No 263

News Bulletin of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

24 MARCH 2008

Resistance advances, mullahs reach impasse, appeasement and concessions fail
Maryam Rajavi’s New Year message



he following are excerpts from Mrs. Rajavi’s New Year message: Last year was truly one of advancement and pride for the Iranian people’s Resistance on the one hand, and weakening and flagging for the mullahs’ regime, on the other, which is indicative of the beginning of its implosion and ultimate overthrow. Last year witnessed an unrelenting cycle of protests and demonstrations across our enchained nation. These protests were exacerbated by those surrounding fuel rationing, and their flames engulfed the country’s neighborhoods, cities, universities and factories, where people chanted the slogans heard in Ashraf City: “We are the men and women of resistance. Fight and we will fight to the end,” “We will stand, chant, and fight until the end,” and “Freedom is our inalienable right.” For the mullahs, last year ended as bitterly as it had begun, with UN Security Council resolutions 1747 and 1803. The mullahs tried their utmost to prevent the passage of the resolutions, ranging from taking British sailors hostage to deceiving US intelligence agencies about their clandestine nuclear program. But, those plots failed. In reality, it was the Iranian Resistance, which did not allow the mullahs to achieve their ends. It exposed the mullahs’ plans through a groundbreaking revelation, dealing a crushing blow to the religious fascism’s malevolent plans
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The Iranian New Year was celebrated with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, at her residence in Auvers-sur-Oise, northwest of Paris on Thursday, March 20. Hundreds of members and supporters of the Resistance took part in the event and many local residents joined them to express their well wishes to Mrs. Rajavi and her movement in the New Year. In a message to the nation which was broadcast live to Iran via satellite, Mrs. Rajavi hailed Iranians for their continued protests throughout the year and enumerated achievements of the Resistance.

MPs, Peers demand UK government obey the law, remove PMOI from terror list

From left: Baroness Verma, Brian Binley, Lord Waddington, Lord Corbett, Hossein Abedini, Baroness Turner and Lord Archer

Iranians defy mullahs, mark Festival of Fire
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ritish MPs and Peers at a conference in the House of Commons on March 11 urged the Government to comply with a High Court decision to remove the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from its list of banned organisations. Speakers included Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom; Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington QC, former UK Home Secretary; Brian Binley


MP (Con); Baroness Verma; David Drew MP (Lab); Roger Gale MP (Con); Baroness Turner of Camden; Rt. Hon. Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, former UK Solicitor-General; Lord Clarke of Hampstead; Baroness Blood; Baroness Knight of Collingtree; Masoud Zabeti of the Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers and Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The British Parliamentary Committee for
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Who are the new Majlis Deputies?
In Tehran, which is a microcosm of the entire nation with 30 seats in the Majlis, 18 of the 19 candidates who made it in the first round were from Ahmadinejad’s faction and the single remaining candidate belongs to Khamenei’s camp, but a mild critic of the government. The situation will not get any better in the second round. The new Majlis in its entirety is one composed of henchmen and torturers. One of the deputies, Ruhollah Hosseinian, lauded the former deputy Intelligence Minister, who was implicated in the murder of more than 100 dissident writers and intellectuals in the 1990s, as a great martyr of the regime. Another deputy is Fatemah Alia, a woman who was personally involved in torturing many Mojahedin women in Evin Prison. Mullah Morteza Agha Tehrani is one of the ringleaders of plain-clothe agents and a mentor to the henchmen in Ahmadinejad’s cabinet.

What lies ahead?
Now, the question is: What does Khamenei need a Majlis comprised of henchmen and torturers for? And for what purpose has he, as his cohorts say, “engineered” the formation of such an assembly? Is it because he wants to preserve the status quo? Or is he trying to devise a plan for further adventurism and war? What Khamenei said in his message immediately after the election was that despite the “adoption of the Security Council resolution,” “the election boycott,” “portraying the country’s management as gloomy,” “frightening the public from the danger of an attack by the enemy,” “the allegation of an unhealthy election,” “the pretenses of popular disillusionment and apathy,” a Majlis has been set up that is “committed, opposed to Western arrogance, and powerful.” In effect, what Khamenei is saying is that he is preparing to challenge all those models which are not compatible with religious fascism. A day later, in his congratulatory message to the Supreme Leader, Ahmadinejad described the election as one which would “safeguard the right to enjoy the capacity to acquire nuclear energy with exemplary prowess.” The situation was such that the European Union and the United States affirmed the illegitimacy of the elections and said that the elections “were neither free nor fair.” Of course, we welcome this change of position by the European Union and consider it as a turning point which has been imposed by the regime. Indeed, the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its President, (Massoud Rajavi) have been saying since June 20, 1981, until today that we want an election based on popular sovereignty and not based on the absolute rule of the clergy. In September 2003, on behalf of the Iranian Resistance, I called for a referendum on regime change based on the Iranian people’s free vote.

