The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, spoke out at an assembly of the European Parliament in Strasbourg back in 2004, proposing a new way of dealing with the theocratic regime ruling Iran.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The theocracy ruling Iran has set new records in violating human rights. This regime poses the greatest challenge to the international community.”

She discussed the two options that the international community already has at their disposal. The make-a-deal approach which aims to contain the regime or include gradual change, which Western countries have already subscribed to since the 1980s. The second approach is to overthrow the regime through waging an external war, similar to what happened in Iraq in 2003, which no one would want a repeat of.

Maryam Rajavi said: “I have come here today to say that there is a third option: Change brought about by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance.”

She urged the Western governments to rethink their approaches and quoted former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s words after the 1938 Munich pact, ‘You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You choose dishonor and you will have war’. She made it clear that the clerical regime is a ‘medieval theocracy that lacks capacity to reform’.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The principle of the velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) is the pillar of the Iranian regime’s constitution and cannot be changed. It forms the basis for its laws and practices and accords little value to the people’s vote.”

Iran is an ancient Islamic civilization and has a rich culture. Iranians will never submit to the medieval regime ruling them, as seen by the continuous uprisings the country has faced. The hundreds of thousands of martyrs and more than half-a-million prisoners along with the presence of an organized resistance indicates the intensity of society’s rejection of the regime.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The resistance movement has deep roots in society…the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been fighting for freedom against the dictatorship of the Shah and Khamenei.”

The NCRI, the resistance’s parliament in exile, is a coalition of democratic forces that seek an Iranian republic based first and foremost, on the separation of religion and state. Women make up half of its members and with membership of religious and ethnic minorities, the NCRI represents the Iranian people’s desire for regime change and their job following the regime overthrow will be to ensure the peaceful transfer of power over to the Iranian people.

Maryam Rajavi said: “The NCRI has committed itself to organize free elections for a constituent assembly within six months of regime change and handover the affairs to the people’s elected representatives so that society’s deep wounds that were caused by eighty years of dictatorship are healed.”

One of the other plans for the future of Iran is, most importantly, to make sure international covenants are adhered to, as well as regaining friendships with the rest of the world and rebuilding a peaceful Iran.