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Brussels Conference: Iran Uprising, Role of Women and Youths, and Prospects of A Democratic Republic

Brussels, September 15, 2023: A momentous occasion unfolded as numerous Iranians gathered for a significant rally, while leaders and lawmakers from various countries convened for a conference in the Belgian capital. This assembly marks the one-year anniversary of a nationwide uprising that deeply rattled the ruling regime in Iran.
Brussels Conference: Iran Uprising, Role of Women and Youths, and Prospects of A Democratic Republic

All Indications Point to the End of the Mullahs’ Regime

Brussels, September 15, 2023: A momentous occasion unfolded as numerous Iranians gathered for a significant rally, while leaders and lawmakers from various countries convened for a conference in the Belgian capital. This assembly marks the one-year anniversary of a nationwide uprising that deeply rattled the ruling regime in Iran.

Entitled “Iran’s Uprising: The Role of Women and Youth, and the Prospects of a Democratic Republic,” this international gathering intends to capture the world’s attention regarding the urgent necessity for a change in policy towards the repressive regime in Iran. Additionally, it aims to emphasize the Iranian people’s entitlement to dismantle their oppressors and pave the path toward establishing a democratic republic.

“This page is currently undergoing updates as more information becomes available from the conference.”

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

As the conference’s keynote speaker Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), saluted women and youths who have kept the candle of the freedom-loving and justice-seeking movement alight, leading the Iranians’ long-time struggle towards a democratic republic of Iran.

“Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the start of the great uprising of the Iranian people. An uprising that highlighted the potential for the downfall of the regime and has put the Iranian people on the cusp of a new era in their history, backed by four decades of organized resistance,” Mrs. Rajavi stated.

“The uprising ignited with the tragic death of the innocent Zhina Amini (Mahsa) as a result of the blows from Khamenei’s brutal forces during a patrol to suppress women. I called for public mourning on the same night.

“Khamenei had put a lid on the powder keg of people’s anger after the November 2019 uprising with the Coronavirus. He explicitly and formally banned the import of vaccines from Europe and America to create a human shield against uprisings with the lives of 550,000 of our compatriots. Meanwhile, fatalities in neighboring countries were much lower compared to Iran.

“However, in the meantime, popular uprisings had erupted in regions like Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Khuzestan, Lorestan, and Isfahan. These were the uprisings of the thirsty and hungry for bread, water, and freedom, reaching a climax in Isfahan.

“The collapse of the Metropol Tower in Abadan due to corruption and theft in the construction of this building in collusion with the Revolutionary Guards and the trapping of innocent people under the rubble brought people’s anger to a climax. Finally, the spark ignited, and the pent-up resentment flared up across Iran.”

She added:

“I vividly remember that when the Iranian Resistance announced on the 52nd day of the uprising, on November 7, 2022, that the regime had arrested more than 30,000 people, nobody outside Iran believed it and considered it an exaggeration.

“Two months later, however, the regime itself announced that Khamenei had, so to speak, pardoned 100,000 prisoners, 30,000 of whom were related to ‘the riots,’ which is a euphemism for the uprising. An uprising in which the aware and rebellious force loudly declared that they did not want dictatorship in any form, neither the Shah nor the mullahs.

“In this uprising, the world clearly saw a regime that covered its instability with warmongering and terrorism, and by making noise about its missile and nuclear programs. In reality, it is sitting on a powder keg and has no future.”

Mrs. Rajavi continued:

“Indeed, why does the regime resort to these desperate efforts? The answer must be sought in the outcomes and achievements of the uprising. Namely: The boundary of “neither Shah nor mullah” has become prominent and robust, raising the flag of a “Democratic Republic” at the pinnacle of the uprisings.

“The barriers of the popular front against any form of dictatorship and dependency have solidified, and the ranks of duplicitous individuals and currents in the front of tyranny and dependency have been exposed.

“In summary, everything about the regime suggests fragility and instability and indicates its end. As for the Resistance, the path of the democratic revolution, which started 42 years ago, is solidifying and ascending. In fact, the future is sealed in the name of a democratic revolution, a democratic alternative, and a democratic republic. This is the same fundamental and genuine direction that the National Council of Resistance of Iran has had since 42 years ago when founded by Massoud Rajavi. As he said, “It can be confidently stated that, unlike the Constitutional Revolution and the anti-monarchy revolution, this time the revolution is enduring, and its theft is not possible.”

