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European Parliament – Struan Stevenson, “Dictators and Revolution- Iran, a Contemporary History” Book Launch

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European Parliament
Struan Stevenson, “Dictators and Revolution- Iran, a Contemporary History” Book Launch
Tuesday, February 28, at 11.30 AM CET

Host and moderator of the conference Fahime Maktabi:

The recent nationwide uprising in Iran has revealed that the Iranian people are really seeking the end of this regime after decades of suppression, execution, and backbreaking poverty. The Iranian people seek an end to the autocratic regime. This desire is reflected in the slogans chanted across the country. The most common slogan which has been identified in these protests is “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the mullahs”. 

I’m delighted to introduce a new book written by Mr. Struan Stevenson on the aspect of the change which is going to be brought about in Iran by this uprising, the nature of this uprising, and why no dictatorial regime can be conceived as an alternative to the current regime, which is clear by the protesters’ slogan against the Shah.

MEP Gianna Gancia 1

MEP from Italy Gianna Gancia:

I would like to thank Mr. Stevenson for his important new book. I think it’s very important to fight against the theocratic regime in Iran and it’s important to wake up all the people about what really is happening in Iran. 

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Former MEP Struan Stevenson and the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC):

Let me explain a bit about my new book. We now know that the ongoing uprising in Iran is approaching its six months – six months of people taking to the streets in huge numbers and many towns and cities. Some 750 people have been brutally killed including many women and children. Over 30,000 people have been detained, and many of them have been tortured. Hundreds have been sentenced to death for ‘waging war against God’ which is of course the constitutional death penalty if you’re accused of ‘Moharebeh’. 

It’s against this background that it occurred to me that it would be a good opportunity to write a book looking at the contemporary history of Iran from the beginning of the 20th century. And I was astonished when I read about the grandfather of the current Reza Pahlavi who has crowned himself as king, although he said he would leave it up to the choice of the Iranian people if they wanted a monarchy.  

Nevertheless, after his father fled from Iran in 1979 and died in 1980, he then crowned himself king while he was in Egypt. His grandfather started off as a soldier working as a mercenary for the Cossacks and the Russians. He was illiterate and extremely brutal, and because of his brutality, he rose through the ranks, became a colonel, and in due course, and able to take over control of the Cossacks and the military in Iran, and then eventually crowned himself as king. 

He became the new Shah. His son, the last Shah who fled in the 1979 revolution, described his father as one of the most frightening men that he had ever encountered.  

Reza Pahlavi was ousted by the Americans, the British, and indeed the Russians when prior to World War II he was found to be a supporter of Adolf Hitler, and his son was then installed as the new king with the acquiescence of the British, the Americans – the CIA of course. And in due course, we had a flurry of an attempt at democracy when Mohammad Mossadeq, one of the key parliamentarians, exposed the role of British Petroleum (BP). When I was researching for this book, I discovered that BP was paying more in tax to the British treasury for several years than they were paying in license fees to the Iranian government which was why Mossadeq called for the nationalization of the oil companies he said were exploiting the Iranian people, stealing their wealth. This led to challenges from the Shah, and it led to an uprising. 

The Shah then preceded to become an autocrat by involving only one political party which he ruled with an iron fist by demonizing all other political movements and factions. He introduced, with the guidance of the CIA, the hated SAVAK secret police who not only executed and tortured innumerable political prisoners but also killed in a quite habitual way academics, literary figures, and artists; so, they were a brutal precursor to what we now have, which is the IRGC. 

It astonished me to see at the Munich Security Conference last week that Reza Pahlavi, the grandson of the original Shah, had been invited as a representative of the alleged opposition to the current mullahs’ regime. It seemed to me unbelievable.  

I’ve been involved for decades with the Iranian opposition. Reza Pahlavi has been invisible. He has been living in America. He has not been terribly transparent about the massive wealth that his father accumulated, and he has benefited from it for many years. We still wonder where that money came from. For him to suddenly pose when he smells that there could now be a revolution in the making, there could now be an overthrow of the clerical regime, and he smells the opportunity now to enter the fray claiming that he is the voice of the official opposition is quite staggering and unbelievable. 

Reza Pahlavi admitted in an interview on Iran International TV back in 2018: “I am in communication with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps”. The IRGC is the equivalent of the Gestapo. Pahlavi said: “I’m in communication with them and with the Basij, and they are on my side.” 

