Maryam Rajavi: International community must maintain hard line on Iran, Syria and Daesh

Dec 08, 2015, 19:31 ET from Iran News Update

Daesh found the opportunity to grow and expand with the support of Bashar Assad and will not be destroyed with Assad in power

PARIS, Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Union of Iranian Associations in Europe sponsored a meeting, "United Against Fundamentalism: Role of Iranian Resistance" on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, two days ahead of International Human Rights Day. The event featured Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, former US Senator and 2004 presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman and Professor Alejo Vidal Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament from 1999-2014.

In her remarks, Rajavi drew attention to and warned of the efforts by the Iranian regime and its allies to save the Assad regime.

She said Daesh, or ISIS, had found the opportunity to grow and expand with the support of Bashar Assad, and it would not be destroyed with Assad in power.

There have been some concerns among moderate Muslim groups that a focusing singularly on Daesh would diminish the chances of long-term success in the campaign to defeat the terrorist outfit.

Rajavi insisted that a more effective Western policy requires embracing the Syrian people's desire to overthrow the Assad regime, substantial backing to the Free Syrian Army, and evicting foreign forces, specifically the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from Syria and Iraq.

Referring to the terrorist attacks in France and in California, Rajavi emphasized: "Islam is shocked by such barbarism. There is no dispute between Shiites and Sunnis, Muslims and Christians, or nations of the Middle East and the West or their cultures. The dispute, however, is between ruling dictatorships and nations who seek freedom."

"The great divide in the Muslim world today is not, as some conveniently argue between Shiite and Sunnis, as if it is a battle that has been going on for centuries. Today the great divide is between Shiite extremists and Sunni extremists on one side, extremists like Iran, Al-Qaeda and ISIS and on the other side, moderates, people who have a very different view of Islam like NCRI," added Senator Lieberman.

"Anyone who claims to be Muslim must stand up to Bashar Assad and [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, and not kill innocent people. I must reiterate that the solution to this paradox is at the hands of the people of the region to struggle against extremists by relying on genuine Islam that espouses democracy and tolerance," she said.

These remarks closely paralleled the sentiments expressed on Sunday by US President Barack Obama, who responded to last week's ISIS-inspired shootings in San Bernardino, California, by urging Muslim communities and their leaders to publicly represent a clear alternative to extremism.

But Rajavi also challenged Obama and other Western governments to do their own part in securing close cooperation of Muslim-majority organizations and populations, some of which may be uncertain of the effects of US policy even though they are already committed enemies of ISIL and other extremists.

Rajavi denounced what she said was Western governments' ignoring the flagrant human rights violations in Iran. In the midst of nuclear negotiations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been hailed as a moderate in some quarters despite more than 2,000 carried out under his watch.   

The meeting also heard from former political prisoner Farzad Madadzadeh, who recently fled Iran for Europe, and from Shaqayeq Azimi whose parents are presently being held in Iran as political prisoners. Numerous ethnic Iranians in attendance at the event also shared their views on this and related topics.

SOURCE Iran News Update