Mr. Rajavi pointed to the unprecedented escalation in recent weeks and months in acts of protest, workers' strikes and students' uprising which were accompanied with chants of "Death to Despotism."
The NCR President reviewed the 19-year record of the clerical regime. The mullahs' only gifts to the people of Iran are the execution of 120,000 political prisoners, 272 terrorist operations abroad, $45 billion in foreign debt, 16 million unemployed, 30 million without housing, destruction of the country's agriculture and industry, five million addicts and a population 80% of whom are living below the poverty line, he said.
Reviewing the regime's record in 16 different political, economic and social areas, Mr. Rajavi said: The massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in summer 1988; the execution of four to five thousand people during Qazvin's uprising in summer 1994; the execution of large groups of people during the popular uprisings in Mashhad, Tabriz, south Tehran, Kermanshah; and 200 executions in public in 1997; are but part of the regime's anti-human atrocities. Out of the 272 terrorist operations by the regime, 50 were launched in 1997 and more than two-thirds of them were carried out under Khatami.
In the past 19 years, the clerical regime has spent more on defense, state security and national security than it has earned from its oil revenues which amount to $280 billion. In the Iranian year 1375 (1996-97), the regime allocated some 30% of the country's budget on military and state security expenditures, twice the budget for education, and three times the budget for health and medical treatment. In the budget for the coming year, in addition to billions of dollars spent domestically on the armed forces, Khatami has allotted $3 billion for purchases from abroad, the major portion of which will be spent on weaponry. To provide this budget, Khatami has requested $6.3 billion in foreign loans.
Half of Iran's teachers receive salaries of less than 290,000 rials ($65.00), while according to the official statistics, the poverty line stands at 800,000 rials ($180.00). According to official statistics, there is a shortage of 300,000 classrooms and 328,000 teachers.
The foreign currency allocated to the import of medicine, has been cut from $300 million in 1978 to $10 million at present, while there have been no increases in domestic production. There are shortages of 45,000 physicians, 130,000 nurses, 560,000 assistant nurses and 180,000 hospital beds. Prices have risen 52-fold compared to 1978, while salaries have increased only ten-fold. The per capita income has fallen from $2,500 to 500.
Every year, 1.5 million persons are added to the work force, while only 320,000 new jobs are created. According to the regime's Minister of Housing there is a shortage of four million housing units and 20 million people are homeless. The actual figure, of course, is around 30 million. Poverty and unemployment have led to a 17-fold rise in suicides and to five million drug addicts.
Iran is the world's number one importer of wheat. Despite the country's fertile lands, six million tons of wheat were imported. Some 30% of agricultural products are virtually destroyed every year due to disregard for scientific farming methods and technical deficiencies.
In 1978, the country's industrial investment made up 27.9% of the total investments. Today this figure has dropped to 12.3%. The Minister of Industries acknowledged that production units were working only up to 50 per cent of their capacity and that there were 8,500 incomplete industrial units. To complete them, he said, 23,000 billion rials ($5 billion) are needed, while the budget allocated to this field is only 2,000 billion rials ($450 million). The value of carpets, which are Iran's most important non-oil export, has dropped by 50% and its export is badly hurt.
The report by the NCR President also provides details on 6,000 billion rials ($1.5 billion) embezzled by merchants affiliated with the regime which have to date been made public. In the past year, the regime also increased the amount of taxes to $3 billion which is 74% more than the previous year. The low-income sectors carry the brunt of the pressures of high taxes. Last year, Tehran residents paid $500 million in fees for social and other services, which is 40 times that of 1989.
Mr. Rajavi said: The other side of the coin of the atrocities of the clerical regime is a Resistance movement which has persevered in Iran and struggled for the past two decades for democracy, peace and justice despite all the political conspiracies and military and terrorist schemes by relying on the widespread support of the Iranian people.
On the international level, more than 2,000 parliamentarians including the majorities in the parliaments of Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Britain, Luxembourg, and the United States attested to the fact that supporting the Iranian Resistance and its President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi -- as the symbol of unity and supported by the majority of the people of Iran -- will contribute to the establishment of democracy in Iran and peace and stability in the region.
The NCR president added: Six months after Khatami took office, there are no signs of freedom, civil society and the rule of law which he had promised. Groups and political currents who so hastily pledged allegiance with Khatami have thus been discredited.
Despite his hollow maneuvering on the international level, Khatami made a disgraceful retreat in the face of Khamenei's all-out offensive on January 16. Speaking at Khomeini's mausoleum on January 20, Khatami said: "We declare to the world that we will continue to tread along Khomeini's path... We will persevere to do so with all our might." This prompted foreign observers to conclude that Khatami's initiative had died.
Mr. Rajavi added: If Khatami is true to his words, he should allow a whiff of an open political environment. If that were to happen, the Iranian people would sweep aside the mullahs' dictatorship much quicker than they did the shah's regime. Repression and export of terrorism are indispensable to the regime's survival. The regime's internal factions share common interests in pursuing these policies.
The NCR President said: Neither the solution proposed by Khamenei, nor the ones offered by Rafsanjani and Khatami provide answers that could revive the bankrupt economy and alleviate the social and political crises engulfing regime. They are all doomed to fail and will aggravate the clerical regime's power struggle. This will also expedite the overthrow of the regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 10, 1998