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MEK rally in Warsaw-Day 2

MEK Supporters Rally for Second Day Outside of Warsaw Conference

MEK rally in Warsaw-Day 2

Amid Warsaw Summit, MEK supporters rally for the second day opposite where the conference was being held. February 14

On Thursday, February 14th, a large group of Iranians gathered in Poland’s capital city for the second day outside of the Warsaw Conference. The protesters were supporters of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) who were rallying in solidarity with the Iranian people and their call for an overthrow of the oppressive clerical regime currently in power and the democratic alternative proposed under the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and the NCRI.

Protesters at the rally on Thursday chanted, “Appeasement no; regime change yes!” and “Regime change!” Photographs of the crowd chanting and holding posters with photographs of NCRI leader Maryam Rajavi were posted on social media. A video posted on Twitter shows a group of protesters held a large banner reading, “Call on Warsaw Summit: Expel the Mullahs’ Illegitimate Regime and Recognize the NCRI as the Representative of the Iranian People.”

The Future of Middle Eastern Policy

The two-day rally coincided with the Warsaw Conference, which was jointly hosted by the United States and Poland, in order to discuss the future of Middle Eastern policy. The conference, which drew high-ranking policy-makers from dozens of countries, was mainly focused on Iran and its role in creating instability in the region.

The NCRI and MEK hoped that their rally would draw attention to the nationwide anti-regime protests that have taken place over the past year in Iran and the clear will of the Iranian people to replace the mullahs and their brutal theocracy with a free Iran.

How to Make Iran “Act Like a Normal Country”

 

When announcing the conference, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that one of the primary goals of the event was to find a way to make Iran “act like a normal country.” After forty years, it is clear that the Iranian regime will never act like a normal country. The policy of appeasement has failed. The people of Iran are asking the international community to recognize the forty years of human rights abuses that the Iranian regime has inflicted upon its own people and to support the people’s right to overthrow the ruling regime and replace it with a peaceful and democratic Iran.

Wednesday’s Rally

 

The NCRI and MEK held another rally on Wednesday as the Warsaw Conference began. Wednesday’s rally included speeches from a number of well-known politicians from the United States and Europe, as well as representatives of the Iranian communities. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli, and several Polish MPs and Senators were among the distinguished speakers at Wednesday’s rally.

The protesters at Wednesday’s and Thursday’s rallies voiced their support for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan for a free and democratic Iran after the fall of the mullahs’ regime. Her plan includes gender equality, separation of religion and State, and a non-nuclear Iran. The rally on Wednesday was preceded by a brief press conference.

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MEK rally in Warsaw-February 13, 2019

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw as International Conference on Iran and Middle Eastern Policy Begins

MEK rally in Warsaw-February 13, 2019

Simultaneous to Warsaw Summit, the MEK supporters held a rally to voice the Iranian people’s quest for regime change in Iran-February 13, 2019

On Wednesday, the MEK supporters held a rally in Warsaw condemning the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses towards its own people and standing in solidarity with the Iranian people by calling for the international community to recognize the people’s right to overthrow the oppressive theocratic regime currently in power.

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw to Mark Four Decades of Regime Atrocities Prior to Warsaw Summit

The rally was planned to coincide with the beginning of the Warsaw Conference, which is taking place February 13-14. The primary focus of the international gathering of political leaders is to discuss Iran’s role in the future of Middle Eastern policy. The Iranian Resistance would like to make it clear that the old policy of appeasement has not been effective in containing the Iranian regime’s threat and the mullahs’ regime is past reform. The NCRI, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, offers a 10-point plan for Iran’s future, including separation of religion and State, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.

A variety of highly-respected dignitaries, politicians, and representatives of the Iranian community gave speeches at the event, and then a large crowd of demonstrators marched on the streets of Warsaw, chanting, “Appeasement, no; regime change, yes!”

The Speakers

The following are some highlights from Wednesday’s speakers:

Rudy Giuliani, Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump and former New York City Mayor: “Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. We should not be doing business with a regime that supports terror. The Warsaw Summit should be focused on how we change Iran. How do we change their behavior against their people. The last two Free Iran conferences I attended, the regime tried to bomb them; the last one was in Paris.

