By Russell Fallis
The London bombings underline the need to tackle the "beating heart" of Islamic fundamentalism in Tehran, Iranian exiles said today.
Hossein Abedini, a leading member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged western nations to take a tougher line and end "appeasement" towards the mullah’s regime.
He was addressing almost 200 Iranians from groups across Britain who had gathered in Edinburgh for a pre-arranged rally to lobby G8 leaders meeting in Scotland to back the resistance.
They carried banners condemning yesterday’s bombings and urging European and the United States governments to remove the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from their terrorists lists.
Speakers also attacked what one described as the recent "sham election" of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iranian president.
Among the speakers, Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) read out a letter of condolence sent by NCRI president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, to Prime Minister Tony Blair following yesterday’s attacks.
Mr Abedini said today was a solemn occasion and expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones, adding: "No decent human being could justify such barbaric behaviour and I condemn the bombing as strongly as one can."
Mr Abedini condemned Islamic fundamentalism, saying it was the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 in Iran that had given this "evil ideology, a perversion of Islam, this great religion of mercy, compassion and tolerance" the impetus, resources and recruits to terrorise the Middle East and other countries in the world.
And despite warnings from Iranian resistance groups since that time, few governments took heed of the emerging threat from Islamic fundamentalism.
"On the contrary, they opined, naively or out of greed, that the fundamentalists could be and should be accommodated through economic and political incentives," he continued.
"And that explains why the Europeans pursued a policy of appeasement vis-a-vis the terrorist mullahs, first under the cloak of ‘constructive engagement’ and later dubbing it as ‘human rights dialogue’.
"Europe’s policy of conciliation went as far as branding as terrorists the main force that could put up an effective ideological, political and cultural fight against the fundamentalists, a force that was also the biggest victim of the extremists’ terrorism, the PMOI.
"In retrospect, they only have themselves to blame for the spread of this ideology of hate and murder, whose tentacles first reached New York and Washington, then Madrid and now London."
Mr Abedini added: "One cannot but hope that the criminal bombings in London yesterday and the consolidation of power in the hands of the most extremist faction of the theocracy in Iran would serve as a dual warning to the west and Europe in particular that appeasing the fundamentalists and terrorists will not work.
"It only emboldens them in their terrorist ways.
"Our message to G8 leaders today is plain and simple: stop appeasement, recognise the rights of the Iranian people to resist against the religious tyranny that has shed too much blood and beyond for the past quarter century."
Mr Abedini said he did not want an external intervention by the west, such as that seen in the Iraq invasion.
Among the steps being demanded was for the removal of the PMOI from terror lists and tougher action on Iran’s nuclear policy, for example by referral to the UN Security Council, he said.