NCRI – In an international congress in Berlin, March 19, senior American officials under Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, political figures and other personalities from European and Arab countries expressed support for people’s uprising in Iran and examined prospects of change in that country. They underlined the need to adopt an appropriate policy to counter Tehran’s efforts to take advantage of the uprisings in the region and spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Mr. Leo Dautzenberg (Member of German Bundestag from 1998-2011) handed over the statements by 150 members of Bundestag on the humanitarian protection of Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf, removal of the PMOI from the US terror list and to stop executions in Iran.
Speech in the international congress – Berlin:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Greetings to all of you.
The convening of this conference is an invaluable initiative in the midst of the uprisings in Iran and in the region. I thank the organizers. I also express gratitude for the declarations by the Members of the German Federal Parliament, Bundestag, in support of the Iranian people’s uprising and Camp Ashraf.
While the tide of uprisings has shaken the pillars of dictatorships throughout the region, in the span of a single month, from February 14 to March 16, the people of Iran staged five large uprisings in Tehran and other cities against the velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) regime. The uprisings of the past month convey three fundamental messages:
– First: The irrepressible and pent-up discontent of Iranian society surfaced once again.
– Second: The failure of [the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei; He failed both in preventing the persistence of the uprisings and also in containing the crisis at the top of the regime. By eliminating [Ali Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani in recent days, Khamenei embarked on the most lethal and inevitable purge within his regime.
– Third: The deep desire of Iranian society for the change of velayat-e faqih regime. That is why “death to Khamenei” has turned into the primary slogan in the uprisings.
By chanting this slogan in their uprising, the Iranian people underscore that the objective is not to modify the regime’s policies, but to rather eliminate the velayat-e faqih regime in its entirety.
How should the current circumstances be interpreted?
In one word: Democratic change in Iran has become inevitable and can be achieved by the Iranian people and Resistance.
Therefore, we must look to the future of Iran.
We must answer the question what do we want for the future and how do we see it?
In our view, the response to the Iranian issue and the solution to its challenges is democracy.
Democracy or the rule of people is for us an ideal.
At the outset of Khomeini’s rule, we tried to chart a path that would guarantee genuine elections.
For the first election, we nominated more than 140 candidates. However, Khomeini hijacked the elections through fraud and demagoguery.
During the first presidential race, Khomeini prevented the opposition candidate from standing in the elections. There have been no free elections in Iran since then.
Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance, has said in this regard: “From the outset, the main dispute of the Iranian people with the Khomeini regime has been and remains to be between the sovereignty of the people and the people’s vote on the one hand and the velayat-e faqih and clerical sovereignty on the other. This has been the spirit and essence of our struggle and our people’s struggle over the past 30 years.”
In my view, there is nothing more definitive than the people’s free choice.
Otherwise, what miracle can alleviate the horrific economic and social calamities gripping today’s Iran.
We have found the answer to be in the participation and taking of responsibility by each and every Iranian citizen. That participation is contingent upon the free choice of every Iranian.
Let everyone intervene and participate in what he/she deems to be his/her political and social destiny.
Government belongs to the people of Iran.
As far as the Iranian Resistance is concerned, I repeat that our objective is not to assume power at all cost. Our objective is to establish freedom and democracy at all cost.
If democracy were to be established in Iran and its institution would require us to gain nothing at all, we would still welcome that outcome with open arms.
We consider it as an honor to sacrifice ourselves so that the Iranian people can enjoy the freedom to choose. This is our biggest mandate.
For the Iran of tomorrow, we emphasize on all individual, political and social freedoms. Freedom of expression, clothing, marriage and divorce, establishment of political parties and syndicates, as well as the freedom of the press and demonstrations.
Let the Iranian people be free of compulsion and imposition. Let there be respect for free choice of human beings.
The Iranian people seek a pluralistic republic.
They want to elect all their officials themselves.
The savagery with which people are murdered for taking part in demonstrations must end forever.
Neither God nor the Iranian people have given anyone the right to determine the fate of their country for life.
It is the right of the Iranian people to change the government they do not want.
The other principal issue is human rights. The violated human rights of the Iranian people must be revived.
Indeed, it is the right of Iranian people to be free from darkness and oppression.
Executions, tortures, stoning and limb amputations must come to an end.
We support the abolition of the death penalty in the free Iran of tomorrow.
This is our answer to the savagery and ruthlessness of the mullahs.
Iran can and should be a country of human rights.
Separation of church and state is also indispensable to democracy.
In the Iran of tomorrow, freedom of religions will be respected.
