On the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, I salute the people and youths who overthrew the Shah’s dictatorship
and the youths who have risen up today to overthrow the mullahs’ dictatorship.
The 1979 Revolution aspired to freedom and democracy in Iran
but Khomeini hijacked its leadership and drenched it in blood.
So I salute the brave souls who have arisen today to liberate that revolution
revolution from the clutches of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship.
They are determined to rescue that hijacked revolution, to wrench it from the wolf’s mouth.
The Shah’s monarchic dictatorship and his colonialist supporters staged a coup
d’etat against our historic leader, Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq.
The Shah’s dictatorship cracked down on liberation movements and slaughtered them.
Group after group of the Mojahedin and Fedayeen were executed or sent to jail.
I remember the 1970s, when the prisons of the Shah’s regime were full of political prisoners.
Their families gathered several days a week outside the prisons in various cities to visit their children and relatives.
I was among them.
I went to visit my brother, Mahmoud.
Political prisoners were tortured by the Shah’s secret police, SAVAK.
This infuriated the public more and more every day.
the monarchic dictatorship was forced to release the last group of political prisoners January 20, 1979.
Massoud Rajavi was accompanied by Moussa Khiabani, Ashraf Rajavi
and a number of other Mojahedin and Fedayeen.
Nobody will ever forget that moment when Massoud appeared
on the balcony of Qasr Prison and told the people: “It was you and your uprising that set us free.”
And we remember when on January 24, 1979, three days after being freed,
Massoud Rajavi went to Tehran University, where he countered Khomeini
and instead of defending the so-called Islamic Revolution which bore the aura
of a dictatorship under the name of Islam, he clearly defended the Iranian people’s democratic revolution.
This was the first time that we and our people heard the term “democratic revolution.”
In those days, it took a lot of courage to speak of a “democratic revolution,”
because 40 years ago, there were superstitions about seeing Khomeini’s image in the moon.
In that very first speech, Massoud was explicit again, when he said, “The revolution has just begun.
I have not come here to admire the spontaneous trend of events.
I have not come to admire what already is, to just admire it.
And again, when he said, “Brothers and sisters, the Mojahedin did not sacrifice their lives to gain wealth or high positions.”
He emphasized that the sanctity of the word “freedom” ought to be preserved.
These were the unforgettable days and moments of that revolution.
And of course, they were also a true description of the story of the people of Iran today.
A few years later, he established the absolute rule of the Velayat-e Faqih, meaning the absolute
unconditional authority of the mullahs.
When our people rose up, they never asked for such an ominous regime.
Khomeini was the enemy of the Iranian people’s aspirations and their revolution.
He was the enemy of Mossadeq and the Constitutional Revolution.
He was a descendent of Sheikh Fadhlollah and mullah Kashani, and his accomplice in the 1953 coup.
Where can we see this endurance and resistance?
In the Iranian people’s historic “NO” to the religious dictatorship.
In the Mojahedin (PMOI), the National Liberation Army (NLA), and their perseverance against regional and international conspiracies
in the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
in the countless uprisings throughout Iran, and in the profound awareness of Iranian society.
This awareness is witnessed in particular in the acceptance of equality among Iranian youths.
In any scenario, Iran’s future will be founded on the equality of women and men.
Iranian society’s awareness can also be seen in its embrace of the principle of separation of religion and state.
This principle was adopted along with a specific plan by the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 1985.
Iran’s social awareness can also be seen in the failure of fundamentalism, given voice in the slogan chanted in the uprisings
“down with the principle of Velayat-e Faqih.”
And finally, the most important symbol of Iranian society’s awareness and maturity is the endurance of a democratic alternative
namely the National Council of Resistance
and more specifically in the element of leadership showing the way, the direction for the uprising.
The uprising which began on December 28, 2017 is a manifestation of all the above values.
So the big news is that the religious fundamentalism which was born in Iran in 1979, died in the 2018 uprisings.
Young protesters seeking regime change
Brave young women and men of Iran
You set in motion the overthrow of the mullahs in your uprisings in late December and early January.
It was an auspicious beginning. Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guard Corps had blocked all ways forward
but your determination was able to break through.
Therefore, you should have faith in the continuation of the uprisings.
This movement is the product of your suffering and the sacrifices of your comrades.
This movement is made from the bleeding hearts of tens of millions of Iranians.
This movement is not going to stop, because the circumstances that created it persist.
Just as you, the courageous youth of Iran, are going to continue it by being present in every scene.
Three essential elements were involved in creating the uprising.
Those same three elements provide the potential for its persistence:
First, accumulated, explosive discontent; second, an overall change in the international atmosphere to the detriment of the regime
and formation of a regional coalition against the regime’s fundamentalist meddling and warmongering
and the third significant factor is the presence of the People’s Mojahedin and the Iranian Resistance and their leading role.
Let me explain the three elements a bit more:
First of all, the society is replete with fury and hatred against this regime.
The wall of fear has cracked, and the arrests of at least 8,000 people have not undermined the popular resolve to continue the uprising.
The Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Bassij are demoralized.
Everything is prepared to extend and expand the uprisings.
Look at the incessant strikes and protests by workers and other blue-collar sectors.
Look at the student protests.
Indeed, what is the message of these growing protests?
They call for freedom, for rising up, and they cry out: I seek the regime’s overthrow.
We hail all those who have arisen, particularly our laboring sisters and brothers.
In 1979, the honorable oil workers of Iran brought the Shah’s regime to its knees with their major strike.
The second element contributing to the continuation of the uprisings is the change in the international political landscape.
Khamenei always, particularly in the past 16 years, benefitted the most from the US policy.
