Maryam Rajavi: Daesh’s terrorist attacks outside Syria have also helped to precisely divert attention from the need to overthrow Assad. This is why Tehran and Damascus benefit most from Daesh’s terrorist operations. Because this has turned world attention away from Assad and his crimes.
Speech of Maryam Rajavi at the conference – United against Islamic fundamentalism the role of the Iranian Resistance
Dr. Vidal Quadras,
I would like to once again thank you for your presence and eloquent remarks.
I bring you the messages of appreciation from the residents of Liberty for your efforts to ensure CampLiberty’s protection and for defending these freedom fighters.
They thank you and other personalities who have stood with the people of Iran.
The message of the Iranian people and Resistance is certainty of Iran’s freedom which is the main key to the crisis in the region. It is a message that we can hear today from the heart of Tehran, in the words of Iran’s brave men and women who are the voice of the Iranian nation. The voice of political prisoners, the voice of mothers of martyrs, the voice of the first chancellor of TehranUniversity after the anti-monarchic revolution who calls on everyone to “seek freedom from cradle to grave.” This voice of courage will crush the walls of repression. It will shatter the silence and passivity that the religious fascism has imposed. It is a voice raised in defense of the mothers of martyrs and all combatants who fight for freedom.
Yes, our nation has not surrendered and is not silent. Our nation has not and will not surrender to the clerical regime and it will ultimately win freedom.
Our warmest regards and salutations to all these selfless men and women!
The Era of Change
The November 13 tragedy in Paris did not remain within the boundaries of France but tolled the bells all over the world that a new era has dawned. The terrorist incident in California attested to this fact.
Today France and other western countries are hastily enforcing tighter security measures and adopting more strict anti-terrorist laws. I must emphasize, however, that as long as the manufacturers of terrorism function in Syria and Iraq, such defensive measures, albeit necessary, will not be sufficient.
The first step to achieve the objective in this battle is should be the ouster of Bashar Assad’s dictatorship and putting an end to a situation that incessantly breeds terrorism.
The Main Regional Battle Lines
In fact, there are two opposing fronts lined up against each other in the region today. The Iranian regime, Assad’s dictatorship, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq- who have occupied large parts of Iraq and taken the country’s sovereignty hostage – the Hezbollah of Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen are on one side. Russia, of course, has also joined this front recently.
In the opposite front are a broad range of moderate Syrian forces, Sunnis and national tribes from Iraq to Syria, Turkey, and some Arab countries.
Despite any conceivable differences with Assad and the Iranian regime, Daesh is in their front because it has inflicted the largest number of casualties on the moderate Syrian opposition The fact is that under Tehran’s direction, Bashar Assad and Nouri al-Maliki helped the formation and expansion of Daesh by releasing some 2,500 prisoners which included a significant number of Al-Qaeda members and commanders. Therefore, not only Assad benefits from the existence of Daesh but he also played a significant role in its expansion. In addition, the mere existence of Daesh has prevented the international community from giving full support to the Syrian opposition. In such circumstances, the existence of Daesh has made things even more complicated and caused wrong policies to emerge. Its least harmful impact has been the creation of circumstances where Western governments have found an excuse for their inaction.
Daesh’s terrorist attacks outside Syria have also helped to precisely divert attention from the need to overthrow Assad. This is why Tehran and Damascus benefit most from Daesh’s terrorist operations. Because this has turned world attention away from Assad and his crimes.
Presently, there is no dispute on the international level over the need to annihilate Daesh but the important point to note is that one cannot destroy Daesh without eradicating its roots and merely cutting off the branches. The roots are the Assad regime and Tehran’s mullahs as its main sponsors.
Therefore, I reiterate that the first step in confronting Daesh is to oust Bashar Assad.
Realpolitik and Cooperation with Bashar Assad
Today, the world is suffering from a wrong policy set by Western governments. Some shamelessly advocate engagement and cooperation with the Iranian regime and Assad under the pretext of realpolitik. But such an outcome would provide even more opportunities for terrorism.
They attempt to justify this erroneous policy by arguing that to counter Daesh ground troops are needed to be deployed, and the only parties that have forces on the ground currently in that region are the Iranian and Assad regimes.
This expectation is also nothing but a mirage because first, they do not see the fight against and the destruction of Daesh to their benefit. Second, as the experiences of recent years have proven, neither Assad’s army nor the IRGC have the capability to change the calculus in Syria in terms of their power or military potentials.
Besides, a cursory look at the events of the past year shows that the camp of tyranny and genocide in Syria – Assad, the Iranian regime and Hezbollah – have suffered numerous military and political setbacks at the hands of forces seeking Assad’s overthrow and are now in decline.
The Syrian Quagmire
At the same time, the clerical regime’s impasse is an important parameter. Assad’s overthrow would deal a strategic blow to the mullahs and would threaten their regime’s existence. For this reason, the regime has to give even further support to Assad and boost the number of its forces in Syria.
On the other hand, Syria has turned into a quagmire for the regime. At least 100 IRGC commanders have been killed in Syria in recent months. Every day, corpses of the regime’s forces are sent to Tehran. The Quds Force commander has been wounded and his deputy was among those killed.
The reflection of these casualties in Iranhas weakened the regime and has made it more vulnerable than ever. In a word, the Iranian regime is caught up in a quagmire, which is why it is seeking help from the Russian government.
