Iran Freedom

New York Witnessed Thousands of Iranian Demonstrators Denouncing Raisi’s UN Presence, Urging His Prosecution for the 1988 Massacre

New York Witnessed Thousands of Iranian Demonstrators Denouncing Raisi's UN Presence, Urging His Prosecution for the 1988 Massacre

New York—September 19, 2023: On Tuesday, at a massive gathering, thousands of freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the Iranian resistance convened to express their strong dissent against the presence of Ebrahim Raisi, the President of the Iranian regime, at the United Nations General Assembly.

Thousands of protesters passionately articulated their opposition, firmly denouncing Raisi as a central figure accountable for widespread acts of violence. They fervently asserted that he should not be granted a platform within the United Nations.

One deeply concerning aspect of Raisi’s history revolves around his involvement in the 1988 massacre, which claimed the lives of over 30,000 political prisoners. Protesters asserted that, instead of extending a warm welcome to him at the United Nations, he should be apprehended and brought to justice for his alleged crimes.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI, conveyed her message to the rally participants through a video address. Distinguished former officials, including Senator Robert Torricelli, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Senator Sam Brownback, and Ambassador Mark Ginsburg, delivered speeches during the event. Furthermore, representatives from various delegations, including clergy, youth, and women, shared their viewpoints at this gathering.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Message to the Iranian Demonstration in New York

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

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), sent a message to the rally.

Mrs. Rajavi praised the resilience of political prisoners, especially those associated with the MEK, who endured severe conditions, stating, ‘We salute the MEK prisoners who endured the most brutal pressures and mistreatment.’

She commended the dedication of the Resistance Units, emphasizing, “We salute the valiant members of the Resistance Units who kept alight the flames of the uprising for the regime’s overthrow.”

In regard to the rally taking place in New York, Mrs. Rajavi conveyed that it symbolized the continued discontent within Iranian society, asserting, “Your demonstration today in New York is an outpouring from the same intense volcano that is fueling unrest in the heart of Iranian society.”

Mrs. Rajavi condemned the presence of Ebrahim Raisi at the United Nations, declaring, “And today is among the ugliest and darkest days of the UN because the bloodthirsty president of the mullahs’ regime is present there.”

She criticized the event for contradicting the very principles of the United Nations, stating, “This event blatantly contradicts the United Nations’ raison d’être and is an affront to the people of Iran.”

Mrs. Rajavi urged accountability for Raisi, saying, “He must be held accountable for his crimes against humanity.”

She dismissed attempts to downplay the ongoing developments in Iran, stating, “But these shameless theatrics, namely welcoming the mullahs’ criminal president at the UN headquarters, can never obscure the profound, ongoing, and major developments in Iran.”

Mrs. Rajavi asserted that the readiness for an uprising is growing despite the regime’s repression, stating, “The shining truth is that despite the regime’s relentless repression, the social readiness for the eruption of an uprising has increased, the regime is at an impasse, the Iranian people’s protest movement and their Resistance Units have found their way, and the next uprising is looming.”

Mrs. Rajavi called on governments worldwide to cease providing support to the Iranian regime and to prosecute Khamenei and Raisi in international courts for genocide and crimes against humanity, emphasizing, “They must place the clerical regime under Chapter VII of the UN Charter as a threat to world peace and security.”

In conclusion, Mrs. Rajavi underscored the Iranian people’s determination to fight for freedom, saying, “Our people have found the path to victory and freedom.”

She emphasized, “The democratic revolution of the people of Iran will triumph.”

Senator Robert Torricelli

Senator Robert Torricelli rallied the crowd with a heartfelt message of solidarity and condemnation against Ebrahim Raisi. Senator Torricelli’s speech resonated deeply with the demonstrators, as he expressed empathy for their profound loss and suffering, stating, “Behind every one of you is someone you love and who was martyred, someone important to you who was tortured. There are thousands behind you. You honor their memories and lives. I am honored to be with you.”

Senator Torricelli highlighted the imminent appearance of Raisi before world diplomats, emphasizing the importance of understanding the individual addressing them. He directly confronted Raisi’s past, stating, “The voice you will be hearing is the same voice that ordered the murder of thousands across Iran. It is his voice who murdered them. Understand who Raisi is. He is a murderer.”

