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Free Iran rally -Stockholm

Thousands of MEK Supporters Gather in Stockholm for Free Iran Rally

Free Iran rally -Stockholm

MEK supporters rally in Stockholm, in solidarity with Iran uprisings- July 20, 2019

More than five thousand MEK supporters gathered in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday for the most recent in a series of Free Iran rallies taking place in world capitals this summer. Rally attendees and numerous European dignitaries and politicians called for the international community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the clerical dictatorship and to recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime. They also called on the international community to end the policy of appeasement that has emboldened the regime to take increasingly aggressive actions.

The following are some of the highlights from the rally’s speakers:

Rama Yade Former French Human Rights Minister

“The demonstrations in Iran show what the Iranian people want: democracy, not dictatorship; freedom, not terror. We have to listen to those screams,” Ms. Yade said.

“This regime has triggered a nuclear arms race and is posing a threat of fundamentalism. You can’t negotiate with this regime. At a time where the world seeks a solution to Iran, we must think of an alternative. I think it is the PMOI [MEK]. The Iranian Resistance has identified this threat long ago. Its members have paid the price,” she added.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi-President-elect, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Mrs. Rajavi delivered a video message to the rally.

“The time has come for putting an end to the appeasement of the religious fascism in Iran. There are no more excuses for overlooking the enemy of the people of Iran,” she said.

“The myth of moderation of this regime, illusions about any likely reforms in it, and constructive and critical dialogue with it, no longer deceive anyone. The Iranian Resistance has paid the heaviest price to prove that such claims are but hollow,” Mrs. Rajavi added.

“I urge the governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland to pressure the Iranian regime to open its prisons to visits by an international fact-finding mission,” she said, emphasizing the regime’s human rights violations toward political prisoners.

“Nordic countries, all of Europe, and the world must recognize the right of the people of Iran for resistance to overthrow the clerical regime and establish democracy and popular sovereignty,” she stressed.

Kimmo Sasi-Former Minister of Foreign Trade of Finland

“The people of Iran are suffering. That’s why there are huge demonstrations in the country. The people want to change the government. It’s very important that there’s a ten-point plan for democracy and freedom in Iran, by Madam Maryam Rajavi. The Swedish Foreign Minister should show solidarity with Mrs. Rajavi,” said Mr. Sasi.

“There’s only one solution for Iran. It is regime change. We are gathered here today to say that the people of Iran are the force of change,” he concluded.

Lucio Malan – Italian Senator

“We must support Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. I call on European authorities: Stop appeasing the mullahs’ regime in Iran, a regime that kills the people of Iran, destabilizes the Middle East with its terrorism and also threatens the world,” said Senator Malan.

“I call upon the European Commission Chief to listen to Mrs. Rajavi, to 40 million Iranian women who are tired of this regime that hates the women of this country. There must be a new EU policy. Expel the agents of this regime from Europe and support those who want to change this regime,” he said.

Magnus Oscarsson- Member of Swedish Parliament

“We want to tell the people inside Iran that they’re not alone in their fight against repression. The Swedish government must do more to support them,” said Mr. Oscarsson.

Edvard Julius Solnes

Former Icelandic Minister of Environment

“The appeasement policy has failed. Western governments are happy to have signed the nuclear agreement with the mullahs, and they are willing to push other issues such as human rights violations under the carpet if it makes money for them,” said Solnes.

“It is time for European countries to change their policy toward Iran,” he concluded.

Gerry Horkan

Irish Senator

“The EU must end the impunity the regime has enjoyed in the past decades. It can do this by recognizing the 1988 massacre as a crime against humanity and bring its perpetrators to justice. Next, it must designate the IRGC and MOIS as terrorist entities. It is necessary to push back against the regime both at home and across the world,” said Senator Horkan.

“The people of Iran will shape the future of Iran. You are here to give voice to their legitimate demands,” The EU must abandon its appeasement policy and adopt a firm policy toward Iran,” he added.

John Perry-Former Irish Minister of State for Small Business

“I had the honor of visiting Ashraf 3. We met the residents. We spoke to PMOI [MEK] members. We listened to your inspiring leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. With the dedication of the residents of Ashraf 3 and the leadership of Madam Rajavi, I have no doubt that you will achieve freedom and democracy for your people,” said Perry.

Mahnaz Salimian

NCRI Secretariat

“We are here to send a strong message to all those who are still dreaming of appeasing the Iranian regime and are thinking of constructive dialogue with this regime. The first and last word of the MEK’s Resistance Units and the youth of Iran is the downfall of this regime,” said Ms. Salimian.

 

“The regime must be expelled from the international community,” she added.

Parviz Khazaii –NCRI representative in Nordic countries

“We the people of Iran have the right to resist, to have a resistance base such as Ashraf 3, and to have leadership like Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi and NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, just as Europeans had great resistance leaders,” said Mr. Khazaii.

“This regime is the number one enemy of humanity. Today, the Iranian people are at the forefront of the fight for humanity, because fundamentalism is going to expand culturally and militarily in the Middle East. It is threatening the stability and security of the world; it is threatening our democracies,” he added.

Mohammad Ali Tohidi-Chair of the NCRI Defense and Strategic Research Committee

“The blood of our martyrs and the suffering of our prisoners will ensure our victory. We call on European government to stand with the Iranian people and to stop their appeasement policy and to expel the agents of the Iranian regime from their countries,” Mr. Tohidi emphasized.

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Stockholm Free Iran rally

MEK to Hold Next Free Iran Rally this Saturday in Stockholm

Stockholm Free Iran rally

Free Iran rally in Stockholm. July 20, 2019

Thousands of MEK supporters and members of the Iranian diaspora from around the world will gather in Stockholm, Sweden this Saturday, July 20th, for the next in a series of Free Iran rallies being held this summer. The Stockholm rally is intended to show solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprisings and their stated desire for regime change at the rally and march. Rally goers also will call on the European leaders to adopt firm policies toward the Iranian regime, including sanctions on regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and regime President Hassan Rouhani, and the expulsion of regime agents from European countries. Finally, rally attendees are asking that the international community recognize the right of the Iranian people to overthrow their oppressors and to specifically recognize the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as the viable democratic alternative to the mullahs’ clerical regime.

A number of prominent Swedish dignitaries and politicians will be among the speakers at Saturday’s rally.

End the Policy of Appeasement

The MEK believes that the longstanding policy of appeasement toward the mullahs has emboldened the regime and led to its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, its warmongering in the Middle East, its terrorist plots against the MEK in Europe and the U.S., and its recent aggression in the Strait of Hormuz. The regime has also committed gross human rights violations against its own people for the past four decades without fear of repercussions.