Mrs. Rajavi highlighted the threats derived from appeasement policy against world peace, saying:

“The ruling clerics in Iran have never been more in need of appeasement than they are today. Under the immense impact of uprisings, they need diplomatic maneuvering more than ever before. They are trying to win the support of both the West and the East against the people of Iran and their democratic revolution. Their methods for coercing Western governments are well-known:

“Hostage-taking, terrorism, warmongering, and playing the nuclear card are their tactics. Their central demand from Western governments is to limit the PMOI and the NCRI, and to close the path to uprising and freedom in Iran.

“One of the Friday Prayer leaders and senior representatives of Khamenei revealed that in indirect negotiations, regime officials have convinced America that demands regarding the nuclear program are dependent on their approach towards the PMOI. He said, ‘We have clarified to both America and Europe that the PMOI is an obstacle to understanding between the regime and them.’ This report was published by the regime’s official media on June 23, 2023.

“Earlier, Kazem Gharibabadi, the Judiciary’s deputy for international relations, had declared, “There is no meeting (with foreign officials) where we do not raise the issue of the PMOI.”

Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada

Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada

Today, the regime and its appeasers in the West will proclaim that the protests have subsided, never to return. But we know the opposite is true. The protests will return as they have returned before. And each time they return, they are more widespread, more aggressive, and more enduring than they were before.
Just as each time they are more brutally suppressed, with more imprisonment and with more deaths, so that they lay the groundwork for the next round of protests. And so the cycle of protests and repression returns and returns. But it also escalates and escalates until it ends the only way it can end; with the people of Iran liberated from that vicious and evil regime.
This time, friends, the protesters burned down the ancestral home of the regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini. Next time, they will burn the entire regime to the ground.
As I said, each time the protests expand from the city to the countryside, from minority communities to the Persian majority, and this last time from men to women, although in fact women have long played a leading role in organized resistance to the regime—women, of course, like President Maryam Rajavi. And they have because the Iranian women have long known that their basic human rights depend on the destruction of the regime and its primitive ideology and its replacement by a free, constitutional, secular and democratic state.
And friends, the forces exist on the ground in Iran to bring that future into being. As I’ve told you before, dismiss the propaganda that the regime is well entrenched and that it has no organized opposition. If the regime had no such opposition, why would it expand so much energy in denouncing and demonizing this organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran and all its organs and cells? If such opposition did not exist, why would the regime imprison some three and a half thousand of your members?
No, friends, the regime’s propaganda betrays its own lies. But I tell you not just to dismiss the propaganda of the regime but also the propaganda of the regime’s appeasers in the West, for they claim much the same thing, That there is no organized resistance, no viable alternative to the vile theocracy and all that it stands for.
Dismiss the propaganda of western appeasers, these self-styled experts. And dismiss them not just because their propaganda is morally reprehensible, but because it is also factually wrong. It always is. Appeasers have always consistently overestimated the strength of regimes that govern solely by brute force and consistently underestimated the underlying fragility and inevitable fall of such regimes.
The Ayatollah’s regime is dysfunctional. It faces more overt opposition. And it has been rotting at the core almost from day one. Corruption is alive at every level. The economy only gets worse. Poverty keeps increasing, inflation keeps rising, services are nonexistent. No wonder the regime must resort to ever greater brutality. Because it has nothing that would engender the loyalty of any ordinary citizen.
Friends, let us again challenge the fundamental premise behind the appeasers’ belief system. That somehow things could be worse if the regime fell. Worse how? How could it be worse than a regime with an apocalyptic ideology and a relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons that openly lists the nations it wishes to wipe off the face of the earth? How could it be worse than that? How could it be worse than a regime that funds terrorism and war from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen and Iraq, and even to Ukraine and beyond? How could it be worse than that? How could it be worse than a regime where the supreme leader is an extremist fanatic and its president is a mass executioner? How could it be worse than that?
So friends, I’ll say it again: The solution is not to try to strengthen relations with this regime. It is to do what my government did in Canada, close down the regimes embassies around the world.
I’ve always been very careful to say that it’s not my place to tell the Iranian people who should be their government. That is for Iranians to decide, but we have an alternative to offer them. I remind you that I am signatory to an open letter of over 100 former presidents and prime ministers from around the world that urges the globe to ignore the appeasers and instead to reach out to organize Iranian Resistance.
It’s really simple. Stand with the Iranian Resistance and in solidarity with the people of Iran in their desire for a free, secular and democratic state.
And friends, that is the future that you, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, have constantly and tirelessly advocated something that needs to be acknowledged by all governments.

