• Mullahs’ regime in utter weakness is driving the region towards unprecedented crisis. This crisis is avoidable only through a regime change in Iran. West must immediately recognize Iranian people’s right for regime change.
• Prerequisite for Ashraf residents’ transfer to Liberty is the providing of minimum guarantees by the international community; otherwise the transfer must not proceed
• Realistic solution is for second group to move to Liberty only after first group has gone to third countries
On Saturday, February 11, coinciding with the 33rd anniversary of the anti-Monarchial Revolution in Iran, in a great gathering in Paris, thousands of Iranians, while being supported by a number of prominent European and American dignitaries, reminded that a major development is on the way in Iran and a democratic change, as a solution to avoid an unprecedented regional and international crisis, is at hand.
Speakers to this meeting, presided over by the President of the Norwegian committee of Friends of a Free Iran Lars Rise, included: Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance; Philippe Douste-Blazy, the UN Deputy Secretary-General and former French Foreign Minister; Bill Richardson, former Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of New Mexico (2003-2011); Andrew Card, White House Chief of Staff (2001-2006); Ed Rendell, former Governor of Pensilvania and former leader of the U.S. Democratic Party; Spencer Abraham, former U.S. Energy Secretary under Bush Administration; Ambassador Phillip Crawley, the U.S. State Department spokesman (2009-2011); Robert Josef, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland and former Ambassador of European Union to the U.S.; General David Phillips, Commander of U.S. Military Police (2008-2011) and the commander in charge of Ashraf residents’ safety and security; John Sano, former National Clandestine Service’s Deputy President and member of directorate of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency; emille Blessig and Jean-Pierre Brard, members of French National Assembly; Jean-François Le Garrett, mayor of Paris 1st District; Aude De Thuin, Founder and president of Women’s Economical and Social Forum; André Glucksmann, a member of New France Philosophers; Nontombi Tutu, human rights activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Praising Syrian people’s uprising in her speech, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi expressed her abhorrence over the disgraceful participation of the Velayat-e faqih regime in the savage suppression of defenseless Syrian people and underscored the need for action by international community for protection of the defenceless Syrian people .
She described execution of 120,000 of political opponents; catastrophic repression of women, oppressed nationalities, and followers of various religions; destruction of the majority of the middle class; obliteration of the private sector; fall of at least 40 million people below poverty line; an unemployment standing at 35%; with a 40% inflation rate; and the plunging of nation’s official currency as a small part of the disgraceful record of the clerical regime’s 33-year rule.
With regards to the residents of Ashraf, Mrs. Rajavi said: Although the Government of Iraq has continuously breached its agreement with the United Nations, the Iranian Resistance and the Ashraf residents have shown utmost flexibility to save a peaceful resolution. However, they stress on the demand of securing the minimum assurances whereupon the security and dignity of the freedom fighters particularly the women would be achieved.
She added, “At my request and in order to show their good will, 400 Ashraf residents accepted to move to Liberty on their vehicles carrying their movable property. However, they stressed that no one else will go to Liberty until the minimum assurances are fulfilled”. She emphasized that anyone truly looking to prevent the defeat of the peaceful solution and a recurrence of massacre has to defend these minimum guarantees.
Participants and speakers at the conference stressed on the following points:
1. The Iranian regime is facing four major dilemmas that have placed it at a critical point and on the verge of downfall:
• a nose-diving economy;
• widespread and escalating social discontent;
• significant change in the regional equilibrium through the Syrian people’s uprising and the prospect of toppling of its dictator which has placed regime’s regional alliance at the brink of dissolution;
• Power struggle at the highest levels of the regime, challenging Khamenei’s position as regime’s leader;
2. To escape its demise, the Iranian regime seeks its sole option in accelerating its drive to obtain nuclear weapons, exporting fundamentalism, and terrorism. By insisting on this policy, the mullahs’ have placed the region and the global community before an unprecedented crisis and confrontation. Yet this face-off is avoidable and the only reliable solution is democratic change in Iran by the people and the organized resistance. This democratic change in Iran is completely at hand and the 2009 and 2011 uprisings in Iran clearly demonstrated the Iranian society’s explosive potential, especially the youth.
