About Maryam Rajavi
Maryam Rajavi is the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Born December 4, 1953 in Tehran, Rajavi began her political activism nearly four decades ago. Rajavi attended the Sharif University of Technology in Iran where she earned a B.S. in Metallurgy. After serving as an organizer in the anti-Shah student moment for six years, Rajavi joined the social section of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran in 1979. She was a parliament candidate in 1980 and was named joint-leader of the PMOI in 1985, a position she held until 1993 when she became Secretary General. Additionally in 1993, she became the President-elect of the NCRI.
Maryam Rajavi’sglobal campaign for change in Iran encompasses the most prominent political and social personalities, former senior U.S. officials and military leaders, lawmakers and political dignitaries in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. Some of these officials include Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and General James Jones. This movement has achieved great success and international recognition and credibility in defense of the Iranian Resistance and its organized entity in camps Ashraf and Liberty. Most recently Maryam Rajavi is working toward the release of Camp Ashraf hostages, by urging the intervention of the United States and United Nations. Rajavi warned that the attack on Ashraf was a precursor to an attack on Camp Liberty. Rajavi also said, “UN and the U.S. government with direct responsibility for security of residents of Ashraf and Liberty for various reasons, need to resort to practical measures after this great crime against humanity. In particular, protection of Liberty and Ashraf that was illegally handed over to Iraqi killers in 2009, should be given to UN blue helmets according to international law, including the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as well as article 45 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” Additionally, Rajavi has demanded protective equipment and upgrades to Ashraf to properly protect residents. On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25), Rajavi called on women around the world to defend for all the oppressed women in Iran, given the September 2013 attack on Camp Ashraf and the recent members held hostage.
A Global Campaign for Change
During a 2006 speech in the presence of Liberal and Socialist political groups at the Council of Europe, Maryam Rajavi outlined a ten-point plan for the future of Iran. The viewpoints are meant to herald the establishment of a genuine and enduring democracy in Iran, to which Rajavi has dedicated her life, these views include:
- The belief in universal suffrage as the ballot box as the sole criterion for legitimacy
- Emphasis on a pluralistic system of governance, respect for all individual freedoms, and freedom of expression and of the media
- Banning of the death penalty
- Separation of Religion and State
- Full gender equality, any form of discrimination against women will be abolished
- Commitment to the equality of all nationalities, and Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Modern judicial system with emphasis on the principle of innocence the right to defense and due process
- Respect for the free market, the establishment of relations with all countries in the world
- Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran, free of weapons of mass destruction
Directing a global campaign to remove the PMOI from the terrorist list in Europe and the U.S., in effort to expose the behind-the-scenes deals to appease the clerical regime, constitute another aspect of Rajavi’s accomplishments. The delisting of the PMOI in the United Kingdom in 2008 and the European Union in 2009, as well as the dismissal of terrorism charges in the June 17, 2003 dossier by a senior French Investigative magistrate in May 2011 and the revocation of the PMOI’s terrorist designation in the United States in September 2012, were a result of her efforts.
In the major gathering of Iranians in June 2012 in Paris, where Maryam Rajavi was a speaker, declarations by more than 4,000 parliamentarians from 40 countries in support of the Iranian Resistance, especially the residents of Ashraf were announced. The parliamentarians, which included majorities in the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, called for the providing protection for the residents of Ashraf and Liberty and urged the international community to recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Rajavi has given extensive lectures on modern and democratic interpretations of Islam as opposed to the reactionary, fundamentalist interpretation of the religion. “Islam, Women and Equality” and “Women, the Force for Change” are publications based on her different speeches in conferences around the world. In March 2013, on International Women’s Day, Maryam Rajavi presented her latest book, entitled “Women Against Fundamentalism,” which is a compilation of the experiences of women in the Iranian Resistance in the struggle against Islamic Fundamentalism.