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Iranian Opposition Demands Regime Change – OpEd

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As tensions continue to rise over the latest criminal behaviour of the Iranian regime and its attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, four thousand Iranian protesters assembled in the centre of Brussels to demand regime change. The huge rally and protest march took place on Saturday 15th June. Prominent speakers like Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister from Italy and Ingrid Betancourt a former candidate for the Presidency of Colombia, addressed the rally in Schuman Square, right outside the British Embassy and next to the headquarters of the European Commission.

As co-ordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, I was also on the speakers’ list. I welcomed the thousands of ex-pat Iranians to the event and told them that we were fighting a dangerous enemy. I said: “The mullahs have mobilized their Ministry of Intelligence & Security (MOIS) agents to track down and eliminate opponents of the regime here in Europe and right around the world. It is clear that Iran uses its embassies as bomb factories and terror cells, plotting atrocities. The mullahs have Iranian Intelligence agents implanted in every European embassy.”

A year ago, the Iranian regime tried to blow up the huge annual People’s Mojahedin/Mojahedin e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK) rally in Paris. Four Iranian Intelligence agents, including one so-called diplomat, are now awaiting trial in Belgium on terror charges. In Albania they plotted to bomb an Iranian New Year Nowruz gathering. The Iranian Ambassador and First Secretary were expelled from the country. In America, several MOIS agents were arrested and charged with carrying out surveillance operations in preparation for assassination attempts aimed at prominent officials in the MEK. Even in my own country, Scotland, ‘The Times’ has uncovered a plot by armed MOIS agents to threaten and kill anti-regime protesters in Glasgow.

It is well known that the regime spends vast amounts of money on spreading misinformation against its main PMOI/MEK opposition members and their charismatic leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi, whom they loathe and fear. They also particularly target the 2,500 PMOI/MEK supporters who are now based in Albania.

Meanwhile, inside Iran, the torturers and executioners are busier than ever, determined to crush all opposition under a tidal wave of fear and oppression. The abuse of human rights and women’s rights has become an international scandal; thousands of protesters have been arrested by the IRGC – the regime’s Gestapo – and they’ve been tortured and some even executed as the mullahs attempt to terrify the opposition into submission. But the Iranian people have lost their fear. Revolution is in the air, aided and abetted by brave members of the MEK, especially in the resistance units inside in every town and city in the country, who risk their lives daily to bring an end to the tyrannical dictatorship and to restore freedom, justice and democracy.

It is incredible that when the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to Tehran last week to broker an easing of tension between the Americans and the Iranian regime, Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Rouhani chose the exact moment that he was meeting them to order the IRGC to blow up 2 oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, including one owned by the Japanese. Nothing could more clearly demonstrate the contempt with which the mullahs regard international diplomacy. I told the rally: “This is a criminal state; a state with no moral compass. This is not a state with which it is possible to negotiate.”

I ended my presentation by stating: “We are standing outside the British Embassy and indeed right underneath the offices used by the Scottish representation in Brussels. Over there is the European Commission headquarters. Nearby is the Council HQ and behind that is the European Parliament. We will shortly march past the German Embassy. My message to all of them is WAKE UP! You must abandon your disgraceful appeasement policy and follow America’s lead by blacklisting the IRGC. America and the EU should go a step further and blacklist the MOIS. This is urgent because the mullahs are threatening our security in Europe. ”

The EU must close all of Iran’s embassies and expel those terror cells from our midst. We should applaud the courage of the Iranian people who have risen up against this terrorist regime. We need to let them to know that they have our support and that we in Europe stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their struggle to overthrow the tyrants.

Further anti-regime protest rallies and marches are planned to take place in Washington DC, Berlin, Tirana and London in the coming weeks.

*Struan Stevenson is the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC). He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).

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