Senator Torricelli drew attention to the blood on Raisi’s hands, saying, “When Raisi walks to the podium today and shakes the hands of the leaders of the UN, know that his hands have the blood of thousands of martyrs of the 1988 massacre. That’s who shakes your hand today. He is a murderer, and his hands have blood on them.”

Senator Torricelli forecasted a grim future for Raisi, likening him to infamous tyrants of the past. He asserted, “Raisi, understand this. You can enjoy all the honors and the pomp and the circumstance. Understand this, your future is the future of Qaddafi, the future of Idi Amin, of Saddam. That is your future.”

The senator then shifted his focus to the diplomats at the UN, drawing a sharp contrast between Raisi’s presence and the aspirations of the Iranian people. He declared, “Today, to the diplomats of the UN. Raisi may stand there, but the people of Iran stand here. What the people of Iran want is a democratic country where they can choose their own leaders, where they can speak freely, where they are at peace with their neighbors, a state that is true to the tradition of the great nation of Iran.”

Senator Torricelli concluded his speech with a message of hope, expressing belief in the power of the Iranian people, particularly the youth, and their role in shaping the nation’s future. He declared, “The future will belong to the young people in the streets. The future will stand with those who stand with us.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Senator Joseph Lieberman delivered a resolute and impassioned speech, expressing his unwavering support for the movement advocating for a free Iran. He began his address by symbolically stating, “The sun is shining on the movement for a free Iran. The sun is setting on Raisi and the regime in Tehran.”

Lieberman called for Raisi to be held accountable in the International Criminal Court for his alleged crimes, asserting, “Raisi is a murderer and has the blood of thousands of people on his hands, and yet he gets the right to speak at the podium of the UN General Assembly. He must be tried in the International Criminal Court for his crimes.”

Addressing the international community, Senator Lieberman urged a reconsideration of Iran’s status in international organizations, stating, “To our friends in the UN, you got some repentance for the fact that Raisi has been given a podium. It’s time to expel Iran from every international agency and organization because this regime is a criminal state and doesn’t deserve to be in international organizations.”

Senator Lieberman invoked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing the inherent right of people and nations to rebel against tyranny and oppression, as outlined in the declaration. He underscored that the people of Iran have a legitimate right to seek change, stating, “The universal declaration of human rights, adopted by the UN, has a clause that says people and nations have recourse to rebellion against tyranny and oppression. It’s the last recourse, but pursuant to the UN Universal Declaration of Rights, the people of Iran have the right to rebel.”

Challenging the regime’s claims of divine authority, Lieberman asked, “The mullahs in Iran say they are doing the work of God. Would God want anyone to kill people, children or arrest people? No.”

He praised the resilience of the Iranian freedom movement, highlighting its strength despite the regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent, noting, “This movement for a free Iran is stronger today than it has ever been. A year ago, the regime’s morality police arrested and murdered Mahsa Amini. The rebellion that was brewing against the mullahs broke open. And the regime knew it and acted brutally, and killed hundreds.”

Senator Lieberman addressed the dire economic conditions in Iran, citing a significant increase in poverty and a sharp devaluation of the currency. He emphasized that the corrupt government would not willingly relinquish power and must be removed, stating, “In the last five years, there are three times as many people in Iran living in poverty than before. The currency has dropped in value 34 times. The government is evil and corrupt. This kind of government that feeds off its position in power will not go willingly from power. It has to be brought down.”

Lieberman commended the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and the role of the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) in the fight for freedom in Iran, noting, “There is no more effective force for bending the arc toward freedom for the people of Iran than the NCRI under Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and the MEK inside the country.”

He emphasized the global support for the Iranian resistance, highlighting the endorsement of the Ten-Point Plan of the NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi by lawmakers in numerous countries and the backing of former leaders and Nobel Prize laureates, stating, “In the last year, 3,600 lawmakers in 61 parliaments in 41 countries in the world have endorsed the Ten-Point Plan of NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi. Add to that 124 former leaders and 75 Nobel Prize winners.”

