on 18 December 2013
Respected Members of Senate,
It is a pleasure to be here with you today. And I thank you for your attention to the Iranian issue as well as to the human rights situation in Iran.
It is common knowledge that there is nothing resembling human rights in Iran today, which is ruled by the clerics.
The rule of law is a precondition to have respect for human rights. However, this regime and its laws are intrinsically hostile to international human rights law.
Under the absolute clerical rule in Iran, there are no free elections.
The criterion that qualifies a candidate to run in the regime's presidential or parliamentary races is a proven theoretical and practical allegiance to the regime's Supreme Leader.
There are no opposition parties.No one has the right to oppose the regime.
All media outlets are controlled by the government and the regime's intelligence ministry.
The mullahs consistently violate even the very laws that they themselves have fashioned.
In a word, the velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) system that has been in power in our homeland in the past 35 years violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all international human rights conventions both in its laws and its conduct. They include:
• The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
• The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
• The Convention against Torture
• The Convention on the Rights of the Child
• International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers
These and other similar human rights conventions are consistently violated in the most egregious manner by the regime.
The systematic and brutal violations of human rights is the primary thing about which all of the regime's internal factions are in agreement.
In Iran, compliance with the regime's laws results in human rights violations while violating the regime's laws would amount to respect for human rights!
Contrary to the propaganda disseminated by the regime's lobbies outside the country, after Rouhani came to power, not only has the human rights situation not improved but in recent months, while the regime has sought to deceive the international community by presenting a outwardly smiling face, inside Iran itself, it has intensified executions and suppression in a bid to control a society on the verge of explosion.
During Rouhani's six month tenure, over 400 prisoners, including a number of political prisoners, have been executed in Iran.
Political prisoners continue to be tortured and harassed while being denied even medical treatment.
The degree of suppression inside Iranian prisons has increased, so much so that over the past month 3,000 prisoners have staged a hunger strike.
A number of political prisoners have been on hunger strike for the past 40 days.
Any signs of sympathizing with or connections to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) is countered with arrest, torture and execution.
In recent months, a growing number of freedom-seekers among ethnic minorities, such as Kurds, Baluchis and Arabs, have been executed.
Filtering of the World Wide Web has been intensified.
Out of 60 of the regime's suppressive organs, 12 are dedicated to suppression and control of the Internet.
Each day on average, the regime's security forces arrest up to 1,700 people in Iran.
Every day, state-run newspapers are filled with news stories about executions, public limb amputations, attacks on citizens' houses, confiscation of satellite dishes and other suppressive measures as the regime seeks to inculcate an atmosphere of terror and fear within society.
On November 25, Amnesty International released a statement showing that during the first 100 days of Rouhani, human rights situation in Iran has remained grim. The statement said that the Iranian regime must "go beyond the rhetoric and to take urgent and concrete measures to address the country’s deplorable human rights situation."
Over the past several weeks, Amnesty International has also issued urgent calls for action with respect to executions and torture in Iran.
But, the fact of the matter is that the mullahs know full well that if they were to cease executions and decrease the level of suppression, this would accelerate the regime's overthrow in its entirety.
That is why we have always said and reiterate now that if the regime had the slightest capacity to reform we would have greatly welcomed it. But the reality is that the mullahs' regime does not have the capability to reform itself or to respect human rights.
The regime's judicial chief said just this past week that: To oppose the death penalty is to oppose Islam.
Over the past three decades, 120,000 political dissidents have been executed by the regime in Iran. In 1988 alone, 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in the span of a few months.
This book contains the identities of 20,000 people executed by this regime.
Those who have committed genocide and crimes against humanity continue to be among the regime's senior officials today.
Allow me to underline the following truth: What the mullahs are doing has nothing to do with Islam and the Iranian culture. Therefore one must not be deceived by mullahs who want to cover and justify their crimes under the pretext of differences between various cultures and religions.
This is an insult to the Iranian people and their culture as well as to Islam.
As you know the first declaration of human rights in the world was written in Persia, ancient Iran, by Cyrus the Great in 538 b.c.
In this declaration all civil rights were recognized for all citizens.
Freedom of religion was recognized and even at the time that notion of republic did not exist, Cyrus the Great said if people do not want my monarchy I shall not rule over them.
This declaration was translated at 1971 by the United Nations to 6 languages.
Also the democratic and human rights customs laid down by Dr. Mossadeq, the leader of Iran's nationalist movement, during his two-and-a-half-year government in the 1950s, are all manifestations of the democratic capacities of our homeland Iran.
I must underscore that despite mullahs propaganda, Islam is the religion of tolerance, freedom, brotherhood, equality and peace.
Islam is based on freedom and freedom of choice for every human kind.
Gender equality is recognized by Islam. By emphasizing on rich culture of Iran and values of Islam, we respect the international declaration of human rights.
Freedom of choice for everyone regardless of their religion, race or gender must be respected.
Therefore we refuse mullahs’ Sahria law.
I would also like to bring to your attention the regular and extensive suppression of Iranian women by the mullahs.
In the context of the mullahs' laws, women are considered second-class citizens.
There are many laws prescribing brutal punishments against women, with stoning being one of them.
Moreover, many of their laws actually pave the way for the murder and suppression of women.
Looking at the dimensions and severity of such suppression, one can also grasp the scope of resistance that exists against this regime.
The embodiment of this resistance is the perseverance of 3,000 Iranian dissidents currently at Liberty Prison in Iraq.
That is why the clerical regime spares no effort to destroy them.
These dissidents represent the Iranian people's demand for change.
On September 1, at the behest of the mullahs' regime, Maliki's forces in Iraq attacked Camp Ashraf, murdering 52 residents and taking seven more hostage.
This was the fifth round of deadly attacks against the residents, which have so far led to the martyrdom of 112 and the wounding of 1,000 residents.
Sadly, the United States of America, the European Union and the United Nations have not taken any steps to ensure the security of these Iranian dissidents or to release the seven hostages, contrary to their repeated commitments. Indeed, after 108 days the bodies of the 52 have not yet been returned to the residents for burial.
While there has been no action by the governments, the Spanish court started investigation on Maliki’s National Security Advisor for alleged crime against international community and his role in the September 1st massacre.
Over the past few months hundreds have been on hunger strike in Liberty and several European and North American countries as well as Australia to wake up the world about this injustice.
I have appealed to them to end their hunger strike, by promising them that the international campaign for their demands including the release of seven hostages, protection of residents in Camp Liberty and call on international community to take necessary measure to stop execution in Iran will continue unabatedly.
I invite all of you to work to convince the Italian government to assume a leadership role in adopting a humanitarian initiative for defending human rights in Iran.
Specifically, the Italian government should be asked to:
• Refer the dossier of human rights violations and arbitrary executions by the regime to the UN Security Council;
• Condition its trade deals with the regime on a halt in executions in Iran;
• Take measures to ensure the protection of Liberty, which remains vulnerable to attacks and massacres at any moment;
• And, use its influence to free the seven hostages, and as a humanitarian gesture, accept a number of PMOI members from Liberty as refugees in Italy.
We seek a republic based on the separation of church and state;
A society founded on respect for human rights;
And we seek the abolition of the death penalty, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.
We seek a government which would systematically respect all international conventions on human rights, and one that would lay the foundation for their systematic implementation on par with the country's laws.
I invite all of you to support the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance in their pursuit of these noble goals.