2018 Iran Uprising Summit, The Path to Freedom – the Alternative
On Saturday 22nd September, a huge crowd of Iranian-Americans took part in a gathering named “2018 Iran Uprising Summit: The Path to Freedom – the Alternative”. European and American politicians spoke at the event that was organised by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC).
While world leaders prepare to address the annual UN General Assembly, a large crowd of Iranian-Americans gathered in a New York venue to voice their support for continued protests in Iran and to call on the international community to support the Iranian people and their resistance movement in the cause for regime change in Iran.
The purpose of the event was to voice support for the ongoing protests that are still happening across Iran.
A panel of Iranian youth who took the stage early on in the program discussed the growing wave of uprisings in Iran and their difference with previous cycles of protest in the country.
The youth, who came from the U.S. and Canada, underlined the role of “resistance units,” which they described as “small groups of MEK supporters who work in a very focused and targeted way.”
Resistance units have had an important role in organizing protests across the country since they started in late December 2018. They also represent Iranians from all areas of the society.
The panelists described the resistance units as the “wakened conscience” of the Iranian nation who are following the path of the thousands of MEK martyrs who have fallen for freedom in the past decades.
Adviser and lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, former mayor of New York City and long-time supporter of the Iranian Resistance Rudy Giuliani emphasised that the people of Iran are “entitled to freedom and democracy” and said that the regime’s terrorist operations are increasing against the opposition. He said: “I must say to the Iranian government, you must be truly afraid of being overthrown. We will not forget that you have murdered many, many Americans. You have taken our diplomats hostage to humiliate us. We understand who our friends are and who our enemies are. And you are our enemy.”
Maryam Rajavi: Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime
The keynote speaker of the event was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who addressed the crowd through teleconference. She emphasised that this gathering is a significant contribution in the fight to free Iran from religious tyranny. She said that developments in Iran are accelerating, meaning that freedom is getting closer, especially because of the protests that have been ongoing since the end of 2017.
Mrs. Rajavi highlighted that the Iranian regime is very fearful of the role of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) and the resistance units in leading and continuing the uprisings. The uprisings, she said, are the key. “The roadmap for freedom reveals itself in these very uprisings, in ceaseless protests, and in the struggle of the Resistance Units.”
The leader also spoke about the political, economic and international pressure that the regime is under, making it very close to collapse.
Finally, Mrs. Rajavi called on the United Nation’s Security Council to address Iran’s human rights violations, including the massacre of political prisoners, and its belligerence and export of terrorism in the Middle East. She called for binding measures to force the regime to stop. She also pointed out that the overthrow and establishment of a free Iran are the responsibility of the Resistance and the people of Iran but urged support in this endeavour that will contribute to peace in the region. Mrs. Rajavi also called for an end to the regime’s “financial lifelines” that allow it to remain in power.
General James Jones: Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan is what
the regime fears most
Former U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones, who spoke at the conference, called the Iranian regime “the chief antagonist of peace in the Middle East,” a role that is displayed by the regime’s violent intervention in countries of the region.
“Passivity in face of this tyrannical regime has no place in our policies and governments,” Jones said, calling on the international community to adopt a firm stance toward the regime of Tehran.
Jones also spoke about the nationwide protests in Iran. “The regime has in typical fashion arrested thousands of people. There have been many deaths. But the protests continue,” Jones said, stressing that it is the responsibility of the international community to support protesters in Iran.
Jones voiced his support for the Iranian opposition and Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan. “These ten principles, Jeffersonian principles, is what the regime fears most,” Jones said.
Jones concluded his remarks with a message to the Iranian regime: “Your days are numbered. They are numbered because your people will not stop in their demands for a government that reflects their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations.”
Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Iran is entitled to freedom and
“Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy, should be led by leaders like Madame Rajavi and others,” said Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and current advisor and lawyer to the U.S. president. “That will be the only assurance of a peaceful Iran.”
Giuliani also spoke about the Iranian regime’s increased terrorist operations against the Iranian opposition. “I must say to the Iranian government, you must be truly afraid of being overthrown,” he said. “We will not forget that you have murdered many, many Americans. You have taken our diplomats hostage to humiliate us. We understand who our friends are and who our enemies are. And you are our enemy.”
Giuliani reminded that Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s current president who presents himself as a reformist, has more blood on his hands than his “hard-liner” predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “[Rouhani] was a reformer,” Giuliani said. “He reformed the methods of murder and murdered more people.” Executions in Iran have seen an unprecedented spike during Rouhani’s presidency.
The Iranian regime is resorting to irrational terrorist tactics against the Iranian opposition “because you’re so pathetically afraid that the MEK is going to overthrow your government,” Giuliani said.
“We can accomplish telling those people in Iran who are standing up to the threat of violence and murder and destruction that we have their back,” Giuliani said.
