In her message marking Christmas and the New Year, the Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi pointed to the Iranian regime’s “stepped-up the arrest and harassment of Iranian Christians,” and urged people around the world to pray for those suffering in the region, especially in Syria and in Iraq. She appealed for support for the Iranian people and resistance. 

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, underscored that a number of Christians in Iran ” have been tried on charges like ‘acting against national security,’ and that “church leaders have either been imprisoned or subjected to different restrictions and controls.”

“The ruling mullahs have not only denied the followers of different religions the freedom to do their religious traditions but have even deprived them of the individual and social rights and a normal living,” Rajavi said.

The opposition leader added, ” Christmas is an inspiration for liberation of mankind because on that day Christ was born, and brings with it the spirit of Peace, brotherhood and tolerance when people of all religion come together to replace revenge with love and tolerance.”  

Rajavi called for immediate action to secure the freedom of seven Iranian dissidents taken hostage in Iraq and to protect Camp Liberty, where Iranian dissidents in Iraq reside. 

On September 1, Iraqi security forces raided Camp Ashraf, home to members of Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), murdering, execution-style 52 residents and taking seven, including six women, hostage. 

Rajavi expressed the hope that “the New Year would bring peace, solidarity and happiness for the people around the world. 

“May Freedom and democracy triumph in my homeland Iran and in other countries in the region,” and that “in tomorrow’s secular, democratic and non-nuclear Iran, all Iranians, with whatever religion or belief, live together in freedom, peace and tolerance and without any discrimination before the law,” she said. 

Rajavi returned from a visit to Italy last week where she spoke in meetings at Italian Parliament and Senate as well as in an international conference on Iran. 

In Rome, Rajavi said pressured by international sanctions and internal and external crises, and fearing social uprisings, the mullahs accepted the Geneva accord and took a step back. But they have been immersed in yet another crisis after taking the very first step. 

According to Rajavi, the mullahs needed the Geneva accord because of the critical significance of lifting sanctions. But they were terrified of the deadly consequences of retreat and this demonstrated an impasse and showed that they are facing the crisis of overthrow.

Maryam Rajavi's Christmas and New Year Greetings 24 December 2013