Iran is on fire, France must dialogue with the organized Iranian opposition

The insurrection in all the major cities and provinces of Iran has demonstrated that the Iranian people, bearers of a great civilization, its women, its young people, its rebels, no longer want to suffer arbitrary imprisonment, abuse, torture and capital executions.

However, in France, it is not easy to express one's solidarity with the Iranian resistance fighters who have been fighting for four decades for the establishment of a democratic and secular republic in their country. On July 1, in Paris, a big demonstration was prepared but the French authorities decided to ban it! The Paris Police Headquarters cited its "geopolitical" concerns and "security concerns" to justify its refusal. The media evoked the pressures of the Iranian dictatorship on France. The Administrative Court of Paris canceled these prefectural decrees, considering them contrary to the freedom to demonstrate. Several tens of thousands of demonstrators were finally able to gather on the Place Vauban site. The request for revision of the decision of the TAP, returning in extremis fell too late and was ineffective.

Thanks to the experience and sense of responsibility of the organizers, the rally was held without the slightest incident, and in the presence of many personalities. And in Auvers-sur-Oise a simultaneous conference was organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in the presence and speech of several hundred leading personalities including Mike Pence, former American Vice-President, or Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State, General James Jones, former national security adviser at the White House, but also several members of Congress, and eminent European and French officials, including three former foreign ministers : it was about a World Summit for a Free Iran!

However, it is disturbing to note that a few days earlier, near Tirana, in Ashraf3, the headquarters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) was raided by the Albanian police. Here again, the suspicions of haggling are heavy. The Albanian government, victim of several cybernetic attacks from Tehran, is suspected of having yielded to the blackmail of the Iranian authorities to muzzle a particularly influential resistance in the uprisings in Iran. Organized opponents of the Iranian regime are not considered as interlocutors by the authorities, neither in the United States nor in France, where people prefer to compromise and put up with these haggling on the backs of the resistance fighters who are fighting in their country at the risk of their lives. Yielding to the blackmail of a terrorist state is a moral fault and a political error.

The stakes range from the release of Western hostages incarcerated in Iran against terrorists convicted by the courts to the unblocking of the moribund nuclear agreement. But what is the Tehran regime looking for behind all these negotiations: to obstruct its main opposition force!

The extreme sensitivity of the mullahs' regime with regard to the organized Resistance, must however demonstrate that the Iranian power is indeed obliged to consider what it implicitly recognizes as its alternative. Should we continue to pretend to ignore those whom the regime recognizes as its main threat?

The experience of more than four decades demonstrates that only the language of firmness can push the regime of the Mullahs to abdication. However, Iranian officials are masters in the art of putting pressure on Western leaders. In this context of cowardice and compromise, the only hope lies in the heroic will of the Iranian people to bring down the dictatorship.

We must support and encourage the freedom fighters, as did the majority of the members of the National Assembly (296 deputies) with more than a hundred senators, alongside 3,600 parliamentarians around the world, including the majority of the US Congress. Critics of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its main component the PMOI have argued for years that this organization only represents the opposition in exile and is not supported by the population in Iran. The insurgencies that have been spreading for nearly a year demonstrate the opposite. This is why the Iranian regime systematically attacks this organization, almost obsessively.

I was mayor of the 1st arrondissement of Paris when I decided to support the fight of Iranians for freedom on the occasion of exhibitions and conferences during which I welcomed Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of the Iranian Resistance. Its ten-point program which embodies the future and the democratic institutions to be put in place is a strong guarantee for the future of this country.

Through its proven ability to organize the resistance in the country where it played a crucial role in the recent uprisings, through its popular base and its very advanced skills which have enabled it to access highly protected intelligence, the organized Iranian resistance is the main threat to the Mullahs' regime. Remember that it was the NCRI that revealed to the whole world in 2002 the existence of the clandestine nuclear program of Tehran!

Despite arrests and beatings, the PMOI's "Resistance Units" are gaining ground every day in most Iranian provinces. Experts, including within the Iranian regime, are no longer unaware that a national upsurge is near in Iran. The great Iranian people will sweep away all forms of dictatorships in the future, from the Shah to the Mullahs. Europe and France must prepare for the advent of the democratic republic and dialogue with the main force of alternation.

The least you can do is ensure respect for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to asylum enshrined in international treaties such as the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and from which these Iranian opponents should benefit in France, as in Albania and throughout the rest of Europe.

"Everything I see sows the seeds of a revolution" wrote Voltaire prophetically… History teaches us that all dictatorships are mortal. But only democracies can replace them. It is time for all supporters who want the advent of a free and secular republic to unite. It is time for the leaders of our governments to dialogue with the Iranian organized opposition. It is time for Iran to achieve freedom.

Jean-Francois Legaret