“The Iranian people have a right to freedom and democracy. They have a right to be free. We will soon achieve the dream of seeing Maryam Rajavi in a free Iran. We have the answer to who will be the alternative to the regime. Maryam Rajavi has laid out a ten-point program which we should support.”

Zbigniew Cichoń, Polish Senator from the PIS party: “Thousands of Iranians are in jail for demanding their rights. Even the lawyers who defend them end up in jail. All Poles are in solidarity with you.”

Marcin Święcicki, Member of the Polish Parliament, former Mayor of Warsaw, and a former Minister for Foreign Economic Relations: “The NCRI movement has a ten-point plan which among other things calls for abolishing the death penalty. We want to see the establishment of peace and democracy in Iran.

Ryszard Majer, Polish Senator and Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee from the PIS party: “We respect freedom and solidarity. Are those values important to you? Yes, every nation needs freedom and solidarity, freedom to decide for themselves. Also in Iran freedom for Iranian people is necessary for the entire world.

“As a Pole, I understand this. For many years there was no freedom of assembly, no freedom of speech, for all of those who wished for change. Today I admire all of the efforts of Maryam Rajavi who works for solidarity and well-being in Iran.”

13:00: Robert Torricelli, former United States Senator (D): “We have tried to negotiate with Tehran. There have been negotiations with Tehran for 40 years. But they answered with terrorism. The lives of the thousands of martyrs laying in their graves are a testimony that this regime it not negotiable.”

“A government that murders its opponents, cannot be trusted to respect the nuclear agreement. a murderous regime cannot be a trustable regime.”

“Those nations who believe we have no other choice than to accommodate Iran, we say to them: We are the choice! The democratic alternative. The thousands and thousands of Iranians who have risked their lives in the streets of Iran, they are the choice. The NCRI is the choice, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is the choice.”

13:05: Zbigniew Cichoń, member of the Polish Senate from the PIS party: “As a nation, you have a right to fight. This is a dream that will soon become true. It will become true because our dream in Poland became true.”

“I believe very soon Iran will become a free state, a state of rule of law, not the rule of a few individuals against the people.”

13:10: Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria: “The MEK is the only force capable of freeing Iran. If we love peace and stability in this region, we need to eliminate the threat of Iran’s regime. And in order to do that, the only option is to support the Iranian Resistance led by Maryam Rajavi. I hope and pray to God that next year we can hold this meeting in Tehran.”

Javad Dabiran, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI): “Forty years after the downfall of the Shah’s dictatorship, it is time for the overthrow of the mullahs. This regime has brought nothing but misery and corruption and death and killings. So, it is time they go. They have only faced one strong opposition, that of the MEK (PMOI).”

Malieh Malek Mohammadi, a representative of the Iranian communities in Europe: “It’s the era of uprisings and of the overthrow of the mullahs. This opposition, the MEK, has more than forty years of experience. Time has come for payback for the dictators in Iran. Democracy and freedom will come to Iran.”

Matin Doustmohammadi, a representative of the Iranian youth associations in Europe: “We had 40 years of repression. But I am proud that in these 40 years, the MEK and their supporters continued their Resistance. I salute the MEK’s “Resistance Units” inside Iran that are leading all the protests.
“The regime is not paying any price for its crimes. If the Western government want to respect their own laws, they should arrest the regime’s agents and put the IRGC on the blacklist and expel the diplomat-terrorists of this regime.”

 Homayoun Sim-Laqaee, a representative of the Iranian communities in Europe: “The fake ‘alternatives’ to the regime that have been formed by the Iranian intelligence ministry only aim to discredit the MEK, but they will not lead anywhere.

“The time has come for the downfall of the mullahs with the leadership of Mr. Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance.”

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MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw to Mark Four Decades of Regime Atrocities Prior to Warsaw Summit

MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

Simultaneous to Warsaw Summit, the MEK supporters gathered near where the conference will be held to express the Iranian people’s devotion to freedom and democracy and demand an end to the policy of appeasement-February 13, 2019

On February 13, 2019, the Iranian opposition came together with communities in Europe and held a rally in Warsaw in solidarity with the Iranian people of Iran.