Maryam Rajavi’s New Year ...
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to build nuclear warheads and the bomb. So severe was the blow that like Hassan Rowhani, the regime’s former chief nuclear negotiator, the mullahs’ President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said explicitly that everything began from the summer of 2002 when the Natanz and Arak nuclear facilities were first exposed by the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK). The mullahs’ President, Ahmadinejad, was humiliated wherever he went, from Columbia University in New York to Tehran’s Polytechnic University and streets of Iraq.

Mullahs’ under pressure
One can better grasp the real status of the Majlis elections after considering the fact that the regime remained under pressure from six sides: 1. Internal defections, among the highest echelons of the regime and further contraction of the ruling clique; 2. Economic sanctions and the adoption of resolutions, in particular the Security Council resolutions; 3. The blacklisting of the Ministry of Defense and its affiliated organs, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, the terrorist Qods Force, and most important banks of the regime as terrorists and nuclear proliferators. 4. Deadlock in Iraq, especially following the formation of the Awakening Councils, which entered the fray as the most important security and military factors; 5. The departure of a key regime ally in Europe, Jacque Chirac and the latest position by the European Union about the elections in Iran, describing it as “neither free nor fair;” 6. The status and advances made by the Iranian Resistance in and out of Iran through solidifying the third option, namely that the solution for the Iranian crisis is neither the continuation of appeasement nor a foreign war, but democratic change in Iran through the Iranian people and the Resistance. The regime’s unipolarity emerged through Ahmadinejad’s appointment as president in July 2005 and was solidified in the recent Majlis elections.

Majlis sham election
The mullahs’ Majlis (Parliamentary) elections further matured the unipolarization trend and contraction of the regime’s ranks. Above all, the election was a resounding ‘NO’ by the Iranian nation to tyranny. This marked the ultimate defeat for the ruling despots. More than 95 percent of Iranians boycotted the charade. So pathetic was the election that according to official figures only 26 percent of those in Tehran voted. The candidate who came in first received only 11.5 percent of the votes and the one coming in last received six percent. The situation is similar in major cities such as Mashad and Tabriz. The highest number of votes cast in these cities for the winner was around 10 percent of the eligible voters. It was later announced that the socalled “Principlist faction,” which supports Ahmadinejad had obtained more than 70 percent of the votes. The defeated factions, such as that of former mullahs’ president Mohammad Khatami, are truly pathetic. The maximum seats they were allowed to compete for numbered around 30, or less than 15 percent of the 290-seat Majlis.

Resistance’s achievements
But in so far as the Iranian people and Resistance are concerned, last year was a year of advances and conquering of new heights. It can now be said that the greatest conspiracies to preserve the regime and destroy the Iranian people’s Resistance were quashed. This was achieved through; 1. The unsparing material and moral support of the Iranian people and our compatriots outside Iran, manifested for example in the major gathering of Iranians last summer in Paris;


