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 nuclear weapons.
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.

It 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.

We 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.

Mrs. 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."

Rejecting both appeasement and military intervention, Mrs. Rajavi called for support for democratic change by the Iranian people and the Iranian resistance movement.

With 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 of Iran.

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

Rt. Hon. The Lord Slynn of Hadley, QC

West's backing of mullahs has failed Iran


Maryam Rajavi

PARIS - 9 July - By boycotting the presidential election sham last month, the Iranian people overwhelmingly rejected the clerical regime. Widespread reports of rigging and fraud from international journalists pointed out that less than 10 percent of eligible voters took part.

With a hostage-taker, murderer and terrorist coming out of the ballot box as the mullahs' president, it is evident that Tehran regime is so week that could not tolerate even pretence of "moderation" and the rival factions. This explains why it had to consolidate power in the hands of its most extremist faction. Purging Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who held the most senior positions within the regime, has made the regime much more fragile.

The clerical regime's social base of support has never been so thin. But the mullahs did not have many options. Rafsanjani's presidency would not have resolved any of the acute crises it is facing. It would have only expedited its disintegration.

This is a turning point, and the beginning of the final phase of the clerical rule. Ayatollah Khamenei has done away with all pretences. The practical message is more crackdowns, greater pursuit of nuclear weapons, and increased meddling in Iraq and elsewhere

For Tehran's apologists in Europe, who for years tried to justify a policy of appeasement under the veneer of helping "moderates" against the "radicals" within the clerical rule, it was a scandal. This was the final nail in the coffin of hope for change from within the clerical establishment. The point the Iranian resistance has reiterated for the past two decades.

The policy of appeasement only emboldened the mullahs in their oppression of the Iranian people, their bid to acquire nuclear weapons, and their export of Islamic fundamentalism.

This is the time for a new policy on Iran. Iranian people want change. Over the years, however, the West has actually retarded the realization of the Iranian people's desire for change by supporting the clerical regime and by exerting pressure on the Iranian resistance movement.

The Iranian people are the genuine force of change in Iran. They want their right to resist the mullahs to be recognized. They know that their destiny rests in their own hands.

While 120,000 individuals have been executed for their support for human rights and democracy, oppressing one generation of Iranians failed to extinguish the Iranian people's yearning for democracy.

An independent and secular Iran, which would guarantee a free market economy, a free press, economic prosperity, and gender equality, is within reach. The resistance could be the force to bring peace and stability to the region and the world, and eliminate the threat of war, terrorism, and fundamentalism that mullahs advocate.

All it requires is impartiality by Western countries and removing the restrictions that the West in complicity with the clerics has imposed on the resistance movement by the terrorist badge. The West now has a historic opportunity to take the moral high ground and stand on their side.

Maryam Rajavi is president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

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