Mrs. Maryam Rajavi speech in International Symposium on Ashraf-Brussels

Mr. Chairman
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today. I was deeply impressed by previous speakers and their views on the rights of Ashraf residents. It is not my expertise to talk about international law. So, I leave that to the eminent and able jurists.

I rather address the political aspect of the issue. I would like to thank you and say that your efforts in the past few years including well-reasoned legal opinions played a key role in the recognition of the rights of the residents of Ashraf.

At the time that many would prefer to forget about Ashraf, you rose up in defense of Ashraf and stood against the injustice. You have rightly argued that they continued to enjoy status of protected person under the IV Geneva Convention and no one can take that status away.

Let me also add that, what you have done, has not been just in defense of Ashraf, but also in defense of democratic values and achievements of international community in the field of international law and the need to implement them. I urge you to continue with your campaign and remind the policy makers of their obligations.

When it comes to the crimes committed by the mullahs’ regime and Iraqi forces in Ashraf, I am speechless.

I attended a meeting yesterday on the adoption of the 25th November European Parliament Written Declaration. The MEP unanimously said this is a campaign which would continue until the siege on Ashraf is lifted.
The UN Secretary General Special Representative, Mr. Ad Melkert, also attended a hearing on Iraq at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament yesterday. The MEP told him that UN must uphold its commitment regarding residents of Ashraf.

Yesterday, also, a large number of Iranians supporting the Mojahedin in Ashraf, staged a rally in the freezing weather in front of the European Parliament and called on the UN representative to take immediate action to protect Ashraf.

Reports from residents of Ashraf speak loud.
– The painful story of the young boy whose father has been sentenced to death for simply having visited him in Ashraf.
– The touching case of the Cancer patient which, Iraqi forces prevented her from going to hospital.
– The day and night threatening of the residents with death by agents of the regime for the past 10 month, using one hundred and forty powerful loud speakers.

This situation was predictable and avoidable. We warned the US officials time and again that transferring protection of Ashraf to Iraq would lead to a catastrophe.
I wrote to President Obama and Secretary Clinton in January and February 2009, before the official transfer of protection to the Iraqis, reminding them of the dangers of this move.
Jurists also warned that transferring the protection is in violation of the US obligation under relevant international law.

But, despite all the warnings, the protection was transferred. And we have seen the result.  Transfer of protection was not simply due to a misunderstanding about Iraqi government, but rather it was the result of a wrong policy. The non-interference of US forces when Ashraf was attacked by Iraqi forces in July 2009 was also due to the same wrong policy.
The current indecision to take the responsibility for protection of Ashraf is also the continuation of the same failed policy of extending hands to the mullahs ruling Iran.

Despite imposition of some sanctions, the core of the policy of the US and the EU remains appeasement of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. The US has yet to end the unjust terrorist label on the PMOI which only serves the mullahs’ regime. This is the core of the policy of appeasement and a barrier for democratic change in Iran, and will harm global peace and security.

The mullahs’ have already expressed their fear of removing PMOI from the US terror list.

An official said last week we should extradite the PMOI members from Iraq before the organisation is delisted in the US. Nearly two years after the delisting of the PMOI in Europe the EU Member States have not yet removed all the consequences of the terror label.
The US and EU continue to seek change of behavior of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei through dialogue. This is a mirage. 
In a few days, P five + one  will resume negotiations with the mullahs’ regime on nuclear issue.  These talks are doomed to fail. Because the mullahs have no intention of abandoning their nuclear weapons program.
Previous negotiations led to mullahs obtaining more than 3,000 kilogram of enriched uranium. More talks will only add up their stockpiles of enriched uranium.
The regime has publicly stated that it will not stop enriching 20% uranium.
Negotiations will only give time to the regime to obtain the bomb.

For years we have been stressing that the clerical regime ruling Iran is the most serious threat for global peace and security.
Recently released US classified documents show grave concerns among the leaders of the region about the threats posed by the Iranian regime and the need for regime change. I want to stress that the only realistic and possible solution is a regime change by the people of Iran and the Iranian Resistance. This solution will lead to a democratic and non-nuclear Iran and will contribute to peace and tranquility in the region.

The mullahs want to eliminate the principal force of the resistance, because, the Iranian Resistance is the driving force for change.
The regime wants to destroy Ashraf, because Ashraf is the source of inspiration for the Iranian people who are seeking change. 
Ashraf carries the message of persistence and unity against hardship, and resistance for freedom.
To bring about change is the task of the Iranian people.
We expect no one else to do that for us.

What we expect is for the US and the EU to end the policy of appeasement.
We call up on the US and the EU to side with the Iranian people. To side with those who are under torture in prisons.
To side with those who are on death row for taking part in anti-regime demonstrations or paying visit to Ashraf.
Regarding the residents of Ashraf we want the international community to fulfill its obligations.
The US is under obligation to provide protection for residents of Ashraf.

The UN must set up a permanent monitoring team in Ashraf.
The US, UN and EU should take the immediate and necessary measures to end inhumane siege of Ashraf and the psychological torture of the residents.

I thank you all.

(December 02, 2010)

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