 

By remaining silent in the face of the regime’s malign activities and continuing to take no action against the Iranian regime and its affiliates, the MEK believes that the international community is complicit in preserving this criminal dictatorship. The Free Iran rallies are meant to draw attention to the regime’s misdeeds and encourage the international community to stand up to the mullahs and let them know that their actions have consequences.

 

Supporters of the MEK in Stockholm are in favor of NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-point Plan for Iran’s Democratic Future, which guarantees free and democratic elections, gender equality, separation of mosque and state, and a non-nuclear Iran.

The Free Iran Series

The Stockholm Free Iran Rally is the penultimate event in a series of rallies, marches, and conferences held this summer by the MEK and NCRI. The NCRI holds an annual Free Iran gathering each summer, but support for the Iranian Resistance has grown so dramatically in the past year that five rallies and a five-day conference were scheduled for this summer. Previous rallies in Brussels; Washington, D.C.; and Berlin drew thousands of supporters and attracted dozens of highly-respected politicians, human rights activists, lawyers, and dignitaries. Another rally is scheduled for July 27th in London, which is expected to draw thousands of more supporters.

The annual Free Iran Conference was held last week at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s newly-built headquarters in Albania. The five-day event attracted hundreds of dignitaries from all over the world and featured speeches, an exhibition, testimony from survivors of the 1988 Massacre, panel discussions, and a keynote address from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

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Rudy Giuliani, addressing MEK members at their Ashraf3 compound in Albania

Rudy Giuliani Speaks at Free Iran Conference at MEK Headquarters in Albania

Rudy Giuliani, addressing MEK members at their Ashraf3 compound in Albania

America’s Mayer, Rudy Giuliani, speaking at Free Iran conference at #Ashraf3, MEK’s compound in Albania

Former New York City Mayor and longtime friend of the Iranian Resistance Rudolph Guliani attended the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, last weekend. He was one of the dozens of prominent politicians, lawyers, lawmakers, human rights activists, and members of the Iranian Resistance who delivered speeches at the five-day event, which included panels, exhibitions, and a tour of Ashraf 3.

Giuliani was one of the featured speakers at Saturday’s event. In his speech, he condemned the Iranian regime and called for the international community to support the MEK in their fight for freedom.

Giuliani directly accused the regime “and all of their sycophants and followers” of murder. Not just murder, mass murder, crimes against humanity.”

He then offered a three-part proposal to the MEK to guide the Iranian people to freedom. “Number one, we have to get the governments of Europe to stand up, to wake up, to reclaim their dignity and their honor,” he said.

“The people who slaughtered 30,000 people in 1988 should be identified, they should be prosecuted, and they should either be imprisoned for life or executed,” Giuliani added.

“I am so proud of my government because we have stood up. We looked at that agreement that would make Iran a nuclear power and we said tear it up. We’re not going to put nuclear weapons in the hands of a maniac,” he said, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

 

“How can you do commerce with them? We all know they’re the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world,” he said. “When you buy oil from Iran you are funding murder. Face it. And stop it,” he emphasized.

“Number two,” the former mayor continued, “there is an alternative to this horrible regime of terror. This isn’t one of those situations in which we have the choice of deposing a horrible dictators and we don’t know if a more horrible one will come along.”

“We know there’s something much better. We know there’s a group of people who have been fighting for freedom all their lives, who have lost the closest people to them in the fight for freedom, who are dedicated to it,” he added.

 

Giuliani moved on to his final point. “Last thing, what can you do?… You can be a witness like in the Biblical sense of a witness. You know something that a lot of people don’t know. You know really how bad it is in Iran. You know about the murders and you know about the continuing murders. And you know about the MEK. And you know about Madame Rajavi. And you know the truth, not the lies,” he said.

 

“So you can be a witness to that. You can write and you can speak, you can organize. Be a part of it,” Giuliani added.

 

“And when you see the lies about us, stand up. I get attacked and my colleagues who will be here in a moment get attacked all the time in America.

But I know and I feel as I’ve told you, as I conclude, the optimism in this room, and I know why there’s an optimism in this room. Because you know what I know. We’re going to be in Tehran much sooner than all those cynics believe,” he concluded.

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Soheil Arabi was taken to hospital after condition became critical due to hunger strike.

Executions and Hunger Strikes inside Regime’s Prisons

Soheil Arabi was taken to hospital after condition became critical due to hunger strike.

Photo credit to IranNewsWire-
Soheil Arabi, a political prisoner on hunger strike in Fashafuyeh Prison in protest to poor prison conditions, violent mistreatment of prisoners by prison guards and officials. Arabi has been on hunger strike for the past 30 days-July 17 2019

The human rights situation in Iran continues to worsen amid deteriorating prison conditions and an increase in executions. Nine prisoners were executed over a two-day period this week, and conditions inside Iranian prisons have become so dire that a number of inmates have been forced to go on life-threatening hunger strikes to protest for basic rights.

Executions

A total of nine prisoners were hanged on July 16th and 17th in Iran. Two of the prisoners were executed publicly.

On Tuesday morning, a prisoner was publicly executed in the city of Khandab, central Iran. On Wednesday morning, authorities conducted another public hanging in Bandar Mahshahr, southwest Iran.

Four prisoners were hanged on Tuesday in Urmia prison in northwestern Iran, and another two were executed on Wednesday. A woman was also executed on Wednesday in Nowshahr prison, northern Iran.

Hunger Strikes

Hunger strikes have become more common as a form of protest among Iranian political prisoners due to the mullahs’ crackdown on political dissent, which has caused massive overcrowding and subhuman conditions inside the regime’s prisons.

 

Political prisoner Sanaz Allahyari was beaten by violent inmates in Evin Prison after the twelfth day of her hunger strike. After the beating, she was transferred to another ward of the prison as punishment for the attack. Ms. Allahyari was suffering from severe weakness at the time of the beating due to her hunger strike. She has also been sick from an unknown illness for over two months, which has caused stomach pain, weight loss, and trembling in her extremities.

 

Ms. Allahyari’s husband, Amir Hossein Mohammadi Fard, wrote a letter to the head of the 28th Branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court on July 2nd asking for medical treatment for his wife. He also demanded the release of Ms. Allahyari and the other detainees who were arrested for their support of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers’ strike. When his demands were not met, he joined Ms. Allahyari on her hunger strike.

Political prisoner Soheil Arabi was taken to a hospital after he had a seizure along with a severe drop in blood pressure in Fashafuyeh Prison. Arabi has been on a hunger strike for 30 days and has lost 10 kilograms. Reports from the MEK network indicate that he was returned to prison shortly after his condition was stabilized.