Michele Alliot-Marie, Former Minister of Defense, Interior, and Foreign Affairs of France

Michele Alliot-Marie, Former Minister of Defense, Interior, and Foreign Affairs of France
Michele Alliot-Marie, Former Minister of Defense, Interior, and Foreign Affairs of France

We share the values of democracy, which is why we stand with Maryam Rajavi. Today is a tragic anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini. Our hearts bleed when we think about her. But it is also a day where hope is reborn. The vision we have in Europe and other countries changed on what is happening in Iran after the wave of protests took place.
Maryam Rajavi has always defended democracy. We have renounced the appeasement policy. We now see changes being achieved. 380 French MPs and senators have taken a stance in favor of the Iranian opposition and they have joined more than 3500 MPs and 120 heads of governments to defend what you are fighting for.
Change can only come from Iranians. We know that. But we also admire those that defend the values and we want them to know that we stand by their side. We are living in a world where values are menaced.
Freedom and equality deserve to be fought for. We are happy to live in a country where freedom is available because those before us fought for it.
You and your Iranian friends have the courage to express yourselves in spite of the risks to your lives. We must support the values you are fighting for. We know that democratic institutions are not firm enough. When you suffer, we suffer too. When you fight for freedom, it is our fight too and your victory is ours too.

Guy Verhofstadt, Former Prime Minister of Belgium

Guy Verhofstadt, Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Guy Verhofstadt, Former Prime Minister of Belgium

The protests were a sudden explosion of the anger of the Iranian people from 40 years of the mullahs’ rule. While the demonstrations first targeted oppression of women, they quickly expanded to fundamental political and social change. The protesters began by chanting “Women, life, freedom” but then went on to “No to the oppressor, be it the shah or the mullah.”
Today, one year after the killing of Mahsa Amini, conditions have further deteriorated for the people because demonstrators are cracked down on by security forces. Many have been murdered or executed. It was the people who were protesting, political opponents who had been executed. And many thousands of peaceful demonstrators are facing time in prison.
And now that the 16 of September is approaching, what is happening is that family members are intimidated, and are arrested for the moment, at this quiet moment, just to prevent them from mourning at the grace of the victims.
We have to be critical of ourselves. Twelve months ago, the Western world was watching the Iranian people with admiration. What have we really done to help these brave people realize their dream for a free and democratic era? And my answer today after one year is: Well, not so much. What we have done in one year is not enough.
The silence of the West is giving Iran a free pass to crack down on the population. The strategy has to change from critical engagement to regime change.
There are five things Europe needs to do: First engage with all democratic oppositions, especially the NCRI.
Second, we need to expand the list of sanctions. There are only 226 people sanctioned in the EU for human rights abuses in Iran. In reality thousands and thousands need to be sanctioned. Only twelve Iranians are sanctioned for transferring military equipment to Russia. It is ridiculous. We must face all fanatics that are killing innocents.
The third element of a new strategy is to take a position on the IRGC. How many years does it take to put them on the list of terrorist organizations?
The fourth element is the establishment of an investigation of the crimes against humanity in Iran.
Finally, we must stop being naïve. We must stop wasting energy on a regime that continues to enrich uranium. They will never honor their commitments. We must drastically change the strategy. We want a new debate with Borell and want to see a real change in strategy.
One year after the start of protests, it is a moment for us to turn the tide and support the brave people of Iran.

