“In the present crisis in the region, any solution seeking to ultimately end war and insecurity, and specifically address the problem of Daesh, must consider terminating the regime’s meddling in the region, particularly in Syria,” she said, and added, “Nothing is more catastrophic than collaborating with the Iranian regime to fight Daesh because it would strengthen the Iranian regime and its terrorism, and would nourish Daesh, politically and socially.”
Mrs. Rajavi went on to say, “Although [Supreme Leader Ayatollah] Khamenei attempts to justify the regime’s continued invasion of and carnage in Syria by absurd rhetoric of defending its Holy Shrine, the people of Iran detest this filthy war and stand by the courageous and proud people of Syria.”
She said that the six world powers, particularly the U.S., gave in to Iran’s demands during talks that were meant to limit the country’s nuclear activity, in return for lifting economic sanctions. However, she said the agreement has turned out to be counter-productive. “Poverty and hunger haunt our people more than ever, and the regime’s internal factions have begun settling their accounts.”
“Today, the mullahs are no longer able to contain their own internal factions or the social protests, as they previously did. The Velayat-e Faqih [governance of the jurist] regime is in difficult straits from every respect, but the road to regime change and the establishment of a pluralist republic based on separation of religion and state, abolishment of the death penalty and women’s equality is more accessible than any other time,” the President-elect of the Nation Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) declared.
She continued, “Our expectation and the expectation of the people of the Middle East is that the international community stop its policy of giving concessions to the Velayat-e Faqih regime and end its silence and inaction vis-a-vis the regime’s crimes in Iran. Instead, we expect them to respect the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and the desires of the peoples of the region.”
The conference was organised by the NCRI, and participants also heard from young people who had escaped the country after serving prison sentences there, including one of Iran’s highest profile student activists, Shabnam Madadzadeh.
Madadzadeh spent five years in various prisons in Iran, including Evin in northern Tehran, Raja’i Shahr, west of Tehran and Gharchak in Veramin. She was physically and mentally tortured, during her incarceration. She was forced to watch executions and kept in inhumane and unsanitary conditions.
Madadzadeh, a computer science student, was a member of the l Islamic Association, and was general secretary of a students’ organisation. She was jailed for moharebeh (being an enemy of God) and disseminating anti-state propaganda.
She told The National, “Among the prisons they sent me to were some of the most horrible in Iran. They tortured me physically and mentally, and forced me to watch mock executions. But they also made us watch real executions and I saw a number of my cell mates lose their lives by the rope. They also beat and whipped my brother Farzad to try to make me confess.” She added, “While I was in 209 ward (at Elvin Prison) they interrogated me every day for three months, trying to force me to confess to things I had not done.”
She described the conditions in the Iranian jails. “There were different women in the prison,” she said. “There were under-age girls who had made perhaps a small mistake in their lives and the regime made sure they would pay. Conditions were disgusting. There were seven corridors in the jail and 200 women and they [guards] watched us all the time, even during the night they kept the lights on. Two hundred women but only two toilets and two showers for all of us. It was disgusting and degrading.”
In a courageous move, she managed to sneak out letters to the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmad Shahid, inviting him to the Raja’i Shahr and Gharchak prisons to witness crimes that were allegedly being committed by the state in the institutions.
For this she was placed in solitary confinement.
Madadzadeh, diagnosed with digestive and heart problems during her detention, received no medical treatment, and was only released once she had served her five-year sentence.