MEK and Ashraf 3 Lends Hope to Iran’s Youth
On Monday, July 6, the (PMOI / MEK Iran) website published an article describing the history and significance of Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania. The article, which was written by Zolal Habibi and entitled “How MEK and Ashraf 3 have become a source of hope and inspiration for Iran’s youth,” explains Ashraf 3’s importance in the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.
A Campaign of Disinformation
The Iranian regime has long attempted to discredit the (PMOI / MEK Iran) through disinformation and propaganda. As the (PMOI / MEK Iran) has grown in power and influence, this campaign has increasingly focused on Ashraf 3. Habibi pointed to the November Uprising as an example, citing regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s response to a visit to Ashraf 3 from retired U.S. General James Jones prior to the protests in Iran.
On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, Khameini referenced the meeting, saying, “A few days prior to the [November Uprising], the issue about gasoline, in a European country, a small but very evil country in Europe [Albania], an American figure [James Jones] gathered with a number of Iranians, and they started plotting against the Islamic republic. Their plan was played out in what we witnessed a few days later in the gasoline [protests]. People were angry about the gasoline issue.
A number of people came out in the name of protests, and when others joined their ranks, while their numbers were very low, these deceived people came out with a plot and carried out that very plan; to destroy and torch government centers, popular sites and start a war. This was a premeditated plot. And when I say a few days prior to these events, they were re-checking their plans because they had previously blue-printed their measures, preparing their people.”
Habibi emphasized that Albanian officials rebuked these “baseless claims,” and anyone with even a passing familiarity with the November Uprising knows that the protests were triggered spontaneously by an unannounced gas price hike and involved millions of Iranians. The MEK Resistance Units inside Iran helped organize the protests after they began.
#Iranian regime has confirmed their fear of the #MEK members at Ashraf3 over the past few months by creating TV series writing fake stories and employing foreign media to make baseless allegations against the Iranian opposition. https://t.co/uOdokfKf88 #FreeIran2020 @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/gjjwEXP6lt
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) July 7, 2020
However, Habibi noted, “what’s important is that Khamenei implicitly acknowledged Ashraf 3 as a source of hope and inspiration for the young generation.”
According to Habibi, the regime has confirmed their fear of the MEK members at Ashraf 3 over the past few months “by creating TV series, writing fake stories, and employing foreign media to make baseless allegations against the Iranian opposition.”
History of Ashraf 3
Ashraf 3 was founded in 2016 after Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), led an international campaign to find a new home for the last remaining MEK members living at Camp Liberty (Ashraf 2) in Iraq. The MEK initially built a small city called Camp Ashraf (Ashraf 1) at a different site in Iraq, but after the United States withdrew from Iraq they were targeted by missile attacks and eventually forced to move to Camp Liberty, where conditions were even more harsh and dangerous. Despite these hardships, which 116 deaths and more than 1,300 injuries, the MEK “kept the flame of resistance alive inside Iran” for more than two decades, Habibi wrote.
Ashraf 3 was built in twenty months and is home to 3,000 MEK members. Habibi wrote that it is “the source of momentum for the Free Iran movement.” In June 2019, the annual Free Iran Conference was held at Ashraf 3 for the first time. Hundreds of politicians and dignitaries from around the world traveled to Albania to support the MEK’s plan for a free and democratic Iran.
MEK Resistance Units
Habibi wrote that the MEK’s network inside Iran has grown in tandem with the establishment of Ashraf 3. The MEK Resistance Units “find inspiration in the endurance and persistence of MEK members in Ashraf 3,” Habibi wrote. This Hope has powered an expansion of the network inside Iran and marked a turning point in the Resistance Movement, as demonstrated in the December 2017/January 2018 and the November 2019 Uprisings.
Habibi stated that the regime’s fear of the MEK has caused it to step up its campaign of disinformation against MEK members in Albania. “But by these acts, the regime not only has failed but is vividly acknowledging the fact that this Iranian opposition coalition, the NCRI, and the MEK, and its members in Ashraf 3, are the one and only viable alternative that can actually realize regime change in Iran and guarantee a smooth transition of power to the people,” Habibi concluded.
Tags: Iran Opposition, Iran Protests, Iran Uprising, Maryam Rajavi, MEK, MEK Support, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), NCRI, People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI