By Mahmoud Hakamian
Iran’s economic and social crises are pushing the Iranian society deeper into an eruptive state, with the signs being clearly seen in significant increase in recent ongoing protests staged by people from different walks of life.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is going to hold its Grand Gathering in Paris on June 30, to support Iranian people’s uprising and protests and promote their demand for a regime change in Iran. The gathering shows that Iranian people’s protests are strongly backed both domestically and by the international community.
Iranian regime officials and media meanwhile are expressing their fear of the gathering in their remarks, while still weeks away from the event.
In a press conference held on Sunday June 11, 2018, regime’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman claimed that “Rouhani’s government has had talks with French officials for cancelling the gathering.”
Bahram Ghasemi then reminded France that “the MEK (The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran which is the main force inside NCRI) holds gatherings in France every once in a while. This is not acceptable for Iran (the regime), as we’ve said that no double standard approach should be adopted, thereby dividing the terrorism into a good one and a bad one.”
Ghasemi then began threatening France, saying “those who give permit for such gatherings are wrong, as they themselves will be affected by the consequences as well.”
Meanwhile, parliament’s National Security Commission Spokesman ‘Naghavi Hosseini’ has also attacked France for hosting MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris that, as he puts it, is centered on confrontation with the regime. “MEK activities in Europe and their gatherings in European countries is contrary to such countries’ claimed policy of fighting against terrorism”, says Hosseini in his interview with state-run media.
“The MEK is going to harm Iran-Europe relationships”, Says Hosseini, adding “the group is trying to destroy all peaceful interactions between Iran and Europe, and their upcoming gathering is aimed at affecting Europeans’ approach, particularly at a time when JCPOA-related talks are under way between Europe and Iran.”
Hosseini then warns regime’s Foreign Ministry over the consequences of NCRI’s Grand Gathering in Paris, saying “under such circumstances, Iran’s diplomacy has to start talks with European counterparts, as the Islamic Republic will have to adopt a new and different policy should the Europeans decide to continue their partnership and interaction with the MEK.”
Also in this regard, chairman of regime’s Parliamentary Research Center ‘Kazem Jalali’ as well as head of Iran-Europe Parliamentary Relationships Group have written two different letters to their counterparts in European and French parliaments as well as the French Senate, warning over “NCRI’s hostile moves in France” while expressing “regime’s disapproval of European countries’ policy that allows such terrorist group’s gatherings be held in Europe.”
In his letter to European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Iran, chairman of regime’s parliamentary research center has underlined that after the MEK was unexpectedly and politically taken off the European Union’s terror list in 2009, a number of European officials as well as European Parliament members have participated in their meetings and gatherings.
Jalali then warns Europeans over increased terrorist and extremist activities across Europe if they allow NCRI’s gathering to be held.
“To prevent expansion of terrorist and extremist activities to Europe, we need to have bilateral co-operation and fair interaction, and avoid double approaches”, writes Jalali.
Jalali links NCRI’s Grand Gathering in Paris to the nuclear deal crisis, writing “it shouldn’t be forgotten that the NCRI/MEK has not spared any direct or indirect effort to create a rift between the two sides (the Iranian regime and Europe), particularly following the US president’s unilateral and unlawful withdrawal from the deal.”
In a state TV Program discussing the NCRI’s upcoming gathering in Paris, regime judiciary’s International Deputy ‘Mohammadjavad Larijani’ responded to the moderator’s question about the future of the regime following the NCRI’s gathering, saying “MEK/NCRI is going to hold a gathering next week. A number of European and American officials, including Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton who’s now the White House National Security Advisor, delivered speeches in MEK’s gathering over the past several years, for which we have discussed our disapproval with the Europeans. Considering MEK’s increased activities these days, the question is what role the Americans are going to play in this anti-Iranian scenario?”
Asked about the effects of MEK’s campaign on the protests inside Iran, regime judiciary’s International Deputy responded “western countries took the MEK off their terror list and now the group is once again active in Iran. The West believes that the MEK is the only group that could both be active in Iran and perform as an active political organization abroad as well.”
As regime’s all three branches –the government, parliament and judiciary– have come on the scene to campaign or act against NCRI’s Grand Gathering while still weeks away from the event, it could be clearly seen how the regime fears the gathering’s domestic and international consequences.
The gathering will inspire the protesters in rising cities across Iran while showing them that their protests are strongly backed, both domestically and by the international community.
The gathering is going to show the world in the most splendid way the Iranian people’s solidarity on overthrowing the regime. That’s when the regional and international consensus on regime change in Iran and recognizing the NCRI as a democratic alternative will be boosted.
In a word, the NCRI’s Grand Gathering is a strong domestic and international call for overthrowing the Iranian regime. That’s exactly the message that has frightened the mullahs’ regime, to the extent that they’ve been forced to have early reactions against the gathering.