I was astonished to find that Reza Pahlavi has been invited here to the European Parliament tomorrow; he is coming to Brussels. I hope that people wake up to the fact that this guy is nothing more than an opportunist who will do nothing for the people of Iran. The monarchy is not wanted. The Iranian people hated the Shah, they hated his father, and they do not want the restoration of another monarchist dictatorship. They want freedom, they want a secular democracy, they want a Republic and that’s what we’ve all been fighting for for years. 

In February we had 10,000 people demonstrating to back the MEK and their Resistance Units are burgeoning across the whole of Iran. They’re the people that are taking the fight of calling for the downfall of the mullahs’ regime. They are the people risking their lives and they are led primarily by women. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is led by an extraordinary woman, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, one of the most enigmatic and courageous women I’ve ever met. 

Geir Haarde Prime Minister of Iceland 2006 09 1

Geir Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland (2006-09) 

I was glad to read this comprehensive and excellent book, a copy of which I received personally from Struan. 

I think it helps people like me who do not have the whole background and the history access to understand the context of what’s going on now. I’m old enough to remember the revolution in 1979 and what happened afterward and I understand and have understood for a long time that the mullahs stole the revolution, and it’s been a tragedy ever since.  The book is so clear on why the people of Iran have rejected both the monarchy and the religious dictatorship. 

I think there is a great opportunity now for the people of Iran to free themselves from the religious dictatorship. 

The appeasement process of recent years has not worked. Reza Pahlavi was in Munich last week which I think is maybe one of the final aspects of this type of appeasement. He is not the solution. 

Kimmo Sasi Minister of Foreign Trade and Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland 1

Kimmo Sasi, Minister of Foreign Trade and Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland (1999-2003) 

First, I want to thank you very much for an excellent book what we need now in the West is an explanation of the history of Iran and what has happened 

The people of Iran don’t want to have a monarchy or a religious dictatorship. There must be a new path, and the ten-point plan by Mrs. Rajavi is an excellent plan for a democratic Iran that respects human rights. I think it consists of all the elements that are necessary to indeed make Iran a modern state. 

Here, Mr. Stevenson explained the number of people who were killed by the IRGC during the current Iran protests – roughly 700. The PMOI has identified 664 of them. More than 70 were children. 

Mario Galea MP fmr Secretary of State for Older Persons and Care – Malta 1

Mario Galea, MP, Former Secretary of State for Older Persons and Care – Malta 

I would like to first thank Mr. Stevenson for taking the time to do this very important research that helps explain about the present situation in Iran. 

I am shocked to hear about the meeting that will be taking place in the European Parliament tomorrow in Brussels. It’s an ultimate disgrace that he would be even allowed to enter the European Parliament. 

I think we really need to look at Iran from a long-term perspective. We need to have a general overview. We need to understand that there are two traditional pillars of evil in this country: The Pahlavi dynasty and the mullahs’ theocracy. 

Paulo Casaca former MEP 1

Paulo Casaca, former MEP 

The state apparatus is very delusional thinking that it can come back and put the clock 50 years back and they can get back to business with a shot. It’s impossible especially when this Mr. Pahlavi says well I have very good relations with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. 

We should also note that Reza Pahlavi has not dissociated himself from the current Iranian regime’s nuclear program. He has not dissociated himself from the aggressive imperial actions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards outside Iran’s borders. 

So, he is a sort of double agent. I mean he must have a master. He must serve someone, and my guess is that the real master is the mullahs’ regime. He represents a fake opposition. This is a pseudo-opposition that is there to fool the West. 

Struan Stevenson 

It is time that we woke up. It is time that we recall our ambassadors and say you cannot have any further diplomatic relations with a pariah regime that is prepared to use its embassies as bomb factories and to use its so-called diplomats as terrorists. 

So, we should recall our ambassadors, close our embassies in Tehran, shut down the Iranian embassies in Europe, expel all of their diplomats and their so-called agents, and then internationally indict people like Ali Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, Hassan Rouhani, and Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the arch-criminals of this regime who should be brought to justice. 

They should be held accountable in the international courts for their crimes against humanity and the human rights abuses that they have committed in their clerical regime. That is the way forward and the only way we can achieve that is by backing the Iranian people to overthrow this evil regime.