Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, from OIAC, delivered a speech that was warmly receipted by the audience. Below please find an excerpt of her speech:
“It is my privilege and honor to speak to you on behalf of the Organization of Iranian- American Community who for more than twenty-five years has been primarily focusing on echoing the voice of the Iranian people as their struggle for human rights and democracy in our native land Iran.
Over the last century Iran has seen two brutal dictatorships, under the Pahlavi’s monarchy which in collaboration with the mullahs worked against the democratic and nationalistic government of Dr. Mosaddeq and now dealing with the misogynist regime since 1979, the religious fascist of mullahs who are incapable of reform or even engaging in a meaningful way with the Iranian people or for the rest of the world for that matter.
When it comes to this regime because this regime believes in the system of Velayat-e Faqih, this regime is committed and remains committed to the system of Velayat-e Faqih, and that means an absolute power that is only for non-elected male clerics, according to the regime’s constitution.
What has to be very clear is that the Iranian people’s rejection of both monarchy and mullahcracy is based on historic lessons from their struggle for freedom and democracy over the last several decades. This is not a partisan preference; it is simply the reality of Iran’s recent history. The 1979 revolution is Iran’s historic rejection of monarchy. While the mullahs have high jacked the revolution, the waves of the popular uprising in rejection of the mullahs during the 1980s, 1990s and most notably the 2009 and 2018 are the ongoing rejection of this regime in its entirety.
People of Iran, are not making any distinction between so-called reformers and hardliners, so why should we? This red line has been drawn by the blood and sacrifices of more than 120,000 martyrs for freedom in order to move Iran away from despotism of the past and religious tyranny of present. Therefore, it is our red-line too and crossing of this red-line under whatever pretext, is unacceptable, because it is undermining the true democracy movement in Iran.
The international community has not yet recognized the depth and extent of the ongoing crimes against the people of Iran, especially, the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. In our view, just as the Mayor (Giuliani) said Khamenei, Rouhani, Zarif, Qasem Soleimani, Ebrahim Raisi after four decades of execution and oppression, war, terrorism, subversion, mayhem by the terrorist IRGC and Ministry of Intelligence are all international criminals and must stand trial in the international tribunals and courts.
All of us gathered here agree that the Iranian regime is the enemy of not just the Iranian people but also the rest of the world. We agree that this regime must go. We also agree that it is up to Iranian people and their organized opposition movement, who shall and will bring this regime down in its entirety. We have also gathered here to emphasize the path forward for free Iran. OIAC stands for a non-nuclear, democratic, secular, Republic of Iran based on the following key principals:
- In a free Iran, only the ballot box determines the legitimacy of the future government.
- Freedom of speech, expression, association, and religion for all Iranians, and equal rights for all ethnic groups in the framework of Iran’s territorial integrity is a must in a free Iran. As my Baluchi sister said: we won’t let this regime colonize us any longer, we won’t let them divide us based on ethnic lines, we are all standing for the territorial integrity of Iran. We are Iranians first and we want this regime down together and if anyone has any doubt that we cannot do this, I will invite them to look to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), where the Baluchis, the Kurds, the Turks, and the Fars, all of them, all the Iranian ethnic groups, have come together under one banner, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), fighting against this regime. We have done it before and Iran will do it again. Iran will do it again because the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the platform that it has, represents the diversity of Iran. This is our strengths. We will not let them colonize our ethnic groups.
- In a free Iran, complete gender equality in all political, social, cultural, and economic spheres women of our native land are on the forefront to overthrow this misogynist regime; and we stand with them wholeheartedly.
In a free Iran, women will have all their rights to choose their clothing, and any exploitation of women on whatever pretext will be rejected.
In a free Iran, we would have a commitment to the universal declaration of human rights and all international covenants.
In a free Iran, the death penalty will be abolished; no more political prisoners, no more prisoners of conscience, and they will be released after the downfall of this regime.
The path to progress and prosperity in a free Iran is based on the followings:
- Justice and equal opportunity for employment and occupation are imperative for all Iranians in a free market economy. Cronyism, nepotism, corruption or the mafia-style of government shall not be acceptable.
- The rights of workers, farmers, nurses, employees, teachers, educators, retired people will be upheld and respected.
- The diaspora, this is all of us, will have a duty of reversing the brain drain and support the rebuilding of Iran based on progressive labor laws and rights. Forced child labor must be abolished.
- The future of Iran’s youth will be in high-quality education so that Iran can develop the next generation of workforce and scholars to thrive and contribute to the modern world. Iranian scientific community shall focus on humane advancement of technology, knowledge, innovation, and infrastructure for improving the lives of Iranian people.
- No more weapons of mass destruction; we stand for a non-nuclear Iran.
- Iranian scientific community shall also focus on reversing the environmental crises, water shortage, unnatural floods, earthquakes, through utilizing best practices in order to reverse the damage done under this criminal regime.
- Iran shall live in peace and coexistence and cooperation and mutual respect with its neighbors and the international community. No more regional meddling and no more support for terrorist or the extremist groups.
So at this point, I’ll ask all delegates to think a moment, and envision an Iran based on these principals, and the path to recovery, an Iran that is worthy of our heritage, our history and the sacrifices made to date. Together, we must refrain from divisiveness. We need to aim all of our energies and efforts to change this regime first.
For too long, the Iranian regime’s lobbyists and apologists have worked to divide us by propagating falsehood and smear campaigns, lies and propaganda. This must stop. We must put an end to the disinformation campaign and the echo chamber against the MEK and the NCRI. We will end this.
This regime-change movement inside Iran is growing stronger day by day, because of the MEK’s resistance units and their ongoing efforts that are expanding to organize the public. We can do the same in exile, this means we need to be entirely focused on the threat of the Iranian regime and the need to overthrow this regime with all the factions within this regime. We need not be distracted by the regime’s ongoing propaganda as we push for further isolation of the regime, to provide support for regime change by Iranians. We must demonstrate political maturity and commitment to these principals and be fully committed to them, which can guarantee an enduring and effective unity against this regime. I’m hopeful that we will get there in solidarity which did not begin today, it has been going on for the last 40 years because of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.”