On February 17, simultaneously with the Munich Security Conference, thousands of freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its parent coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gathered at the Max-Jozef-Platz, near the Munich security conference. Protestors, along with renowned European politicians and lawyers, condemned the presence of Reza Pahlavi, the son of the ousted Shah, who represents the return of monarchial tyranny. Iranians underlined in their protest on Friday that Reza Pahlavi’s presence at the Munich Security Conference was an insult to the people’s will and determination to achieve a democratic and secular Iran. The Iranians have demonstrated their will by chanting the popular slogan of “Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Mullahs.”
Leo Dautzenberg, Chair of the German Solidarity Committee for a Free Iran (DSFI), and former Member of the German Bundestag, was the first speaker of Friday’s grand gathering. Referring to the Iranian regime’s efforts to tarnish the image of its viable alternative, the NCRI, and promoting fake alternatives, such as Reza Pahlavi, he said: “The regime claims there is no opposition inside Iran. If this is true, why is it using brutal force inside Iran? It is important that the first article in Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan calls for establishing a republic based on universal suffrage and popular vote. Protesters are saying yes to the republic and no to autocracy. They’re saying no to the mullahs’ rule and Shah’s dictatorship. The regime is trying to present the son of the Shah as an acceptable option.”
“The Shah was rejected by the 1979 revolution. Pahlavi has never condemned the crimes of the SAVAK and Shah regimes. This is dangerous. This is why the participation of Shah’s son at the Munich Security Conference was a dangerous decision and welcomed by the regime. It distracts discussions focused on unity and solidarity for freedom,” he added.
“This regime must be annihilated. The people of Iran are striving for freedom,” said Katrin Bornmüller, Honorary President of the International Society for Human Rights Organization, who spoke next.
Dr. Karin Schnebel, Women’s Representative in the Munich City Hall, was also among the speaker of Friday’s event. While condemning Iran’s misogynous regime, she underlined that the revolution in the making is “not just about wearing a hijab. This is just one example of the freedom that the people are deprived of. It is a system that enforces its rule on the people in the smallest details of their lives. There is no rule of law and no sovereignty of the people. We are fighting for a secular regime. Only a secular state can bring these freedoms.” She urged Western democracies to support the Iranian people’s demand for democracy.
Marcin Święcicki, former Mayor of Warsaw and Minister of Foreign Economic Relations of Poland, was also the speaker at this event. While referring to the clerical regime’s decades of oppression, he supported the NCRI’s president-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and her ten-point plan for the future of Iran.
“We have sometimes been told that there is no alternative to the mullahs in Iran. But we have one: the NCRI led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, with a ten-point plan that will bring democracy, the rule of law, separation of state and religion, and a peaceful country,” he said.
“There is a plan. If the West wants Iran to be democratic, we should support Maryam Rajavi. We should support those who are fighting for a democratic Iran, not those who want to restore the monarchy or keep the mullahs in power,” he added.
“We are here to echo the voice of the people of Iran who have struggled for a hundred years against the mullahs and the monarchical tyranny to achieve a free and independent Iran,” said the next interlocutor, Mohammad Ali Tohidi, Chair of the NCRI Publishing Committee.
He also condemned Western governments’ appeasement policy, saying that due to the current uprising, “They don’t dare invite regime President Ebrahim Raisi or Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi. But they have invited the offspring of the Shah. This invitation is of the same kind of appeasement that preserves the regime. The monarchy was ousted four decades ago. Now it is trying to return. Have we witnessed the return to monarchy in other countries that deposed it?”
“States only have interests. Human rights are their pretext. They have hidden goals. They are concerned about their interests in Iran’s future. What are their interests? Not democracy. They are interested in the wealth of Iran. That is why there is a lot going on about other alternatives to the regime. They are preparing to support a new regime,” said Jean Pierre Brard, former Member of the French National Assembly, addressing the crowd.
“They do not want to meet the Iranian people’s needs but rather plunder Iran’s wealth for themselves. All these businesses are closely linked. Candidates are already on the table, including the son of the Shah,” Mr. Brard added.
In a video message to the conference, Dr. Michael Meister, a Member of the German Bundestag, said: I support more severe sanctions against the regime. The terrorist designation of this regime’s entities is vital. I admire the bravery of the people who come to the streets. They deserve our support. “
Dr. Massoumeh Bolurchi, NCRI Representative in Germany, who spoke next, referred to the Iranian Resistance’s decades-long efforts to proscribe Iran’s terrorist Revolutionary Guards. “We repeat it today. The EU must proscribe the IRGC and shut down the regime’s espionage centers, being its embassies. The regime’s agents must be expelled from European soil.”
“It is a disgrace for the Munich Security Conference to invite a person who has inherited his fame from the crimes of his father, the Shah. His entourage is criminals and torturers like Parviz Sabeti. He openly calls for cooperation with the IRGC and the regime,” she added.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko also joined this rally, condemning the Iranian regime’s involvement in the war of aggression in his homeland. “Several months ago, an Iranian drone hit a building near my home in Odessa. We must fight against evil everywhere we see it. Iran deserves freedom. Ukraine deserves freedom,” he said.
“Reza Pahlavi is the remnant of the monarchical dictatorship. He is an insult to the people of Iran. Inviting him to this conference is an insult to the suffering of the people of Iran,” said Bahram Mavaddat, NCRI member and former member of Iran’s national football team
Several members of the Iranian communities in Europe, particularly Germany, addressed Friday’s rally, echoing the voice of their risen compatriots in Iran calling for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Iran.
“The people of Iran reject any kind of dictatorship. Those who were loyal to Shah’s dictatorship and those who are loyal to the current regime are rejected,” said Maliheh Malek Mohammadi, from the Women’s association in Germany.
“Our generation is saying no to the clerical dictatorship. We are seeing fake alternatives composed of celebrities and football players. They are detracting the protests from their true path,” said Pegah Jahangiri.
“This fake alternative has nothing to do with the reality that is taking place inside Iran. The Shah’s son is an insult to the struggle of the Iranian people,” said Hanif Mahoutchian, Legal Advisor of the JU-Hamburg.