Over this short series, we will look at what Maryam Rajavi, who has led the Resistance for nearly 30 years and lost many relatives and friends to the mullahs, said in that interview.
In this piece, we will look at what Maryam Rajavi said about what the Iranian Resistance offers as an alternative to the mullahs and what sets the Iranian Resistance apart from other opposition movements in the Middle East.
How the Iranian Resistance is different from other movements
Maryam Rajavi explained that the Iranian Resistance has deep roots in the country and enjoys the support of the majority of Iranians, which is not always the case with newer resistance movements. They also have an established, democratic parliament-in-exile ready to assume power from the moment the mullahs fall until democratic elections are held to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and to ensure that no one takes advantage of a power vacuum.
She said: “The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has a solid infrastructure and is rich inexperience. It has specific and concrete plans for the future. A wide range of Iranian elites cooperate with the NCRI, both inside Iran and abroad. This movement, which brings together a wide variety of tendencies in Iranian society, is the best guarantor of popular sovereignty after the downfall of the mullahs’ regime.”
How the Iranian Resistance is different from the mullahs
Maryam Rajavi noted that during the 1979 revolution, the people chanted for an Islamic republic, but they didn’t mean anything like the fake republic they ended up with. They wanted freedom and independence, not a dictatorship with meaningless elections.
She highlighted that the mullahs took advantage of the fact that those Resistance members who began the call for the Shah’s overthrow were in prison or dead in 1979. The mullahs stole the revolution and didn’t care what the Iranian people actually wanted. They now rely on domestic suppression, the export of terrorism and fundamentalism, and the pursuit of nuclear weapons to stay in power.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Our resistance movement has managed to build a political alternative that stands up to the regime in these three areas. It offers a perspective for the future that is based on freedom, democracy, and equality.”
She advised that the NCRI was founded in 1981, as a coalition of democratic, anti-regime groups, in order to overthrow the regime offer a progressive plan for a future Iran.
Maryam Rajavi said that the Resistance seeks an Iran based on:
- the separation of religion and state
- political pluralism
- gender equality
- human rights
- the abolition of the death penalty
- autonomy for oppressed ethnic groups
- equal economic opportunities
- environmental protection
- a non-nuclear Iran
- solidarity and peaceful coexistence with other countries
She said: “The NCRI and its members have not just come up with plans for the future. They have forged political traditions of democracy and tolerance in practice and during the difficult decisions made throughout this struggle. They have proven that they are the alternative to the regime… It is the presence of such a democratic alternative that guarantees that Iran will not fall victim to the same fate as the countries you mentioned.”