Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi has released a statement to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the people’s demonstration against the regime in Tehran.

This demonstration, held on June 20, 1981, saw over 500,000 Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) supporters take to the streets to protest the removal of their freedoms. Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini ordered his Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the protest.

Rajavi, who was speaking at the Resistance headquarters in Ashraf 3, referenced the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as president last week, following the nationwide boycott by the people. She advised that the appointment of “a mass murderer and a criminal against humanity as president indicates that the religious dictatorship is in a downward spiral and must be swept aside”.

She explained that the regime is more fragile coming out of the election and, as a result, will crack down more harshly on any and all protests. That’s why Judiciary Chief Raisi was the top pick of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, due to Raisi’s history of human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre. Rajavi said that the regime installed Raisi in a “doomed” attempt to keep power that sheds light on the regime’s “political demise and looming overthrow”.

She said: “He is not a solution for the regime but a symbol of the regime’s impasse and the fact that it has run out of options. Moreover, his appointment indicates that Khamenei does not trust even the loyal members of his inner circle. Only someone can become the regime president who is immersed in the blood of the massacred MEK members and supporters. Therefore, Khamenei accepted both the scandal of appointing this person and the disgrace of a boycotted election. By their nationwide boycott of the sham election, the people of Iran demonstrated their resolve to overthrow the regime.”

Rajavi explained that Khamenei wanted to prevent uprisings, so he closed ranks among the regime members and allowed the coronavirus to spread far and wide, killing over 300,000 Iranians.

She said: “Khamenei is aware of the decaying state and deficiencies of his regime as well as the society’s readiness to overthrow it. Therefore, he has adopted a defensive posture, closing ranks at the top of the regime, and resorting to war with the Iranian society and the international community.”

Also on Sunday, Iranian Resistance supporters held rallies in big European cities, including Cologne, Geneva, London, Oslo, and Vienna, and urged the international community to end appeasement of the regime.