Online Conference on the Anniversary of Iran Uprising November 2019
10th November 2020
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On November 15, 2019, a massive uprising broke out in various Iranian cities. The protests lasted for about a week and spread to over 190 cities in all 31 provinces of Iran. The November 2019 uprising was unprecedented in the past 40 years, particularly due to its breadth, rapid pace, organization, the bravery of protesters, and their willingness to risk their lives.
Dozens of officials and state media outlets in Iran blamed the main Iranian opposition leading the protests.
At least 1,500 protesters were killed on the streets. Over 4,000 were wounded and at least 12,000 were arrested according to sources within Iran.
Opposition leader Maryam Rajavi
“The uprising in November 2019 was neither indiscriminate nor spontaneous… It had no ties with any of the regime’s factions and no connections to any world power or government,” said NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi in her speech.
“On the contrary, the November uprising emanated from the Iranian people’s independent and liberating resolve… [The November 2019 uprising] was a manifestation of the burning determination that will continue to carry on until the mullahs’ religious dictatorship is overthrown,” she added.
Regarding the tragic state of the coronavirus pandemic in Iran, Madam Rajavi pointed out that the regime has sought to use the outbreak to offset the danger of being overthrown, facilitating the spread of the virus and refraining from any serious efforts to contain it.
“This is why the pandemic has turned into a source for hidden escalation of fury and anger. And this is why every new coronavirus death drives the regime one step further towards its downfall,” she continued.
Madam Rajavi also emphasized that the ruling mullahs’ corrupt economic policies have resulted in mass poverty, skyrocketing prices, and unemployment. This in turn is fueling the fire of public anger toward the regime.
In her remarks, she touched on the regime’s escalating repressive measures to intimidate protesters, including security forces humiliating prisoners in public and killing youths in streets.
“The clear and definitive conclusion of the developments of the past year since the November uprising is that there will be an irreversible and overpowering face-off between the Iranian society and the regime. From a political standpoint, this is the beginning of the destruction of the foundations of the regime by the Iranian people.”
Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian senator and presidential candidate
Ingrid Betancourt speaks at the online conference
It is our duty to point our fingers at the criminals who murdered protesters in Iran. World leaders must take action now. What happens in Iran has consequences in our daily lives. The religious terrorism that strikes our streets has been financed by Iran. This has been shown in numerous trials, including the one being held this month in Antwerp, Belgium.
The social classes who are thought to be the legitimizing backbone of the regime were the ones who were chanting slogans against the Khamenei and Rouhani in the streets and were shot to death by security forces.
We need Europe as the Union and each European leader to take an immediate and exemplifying stand by first, avoiding to sell weapons to the mullahs, and second, by not conducting any nuclear deal with Iran that would give a lifeline to this bloodthirsty killing machine.
Today, we’re honoring not only the dead, but also the living. They should be entitled to make their choice by casting their votes not risking their lives. They want a republic, free and fair elections.
We must work together to make sure our leaders understand it is in our interest to recognize the Iranian people’s right to fight for democracy. We are all bound together in this quest for justice and freedom. No more appeasement for the criminal mullahs ruling Iran.
Swedish MP Magnus Oscasrsson
Magnus Oscasrsson speaks at the online conference
We need to work for democracy in Iran. We need change, a standard democracy. In different cities, people are rising up and saying it’s enough. It’s time for Sweden to support Iranian democracy. My friends, don’t give up, we stand with you in this struggle for freedom and fundamental rights.
British MP Theresa Villiers, former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Theresa Villiers speaks at the online conference
The international community must now intervene to stop the culture of impunity in Iran in order to prevent another massacre of dissidents in regime’s prisons. Silence is not an option and the international community and Western democracies must stand with the Iranian people and the organised Resistance movement as they continue to challenge the regime to establish a free and democratic Iran.
I urge the UK Government to support the struggle for accountability and a democratic change in Iran by recognising and engaging with the NCRI as the true representative of the Iranian people and their democratic aspirations. The UK must also take the lead in Europe to increase pressure on the regime in Iran through punitive measures and proscribing the IRGC in its entirety.
The UK and other Western democracies must stand with them as the era of religious dictatorship in Iran is coming to an end.
Behrouz Maghsoudi, representative of the Iranian Youths Association in Norway
Behrouz Maghsoudi speaks at the online conference
The November 2019 uprising was clearly a rebellion against the religious fascism in our country. The protesters knew that they will neither have freedom nor decent livelihoods as long as the regime is in power.