This is Mr. Ahabi’s third hunger strike in protest of substandard prison conditions and violence by prison employees.

MEK sources report that six political prisoners in Evin Prison have started a hunger strike in protest of the violation of their rights as political prisoners. The prisoners, Hossein Sarlack, Morteza Nazari Sadhi, Mohsen Aminpour, Reza Bazazadeh, Behrouz Zare and Reza Mohammad Hosseini, issued a statement listing the following demands:

  • the separation of political prisoners from other prisoners;
  • the conditional release of all political prisoners;
  • the recognition of political prisoners as “political” prisoners and not “security” prisoners by the regime;
  • the right to a lawyer in all legal proceedings.

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Maryam Rajavi joins dignitaries at the opening of a 5-day conference at MEK's compound

Highlights from the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3: Saturday’s Conference Kicks Off with Speeches from Maryam Rajavi and Giuliani

Maryam Rajavi joins dignitaries at the opening of a 5-day conference at MEK's compound

Maryam Rajavi, leader of Iran opposition during the photo-op on the opening day of a 5-day conference in solidarity with the Iranian uprising – Ashraf 3 (MEK’s compound)- July 2019

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI) hosted the third day of the annual Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania on Saturday. This is the first year the annual event has been held at Ashraf 3, which was built in just over a year on farmland outside of Tirana.

Saturday’s event attracted hundreds of prominent dignitaries, politicians, and human rights activists from around the world and included dozens of speeches in support of the Iranian Resistance, as well as video of supporters from inside Iran and stories of the MEK’s fight for freedom. Thousands of MEK residents of Ashraf 3 greeted the conference attendees, holding Persian flags and cheering their arrival.

 

The following are some highlights from the first portion of the day’s speeches.

Fahimeh Arvani

Former MEK Secretary-General, Ms. Arvani delivered the opening remarks on Saturday to the packed convention hall.

“Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi has led this movement and today we are witnessing the regime in Iran on the brink of the overthrow,” she said.

“The [MEK’s] Resistance Units have spread across Iran and have accomplished their role in the best of forms. They are directing protests and demonstrations. We are now in an extraordinary period, especially today, in Ashraf 3. This gathering with your presence has a very strong message for the Iranian people. On behalf of PMOI/MEK members I am honored to thank every single one of you, and I send my salutations to the Resistance Units,” Ms. Arvani added.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, started her speech by saying:

“Twenty months ago, this (Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound in Albania) was an empty piece of land with nothing on it. At the hands of the Mojahedin, through their enormous efforts and hard work, Ashraf 3 was built and now stands tall. But our final destination is Tehran, freed from the occupation of the mullahs,”

 

Mrs. Rajavi listed the regime’s escalating terrorist activities and meddling in the Middle East since 2018. She specifically discussed the bombing plot against MEK members at Ashraf 3 last year. “Clearly, the regime is fueling tensions in a bid to push back against the international community. They foment turmoil and chaos to hide their fear of being overthrown. They want firmness to be replaced with a policy of appeasement, and they want to allay fears and anxiety of their Basij Forces and Revolutionary Guards and to preserve their internal balance and equilibrium,” she said. “However, the reality is that schism and instability are among the signs that the regime is in its final chapter. The clerical regime is not going to find a way out of its inevitable downfall.”

Mrs. Rajavi warned those who claim to hope to avoid war in the region that their sentiments are misguided. “Anyone who seeks freedom for Iran, anyone who wants to save Iran from destruction and chaos, anyone who wants global and regional peace and stability, must rise up to demand the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime,” she said.

 

Mrs. Rajavi said that the policy of appeasement now carries heavy consequences. The MEK exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, forced a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War, called attention to the regime’s human rights situation, and repeatedly blew the whistle on the mullahs’ malign activities. If they had not done so, “today, the situation would have been radically different, and the mullahs, equipped with nuclear weapons, would have created and solidified the empire and Caliphate they had long intended to establish,” she said.

“But the MEK has paid the price to break the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created by the velayat-e faqih and their criminal Revolutionary Guard Corps throughout its history by exposing the regime’s evil nature and its illicit activities, including the disclosure of the mullahs’ nuclear program, and by standing against this regime even at the price of their lives,” she continued.

“[MEK] thus has left no future for the mullahs’ evil caliphate,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi praised the MEK’s Resistance Units: “This Resistance has been able to expand and organize its network inside Iran despite the pervasive repression. This is how Ashraf has been replicated in society and among the people of Iran,” she said.

Maryam Rajavi restated her plan to establish a free and democratic Iran and said that the NCRI would succeed in this goal.

“We will take back Iran and we will build a new homeland,” she concluded.

Rudolph Giuliani

Former New York Mayor

Massoud Rajavi began the Resistance movement in a very brave act by not swearing allegiance to [regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini. Aren’t we now at a point in history where we all can stand up and say no more oppression and murder? You have to go,” said Mayor Giuliani.

“I accuse [Khamenei] and [Iranian regime President Hassan] Rouhani and all their followers, I accuse them of murder. Not just murder but mass murder. How can we tolerate this? Four decades of mass murder and crimes against humanity,” he exclaimed.

Giuliani said that the international community needed to do three things to secure peace and stability in Iran. First on his list was “getting the governments of Europe to stand up and reclaim their dignity and honor.”

Giuliani encouraged the leaders of Europe to “stand up.”

“I’m proud of my government for tearing up that nuclear deal. We don’t put nuclear weapons in the hands of murderers. When you put money in the hands of murderers, you are supporting murderers,” he added.

Giuliani said that the second thing the international community must do is to recognize that “there is an alternative to this horrible regime of terror.

“This isn’t one of those situations when we have to dispose of a regime and we know that a more horrible regime will come. That was the case in Libya. But here we don’t have that problem. We have the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world and then we have the NCRI, led by the President-elect Maryam Rajavi,” he said.

“We have a government in exile that has written down its principles. Free elections in six months. Gender equality. System of law. Fair trial. And they oppose capital punishment. This is a good organization. And if you have built this place in three months, you can do that in six months,” Giuliani added.

“This is a group we can support and a group that makes us comfortable to have a regime change,” he said.

Giuliani said that the final action the world could take to support a free Iran is to “be a witness in the Biblical sense.”

Giuliani explained, “You can be a part of it. You can write, you can speak out. We don’t walk away when we see someone is oppressed.”

