By Mahmoud Hakamian
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President of the Iranian Resistance, was the keynote speaker during the second day in a series of conferences at Ashraf 3 in Albania, home to the democratic opposition to the Iranian regime.
She warmly welcomed everyone to Ashraf 3 and thanked everyone for their support that has been offered to the Ashraf residents and the Iranian Resistance. She paid tribute to all those that played a part in the safe relocation of the members of the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI / MEK), something that she described as a “great accomplishment”.
Speaking about the Iranian regime’s attempts to annihilate the opposition, Mrs. Rajavi pointed out that it has been a complete failure for the regime and a victory on the part of the Resistance. She thanked the PMOI / MEK members for everything they have done thus far and for everything they are yet to do in this struggle for a free and democratic Iran.
Mrs. Rajavi described the 120-year struggle as being marked with countless ups and downs that have brought defeats and losses and smiles and tears, but highlighted that the people are “forging ahead on the path towards certain victory”. The leader of the Resistance emphasised that new ground is being broken all the time, advancing “through firing squads, massacres, missile attacks, bombardments and terrorist designations”.
Over the years, the people of Iran have overcome many hurdles and challenges. Mrs. Rajavi said: “Time and again, flames were set to burn us down, but we rose again like a phoenix from underneath our own ashes. We successfully prevailed over malicious hostilities, demonization campaigns and unbridled terrorism. Iran’s ruling mullahs want to claim that there is no viable alternative and that the People’s Mojahedin Organization lacks a social base and has no support. But thanks to our own and our people’s perseverance, history has nothing but scorn for the mullahs.”
Speaking about the 120-year struggle, Mrs. Rajavi pointed out that for a good part of it, the people did not have the support of a coherent organisation, but now this has changed and it is pushing the movement forward with great momentum. She said that “today, Ashraf 3 embodies the organized resistance of the people of Iran for freedom”.
In a very moving part of her speech, Mrs. Rajavi said that she has been touched and shocked by the exhibition depicting the 120-year struggle, even though she has been personally involved for the past four decades of it. She expressed her regret that time does not permit her to “best convey the profound impact of every scene”, but reaffirmed her recognition and admiration of the “best and brightest among the people of Iran”. She also recognised that this exhibition is just “a snapshot” of the history of the people’s struggle for freedom.
Going back to the beginning of the 20th century, Mrs. Rajavi summarised the events that have led us to the struggle that continues to this day. Back then, freedom lovers were suppressed and it is still happening today. Dictatorships ensued and fundamentalism and extremism was given the space to grow. Traditional parties were removed and a single-party dictatorship emerged with Khomeini. Basic freedoms were abolished and he hijacked the Iranian people’s revolution and established his religious dictatorship, or absolute rule of the jurisprudent as he described it. Yet, “Khomeini failed to extinguish the flames of freedom”.
Mrs. Rajavi also paid tribute to the hard work of Massoud Rajavi who did not allow Khomeini to use the pretext of religion to justify his dictatorship. Furthermore, he was able to contribute to denying him the right to continue the terrible and unfair war with Iraq that lasted eight years. Massoud Rajavi proved Khomeini wrong when he said that as a young man, no one will listen to him, and he continued with the fight for freedom with the establishment of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Mrs. Rajavi emphasised that Massoud Rajavi made Khomeini understand that the “Mojahedin would not abandon their goals and their conviction in freedom in order to win political ranks or positions”.
With the rallying cry of freedom and under the leadership of Massoud Rajavi, the People’s Mojahedin Organization hoisted the banner of struggle against religious dictatorship of Velayat-e Faqih since the beginning. #Iran. #FreeIranhttps://t.co/da6MpONXcT pic.twitter.com/Js69THHQtn— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) July 12, 2019
She also spoke about the horrific death toll of the wars Khomeini was responsible for, as well as the huge financial toll – all to the detriment of the people of Iran once again.
Mrs. Rajavi summarised the brutal times of the past 40 years in which 120,000 people have lost their lives for the cause of freedom, including 30,000 people who were executed during the 1988 massacre and the 500,000 people who were arrested and subsequently tortured. She highlighted that women and children were not spared.
However, the Resistance has persevered and grown bigger and bigger. There have been medical blockades in Camp Ashraf where the people were put through psychological torture, dozens of ground and aerial attacks using armoured vehicles and missile launchers, and the commission of seven bloodbaths and massacres.
Now, the Resistance has “reached a historic turning point”, said Mrs. Rajavi. There are a huge number of Resistance Units inside Iran and society is volatile. The people are desperate for the overthrow of the regime and they will no longer tolerate the mullahs. The regime is riddled with crisis and is engulfed in warmongering and terrorism. Crippling international sanctions are ensuring that the regime is hanging by a thread and the people are on their way towards “certain victory”.
Finally, she paid tribute to the 1,000 heroines of the PMOI / MEK Central Council which is a “national asset” for the people of Iran. It is a “focal point for their hopes and aspirations to obtain freedom and democracy”. Mrs. Rajavi ended her speech by declaring: “There is no doubt that freedom will prevail over dictatorship. The Iranian people’s moment of liberation is fast approaching.”