But despite, or more likely because of, the suppression in Iran, the Iranian people and their organised opposition, namely the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), continue to protest and call for the end of the Regime.
So, looking ahead to 2019, what should the international community do in relation to Iran? Simply, they should listen to the Iranian people and their resistance.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a simultaneous conference across 50 cities in Europe, North America, and Australia, on Saturday, December 15, for Iranian communities around the world to express their support for the NCRI and call on the international community to stop the mullahs from exporting terrorism and abusing human rights.
The first step for the international community to take is to show unified strength in the face of Iran’s failed terror attacks, regional aggression and ballistic missile tests. In 2018, the Regime saw a lot of pushback on their malign behaviour – mainly from the US after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal – but they need to see more, especially from Europe. Sanctions must be enforced by all nations in order to prevent terror attacks on their soil; after all, no amount of economic gain is worth a loss of life.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the NCRI, criticised the EU for appeasing that Regime and implored them to adopt a firm policy, which does not give in to the Regime’s threats.
She said: “We say to EU leaders that if you don’t want to stand alongside Iranian people, at least don’t put your citizens’ lives at risk.”
After all, there have been at least two foiled terror plots by the Regime in Europe in 2018; one in March in Albania, targeting an Iranian New Year celebration by the MEK, one in June in Paris, targeting an NCRI conference attended by 100,000 people. Then, in October, Danish authorities revealed a Regime plot to assassinate another Iranian opposition leader.
The Regime is so desperate to silence its opposition that it will even do so in Europe. It must be made to stop.
Hamid Bahrami, a human right activist and former political prisoner from Iran, wrote: “To solve the crisis, in 2019, the international community must resolve to support the Iranian people. Backing Iranians legitimate demands will get the regime and its repressive forces stuck in a perilous situation. Only people of Iran can hold the regime to account and end this long cancer.”