On September 5, Iranian activists from all over the world took part in a global online conference to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran’s (PMOI/MEK) founding. 

Representatives from 307 Iranian associations in North America, Oceania, Asia, and Europe joined the livestream – held just two months after the MEK’s successful online free Iran gathering, which was the largest online gathering during the pandemic – and cited the MEK as the leading force during the January 2018 and November 2019 uprisings. 

These representatives were from every age group, social class, ethnic group, religion, and profession, showing how widespread support is for regime change in Iran and the leadership of the MEK. 

MEK Secretary General Zahra Merrikhi said: “Owing to MEK sacrifices, today, the MEK is stronger, more solidified and more cohesive than ever before. It has become the beacon of hope for the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ regime and establish freedom in our fettered nation. It is not without reason that the regime’s leaders constantly warn of the expansion of popular support for the MEK and the role played by the MEK’s Resistance Units in organizing the uprising and the anti-government protests.” 

While opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said that socio-economic gaps in Iran have never been wider with ordinary Iranians suffering under the yoke of “poverty, repression and the coronavirus pandemic”. This has left the society in an explosive state. 

She said: “Look at the uprisings in November 2019 and January 2020. Those who took to the streets left no doubt that the solution for all problems lies in the overthrow of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship. They are not looking back to the past. They have set their sights on the future. They chanted, Death to the oppressor, whether it is the Shah or the (mullahs’ Supreme) Leader. 

Rajavi cited the recent execution of two MEK supporters for protesting. It should be noted that 120,000 people have been killed in Iran for supporting the MEK; 30,000 in the summer of 1988 alone under a fatwa from regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. The fact that the MEK has played a leading role in recent uprisings is the basis for an increased crackdown by the regime, which has seen 1,500 people killed by the security forces. 

The MEK conference highlights this oppression and warns that there will likely be more clashes between the security forces and the Iranian people soon, with Iranian officials warning about the inevitability of widespread protests and calling for an increased crackdown on activists. 

Participants called for international pressure to stop the regime’s violence against protesters, saying that victory was within reach if the rest of the world could only stand behind them, rather than appeasing the mullahs. 

Two days before the conference, the world community had condemned the then-pending execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari, 27, who was accused of “enmity against God” for taking part in an anti-government demonstration in Kazerun in August 2018. Despite an international campaign, the regime executed Afkari on September 12. 

Navid Afkari Isn’t a Culprit Even Under Iran’s Outdated Constitution