Last Saturday, on the eve of 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, members from over 300 Iranian Associations from around the world met for the first time to condemn November’s interim agreement struck between the international community and the Islamic Republic in Geneva.
The Iran Convention, made up of Iranian diaspora organisations from around the globe met in Paris to condemn the Iranian regime and its leadership for perpetuating the religious dictatorship which exists in the country. All of the member organisations reaffirmed their support for President-elect Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for the country, and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Iran’s democratic parliament in exile.
Speakers to the Convention included Struan Stevenson MEP, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and John Bolton, the former US Ambassador to the UN, who spoke in support of the Iranian Resistance and condemned the interim agreement with the Iranian regime as appeasement.
Since the election of Rouhani, largely touted as a moderate amongst Western commentators, around 66 Iranians have been executed each month in what has been the largest wave of repression the country has seen for decades. Despite efforts from the West, particularly the United States, at coming to an accord with the regime, there has been no sign of any movement from Rouhani’s administration on internal policy, with the country’s current policies regarding freedom of expression, information, religion, of women and minorities either being maintained, or in some areas hardened.
The Geneva interim agreement is widely seen as preparation for a full, comprehensive accord on Tehran’s nuclear weapons programme. The Iran Convention, in its strongest condemnation of Western policy stated in its Declaration that;
The Cooperation of foreign states with this regime under the false pretext of strengthening the moderates while ignoring the will of the Iranian people for regime change is only legitimizing a regime that has executed hundreds and tortured thousands.
Rouhani has himself attacked internal opposition to the interim agreement, last week demanding public support for the agreement amongst public education professionals. The regime-backed YJC news agency noted that Rouhani had addressed Iranian professors, demanding to know, “What are you afraid of?” The danger seems obvious; Ali Motahari, a senior member of the Iranian Parliament, admitted that freedom of expression at Iranian universities was “non-existent” as a result of continued concerns over security and oppression of academics in the country.
The Convention’s declaration appealed directly to the Iranian populace to ‘to remain strong’ and to confront religious fascism ‘face to face’ as a patriotic duty.
In contrast to the current administration in Islamic Republic, the NCRI seeks to create a democratic government in the country with full civil, religious and economic rights for all Iranians.