The Resistance's President-elect offered her greetings to the Iranian nation and said: As the Resistance had predicted at the outset, the emergence of a troika leadership in the regime's presidential elections seriously undermined the regime in its totality and aggravated the power struggle among the mullahs. Nine years after Khomeini's death, it was no longer possible for the mullahs to block the trend of events and control the situation in the face of the Resistance. Ten months after the regime's sham elections, developments show, contrary to the optimistic illusions of some in Iran and on the international level, that the regime is incapable of reform and can only control the situation through repression and export of crises.
Mrs. Rajavi told the NLA combatants: With this army and the support it enjoys among the Iranian people, I can vividly see that democracy, peace and justice will prevail. Tomorrow's Iran will symbolize fraternity and friendship, and herald peace and coexistence.
In his address to the NLA combatants, Mr. Rajavi said: Last year was one of victories for the Iranian people and Resistance. At least 216 student demonstrations, workers' strikes, and popular uprisings and sit-ins took place throughout the year. Furthermore, the Mojahedin launched two series of nationwide publicity activities in June and October covering 181 and 238 cities respectively. The Mojahedin also conducted 697 operations inside Iran.
Abroad, Iranians held over 150 demonstrations and gatherings in various countries, declaring their support for the Resistance and calling for the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in its totality. Some 2,000 parliamentarians and 1,500 distinguished personalities from 18 countries issued declarations in support of the National Council of Resistance and its President-elect. Also over the past year, the mullahs' violations of human rights and export of terrorism were condemned in 51 resolutions and statements by various international bodies.
Mr. Rajavi added: On the contrary, last year was one of successive failures for the regime. The Iranian people overwhelmingly boycotted the by-elections of the mullahs' Majlis on March 13, rendering hollow the regime's claims about the Presidential elections last May. By announcing that 274,000 votes were cast, the regime formally accepted that only 4-5% of the eligible voters and less than one-fifteenth of those who voted for the presidential elections, took part in this by-elections. So grave was this failure that the regime canceled the second round of elections to prevent further disgrace.
Referring to astronomical embezzlements by the regime's officials, the NCR President said: In the final days of the year, Mohammad Khatami acknowledged that next year's budget faces a five-billion-dollar deficit. Noting the steep decline in oil prices and the exchange rate for rial, as well as the official increase of 20% in prices of goods on the eve of the New Year, Mr. Rajavi emphasized that the clerical regime did not have any plans to confront the catastrophic conditions of the economy, which will further prepare the grounds for more uprisings and protests.
Mr. Rajavi pointed to the escalation of repression in Iran over the past year, adding that harassment and pressures also affected the regime's allies and non-government clergy and theological students. The clerical regime's treatment of the clergy has been far worse than the shah's, he said. Mr. Rajavi called on the clergy to fulfill their religious and national duty by distancing themselves from the ruling regime, its factions and officials.
The celebrations ended in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 21, 1998