The event marked four decades since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 that ousted the Shah and brought Khomeini to power. Under the mullahs and Khomeini, the Iranian state derided religious plurality, shunned secularism, and abandoned any commitment to upholding human rights.

Instead, the Iranian state embraced repression, violence, torture, capital punishment, terrorism and war.

A Regime on the Brink of Collapse

Now, forty years later, the regime is creaking under the same weight that ousted the Iranian monarchy; the will and determination of the Iranian people.

In 2018, a wave of popular protests swept across Iran, igniting unrest in all 31 of Iran’s provinces and 142 cities, and towns. Like in 1979, these protests drew support from all walks of Iranian life, including the working classes that the clerical regime has relied on for support.

Teachers, farmers, factory workers, students, investors, pensioners, and bazaar merchants have all turned out to vent their frustrations and participate in anti-regime protests.

The driving force behind these protests has been the unrelenting determination of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Led by president-elect Maryam Rajavi, MEK members have risked their freedom and their lives to coordinate protests, counter the mullahs’ propaganda and disinformation, and stand up for Iranian human rights both within Iran and abroad.

In a statement ahead of the Warsaw rally, Iranian Communities in Europe called the MEK a “pivotal force of the political alternative for future Iran”.

A Rally to Recognize the Iranian People’s Right to Resist

The Warsaw rally takes place ahead of the anticipated Warsaw conference, in which governments from around the globe will meet in Warsaw to discuss strategies to deal with the Iranian threat.

For Iranian Communities in Europe and the MEK, the rally in Warsaw ahead of the conference was necessary to demonstrate to the international community the importance of recognizing the Iranian people’s right to resist and overthrow the regime’s tyrannical brand of religious fascism.

The statement from rally organizers read, “it is time to put an end to four decades of political and social repression, massacres, plunder of Iran’s wealth by the regime’s cronies, and misery and war forced upon the region by this regime.”

“We call on the West to impose sanctions on the regime and include the Iranian regime’s IRGC and MOIS and perpetrators of crimes against the Iranian people on the EU terror list.”

The statement concluded, “It’s time for European countries to align their voices with the voice of the Iranian people and resistance, and to end the nightmare of four decades of the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran, the region and the world.”

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Maryam Rajavi's video message to MEK's rally in Warsaw

Maryam Rajavi Speaks at the Warsaw Rally: The People of Iran are “Yearning for Freedom and Democracy”

Maryam Rajavi's video message to MEK's rally in Warsaw

Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran opposition, during her video message to the Warsaw rally on February 13, 2019

President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, addressed the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK-PMOI)‘s rally in Warsaw and stressed the importance of recognizing the Iranian opposition movement.

Addressing her “freedom-loving compatriots,” as well as the high-profile guests in attendance, including former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani and the former Prime Minister of Algeria, Sid-Ahmad Ghozali, she told them, “the voice of the people of Iran” is “yearning for freedom and democracy.”

She continued, “the pain of our political prisoners in Khamenei’s dungeons, the sufferings of our Kurdish, Turk, Balochi and Arab compatriots, and the stifled desires and hopes of Iranian women, youths, workers, farmers, teachers, and students are resonating in your cries.”

Their demand, she said, is that the world recognizes their right to overthrow the repressive clerical regime and bring freedom to Iran.

Years of Sacrifice

The Iranian people “deserve this,” Rajavi said. “They have proven it through long years of their quest for freedom and steadfast endurance in confronting one of the world’s most oppressive and ruthless dictatorships.”

2018 saw Iranians take to the streets to protest the mullahs’ rule in numbers not seen since 1979. For their calls for democracy, many had to sacrifice their freedom or their lives, as the Iranian regime responded to dissent by locking up or even killing protestors.

An End to Appeasement

Maryam Rajavi and the MEK’s demands were simple: respect the Iranian people’s struggle against oppression and discrimination.

The west has long emboldened the regime through its policies of appeasement and pandering to the mullahs. Maryam Rajavi asked, “why they [the West] have recognized a regime in Iran which has invaded and occupied the country, which rules by torture and execution, which plunders Iran’s assets and spends the Iranian people’s wealth on terrorist groups to slaughter the peoples of the region.”

