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Giulio Terzi

Former Italian Foreign Minister Says Regime Can No Longer Deny MEK Is a Threat

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

In an editorial published on the Issues & Insights website on Thursday, former Italian Foreign Minister Ambassador Giulio Terzi discussed recent admissions by high-ranking officials within the Iranian regime that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI / MEK) poses a serious threat to the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran.

Terzi described an August 5th press briefing held by the spokesman for regime President Rouhani’s cabinet Ali Rabiee in which Rabiee openly mentioned the conflict between the regime and the MEK.

“This represents a departure from the government’s normal policy of remaining silent on that issue in order to downplay the threat that the MEK poses to the theocratic system,” wrote Terzi.

Unmitigated Confidence

The MEK has fought against the mullahs’ tyranny for four decades in its efforts to bring freedom and democracy to Iran. As the largest resistance group in Iran, it has established a well-organized plan for Iran’s democratic future, which is formally stated in Iranian opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan.

“The MEK has expressed unmitigated confidence that the current regime is nearing its collapse, which will pave the way for that vision,” wrote Terzi. He cited that sentiment as the central theme of last month’s Free Iran gathering at Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania. The five-day event was attended by hundreds of prominent politicians and dignitaries from all over the world and focused on “transforming Iran into a democratic country led by the rule of law, respect of human rights and democratic freedom,” wrote Terzi.

Terzi argued that Iran has yet to experience this kind of freedom. The Islamic Republic governs through the principle of velayat-e faqih, or absolute rule, of clerical leaders. Anyone who opposes Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is excluded from the ballot in political elections.

A Turning Point

The MEK has challenged this rule through protests and boycotts of the polls, often at great personal risk. Boycotts at the polls during the 2016 election were followed by a massive anti-regime uprising in December 2017, which spread to 142 cities and every province in the country. The regime did an abrupt about-face and acknowledged the MEK’s role in the Iran protests, contradicting years of their own propaganda that claimed that the MEK lacked influence inside Iran. “This was arguably the turning point undermining the regime’s oft-repeated claim that the MEK is incapable of presenting a serious challenge to the clerical dictatorship,” argued Terzi.

1988 massacre

MEK members massacred by Pourmohammadi

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, an advisor to the head of the regime’s Judiciary Chief, also made recent comments about the MEK. Pour-Mohammadi was a member of Tehran’s Death Committee, which sent thousands of political prisoners to their executions during the 1988 Massacre, which claimed 30,000 lives during a single summer, most of whom were MEK members. Victims of the massacre included girls as young as 15 and pregnant women.

In a recent interview, Pour-Mohammadi once again defended what human rights defenders have called a crime against humanity and called for the elimination of the MEK. “We have no ambiguity about the MEK,” he said. “We are at a time of war. Now is not the time for talk. Now is the time to fight them.”

Tehran’s Greatest Adversary

Terzi stressed that these words make it clear that “the MEK is Tehran’s greatest adversary, and it has not only evaded all efforts to destroy it but has actually grown so much in power and influence that it was able to organize and lead a nationwide uprising just last year.” He went on to urge the world to pay attention to the words regime officials say at home because if they do, “it will become clear that they are afraid.”

This fear provides an opportunity for the international community and the Iranian people, emphasized Terzi. The regime is vulnerable and firm policies by the Western world would be effective in helping the Iranian people take back their country.

“It is now much more difficult for the mullahs to deny that there is already an alternative to their theocratic system and that popular resistance is their Achilles’ heel,” concluded Terzi.

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Maryam Rajavi addressing MEK members during 1988 Massacre Conerence

Maryam Rajavi Calls for Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Speech to Free Iran Conference

Maryam Rajavi addressing MEK members during 1988 Massacre Conerence

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), speaking at the conference “Calling for Justice for the 1988 Massacre” – Ashraf3 the MEK’s compound, Albania- July 15, 2019

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition speaking at the conference “calling for justice for victims of the 1988 Massacre” said that Khomeini, the Iranian regime founder’s intention for ordering the 1988 massacre was to uproot the MEK.

The final day of the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI /MEK)’s headquarter in Albania, on Monday, July 15th, was devoted to the topic of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime.

Background

In the summer of 1988, Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the execution of all MEK members imprisoned in Iran. He formed three-member Death Committees in prisons across the country to carry out trials that lasted only minutes. Prisoners were executed in groups and buried in mass graves.

