On July 13, at the Free Iran gathering at Ashraf 3, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition gave an inspiring and moving speech about how the Iranian people and their organised Resistance forces would take back Iran from the mullahs. In this short series, we will look over Maryam Rajavi’s speech in full, here looking at the history of the Resistance.

Maryam Rajavi began by welcoming the crowd to Ashraf 3 in Albania, noting that less than two years ago, it was just a piece of bare land and now it stands proud and tall, marking “another chapter in a great march towards freedom” after enormous suffering by the Resistance and its martyrs. However, she was insistent that the Iranian Resistance’s final destination is a Free Iran.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The mullahs have devastated our homeland, but we will take it back and we will rebuild this most beautiful country.”

She began with a short history of the Iranian Resistance’s fight against the mullahs, which began with Massoud Rajavi’s rallies across Iran on June 20, 1981, although the Resistance’s story traces back to 1965 when the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedeen-e Khalq, MEK) was fighting the Shah before they imprisoned and killed all MEK leaders except Massoud Rajavi.

Maryam Rajavi explained that her husband founded the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA) to fight the religious dictatorship of the mullahs, expressing his belief that for a country to appreciate its freedom, it must be the citizens who fight for that freedom themselves.

She quoted him as saying: “The triumph of our resistance will [revive] the concept of freedom will resurrect humanity as well as defeated revolutions… Everyone can only free himself on his own from the yokes of coercion and oppression. And it is precisely for this reason that we are responsible to advance the goal of a general uprising for the freedom of our people and our country.”

Maryam Rajavi then told the crowd that the 40 years of the Iranian regime have been “synonymous with an all-out massacre”, citing the “several hundred executions every night in the notorious Evin Prison” and the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK members.

She also highlighted the mullahs’ attacks on the economy, production, environment, culture and art, and Iranian civilization as a whole, which has left the country bankrupt. But this will, in fact, lead to the overthrow of the “mullahs’ religious fascism”, which is struggling to survive a crisis of its making.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The economic devastation, elimination of over 70 per cent of industrial capacity, a ruined banking sector, the monthly exodus of some $3 billion worth of capital, and the ceaseless free fall of the value of the national currency, cannot be contained. The clerical regime is at an impasse. It neither has the capability to negotiate, abandon terrorism or stop meddling in the region nor does it have any space to manoeuvre as it did during the appeasement era.”

She highlighted how Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is refusing to negotiate with the US, calling such a move “doubly poisonous” because any behaviour change will basically lead to regime change.

Our next piece will look at where Iran’s regime is headed.