In closing, Senator Lieberman asserted that the terrorists were in control of the regime in Tehran, while the freedom fighters resided within the NCRI and MEK. He expressed optimism about the turning point reached in the last year and the growing international consensus against engaging with the Iranian regime, stating, “The terrorists are running the regime in Tehran, the freedom fighters are fighting in the NCRI, in the MEK and I say we’re going to look back on this last year and say it was a turning point.”

Senator Sam Brownback

Senator Sam Brownback delivered a powerful speech at the rally, highlighting the plight of the Iranian people under the rule of the mullahs and their yearning for change. He began by reflecting on the 45 years of the mullahs’ control over Iran, stating, “The ruling mullahs have had control of Iran for nearly 45 years. It’s fair to ask: How have those decades been for the people of Iran? They have been disastrous.”

Senator Brownback drew attention to the stark contrast in the experiences of those in power and the suffering of the Iranian people, noting, “Now, if you were one of the rulers, one of the rulers over the past 45 years, it’s been very good. You’re now rich and have power. For now, but not for long. The end is coming.”

He emphasized the Iranian people’s desire for regime change, stating, “The people want regime change and they want it now.”

Turning his focus to the impact of the ruling clerics on Islam, Senator Brownback expressed deep concern, saying, “It’s also fair to ask how has Islam fared under the ruling clerics? This too has been a disaster.” He pointed out the discontent among the people due to the restrictive policies imposed by the regime, which he believed had driven people away from the faith.

Senator Brownback highlighted an alternative path for Iran, one rooted in democracy, human rights, and freedom. He declared, “There is clearly another way for the great people of Iran, and it’s called democracy. It’s called human rights. It’s called human dignity. It’s called freedom. Freedom for the people in Iran.”

He urged support for the Iranian people’s yearning for freedom and democracy, calling for an end to financial support for the ruling mullahs, stating, “Let’s back the yearning of the people of Iran. No more money to the ruling mullahs. If we’ve learned nothing else, giving money to terrorists only gets you more terrorism.”

Senator Brownback emphasized the stark contrast between the values of human rights and religious freedom cherished by many nations and the regime’s perception of them as threats to its control. He warned against the potential consequences of an alliance between Iran, Russia, and China, stating, “The world has a dark future if this alliance of madness between Iran and Russia and China prevails. But it will not prevail.”

In conclusion, Senator Brownback expressed his belief in the inevitability of freedom, asserting, “History and the hand of God move inexorably towards freedom. It often takes time and much struggle, but the natural state of human beings, of men and men and women around the world is to be free.”

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg

Ambassador Marc Ginsberg delivered a direct and impassioned speech at the rally, focusing on the controversial presence of Ebrahim Raisi.

He proceeded to address Raisi’s record, highlighting his involvement in heinous acts. Ginsberg mentioned the tragic case of Mahsa Amini and the thousands of imprisoned Iranians who sought freedom from the oppression of the ruling regime, stating, “Ebrahim Raisi, the man whose radical fanaticism led to the murder of that beautiful woman Mahsa Amini. The man who ordered the murder of thousands of imprisoned Iranians seeking freedom from the oppression of the ayatollahs.”

Ginsberg also said, “The man who is going to use $6 billion to strengthen Iran’s internal Gestapo, to pay off Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, to make a hefty deposit into the account of the Ayatollah Khamenei. This is the man who comes to the United Nations.”

The ambassador stated, “Raisi is here to further the work of the Ayatollah and the killers of Iran.”

Ginsberg concluded on a note of hope, expressing his belief in the possibility of regime change. He invoked the vision of Madam Rajavi addressing the United Nations, suggesting that the revolution had already begun.

Moslem Eskandar Filabi, Chairman of NCRI Sports Committee

Moslem Eskandar Filabi expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of attendees and the youth who have joined the cause, all driven by a shared commitment to securing freedom and independence for their country. He underscored the leadership of Massoud Rajavi, describing him as a selfless champion for freedom.

Reflecting on the historical context, Filabi recalled that 43 years ago, Massoud Rajavi had rejected the rule of Velayat-e Faqih, the absolute rule of the Supreme Leader, in favor of an independent and free Iran. This principled stance led to the regime’s brutal response, resulting in the execution of 120,000 MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) members who opposed the regime.

