At the outset, Maryam Rajavi laid wreath to a memorial in honor of the martyrs of the December-January uprising.
She congratulated the Iranian people on the arrival of the New Year, noting that the Iranian year 1396 ended with the season of uprising and that 1397 must be turned into a year full of uprisings. This is an uprising and revolution until victory, she said.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a number of Albanian political figures also took part in the celebrations.
The following is the text of Maryam Rajavi’s remarks:
This is the spring of uprising. Be it that in this victorious journey, the uprisings culminate in the spring of freedom
Fellow compatriots, dear friends, sisters, and brothers,
Happy New Year and Happy Nowruz!
With the arrival of the New Year, we can hear the steps of Iranian protesters in 142 cities across the country. We hear protesters and the PMOI combatants of freedom marching, who will ultimately end the reign of this evil regime.
This year’s spring has passed through the uprisings. Indeed, this is a spring of uprising. Let us hope that in its victorious journey it would lead to the spring of freedom.
We are delighted to be joined today in this Nowruz celebration by the long-time friend and supporter of Iranian Resistance in the most difficult days of Camp Ashraf, Mayor Giuliani.
Since the very beginning, he opposed the terrorist designation of the Iranian people’s just resistance for freedom that sought to rid Iran of the fundamentalist mullahs, the real godfathers of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).
He also opposed the PMOI’s relocation from Ashraf to the killing field named, “Liberty”, sugarcoated by the United Nations and the UNHCR, considering it to be sheer duplicity.
He represented the conscientious Americans who also stood with the people of Iran during the 2009 uprisings, opposed the policy of appeasement, and pointed to the right policy.
I also welcome the dear friend of the PMOI, Minister Pandeli Majko. The names of Pandeli Majko and his wife, Enkelejda, will be remembered in the history of relations between the people of Iran and Albania.
And we also welcome Mrs. Elona Gjebrea, and Mr. Fatmir Mediu. We thank you for all your efforts that broke through all the obstacles. You are all very welcomed.
We can, and we must turn the New Year into a year of uprisings
Fellow compatriots, sisters, and brothers,
Iran’s society was characterized by protests and uprisings throughout the past year.
In spring, the Call for Justice movement for the victims of the 1988 massacre, defeated Khamenei’s plans in the sham presidential elections.
In summer, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran elected their new Secretary General and gained momentum to prepare for the resistance and uprisings.
In autumn, in the wake of the earthquake in Kermanshah Province, the people of Iran expressed their rage against, and hatred of, the mullahs.
And in winter, the uprisings erupted nationwide aimed at overthrowing the clerical regime. Since then, the rising waves of protests have been striking at the wall of repression.
Last year ended with the season of uprising, and the coming year can and must be turned into a year of uprisings. And this is going to be an uprising, a revolution, until victory.
1,000 Ashrafs as centers of rebellion
In nature, spring follows winter. But the spring of freedom can come at any moment, though not by itself. It will come only if we show our determination and would be willing to sacrifice our lives. It will come only if we are organized and united around a single strategy.
For this reason, the uprisings in December and January brought the fresh scent of spring in the middle of winter.
This uprising emerged from under repression. This is an uprising that organizes and unites.
1,000 Ashrafs or 1,000 centers of rebellion manifested themselves in this uprising.
Indeed, in the face of such brutal repression, so much demagoguery and deception, and so much misinformation to demonize the resistance, where did these countless young protesters all across the country come from? If this is not a miracle, what is your answer? Yes, this is a miracle; a miracle borne out of perseverance. This miracle came about because of a heavy price paid to keep aloft the banner of the regime’s overthrow. This is a miracle borne out of long years of suffering which sowed the seeds of protests and resistance in society every day.
We hail the martyrs of Ashraf and Liberty, and the 14-year epic and glorious perseverance in Ashraf and Liberty. The Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi was correct in saying that Ashraf has multiplied in prisons and across our nation.
The Iranian people have never accepted this regime, which explains why protests and uprisings have erupted repeatedly against the regime throughout these years.
But how is this year’s uprising different from the past?
The difference is that the resistance movement has found the answer for the regime’s overthrow, and the regime does not have any solution for it.
This time around, 1,000 centers of rebellion played a part in the uprising. And this is why the chants of “death to Khamenei” is heard everywhere.
Army of spring is on the way and winter of reactionaries must go
I said the spring of freedom could come at any time. This means that the situation will never go back to the time before the uprisings started.
The Iranian people are determined to bring about a new era with the help of the combatants of freedom by toppling the religious dictatorship.
This uprising showed us how to attain our freedom through our own efforts. For this reason, it is new and is directed against backwardness and fundamentalism. It is sketching the future of Iran and is presenting an alternative to the regime.
Khamenei was forced to acknowledge the reality that the PMOI had been prepared months ago and called for the uprising. He said so to prepare the regime for confronting the PMOI.
But the time to preserve this decadent regime has passed. Spring of freedom is on its way and winter of repression must go.
When the people of Iran have the option of a free and democratic government based on the separation of religion and state, and based on justice and equality, why should they have to be content with a reactionary, decadent and inhumane regime?
The clerical regime preserves its rule by keeping the children of Iran hungry and slaughtering the children of Syria.
The incompetence and the anti-popular nature of this regime has been exposed at every turn, whether it was the earthquake in Kermanshah Province or the crash of the Tehran-Yasouj airliner, or the explosion of Azadshahr mine in Golestan Province.
