After a weekend of success for the Iranian opposition at the Munich Security Conference, dissidents are preparing a large rally in Brussels on Monday.
Prominent dissident figures spoke to Iranian expatriates as well as reporters on Sunday after the Munich Security Conference snubbed Tehran by not inviting regime officials this year.
A protest rally has been planned for Monday, February 20, outside the European Parliament in the Belgian capital Brussels to call on the European Union countries to designate the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Thousands of Iranians from all over Europe held a massive rally in Strasbourg in January for the same purpose.
Speaking at an event on the eve of the Brussels demonstration a member of the Swedish parliament Alireza Akhondi expressed appreciation for the invitation extended to Prince Reza Pahlavi, and activists Masih Alinejad and Nazanin Boniadi to attend the Munich conference this year instead of Tehran regime officials.
Danial Ilkhanipour, a German-Iranian member of the Hamburg city parliament, and Iraqi-born Swedish Member of the European Parliament, Abir Al-Sahlani also spoke at the press conference. The three urged unity among the Iranian opposition, emphasizing that a united opposition can prompt the EU and countries around the world to put pressure on the clerical regime.
Iran International’s correspondent Mosaddeq Parsa said the gist of the event was to highlight the significance of designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization, which will further isolate the Islamic Republic and curb its destabilizing activities across the region and the world.
Member of the Swedish parliament Alireza Akhondi (left) and member of the Hamburg city parliament Danial Ilkhanipour at an event on February 19, the eve a rally outside the European Parliament in the Belgian capital Brussels
Akhondi touched upon the issue of regime threats against journalists at Iran International TV in London, which has caused the channel to temporarily relocate its studios to Washington DC. Akhondi that such threats are among the many reasons that European countries should list IRGC as a terror group.
"Declaring the Revolutionary Guards as terrorists is the finishing line of the Islamic Republic, that's why the intention of the Islamic Republic and the cyber army of the regime is to prevent our gatherings from growing bigger."
Al-Sahlani said that the IRGC is the cause of instability in the region and fuels military conflicts, adding that its designation by the European Union will lead to stability in the region. Everywhere in the Middle East where war, killing, repression and crime occur, traces of the Islamic Republic can be seen, she noted.
Earlier in the day, Alinejad appeared among the supporters of the exiled prince in Munich to reiterate solidarity of the Iranian opposition figures against the Islamic Republic. Pahlavi, who used to be seen as a solo actor determined to bring about the end of the Islamic Republic, has recently united with other top Iranian opposition figures with the same goal. Since a historic forum in Washington was held earlier this month, the dissident activists have been participating in events around the world to make the voice of the Iranian opposition heard. Such events signal the emergence of a leadership council in the diaspora to campaign for international support in favor of Iran’s protest movement.
According to Iran International’s correspondent in Munich, Ahmad Samadi, Alinejad also stressed the necessity of unity among all Iranians inside the country and abroad, regardless of differences to speed up the fall of the regime.
In an interview with Politico, Pahlavi called on the United States and Europe to help the Iranian people and the newly unified opposition exploit cracks in Iran’s leadership. Appreciating the sanctions already in place, he said that “The next level would be to target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to go after specific individuals and their assets abroad.”
“Frozen assets of the regime can be used, which is the Iranian people’s money. That money can be repurposed. We’re not asking for Germans to put money in the Iranian people’s pocket. It’s just a matter of making the decision to use the assets which are already there. I’m sure there should be some options of making exceptions to the sanctions to bring the money to the people, not to the dictator,” he added.