The first step on the road to rebellion is always the slow shift in the population from regime neutrality to a widespread but unorganised and unarmed resistance.The key moment comes when people begin asking themselves why they are not joining in; knocking on their neighbours’ doors they say “These kids are dying for us.  Let’s join the protest.” This is the tipping point, when society decides that it is their fight too, then everyone becomes personally concerned. People power will always win in the end.


Where citizens have had to live under a dictatorship that has created oppression, human rights abuse, poverty and conflict, they will invariably rise up in open revolt. That is what is happening in Iran. The uprising began on 28 December 2017. The widespread nature of the demonstrations has continued and intensified ever since, covering the entire country. The chants of the protesters have shown that this is an uprising against the regime itself. Despite the deadly crackdown by the mullahs’ security forces, it has become abundantly clear that the clerical regime is on its last legs and its demise is inevitable. 


Dictatorships like the mullah-led regime in Iran, depend on the support of very few people to stay in power. They govern through corruption, bribery, blackmail, extortion and fear. They channel state funds to a select clique of cronies on whom they can rely. In a country like Iran where 80 million people are seething with rage and frustration, this small coterie of comrades will be quickly swept aside. But what happens then? Even people who recognise the mullahs’ days are numbered do not want to see another Iraq or Syria. They do not want to see Iran dissolve into a chaos of sectarian strife and civil war. So, who can replace the evil, fascist regime that has ravaged Iran for four decades?


To answer this question, we need look no further than at those whom the mullahs have identified as their main rivals. By openly accusing the PMOI/MEK and NCRI of playing a leading role in the uprising, Khamenei and other prominent clerics have exposed their acknowledgement that indeed there is a powerful organized opposition led by the charismatic and indomitable Maryam Rajavi. But do the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have what it takes to assume control of the levers of power? 


The NCRI is a political coalition that includes the PMOI at its core. It has a sound organizational structure and proven sustainable executive capabilities both inside and outside of Iran, to enable it to act as the engine for change. This can be clearly seen in the political achievements of the NCRI. Holding an annual rally in Paris with more than 100,000 participants attending speaks for itself. It has a sophisticated leadership capable of dealing with the ruling theocracy, while uniting the public in their demand for regime change in Iran. Maryam Rajavi’s function in effectively leading the struggle against one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world for almost 40 years, has provided a perfect template for preparing the main Iranian democratic opposition movement for the assumption of power.  


Maryam Rajavi has an explicit platform representing the aspirations of the population and consistent with international norms to lead the country forward, with clear demarcations from both the previous and current dictatorships. Her 10-point political platform, calling for a secular, parliamentary government, human rights, women’s rights, an end to the death penalty and an end to the nuclear threat, is something that the majority of Iranians now crave.


The NCRI encompasses different political tendencies to promote the rights of diverse ethnicities and religious minorities in Iran. Mrs. Rajavi is a Muslim leader actively advocating separation of state from religion and absolute freedom for women in choosing their type of dress. She has masterminded an excellent example of gender equality within her own movement. The NCRI’s plan for the autonomy of Iranian Kurdistan remains one of the most comprehensive examples globally for addressing the rights of nationalities. 


This organization’s willingness to endure hardship and risk to achieve the goal of liberating Iran is extraordinary. As a result of the West’s policy of appeasement, the PMOI had to unjustly remain on terrorist blacklists in the UK, EU and the US, fighting a hard and costly legal battle for years to prove their innocence. PMOI members had to endure tremendous hardship in Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq for 14 years under repeated rocket attacks, a constant state of siege, a blockade against fuel, food and medical supplies, as well as repeated massacres, assassinations and the looting and theft of PMOI property. Indeed, their courage and endurance has been an inspiration to all freedom loving people in the world. The mullahs had been determined to eliminate all of the dissidents, so it was a resounding victory to see all of them flown out to Albania. It was also a great example of the strength of the opposition and the weakness of the regime.


The movement’s activities have had unrivaled effectiveness in undermining the regime’s actions and strategies. The NCRI has been able to sustain complex anti-government campaigns such as exposing the regime’s nuclear sites and terror networks and now revealing the corruption and repression by the theocratic regime in Iran and campaigning for regime change. As a result, the PMOI/MEK and NCRI have been taken seriously by the regime because of their extensive networks inside Iran. They have played an active role in organizing the on-going protests, provoking the regime into constantly publicly admitting the resistance’s role.


The NCRI enjoys bipartisan and cross-party international recognition and support and is able to marshal worldwide pressure against the regime and support for the Iranian people. Ten years ago, no-one would have imagined that the plight of the PMOI in Camp Liberty would be debated in the White House and that the US Secretary of State would be dispatched to Tirana to negotiate with the Albanian Prime Minister. This alone demonstrated the strength of the resistance movement. Their courage and suffering inspired world leaders to rally to their cause. It inspired parliaments and international organizations.


After years of dismissing the PMOI as an insignificant irritant, the mullahs are now terrified of Maryam Rajavi and her pledge to restore peace, freedom and democracy to Iran’s 80 million beleaguered citizens. The existence of dictators and oppressive regimes is the cause of all war, all genocide, all famine and almost all poverty on earth. The toppling of dictators is always the greatest resounding signal that good can triumph over evil. There is no doubt that the evil tyrants in Tehran are facing their final days. May they be consigned to the fires of hell from where they came.