Rajavi acknowledged the progress coming from the Trump administration, which has re-imposed economic sanctions and withdrawn from the JCPOA. She also acknowledged the gesture from the EU following the uncovering of Iranian terror attacks on European soil. The EU has imposed sanctions on a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). However, she added that the efforts did not go far enough.

Europe’s Sanctions Are Welcome, Now A Change In Policies Is Required.

“They must stand up more decisively to this regime,” she said, adding “the mullahs must not have a single bullet, a single dollar or a single barrel of oil at their disposal.”

Maryam Rajavi called for the inclusion of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on European and US terrorist blacklists. “The IRGC is in command of the regime’s terrorist mercenary groups and their disastrous bloodletting in the region,” she said.

The IRGC is behind many of the most destructive elements of the regime, including the missile program, nuclear weapons activities, and cyber-attacks. It is also in charge of arresting protestors and cracking down on political dissent in Iran and looting the country’s institutions.

“The Revolutionary Guard Corps is the backbone propping up the clerical regime,” Rajavi concluded. “So, it must be designated a terrorist force without delay.”

Investigating Human Rights Violations

In addition to the blacklisting of the IRGC, Ms. Rajavi called for the international community to refer the dossier of Iranian human rights violations to the UN Security Council. She asked those gathered in Warsaw, “why haven’t they set up any mechanism to prosecute the regime’s leaders for the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988?”

She was referring to the summer of 1988 when the Iranian regime launched a bloody crackdown on the MEK and other opposition groups. More than 30,000 political prisoners mainly MEK activists were executed in regime custody. Women were raped before heading to the gallows. Many family members of victims were not informed until after their loved one had been executed when the regime billed them for the rope used in the execution.

Rajavi concluded, “in spite of this, the people of Iran will never relent. The uprisings and protests and the activities of the courageous members of [MEK] Resistance Units in Iran will carry on.”

She ended her speech with the powerful sign-off, “hail to freedom. Hail to the people of Iran. Hail to all of you and your steel resolve to realize freedom.”

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Iranian Resistance Rallies in Warsaw Prior to Start of International Ministerial Conference on Iran

 

MEK rally in Warsaw

The Supporters of the principal opposition in Iran, the MEK prepare for a rally in Warsaw, just before the Warsaw Summit starts on February 13, 2019.

On February 13 and 14, 2019, the Polish Foreign Ministry and the United States Department of State are hosting an international conference to discuss the future of Middle Eastern policy. The conference will largely focus on the threat posed by the Iranian regime to the surrounding region. High-ranking officials from several dozen countries are expected to attend the two-day event.

The Regime’s Response to the Conference

Unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime reacted to the announcement of the conference with rage and condemnation, Regime officials attempted to discredit the conference, demanded that the event be cancelled, and even made unspecified threats to “take action” against Poland for holding the conference. These efforts ultimately failed, but they provided valuable insights into the regime’s deep fear of any challenge to its authority, as well as its behavior when responding to feedback from the international community. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initially said that the goal of the conference was to find a way to “make Iran act like a normal country,” and the mullahs’ response to the conference was another example of why this is not possible. The Iranian regime is past reform. The people of Iran are demanding a democratic alternative, and it is clear that the delegates at the Warsaw Conference should listen to their voices when determining future policy toward the Iranian regime.

NCRI/MEK Rally

On February 13th, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally prior to the beginning of the conference in Warsaw. The rally’s purpose is to draw attention to the Iranian people’s desire for regime change and to show their support for the NCRI and its leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, as the democratic alternative to the theocratic regime. The most recent NCRI rally, held in Paris last week, drew thousands of Iranians.

Those attending and speaking at the rally will call upon the delegates at the Warsaw Conference to condemn the Iranian regime for its forty years of human rights abuses toward its own people, blacklist Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents in order to combat their efforts to conduct terrorist plots on foreign soil, adopt a firm policy toward the Iranian regime, and affirm the right of the Iranian people to overthrow the theocratic regime currently in power.