No religion or ideology will be given superiority in the country’s laws over other religions or ideologies.
And finally, there will be no compulsion in religion and the emphasis will be on the people’s free choice. According to the Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion.”
As far as women are concerned, I strongly believe that equality and women’s participation in leadership are imperative for democracy, they guarantee democracy and are the precondition for improving democratic relationships.
Of course, Iranian women must be their own liberators.
But, it is necessary to create the possibility for women’s freedom of choice.
Thus, all forms of discrimination, prohibitions and gender apartheid must be eradicated.
Murder of, and violence against, women as well as misogynous laws such as the law on forced veiling will not have a place in the Iran of tomorrow.
Indeed, democracy, progress and development in society are possible, but through the realization of women’s equality.
And fundamentalism can indeed be defeated but at the hands of these women.
On the issue of the youth: Their creative force will flourish in the Iran of tomorrow.
Discrimination, humiliation and disregarding the youth will have no place in Iran.
Equal access to higher education and enjoyment of equal occupational opportunities must be provided for the generation that has arisen for freedom.
Regarding Iran’s economy, I should emphasize that economic development is dependent on freedom of people and their free choice.
Ridding society of poverty, unemployment and deprivation is possible through freedom and democracy.
Protection of people against natural disasters requires first and foremost democratic rights.
Let the people be free.
Let everyone benefit from equal opportunities.
Yes! The path to economic prosperity in Iran runs through the ability of every single Iranian to make decisions.
In the Iran of tomorrow, we also emphasize removing the double oppression imposed on all ethnic minorities in the framework of Iran’s indivisible territorial integrity.
In the Iran of tomorrow, the just right of Kurdish people to self determination will be recognized.
And finally, the Iran of tomorrow will be a nuclear-free Iran at peace with all nations in the world.
In recent days, the earthquake, the tsunami and the explosion of nuclear power plants in Japan have caused distressing tragedies. On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I offer our sympathies to the nation of Japan.
These catastrophes, however, proved that the secret and illegal nuclear program of the Iranian regime is a thousand times more dangerous to the lives of the people of our nation. We do not want a nuclear Iran.
According to the platform of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, after the overthrow of this regime, a provisional government will run the affairs of the country for a maximum of six months. The main mandate of this provisional government is to hold elections for a Constituent Assembly with all the necessary guarantees and monitoring.
The Constituent Assembly’s mandate is to draft a new constitution and to run the affairs of the country during the transitional period.
Indeed we want a society that is built brick by brick by all the Iranian people’s free choice. To create such an ideal and to lead it to victory, 120,000 of Iran’s best sons and daughters have sacrificed their lives thus far.
Today, the importance and the validity of the third option, namely democratic change, has become more apparent than ever before.
But how can this change materialize?
The fulcrum of this change is the Iranian Resistance. This resistance is backed by the Iranian people’s will and resolve to bring down the ruling theocracy.
This is an organized resistance with deep roots in the Iranian society; a resistance which has demonstrated its competence as the current regime’s alternative.
The supporters of this resistance, including the families of 120,000 martyrs, as a restive sector, who are determined and capable of being organized, have had an active role in each of the uprisings of the past two years.
The Resistance’s social base has enabled it to have access to the most hidden secrets of the regime, including its nuclear and terrorist plans.
The mullahs express their hysteric enmity towards the PMOI [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran] every single day because they feel challenged not just by a dissident political group, but by a vast segment of the population.
Camp Ashraf epitomizes this Resistance.
Ashraf is the symbol of resistance and perseverance and an inspiration to the struggle of young people for freedom.
Under these circumstances, we admonish the approach taken by the West because it is acting against change in Iran.
We all know that in the years past, three consecutive US administrations have effectively contributed to prolonging the regime’s rule by designating the PMOI and insisting on maintaining it on the blacklist.
And the US has regrettably continued this destructive policy in the past two years. How?
First, amid the uprisings last year, the US engaged in direct negotiations with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s envoys in Geneva, much to the mullahs’ benefit and to the detriment of those who had risen up.
Second, it maintained the terrorist label against the PMOI.
And third, it handed over the protection of Ashraf to an Iranian regime proxy government in Iraq. In doing so, the US violated its own written commitments as well as international law.
In order to contain the uprisings, Khamenei needed to suppress Ashraf. Under such sensitive circumstances, its Iraqi operatives took over the protection of the Camp.
What could be a better gift to the mullahs than this?
Now, let us review the results of this policy:
• The July 2009 attack on Ashraf, in which 11 residents were murdered.
