world more than you already have.

At any rate, the fate of Iran and the Iranian people will not be determined in the equation of appeasers and the velayat-e faqih regime. Rather, it is the Iranian people and their army of liberation who will have the last word about the decrepit ruling dictatorship.

And it is the sacrifices, suffering and anguish of the pioneering children of the people of Iran which will erect the edifice of freedom for tomorrow’s Iran. An Iran where all people are free and equal, and the vote of the people is the only criterion. An Iran with a pluralistic republic based on the separation of church and state, gender equality and abolition of the death penalty. Yes, a non-nuclear Iran which has peaceful and friendly relations with the rest of the world. This is the shining prospect for which we have risen up.

Supporters of the Resistance,

Despite all the deceptions, schemes and massacres on the part of the velayat-e faqih regime and despite the shameful and disgraceful policy of appeasement and the betrayed commitments and promises of world governments, I must stress that the torturous and long march of the Iranian people toward the ideal of freedom, which is advanced at the cost of the lives of our most beloved friends, will certainly be triumphant.

The proud 52 Ashrafis are the luminous light on this path.

Hail to these self-sacrificing women and men, from their youngest like Saeed, Rahman, Amir, and Nasser to commanders with years of experience of struggle like Behrouz, Rashid and Rahim.

Yes, they did not allow and will not allow the repugnance of surrender and repentance and appeasement and passivity to immerse the world of humanity in darkness.

The history of humankind has been advanced through such sacrifices, and it is such a perseverance that has continued to keep the flames of struggle against injustice and dictatorship alive, and in the end it is such a combative spirit that will overthrow the velayat-e faqih regime.

Hail to the martyrs,
Hail to the freedom-fighting PMOI,
Hail to the people of Iran,
Hail to all of you