Ingrid Betancourt, Former Colombian Senator and Presidential Candidate

Ingrid Betancourt, Former Colombian Senator and Presidential Candidate
Ingrid Betancourt, Former Colombian Senator and Presidential Candidate

We are here because it is a proof of this resistance. We see this with president Maryam Rajavi.
The regime has increased pressure before the anniversary of the protests. The regime is arresting students and protesters. It is installing cameras everywhere. It is firing people.
But there is unity in Iran that is unprecedented. There is a change in culture that is striking. It’s also a bridge between generations that are going to protest together.
It’s time to protect the rights of everyone. Those young people are very brave because it is very hard to resist and face threats. It’s hard as we can see in the growing rate of suicide.
The people of Iran have a women who has been fighting for their rights for many decades. That woman is Maryam Rajavi. The Iranian Resistance is working to unite the people. This is frightening for the regime, which is why it is showing hysterical reactions to anything that is related to Maryam Rajavi and the PMOI.
Today, we are celebrating that fear has changed sides. It is no longer in the streets or in the people. Fear is now running through the regime.
The regime is trying hard to harass the young people. The regime tries to counter the Resistance through lies, such as saying that there is hope for reform. They are trying to promote puppet regimes, people who have no presence in Iran. They try to say that the resistance is divided. The Resistance is not divided. It is united and it is here.
The only thing I want to say is that it is not fair that the fear has changed sides and that the people are not afraid, and the regime is afraid, that our government is still in fear of this regime. How can we kneel to the regime and also have sanctions? It’s not right.
All western governments must cease this policy. We don’t have the right to shut up. This is the moment when we need our government to fearlessly stand by the side of the people. This is why we are here with you Maryam Rajavi, and the people, because you are the voice of the people. We don’t go back. We move forward.

Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo 2011-2016

Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo 2011-2016
Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo 2011-2016

I admire the women of Iran who are continuously struggling against the regime’s repression. All repressive regimes try to shape people’s way of thinking, and all of them have failed. So will this regime.
The resilience of the Iranian women deserves the world’s attention. But it does not receive the attention it deserves. Iranian women’s fight against the regime is also shaping the political landscape of their country. The women are fighting a regime that is limiting the freedom of its own citizens.
Iran’s history is replete with instances of women being at the forefront of political movements, fighting for democratic values.
In Iran, brave Iranians fight repression. They are advocating progress.
In both Iran and Kosovo, women stood tall. They are testament to the human quest for freedom and equality and women’s role as catalysts for change against internal tyranny and external subjugation.
My country is testament to the fact that oppression will not be able to push women into the shadows. Women constitute half of the world’s population and they can’t be suppressed by the other half.
The ongoing revolution in Iran might be challenging, but Iranian women are not fighting alone. Hundreds and thousands of us fight with them. Despite being subject to trauma and constant terror, Iranian women show determination.
We will not stop until all women receive an equal place as everyone in the society. We will not stop until freedom is guaranteed and the rights of every citizen is ensured.

Kathleen Depoorter, Member of Belgian Parliament

Kathleen Depoorter, Member of Belgian Parliament
Kathleen Depoorter, Member of Belgian Parliament

Islamic fundamentalism primarily targets women. The merciless suppression of women is enshrined in the Iranian misogynistic doctrine. This is why women are at the forefront of the battle. It is also why they have a leader like Mrs. Rajaiv, who is an inspiration for all of us.
According to the regime’s official, the leaders of the protests were young women. Young women of the Resistance Units advocate for change. I’m proud of them and of every girl who goes into the streets and screams her rights. It is evident that the Iranian regime is trapped in a conflict. The conflict between the people and state has escalated. The organized resistance has gained strength.
The people of Iran from all walks of life are united with you. They chanted “death to the oppressor, be it the shah or the mullah!” With this slogan they are making clear that they have no intention of replacing the ruling theocracy with a monarchy.
Another slogan is “with or without hijab, we move toward revolution.” This is not a religious fight, it is a social fight. The uprising and the courage of your people created international awareness.
I would ask Europe to get it done. The people are waiting for you. The appeasement policy and its lack of action toward human rights violation will not be accepted. The EU continues its engagement with a regime that executes and tortures, and this way they are betraying their own values. How can they negotiate with a regime that murders its own people?
I would like to talk directly to the PMOI Resistance Units. Make no mistake, you are the ones who the regime fears. And you are the ones who will rid your country of this regime. No one else. But we stand with you.