The November 2019 protester wanted the overthrow of the regime in its entirety and the establishment of a democratic republic, chanting: “Down with Khamenei” and “We don’t want the mullahs’ regime.”
The Union of Democratic Youth has the following points to make:
- The Iranian society is in an explosive state. The only solution for Iran is the overthrow of the regime
- The November 2019 protests showed that the people endorse the strategy of Resistance Units and rebellion to overthrow this regime. There is no solution within this regime.
- The regime considers the Iranian Resistance as its main threat and will not refrain from any crime to eliminate the opposition.
- There’s a need for a firm policy to prevent the regime’s terrorism. All embassies of the regime must be shut down. The IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) must be designated as terrorist entities.
- We want the freedom of all political prisoners.
Dr. Ramesh Seperad, Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University
Dr. Ramesh Seperad speaks at the online conference
The message of the uprising was that the regime must go and it is on the verge of collapse.
The regime’s tactics of terrorism and repression to scare the people and is no longer effective.
The people of Iran overthrew the Shah regime. They will no doubt succeed in overthrowing the mullahs’ regime.
Omid Behrooz, Dentist and spokesperson of the Iranian Associations in Norway
Omid Behrooz speaks at the online conference
The main strategy for change in Iran lies in disbanding the IRGC, not working with them as some have proposed. The symbol of this strategy are the Resistance Units. This is the solution that the regime is afraid of, and the reason why the regime is focused on terrorism and propaganda against the Iranian Resistance.
Hail to the Iranian Resistance Units, who are the key to democratic change in Iran.
Niloofar Alamian, member of the MEK
Niloofar Alamian speaks at the online conference from Ashraf-3
We were thrilled to see the women of my country leading the protests and being the first to chant “Down with Khamenei!”
The regime tries to spread fear and cause despair of the goal of regime change. But we are determined to continue this path and we have faith that we can.
Mitchell Reiss, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State (2003-2005), US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (2003-2007)
Mitchell Reiss speaks at the online conference
These protests took place because the Iranian people only wish what people all over the world wish for – the basic human right to live in freedom, to raise your family without fear, to elect honest officials who will represent your best interests and not steal from you, and to live a life of dignity.
You and your colleagues all over Iran have made it clear that you want a change from this illegitimate regime.
Your courage and bravery in the face of the regime’s violence and repression is inspiring.
This is a regime that once more revealed its true nature in how it responded to the protests.
This is a regime that is fundamentally weak and unsure of itself, not strong and self-confident.
This is a regime that does not respect the lives of its own citizens.
This is a regime that does not trust its own citizens to know the truth.
This is a regime that resorts to violence to silence the voices of the people.
This is a regime that blames others for its own failures.
This is a regime that is corrupt and a massive violator of human rights.
This is a regime that is irreformable and incapable of serving the people of Iran.
This is a regime that fears its own people.
In sum, the heroic protests we witnessed last year are part of larger trends that are strengthening the opposition and weakening the regime in Tehran.
A democratic future for Iran is closer today than ever before.
Please know that freedom-loving people the world over all stand with you.
Princess Zamaa Swazi Dlamini-Mandela, Human rights activist and grand daughter of Nelson Mandela
Zamaa Swazi Dlamini-Mandela speaks at the online conference
The Iranian people are in need of peace, justice and political prosperity. The people of Iran reject tyranny and demand freedom.
As a global village, we are each responsible to stand up and stand together with the people of Iran. As we honor the martyrs of November 2019, we must remember there is no easy path to freedom.
Theresa Payton, White House Chief Information Officer for President George W. Bush
Theresa Payton speaks at the online conference
Iran’s goal is to drive positive news about its current regime and manipulate its own people to ensure undying support for its political interests. The regime bans social media but its officials have access to them.
The Iranian regime is engaged in creating fake accounts on Twitter and other social media outlets to spread misinformation against the Iranian opposition, namely the MEK. Iran’s regime hides behind cyber operatives and fake personas.
Iranian hackers hacked into encrypted apps to gather intelligence. The regime is meddling in the affairs of the United States.
The regime scrambles to find ways to increase influence over citizens. And this is why Iranians are increasing their means to circumvent the regime’s censorship.
The world needs to come together and dedicate ourselves to enable the citizens of Iran to achieve a free Iran. We must help the people of Iran share news about threats to their desire for freedom and democracy. We must have an active threat-hunting effort against the regime’s attempts on the opposition.
