Mrs. Rajavi stressed that more must be done by foreign powers to eradicate the source of Islamic fundamentalist in the world. The exportation of Iran’s version of Islam, combined with Rouhani’s meddling in the Syrian conflict on the side of Assad, is doing much to fan the flames of global extremism: “The world can free itself from fundamentalism only when the clerical regime in Iran that is the epicentre of fundamentalism, is overthrown,” she declared. 

Referring specifically to the threat posed by Daesh, or the Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria, Mrs. Rajavi asserted that their defeat was indeed possible, but required the fall of the Assad dictatorship first. However, this cannot be achieved without the removal of Iranian military support by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

The gathering also provided the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed. 2015 saw an up swing in the number of executions and human rights infringements by the Rouhani regime, a brutal missile attack on Camp Liberty in October claiming the lives of 24 PMOI members, and then the tragic events in November, where Daesh fundamentalists murdered 130 innocents in the heart of Paris. 

Inside Iran, Rajavi stated that: “In the past year alone, some 1000 people were executed under Rouhani who claims to be ‘moderate’”. The repression of women, children and religious minorities has also dramatically increased.  

Bishop Jacques Gaillot also addressed the crowd, outlining his wishes for the New Year. He stated that, above all, he hoped for continued unity in the face of Iranian repression. This echoed the sentiment of Mrs. Boumediene’s speech in calling for increased fraternity between different religious groups, an end to conflict and injustice around the world, including racism, sexism and all other forms of extremism. She stated that she entered 2016 full of hope that these wishes could be fulfilled. 

The New Year event came just one day after a demonstration was held in the centre of Paris in protest of systemic human rights abuses inside Iran. Protestors took to the streets opposite the Eiffel Tower and raised banners in support of those detained unjustly in Iran’s prison system. Defiantly, Rajavi called on “the world community to respect the Iranian people’s struggle for the overthrow of the mullahs”.

Demonstrations are expected to be held later this month when President Rouhani visits the French capital.