Expressing outrage at the presence of Ebrahim Raisi at the United Nations, Filabi questioned the UN’s commitment to defending freedom, particularly given its silence when the Iranian regime executed 120,000 of Iran’s best and brightest citizens. He drew a stark comparison by asking whether the UN would have invited historical figures like Hitler or Mussolini. He criticized the UN for hosting an “executioner” and questioned the moral implications of engaging in dialogue with the Iranian regime.

Filabi also raised concerns about Raisi’s actions, highlighting the regime’s hostage-taking practices and the substantial sums of money paid by the U.S. government. He expressed his disbelief that world leaders would shake hands with such a regime.

Despite the propaganda against the resistance movement, Filabi praised the attendees for staying true to their principles and continuing to support the cause. He emphasized the critical role of the Resistance Units within Iran, who persist in their struggle despite the constant threat of execution.

NCRI U.S. Representative Soona Samsami

NCRI U.S. Representative Soona Samsami emphasized that the participants were not mere spectators but the living embodiment of a collective outcry against this shameful occurrence.

Samsami highlighted Raisi’s central role in the abhorrent death commission responsible for the cold-blooded execution of 30,000 innocent political prisoners in 1988, primarily members and supporters of the MEK.

The NCRI U.S. Representative further underscored Raisi’s responsibility for the killings of 1,500 innocent protesters in 2019, 750 more souls in 2022, and the merciless hanging of over 1,270 dissidents, including brave women and ethnic minorities, during his rule.

Samsami emphasized the remarkable growth and progress of the resistance movement. Despite the Iranian regime’s efforts to overshadow the true alternative for Iran, the movement has gained significant support from the U.S. House majority and garnered endorsements from over 3,600 members of various parliaments across approximately 40 countries, along with support from prominent women and Nobel laureates for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan for the Future of Iran.

Samsami concluded her speech by highlighting the increased organization and recognition of the resistance movement, noting that the world now respects Iranian women and their courageous resistance against the regime. The movement has succeeded in changing the global perception of Iran from one dominated by its brutal leadership to one characterized by organized resistance.

Survivors Inspire with Heartfelt Testimonies and Dedication to the Resistance Cause

At the gathering, two courageous survivors of the Iranian regime’s atrocities, Mother Dehghan and Dr. Firuz Daneshgari, stepped bravely into the spotlight. They shared deeply personal narratives and reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the resistance movement.

Mother Dehghan

Mother Dehghan, a woman who has endured profound loss at the hands of the Iranian regime, recounted the heart-wrenching tragedies that befell her family. Her nephew, son, daughter, and another son all became victims of the regime’s brutality. She recounted the devastating circumstances surrounding their deaths, including her nephew’s unjust execution, the denial of proper burials, and her family’s enduring oppression. Despite the unimaginable pain and suffering, she proudly declared that her family was one among many that had risen against the regime.

She emphasized the vital role of the Resistance Units, actively combatting the regime, and noted that they had emerged from the blood of heroes who had fought for six decades against both the Shah and the mullahs’ regimes. Mother Dehghan’s poignant testimony bore witness to the resilience and determination of families who have borne immense loss under the Iranian regime’s tyranny.

Dr. Firuz Daneshgari

Dr. Firuz Daneshgari, a survivor who had faced arrest and torture in Evin Prison 42 years ago, shared his perspective on the unwavering strength of the resistance movement. He underscored the movement’s survival and growth, even in the face of immense challenges and the loss of many classmates during his time at Tehran University.

He attributed the movement’s strength to its capable leadership and deep roots within Iran. Daneshgari also highlighted the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as the sole viable alternative to the brutal regime, with a history of struggle spanning 120 years. He stressed that the bedrock of the resistance movement is individuals like those at the rally and commended Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan as a forward-looking vision for Iran’s future.

Daneshgari concluded by drawing a poignant analogy, likening the Iranian regime to a late-stage cancer patient, underlining the urgency of change.