The attendees will also declare their support for Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan for a peaceful transition to a free and democratic Iran. Mrs. Rajavi’s plan includes a structured time frame for democratic elections to form a new government to represent the Iranian people after the fall of the clerical regime. The MEK and NCRI, led by Mrs. Rajavi, want to replace the oppressive regime with a democracy with a clear separation of religion and state, equal rights and representation for women and religious and ethnic minorities, an end to the death penalty, and an immediate cessation of all nuclear activities.

Notable participants in the rally will include Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli and several Polish Members of Parliament and the Senate. The speakers will hold a brief press briefing before the rally begins.

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Ahmad Khatami

Regime Cleric Says It Has the “Formula for Creating a Nuclear Bomb”

Ahmad Khatami

Mullah Ahmad Khatami, Iranian regime’s Friday Prayer leader

A senior cleric within the Iranian regime has confirmed that the Iranian regime has “the formula for creating a nuclear bomb.” Ahmad Khatami told a crowd gathered in Mashhad for the morning ceremony that although “Iran never had the intention to build an atomic bomb,” it has the necessary knowledge to do so.

Khatami, Tehran’s Friday Prayer leader, added that the Islamic Republic does “not want to use weapons of mass destruction.”

Confirmed Beliefs

Previous research carried out by the Iranian opposition, namely the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) revealed that the regime has developed the capabilities of enriching Uranium to 20%. It is, therefore, not inconceivable that the regime would be able to expand this process to increase enrichment to 90%.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) echoed these findings. Yukiya Amano revealed in 2017 that the Iranian regime had dedicated resources to the development of nuclear weapons between 2003 and 2009.

The Iranian nuclear deal negotiated under President Obama made the cessation of Iran’s nuclear development a precondition of the agreement. However, the MEK and the Iranian opposition has frequently raised concerns over the regime’s compliance, a sentiment echoed by US President Donald Trump.

In 2003, the Iranian opposition revealed the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program. Given the level of commitment and determination the regime displayed towards its nuclear ambitions, it is inconceivable that it would simply end its nuclear program once the JCPOA was negotiated.

Curbing Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

Khatami has previously spoken out about US and European attempts to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In February, he noted that the US had curtailed the regime’s nuclear development and forced it to rely on its missiles instead.

He said, “America’s mischief decreased Iran’s nuclear power. The JCPOA ended. Our missile capability is what protects us in these conditions. If they take away our missile capabilities, the day will turn into the night for the nation of Iran.”

Following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the US re-imposed strict economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. These have further constricted the regime’s already spiraling economy, which is driving anti-regime protests across Iran. Khatami has previously admitted that the US sanctions are fuelling civic unrest in Iran and boosting the opposition movement.

After decades of corruption and misspending Iran’s finances on missile development, proxy wars in the region, and international terror activities, it’s time for the European Union to take a firm position in its policies towards Iran, and condition any trades with the regime to a halt on its missile program and an end to the terror and executions at home and abroad.

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Press conference at NCRI-US office

NCRI-US Hosts Panel Discussion on Future of Iran on 40th Anniversary of Revolution

Press conference at NCRI-US office

NCRI-US office press briefing on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran

On Monday, February 11th, the United States Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) held a panel discussion on the Iranian regime’s forty-year record of domestic human rights violations and foreign terrorist activities. The event was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The panel, which was led by Soona Samsami, the NCRI representative in the United States, included a discussion of the current unrest and economic crisis in Iran and the current impact of the massive popular uprising that took place one year ago, the resumption of U.S. sanctions, and the start of a firm policy toward the regime. The panel also discussed Iran’s future and possible policies toward Iran that could be adopted this year.

The 40th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

The panel coincided with the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of the Shah. On February 11, 1979, the people of Iran rose up and took down the Shah’s monarchy. The MEK played a key role at the end of this dictatorship and hoped to establish a free Iran. However, Ruhollah Khomeini and a group of hard-line clerics seized control of the country and created the theocratic regime that exists in Iran today.

Over the past forty years, the mullahs’ regime has been responsible for a number of conflicts in the region and has oppressed its own people. The MEK defended the liberties obtained after the 1979 revolution and showed extraordinary discipline to prevent an early confrontation with the new dictatorship, despite many of its followers and supporters were beaten, arrested, tortured and murdered by regime’s club wielders and the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) forces.

