by Mahmood Hakamian
When the international community discusses how best to deal with the Iranian Regime and its egregious human rights violations, they talk about two options:
• Appeasement, whereby the world makes a deal with Iran in the hopes of containing its aggression to just the borders of the country or promoting gradual change
• Overthrow, where a foreign power would enter and remove those in power, just like the US did in Iraq in the early 2000s
No one wants to repeat the mistakes of Iraq and so many opt for the appeasement option, but there is another way.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), advocates for a third option: regime change that would be brought about by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance.
Let’s learn more about why Maryam Rajavi supports regime change and why Maryam Rajavi doesn’t believe the other two options wouldn’t work.
Why appeasement will not work
Many in the West prefer to conduct diplomacy through critical dialogue, constructive engagement and human rights dialogue, but this will not work with the mullahs. They are not a democracy, but a medieval theocracy that lacks the ability to reform.
In fact, their principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) is enshrined in the constitution and cannot be changed by any successive politician or even a referendum.
Maryam Rajavi explains that this system of governance means that elections are routinely rigged, misogyny informs many of their policy decisions, and that fundamentalism must be exported around the Middle East and later the world.
Maryam Rajavi told the European Parliament in 2004: “Let there be no doubt: European policies such as will not change anything as far as the regime is concerned. Appeasement is not the way to contain or change the regime. Nor is the path to avoid another war. Appeasement only emboldens the mullahs. The answer to fundamentalism is democracy.”
This does not mean that the West should start another war in the Middle East, Maryam Rajavi describes this as “exercise in political deception”, but instead they can join with the people to support regime change in Iran.
Why war would not work
There are many reasons why overthrow by a foreign power would not work, but it really comes down the fact that the Iranian people want freedom and democracy and this would not be served by having a foreign power intervene in the first place.
Why regime change would work
The Iranian people are currently out in the streets calling for regime change, so it is clear that they want it. The Iranian people led three major revolutions in the 20th Century, the last of which was stolen from them by the mullahs, and they will never submit to this theocratic dictatorship. That’s why, despite the brutal crackdown, people continue to rise up all across Iran.
Not only are the people hungry for change, they also have an organised resistance, led by Maryam Rajavi, which is ready and willing to serve as the transitional government until a free and fair election can be held.
The Iranian Resistance, which includes the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), are willing to do anything to see freedom and democracy in Iran. Indeed, 120,000 members of the MEK have died in their fight for freedom and over half-a-million have been imprisoned. These attacks on the MEK by the Regime, shows that the Regime is scared.
The MEK has deep roots in Iran and enjoys the support of the majority of Iranians. With support from the West, the Iranian Resistance could overthrow the Iranian Regime and make the world a better place.
Maryam Rajavi said: “We want a peaceful Iran, free from all weapons of mass destruction. We want to rebuild Iran, which the mullahs have ruined, through the people’s participation, the return of our experts and friendship with the rest of the world.”
She continued: “We seek neither the West’s money nor weapons. We want them to remain neutral between the Iranian resistance on one hand and the ruling regime on the other.”