All the factions of this regime, including the so-called moderates and reformists, insist on suppression of protesters, and its so-called moderate president takes pride in siding with the regime’s murderous militias.
Recently, Rouhani’s Minister of Interior wholeheartedly thanked all factions and media of the regime for their full participation in the crackdown on the uprising in December and January. They have repeatedly declared that they are aboard a ship, which if punctured by the uprising, will result in all of them drowning.
Today, across Iran, the people are chanting death to the Supreme Leader, on whom the regime relies.
Having plundered the country’s wealth and resources, the mullahs have run out of cash. The banks, pension funds, and the government are totally crippled and bankrupt.
Our nation has paid the price for the mullahs’ theft, corruption, and incompetence.
People have nothing to eat and the economy is in recession. Villages have been destroyed and the cities have become underprivileged. The industries have been shut down and workers have been fired and impoverished. The farmers have been deprived of water, and their life and freedom. And the people’s properties and assets have been plundered.
Millions of girls and boys are forced into hard labor instead of going to school. And a large segment of the population is hungry and unemployed.
An uprising and a revolution are needed to alleviate these sufferings.
The New Day (Nowruz) for which we are striving will bring happiness and hope to this impoverished and oppressed society.
Khamenei has apologized to the people of Iran for the injustices his regime has brought about. But the Iranian people are saying that is too little, too late.
If Khamenei is sincere in his apology, he must say that the absolute rule of the mullahs has denied the people their sovereignty, that it is the source of all corruption, and it must be overthrown just like the Shah’s regime.
The secret to national salvation is death to the principle of the velayat-e faqih and long live the army of freedom
Europe’s long-overdue focus on the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s regional warmongering and its ballistic missile program is of course a positive step.
Further steps are needed, however, including the expulsion of the regime from the region, shutting down its missile and uranium enrichment programs, and blocking its access to the international banking system.
All these steps are necessary. However, a comprehensive, decisive, and strategic response to the regime entails standing with the Iranian people and Resistance.
Iran uprising has brought up the freshness of spring. Europe must also abandon the decades-long antiquated policy of rapprochement and recognize the struggle of the Iranian people to overthrow this regime. It should also recognize the democratic alternative, i.e., the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The people of Iran demand immediate action, change, overthrow, and freedom. They demand bread, jobs, and housing. They demand the immediate abolition of all government coercions, including the compulsory hijab.
For the Iranian Resistance and all its members and supporters, including the centers of rebellion inside Iran and the sympathizers of the Resistance around the globe, 1397 is going to be a year of unwavering commitment to continue and lead the protests to their ultimate goal.
It is with such determination and such a commitment, that I congratulate the defiant people inside Iran and millions of Iranians abroad.
Congratulations to members of the NCRI and supporters of the Iranian Resistance around the world.
Congratulations to the PMOI freedom fighters. You have the responsibility to continue the protests and expand the centers of rebellion.
My warmest congratulations to the young protesters. Spring sends its greetings to you all.
And congratulations to Massoud Rajavi, who formulated the strategy to foment the uprisings and bring about the overthrow of the ruling regime by relying on 1,000 centers of rebellion, led by the combatants of freedom.
In the beginning of the New Year, let us remember those who gave their lives in this uprising. We will never forget them. They remained unknown, but they were the source of pride and recognition for the Iranian nation. We particularly honor the innocent youths who lost their lives under torture. They are always with us in spirit. They are the sacrifice of a nation as it strives to gain its freedom.
We also hail the prisoners of the uprising and all political prisoners in Iran. We tell them that your endurance has brought Iran’s freedom much closer.
And finally, I would like to tell my fellow compatriots in Iran that freedom is within reach, but it can be realized only through our efforts and our determination.
As Massoud Rajavi once said, “The secret to national salvation, is death to the principle of Velayat-e Faqih, long live the Army of Freedom.”
So, help your children in their protests. Help the centers of rebellion. By expanding the protests and resistance you must rise against the religious tyranny and welcome the great Nowruz of freedom for the people of Iran.
The mullahs should rest assured that this uprising, and revolution will continue until victory no matter how long it would take.
Congratulations on the beginning of the New Year 1397.
Nowruz of uprisings, Nowruz for Mojahedin, Nowruz for centers of rebellion
I would like to conclude my remarks by addressing you, my sisters, and brothers here in Albania:
Congratulations on the New Year, and for being so determined.
Since the onset of the Resistance, we have mixed the tradition of Nowruz with our call for freedom, meaning that we will maintain high hopes for the realization of freedom and will continue our relentless struggle and make whatever sacrifice to achieve it.
Let us pay homage to the martyrs of the 1980s and our massacred brothers and sisters in 1988. Let us honor the martyrs of Ashraf and Liberty and all those who gave their lives for freedom.
Today, we are celebrating the Nowruz of uprisings, the Nowruz of the PMOI and other combatant forces, and the Nowruz of the centers of rebellion.
Your strategy has proven to be correct. Your perseverance and suffering have borne fruit.
Precisely for this reason, we must renew our commitments and responsibilities as Nowruz comes. You will be playing a decisive role, as well as your organization. We are in a decisive year.
This year is one of taking on greater commitments, it is time to refresh, it is time to strengthen our resolve to hope and to realize those hopes.
I hope, and I am confident that this year, you can shoulder hundred times more responsibilities in order to advance at remarkable speed our historical commitment, namely freedom for Iran.
In renewing this commitment, I again congratulate you on the New Year.