Quotes from Panel Speakers

The panel discussion included several distinguished speakers, including NCRI-US Representative Soona Samsami, former U.S. Ambassador and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Adam Ereli, and President of the Near East Policy Research (NEPR) Ali Safevi.  They shared their thoughts about the threat posed by the Iranian regime, the MEK and the democratic alternative for Iran’s future, and the need for a firm policy toward the mullahs. The following are some highlights from the day’s event:

 

Soona Samsami’s Remarks

  • “The Iranian people never desired a theocracy. They wanted a democracy. Throughout all these years, but especially since 2017, the Iranian people have demanded change.”

  • “The people are calling for the establishment of a republic based on democracy and separation of religion & state. In contrast to the regime’s attempts to paint a picture of strength on its 40th year in power, in reality, it is at its weakest point in history.”
  • “Tehran’s reaction to its organized opposition is a clear indication that there is a viable alternative to the regime in the form of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
  • “As a result of the Iran nuclear deal, tens of billions of dollars were poured into the coffers of the mullahs, enabling them to suppress the Iranian people and expand their malign activities in the region. It also gave the regime the political legitimacy, it lacked.”
  • “That attitude and policy have allowed a gang of medieval mullah, who stole the anti-monarchic revolution in 1979, to gradually develop an extensive missile and nuclear arsenal… and destabilize one of the most important regions of the world for 40 years.”
  • “The right policy is to recognize the rights of the Iranian people and the organized opposition to overthrow this regime. Unlike Syria and other countries suffering from dictatorships, Iran has a historic, real and viable alternative.”
  • “There is an organized resistance, it has very organized leadership. We are talking about a non-nuclear Iran, we are talking about separation of religion and state. There is a 3,000-year history of Iranian people rising up and claiming their rights.”
  • “Mrs. Rajavi’s 10-point plan for Iran’s future includes policies like separation of church and state; abolition of the death penalty; universal suffrage and elections; gender equality; peace & co-existence with neighbors; freedom of the press and speech.”

Adam Ereli’s Remarks

  • “Looking back on forty years of revolution: Yes, the mullahs are still there, but so is the MEK. You are still here and your longevity has demonstrated that you are not an agent of anybody but the Iranian people.”

Ali Safavi’s Remarks

  • “Recognition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), as the sole democratic alternative to the terrorist religious dictatorship in Iran, is imperative to rectifying & ending the disastrous policy of appeasement over the past four decades.”

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Michéle de Vaucouleurs,French MP addressing Free Iran rally

The Iranian Opposition and Its Supporters Protest in Paris to Mark Four Decades of Regime Rule

Michéle de Vaucouleurs,French MP addressing Free Iran rally

Michéle de Vaucouleurs, a member of France’s National Assembly, addresses MEK supporters in Paris during the February 8th Free Iran Rally.

Four decades ago, almost to the day, the Iranian regime came to power following the ousting of the Shah. Now, 40 years later, to mark the occasion, Iranians around the world are turning out to protest the regime’s violent and repressive rule.

On February 8th, 2019, Paris hosted one such protest. Protestors walked from Denfert Rochereau square to the French National Assembly, calling for an end to the continued human rights abuses in Iran, a cessation of Iranian state-sponsored terror, and for the regime to terminate its nuclear program.

MEK Rally in Paris=Feb8, 2019

MEK supporters rally in Paris on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution to show support for Iran Protests-February 8, 2019

A Who’s Who of the Iranian Opposition

The event drew support from prominent political figures from around the world, many of whom joined the protest. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) addressed the protestors. She told the protestors that now is the time for the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime.

She also called on the international community to recognize the NCRI and MEK in their struggle, and end policies of appeasement that further embolden and empower the tyrannical regime.

For Rajavi and the MEK, including the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) on EU and US terrorist blacklists is a priority. While these groups are still free to operate freely around the world, Europe and the United States will remain at risk of terror attacks.

Young MEK supporters join the protest in Paris gloomy weather-February 8, 2019

The protestors and Maryam Rajavi also appealed for tighter economic sanctions against the regime. Many held banners advocating stricter controls over Iranian oil exports. Ultimately, the money earnt through the regime’s oil industry goes to funding terrorist attacks and proxy wars abroad. The only way to stabilize the Middle East is by reducing the mullahs’ access to these finances.