Mark Demesmaeker, Member of the Belgian Senate

Mark Demesmaeker, Member of the Belgian Senate
Mark Demesmaeker, Member of the Belgian Senate

I support your movement for regime change and freedom in Iran. I believe this movement represents the best chance for a secular and democratic Iran. They are also the only movement that is feared by the regime of the mullahs. They are also the target of the regime’s demonization campaign.
They are facing the fundamentalist regime head on. Their determination shows that victory is within our grasp. I look forward to the day where we walk in the streets of a liberated Tehran.
The people of Iran have made it clear that they reject the rule of the shah and the mullahs. One of my priorities is the brutal aggression in Ukraine. The Iranian regime is actively participating in this aggression and is a threat to Europe.
Since the 2022 uprising, we have seen a remarkable year. A new uprising can erupt at any time. In the west, we must actively support it and not give in to the regime’s policy of blackmail.
We must make sure that our governments send a strong message to the people of Iran that we support regime change.
Dictatorships fall and die because the people’s spirit of freedom is strong. The mullahs know this and they fear it. Their days are numbered.

Franz-Josef Jung, Former German Minister of Defence 2005-2009

Franz-Josef Jung, Former German Minister of Defence 2005-2009
Franz-Josef Jung, Former German Minister of Defence 2005-2009

The Iranian regime terrorizes the Iranian people and creates instability in the region. It supports Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and it undermines peace across the world. It must be overthrown and replaced by a democratic government.
The Iranian people desire change. They go to the streets to demand the end of this dictatorship. They shouted, “down with the oppressor be it the shah or the mullahs!”
The Iranian Resistance is a democratic alternative to the regime. Over 120,000 freedom fighters have sacrificed their lives for democracy in Iran. Many of these people died in this fight or suffered severe injuries. The foundation of the Iranian Resistance is the Ten-Point Plan which can be a foundation for democracy in Iran. The regime fights this resistance with brutal measures including murder.
The regime engages in a campaign of demonization. It is our task to be energetic against this demonization campaign. It is necessary that Europe changes its policy toward the regime and lists the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
We must clearly state that we support the Iranian Resistance in their fight for democracy. The Iranian people must be freed from this burden of oppression.

Natalia Gavrilita, Prime Minister of Moldova 2021-2023

Natalia Gavrilita, Prime Minister of Moldova 2021-2023
Natalia Gavrilita, Prime Minister of Moldova 2021-2023

It is such an honor and a privilege to stand here, first and foremost with the people of Iran and with so many prominent leaders from around the world, in defense of women’s leadership and, more broadly, in defense of the fundamental values of freedom.
These protests continue to simmer and are widespread. They transcend geographical, generation, and social lines. The is the first big revolution led by women. Half measures do not work. Short term appeasement doesn’t work. It is no longer effective to make deals with totalitarian regimes that want to keep their people in the Middle Ages, that want to keep their people in the past.
The youth strive for democracy not simply as a way or an instrument to oppose a totalitarian regime. They actually support it as an assumed choice and a path to a better future. They understand that democratic institutions are the best way to ensure peace, freedom and prosperity for our people and a place where our children can live their lives to their full potential.
Many reports show us the dire state of the world with democracy being on the decline. But if you look at women’s led movements, it shows us a sign of hope, not just in Iran, but around the world.
If we look at the war in Ukraine, We can see how the totalitarian regimes work together to create instability in the region and around the world. So we see the cooperation through the use of drones between Russia and Iran through the use of drones, joint evasion of economic sanctions and the same methods actually that are employed against their own people.
I don’t understand how it is that we want to end the war in Ukraine, and at the same time even consider the policy of appeasement.
You know what will future generations face due to a policy of appeasement today, and how it should look? How can we ensure that the will of the people is expressed and the will of the people is for a free and democratic and secular Iran?
We must find solutions, and we must find solutions for people to live in freedom and fully realize their potential.

Els Ampe, Member of the Belgian Senate

Els Ampe, Member of the Belgian Senate
Els Ampe, Member of the Belgian Senate

Because of the uprising, the regime has attacked women. The regime poisons schoolgirls. The regime arrested women and sexually assaulted them. Khamenei is a coward. Down with Khamenei.
But Iranian women hold their heads high and are more heroic than any shah can be. They don’t fight for thrones. They fight for freedom. That’s why the Iranian women have already won, because they conquered our hearts.