Joseph Lieberman

Former Senator and U.S. Vice Presidential candidate

Senator Lieberman spoke about the MEK’s treatment in Camp Liberty in Iraq and their subsequent relocation to Albania. “We were hurt and heartbroken and angry when you were terrorized and murdered in Camp Liberty by the Iranian regime’s mercenaries. Iran is ready for a new dawn and day, you are ready, we are ready,” he said.

“Now that you are here [in safety in Albania], the NCRI and MEK can focus its efforts on the fight inside Iran,” he added.

“History is on your side. Freedom and justice will always prevail. And that is what the MEK and NCRI represent,” said Lieberman.

“I thank you for being an example to the whole world that those who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of freedom will always prevail,” said the former Senator. “Let me quote the late Senator John McCain: ‘The battle to liberate Iran is not a battle that has great significance for the people to Iran but for the great cause of freedom around the world.’”

“Maryam Rajavi is a principled, visionary, selfless leader and cares for every one of you,” Lieberman said, praising Mrs. Rajavi and the MEK. “Ashraf 3 is the best proof that this movement is a viable alternative to the ruling mullahs in Iran,” he added.

“To those who advocate appeasement, it’s time to stand for the people’s freedom. It’s time to bring a government to Iran that is accountable to the Iranians. A government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he concluded.

Robert Torricelli

Former U.S. Senator

“For thousands of years, when people met at street corners they said: ‘I’m a citizen of Rome.’ But today, wherever men stand tall, they will say that I was a resident of Ashraf. I never gave up, I never gave in, I’m a proud Iranian,” Senator Torricelli said.

“What began with a single woman is a chorus around the world…To those of you that are risking your lives in Iran, I say, It is your time. To the students, if you haven’t joined the brigades of resistance, join today, join tomorrow. Take your lives in your hands,” encouraged the former Senator.

“To the workers who hear my voice, break down your chains and rise up to your freedom and the right to feed your families,” urged Torricelli.

“To the Iranian community in foreign countries, the past is forgiven, the future is now, we have a common cause to restore the dignity of the Iranian people. There is only one organization that promises to overthrow the dictatorship in Iran and restore the nation and that organization is the PMOI and their leader is Maryam Rajavi,” he said.

 

“Gathered here today is what the regime could not buy: the respect of other nations. Democrats and Republicans, are committed to one common cause: the destruction of this regime now,” concluded Torricelli.

 

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It’s Time to Take Larger Steps toward International Pressure on the Iranian Regime

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, addressing a crowed of MEK members and distinguished politicians on the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran- July 15, 2019

On June 29, the Iranian Resistance leader Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) delivered a speech to visiting lawmakers from throughout the world, at the Albanian headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). It was the most significant international gathering at the compound (Ashraf3) since it was established following the evacuation of the group’s former community in Iraq, which had been under fire for years from forces aligned with Iran’s theocratic regime.

The successful relocation of all of the camp’s 3,000 residents was regarded as a triumph by the MEK, insofar as it provided a new, more stable base of operations for the global effort to remove the existing regime and establish a democratic system in its place. Last month’s speech was an opportunity for Mrs. Rajavi to emphasize the practical outlook for that project and to encourage the international community to continue pursuing the type of assertive foreign policy that was on display when the United States and the United Nations stood up to Iran over the issue of the MEK and its members residing in camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The effort to relocate those people to what is now known as “Ashraf 3” was a modest beginning to more confrontational dealings with the Islamic Republic. But as Mrs. Rajavi explained in her remarks, the world had a long way to go to reverse a decades-long strategy of conciliation and “appeasement.” It still does, although the Trump White House has done a great deal to help demonstrate the potential effect of putting pressure on the regime instead of negotiating with it in the vain hope that its behavior will someday change.

“Imagine for a moment, what would have happened if such a disastrous policy would not have been adopted from the outset,” she said to a crowd of MEK members and visiting supporters before outlining a wide variety of malign activities that were enabled in large part by Western powers’ preoccupation with reaching out to so-called moderates within the regime. The prime target of this effort, in recent years, was President Hassan Rouhani, but his progressive-sounding campaign promises were belied by his previous dealings with the West and his proven disregard for human rights issues.

Like many of those who played a major role in Iran’s government in the years following the 1979 revolution, Rouhani was aware of many of the killings and other crimes that were carried out in the interest of silencing dissent against the fledgling theocracy. As a Member of Parliament and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Rouhani was in a position to press for an end to these crimes or at least speak out against them. Yet he consistently demonstrated complicity, even when “death commissions” began the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988.

That dark stain on Iran’s history, with its estimated death toll of 30,000 over just a few months, was the first thing mentioned by Mrs. Rajavi when she listed all that could have been prevented by more assertive Western policies. Sadly, not only did lawmakers and Western media largely ignore warnings about what was happening in 1988, they learned hardly anything about the regime in the aftermath. The world should have recognized the futility of appealing to “moderates” when it became clear that the few who objected to mass killing were driven out of the system, while those who participated were rewarded for the rest of their political careers.

 

In 1988, Hossein Ali Montazeri was next in line to be Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. But after he warned his fellow officials that they would be remembered as criminals for facilitating thousands of politically motivated executions, he not only was shunned by the regime but went on to spend the last years of his life under house arrest.

By contrast, one of the main architects of the killings, Ebrahim Raisi, was appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei earlier this year to head the entire nation’s judiciary. Two other members of the “death commissions” were appointed by Rouhani to head the Ministry of Justice during each of his successive terms. This should tell lawmakers throughout the world all they need to know about Tehran’s view of human rights, about Rouhani’s moderate credentials, and about the future the Iranian people will face if the international community continues trying to elevate such figures while promoting a slow pathway to reform.

There are only two realistic outcomes for the Islamic Republic: maintenance of the status quo as advocated by the authors of “appeasement,” or sudden, transformative change of the sort championed by the MEK and its allies in the NCRI.

The fact is that constructive dialogue with the mullahs does not work. Even the 2015 nuclear agreement demonstrated this, as the regime’s acceptance of modest, easily reversible restrictions on its nuclear program produced a financial windfall that has since been used to accelerate missile development, violent intervention into the affairs of surrounding nations, and ultimately, the nuclear program itself. In recent days, the supposedly moderate Rouhani has personally expressed about his intention to oversee uranium enrichment in “any amount” desired. This only underscores the lack of restrictions put in place by negotiators for whom conciliation has long since become the norm.

But there were clear warning signs about Rouhani’s duplicity in this, as well. When he served as Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005, he publicly bragged about creating a “calm environment” in which the regime could accelerate its nuclear development while giving the impression that it was preparing to wind down.