In such circumstances, a decisive policy vis-à-vis the mullahs’ regime and Bashar Assad can prove to be more effective than at any other time.
The Strategy of the Regime and Assad Camp
The strategy of the front of tyranny and genocide, namely the mullahs’ regime and its allies, is based on three pillars:
First, suppression of the democratic and moderate forces to deprive Syria of an acceptable alternative. This policy also includes the genocide of Iraqi Sunnis and disintegration of national tribes, as well as the destruction of the Iranian Resistance as an existential threat to the mullahs. The barbaric missile attacks on Camp Liberty are in the context ofthis policy.
Second, maintaining Daesh and taking advantage of its criminal operations to distract the world’s public opinion in order to prevent the formation of an international consensus to help the Syrian people to overthrow Assad.
Third, extensive propaganda at the international level by the Iranian regime’s lobbies and appeasement policy apologists to justify inaction with respect to the Syrian tragedy and to avoid aiding the Syrian people and as a result effectively accepting Assad even if for a limited amount of time.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most urgent step in the direction of a correct strategy is to oust the Syrian dictator Assad. Although he is in a very weak position, but his overthrow will take out the core of the Iranian regime’s regional front.
The Correct Strategy
The correct strategy regarding the ongoing regional crisiswould be to support the Free Syrian Army and the anti-fundamentalist Sunnis in Iraq. It would also include the decisive eviction of the main destabilizing force in the region, that is the clerical regime, from Syria, Iraq and all other countries in the region. If it were not for Tehran’s meddling, neither Iraq nor Syria would have experienced such a horrific state of affairs today.
In addition to this, a correct strategy needs a full-fledged cultural struggle against the evil phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism.
Despite ideological differences between Shiite and Sunni fundamentalists, the source of fundamentalism remains in Iran under the mullahs’ rule.
The very fact that a fundamentalist regime is in power in Tehran and the West appeases it despite its rogue conduct signals to Sunni fundamentalists that they can make the West deferential only if they continue to resort to extremism and terrorism.
This reality has also beenrepeatedly manifested that the regime’s interferences in the region, including the genocide perpetrated against Sunnis at the hands ofterrorist Qods Force-affiliated militias in Iraq, determinedly contribute to the preparation of a fertile recruitment ground among disenchanted Sunnis for Daesh.
The Role of Muslims
Today, many have realized the imperative that the struggle against extremism operating under the banner of Islam needs the active involvement of Muslims more than anything else.
As a result, the existence of an alternative becomes decisively important. But such an alternative is not merely a theoretical solution. It must rather rely on a movement that:
– Believes in tolerant and democratic Islam;
– Has fought the source of fundamentalism and has paid the price for its struggle;
– Has the capability to bring about change in society.
By having these attributes, especiallywith sufficient social backing and the competence to create democratic change in Iran, the Iranian Resistance has been able to defeat fundamentalism inside Iran, both intellectually and ideologically.
The democratic Islam that the PMOI espouses is in diametric opposition to the fundamentalist exegesis of Islam.
The PMOI rejects all forms of religious compulsion or coercion and emphasizes freedom. The PMOI calls for separation of state from religion. It emphasizes gender equality.
Additionally, based on the scripture of the Quran, the PMOI believes in the dynamism of Islam and the Quran. Since the outset, the PMOI opposed the so-called Sharia law, including the medieval laws of Retribution.
Massoud Rajavi, theLeader of the Iranian Resistance, has declared:
“The special character of the Islam that we believe in is that it is democratic. This Islam recognizes the rights of other religions, creeds and schools of thought. We have not made it up ourselves; it has emanated from the common framework that incorporates the intellectual depths spelled out by Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. And we can clearly find it in the Quran where it says: There is no compulsion in religion. It means that Islam has nothing in common with ideas that promote compulsion. This Islamic thought considers the level of any individual or social advancement proportionate to the degree of freedom from anti-evolutionary compulsions and shackles. The Quran itself affords the highest level of respect for those who advocate decency and justice. And, Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not separate from one another. We consider Jesus as our prophet, too, and do not see Moses walking a different path from Mohammad.”
Reminding an Experience
Since 1993, the Iranian Resistance has warned against “Islamic fundamentalism: The new global threat”. We emphasized that the answer to Islamic fundamentalism is a democratic Islam. As the threat of fundamentalism and its solution became clearer, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the world must have dealt with the root causes of the problem, in addition to all the security and military measures, by supporting the Iranian Resistance to help uproot this evil phenomenon. But sadly, Western governments engaged with the central banker of terrorism and fundamentalism instead of standing with the Iranian people. And the catastrophic consequences of this policy continue to haunt us today. This mistaken policy must not be repeated.
Therefore, I would end these remarks by saying that the answer to the challenge that confronts the world today can be summed up in three sentences:
1. It is necessary to adopt a correct and comprehensive policy that includes Assad’s overthrow as its centerpiece.
2. The world must stand with democratic Muslims to disarm fundamentalists and strip them of the means to take advantage of popular religious sentiments.
3. They must also recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the mullahs’ regime and support the Iranian Resistance for regime change and establishment of democracy.
To this end, it is imperative to defend the PMOI in Camp Liberty because they inspire people inside Iran in their fight to attain freedom. At the same time, their perseverance gives motivation to the people of the region to stand up to fundamentalist forces and the camp of tyranny and genocide.
I thank you all.