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Maryam Rajavi Calls for Supporting Iran’s People Quest for Freedom in European Parliament

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On Wednesday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), attended a meeting in the European Parliament to discuss the uprising in Iran, the new wave of executions, and the European Union’s responsibilities. The event, titled “Perspective of Change and European Union Policy,” was organized by the Friends of Free Iran Interparliamentary Group (FOFI). Mrs. Rajavi was welcomed by the European Parliament’s Vice Presidents, joint presidents, and vice presidents of the Friends of a Free Iran Committee (FOFI) as she called for their support for the Iranian people’s uprising and the organized Resistance movement.

Numerous representatives from different political groups in the European Parliament and member states attended the conference. A total of 15 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) delivered speeches expressing their endorsement of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and Mrs. Rajavi’s 10-point plan.

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“The mullahs’ regime has started a new and unprecedented wave of executions,” Mrs. Rajavi said in her address. “At least 116 prisoners have been executed since the beginning of May, i.e., one execution every 5 hours. Three young protesters who were detained and tortured for several months in Isfahan were executed last Friday.”

“The regime uses executions to prevent an uprising. Despite massive repression, however, people protested these brutal executions. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a lack of action from the European Union and its member states. Isn’t opposing the death penalty one of the well-known principles of the European Union? So why when it comes to Iran, do economic interests and political considerations downplay the importance of the human rights situation?” Mrs. Rajavi added, criticizing the West’s weak approach toward the regime and disregard for its human rights abuses.

In her remarks, Mrs. Rajavi underlined that the Iranian people, mainly women, “have risen up against the religious dictatorship. The message is that the Iranian people have risen to overthrow religious fascism. They reject tyranny in all its forms and will persist in their fight until they achieve freedom and democracy.”

While referring to the rise in the number of brutal hangings in Iran, MEP Javier Zarzalejos, a member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee and FOFI Co-Chairman, stated: “Europe just cannot be a spectator. The Iranian regime is a very serious threat to international peace and security. The direct involvement of the Iranian regime in the Ukraine war has brought this global threat to Europe.”

“The European Union has to act firmly and define a sustainable and well-established strategy toward Iran. In fact, listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization would be an effective measure that has not yet been implemented, despite the emphasis of the European Parliament’s resolutions,” Zarzalejos added.

MEP Zarzalejos reminded that “In this path toward democracy, it is essential to recognize the resistance movement and support Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan, calling for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic in Iran. The Iranian Resistance in Europe is a partner in confronting the threat of the Iranian regime.”

Anna Fotyga, another member of the EP Foreign Affairs Commission, a member of the Defense and Security Subcommittee, and the former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs told Mrs. Rajavi: “I think that the vision of the free, democratic, secular Iranian state that you presented just a few moments ago to the European Parliament is a long-standing dream of Iranian people, of young people in particular, of the families of those who perished in 1988, but also of all those people who used to protest throughout these years.”

Referring to the EP resolution to proscribe the IRGC and the European sanctions, she added: “I urge the international community to prolong these sanctions. When we wish to engage in economic terms and trade terms with Iran, we have to know that roughly 80% of Iranian business is under the control of the Revolutionary Guard. And that means aligning with an organization that is responsible for killing numerous people in Iran and outside.”

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“Unlike other movements, you remained true to your values, even when it was difficult,” MEP Milan Zver, another member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee and FOFI co-chair, said. “We are grateful to you and your team in the European Parliament for your dedication. Your movement’s history of commitment to democratic principles has demonstrated to us that it is a genuine force fighting for a free and democratic Iran. You want nothing more than freedom for the people of your country.”

He added: “In all these years, you have been the focus of the regime’s campaign. You have been under all sorts of physical and psychological attacks. They even sent a diplomat to try to bomb your big gathering in Paris. No other movement has received this amount of pressure. The experience of the last nine months, since the beginning of this uprising, also speaks for itself. The Iranian people have shown that they are not afraid to stand up for their rights, and they don’t give up until they achieve a free and democratic Iran.”

MEP Patrizia Toia, Vice President of the EP Commission for Industry and Trade and Research and former Italian Minister, said that even in Italy, there is support for Mrs. Rajavi and her endeavors for Iran. She expressed satisfaction with this support and believed that individuals from various political backgrounds and affiliations share a common goal of a free and ultimately democratic Iran.

