At a press conference in London on Tuesday, 5 March 2019, panellists including prominent Iran experts, members of the UK Parliament and the Foreign Affair of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) discussed the state of affairs in Iran following a year of popular protests across the country.
Panellists agreed that the theocratic regime has reached an impasse amid growing popular dissent inside the country, international isolation and public internal feuding. They explained that developments in Iran in 2018 prove that the regime only sees continued terrorism, destabilising intervention in the region and domestic repression as the only options to secure its grip on power.
They also discussed the important and determining role of the organised Iranian resistance movement, the NCRI and the PMOI, at this critical juncture in Iran’s history.
Mr Struan Stevenson, the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC) and former Scottish Conservative MEP, presented his new report following his recent visit to Albania with two senior Members of the European Parliament. During their visit, they met and spoke to men and women members of the Iranian democratic opposition, People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The report, “ASHRAF III, RISING FROM THE ASHES: Iranian Opposition Terrifies Tehran Rulers; A European Delegation Report”, provides a detailed explanation on why the regime in Tehran is stepping up and concentrating its propaganda campaign and terrorism against the organised opposition at this time.
“The fortitude and stamina of the PMOI members in Albania has acted as a beacon of hope for the 80 million beleaguered citizens of Iran who hope and pray for freedom from oppression and now look to the organised opposition [the PMOI] as the harbingers of a future of democracy, justice, and peace”, Mr Stevesnon said referring to the ongoing anti-regime protests that began in late December 2017.
In his remark, Mr Stevenson highlighted Iran regime’s intensified repression at home since the so-called “moderate” Hassan Rouhani took office and the recent surge in the number of Iran-backed terrorist plots, espionage and propaganda campaign against the Iranian Resistance (NCRI) in Europe and US in 2018.
The report criticises the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, for her continued attempts to appease the mullahs and to ignore the blatant abuse of human rights that take place in Iran on a daily basis.
“My report finds it incredible that Mogherini can continue to befriend the mullahs when they have used their own ‘so-called’ diplomats in Europe to perpetrate acts of terror, trying to commit atrocities on European soil”, Mr Stevenson said.
“The sudden resignation of Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the on-going nationwide protests and strikes are symptoms of a regime in terminal decline. The head of the terrorist Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani’s insistence on Zarif’s reinstatement is an indication of how the two are indispensable in the planning and implementation of Iran’s foreign terrorist operations”, he added.
“However, this embarrassing fallout involving the regimes top leaders is evidence of the crisis that has now engulfed the mullahs. They are lashing out in a desperate bid to avert regime change through terrorism demonization campaign against the Iranian Resistance and its charismatic leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi”, Mr Stevenson explained pointing to the foiled bombing plot against the NCRI’s grand gathering in Paris last year.
Mr Stevenson concluded. “We are witnessing the final collapse of the theocratic dictatorship in Iran. It is a pivotal moment in history when the UK Government and the EU must back the Iranian people and not betray them by propping up their fascist oppressors.”
Lord Clarke of Hampstead CBE, Labour member of the UK House of Lords welcomed Mr Stevenson’s report and said, “Amnesty International called 2018 a year of shame for Iran. Its report says that more than 7,000 dissidents were arrested last year in a sweeping crackdown, which shows that the UK Government must go beyond verbal condemnations to take the lead at the UN to secure measures that will hold the regime to account for these atrocities”.
“UK Government must adopt a firm policy on Iran based on supporting the Iranian people and their legitimate resistance movement NCRI led by Madame Ravjai”, Lord Clarke said joining the other panellists in criticising EU’s appeasement policy on Iran.
Hossein Abedini, Deputy Director of the UK office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said: “The tyrannical regime of the mullahs is engulfed in serious crises inside and outside of Iran. While the regime is on a slippery slope towards its demise, its is desperately and hopelessly trying to prevent its overthrow by vicious suppression of the nationwide protests and demonstrations and by increasing terrorist plots and demonization campaign against Iran’s main democratic opposition movement PMOI/MEK’’.
“The regime’s overthrow, which is the desire of the people of Iran, has never been so much within reach’’, added Mr. Abedini.
The UK Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran 5 March 2019