In this piece, we wanted to highlight her main differences with the regime and how she has worked for nearly 30 years to bolster support for the Iranian Resistance all over the world.
We already mentioned that Maryam Rajavi’s commitment to gender equality is one of the biggest differences between her and the mullahs. This is made clear in her speeches and published works, including “Islam, Women, and Equality”, “Women, the Force for Change”, and “Women against Fundamentalism”, but also in the fact that over 50% of positions under Maryam Rajavi across all sectors are held by women.
In a June 1996 speech in London’s Earls Court, which was titled “Women, the Voice of the Oppressed”, Maryam Rajavi explained that gender equality was intertwined with the “struggle against reactionary ideology”, noting that women are pioneers for “progress, peace and social justice”.
She said: “Humankind can only rid itself of the evil phenomenon of reactionary outlook and fundamentalism if women would assume their leading role in this global campaign and employ all forms of democratic struggle to shut the door on all forms of appeasement of and compromise with the misogynous and inhumane mullahs in Iran.”
Maryam Rajavi also opposes fundamentalism in any measure. She has spoken about it on multiple occasions, but one of the first and most prominent was a speech delivered at Oslo city hall in 1994.
She said: “Fundamentalism has turned into the greatest threat to peace in the region and the world… The mullahs ruling Iran are pursuing their expansionist agenda and exporting crises and tensions by exploiting the religious beliefs of over a billion Muslims.”
Maryam Rajavi has, for at least 30 years, called on international governments to end their appeasement of the Iranian regime, but people mustn’t think that she is calling for some kind of foreign invasion to remove the mullahs. That would be a disaster and remove the autonomy of the Iranian people.
Instead, the job of toppling the regime in its entirety should be left to the Iranian people and their organized resistance, something Maryam Rajavi called the Third Option, during a speech at the European Parliament in December 2004.
She said: “In the face of this challenge, two options have been raised: The make-a-deal approach to the clerical regime with the aim of containing it or including gradual change. For the past two decades, Western countries have subscribed to this approach. The other option is to overthrow the clerical regime by way of an external war, similar to what occurred in Iraq. No one would want to see this repeated in Iran… There is a third option: Change brought about by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance. If foreign obstacles are removed, the Iranian people and their Resistance are prepared and have the power to bring about change. And this is the only way to prevent external wars. No concession is going to dissuade the mullahs from continuing their ominous objectives.”