Successive attacks in recent months. Since October, 221, including 94 women, in Ashraf have been injured. And of course, an oppressive siege.
To justify such a major blunder, some claim that Ashraf is an internal Iraqi issue.
They say Iraqi sovereignty must not be violated.
This is while the order to suppress Ashraf has come directly from Khamenei and those implementing it are his paid-for-hire agents.
We ask, would an end to the siege on Ashraf constitute interfering in Iraqi affairs?
Does compliance with Iraqi sovereignty mean that patients should be condemned to gradual death as a result of an inhumane medical blockade?
Right now, in a besieged Ashraf, many patients are in critical condition, including Kazem Nematollahi, Sudeh Taqvaii, Khalil Pour-Shafe’, Akbar Shafaqat, Mostafa Ganjei and Elham Fardipour.
Does respect for Iraqi sovereignty mean allowing agents from the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence to continue the psychological torture of Camp Ashraf residents using 240 loudspeakers?
No! If we think harder, it would be the ending of the mullahs’ suppressive measures against Ashraf that would respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi people and government.
Just a few days ago, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it said that sovereignty and domestic laws cannot be used by governments as a shield to prevent investigations about their human rights record.
We urge the United States to carry out its responsibility in resuming the protection of Ashraf and urge the United Nations to permanently station a delegation to monitor the situation in Ashraf.
This is the most visible litmus test for the relations between the US and the Iranian people and their organized Resistance movement.
This also holds true about the State Department’s discredited terror label against the PMOI.
The judgment by a federal court of appeals in Washington, DC, in July 2010 provided the greatest opportunity to revoke this designation.
Do those who have been in office over the past two decades not acknowledge that this tag is an ominous legacy of the wrongheaded policy pursued throughout this time?
So, why is it continuing?
Why should engagement with Khamenei and Ahmadinejad happen at the expense of blocking the path to change in Iran?
Now, developments in the region are telling you that you are rapidly losing time.
We tell all western governments to end this backward policy.
Similarly, you should not maintain the regime’s lifeline, the revenues from the sale of oil and gas.
And you should not continue with the destructive ties between your intelligence services and the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence.
Let me refer to Germany. Sadly, over the past year, Germany has even refrained from abiding by international sanctions against the regime.
In 2010, German companies sold more than 3,000 types of commodities worth nearly 4 billion dollars to companies that are essentially under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
It is regrettable that Germany even refused to vote for the resolution imposing the no-fly zone to protect the defenseless people of Libya.
Of course, we identify Germany with a noble German, Gaouk, who in the past century rose up to support the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and Mirza Kouchek Khan, sacrificing his life in the process.
We identify Germany with its elected representatives and advocates of human rights who have repeatedly supported the Iranian Resistance.
A new era has begun with revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.
This provides an opportunity for western governments to be on the right side of history.
The UN Security Council’s adoption of the resolution imposing a no-fly zone in Libya and allowing necessary measures to protect the people of that country is a commendable step. Prior to it, we saw Khamenei’s tirades and opposition to it.
The initiative by the world community to protect Libyan citizens is also a warning to the clerical regime, which murders on a daily basis defenseless protestors in the streets and prisons . For this reason, the Iranian people and Resistance welcome the Security Council’s decision. The Gaddafi experience has shown that dictators only understand the language of decisiveness and force.
Accordingly, I call upon all governments and international organs to:
1. Stop the purchase of oil from the mullahs and thus refrain from participating in providing the funding for the Iranian people’s suppression by the regime.
2. Initiate the necessary proceedings to issue an international arrest warrant against Khamenei for committing crimes against humanity.
3. Remove the terrorist label from the PMOI and recognize the Iranian people’s Resistance.
4. Undertake the necessary steps to bring down the loudspeakers around the premises of Ashraf, end the psychological torture of the residents, end their oppressive siege, especially the criminal medical restrictions. The US and the UN must assume the protection of Ashraf. We urging the international community to take urgent measures.
In the closing hours of tomorrow, the momentous Nowrouz will dawn and the spring of nature will begin.
I congratulate the Iranian people, those in Ashraf and all prisoners in Iran on this occasion in advance.
As certain as the coming of spring is, Iran’s true spring will also arrive.
The spring of human rights.
The spring of free choice for all Iranians
The spring of justice and equal opportunities.
The spring of tolerance and solidarity.
The spring of democracy.
Hail to the spring of Iran’s freedom.
Hail to the people of Iran.
Thank you all very much