The regime is afraid of the women, the opposition, the PMOI, because they are weak. You are strong because you want a secular democratic republic. Khamenei is a pathetic dictator.

At times, silence may seem like the safer path, but in reality, it is a slow killer of hope and progress. These brave women understand this truth all too well, which is why they, along with Mrs. Rajavi, raise their voices louder than ever. Their message resonates with us, and we listen intently. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their immense courage. We have no doubt that they will ultimately triumph in their noble cause. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to a better future. Thank you for your courage.

Latifa Ait-Baala, Member of Brussels Parliament

Latifa Ait-Baala, Member of Brussels Parliament
Latifa Ait-Baala, Member of Brussels Parliament

We are here because one year ago, Mahsa Amini lost her life because her dress did not conform to the regime’s rules. She was murdered, but her memory will never die. It will mark our struggle for freedom. The fight for free Iran is fought inside Iran and also at the international level.

We know the violence that the regime has committed for so long has not prevented the women from fighting for their rights.
Women and girls continue to fight for freedom and equality and the right to dress as they want. They must be free in all aspects of life. Their leadership role is personified by Mrs. Rajavi.

We must put an end to this bloodthirsty regime. In this fight for freedom, Iranian women have an inspiring leader, a vanguard of defense of the institutionalization of women in politics. Her engagement today gives hope to a lot of women across Iran and the world.

I salute the resistance members of Ashraf 3 in Albania. It is our duty to support the fight the Iranian people and the women who want to live in democracy. Iranian people need freedom. Long live free Iran.

Nina Pessian

Nina Pessian
Nina Pessian

We commemorate Mahsa, the youth, the children and people who have been murdered by this regime.
The regime received the biggest blow from the women. Their share of the regime has only been injustice, torture, and execution. Women have become the biggest threat to the mullahs and the leaders of battles in the uprising. The leading role of women in the uprisings of recent years is not spontaneous. It has its roots in the decades-long struggle of women against the shah and the mullahs’ regimes. Women have gone through many trials.
The regime did everything to destroy the PMOI. But the PMOI is stronger than ever. In this difficult but glorious campaign, many stars have shone.
In the PMOI, women have had leading role for more than three decades. The pioneer of this path is Maryam Rajavi. She led a generation of PMOI members who are worthy of leading this movement. The Central Council of the PMOI includes one thousand women. They inspire women and girls in the fight against the mullahs’ regime. We are proud to stand with them.

Emanuele Pozzolo, Italian MP, member of Foreign Affairs Commission

Emanuele Pozzolo, Italian MP, member of Foreign Affairs Commission
Emanuele Pozzolo, Italian MP, member of Foreign Affairs Commission

This an important day in the heart of Europe, we are sending a strong message to Tehran. We are unafraid of condemning the attempts to discredit the voices opposing Khamenei. Iran’s regime is a threat to international peace. We are not afraid to recognize the PMOI and Mrs. Rajavi as the credible alternative to the Iranian regime.

When Mrs. Rajavi accepted our invitation to Rome, the interest of the media showed how it was important. Tehran objected, but Rome is not Tehran, and neither is Brussels. We are not ceding to their propaganda or threats.

We are not scared of the regime. It is the regime that is scared of freedom and the young people. The regime wants to govern in the name of God, but it only spreads hate and terror. The regime is the most blasphemous in the world. Victory will be for the free people who are not scared.

Amine Qaraee

Amine Qaraee
Amine Qaraee

I am the child of one of the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran’s prisons. On the first anniversary of the uprising of the people of Iran, I send my greetings to all of the people. We suffer as you did when you lost your loved ones. But we are a thousand times more determined than before. We will not allow any of that blood to be in vain.
The 2022 uprising was the culmination of more than five decades of bravery and struggle of the Iranian people in the prisons of the Shah and the mullahs’ regime. They said no to dictatorship and yes to freedom, and they paid the ultimate price.
The blood of the women who sacrificed their lives is flowing in the veins of Iranian society. We will never forget and never forgive until there is a democratic republic in Iran.
To achieve this important goal, we are inspired by the youth and inspired by our leader, Mrs. Rajavi, who has given meaning to the struggle in the face of difficulty. You taught us not to bow in the face of oppression. You taught us that the path to freedom can be difficult, but we can go through it and achieve our goals.
With their slogan “Down with the oppressor, be it the shah or the mullahs,” the people of Iran have proven their determination to continue their struggle. And we will be their voice. We will rally around the ten-point plan of Mrs. Rajavi. We will confront the political conspiracies of the regime with foreign powers against the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI.