2. The round-the-clock efforts of our brothers and sisters in Ashraf and in the unrelenting work of the NCRI, its members and supporters the world over; 3. The victories in courts, especially the annulment of the terrorist label in the UK; 4. The resolutions in the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in support of the judgment by the court in Luxembourg and in the United Kingdom; 5. The support of more than 1,500 European Parliamentarians and Parliamentary Committees for the Iranian Resistance and the third option for democratic change in Iran; 6. The realization by the international community about the nuclear and terrorist threats posed by the religious dictatorship; 7. The resolutions in the European Parliament and reports by the United Nations missions and the UN Secretary General’s Special Rapporteurs concerning the legal status of the PMOI in Iraq, including the recent report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq about the status of PMOI members as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention and a reiteration of the principle of non-refoulement, which forms the pillar of refugee laws; 8. The great solidarity congress in Ashraf and the declaration by 450,000 Iraqis in the Diyala Province in Iraq; 9. The support of 3,000 tribal sheikhs; 10. The support of 300,000 Shiites in southern Iraq and a major political movement of Shiite Ulemas in defense of Ashraf; 11. The unsparing support of all democratic parties and nationalist currents, groups and personalities, whether Shiite, Sunni or Kurd and Turkmen in Iraq, to the point where except for the regime’s operatives and allies, most Iraqis and nationalist forces consider the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance as their strategic ally in support for peace, security and freedom.

From left: Baroness Verma, David Drew, Lord Clarke, Lord Corbett, Hossein Abedini, Baroness Turner and Roger Gale

British MPs, Peers demand ...
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Change is inevitable
The Iranian Resistance is the force for change. By relying on its social base and its unremitting struggle, it is advancing and on the offensive. It will bring freedom to Iran. The mullahs’ regime has reached the end of the line. Appeasement and concessions are doubly counterproductive and futile. In its non-stop activities in the New Year, the regime will pass through fragile milestones which will transform its policies to the detriment of the regime in its entirety.

Iran Freedom issued a statement at the end of the conference excerpts of which follows: The Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) last November determined that the ban on the PMOI was “perverse”, “flawed” and “must be set aside”. The verdict came after 35 MPs and Peers launched a legal challenge calling for the PMOI’s de-proscription. The government’s request for an appeal was refused. POAC concluded that “intense scrutiny of the material requires the conclusion” that: - The PMOI has not engaged in terrorist acts in Iran or elsewhere since August 2001. - The PMOI’s military structure inside Iran had ceased to exist by (at the latest) the end of 2002. - In May 2003, the PMOI in Iraq disarmed. - There is no material indicating that the PMOI has obtained or sought to obtain arms or otherwise reconstruct any military capability, nor any material that it has sought to recruit or train members for military or terrorist action. - There is no evidence that the PMOI has at any time since 2003 sought to re-create any form of structure that was capable of carrying out or supporting terrorist acts. - Thereisnoevidenceofanyattemptto“prepare” for terrorism or of any encouragement to others to commit acts of terrorism. The government’s defiance of the Court ruling comes when the regime is carrying out its most ferocious crackdown on young people. In January, the regime executed at least 32 prisoners, murdered a dissident student in the north-western city of Sanandaj, executed another wounded prisoner laying on a stretcher in the northern city of Khoy, amputated the limbs of five prisoners in the south-eastern city of Zahedan, and sentenced two teenagers to be thrown off a cliff in a sack in the southern city of Shiraz. The regime continues to export fundamentalism and terrorism - in particular to Iraq and Afghanistan. Its nuclear weapons projects are continuing. Just before the UN Security Council adopted a third set of sanctions over the regime’s refusal to halt its

uranium enrichment last month, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) detailed the location and weapons activity at two new secret nuclear facilities in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The MPs and Peers condemn the bombing of the water pumping station to Ashraf City (Iraq) - home to the PMOI members - by the agents of the Iranian regime last month. Mr. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said under an agreement signed by Iraqi authorities and the PMOI in 2003, residents of Ashraf City remain under the protection of the Multi-National Force (MNF) in Iraq. In 2004 the United States recognized PMOI members as protected persons under the Geneva conventions, meaning that they should not be deported, expelled or repatriated, or displaced inside Iraq, he said. Mr. Ziegler added: “The Iraqi authorities have failed to protect the inhabitants of Ashraf City and its surrounding area from the actions of third parties, which are impeding enjoyment of the rights to food and water and creating a critical humanitarian situation. “I call on the Iraqi authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee the rights to food and water of the inhabitants of Ashraf City/ Camp Ashraf and its surrounding area.” As repression tightens, MPs and Peers noted that opposition to the regime has increased. Hundreds of anti-government protests have taken place since the New Year. For the past two weeks, student activists have been holding an anti-government sit-in in the university in Shiraz, coordinated by PMOI activists inside Iran. The Parliamentarians condemned the government’s appeasement of the mullahs, which helps to keep the regime in power. Neither military force nor appeasement is the answer to the threats posed by Iran. Instead, the UK and EU should support the third option proffered by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which seeks democratic change brought about through the Iranian people and their Resistance. The PMOI is an ally of the international community in its resistance to Islamic fundamentalism. The British government must implement the court rulings ordering it be deproscribed to signal to the people of Iran that we stand on their side for democratic change.