To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have been brought to justice. Many of those responsible have gone on to hold high-ranking positions within the regime.

On Monday, survivors of the massacre shared their testimony of the brutal crime against humanity, and political dignitaries, human rights activists, and members of the NCRI and MEK discussed the urgent need to hold the perpetrators of the mass executions accountable for their crimes. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote address.

Mrs. Rajavi’s Speech

“The massacre of the MEK and the other combatants and political prisoners was a blood-drenched encounter between the Middle Ages and tomorrow’s generation: the generation that created the 1979 Revolution, who represented a nation resolved to have a society based on freedom and equality but ran into the monster of religious tyranny and invasion of pillage and repression. The massacre of 1988 was the horrifying scene of such historic confrontation, but it was not the end, despite its excruciating pain and agony. It was the beginning of a new confrontation which still continues and will ultimately write the fate of the Iranian nation with the word ‘freedom,’” said Mrs. Rajavi.

“Khomeini’s intention in ordering the 1988 Massacre was to uproot and obliterate the MEK…The most intense killings began in Evin and Gohardasht Prisons and were specifically aimed at MEK members,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi stated that the 1988 Massacre was carried out in 110 cities in Iran and that those cities have become hotbeds of protests and uprisings. “It is no accident,” she said, that these cities are now the scenes of resistance by Iranians of every ethnicity, religion, and sector of society.

“The people of Iran are united for the regime’s overthrow and achieving freedom,” she emphasized. “Our society has such a fervent fire in her heart, leaving Khamenei at an impasse. So the regime’s overthrow is the definite and certain fate of the mullahs,” she added.

“The time has come for the United Nations to form an international fact-finding mission for the 1988 Massacre, and the world to recognize the right of the people of Iran to resistance and struggle to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship,” said Mrs. Rajavi.

“I call on all Iranians in Iran and abroad to help advance and expand the Call for Justice movement for the victims of the  1988 Massacre. This is the movement of the oppressed, the suppressed and the bereaved,” she stressed.

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Day-3 of Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3

MEK-Iran: European Panel Calls For End to Europe’s Appeasement Policy Towards Iran

Day-3 of Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3

On day 3 of Free Iran convention at the MEK’s compound in Albania, a conference hosted very distinguished European politicians that discussed EU’s ongoing positions on Iran. The conference was titled, “Iran: Support People’s uprisings and Resistance
No to Mullahs’ terrorism, Nuclear, and Missile program”-July 13, 2019- Ashraf 3

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, the fourth day of the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania called for an end to Europe’s policy of appeasement to the mullahs ruling Iran. The conference began with a panel of distinguished speakers from Europe. The topic of the panel was “Iran: Support People’s Uprising and Resistance. No to Mullahs’ Terrorism, Nuclear, and Missile Program.”

The panelists touched on a number of issues during the two-hour event. Some of the most notable moments from the panel are summarized below.

Paolo Corsini

Italian Politician and Academic

“The West should end appeasement of Iran’s regime. We should support the Iranian people and the organized Resistance, the MEK, to bring about regime change. A viable alternative to the regime exists in Iran. It is the National Council of Resistance of Iran,” said Corsini.

 

Dr. Matthew Offord

British MP

The Iranian regime is making a mistake in thinking that we in Britain will be scared of its provocations. It should be assured that the UK is not scared. The UK has made it very clear we will protect ourselves, Dr. Offord said.

 

“I genuinely believe change is coming to Iran,” said Offord. The members of the MEK have re-emerged from the destruction of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. They have launched Ashraf 3 and have been embraced by the people of Albania,” he added.

Brian Binley

Former British MP

“We first came to Albania back in 2014 with a task to the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, and we asked him to accept more Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents,” said Binley.

“We pleaded with the Prime Minister and it wasn’t hard. He asked us shouldn’t you be making this request to other European countries? We told him we were working hard on this issue and the Prime Minister said he would accept more Ashraf/Liberty residents. I pay massive tribute to Mr. Edi Rama for convincing the people of Albania to accept more of the Iranian opposition members in their country,” Binley continued.

“Having revisited Albania now, this country has made great progress in the past five years,” he added.

“This great city of Ashraf 3 showed Mr. Rama kept his process. There has been astounding progress in Ashraf 3. All this work in just a year and a half is incredible. I always knew that those of people who had gone through the hell of Camp Liberty would get things moving for themselves. You have built yourself a city and I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Binley said warmly.