Belgian Senator Els Ampe
Senator Els Ampe speaks at the online conference
The Iranian government’s violence is condemned by the UN and Amnesty International. I demand the immediate release of all protesters detained in justified protests. The people of Iran can’t even speak their minds.
To the people of Iran, your victory will be cherished and your path will be followed. You are the future of Iran and you will prevail.
Geir Sigbjorn Toskedal, Norwegian MP, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Geir Sigbjorn Toskedal speaks at the online conference
I want to emphasize that the Iranian population is among the youngest populations in the world with more than 40% born after the 1979 revolution. They were born and raised under the current dictatorship but on every occasion, they have shown their desire for freedom and democratic values that we cherish in the West.
Last year 1,500 protesters, mostly young people but including dozens of children were massacred in hundreds of cities across Iran. Indiscriminate shootings by the regime’s IRGC and security forces, including snipers, created a shockwave across the world. However, I believe firmly that the international response to a crime of this magnitude was not adequate at all and we need to do a lot more. Re-imposing UN sanctions against this brutal regime is amongst them.
I think it is shameful to try to legitimize this regime. History has shown that dictatorships can never outlast the desire of the people who want to be free.
Neda Amani, women’s football team coach in Switzerland
Neda Amani speaks at the online conference
We Iranian youth despise appeasement and appeasers who stand with the Iranian regime and don’t recognize our people’s rights.
We will stand against the appeasement policy and will not allow any government to support the tyrannical goals of the regime. We will overthrow this regime.
Whether the regime and its appeasers like it or not, the voice of our people are echoed by Iranian Resistance Units.
We will stand against the regime and its lobbies across the globe.
Ali Fatemi, President of Iranian Youth Association of Luxembourg
Ali Fatemi speaks at the online conference
The November uprising started because of the price of gasoline, yet since the people are fed up with the regime, it spread across the country and everyone stressed that they wanted regime change.
The slogan “Down with Khamenei!” echoed in every town and street. This is a movement that continues, and we’ve seen it on numerous occasions after the November 2019 protests.
One regime official said, “Only god saved us.” Our final word with the criminals ruling Iran is, God didn’t save you. Satan did. This time around not even Satan will save you. The Resistance Units will overthrow you.
Amir Seifi from the Iranian community of Ireland
Amir Seifi speaks at the online conference
The regime tried to dissolve us into its system through repression and brainwashing. But many of us chose resistance and rebellion. And every day, our ranks are growing.
In 2017, Iran’s students targeted by the regime’s reformism propaganda chanted, “Reformists, principalists, the game is over.”
In recent years, the brave Resistance Units have been growing. These are the new liberation army of the people of Iran.
Martin Patzelt, Member of the German Bundestag
Martin Patzelt speaks at the online conference
The Iranian regime uses terrorism to suppress the resistance and dissidents. We need to open our eyes to the use of Iranian cultural institutions and diplomatic facilities for terrorism. The IRGC uses them to bring sleeper cells to Europe. The trial of Assadollah Assadi is a chance to unveil how the regime uses its diplomatic institutions for terrorism. The regime tries to defame the resistance movement, but it no longer helps the regime in holding on to power. The resistance is gaining more credibility inside Iran and across the globe. The protests in 2018 and 2019 showed the entire world that the regime’s claims that the MEK is a small movement is not true. And this was proven by the regime’s terrorist attempts against the resistance movement in France and Albania.
In Europe, we must denounce Iran’s terrorism and protect the members of the resistance. The regime must be condemned by the international community. The regime must face justice. Assadi used his diplomatic cover for terrorist activity. We can not overlook this. We must join the call of Maryam Rajavi for an international independent commission to look into the situation of detained protesters. We must recognize that the regime is a threat to our democracy.
Italian Senator Roberto Rampi
Roberto Rampi speaks at the online conference
We know that this regime is a terrorist regime. Assadi’s case is just one instance that shows Iran is a government that finances terrorism. We can’t tolerate this regime. The orders for this terror attack came directly from the government and the regime’s leadership. How is it possible to have a relationship with such a government that protects and provides refuge for terrorists?
The reason for the regime’s behavior is a weak behavior by the European Union. The EU must ask the regime why one of its diplomats was involved in a terror attempt. We must support the resistance and fight this regime.
Kimmo Sassi, Former Finnish Minister and MP
Kimmo Sassi speaks at the online conference
The regime lies about the numbers of coronavirus casualties because it fears further protests. Last year, the regime killed 1,500 protesters. An independent fact-finding mission must investigate the regime’s crimes. The international community was shocked by the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari.
