A New Year celebration was held on January 8, 2017, at Auvers-sur-Oise with political personalities and elected representatives of France as well as French supporters of the Iranian Resistance attending.
Maryam Rajavi addressed the ceremony and said:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Elected representatives and City Council officials,
I would like to extend my greetings for the year 2017. I wish you a year full of blessings, health and happiness. And I wish the world a year of peace and brotherhood.
The year 2016 saw numerous important developments, both happy and sad.
In this year, terrorism hit the people of France, Europe and the world on several occasions. The callous attacks outraged all of us, particularly the one in Nice with 86 victims, and the other near the city of Rouen, where father Hamel was murdered in cold blood. Also the attack in Berlin at Christmas. We stand by the people of France and we strongly condemn these savageries that are against the teachings of Islam.
We are also sad for losing a number of our friends, here; dear friends like Josette, Michelle Lojet, Annie Boussie, Mr. Hernandez and Victor Gulotta.
The Iranian people and Resistance will never forget these honorable men and women whose names has forever been registered in our history.
But 2016 marked the victory of the Iranian Resistance and its members over the Iranian regime when all the PMOI members were successfully relocated to Europe and particularly to Albania. You are aware of the preparations made by the clerical regime and its accomplices in Iraq to slaughter the residents of Camp Liberty. Fortunately, however, all PMOI members were able to leave there, safely.
All these developments have been realized, before anything else, thanks to the steadfastness of Ashraf residents as well as your support and devotion. Every effort and every prayer played a role in this endeavor. In the most difficult moments, we did not lose hope.
A new chapter has begun in the history of the Iranian Resistance. But first, we must help our friends in Albania. Accommodating and re-organizing such a large number of people in a short period of time is not a simple task, and it imposes a heavy financial burden on the Resistance, as well. This is an effort that needs time and tremendous energy. One of the main problems is attending to the needs of the sick and wounded who were deprived of treatment for a long time. But with the support of each and every one of you, I am confident that we can overcome the problems.
2016 was also a year of numerous developments inside Iran. An audio file was published from Mr. Montazeri, Khomeini's designate successor, on the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, in which he called Khomeini and members of the Death Commission involved in the massacre of political prisoners, "the greatest criminals in history". A Justice Seeking Movement was launched in the country. Political prisoners raised their voice courageously. The families of the massacred victims dared to hold the regime accountable, and the regime faces a crisis because the officials responsible for these crimes are the same persons who are presently ruling the country.
We are determined to continue this struggle until those responsible for this horrific crime are prosecuted. This is a very extensive project. We want an end to the death penalty in Iran. We must urge those who want to deal with the mullahs to condition their relations with the regime on end to executions in Iran.
There were also thousands of demonstrations, strikes, and gatherings throughout the year 2016. Workers who have not received their wages, the retired government employees, as well as the teachers and nurses who live below the poverty line.
In a demonstration held on the birthday of Cyrus the Great, founder of the first declaration of human rights, thousands of demonstrators called for end to dictatorship. Several weeks earlier, on the Student Day in Iran, protesters in universities called for freedom of political prisoners. Some of them held the regime accountable for the massacre in 1988, the chain murder of intellectuals, the futile continuation of the Iran-Iraq war, and especially condemned the meddling of the Revolutionary Guards and their mercenaries in Syria.
2016 was a tragic and difficult year for the people of Syria. The tragedy of Aleppo demonstrated the Iranian regime's role in that country. Everyone learned that the Tehran regime is the main obstacle to peace in Syria. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards and its militia are the main party responsible for the carnage of civilians and crimes against them. Everyone understood that the objective of this meddling was not to fight Daesh (ISIS), but to preserve the rule of Bashar Assad.
Today, the main loser of the ceasefire in Syria is the Iranian regime which is trying with all its might to sabotage the ceasefire. The people of Aleppo demonstrated an exemplary courage and perseverance. In this confrontation, the Iranian regime plunged even deeper in the quagmire of the war in Syria turning it into one of the most critical crises of the mullahs. We hope that the Syrian people's demand for ending the dictatorship of Bashar Assad is realized and peace and democracy are restored in their country. The only lasting solution for this problem is to evict the Revolutionary Guards Corps and their militia groups including the Hezbollah from Syria.
The coming year is going to be overwhelmed with new and unknown phenomena. We hope that there will be good surprises for the people of the region and the people of Iran. We hope that this would be a year of peace and security for the people of France and the world. We must continue this struggle for freedom in Iran and the region. We can accomplish this together. One must not give up. The circumstances are difficult, but so far we have been successful and we will continue this struggle, together.
I would like to once again thank you for everything you did for the Iranian Resistance. And I wish you a year of happiness and peace.