Hanif Mahoutchian

Hanif Mahoutchian
Hanif Mahoutchian

The Shah and the mullahs’ regime are two sides of the same coin. Down with the oppressor, be it the shah or the mullahs. Our generation despises the shah and the mullahs. This is our slogan, and it is being shouted all over Iran.

Let them censor the Iranian resistance. But they will never deceive us, the youth. This time, history will be written by the PMOI and the Iranian youth. We will not allow another coup d’etat like during the Shah’s rule, with the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

We, the youth, have chosen to struggle and stand against the regime with more fervor, and we reject this regime in its totality and any kind of dictatorship.

Our choice is a real alternative, which has a program. The youth who are sacrificing their lives in Iran will not compromise with the regime. It is people like the son of the former shah that are preserving the regime. The path of the Iranian resistance is difficult. You must make personal sacrifices. You cannot live with billions of dollars that your father has stolen from the Iranian people and try to suddenly hijack the leadership of this movement for which the people have made so many sacrifices.

With the leadership of Mrs. Rajavi and with the resistance units, Iran’s democratic revolution will achieve its goals.

Dorien Rookmaker, MEP from Netherlands

Dorien Rookmaker, MEP from Netherlands
Dorien Rookmaker, MEP from Netherlands

We are still confronted with a murderous regime in Iran. There is no excuse for oppression. There is no excuse for oppressors. There’s no excuse for a regime murdering its own people, and there’s no excuse for the European Union to talk with criminals like the regime in Iran.

Women are so important in the struggle for freedom in Iran today, but, as we have just seen, the youth is equally important. I want to thank the gentleman in the audience; the people support us in our struggle because we can only do this if we can stand together.

Mahsa Amini is a symbol of sacrifice, but Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is a symbol of courage and a symbol of hope. Last year was a year of sacrifice. Next year will be the year of change.

I know there is no way of underestimating what courage you must have to stand up to this regime. But I continue to support you, and so will all Members of the European Parliament.

Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014), Chair of ISJ

Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014), Chair of ISJ
Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament (1999-2014), Chair of ISJ

I have been working with the PMOI and the NCRI for 21 years. I visited Ashraf 1 in Iraq, Ashraf 3 in Albania, and the NCRI headquarters in France countless times. I have suffered with them. I have rejoiced with them. I have lived with them through joys and sorrow, hope and disappointment, frustration and achievements. I can say proudly that I belong to the great family of the Iranian resistance.

That means that I know them, the PMOI, much better than all foreign ministers of the EU, better than intelligence services, and the so-called experts in Western media. Because of that long objective and complete knowledge, I can tell you that all propaganda, fabrications, and slander of the mullahs against the PMOI are lies and pure rubbish.

Every time the PMOI has appealed to the courts in Europe and the United States to fight against these lies, the courts have ruled in their favor. Unfortunately, many European governments are scared by the threats of mullahs, their nuclear program, their hostage-taking, and terrorist attacks. And they have developed a policy of appeasement. To appease the dictatorship in Iran, they have harassed the PMOI to make their lives difficult.

This is a wrong, cowardly, shameful, and useless policy. If you give in to blackmail, you will be blackmailed forever. The only policy to stop the Iranian regime is that of firmness, courage, diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, and full support of PMOI, NCRI, and Maryam Rajavi. Regime change is the only way to achieve what we must achieve for Iran. There is only one political organization in Iran with the capacity to lead a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy, from poverty and tyranny to prosperity. It is the movement led by Maryam Rajavi.

EU governments prevent the PMOI from doing their critical work. They prevent them from fighting and liberating Iran from the most criminal regime in the world. When they do that, they condemn the Iranian people to hardship and slavery. Let us all work hand in hand with PMOI and Maryam Rajavi until the final victory.

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