By Jubin Katiraie
Across 42 locations on three continents, a conference was held on Saturday where Iranians across the world called for international action against the terrorist activities of the Iranian government, as well as its human rights abuses.
The conference, titled, “Halt mullahs’ government growing human rights violations and export of terrorism,” featured speeches by political dignitaries from several countries, representatives of Iranian communities from across the world, and the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi.
Adopting a firm policy toward the Iranian government and support for the Iranian people’s desire for change in their country was the message of the conference.
Mrs. Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, was the keynote speaker. She highlighted two issues that she believes represents the past year’s developments:
1. The clerical government hasn’t the means to thwart its overthrow.
2. The government’s strategy is crackdown and suppression inside Iran, and the export of terrorism, war and tension to other countries.
In reference to the nationwide protests that began in December 2017 and have continued intermittently to today, Mrs. Rajavi said, “Over the past year, the government repeatedly tried to stifle the uprisings. Every time, however, the embers started glowing from under the ashes.” She noted that the government has been unable to halt the activities of Iranian resistance units.
As well, its terrorist activities against Iranian opposition movement PMOI/MEK has caused an international backlash against the government. She said, “The product of such a political impasse has been a dramatic fall in the government’s political, economic, social and international status.” The government’s use of terrorism in Europe is made even more surprising in that it comes at a time when Tehran is seeking support from the European states to mitigate the effects of the U.S. sanctions that recently came into effect.
Mrs. Rajavi remarked that contrary to what some analysts and politicians in the West portray, “It is absolutely illogical to suggest that some acts of terrorism could be carried out arbitrarily, without the knowledge of Khamenei or Rouhani, in a government that monitors all the minute details of people’s private lives. Such fictitious premises are intended to cover up the government’s crimes and only further embolden them in resorting to terrorism.” She called the recent uptick in its use of terrorism in Europe and the U.S. is “a defensive tool to launch a counterattack against the Iranian people’s uprisings,” and asked, “Isn’t it regrettable that despite disclosure of the mullahs’ terrorism on European soil, the government’s appeasers are still trying to find a way to deal with the government and seeking to aid the murderers of the Iranian people?”
Mrs. Rajavi called for a block on financial lifelines that fund the government’s repressive forces. She also called for the government’s state propaganda machine to be placed on the U.S. List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the terror list of the European Union. “This is our word,” she said, “Respect the Iranian people’s desire to overthrow the government and establish freedom and democracy.”
Patrick Kennedy, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, emphasized the increase of terror activities by Iranian government abroad. He pointed out that Iran’s wealth is being spent on terrorism and terror groups while the Iranian people experience dire economic conditions. Kennedy also warned that the Iranian embassy in Albania has doubled its size. “I support Mrs. Rajavi’s message saying the IRGC must be designated as a terror entity,” he added.
“An honest question is that why is the Iranian government’s embassy in Tirana while you are also in this country? The answer is that you are different because you represent the Iranian people and the future of Iran,” Mr. Pandeli Majko, former Prime Minister of Albania, asked.
Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt emphasized the PMOI / MEK’s role in the opposition movement against the Iranian government.“When I accepted the invitation to come to this convention, I insisted on being with PMOI/MEK members inside Ashraf 3,” she said.“In June, during a massive Iranian opposition convention which I was attending, we heard news of an Iranian government terror plot targeting the rally, foiled by Belgian, German and French authorities.”
Betancourt added, “The best option for Iran is here, being freedom with Maryam Rajavi. And now they are fearing that they will be brought to justice. This is our commitment. We will free Iran and will bring [the government] to justice...Time has changed. You are the hope. Maryam is the leader and we are with you.”
“Terrorism is part of the DNA of the Iranian government,” said Sid Ahmed Ghozali, the former Prime Minister of Algeria. “Maryam Rajavi said this 10 years ago.”
Regarding the protests that swept Iran at the turn of the year, Ghozali noted, “The new point is that the Iranian government has no answer to the current demonstrations. The government can’t do anything regarding the demonstrations in Iran, which is the result of 40 years of repression.” Ghozali added, “The government has enough money. Why can’t it solve the economic crisis of the Iranian people? Because it is only capable of suppressing the Iranian people.”
According to former Albanian defense minister Fatmir Mediu, the Iranian government is very active in Albania, and Tehran is spreading lies, especially through its embassy in Tirana.
Irish Senator Gerry Horkan said that the government’s situation in 2018 has two characteristics: The government is trying in vain to quell ongoing protests while at the same time, the Iranian resistance is rising in popularity and influence.
In the United States, Canada, and across Europe, Members of the Iranian Diaspora and supporters of the PMOI / MEK held gatherings in 40 different cities and linked live to the convention in Albania. They voiced their solidarity with NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi and the PMOI / MEK.