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Remarks by Former European Parliament VP Alejo Vidal Quadras, at the Paris Conference on Iran’s 1988 Massacre

Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras took the stage. Prof. Vidal Quadras, the President of the Committee In Search of Justice and former Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014)
Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras took the stage. Prof. Vidal Quadras, the President of the Committee In Search of Justice and former Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014)

During a conference held on August 21st at the National Council of Resistance of Iran‘s headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, situated on the outskirts of Paris, Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras took the stage. Prof. Vidal Quadras, the President of the Committee In Search of Justice and former Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014), delivered an impactful address.

In his speech, he shed light on the Iranian regime’s actions that extend beyond concealing the 1988 massacre. He emphasized the regime’s campaign to demonize the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI), viewing it as a substantial threat. This perception arises from the contrast between the regime’s intolerant beliefs and Mrs. Rajavi‘s commitment to democratic Islam.

Furthermore, Prof. Vidal Quadras drew a parallel between the Iranian Resistance’s engagement with the three branches of power within democratic nations. He put forth a compelling argument to elucidate the notable disparity between the legislative and judicial branches, as opposed to the executive branch.

The full text of Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras follows:

Dear Mrs. President, dear friends,

We have listened very attentively until this afternoon. Very wise contributions on the legal aspect of the massacre of 1988 and other crimes perpetrated by the Iranian regime. But now, if you allow me something complementary to this, I will try to offer you a more political insight.

We have just witnessed a deeply troubling video exposing the regime’s attempt to close down Gohardasht prison in Karaj and other mass graves in order to destroy evidence about the massacre. However, it is important to note that the regime’s actions extend beyond the massacre of the PMOI members and supporters or concealing their graves and demolishing prisons.

Moreover, and this will be my first point, they have launched an extensive and ongoing campaign of demonization and psychological warfare against the PMOI. Unfortunately, in this campaign, they have allies in the West, and we must not be misled by all this slander and fabrications.

The regime recognizes the PMOI as its main opponent and a significant threat to its existence, and that explains the ferocity of its attacks against them. We must be aware that in the PMOI, especially in Mrs. Rajavi, as a charismatic leader and a symbol, a living symbol of hope and freedom for Iran, the mullahs see a democratic and tolerant Islam that stands in stark contrast to their own intolerant, fanatical, and criminal beliefs.

Mrs. Rajavi embodies a deep commitment to peaceful coexistence and friendly relations with Iran’s neighbors. In contrast, the mullahs are warmongering and destabilizing the region. Mrs. Rajavi seeks progress and improvement for Iran, while the selfish mullahs only think about their own corrupt interests. They only bring misery, and poverty to the people of Iran. Consequently, they fear the PMOI. They fear them intensively, and they fear Mrs. Rajavi.

They feel panic when they think about Mrs. Rajavi and the PMOI. And consequently, they do whatever is in their hands to discredit the PMOI and its president.

And now, I come to my second point:

After this experience, this long experience, and this is my second point, I want to make you understand the very different behavior of three branches of, let’s say, public power. The courts of justice, the courts, parliaments, legislative, and government’s executive branch.

Let’s start with the courts of justice. The PMOI have won all their cases in court. All of them. The blacklisting in the times of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Jacques Chirac, when they were blacklisted in the European Union, in the States, in the UK, in France. They started a very long fight in court in Washington, in Paris, in London, in Luxembourg. They won all the cases. They were removed from the list. The courts acknowledged that there was no reason for them to be on the blacklist.

And I want to remind a very concrete expression of the British court. The British court in the ruling said that the listing of the PMOI in the blacklist was perverse. Perverse. That was exactly the word the British court, and you know that British courts are something very serious, they said perverse.

Remember now the case of Assadi in Belgium, and the case of Noury in Sweden. You have referred to them. In all these cases, the court ruled against the Iranian regime and in favor of the position of the PMOI.

So the courts of justice in the Western countries that are neutral and objective, always rule in favor of the PMOI.

This is a fact that we must take into consideration very seriously. Even when there has been a case because some media have made fabrications or slander on the PMOI, like it happened, for instance, in Germany with Der Spiegel. Also there, the PMOI won the case.

Now, let’s go to parliaments. In many European parliaments, and national parliaments, there are committees in favor of a democratic Iran that support very eagerly and very warmly PMOI, NCRI, and Mrs. Rajavi.