“There’s more work to do and that is our task. There is much we can do in our country for the ten-point plan of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” he stressed.

Sergio D’Elia

Former Member of Italian Parliament, Activist

“Ashraf 3 is not only a symbol; you are a sample for the future of Iran. You are no longer just resistance against the regime; you are now a freedom movement,” said Mr. D’Elia.

“You can be free and also build up Iran. You are reliable, trustworthy, symbols of law and justice. By seeing Ashraf and you, I am convinced the MEK have created a sample of Iran in this city.

I hope we are in Tehran next year. We can see Tehran here because Ashraf 3 exists and future free Iran will also become a reality. The MEK is now part of my family, and that is why I call you my brothers and sisters,” he concluded.

John Perry

Former Irish Minister and Politician

“It is very important to see the encouraging work of the PMOI/MEK. Especially when 56 million people are under the age of 25 in Iran. The new force of technology will certainly spread the word,” said Perry.

“It is now time for Europe to stand with Iran, and say enough is enough, to support Iranians remove the Khamenei regime and the mullahs from power. The future generation of Iran deserves an opportunity to live a free Iran,” he stressed.

Gerry Horkan

Irish Senator

Senator Horkan referred to the speed at which Ashraf 3 had been constructed, saying, “We never think things will change so quickly, but they will. Hopefully, very soon we will see free, fair and democratic elections in Iran and Iranians will be voting for President Maryam Rajavi at the first election for a free and democratic Iran where freedom of religion is allowed. That is part of the Ten-point plan that we support.”

“There is huge global support for the NCRI and MEK in Ashraf 3. Hopefully, soon we will see action and deliver results, including a free and fair government in Iran,” he concluded.

Leo Dautzenberg

Former Member of German Bundestag

“The people in Iran and their struggle is the best sign of change to come to Iran. We can see that the mullahs are using Iranian wealth for their private interests. They are using the Iranian people’s money for terrorism and accelerating war in the Middle East. We do have a great responsibility and a duty towards the Middle East, and we should conduct this together,” said Dautzenberg.

“With the protests in Iran, we can also see that toppling the Iranian regime has to happen from within the country, and we have to support it from the outside. The change must come from within and from Ashraf 3,” he added.

“You have a president who, with her Ten-point Plan, which is very convincing, has created an alternative which represents freedom and democracy. This is also our choice for the future. From a European and German angle, we need to step forward and support this ten-point plan,” he concluded.

Kenneth Lewis

Swedish Lawyer

“There are still a lot of people in Europe who have not understood that appeasement is not the way forward, and don’t care about human rights. Huge support is growing for this movement and we have work to do,” said Mr. Lewis.

“Human rights should be the most important aspect in dealing with the regime in Iran,” he stressed.

“Ashraf 3 is a wonderful achievement. This is an important part of the resistance. The fight to overthrow the mullahs is taking place on the streets of Tehran. Your program will be an essential contribution to that,” Lewis concluded.

Linda Lee

Former President of Law Society of England and Wales

“We in the U.K. Law Society have and will support your cause for a free Iran. We want freedom for you. I couldn’t believe what a wonderful community and spirit is in Ashraf 3. This is not a town, it lives and breathes. The mothers and daughters who have suffered so much are so positive in spirit. This is a wonderful community of people,” said Ms. Lee.

“I believe that we are now so close. I want for all the men and women of Iran to have freedom. Next year we will be in Tehran,” she concluded.

Brian Medway

Australian Pastor

“We support the MEK. Your integrity and commitment to serve the best interests of Iran, without any idea of how long this may take, this draws our affection. We will make your voice known in Australia,” said Medway.

Lars Rise

Former Norwegian MP

“In 2005 my wife and I visited the MEK in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. After the first two days in Ashraf, my wife said I have never experienced such love. Ashrafis are people of integrity and love. It is the complete opposite of the regime in Iran,” said Mr. Rise of his experiences with MEK members.

“The leadership of this movement through Madame Maryam Rajavi is realizing amazing results. I always say I am a member of this movement and always will be,” he concluded.

Frederick Azzopardi

Member of Maltese Parliament

“The Iranian people are being denied their universal rights. The Iranian regime funds terrorism and threatens the world with nuclear proliferation. This regime is responsible of crimes against humanity that are punishable under international law,” stated Mr. Azzopardi.