The regime is giving no such impression now, and its open hostility can only be explained by its well-learned confidence that the world will not do anything to stop it. Notwithstanding the Ashrafis’ relocation and the effective economic pressure being exerted by the US, the world community as a whole has shown little interest in severing ties with Iran or adopting the strategy of “maximum pressure,” even in the wake of direct attacks on oil tankers and a US drone, and proxy attacks on pipelines, airports, and more.

The most serious action that the European Union has taken over the past year is to sanction Iran’s secret service and some of its known operatives. All it took was for France, Albania, and other nations to be directly threatened by bomb and assassination plots targeting Iranian opposition activists. Considering what those plots say about the political climate inside the Islamic Republic and the potential for more killings on the scale of 1988, it is shocking that the international community is so hesitant to go at least as far as the White House has done, by sanctioning the office of the supreme leader and designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

If they were to do so, the Europeans would go a long way toward promoting the sudden, transformative change that represents Iran’s only hope for a free and democratic future. Last year, a nationwide mass uprising led by the MEK demonstrated that the people of that country are ready to take it upon themselves to bring this about. All they need is the international support that has been almost always withheld throughout the past four decades.

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"Women in the Iranian Resistance-Defying the Misogynist Regime, Paying the Price of Freedom" conference in MEK's camp in Albania

Women’s Rights Activists Discuss Role of Women in Iran’s Future at Free Iran Conference

"Women in the Iranian Resistance-Defying the Misogynist Regime, Paying the Price of Freedom" conference in MEK's camp in Albania

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, addressing the conference, “Women in the Iranian Resistance-Defying the Misogynist Regime, Paying the Price of Freedom” in Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound in Albania

The fourth day of the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3 on Sunday concluded with a seminar entitled “Women in the Iranian Resistance: Defying the Misogynist Regime, Paying the Price of Freedom.” Women’s rights activists and prominent female voices from around the world gathered at Ashraf 3 to discuss the struggle of Iranian women under the mullahs and to express their solidarity with Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance.

Highlights from the conference, including Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s keynote address, are below:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Mrs. Rajavi described the current status of Iranian women under the mullahs’ regime during the first portion of her speech. “Women have no role in the ruling regime and in its decision-making at any level of its hierarchy,” she said. “Another issue is depriving women of their personal and social freedoms and their right to free choice,” Mrs. Rajavi added, noting that women in Iran were not free to travel without restrictions or dress as they would like.

“Another issue is the hideous inequalities of discrimination against women under the clerical regime: drastic inequalities in job opportunities, in wages, in education, in testimony before a court, in having access to medical services and insurance, in their share of inheritance, access to sports fields and stadiums, and denials in every realm.” she continued.

 

“Such discrimination in any society in any juncture in history would mean subjugation of the people, suppression, and plundering of political rights,” Mrs. Rajavi stressed.

 

“You might have heard claims that if the mullahs were to be overthrown, Iran would experience chaos, disasters and destitution. But aren’t Iranian women living in conditions even worse than war-torn countries? Aren’t they suffering from poverty, unemployment and homelessness?” she asked.

 

“Another issue is promoting violence against women. Women in Iran do not feel safe anywhere: not at work, not in the streets, and not at home,” Mrs. Rajavi went on.

 

“Inhumane treatment of women in prison is also common practice,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi explained the reason for the appalling treatment of women in Iran, saying, “Misogyny is the driving force and the essence of the regime’s suppression of the society in general.”

“The common answer to all these problems, ranging from poverty and discrimination to lack of free choice, lies in freedom and equality. Not just equality and not just freedom. But both freedom and equality,” she stressed.

 

“I have always emphasized that women not only free themselves but free their societies at large,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi saluted all of the Iranian political prisoners who are currently sitting in the mullahs’ jails. “In addition to political opposition, they have committed the unforgivable crime: to be a rebellious woman. To be a woman and not surrender, to be a woman and persevere in the struggle, to be a woman and instead of thinking about yourself think about the liberation of people in chains, this is something that has driven the mullahs insane,” she said.

Sarvenaz Chitsaz

Chair of the NCRI Women’s Committee

Speaking to the activists who helped relocate MEK members from Camp Liberty, Chitsaz said, “You are members of the large family of resistance. You fought for freedom alongside the Ashrafis. You extended support to them through their endeavors.”

“Every woman in the resistance has made her own choice. They have played a key role in creating this resistance with their perseverance in the regime’s dungeons enduring medieval torture by the misogynistic mullahs and also with their 14 years of resistance at Camp Ashraf amd Liberty,” said Chitsaz.

 

“This is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of women’s struggle. This explains why Iranian women inside Iran have been able to resist against the misogynistic regime and its harsh oppression and why they are at the forefront of the battle against the regime and leading protests in Iran. They see the history of the women in Ashraf and they are inspired by their resistance. This is why the regime targets Iranian women to such an extent,” she explained.

 

“The mullahs’ incessant savagery toward women is the driving force of the regime in its suppression of the Iranian society,” Ms. Chitsaz concluded.

Senator Ingrid Betancourt

Former Senator and Colombian Presidential candidate

“When you will be in Tehran, and it will happen soon, you will face a tremendous challenge. You are the only real organization where women are consistently at the top. You will be confronted by the fact that taking power in a country like Iran, with 80 million inhabitants, one of the big countries in the Middle East, both by population and by geopolitical importance: it’s not a small challenge. Whatever you do will reflect on the whole world,” Ms. Betancourt emphasized.

“The impact you will have because you have a woman leader because it’s in a country that has been ruled by a misogynist regime, the impact will be like an atomic bomb. So whatever is done in those first few months will define what the next generation of women will be able to do in the world. This is a very serious responsibility,” she continued.

“Another challenge is religion…When religion is involved, it becomes very personal to women. One of the things that we have to be aware of is that this system of patriarchy, it’s a mind frame that we all have in ourselves, man and woman. We have to be conscious about it and we have to fight it in ourselves and others. When you transition to a secular government, you will have to deal not only with the clergy but also with women and men who are not ready for this change,” Betancourt stressed.

Dr. Ranjana Kumari

Director of the Centre for Social Research in India

“Whenever we’ve seen these struggles, one thing that is important to keep in mind is that women are in the line of fire. So many struggles where women have fought in the front lines. However, when the power came, women were made to go back to the kitchen…I’m so happy this is a unique organization where women are in top positions. You’re already involved in different levels of governance, you know how to exercise power,” said Dr. Kumari.

“Women’s rights are human rights. I’m very happy to see your leadership has underlined there will be no compromise on gender equality… When women take leadership, they can move mountains,” Dr. Kumari concluded.

Maria Candida Almeida

Deputy Attorney General of Portugal

“The ones who must defend the people’s rights against killings, massacres, and suppression. Horrible things are happening in Iran today, such as the killing of pregnant women. The international community must not accept this. This is why your cause is my cause. I am with you,” said Ms. Almeida.