In addition to Maryam Rajavi, speakers at the event included a member of France’s national assembly, a former Prime Minister of Algeria, and Alejo Vidal Quadras, the former Vice President of the European Parliament.

Vidal Quadras said, “I call on the EU to take a hard line with this theocratic and terrorist regime which has no future.” He also echoed Mrs. Rajavi’s calls for the inclusion of the Iranian regime’s forces in EU and US terror lists.

Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France Libertés drew attention to the 7,000 Iranians that had been arrested following protests in 2018. Their only crime was exercising their right to protest. Michéle de Vaucouleurs, a member of France’s National Assembly, also used his speech to draw attention to Iran’s poor human rights record. He said, “I find the human rights situation in Iran truly regrettable, and I hope this year will be the last year that you have to endure these sufferings.”

A United Front

The protestors that braved the cold and filled Paris with their drums, chants, messages of condemnation, and also messages of hope, showed just how strong the Iranian opposition is becoming. United, their voices are heard.

A similar phenomenon is taking place across Iran. The strikes of protests that engulfed Iran in 2018 show no sign of letting up. The people have found their voice and that voice is calling for regime change.

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Farmers and teachers protest in Isfahan

Security Forces Attack Peaceful Water Rights Protest in Isfahan 

Farmers and teachers protest in Isfahan

On the midst of the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution against the Shah’s dictatorship, farmers, teachers and others took is to the streets to demand their rights. The peaceful protest was attacked by regime forces.

The MEK sources inside Iran reported on Thursday, February 7th, that the security forces in Iran attacked hundreds of protesters, many of whom were teachers, during a demonstration for water rights in Isfahan.

The protesters assembled near the Zayanderud River earlier that day to demand that the regime allow the river to flow through the Isfahan region so that farmers there can water their crops. Over the past nine years, the regime has built factories upstream of the river and diverted water to other regions. This has dried the river before it could reach Isfahan. The once prosperous farmers in the region have been left without water to irrigate their crops. Agriculture is the primary industry in Isfahan, so virtually everyone in the province has been affected by the loss of water. Farmers in Isfahan have been protesting for water rights off and on for the past year, but their concerns were dismissed until recently.

A Temporary Solution

The regime recently bowed to public pressure and opened the river, after more than a year of protests by Isfahan’s farmers, allowing the waters of the Zayanderud to flow once more into the region. Videos on social media show water flowing under the Khaju Bridge for the first time in nine years. Locals celebrated the return of water to Isfahan. One man was so overcome with joy that he kissed the ground. The regime has only agreed to open the Zayanderud temporarily, though, so protesters gathered on Thursday to demand that the Iranian regime make the change permanent.

The protesters chanted: “A nation has never seen such injustice!”; “Teachers would rather die than face dishonor!”; and “Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s the U.S.!”

Teacher Protesters

Reports from the MEK network indicate that many of the protesters were teachers from Isfahan who spread the word to others, asking them to join the protest. People from various sectors of society heeded the call and also participated in the protest. Pictures of the protest shared on social media show teachers holding up photographs of fellow teachers who have been imprisoned for participating in labor unions or taking part in teachers’ strikes and protests over the past few months. Teachers across Iran have staged a number of strikes and protests to demand better pay and working conditions, the right to form labor unions, and the release of their imprisoned colleagues. The regime has responded by arresting and imprisoning teachers for protesting and ignoring their demands.

Tear Gas and Pepper Spray

Regime security forces arrived on the scene of the rally and attacked the peaceful protesters with tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to end the demonstration and disperse the protesters. The Iranian people have been protesting for over a year though, and no longer fear the regime or its security forces, so the protesters were not deterred. The people chanted, “Don’t be afraid, we’re all together!” and “We are teachers, not criminals!” to the security forces as they attacked.

Regime Suppression

The regime has been quick to suppress any rally or other forms of dissent, fearing that protests could spread and lead to calls for regime change. Since the massive nationwide uprising began in December 2017, anti-regime protests have threatened to topple the mullahs and replace them with a democratic alternative. The MEK has grown in popularity, which terrifies the regime, who sees the MEK as an existential threat. The theocratic regime has responded to the widespread unrest with a brutal crackdown of all dissent, arresting thousands, imposing harsh criminal sentences, executing citizens in large numbers, torturing detainees, targeting protesters and political activists for harassment, and engaging in terrorist activities on European soil against the MEK.