While stressing the need international support for the protesters in Iran, Mayor Giuliani reminded the crowd that “Really what’s keeping this alive, and the regime understands it, is you. It’s the work you’re doing, and the people who have that same courage and that same tenacity and that same desire for freedom, who are your brothers and sisters in Iran, who are at the point of the spear. They’re the ones who are putting their lives on the line.”
Giuliani stressed that the Iranian regime sees the MEK as an existential threat to its rule and fears its own overthrow. “It could be in a few days, months, couple of years. But it’s going to happen. They’re going to be overthrown,” he said. “The people of Iran have obviously had enough.”
Bernard Kouchner: Iran has an alternative
“We are dealing with a brutal regime that suppresses its own people,” said former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, adding that “The prime victims of this regime are the Iranian people themselves.”
Describing the Iranian regime’s brutal role in the countries of the Middle East region, Kouchner said, “This regime’s behavior in the region is unacceptable. There’s hardly any problem in the region in which the Iranian regime doesn’t play a malign role.”
Kouchner also warned against the Iranian regime’s terror activities in Europe, including an attempt to bomb the rally of the Iranian opposition in France in June.
Praising the uprisings in Iran, Kouchner said, “The people of Iran have expressed their desire for a republic based on separation of church and state. They want no more theocratic regime.” Kouchner also stressed that “Iran has an alternative, a democratic alternative, which is struggling for a secular Iran.”
General Attorney Michael Mukasey: The U.S. should support the activities of the MEK
Former U.S. General Attorney Michael Mukasey: Available intelligence shows the regime continues to build facilities to continue its nuclear program, despite Tehran saying it is not doing so, said former U.S. General Attorney Michael Mukasey, adding that the problem posed by the current regime is way beyond the threat of nuclear weapons.
“Under the current regime, there’s a theocratic and despotism. It finances terrorism both inside and outside its borders,” Mukasey said.
The regime’s destructive ideology has turned against itself, Mukasey explained, highlighted by the discontent in Iran that has shown itself in repeated and widespread demonstrations.
“The demonstrations and protesters come from all segments of the society,” Mukasey observed, adding that their slogans include things like “down with Khamenei” and “down with Rouhani” and target the regime’s meddling in neighboring countries and its rhetoric to try frame foreign countries for the economic woes of the country.
“The protesters will not be brought off with half measures,” Mukasey said, adding that the chief cause of the economic problems of Iran is the corruption at the core of the Iranian regime.
“The regime is absolutely frantic about the threat posed by the MEK,” Mukasey said, which manifests itself in the statements and remarks by the regime’s highest authorities as well as the regime’s terrorist attempts against Iranian opposition members abroad. “Acts of violence like that on another country are acts of war,” Mukasey said.
“The United States should support the activities of the MEK. It would drive the mullahs crazy,” Mukasey said, explaining that it would show the people inside and outside the country that there’s an alternative to the regime.
“We have to focus every effort to bring about regime change, and there’s no group better fit to participate in that effort than MEK.”
Women’s rights activists discuss the role of Iranian youth and women in Iran’s uprisings
“Women play an active role in the Iranian uprisings,” said Soudabeh Sharif, an Iranian women’s rights activist. “Let us not forget that the women’s call for regime change did not begin in the recent uprisings. It began four decades ago.”
Sharif also said that the Iranian women have paid the heaviest price for freedom. “It is no wonder that the effective opposition against Tehran’s ruling is led by a women, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”
“There’s no doubt that the regime’s days are numbered,” Sharif said. “We Iranian women stand behind Mrs. Rajavi wholeheartedly.”
Sadaf Mirzaii, an Iranian student who was born and raised in the U.S., said that although she has never seen her country, she always dreams of going to Iran one day, and the struggles of the Iranian youth of past and present generations have inspired her to support her people in their struggle for freedom.
“I continue to raise my fist along the people of Iran who are taking part in the uprisings,” Mirzaii said.
Giulio Terzi: The UN Security Council must address Tehran’s terrorism
“After the nuclear deal, the regime has only become more violent and more corrupt,” said former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi. And that violence is showing itself in the regime’s behavior toward protests across Iran, which have continued despite heavy crackdown by authorities.
“To great anxiety of the mullahs, there is a true alternative to this dictatorship. In the West they try to appease the mullahs,” Terzi said, warning that by hiding the real nature of the Iranian threat, the West and European countries threaten to throw away a real opportunity to bring peace to the Middle East.
Terzi called for a multifaceted approach aimed at ending Tehran’s support of terror, its nuclear threat, its genocidal behavior across the Middle East. “The UN Security Council should firmly address Tehran’s growing use of terror plots,” Terzi said. “To European leaders, act in real support of the Iranian people and their aspirations. Hold Tehran to account for its malign and suppressive behavior.”