“Your movement is an example to all of us. Your leader is courageous and strong. She is an example for all people and for me. In the past few days, I was encouraged to work harder for you when I return home. I hope you accept me as your messenger,” Ms. Almeida concluded.

Dr. Maria Ryan

CEO of Cottage Hospital

“As we move the regime out from Iran, it’s going to take a lot of work. This is where your strength becomes significant. I learned from you and your optimism. It’s impressive that you can overcome adversity and look to the future and what needs to happen,” she added.

Giuseppina Occhionero

Italian MP

“Your struggle for civil rights is an honor for all the world because you are an example of women who put fear behind them, and you, Mrs. Rajavi, your deep views for human rights: we will take home the same responsibilities,” said Ms. Occhionero.

 

“Today, we see that we can unite and we can struggle against inequality. You women are the force of change in Iran,” Ms. Occhionero continued. “You are the answer. To all the women who have paid the price of freedom, I thank you for this. The change will come through the fulfillment of women’s rights,” she concluded.

Zinat Mirhashemi

NCRI member and Editor in Chief of Nabard-e-Khalq Review

“In the 120 years of struggle for freedom in Iran, women have had an important role. In previous generations before the Revolution, the face of the struggle for freedom and equality was not just the face of men. They showed to the world that women have a significant role in this fight,” said Ms. Mirhashemi.

 

“And now we have reached a time when we see women’s roles in the highest ranks in such a struggle. This is the assurance of this organization’s future and that women’s equality will be fulfilled because these women are leaders,” she continued.

 

“In this movement, men and women are fighting together for a common cause. Where women have a significant role, victory is assured. The future is ours… The women who are in prison are our pride. Our movement for justice in Iran has a wealth of women from across Iran,” Ms. Mirhashemi concluded.

Khadija Ziyani

Moroccan MP

“The world will remember you for what you have shown as women who strive for freedom. What you’ve accomplished in 18 months in building Ashraf 3 from scratch is something that we are proud of,” said Ziyani.

“I’m very optimistic that you will reach freedom, not for power and with power, but with hearts that don’t give up and are determined. You have high human values,” she added.

“I believe you will reach what you are fighting for because you have high determination. I’ve never seen such determination as I’ve seen in Mrs. Rajavi,” Ziyani concluded.

Maria Grecea

Former Romanian MP

“We are at a critical and sensitive moment in Iran’s history because the mullahs’ regime is at a political and social dead-end and we the supporters of the Iranian Resistance must help the people. History has proven to us that some things will change and the fascist dictators of Iran must fall,” said Grecea.

 

“This is important not only for the people of Iran but for the world because an exporter of terrorism will be eliminated. Your persistence was seen when the PMOI [MEK] built international support for Iranians, especially for the popular uprising of 2017/2018. The international pressure and the ongoing protests have put the regime in a difficult situation,” she continued.

Edit Bauer

Former MEP from Slovakia

“As a woman, what makes your resistance special to me is the key role played by women in the struggle for freedom in Iran. Mrs. Rajavi has educated and trained a generation of women who are capable of leading Ashraf residents through ups and downs, but also a generation of men who can cooperate with women in building their nation,” said Bauer.

“You have confronted fundamentalism in a way that no other movement has. You have proven the failure of the mullahs’ ideology in practice. I’m seeing the strengthening of the support for your movement around the world,” she added.

Dr. Somaya Al JowderFormer Bahraini MP

“From you, I learned about being patient and giving to others. I learned from you that endurance is the answer to everything, and how we can add to our belief and our faith,” Dr. Al Jowder said to the women of the MEK.

“I have seen the perseverance of your men. They don’t fight to be first. We hope that our men in our country will do the same,” she added.

“Iran’s uprising and rebuilding of Iran will be done by you, the PMOI [MEK] women. I’m sure that next year, all of us will be celebrating democracy in Iran,” she concluded.

Flore Ram

Iranian human rights activist

“When I was young, I couldn’t leave my country without the permission of my husband. If a father died, the mother didn’t have the right to raise the children. When the mullahs came to our country, they ruled like ISIS. They imprisoned and raped women. There was nothing for the people of Iran. But standing against that is the Iranian Resistance and the women of the MEK,” said Ms. Ram.

“Mrs. Rajavi has been digging this cancerous tumor out of Iran. I’m very proud of you. I wish everyone could get to know you like we know you. This is the reality,” she added.

Concetta Giallombardo

President of the Association of Female Jurists from Italy

“Struggling for the equality of men and women is something that we must pay the price for. In your struggle and resistance; this has been reviewed. There’s a mindset that is different about the relationship between men and women. The relationship is about knowledge and understanding,” Ms. Giallombardo said.

“I would like to congratulate you for your mindset and how you view the relationship between men and women. I hope that under your viewpoint, we will see a new society,” she concluded.

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Maryam Rajavi addressing the conference 1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED

Iran: Prison massacre against MEK members under scrutiny

Maryam Rajavi addressing the conference 1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED

Conference “1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED ” held at Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound near Tirana, Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition address the conference. During this conference, MEK former political prisoners and survivals of the massacre, gave extremely moving testimonies about the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. The event was broadcast live via @Iran_Policy in 4 different languages. July 15, 2019

The summer of 1988, after months of deprivation from visiting their loved ones, thousands of families of MEK supporters and activists, gathered at the prison’s entrance across Iran, received the remaining cloths of their family members, a reference to a grave or in most cases no news about their whereabouts.

In Tehran, families could manage to find a mass graveyard in Khavaran, were, apparently, thousands of bodies of MEK supporters were dumped and buried in a night. These hopeless families go every year to Khavaran, to commemorate their loved ones. Yet within the past few years, so many of these families were arrested, even executed. People such as Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, supporters of the MEK, lost their lives.

According to survivors and the regime defectors and other sources, more than 30,000 members and supporters of the MEK were executed in a matter of months in the summer of 1988.

Tragic but heroic, they were executed for how they called the MEK and its historical leader Massoud Rajavi.

 

Although MEK informed the International Community about this massacre, Western governments chose to close their eyes and rather follow commerce with the so-called reformist Mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani, then Iran’s president.

 

After 30 years, a tape was exposed, with the voice of the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s heir at that time, speaking to members of the death committee telling them they had committed a crime for which History would curse the regime. Those positions cost Montazeri his seat as heir apparent to Khomeini.

