Rajavi indicated that Iranian activists had held at least 6,500 protests over the past year, in defiance of their country’s repressive political environment. She added that these figures are indicative of a powerful social movement for a type of change that cannot be brought about by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whom some Western officials have described as a relative moderate.
The NCRI has always rejected that characterization, and has expressed harsh criticism for the Rouhani administration in previous testimony before the National Assembly, as well as in the organization’s annual gatherings. In her latest testimony, Rajavi noted that Rouhani had then boasted of a reformist agenda, but has since failed to deliver on any of his campaign promises other than the conclusion of nuclear negotiations, leading to relief from US-led economic sanctions.
That relief, she added, has largely been spent on funding for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the continuation of Iranian military operations in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
The NCRI has organized and participated in a number of demonstrations that have coincided with Rouhani’s visits to Europe. One such visit brought the Iranian president to both Paris and Rome in January. Another was scheduled for Vienna in late March but was cancelled at the last minute.
Rajavi addressed this cancellation in her testimony as well, saying that it “indicates the regime’s fear of the Resistance’s popular support and the regime’s extreme weakness and vulnerability.”
Remarks by Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani confirmed that the cancellation of Rouhani’s trip was based on the refusal of Austrian authorities to cancel a demonstration that had been planned by the NCRI.
Dominique Lefebvre, member of the National Assembly from the socialist party; Michel Terrot, member of the National Assembly from the republican party; Bruno LeRoux, president of the socialist group in the National Assembly; Senator Alain Néri; Christian Kert, vice-president of the republican group at the National Assembly; Frederic Reiss, republican member; and Jean Lassalle, independent, were among politicians who addressed the gathering.