Iranians defy mullahs, mark Festival of Fire
n Tuesday, March 18, Fire Festival or Chaharshanbeh Souri, an ancient traditional celebration held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar year ending on March 20, was celebrated at the residence of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance. The celebration reached its climax when bonfires were set on and participants jumped over them. The event was celebrated simultaneously in Ashraf City, Iraq, home to members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI).

Celebrations turn into protests
The event was widely celebrated in Iran despite strict government ban. People in Tehran and other cities and towns turned the traditional event into a major protest against the regime, mainly in response to a call by the PMOI to defy the mullahs’ ban. Participants showed their hatred to the regime by throwing pictures of the mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on fire. The common slogans among the youth were: “Death to Ahmadinejad,” “Death to Khamenei,” and “Canons, tanks, machineguns in combating people would back fire.” Loud noises of fire crackers and occasionally concussion grenades could be heard in Tehran. 20 different places were set on fire in the capital, reported the semi-official news agency Fars.

Getting ready to crack down
In the run up to the Festival an undeclared marshal law was enforced in parts of Tehran and many premises including shops were raided. On February 25, a state-run website quoted Eskandar Momeni, the deputy commander of the regime’s State Security Forces (SSF) in Tehran as saying: “In the past few months the SSF has carried out a number of operations extending from the border regions to far deep inside the cities. These have resulted in discovery of many firecrackers.” Moayedi, commander of SSF in Fars province told the state-run Fars news agency on February 27, “the volume and the quality” of the firecrackers showed that “a group with the intention of creating unrest under the pretext of Chaharshanbeh Souri” has imported those to Iran. Moayedi said that the regime had been working in the past three months for the security of the festive period.

Tehran - Special riot units deployed to control the youth celebrating Fire Festival which turned into an all out protest against the clerical regime

Workers protest in 15 major factories


n recent weeks and run up to the Iranian New Year (Persian calendar year beginning March 21) more than 15 factories and workshops had gone on strike. Among them, 1,000 workers of Minoo Food Packing Factory walked out on March 12 over what the labor activists called “substantial pay cut in the salaries and their end of the year bonus” by the management. Workers announced that they will stay on strike until their demands are met by the factory’s management. The management spread a rumor that striking workers intended to set the factory on fire. Other factories and workshops on strike are: Tabas Mining Factory, Sarcheshmeh Cupper Factory in the southern city of Kerman, Jahad Agricultural workers in the southern city of Bushehr, Gavmishan Dam Factory workers and Beet Factory in the western city of Kamiyaran,

Siyah-Roukh Factory workers in the western city of Divandareh, Energy Company in the southern city of Asaloyeh, Aras China Factory in the northwestern province of Azerbaijan, Pashmineh Baft Factory in the western city of Qazvin, Mehrpoya Textile Factory in the central city of Isfahan, Navard Company in the western city of Karaj, Iran’s Telecommunications and Sandoq Nasoz in Tehran, Hamid China Factory, and municipal workers in Sadabad northern Tehran’s suburb. Workers are particularly angry since they have not enough to provide for their families in the upcoming New Year. Management in factories and workshops nationwide has lately adopted a cunning tactic of initially giving in to the angry workers’ demands which they would never deliver. This has been the case in Sugar Cane Factory in the southern city of Shoosh and Pashmineh Baft Factory in the western city of Qazvin.


Young man hanged on New Year’s Day

n an unprecedented criminal act, a young man was hanged on the New Year’s Day for an alleged crime he had committed when 17. The sentence was carried out in the central city of Isfahan on Thursday. According to mullahs’ regime penal code the only way to avoid capital punishment for murder is to pay blood money to the victims’ survivors. At the moment there are 75 minors on death row in Iran according to international organizations.

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