Stressing that the Iranian resistance has paid a heavy price inside Iran, she reiterated her commitment to supporting the Iranian Resistance.

“We all reject all kinds of dictatorship in Europe,” MEP Dorien Rookmaker said. “Europe must never in any way or form try to establish a normal relationship with a regime that committed so many crimes. Over 120,000 opposition members were executed by the regime in Iran, and we must never forget the sacrifices the opposition made. In an open letter to the world leaders of the United States, the EU, Canada, and the UK, the government leaders and former leaders in Europe urged them to stand with the Iranian people in their request for change and to take decisive steps against the current regime.”

Member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee Hermann Tertsch expressed his gratitude toward Mrs. Rajavi for her firmness in fighting the evil regime in Iran, adding that this courage should become exemplary to combat the regime’s allies and accomplices elsewhere. Referring to the regime’s interference in the Middle East and Latin America, the Spanish MEP stressed that the regime is an enemy of the civilized world, an enemy that must be fought with steadfastness.

MEP Ryszard Czarnecki, former European Minister of Poland and former EP Vice President was also among Wednesday’s speakers, supporting Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for the future of Iran and urging the European Union to adopt a firm policy toward Iran’s theocratic regime.

While welcoming Mrs. Rajavi, Mr. Czarnecki said: “We witnessed the days when the European Union’s policy of appeasement towards the Islamic Republic of Iran was at its heights, and it led to the blacklisting of the MEK. I and many of my friends in this Parliament fought a hard battle against the big EU governments to get them off the list. The Iranian resistance has not only managed to survive, but under your charismatic and competent leadership, Madam President, it has managed to reorganize itself inside Iran. Thousands of Resistance Units of the MEK have been formed inside Iran and have played a significant role in leading the nationwide protests that began last September. As Poland’s representative here, a country that fought for freedom for years, decades, we know and feel what repression is like, what dictatorship and what appeasement is.”

“For many years, we have been supporting your movement for its democratic character and for the Ten-Point Plan of Free Iran. What is important, the PMOI has an organization and network inside Iran. Even the Iranian regime has admitted that the PMOI Resistance Forces played a large role during the protests and uprising that began last September. The PMOI is a nationwide movement that has paid a high price in the fight against Islamic fundamentalism, or better said, against religious fascism,” MEP Stanislav Polčák stated. “As a Muslim, Madam Rajavi was a strong advocate for women’s rights, including their right to choose their own clothes. Her Ten-Point Plan, supported by many MEPs and members of the US Congress, calls for a secular republic and the abolition of the death penalty.”

He added: “When we talk about paying the price, Madam Rajavi is a true example and icon. I should add that at this point, more than 3,600 PMOI activists and members have been arrested and disappeared after the nationwide protests began. This is of great concern to us. Members of her movement were the only active opposition to the regime and made many sacrifices in their personal life for their dreams of a free Iran. That is why we respect them very much in the European Parliament.”

Susanna Ceccardi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Commission and Subcommittee of the Human Rights Commission, said: “We need to ask ourselves regarding the desirable international inquiry into the gas poisoning, how is the EU moving and what more can we do to establish a commission of inspectors in accordance with international law. On the escalation of executions, how can we mobilize our public opinion against it, and what more can we do to sanction it? The EU is still negotiating a new agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. We must consider whether it will be appropriate to suspend these negotiations and use them as diplomatic leverage to push the Iranian regime towards better behavior in their country and internationally.”

Criticizing recent opportunistic endeavors by certain groups, MEP Jan Zahradil said: “I feel the necessity to say that just now because we have seen some people around here probably smelling the coffee, as we used to say, and because they feel that the fall of the regime is approaching, suddenly they started to try to portray themselves as natural leaders of the opposition, which of course they are not, because we haven’t heard about any of them until very recently, unlike about PMOI, which has been a very natural representative of the exiled opposition since a very long time ago. And I think that the best proof of that, the best evidence of that is your ten-point program for Iran, which you presented some time ago, and I think that this is a very eloquent and very comprehensive program for any future democratically elected government of Iran, and I hope that it will be widely followed by Iranian people. I think that it’s necessary to say that what we should support and what we have to support is a real transition of the regime, which means genuine democracy, not support just a kind of cosmetic change or replacing the mullah regimes, the autocratic theocracy, with the autocratic monarchy.”