 

The crimes of the Iranian regime is known to everyone, anyone with the least dignity condemns these atrocities such as the massacre of 30000 MEK members in 1988. Amnesty International recently published a vast report based on a thorough study which shows that this massacre is no less than a crime against humanity. Among others, it was based on tens of testimonies by MEK members now settled in Albania in Ashraf3 compound, where the opposition has regrouped after quitting their former settlement in Iraq under Iran regime’s pressures.

Nonetheless, the regime keeps those involved in this massacre in power positions as high as head of the Judiciary.

At the same time, a vast and costly demonization campaign is followed by the mullahs to tarnish the image of their victims. Their motto is: if you have to kill, demonize your victims so you are justified in your crime.

An array of websites and well implanted “journalists” are in the mullahs’ inventory to achieve this goal. So-called journalists, who blame the MEK and ultimately the victims of this regime, for the latter’s crimes! This demonization campaign against the Iranian resistance pursues nothing but one goal: Washing the hands of the mullahs so the Western company managers can shake hands with them! History has proven that no one sides with dictators for God’s sake and “the democratic cultish issues” of a resistance movement such as the MEK with more than 120,000 fallen for the cause of freedom and the vast network inside, which the Iranian regime fears most and repeatedly warns its troops of those units’ activities.

History is the best judge, time will move on, Iranian people and their resistance MEK will topple this regime, the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre will be held accountable in international courts, but the remaining question is would those who white-washed those crimes also be held accountable?

As it comes to those longing to do business with Iran at any cost, it should be said that such business is called “bad business,” since they invested in the blood of the Iranian people.

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Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Maryam Rajavi to Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3: “We Will Take Back Iran!”

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held its annual Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, for the first time this year.

Ashraf 3 was constructed in just one year and built from the ground up as a home for the displaced members of the MEK who suffered repeated attacks at their previous homes at Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. The choice to host the Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3 this year is significant.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote address to the tens of thousands of MEK members and international dignitaries gathered for the rally.

“Twenty months ago, this was an empty piece of land with nothing on it. At the hands of the Mojahedin, through their enormous efforts and hard work, Ashraf 3 was built and now stands tall. But our final destination is Tehran, freed from the occupation of the mullahs.”

The Goal of an Uprising

Mrs Rajavi quoted Massoud Rajavi’s words on the importance of regime change coming from within Iran: “For a nation to appreciate her own freedom, she must ultimately free herself on her own. “Everyone can only free himself on his own from the yoke of coercion and oppression, and it is precisely for this reason that we are responsible to advance the goal of a general uprising for the freedom of our people and our country,” she quoted.

Fueling Tensions

In reference to her opposition to the easing of sanctions against the Iranian regime in 2013, Mrs. Rajavi said, “The time has come for major powers to stop appeasing and giving concessions to the murderous religious tyranny, the Central Banker of terrorism, and the world’s record holder of executions, and to recognize the right of the people of Iran for resistance and freedom.”

Mrs. Rajavi listed the regime’s escalating terrorist activities and meddling in the Middle East since 2018. She specifically discussed the bombing plot against MEK members at Ashraf 3 last year. “Clearly, the regime is fueling tensions in a bid to push back against the international community. They foment turmoil and chaos to hide their fear of being overthrown. They want firmness to be replaced with a policy of appeasement, and they want to allay fears and anxiety of their Basij Forces and Revolutionary Guards and to preserve their internal balance and equilibrium,” she said. “However, the reality is that schism and instability are among the signs that the regime is in its final chapter. The clerical regime is not going to find a way out of its inevitable downfall.”

Mrs. Rajavi warned those who claim to hope to avoid war in the region that their sentiments are misguided. “Anyone who seeks freedom for Iran, anyone who wants to save Iran from destruction and chaos, anyone who wants global and regional peace and stability, must rise up to demand the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime,” she said.

The MEK Has Paid the Price

Mrs. Rajavi said that the policy of appeasement now carries heavy consequences. The MEK exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, forced a cease fire in the Iran-Iraq War, called attention to the regime’s human rights situation, and repeatedly blew the whistle on the mullahs’ malign activities. If they had not done so, “today, the situation would have been radically different, and the mullahs, equipped with nuclear weapons, would have created and solidified the empire and Caliphate they had long intended to establish,” she said.

“But the MEK has paid the price to break the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created by the velayat-e faqih and their criminal Revolutionary Guard Corps throughout its history by exposing the regime’s evil nature and its illicit activities, including the disclosure of the mullahs’ nuclear program, and by standing against this regime even at the price of their lives,” she continued.

“[MEK] thus has left no future for the mullahs’ evil caliphate,” she added.

Rise of the MEK

Mrs. Rajavi praised the MEK’s Resistance Units: “This Resistance has been able to expand and organize its network inside Iran despite the pervasive repression. This is how Ashraf has been replicated in society and among the people of Iran,” she said.

Despite the regime’s claims that the MEK has no influence within the country, Iranian authorities have arrested large numbers of MEK members and have created new patrols to round up Resistance Units and to suppress Resistance activities. “But the enemy can neither succeed in breaking the morale of Resistance forces in prisons nor is it able to thwart the resistance movement and the units of rebellion in cities. Yes, every young man or woman yearning for freedom and justice is a potential or de facto rebel,” she said.

Maryam Rajavi restated her plan to establish a free and democratic Iran and said that the NCRI would succeed in this goal.

“We will take back Iran and we will build a new homeland,” she concluded.

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120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

Day Two of Conference at Ashraf-3 Features Speeches from International Dignitaries

120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

120 Years of Struggle by Iran’s People for Freedom – MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

The MEK hosted the second day of an international conference on Friday at Ashraf-3, the home of the Iranian Resistance’s headquarters in Albania. The conference, entitled “120 years of struggle of the Iranian people for freedom,” was attended by thousands of MEK members and prominent politicians and dignitaries from around the world.

The conference’s focus was to condemn the Iranian regime for its suppressive and inhuman actions at home and its terrorist activities abroad and to call on the international community to end the policy of appeasement that allowed the regime to act without consequences.

Speakers at the conference also emphasized that the international community must recognize the MEK and NCRI as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in order to bring peace and stability to the region.

The following are some of the highlights from the speeches at Friday’s event:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

From Mrs. Rajavi’s keynote address:

“One of the missing links in previous movements of the Iranian people was a coherent organization and an organized struggle, coupled with a determined and battle-hardened force prepared to make any sacrifice necessary. As a result, the people’s previous struggles did not succeed despite all their sacrifices,” she said in reference to the failure of past uprisings.

Mrs. Rajavi also spoke about the many crimes perpetrated against the MEK by the mullahs’ regime.