The Iranian regime is nervous and terrified of popular protests. I believe in democracy, human rights, the rule of law and market economy free of corruption. Democracy is the main guarantee for a good future. History shows that freedom eventually prevails and dictatorship fails. What can we do to support the Iranian people? We in the international community must stand with the Iranian people. We need sanctions against the regime’s leaders. They must know there’s no escape from responsibility for their crimes. Cooperation with Iran must start when Iran has a democratic government.
Marica Montemaggi, MP from San Marino
Marica Montemaggi speaks at the online conference
The Iranian people want to get rid of the theocratic regime and want true democracy. The government keeps investing in projects that have nothing to do with the health and safety of the people despite the pandemic.
Iran has thousands of people who have been imprisoned and are suffering torture. We can’t remain silent on this. We must support the NCRI, which is working for peace and peaceful coexistence with the international community.
Italian MP Chiara Gribaudo
Chiara Gribaudo speaks at the online conference
An independent mission must investigate the situation of prisons in Iran. We are very worried about the situation of prisoners, including the tortures and conditions they are enduring, as well as the executions that are taking place.
Torture is the tool the regime uses every day in its prisons. The rule of law is non-existent. There are secret centers where people are tortured to extract information. The regime must allow an independent mission to visit prisons. The European Union has an important role. This is a geopolitical problem that must be analyzed thoroughly.
Elaheh Zabihian from the Iranian community in the UK
Elaheh Zabihian speaks at the online conference
The people of Iran collectively rejected the religious fascism ruling Iran in recent uprisings. The regime’s terror plot against the Iranian Resistance in 2018 was the regime’s response to the people’s uprisings, which utterly failed.
The regime is desperate regarding the continued activities of Resistance Units, which show the overthrow of the regime is not only a national desire, but a reality that will soon come to pass.
Instead of economic relations with the Iranian regime to the benefit of the IRGC, western governments must designate the IRGC and MOIS as terrorist organizations and shut down the regime’s embassies. The mullahs’ time is over.
Danish MP Uffe Elbaek
Uffe Elbaek speaks at the online conference
There has been an ongoing struggle for freedom in Iran for the last 40 years. The work you are doing is very important. Keep up the spirit and the good work. We all have to stand up for democracy and human rights.
Jonathan de Patoul, Member of the Brussels Francophone Parliament
Jonathan de Patoul speaks at the online conference
Millions of people in Iran are raising their voice for justice and freedom. We must support their desires and be their voice.
Hoda Imad, central board member of AUF, deputy leader and education policy spokesperson in Viken AP
Hoda Imad speaks at the online conference
The Iranian people demand basic human rights to express themselves without fear of persecution. That should not be too much to ask for. Iran’s youth should not be in jail and not know if they will survive the next day. It’s time for all of us to raise our voice in solidarity with the people of Iran. No one is free until everyone is free. The demands and dreams for freedom and justice of the people of Iran will win. We share your dreams and stand with you in your fight for democracy.
Andrea Gavazza, Italian Mayor
Andrea Gavazz speaks at the online conference
We hope to put an end to the tyranny of the Iranian regime. We express our solidarity and welcome the youth. They are our hope for change during times like these. During the pandemic, some regime’s have been hiding information. We younger people are the key for this peaceful revolution.
Mario Barbaro, Member of the General Council of the Italian Radical
Mario Barbaro speaks at the online conference
I support your fight for democracy, especially the democratic youth of Iran who are building the future of their country. Democracy will never be given as a gift and we must defend it. The November 2019 protests and all the people who lost their lives in the uprising show that you do not lack courage.
Pegah Jahanmiri of the Iranian youths in Germany
Pegah Jahanmiri speaks at the online conference
We will never forget those who laid their lives for freedom. We support the protesters and the Resistance Units. The regime knows that while there are brave youths in Shiraz and other cities in Iran, it has no future. We will not stop calling for freedom. Resistance Units are symbols of freedom.
Maryam Khalaghdoost, from the Iranian youths in Austria
Maryam Khalaghdoost speaks at the online conference
I left Iran ten years ago because my family was being chased by the regime. In 2009, I was only 16 years old but was actively present in the protests. The flame of uprising will not die. Because in 2009, I met a girl who was arrested and brutally tortured, but she took back to the streets shortly after her release. And she told me that she will never remain silent in the face of repression. The regime can’t prevent the uprisings no matter how hard it tries.
