It is perhaps indicative of how far the Iranian Resistance have travelled when a former US Vice President publicly states his outright support for them and confirms his endorsement of their demand for regime change. Addressing a major ‘Free Iran Summit’ meeting in Washington D.C. on 28th October, Mike Pence said: “The American people stand unequivocally on the side of the Iranian people and their Resistance.” He went on to call for “the liberation of the Iranian people from decades of tyranny and the rebirth of a free and peaceful, and prosperous and democratic Iran.” The former Vice President named the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK) and its charismatic leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi as a government-in-waiting. He said “One of the biggest lies the ruling regime has sold the world is that there's no alternative to the status quo. But there is an alternative, well organized, fully prepared, perfectly qualified and popularly supported alternative called the MEK. The MEK is committed to democracy, human rights and freedom for every citizen of Iran, and it's led by an extraordinary woman. Mrs. Rajavi is an inspiration to the world.” 

Demanding the overthrow of the existing president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, known as ‘The Butcher of Tehran’ for his key role in the massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly supporters of the MEK, in 1988, Mike Pence said: “Ebrahim Raisi must be removed from office by the people of Iran, and he must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and genocide.” Saying that while he was no longer able to speak on behalf of the United States government, he felt confident that he was speaking for the views of tens of millions of Americans, reiterating that “the American people support your goal of establishing a democratic, secular, non-nuclear Iranian Republic that derives its powers from the consent of the governed.” 

Iran’s Supreme Dictator, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, must have thought he had pulled off a masterstroke, when he stage-managed the sham presidential elections in June, ensuring that his chosen candidate, Raisi, would emerge victorious. Recognizing the blatant deception, the Iranian people stayed at home, leading to the worst voter turnout in the nation’s history. But Raisi’s rise to the presidency has backfired spectacularly. Ebrahim Raisi knows that he has inherited a poisoned chalice. He knows that he is the zombie president of a dying regime. He knows that the United Nations, the Swiss Federal Court, the Courts in Sweden, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a list of other international organizations, governments and legislatures are actively discussing his involvement in the 1988 massacre. He knows they are examining his role in the murder of 1,500 young protesters during the nationwide uprising in Iran in November 2019. He knows they are investigating the hundreds of executions that took place while he was head of the judiciary, executions that are accelerating now that he has become president, as he attempts to frighten the restive population into servility. Raisi’s reputation as ‘The Butcher of Tehran’ has gone viral and he fears that he may be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity and genocide if he sets foot in any civilized nation. That’s why he chickened out of flying to New York for the UN General Assembly in September and hastily withdrew from attending COP26 in Glasgow when he learned that the British police were considering his arrest.

The ground-breaking speech by Mike Pence will have shattered the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. The mullahs fear and loathe the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its pivotal member organization, the MEK. They have invested millions in their attempts to demonize the Iranian Resistance. The Iranian state media produced over 300 movies and TV shows between 2015 and 2016 that were designed to defame the MEK, while in 2016 alone the regime published 14 different books for the same purpose. The mullahs have at least 13 websites, a monthly magazine, and countless social media accounts that perpetuate a year-round disinformation campaign.

The theocratic regime made all these efforts to discredit its viable democratic alternative because of its utter fear of the MEK’s potential in leading the struggle for freedom in Iran. This was shown back in 1981 when the group led a 500,000-strong peaceful anti-regime march in Tehran, that was brutally crushed by the regime’s agents who used live ammunition on protesters, killing hundreds. This failed to quash the group, so the regime issued a crackdown, which culminated in the 1988 massacre of mainly MEK members. Even this unprecedented genocidal brutality could not stop support for the group, so the mullahs’ propaganda machine went into overdrive, but despite the limitless resources thrown at it, failed miserably, with the Iranian people again taking to the streets in the 2017 and 2019 nationwide uprisings, chanting their support for the MEK and calling for regime change.

The demonization and vilification of the Iranian Resistance and the MEK has now been stood firmly on its head by Mike Pence. The former US Vice President savaged the theocratic regime, telling the rally in Washington “What the Iranian people have endured since 1979 will be recorded by history as one of the great tragedies of the modern era. But the enduring hope of a free Iran, as you approve again today, can never be extinguished. And under the Trump-Pence administration, I'm proud that America did not turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the Iranian people. We did not remain silent in the face of the regime's countless atrocities. We stood with the freedom loving people in Iran. We stood against their tyrannical regime, as perhaps no administration had done in the modern era.”

Mike Pence’s courageous words must surely sound the death-knell for the EU’s failed policy of appeasement towards the theocratic regime and for the Biden administration’s beleaguered efforts to restore the disastrous nuclear deal signed by Obama in 2015 and abandoned by Trump in 2017. Mike Pence made it clear that the way forward is to back the Iranian people and their democratic resistance in their bid to overthrow the despotic and tyrannical mullahs’ regime.