“Despite all the crimes and massacres he committed, Khomeini failed to extinguish the flames of freedom. Over the past 40 years, 120,000 persons have given their lives for the cause of freedom. That includes the 30,000 people who were massacred in 1988 for insisting on their political identity as a member of the Mojahedin. Another half-a-million people were arrested and viciously tortured,” she said.

“The mullahs continued their crimes against Ashraf and Liberty by setting 22 deadlines in 10 years, through a medical blockade, through psychological torture using over 300 loudspeakers blaring into Ashraf for two years, and through 29 ground and aerial attacks, using armored vehicles and missile launchers, including the commission of seven bloodbaths and massacres,” she continued.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded on a hopeful note, saying, “But today, we have reached a historic turning point. An Ashraf which has once again risen up, proud and powerful, shining bright at the zenith of this Resistance. This Ashraf has been replicated 1000 times in the form of resistance units all over Iran. And a volatile society which is no longer willing to put up with the mullahs, yearning to overthrow them.”

Suda

MEK member and resident at Ashraf-3

“I grew up in Sweden and was about to travel to France to study, but a video that I’d seen couldn’t leave my mind; a video of someone being stoned to death in Iran. I saw myself at a crossroads. I could live my own life and fulfil my dreams or I could put everything aside and fulfil my people’s dreams. That’s why I joined the MEK, to live for others. I thank all of you for being with us,” she said.

Ingrid Betancourt

Former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate

“It’s just amazing what the MEK has done to transform this place since the last time I visited. I am proud to be your friend,” said Ms. Betancourt. “Your decision to confront the tyranny and pay the highest price. This sacrifice today is bearing its fruit. I see that here in Ashraf 3. It’s a miracle. I have been with you for a couple of years and I am amazed by your support and your political savviness. As a woman, I feel very proud and that in the world there is no organization like the MEK that gives women this power.”

“We are making history today,” she added. “Your victory is our victory and we will be very soon with you in Tehran!” Ms. Betancourt proclaimed.

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor

“There is an alternative to the theocracy and dictatorship in Iran. It is a government-in-exile, and it gives us the confidence that if we help overthrow the Iranian regime, there will be prosperity and democracy in Iran,” said the former mayor.

Giuliani referred to the numerous terrorist plots against the MEK by the Iranian regime in 2018, saying, “They tried to bomb us in the US. They tried to bomb us here in Tirana a year and a half ago. They tried to bomb us in Paris a year ago. They’re the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and we let them sit in the UN and talk to them like they’re decent people.”

“I thank Madam Maryam Rajavi for letting me be part of this, and this is something that I am proud of and probably my children will be proud of…I wish to have this meeting in Tehran before I die,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani encouraged the MEK to continue their struggle for freedom. “You keep trying and you fail, you keep trying and you fail, and then the Berlin Wall comes down. It will happen eventually, but let’s make it happen now before another 100,000 deaths,” he said.

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Former U.S. Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate

“You in the NCRI have given us the opportunity to be true to our national principles. When I’m here I feel that I’m representing the spirit of my great friend, the late Senator John McCain, who was warned by the establishment to stay away from this organization, but he spent time learning about it. He came to Ashraf 3, believing in this organization and its cause,” said Lieberman.

“Ashraf 3 has become something magnificent. Coming here and seeing this magnificent community that you’ve built is miraculous. It teaches us lessons,” he continued.

Lieberman praised the Ashrafis for their perseverance, saying, “The citizens of Ashraf never gave up despite the atrocities they faced imposed by the Iranian regime.”

He also talked about the exhibition of the history of MEK members who have been killed and persecuted by the Iranian regime that he and other speakers viewed before the conference began: “This exhibition, despite the mourning, is inspiring. And the whole story of the Ashrafis is inspiring,” he said.

“With the kind of leadership that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi are giving and will give in Iran; with the support of people from around the world who are represented here and with the resistance of the Iranian people inside of Iran, we will have a meeting some day in Iran and come together and have a great party,” Lieberman concluded.

Michèle Alliot-Marie

MEP; former French Foreign, Defense, Justice and Interior Minister

Alliot-Marie referenced the MEK memorial, saying, “I have to say that I’m very moved. What a contrast between the dramatic, horrifying images that we saw a few minutes ago. To be in contact with men and women who have given their lives for such a cause. To see what you have been able to achieve. You wish to give so much to the Iranian people.”

“You have people who have been tortured yet you still pave the path for freedom. This visit to Ashraf 3 was very moving for us,” she continued.

“I have the privilege of being able to speak and think freely. Yet I also know that today this liberty is not available everywhere across the globe,” Alliot-Marie said.

“We are also obliged to all people who are being subjugated to dictators around the world, and in Iran. We are here today, Mrs. Rajavi, to tell you that you are not alone,” she said.

“We have to give the Iranian people courage and the help they need so they can get their future back,” Alliot-Marie concluded.

Matthew Offord

MP (United Kingdom)

“You are the proof of a proud brave nation that will never succumb to the atrocities of the regime,” Offord said, addressing the MEK members at the conference.

“We have always argued that decoupling the regime’s human rights violations from the nuclear deal was a mistake,” he said.

“We have been proven right that there is no moderate faction inside the Iranian regime.” he added.

“There are two issues that we continue to raise in our debates,” Offord said:

  1. “We need to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its atrocities in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.”
  2. “The U.K. government needs to blacklist the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and all its subsidiary as a terrorist organization.”

“This measure will signal to the Iranian people that they are not forgotten and we stand with them,” he emphasized.

Offord added, “We want to recognize the right of the Iranian people and the resistance led by Madame Maryam Rajavi to establish a democratic and free republic in Iran.”

“Iran’s current regime is not just a threat to the Iranian people but to the peace around the world,” he concluded.

General James Conway

Former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

“I participated in a policy panel in Ashraf 3 and we were invited to dinner with the ladies of Ashraf 3. And some of them shared with me their stories of sacrifice and suffering. What I saw last night in terms of the ability to endure loss and yet move on was the sense of unit cohesion and dedication to each other that was the same as you see in the military. The sense of mission and dedication to accomplish it, said General Conway.

“I’m absolutely confident that with those ladies, you will make your country free someday,” he added.

Ms. Mojgan Parsaie

Former MEK Secretary General

“The story of the supporters of Ashraf who helped rescue the MEK members is the story of honorable people,” said Ms. Parsaie.

“Time has shown that you stand on the right side of history. The future will show more appreciation,” she added.

“Mayor Giuliani was correct that the solution to Iran is not appeasement but regime change. Throughout history there are always tyrants and for a period they seem invincible. However, they all fall at the end. Always.” Ms. Parsaie concluded.

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