Time to Redress a Grave Injustice
The world watches with apprehension as Iran's
ruling mullahs persist with violations of human rights, sponsorship
of terrorism, and nuclear development. The regime threatens regional
and global security through a lethal mix of fundamentalism and
As the EU has tried "constructive engagement" with the
clerical regime, the mullahs have shown no willingness to respond
properly, demanding that the main opposition group, the People's
Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), be listed as a terrorist group. Giving
in to that demand has only helped those who use terror at home
and sponsor it abroad, while the mullahs' nuclear programme continues.
is time for the EU to focus on the democratic aspirations of the
Iranian people. Europe and the rest of the world should be on
the side of the millions demanding freedom and human rights, not
those who have stolen these from them.
co-chaired a symposium at Church House, Westminster, London, on
22 March, where dozens of members of both Houses of Parliament
from the three major political parties joined more than 500 lawyers,
human rights advocates, trade unionists, clergymen, student activists
and members of the Anglo-Iranian community to call on the Government
to de-proscribe the PMOI and remove a serious impediment to democratic
change in Iran.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the opposition coalition, the
National Council of Resistance of Iran, said via satellite link-up,
"The terrorist label against the Iranian Resistance is not
only a move against an opposition movement. It is capitulation
to the dictates of the ayatollahs and a barrier to change in Iran."
both appeasement and military intervention, Mrs. Rajavi called
for support for democratic change by the Iranian people and the
Iranian resistance movement.
the law on the side of the resistance, we must stand by the Iranian
people in their struggle against the religious tyranny. On 15
March, millions of young Iranians heeded the PMOI's call to turn
the traditional end-of-Persian-year fire festival into a national
protest against mullahs' tyranny. These young Iranians need the
support and encouragement of freedom-loving people around the
world. By blacklisting their resistance movement, we are sending
them the opposite signal.
The terrorist tag must be hung around the neck of the real terrorists,
the mullahs who rule Iran, not their victims. The symposium in
London was part of a growing campaign to undo this injustice.
Appeasement must end and the PMOI removed from the terror list
to signal support for democratic change by the Iranian people
and their legitimate representative, the National Council of Resistance
Corbett of Castle Vale
Rt. Hon. The Lord Slynn of Hadley, QC
Iranian people must be given the right to
of the Iranian Resistance participated in the International Conference
of Women Against Fundamentalism in Paris
Rajavi: Iranian people must be given the right to choose
is no need for a military attack, democracy will prevail
have the ability to lead a change. The world should help us.
conducted by Stefanella Campana, Carla Reschia in Paris
- 26 February - "Iran is not Iraq. It is us who will topple
the ayatollahs' regime", said Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect
of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), during a speech
at the women's conference against fundamentalism.
highlighted the role of her movement after U.S. President George
Bush reiterated that Iran is on the agenda in the talks over international
issues. Since its foundation during the Shah's reign, the Iranian
Mojahedin, being a secular Muslim organization, has recognized women's
role in leadership.
claim they were the first to reveal the Iranian government's financial
support for international terrorism and their nuclear ambitions.
National Council of Resistance of Iran has been able to clear itself
from terrorism charges and received refugee status for its members
in Camp Ashraf at the Iran-Iraq border.
Rajavi, in her speech in the European Parliament in December, revealed
the severe increase in stoning to death punishment and the unprecedented
number of arbitrary arrests, showing a sharp increase in repression
by the regime. She urged an end to the appeasement policy toward
Neither war nor appeasement, what solution does the NCRI suggest
to remove the regime in Tehran?
As I said at the European Parliament in Strasburg, the Iranian people
are at a point where they want to choose.
We have to put them in a situation to do that.
We neither need financial support nor weapons.
We have an extensive social and political network across the country
with enough political influence to lead a democratic change in Iran.
This is the only way to stop another war.
Do you have any faith in Khatami's moderation?
As we have announced before, the so-called moderates turned to be
hollow and shallow. Khatami is not different from other fundamentalists.
He did not stop torture and repression in prisons and stoning to
death continues. He could not even stop the elimination of 'moderate'
candidates in the last election.
The ruling ayatollahs in Iran and the people who support them are
trying to reason that there is no alternative under the current
circumstances to either continue with the status quo or a military
Here is where Europe can play an important role.
Up until now Europe has only been dealing with the theocrats in
Tehran, but it is the time they realize they are directly facing
a great threat.
have to understand a democratic regime in Iran would be also in
January 13, the European Parliament condemned the continuing human
rights violations in Iran. That is important, but there must be
a serious and focused policy.
What is the practical solution you suggest?
We have suggested a third option as a practical solution, a referendum
under UN supervision which allows people to choose.
Eventually, free election to form a constitutional assembly for
drafting a new constitution. We want a free, secular Iran.
An Iran in which all religions and ethnic minorities bear equal
rights and human rights are guaranteed for everyone.
Do you believe that ayatollahs would submit to such referendum?
No. they know they will lose. For that reason the international
community should put pressure on the regime. A movement against
fundamentalism should be formed to isolate this regime and any engagement
with them must stop. Our rights have to be recognized.
As it appears now, the United States, compared with the Europeans,
is more decisive in giving an ultimatum to Tehran, what do you expect
They should take the People's Mojahedin off the terrorist list.
In 1997 this movement was put on the list of terrorist organizations
to appease Khatami. They should recognize us as the political representatives
of an opposition that has been independent for the past 25 years.
November, here in Paris, 500 jurists and human rights experts, expressed
their opinion and declared that labeling us as terrorists is a breach
of the European Convention on Human Rights.
What is the role of Islam in your plans?
The ayatollahs have changed the Quran to their own advantage and
are using it out of context. We are Muslim, but we respect all beliefs.
In our political views, we believe in the separation of religion
and state and this is reflected in our political platform. Our strength
is driven by our women. The mullahs' regime suppressed them in every
way they could and counted them as the source of corruption and
violence. But, we are the antidote, their natural opposition.