“As Madame President Rajavi has said, regime change is the task of the Iranian people. We should support the Iranian people at all times.

Our message to the people is: We will never abandon you until your justified cause is fulfilled. You are, indeed, our heroes. Our common mission is a free Iran,” he concluded.

Paul Forseth

Former Canadian MP

“In solidarity, we will continue to support the Iranian people. The MEK members in Ashraf 3 should be known as the ‘overcomers.’ For the Iranian people, the future is much brighter than the past,” said the former Canadian MP.

Professor Alfred de Zayas

Former U.N. Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order

“The mullahs are not just going to roll over. Change, however, must come from within. I wish you success, perseverance, peace, and happiness in Iran,” said Professor de Zayas.

Roger Lyons

Former President of Britain’s Trades Union Congress TUC

Mr. Lyons spoke about the ongoing efforts by the TUC to support Iran’s workers. “We have been showing solidarity with the workers in Iran who face brutal repression. We have been educating various industries in order to support Iran’s workers,” he said.

Lyons also called attention to the plight of British-Iranian dual national citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. “She was arrested as a spy in Iran by the regime and separated from her baby,” Lyons explained. “The mullahs didn’t even give her decent medical attention. This is an outrageous example of the mullahs’ treachery. The mullahs’ attitude is making people understand far more about the need to support the Iranian Resistance and regime change in Iran. The evidence is here. Public opinion is strong and we will continue to campaign until we win,” he concluded.

Sir David Amess

British MP

“This Free Iran conference and gathering in Albania is all about democracy,” said Sir Amess.

“What an example of the MEK to build such a wonderful camp in such a short period. It is absolutely magnificent. It is wonderful being with people who seek to establish freedom and justice for the Iranian people,” he added.

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French delegation addressing the MEK members in Ashraf 3

World Politicians Express Support for Regime Change in Iran During MEK Rally

Duress, Albania 13/07/2019 – The annual Free Iran Conference for the first time at Ashraf 3, the headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK or PMOI) on July 13, 2019, near Duress in Albania. Politicians from across the globe are attending this conference. Paris 1 Mayor, Mr. Legaret announced that Paris’s 1st District has officially declared Ashraf 3 as its sister city

On July 13, 2019, on the largest conference during the 5-day Free Iran rally in Ashraf 3, representatives from many European and North American countries, expressed their support for the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI)‘s struggle to free Iran. Excerpts from some of the speeches from prominent politicians and dignitaries from around the world follow:

Michèle Alliot-Marie

Former Foreign, Defense, Interior and Justice Minister of France

“I thank you for representing a vision, a direction that unites all Iranians and many people in the world,” said Alliot-Marie. “Iran is behind all the crises in the Middle East. Iran destabilizes the whole region. Iran finances terrorists and supports them with weapons,” said Ms. Alliot-Marie.

“When we talk about Iran we don’t talk about the Iranian people. I refer to the regime that destabilizes the region. The Iranian people aren’t like that,” she emphasized. “We should not be illusional, we have cultural and political differences, but we have values that are common, and we should fight for them,” she added.

Stephen Harper

Former Canadian Prime Minister

“The need for change in Iran is greater than ever before and the need of the work of this organization for change in Iran is also greater than ever before,” said Harper.

The former Prime Minister emphasized the importance of a firm policy toward the Iranian regime. “The only realistic policy towards Iran is firmness, and post-sanctions do what my government did in Canada: close down the regime’s embassies around the world,” he said.

“What is the argument against firmness?” asked the former Prime Minister. “They say the world has no choice. Appeasement or war. This is not true. Appeasement is accepting the war that the regime is already waging against its neighbor through proxies,” he added.

“The right response is not to surrender, but to stand with the Iranian people and against this regime,” Harper continued.

“Your ten-point plan is the future, future Iran and the world needs. Do not give up hope and do not relent in your efforts in any way,” Harper concluded.

Dr. Bernard Kouchner

Former Foreign Minister of France

Dr. Kouchner said that the world should not confuse the Iranian regime with the Iranian people and enumerated Mrs. Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan for Iran’s Democratic Future.

 

“I don’t think anyone is against this policy,” he said, referring to Mrs. Rajavi’s plan. “I agree with Mr. