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European Parliament Conference: MEPs Address Iran’s Regime Fueling Regional Crisis and Internal Crackdown, Hosting Mrs. Rajavi’s Insightful Discussion

European Parliament Conference: MEPs Address Iran's Regime Fueling Regional Crisis and Internal Crackdown, Hosting Mrs. Rajavi's Insightful Discussion
Conference at the European Parliament – November 22, 2023

The conference, which was convened at the European Parliament on November 22 to address the recent terrorist attempt against Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras, former First Vice President of the European Parliament, featured the presence and speech of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

MEP Javier Zarzalejos, the head of the Friends of a Free Iran intergroup, chaired the conference, which saw the participation of representatives from various political groups, along with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

In a message delivered to the conference, Prof. Vidal-Quadras underscored the imperative for a strategic combination of sanctions, diplomatic and political pressures, international isolation, and unwavering support for the democratic opposition in Iran—a strategy aligned with Mrs. Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan.

Several representatives expressed solidarity with Professor Vidal-Quadras and voiced criticism of Europe’s perceived inaction, allowing the Iranian regime to extend its terror from Iran to Europe. They advocated for a resolute policy, including the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

During her address, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) expressed gratitude towards Professor Alejo Vidal-Quadras, acknowledging his pivotal role as a vocal critic of appeasement and a prominent figure opposing the Iranian regime. She condemned the regime’s attempt to assassinate him, highlighting global support manifested through prayers in churches, mosques, and rallies.

Recalling Mr. Vidal’s impactful critique at the Brussels conference in September, she quoted him, stating, “This is a wrong policy, wrong and cowardly, wrong and shameful, wrong and useless, wrong and counterproductive.” Mrs. Rajavi underscored the regime’s aggressive stance in the Middle East, asserting increased security risks for European politicians and citizens. The recent shooting incident targeting Mr. Vidal-Quadras was attributed to appeasement policies, with the release of a terrorist diplomat in Belgium cited as a tangible consequence.

She raised concerns about the tolerance of a network of agents and spies from the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry in Europe, emphasizing the need for immediate action. The NCRI President-elect questioned the role of Iranian regime embassies in Europe as potential command centers for terrorism.

Highlighting the critical situation in the Middle East, Mrs. Rajavi asserted that confronting the root cause—the belligerent dictatorship in Iran—is the only effective solution. She emphasized, “The only solution is for the world to stand firm against the main sponsor of this conflict. The head of the snake is in Tehran, the epicenter of terrorism and warmongering.”

During his remarks, MEP Javier Zarzalejos highlighted the Iranian regime’s global support for terrorism. He urged the EU to take action, stating, “The common denominator of world instability has an ally, and it’s Iran and the Iranian regime. That should be a piece of evidence to act.”

MEP Zarzalejos defended the NCRI against what he described as a smear and vilification campaign. Speaking on behalf of his fellow MEPs, Zarzalejos asserted that none of them would support any form of terrorism or the illegitimate use of violence.

Drawing on his extensive experience in combating terrorism in his own country, Zarzalejos underscored his refusal to be associated with any illegitimate use of violence. He highlighted that the support provided by the European Parliament to the movement led by Mrs. Rajavi is a moral commitment and a political engagement rooted in the aspiration for a democratic, secular, pluralistic, and free Iran.
Pressing on the necessity of a solution to the bloody situation in the Middle East, MEP Petri Sarvamaa said, “Today, the Iran regime is the one that actually fears the greatest losses from peace in the region. For this regime, Palestine is a business. And if peace is achieved in the region and the people of Palestine have their own country, this business will be shut down. Therefore, it sabotages the path to peace.”

“This regime benefits as much from the killing of innocent Palestinians as it does from the killing of innocent people in Israel. The Iranian regime has consistently sought to weaken the Palestinian government. In contrast to the Iranian regime, the NCRI led by Mrs. Rajavi was the first to congratulate all three parties involved in the peace agreement in Oslo.

MEP Petri Sarvamaa addressed the Middle East crisis, supporting the Palestinian government and identifying the Iranian regime as the main obstacle to peace. He proposed a two-pillar solution: holding the Iranian regime accountable and supporting the Palestinian government and Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Sarvamaa criticized European governments for not designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization, emphasizing its role in pursuing the regime’s policies. He argued that such a designation is essential for regional peace, counterterrorism efforts, and ending violence in Iran.

During his remarks at the conference, former German Minister of Defense Dr. Franz-Josef Jung pointed to the Iranian regime’s support for terrorist groups in the Middle East as undermining peace efforts, labeling such actions as signs of the regime’s weakness. He highlighted that another sign of the regime’s weakness is its fear of opponents inside and outside Iran.

Mr. Jung stated, “The Iranian regime has launched an extensive misinformation campaign against the National Council of Resistance of Iran… One of the strangest claims by these individuals on behalf of the Iranian regime is that the National Council of Resistance of Iran has no support among the Iranian people. If this is true, I ask why supporters of the National Council of Resistance have been arrested, and some of them executed? Why demonize the National Council of Resistance? The truth is that the NCRI receives support from the Iranian people, is well-organized, and, with Mrs. Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan, has a democratic platform for Iran’s future.”
MEP Ryszard Czarnecki reported his two-decade collaboration with the Iranian resistance, citing Poland’s historical struggles with appeasement and communism. Motivated by this, he emphasized the Iranian opposition’s hardships and criticized EU and US appeasement policies towards the mullahs.

He stated, “In fact, I seriously believe that if the West did not support the mullahs, this religious dictatorship would have been overthrown by now. So as a European politician, I think that at least the West should not be an obstacle to democratic change in Iran. In January this year, as Madam Rajavi told us, for example, we passed a resolution by a large majority of the European Parliament calling for the IRGC, or the so-called revolutionary Guards, to blacklist it. Several national parliaments in Europe have done the same. But the European Union, and in particular, the EU High Representative, Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Joseph Borrell, shamelessly rejected the European Parliament resolution. This is what I call appeasement. Mr. Borrell was afraid of upsetting the mullahs by hoping for another failed nuclear deal. This is a disgrace.”

Referring to how the IRGC has been cracking down on the Iranian and the Syrian people while supporting regional terrorism, MEP Czarnecki added, “In fact, we need to dismantle this organization as soon as possible to give the Iranian people a chance to have a free Iran. Finally, I would like to express my support for the PMOI Resistance Units inside Iran, and also for my sisters and brothers in Ashraf 3 in Albania. You are the symbols of resistance and hope for millions of Iranians.”

Former Belgian Prime Minister and MEP Guy Verhofstadt strongly criticized the European policy toward the clerical dictatorship in Iran, stating, “I have still the impression that a number of people in Europe think that we can do business with the Mullahs. And we know already a long time, ladies and gentlemen, that there is no difference between the so-called moderates and the extremists in the Mullah regime, they are all extremists, it’s very simple.”

Mr. Verhofstadt emphasized that Tehran’s issues are both internal and external, citing internal oppression with brutal methods such as death penalties for protestors and external destabilization through support for terrorist groups and involvement in conflicts in the Middle East and beyond.

MEP Verhofstadt argued for a stronger stance against the Iranian regime due to its multifaceted impact on global stability, stressing, “If we would be rational in the West, in the US, in Europe, there is only one conclusion that we can make. We need to develop policies, we need to put a far more package of sanctions on the table to stop and to change this regime.”
MEP Milan Zver urged Europe to acknowledge the concerning actions of the Iranian regime in the Middle East, emphasizing its destructive role in spreading extremism and supporting terrorism. He drew attention to the regime’s increased executions and suppression of dissent in Iran, urging Europeans not to ignore these developments.

Zver said, “We should not overlook the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism in Europe through its embassies and other centers. This is shocking and despicable. For many years, we have known that misinformation about the NCRI originated from the dictatorship in Iran. It is time to put an end to this fiasco. It is time to adopt a firm new policy towards Iran. It is time to recognize the right of the Iranian people to fight the suppressive forces of the regime and align with the Iranian people’s desire for regime change and the establishment of a democratic republic. It is time to support the NCRI as the democratic alternative seeking to establish a democratic system based on Madam Rajavi’s Ten Point Plan.”