I was a member for 15 years of the European Parliament and vice president of the European Parliament, and I was a very active member together with 70, 80, or 90 members from different political groups of an intergroup called Friends of Free Iran. And this intergroup organized, perhaps, during these 15 years, 10 or 12 visits of you, Mrs. President, to the parliament.

And I must tell you that in all these visits that Mrs. Rajavi made to the European Parliament, there was a wonderful welcome to her. Many members attended the meeting. She got all kinds of support, and all these events that we organized with Mrs. Rajavi were a tremendous political success.

I’ve been also present, participating in many other meetings organized by the democratic committees in favor of an Iran democratic Iran in national parliaments, with a lot of success. So, you see that parliaments, parliaments that represent directly the people, have positions very supportive of the PMOI and the NCRI and their president.

And now let’s go to the executive branch, to the governments. Ah, here the situation changes completely. You would say, why? Why is it that so different from what the courts or the parliaments do? Why is it that governments always make the life of PMOI difficult? They make false accusations, and they try to put obstacles to the activities of the PMOI. Why is it?

Well, it’s because the Iranian regime has very powerful levers to influence, blackmail, and change the will of governments. And these levers are first their capacity to organize terrorist action. The governments are terrified that the Iranian regime will perpetrate a terrorist attack in their territories. This is the first lever.

The second is that they take hostages. They take hostages and they exchange hostages. So the governments, every time they take a hostage and threaten to kill this hostage or put them in prison for life, the governments immediately react and accept swapping hostages or giving tremendous amounts of money to the regime.

The third lever is economic interest. There are some big European companies that operate in Iran and the governments try to protect this economic interest. I remember that in 2002, Spain, my country, had the presidency of the Council, the semester presidency of the Union, of the European Union. And Iran negotiated a very good trade contract with Spanish business companies in order to have support from the European Union to blacklist the PMOI.

And then there is another lever, which is the nuclear deal. The Iranian regime puts pressure on Western governments by saying, look, if you do not stop this PMOI, if you do not prevent the PMOI from doing their activities in your countries, we will go on with our nuclear program, we will have nuclear warheads, we will have missiles with warheads and so stop the PMOI or you will have Iran as a nuclear power.

And the last and fifth lever is bribing. They bribe people. They bribe politicians. They bribe journalists. They bribe government officers. I have seen this in the European Parliament. I have been witness, a direct witness to how they bribe people. So these are reasons why the governments are so afraid of the regime.

In light of these circumstances, I would like to address world leaders, particularly those in the West. How can they trust a regime that consistently seeks to deceive and manipulate the international community? Can they genuinely believe in their sincerity during nuclear talks or the accuracy of their reports to the United Nations and other international institutions?

Ignoring all of these actions can blind world leaders. It can blind them to the truth in Iran. It is regrettable to see our leaders placing excessive trust in a party that deserves none, while unjustly questioning the trustworthiness of those who deserve it the most.

Furthermore, in the demolition that we saw of Gohardasht prison, we can discern a significant truth beyond the mere act of hiding crimes. It indicates that the Iranian people are earnestly and persistently demanding the truth about the 1988 massacre and the injustices committed against the PMOI.

They are concerned about what lies behind these events because they do not trust the regime and have recognized the deceptions and lack of transparency. There are even reports of family members of the authorities involved in the 1988 massacre questioning it within their own homes. The truth inevitably emerges, regardless of the seriousness of attempts to conceal it and the duration of the cover-up.

The situation places a grave responsibility upon human rights organizations and experts committed to accountability and ending impunity.

I particularly call upon the distinguished experts present in this room to unite in demanding justice. The time has long passed for holding the authorities of this regime accountable for their crimes against the Iranian people, as well as the PMOI and NCRI, who have steadfastly fought for the liberation of their fellow citizens for decades.

Remaining silent in the face of such crimes is tantamount to condoning them and bringing disgrace upon Europe and humanity as a whole. Mere condemnation is insufficient. We must demand nothing less than bringing these criminals before a court of justice.

Whether we are politicians, legal experts, or journalists, it is crucial to recognize that something is fundamentally flawed in our Western policy toward Iran and its repercussions affect us all. We must work towards change. It is unjust, unethical, and inhuman.

Let us leave this conference with a resolute determination to take action and make a real difference. As you said once, Mrs. President, we must and we can.

Thank you very much.

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