Maryam Rajavi is the current president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. She is also the leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, an organisation that tries to overthrow the current Iranian government and have a people’s oriented government in place. The National Council of Resistance of Iran plans to transition power from the ruling class to the general population of Iran. Maryam was born on December 4, 1953, in Tehran, Iran. Her father was a middle-class civil servant. She then did an undergraduate degree in Metallurgy at the Sharif University of Technology in Iran. She is now married to Massoud Rajavi.
Rajavi joined Iran politics when she lost her sister called Narges through assassination by the secret police of Shah Mohammad. The sister was said to have endured torture before being hanged. Despite being at a young age of twenty-two years, Rajavi joined the People’sMojahedin of Iran. Her husband was a leader in the organisation then. He inducted her into the command structure. Her raising into power in the organisation was part of a course called Operation Eternal Light, which brought in more women than men to leadership to justify a constitutional revolution.
During her early days in the organisation, she was an organiser of the anti-Shar student movement in Iran. This movement ran from early 1970s to 1977. Later, in 1979, she was assigned the social section of the organisation, which she served for two years. Rajavi contested for a parliamentary seat in 1980 but was not successful. She then became a joint leader of the People’sMojahedin of Iran in 1985. Later on, between 1989 and 1993, she served as the secretary-general of the organisation.
Rajavi was elected the president of National Council of Resistance of Iran. The organisation was an association of prominent opposition groups and other prominent persons in the opposing the Iranian government. NCRI acts as a parliament in exile. It mounts pressure on the Iranian government with a view to change the social, political, ideological and cultural status quo in the country. Rajavi has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of the general citizen, especially those of women. In fact, during her leadership, many women have risen to positions of power at the organisation. Today, over half of the leadership in the organisation are women.
Rajavi has made several speeches in the recent past regarding everything from the ideologies of Islam to the position of women in society. She believes that Islam preaches tolerance and peace but has been interpreted as fundamentalist and reactionary from the attitudes of the ruling elites in Iran. The Iran resistance has also been fighting lack of equality and religious tyranny that has continued to impact negatively on the lives of many citizens in Islamic countries. The NCRI Iran has won the hearts of many governments and prominent personalities around the world. Early on in the struggle, members of the organisation had been arrested and prosecuted in various courts. However, today, it has international credibility and its push is accepted as legitimate.