“I’m sure that under your leadership, Iranian people are closer than ever to freedom in Iran,” Ivan Stefanec, a member of the EP Human Rights Subcommittee, said. “And I think this is a very important achievement. Many Western governments, because of their economic interests, have refused to take a hard line with Iran, closing their eyes to many human rights violations. But history teaches us when facing fascism, peace does not work and has a reverse effect,” he added.

“In Iran, we have a religious fascist regime that is against all the principles and values we have in Europe. Madam Rajavi has been saying for years that this regime cannot be reformed. It does not get along with nice language. As long as this regime exists, the suppression and exportation of terrorism will continue, as we know, unfortunately, nowadays, during this Russian criminal invasion of Ukraine as well,” MEP Stefanec emphasized.

MEP José Manuel Fernandes, Chair of EP’s Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil, recalled his visit to Ashraf 3, Albania, home to some 3,000 members of the NCRI’s main constituent group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). He told Mrs. Rajavi that “with you and with all those who accompany you, we will have soon, and we deserve it, you deserve it, and the people deserve it, a free and democratic Iran that respects human rights and values, human dignity.”

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former EP Vice President, referred to a recent letter by 109 former heads of state from across the globe supporting the Iranian people’s uprising and Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for tomorrow. “It has been mentioned here, in this letter, that hundreds of former prime ministers and former heads of state have sent to the President of the United States, to the President of the Council in Europe, and also to the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Canada,” Dr. Vidal Quadras said, and adding that “this letter is something that we must examine carefully in all its importance. Because if we read the letter it says, we believe it is time to hold the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran to account for its crimes.”

Calling out the Western government’s appeasement policy, Dr. Vidal  Quadras said: “We have wasted decades with the illusion that there is a moderate fraction in the regime. This is nonsense because they are all the same. They all share the same malignant nature. And also, we believed that negotiation, that appeasement, that dialogue would give us some results. And not only has it come to nothing, but it has been counterproductive. So it is time for a change of the policy of the European Union in relation to Iran, a change from appeasement to affirmance.”

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MEP Frances Fitzgerald, Deputy of the Parliamentary Group of the European People’s Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland in 2018, who spoke at the end of the conference, condemned the current human rights situation in Iran, saying, “What we are seeing is absolutely appalling abuses day in and day out, the death penalty, protesters being arrested, and no rationale whatsoever.”

“The people of Iran clearly are demanding freedom and respect and democracy, and certainly here in the European Parliament, we should be supporting all of that in the best way possible because I conclude by saying that the sacrifice of so many cannot be in vain,” she added.

“They must listen to this letter of the 100 former prime ministers and heads of state and contribute decisively to something that is of extreme importance, not only for Iran, for the Middle East but for the whole world, a free and democratic Iran. We will be with you, Mrs. Rajavi until this goal is achieved,” he concluded.

In her remarks, MEP Gianna Gancia stated that over the years, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi has demonstrated to not only the people of Iran but also to the entire world that achieving freedom and equality requires sacrifice and total dedication. It is emphasized that without dedicating everything to the cause, it remains an illusion. Mrs. Gancia also expressed her gratitude to Madame Rajavi and all members of the Iranian resistance for their commitment and acknowledged that their actions have instilled hope within Resistance Units in Iran and have prevented the oppressive actions of the mullahs from subduing the resistance throughout the country.

The Italian MEP further highlighted that in the current situation in Iran, where the possibility of overthrowing the regime has come closer than ever after 44 years, the son of the ousted monarch and dictator, has now declared himself as the leader of the opposition. However, she added, this claim by the dictator’s son is not taken seriously by anyone. As a result, the responsibility falls on the Speaker and others to declare loudly in the European Parliament their support for the Iranian people and their solidarity with those who are fighting against the dictatorship, advocating for a democratic republic. This support extends to all forms of dictatorship, whether in the past or the present theocratic regime, Mrs. Gancia declared.