IAGS President Dr. Melanie O’Brien

The Iranian regime is so terrified of free speech that they have locked down cities. They are discouraging anyone from commemorating the wrongful death of Mahsa Amini. We are here to raise our voices against the authoritarian regime of Ebrahim Raisi, who is at the UN today.

It is unacceptable that Raisi is at the UN speaking to the General Assembly. He is a member of the commission that oversaw the execution of thousands of prisoners in 1988 massacre they opposed the regime. Raisi oversees a regime that continues to target human rights. Prosecute Raisi for his crimes.

We have seen it happen that former heads of state have been prosecuted for international crimes, including torture and enforced disappearances, after their time as leader has finished. This is why it is so crucial to continue resisting under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi, building numbers and seeking to overthrow this criminal regime so that immunity can no longer be a barrier to the arrest and prosecution of Ebrahim Raisi. And so I call on General Assembly states today, name and shame Raisi. Raisi out of the UN!

Dr. Siamack Shojai

In the past year, hundreds and thousands were killed, imprisoned, and tortured. But the people of Iran and their resistance movement had great achievements. Those who posed as enemies of the regime revealed their true faces by calling on people to return to their homes and expect the regime and IRGC to protect them.
They expect us to cooperate with the remnants of the Shah regime and the Savak and to hold rallies with them. They want us to cooperate with the founders of the IRGC, with the betrayers who have served the regime. They don’t know that the people of Iran have stood against the tyranny of the mullahs and the Shah for 115 years.
For 59 years, the bravest children of this nation have stood against the Shah and mullahs and paid the ultimate price.
The criminal who is in that building has the blood of thousands and thousands of Iranians on his hands. He is a murderer and needs to be prosecuted.
Raisi must not be greeted at the UN. He must be prosecuted. The Iranian people only want one thing: They want to change the regime in Iran by the will of the Iranian people. Just stop the appeasement policy. The Iranians will do their job.
Today, it is clear that only the PMOI and other real freedom-fighting organizations want to free Iran. Other personalities who ask for grants don’t want to overthrow the regime. They don’t have any organization, any members, anything.

Iranian Youth Delegation

The rally featured diverse speakers, each passionately addressing the crowd and reaffirming their commitment to the cause of freedom and justice in Iran. These speakers, representing various backgrounds and perspectives, shared a common message of solidarity and resistance against the oppressive Iranian regime.

Leila Johnson celebrated the courage of Iran’s youth who have played a pivotal role in the struggle for freedom. She stressed the universal importance of the fight for human rights and democracy, urging solidarity from people worldwide.

Iman Sharif honored the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for freedom and justice, recognizing the tremendous sacrifices made by martyrs like Mahsa Amini, Navid Afkari, and Nika Shakarami.

Saba Rezai decried the ongoing execution spree in Iran as a crime against humanity. She called on world leaders to hold accountable those responsible for violence, terrorism, torture, and executions in Iran.

Parsa Arya delivered a passionate call for the release of political prisoners and recognized the role of the National Council of Resistance and its President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, in guiding the movement.

Kiana Afshar celebrated the unity of Iranians from various backgrounds and regions, emphasizing the regime’s failure to divide them. She highlighted the existential crisis facing the Iranian regime.

Mehana expressed support for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan, seeing it as a beacon of hope for a redefined future for Iran.

Susan O’Malley, Past Chair of CSW New York

Susan O’Malley, representing NGOs, shared her experience of successfully pushing for Iran’s removal from a United Nations commission due to its behavior, emphasizing the role of NGOs in holding the regime accountable.

A Church Delegation

A church delegation voiced support for gender equality and praised the bravery of those fighting for freedom in Iran.

All human beings, men and women deserve to be treated equally and with respect. The uprising of the past year has united the people that are determined to stand for freedom. They put their lives at risk each time they protested. But they are fighting for a cause that may even lead to their death. Thank you for your courage to make such a sacrifice. I stand with the women who are rising up and taking leadership roles to help continue this fight.

The speakers collectively conveyed a powerful message of determination, resilience, and the unwavering commitment to achieving justice and freedom in Iran. Their voices resonated with the rally’s central theme: the Iranian people’s steadfast resistance against oppression and their determination to overthrow the regime.

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