File photo of Ebrahim Raisi Photograph:( AFP )
The event linked thousands of the group's members at their camp in Albania with supporters across the world
A leading Iranian exiled opposition group on Saturday lashed out at incoming Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi calling him a "henchman" of the regime and whose election showed the regime's weakness. The group, People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (MEK/PMOI) organised a hybrid physical and virtual meeting.
The event linked thousands of the group's members at their camp in Albania with supporters across the world including Western politicians, such as former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, as well as protests in Berlin, London and Brussels
The MEK, whose political wing is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is proscribed by Tehran and seeks the "overthrow" of Iran's clerical leadership. It accuses Raisi of being responsible for the mass execution of thousands of its members in 1988.
"The mullahs' regime is at an impasse... the Iranian people are nearing victory and will liberate Iran," the NCRI's president Maryam Rajavi told the event from its Ashraf 3 camp in Albania.
She denounced the June election won in a landslide by the hardline Raisi -- formerly judiciary chief -- as a "sham" and predicted his victory would haunt supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The elevation of Raisi showed the leadership wanted "to close ranks and preserve power" as threats mount, said Rajavi.
"But they have dug their own grave. They are like a scorpion that stings itself when surrounded by flames....
The expiry date for this religious dictatorship has arrived."
She compared the election of Raisi to the declaration of martial law in 1978 by deposed shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi "which had an outcome contrary to his expectations" leading to the Islamic revolution.
Former US president Donald Trump's secretary of state Pompeo said that Raisi would take on the role of "heir apparent" to Khamenei, adding the new president must be held accountable for the 1988 massacres.
"The regime is at its weakest point in decades," he said in a video address.
"They will keep the show going as long as they can. I am confident the people of Iran will not let it continue. The audience wants the show to come to an end."
Warning Europe not to negotiate with Raisi, he said: "Any dealings with Raisi would be tantamount to dealing with a mass murderer."
(With inputs from agencies)