3- As Mrs. Rajavi has reiterated, sanctions are an essential element in a firm policy against the regime; yet alone, it cannot prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear weapons. The ultimate solution is a regime change. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and the National Council of Resistance are the main and democratic opposition to this regime, enjoy a strong, organized and coherent structure along with a widespread social base, and are the main and most effective element for regime change in Iran. Recognizing this resistance is an unavoidable necessity in order to guarantee peace and tranquility in the region and the world.
4- The participants condemned the pressuring and repressing of Ashraf residents to relocate to Camp Liberty and reiterated that the prerequisite for relocation of Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty is to provide for their minimum assurances. Freedom of transfer of the movable assets and vehicles of residents to Camp Liberty, no presence of police in Camp Liberty’s small area, freedom of movement, and minimum area for the residents are the minimums that if the Government of Iraq is not willing to provide, it then shows its intent to make a prison and therefore, is no reason for the residents to relocate.
5- While praising Mrs. Rajavi’s courageous initiative regarding that as a good will gesture 400 Ashraf residents move to Camp Liberty with their movable assets and vehicles, the conference accentuated that without the realization of the remaining conditions, the relocation of other residents would not be possible. It added that the only realistic way left is that only after the departure of the first group to third countries, the next group would move to Camp Liberty.
6- The participants called on the UN and especially Mr. Kobler, to take on an impartial conduct and courageously defend the minimum rights of Ashraf residents; by setting aside political considerations, he could undoubtedly achieve these minimums. It was emphasized that while Camp Liberty does not conform to international human rights and humanitarian standards, an Executive Document for the Arrangements of Transfer needs to be signed by the Special Representative and the representative of the Iraqi government so that Iraq could not violate its oral commitments as in other cases.
7- The meeting called on the international community, especially the U.S., to use the extensive political and economic leverages at their disposal not to allow Maliki’s government – who came to power and remains in power only with U.S. assistance – to again suppress and massacre defenseless Ashraf residents who in 2003, U.S. had officially and legally assumed the responsibility for their protection. The meeting called on the U.S. and the EU to guide and support the UN, especially Mr. Kobler, in line with the abovementioned commitments, and to allocate the essential resources to the UNHCR and immediately begin accepting Ashraf residents, especially the ailing and the wounded. The meeting called on the U.S. government to specifically revoke the illegitimate and illegal terrorist tag on the PMOI so that the main obstacle on the way for relocation of the residents, and the main pretext for Maliki to suppress them would be pushed aside.
Referring to the conditions of Camp Liberty, Mr. Douste blazy declared his strong condemnation and said, “This is legitimate demand that the police forces who were involved in the killing of the residents should not be present in Camp Liberty”. He called Liberty a “Detention camp in violation of all international conventions” and called on UN Security Council for action. He ended by saying, “We are all residents of Ashraf since residence of Ashraf symlolises resistance to dictatorship”.
Bill Richardson stated, “There is need for democracy in Iran; there is need to protect the residents of Ashraf. For that to happen, my hope is that the US government delists the MEK. This is the time to protect the people of Ashraf; we must ensure that a movement like that led by Mrs Rajavi to be strengthened”.
John Bruton declared, “There is a better way for dealing with Iran ; a better way than sanction, a better way than military intervention, that is support for Madam Rajavi and her movement. We need a democratic transformation that Madam. Rajavi seeks ».
Ed Rendell stated, « Mrs Rajavi has shown true leadership. What UN has done has been words. Where is the UN, EU, US and international community ? Mrs Rajavi has done everything possible. Why are we not doing what we must ?
He added, the mindset of the US government has been that we are not the sovereign in Iraq. The question is was the US the sovereing in Kossovo and Bin-Ghazi where we moved to save lives ? »
Andrew Card stated, « I am troubled at the US government gave its word but it was not comfortable to keep it they didn’t ».
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 11, 2012