In his speech, MEP Ivan Štefanec emphasized the critical juncture in history where the clash between autocratic regimes and democratic countries is starkly evident. Highlighting the major global conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, Štefanec stressed the need to support not only democratic countries but also individuals who share democratic values. Despite global challenges, he stated, the EU needs to ensure continued support for those fighting for freedom and democracy.

MEP Štefanec expressed a commitment to remembering significant events like the killing of political prisoners in 1988 and the uprisings in 2019 and 2022, pledging unwavering support for those striving for freedom and democracy.

MEP Ivan Štefanec concluded, “I’m sure that we have to designate the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. It is very important that the European Union will take these steps. And at the same time, let me emphasize the fact that not only Iranian people need democracy, but also we in Europe need a democratic Iran.“

MEP Anna Fotyga expressed tribute to victims of atrocities in Iran, notably referencing the 1988 massacre. She extended solidarity to the courageous people of Iran standing against the regime, highlighting ongoing protests since 2019. MEP Fotyga emphasized the enduring resistance against atrocities, oppression, and mass killings, particularly noting the bravery of Iranian women, exemplified by Mahsa Amini. She assured that, during a recent European Parliament debate on Iran, diverse political divisions united in supporting the cause, affirming solidarity for the ongoing struggle. In concluding her remarks, MEP Fotyga assured Mrs. Rajavi that a free Iran would always be a high priority for the European Parliament and that she and her colleagues would continue to support the Iranian Resistance’s Ten-Point Plan for a future Iran.

MEP Anna Cinzia Bonfrisco highlighted the widespread support for the Iranian Resistance movement in Italy, particularly among political figures, especially women. She commended the women and girls fighting for an emancipated and secure Iran, free from the violence of the clerical regime. MEP Bonfrisco said that despite facing sanctions from the Iranian regime, she is fearlessly continuing to stay with the women of Iran and all those striving for freedom.

Emphasizing the importance of listing the Revolutionary Guards as an international terrorist organization, MEP Bonfrisco asserted that this step is owed to the Iranian people and is vital for peace in the region. She argued that the regime is not just an enemy of the Iranian people but poses a threat to global peace and security.

MEP José Manuel Fernandes expressed gratitude for the courage and resilience demonstrated by those supporting the cause for a free Iran, acknowledging it as a beacon of hope. He commended their relentless struggle for democracy, values, and freedom, even in the face of attacks and persecution.

MEP Fernandes expressed confidence in the eventual success of achieving a free and democratic Iran, emphasizing the importance of the European Union’s active role in addressing the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and external issues like terrorism financing and its support for the war in Ukraine. He called for proactive measures, not just reactive responses, and stressed the significance of sanctions.

MEP Michèle Rivasi pledged the European Parliament’s support for Iran’s quest for freedom while drawing inspiration from the strength of women, particularly the young girls challenging oppressive forces, seeing them as key to the revolution in Iran. She emphasized the hope derived from women questioning the authoritarian regime and called for the restoration of freedom and human rights in Iran.

MEP Michèle Rivasi highlighted the importance of the NCRI’s presidency as a symbol of a future marked by life and a different way of functioning.

MEP Rivasi expressed her belief that the clerical regime in Iran must be overthrown and she hoped that the example set by Iran would inspire change globally, demonstrating the strength to overcome oppressive regimes.

MEP Petras Auštrevičius acknowledged the pivotal role of women in the ongoing struggle for democratic aspirations in Iran, emphasizing their bravery and significant contribution. He commended Madam Rajavi’s leadership, noting the fear it instilled in the regime and the mullahs.

Urging the need for continued efforts to bring people together and inspire future fights for a free Iran, MEP Auštrevičius said, “I have to admit that the current state of affairs concerning Iran is a result of failure, appeasement, what the EU is pursuing towards the regime in Iran. And we have to admit that the mullahs’ regime in Iran remains a very part of the Axis of Evil, which is more and more emerging globally. And it’s a big threat to peace, stability, not just in one region, but globally.”

MEP Petras Auštrevičius urged the prompt designation of the regime’s IRGC as a terrorist organization. Acknowledging past setbacks, he called for the reactivation of the campaign, stressing the need to unite like-minded individuals and political supporters.

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