Ronak Nikbakht, 31, joined the Iranian Resistance in 2002 and has spent more than half her life fighting for freedom, peace, and equality in her country. The Tehran native explains that as a teenager, she realised that life under the Iranian Regime did not allow for opportunities for women or girls, even talented swimmers, like her.
She knew that the only way to get that kind of freedom was to overthrow the Regime, but she had to ask herself if she was willing to risk her own life, as so many Resistance members do, and she discovered that she was. Nikbakht joined, alongside her mother, and is proud to be part of the Resistance.
Nikbakht advises that her background in swimming actually helped her in her fight for a free Iran, noting that she was scared of the water as a child, but once she faced it head-on, the fears dissipated and she went on to achieve great accolades.
She wrote: “That was when I realized that fear curtails beauty in one’s life! And what one can achieve by overcoming fear.”
However, despite her achievements, Nikbakht was still discriminated against because of the Regime’s sexist laws and was prevented from becoming a judge, a pilot, or even a professional swimmer.
She wrote: “As I got older, observing these limitations on women and girls and while tackling them in my own experiences, propelled me to make a serious decision.
I thought to myself no matter how much I struggled to succeed in such fields as sports and science, or in my intellectual endeavour, under the rule of a misogynist dictatorial regime and the limitations it imposed on women, Iran was not a country which I wanted to represent.”
Thus, she joined the Resistance and committed herself to solving the problems of Iran, all of which are caused by the Regime. She knows, however, that she could not do this alone, and that she relies on the entire Iranian Resistance to help overthrow the mullahs.
She wrote: “In order to promote and achieve a common goal, one as big as the liberation of a nation, one must be able to aggregate the surrounding population and multiply their energies. A climber never dares nor can reach the tough peaks alone.
And for us who have chosen such a high summit as freedom, we can only achieve this goal by relying on our powerful team.”