A majority of Iranians refused to take part in the recent presidential election, which involved widespread vote rigging and was held without the supervision of international observers. The election was neither free nor fair, as no opponents of the regime or women were permitted to stand, and out of 1,000 prospective candidates only eight were declared fit to compete by the unelected Guardians Council. By boycotting the elections, the majority of Iranians rejected the regime and repeated their desire for domestic change.
The most extremist and radical faction of the clerical regime has finally cemented its control over every organ of power within Iran. The phoney president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a Revolutionary Guards commander who was known as a ruthless interrogator and torturer at the notorious Evin prison, and personally fired the coups de grace shot at 1,000 political prisoners and taken part in the assassination of dissidents abroad. He was also among the masterminds of the US embassy takeover in 1979 and headed the team commissioned to assassinate the British author, Salman Rushdie.
The policy on Iran adopted by the EU over the past decade has backfired. Human rights have drastically deteriorated, the mullahs continue to sponsor terrorism abroad and are closer than ever to completing their nuclear weapons programme. At the behest of Tehran, the EU also included Iran’s democratic opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, in its list of terrorist organisations. In November 2004, the EU-Three vowed to keep the terror designation in return for Iran’s cooperation over the nuclear issue. This was while thousands of jurists and Parliamentarians in Europe and the United States declared the terror tag illegal and illegitimate, and the Coalition announced after a 16-month investigation that there was no link between the PMOI personnel based in Iraq and terrorism.
The murder and maiming of innocent people in London on 7th July has once again underlined the need to stand against those who turn to terrorism in the name of Islam. This is what Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in her message of condolence to Prime Minister Blair, adding that the world community needs to confront Islamic fundamentalism pursued by Iran’s theocratic rulers.
To continue appeasement of the mullahs at this time would be tantamount to gambling with the security and stability of the Middle East and the wider world. The solution to the Iranian problem is neither appeasement nor force, but democratic change by relying on the Iranian people and Resistance. Mrs. Rajavi argued for this option during her address to a meeting in the European Parliament last December.
The time for democratic change in Iran has arrived. As Mrs. Rajavi has said, the mullahs’ greatest fear is democracy. For the sake of Iran, its neighbours, the region and the wider world, during Britain’s EU Presidency we must respond to the Iranian people’s demand for change by siding with them in their struggle to replace fundamentalist theocracy with secular democracy. The first step along this path must be to remove the terror label against the PMOI, which is the most important impediment to realising this change.