If the previous US administrations had not repeatedly opened doors for Khamenei and the clerical regime
if they had not remained silent, the Iranian regime could not have intervened so destructively in Iraq and Syria.
It could not have received such concessions as the disarmament, siege and bombardment of the PMOI and NLA.
In contrast to the past, the Iranian people’s resolve to rise up and attack the regime will no longer face any foreign barrier.
And the third element is the active role of the PMOI and Iranian Resistance.
Fortunately, their leading role provided a new direction for the movement.
It is this significant factor that shows the way, directs and protects from diversion.
It is this element that leads, guides and ensures that the uprising carries on.
The more these bastions of rebellion multiply, the more power your uprising will have.
Indeed, what are the conditions for the formation and expansion of such bastions?
One is the popular discontent and potential for rebellion built up in every Iranian city and village
another is the lasting memory of the martyrs and victims of the regime’s massacres.
Tuyserkan was the scene of one of the most intense clashes during the uprising.
Do you know what is special about this city?
My daughters and sons across Iran
There is another thing which I would like to remind each and every one of you, and that is your responsibility.
You should consider the continuation and expansion of the uprising as your own responsibility.
Two years ago, in the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance, I said,
“To achieve a free and just republic, we do not expect any miracles to happen.
Nor do we expect any coincidental or chance occurrences in our favor.
Our entire asset is the Iranian nation and its vanguard children.
And this is indeed the greatest power in the world.
So, we must expect everything to be achieved with our own hands and through
our own determination. This is why we must establish 1,000 Ashrafs.”
Today, what I want to tell you, courageous youths, is that when you organize, you will have a significant impact.
Many of you have played an active role in multiplying one, two, three, 100 and 1,000 Ashrafs.
These bastions are capable of creating the uprising and are the best help to the protesters.
You can set up these bastions and these councils of resistance in every high school, university, factory, office and neighborhood.
Likewise, you can give assistance to the families of the prisoners and martyrs of the uprising as local groups or individually.
You can pass on your experiences in the uprising and guidelines to everyone.
The uprising, its continuation and expansion, place numerous duties and responsibilities
on the shoulders of every single one of you. Surely, each of you can undertake part of these duties.
You should get involved full force, to expand and carry on the uprisings, overthrow this regime and establish freedom.
I call on everyone employed by the suppressive forces, and particularly the Revolutionary Guard Corps and Bassij
to defy these criminal forces and reject the shame of serving them.
Poverty and destitution are a thousand times better than the wages paid by murderers and torturers.
Separate your ranks from those of the executioners who killed the underprivileged youths of Izeh, Doroud and Arak.
I am also addressing the personnel of the Army and the State Security Force.
You should refuse every form of cooperation with the criminal IRGC.
Do not let the mullahs take advantage of you in spilling the blood of Iran’s children.
And finally, I would like to tell you, the courageous youth of Iran, to remember that in the past several decades
young people your age have repeatedly shaken the rule of dictators.
Mehdi Rezaii was only 20 years old when he put the Shah on trial in a military court.
Fatemeh Mesbah, Daryoush Salahshour, Massoud Shakiba Nejad and Homeira Eshraq terrified the regime time and again in 1981.
And in recent years, Saba Haftbaradarn, Assiyeh Rakhshani, Faezeh Rajabi, Nastaran Azimi
Hanif Imami, Siavosh Nezam, Saeed Akhavan, Rahman Mannani, and other heroes and heroines fueled
the flames of perseverance in Ashraf against Khamenei and his mercenaries.
Every one of them demonstrated this brilliant message that “you can and must.”
With your revolt, your generation has become a de facto symbol of this message.
You showed that we can and must rise up under the most repressive conditions.
You proved that we can and must set up bastions of rebellion.
And surely, you will prove again that we can and must overthrow the clerical regime and establish freedom and popular sovereignty in our homeland.
Now, I would like to have a few words with the youth who are present here.
You have important duties with regards to the uprising that erupted in our country.
Certainly, if you were in Iran, wherever you lived, you would have been among the protesters.
It is key that everyone sees him or herself as responsible, regardless of where he or she is.
It is enough to be concerned about the uprising and the protesters.
Then you can see that there are so many things you can do. And you can play a serious role in supporting and advancing this uprising.
Yes, all of you can and must.
The recent uprising proved that the Iranian people will not be satisfied by anything less than the overthrow
of the clerical regime and establishment of freedom.
The participation of women and youths at the forefront of the protests guarantees their continuation.
Iranian women have been subjected to systematic suppression and humiliation for 39 years.
The compulsory veil and all forms of intolerable oppression and harassment imposed on Iranian women
give them the strongest motivation in their struggle to bring down the mullahs’ regime.
From the onset of Khomeini’s rule, the PMOI women rose up to oppose the compulsory veil and took part in the protest demonstrations of their sisters in Tehran.
I wish to emphasize the demands I mentioned two weeks ago in meetings at the Council of Europe
We have always and repeatedly said, and I repeat: no to compulsory religion, no to religious compulsion
no to the compulsory veil and no to compulsory government.
The time has come to put an end to these coercions.
They have decided to do away with the Velayat-e Faqih Constitution and replace it with a Constitution based on freedom, equality and democracy.
They have decided to topple the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Bassij.
They want to invest in the country’s education, health, sports, social welfare
jobs and economy instead of investing in nuclear programs and other weapons of mass destruction.
This is our road map. The first step in this road is the overthrow of the clerical regime in its entirety.
This is our road map in the name of freedom, for freedom and towards freedom.
The dawn of freedom for Iran and all Iranians is imminent.