After nearly two decades, the PMOI (People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran) is delisted from the State Department's list of terror organizations, by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Upon hearing this news, large waves of celebration could be seen across different cities from Washington DC to New York and Toronto and from Paris to London and Oslo. The supporters of this organisation and many freedom loving organisations and individuals took part in a mass celebration in New York on the 26th September.
As well as celebrating this joyous event in the history of the Iranian resistance, I, along with tens of thousands of other Iranians in exile, found it a responsibility to show our presence and voice our disappointment at the UN and USA for allowing Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the most loathed political figures of the 21st century to make his last stand at the UN and repeat the same old nonsense about his plans for Iran and the world. According to various sources, Ahmadinejad visited the USA accompanied by a 120 member delegations. One might wonder what could be the necessity to have such a large number of delegations present for such a short trip and just how much has this trip, which could and should have been avoided all together, cost the people of Iran?
While I was standing amongst the protesters, one of the most intriguing factors that caught my attention was that it was not only Iranians who were upset about the presence of Ahmadinejad at the UN, but a wide range of other nationalities from Syria to Iraq to American citizens who equally disapproved of this matter. I was happy yet very sad at the same time. From one side, I could freely and peacefully demonstrate and voice my opinion about a man who is directly responsible for the misery and deaths of many young, old, men and women and children in Iran and Syria and other countries that have been effected by the mullahs' terrorist regime, and from the other side I was aware of just how many Iranians have been imprisoned, tortured and killed for doing exactly the same as I was doing. For speaking their mind, for disagreeing and protesting against injustice and seeking freedom and liberty.
I suddenly remembered how many women, younger than me, have been brutally raped over and over and endured painful days and nights in dark and confined prison cells, awaiting their day to arrive and be executed. This reality moved me. I did not feel brave anymore but still proud and responsible. I was responsible to be the voice of the voiceless. The voice of those who had been silenced for over 30 years, the voice of my aunt, Zahra Rajabi, who fought until her last breath to have a free Iran but was assassinated by the Iranian agents, similar to those accompanying Ahmadinejad to New York. I was the voice of Saba Haftbaradaran who stood armless and defenceless along with many more when Camp Ashraf, home to 3400 Iranian dissidents in Iraq, came under attack in April 2011 and before she died from the shot wounds inflicted, her last words were "we shall stand until the end". I was the voice of Neda Agha Soltan and many more that were killed in the 2009 Iranian uprising while demonstrating against the rigged election results. I was the voice of over 120,000 martyred members of the PMOI who truly believed that their beloved country and its people deserved to be free from the ruling Tyrants and dictators in Iran.
This made me feel more content than I have ever been before and helped me to celebrate this grand victory wholeheartedly. I stood and observed the tears of happiness falling from the faces of the old and young, those who had been participating in demonstrations and sit-ins for many years in order to reach justice and lift this undeserved and unjustifiable tag of "terrorist organisation" from the Iranian resistance.
The next step towards having a free Iranian resistance group is to save the 3400 dissidents who have been moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty. Camp Liberty which was supposed to be a temporary location for the residents of Camp Ashraf to move to, before they get resettled in third democratic countries, is similar to a concentration camp with the absence of even the minimum humanitarian facilities and equipments. The residents of Camp Ashraf who moved to Camp Liberty, did so in order to show their good will and participation with the UN and USA in the resettlement process. However, they have been faced with some of the most inhumane conditions and treatments from the Iraqi regime.
One of the benefits of the PMOI being delisted is that the Iraqi government cannot bully or attack the residents of Camp Ashraf or Camp Liberty and justify their cruel acts by saying that they are attacking members of a "terrorist" organisation anymore. However, this does not mean that the residents are safe. The US, UN, UNHCR and all other responsible bodies must ensure to accelerate the process of relocating the residents in order to avoid any further deadly attacks from the Iranian or Iraqi regimes.
The first and most essential step towards peace in the Middle East is that the brutal regime of Iran is overthrown. The NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran) have stated on numerous occasions that war is not the answer to solving world's problems with Iran. Equally important is avoiding appeasement with the mullahs with the hope that they may change and become more democratic in the future. Time is running out and it is crucial that the Iranian people alone decide the faith of their country and stand shoulder to shoulder, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, in order to reach the freedom that each and every one of them is seeking in their hearts and souls.