The 2019 uprising was very huge. The repression was much more brutal, but the regime could not stop the youth. The mullahs know what will happen to them in future uprisings. The people have made it clear that the mullahs have to go. I salute all Resistance Units all across Iran.
Vida Amani, of the Iranian youths in Switzerland
Vida Amani speaks at the online conference
The 2019 uprising was the extension of the 2018 uprising. The youth made it clear that they are not satisfied with anything less than the overthrow of the regime. More uprisings are on the way and the regime is afraid. We tell the mullahs you are right to be afraid and you should fear even more. The victory of our people is near.
Samira Ardalan, from the Iranian Democratic Youths Association in Italy
Samira Ardalan speaks at the online conference
The people know what they want and those desires are symbolized in the PMOI. In the previous uprising the people made it clear that they don’t buy into the regime’s moderation claims and want the overthrow of the regime. This regime has no future other than being overthrown. The mullahs’ own media are warning about a flood that will wash away the regime. They are torturing protesters, humiliating youth in the streets. They can’t prevent another uprising and their downfall.
Sara Ehsani, from the Iranian youths Association in Norway
Sara Ehsani speaks at the online conference
I salute the youth who sacrificed their lives for freedom in the November 2019 uprising. The people protested lack of freedom, jobs, livelihoods and more. The uprising took over all of the country. The mullahs responded with bullets. The youth resisted and sacrificed their lives for their struggle. The regime admitted that Resistance Units, especially young women, played a leading role in the protests. The Resistance Units are showing tremendous courage in their continued activities against the regime. We support the youth and will be their voice.
Arezu Eshraghi, Director of the Iranian Women Association in the UK
Arezu Eshraghi speaks at the online conference
I was in Iran during the 1999 student uprising of Iran. Former Iranian regime president Mohammad Khatami, supposedly a moderate president, repressed the protests. Mohammd Bagher Ghalibaf, the current speaker of the regime’s Majlis (parliament), was proud of taking part in the crackdown of the protests.
The people of Iran have made it clear that they want the overthrow of the regime. It’s not just the students. It is Iranians of all walks of life. It is not just Tehran. It is all across Iran. The regime’s old tactics no longer work. The only way they could stop the 2019 protests was through brutally gunning down protesters. They know that they can’t escape their overthrow. Our society is in a powder keg situation. The people want an Iran that is free of the tyranny of monarchists and the religious fascists.
Aidin Saidian, from the Iranian Youths Association in the United States
Aidin Saidian speaks at the online conference
The key message of the November 2019 uprising was that the Iranian regime is on the verge of being overthrown. It is a backward regime. The regime spends millions of dollars to whitewash their crimes and to push the narrative that they are the only option. But the uprising showed how much the people reject the regime. The slogans of the November 2019 protests also showed that the people don’t want any despots, whether it is the mullahs or the shah. The regime’s lobbyists will do whatever they can to throw a lifeline to the regime. They try to discredit the Iranian opposition.
Maryam Sadeghpour, from the Iranian Women Association in Australia
Maryam Sadeghpour speaks at the online conference
People across the globe are supporting the resistance against the fascist regime ruling Iran and the struggle for freedom in Iran. On the 32nd anniversary of the massacre of the 1988 massacre and the first anniversary of the 2019 protests, we pledge our support for all the people who have lost their loved ones and commit to continue our struggle for a bright future for the people of Iran.
Parya Garmroudi, from the Iranian Youths Association in Canada
Parya Garmroudi speaks at the online conference
The people from across the world are supporting the resistance against the fascist regime ruling Iran and the struggle for freedom in Iran. On the 32nd anniversary of the massacre of the 1988 massacre and the first anniversary of the 2019 protests, we pledge our support for all the people who have lost their loved ones and commit to continue our struggle for a bright future for the people of Iran.
Fouad Eini, from the Iranian Community of Sweden
Fouad Eini speaks at the online conference
The struggle of the MEK and NCRI has been a source of pride and inspiration in my life. The international community is well aware of the regime’s human rights violations. Iran has large oil and gas reserves and can be one of the richest countries on the planet. However, it is torn apart by poverty. The people pour into the streets to demand a decent life, but they are gunned down by the regime. The regime uses the worst kind of torture to humiliate detainees. This is the reality for 41 years in Iran. The regime knows it is living on borrowed time and its countdown to collapse has started. Who is lending this regime borrowed time? Unfortunately it is the European states. To European leaders, stop putting your heads in sand and break your silence. I hope the Swedish government joins NCRI’s call for an investigation into the situation of political prisoners in Iran.