Betancourt: Forty years of Resistance for FreedomJune 2020.

MEK Iran: Remarks By Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator, and presidential candidate

Betancourt: Forty years of Resistance for FreedomJune 2020.

Ingrid Betancourt: Resistance and its most organized popular expression, namely the MEK.

20th June 2020 International online conference: It’s an honor to join you all this afternoon. We are indeed commemorating a lifetime -Forty years – of Resistance for Freedom… I was 18 years old, and I remember the sheer sense of frustration …

…Because, since the beginning, the Mullah’s regime betrayed the dreams of the Iranian people after overthrowing the Shah’s dictatorship.

By June 1981, all freedoms gained from the Iranian people’s revolution had disappeared, and thousands of supporters of the (PMOI / MEK Iran) were killed, injured and imprisoned.

40 years ago, on June 20, 1981, the (PMOI / MEK Iran) called for a peaceful demonstration protesting the emergence of a new dictatorship, this time a religious one. Just in Teheran half, a million people turned out in the streets, an hour after the MEK’s call.

Let’s picture the moment: as the demonstrators were marching towards the Parliament, more and more people began joining in, gaining momentum (young people, women, men, children, … ). Khomeini, the regime’s first Supreme Leader, publicly ordered the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to open fire on the crowd.

They killed, arrested, and started mass executions of thousands of prisoners without any trial. It was bloodshed. The beginning of the Iranian nightmare.

June 20, 1981 marks this turning point in Iran’s history, and the beginning of an all-out resistance against the clerical regime.

Unprecedented Suppression

Thanks to the evidence gathered by the MEK, we now know that the regime has executed 120,000 people since 1979, most of them MEK supporter, imprisoned, and tortured for years.

We also know that the disastrous war with Iraq was a cover for its domestic suppression and to establish its dictatorship under the pretext of war.

This explains why, in the past forty years, the Iranian regime has resorted to all possible means to destroy the Resistance and its most organized popular expression, namely the MEK.

In 1988, in a matter of months, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners.

At the same time, the regime’s disinformation campaign against the MEK was launched. Its diplomacy has been used to obtain appeasement policies from Western countries, and to ban, deport, expel, and extradite members of the MEK.

The Resistance:

But contrary to the regime’s claims, lobbies, and apologists, the Iranian people have never accepted the clerical rule. They have, indeed, waged the most heroic resistance for forty years.  And we are proud to have to be part of it, at our small scale, but with all the power of our hearts.

2017,2018,2019 Uprisings

We cannot continue to be blind to the fact that the Iranian people’s uprisings in 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been voicing the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime:

Slogans included things like:

“Reformer, Hardliner, the game is over.”,  “Death to Khamenei”, “Our enemy is right here, not in America”.

These calls are aligned with the MEK’s persistent demands.

In 2019, from the first day, the regime shut down internet access to disrupt communication about the scale of the uprising, and the atrocities of the Regime forces.

The regime resorted to brutal violence killing at least 1,500 people and arresting more than 10,000 and some sentencing them to death.

But the uprising showed that the overthrow of the regime is possible and that the role of an organized opposition like the MEK is instrumental to its success.

Coronavirus Crisis:

This year 2020, while the whole world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in Iran, the regime has exploited the coronavirus crisis as a shield against public protests and uprisings.

At least 62,000 people have died from the coronavirus but the Iranian regime officially claims less than 10,000.

Unlike other countries, the regime did not provide any financial help to the people who lost their jobs, BUT the regime paid its terrorist mercenaries five times more than nurses fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Iran.

As we commemorate the 40 years of the heroic resistance of the people of Iran, we are also acknowledging that:

  • The MEK is the only organized opposition in Iran that has survived in the land and outside its borders, attracting the best and the brightest of its peoples, from all generations and all its ethnic diversity.
  • MEK is the only organization in the world that has fully embraced gender equality. Imagine, facing the most misogynistic country in the world, a woman is leading the way!
  • And MEK is the only organization in the world that has full knowledge of the threat of Islamic extremism.

and that fully challenges those who exploit Islam as a weapon against peace, freedom, and modern societies.

Conclusion :


  1. The Iranian regime faces its most severe political crisis of its 40-year of existence, doubled by a catastrophic economic situation due to massive corruption, wars, economic sanctions, and the coronavirus worldwide crisis.
  2. The regime is at an impasse with no solutions.
  3. Its leaders, including Khamenei, know that “the game is over”…
  4. And We who are united virtually today and physically in Iran, We know that for Iran to unlock the door to its democracy and peace, Maryam Radjavi ant the MEK is the key.

We are ready for the last call from the MEK, when not half a million, but tens of millions of Iranians will gather with the might and power of justice, to overthrow the criminal rulers of Iran.

In Colombia we won our independence under the rallying call: “armas a discreción, paso de vencedores”

Today I say to you:

There is no way back, we are marching at victory pace!

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