Despite these brutal acts of suppression, the people of Iran have not ceased their calls for regime change and continue to protest for freedom from the mullahs’ rule.

Staff Writer

 

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Maryam Rajavi's message to Free Iran Rally-Feb8, 2019

Maryam Rajavi Adresses Paris Rally: “Now Is the Time for the Mullahs to Be Overthrown”

Maryam Rajavi's message to Free Iran Rally-Feb8, 2019

Maryam Rajavi’s message to the Free Iran Rally, the MEK supporter’s rally in Paris on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution-February 8, 2019

On Thursday, February 8th, the Iranian opposition, supporters of the MEK, held a rally in Paris to express solidarity for the protest movement taking place in Iran and to urge international policymakers to show their support for the Iranian opposition within Iran by adopting a firm policy toward the Iranian regime.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), addressed the rally’s attendees and participants, who included MEK members and other Iranian expatriates, international politicians, and human rights activists.

In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi discussed the hardships that the Iranian people have faced in their quest for freedom. She said, “Our people faced a whirlpool of horror and darkness which they had to go through in order to achieve freedom.”

The Iranian Uprising and Protest Movement

Mrs. Rajavi went on to speak about the regime’s response to the ongoing protests that have been taking place in Iran since last year. She cited reports from Amnesty International, which state that 7,000 protesters were arrested last year, noting that the actual number is even higher. She described how the regime killed some of these protesters after their arrests and claimed they had died of suicide. She further discussed the regime’s torture of detainees and its crackdown on ethnic and religious minorities, on workers, students, women, young people, and anyone who dared to defy the regime.

 

With the dawn of the protest movement, Mrs. Rajavi stated that Iran had entered a “new era” in its “battle to bring down the mullahs’ theocratic rule.” Subsequently, said Mrs. Rajavi, “They expect the international community to respect their struggle and recognize their high goal of liberating Iran and the entire world from the evil and mischief of the mullahs’ religious fascism.”

An End to the Policy or Appeasement

According to Rajavi, Western governments must pay heed to this responsibility because of their history of preserving the mullahs’ rule for the past twenty years. The Western policy of appeasement toward the mullahs allowed the regime to flourish by “cracking down on the Iranian Resistance, blacklisting it, and restricting it.” Mrs. Rajavi said that the end of the regime’s threat would only come through the recognition of the Iranian people’s right to achieve freedom.

Gilbert Mitterrand
François Mitterrand’s son, one of the main speakers at MEK’s February 8, rally in Paris, posing for a photocall.
The sign reads: #DemocracyWithMaryamRajavi

Such recognition,” said Mrs. Rajavi, “lies in the heart of the solution to the Iranian problem. This is the path to freedom in Iran and the road to peace and tranquility in the region and the world.”

A Firm Policy Toward the Iranian Regime

Mrs. Rajavi stressed the need for the United States and European Union to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

She then posed a question to European and U.S. leaders: “Now, our question to those who are still persisting in their worn-out policy of appeasement of the mullahs is, ‘Why do you want to prolong the suffering of the people of Iran and other nations in the region? Is it not enough? Indeed, what does it take for you to learn your lessons from the mullahs’ savage terrorism in recent months in the heart of Europe and in the U.S.?’”

Mrs. Rajavi urged the international community to be firm with the Iranian regime. Stand up to the clerical regime and prevent their access to missile programs and any form of arms and equipment,” she said. “The Iranian people and Resistance do not want this regime to have any bullets, or sell any barrel of oil, or spend a single dollar of the Iranian nation’s wealth on suppression and terrorism.”

Mrs. Rajavi was very clear in the goals of the Iranian Resistance, including the MEK: “The objective of the Iranian people and their Resistance is to overthrow the regime in its entirety. The goal is freedom, democracy, and the sovereignty of our people’s republic.”

 

She emphasized, “Yes, now is the time for the mullahs to be overthrown.”

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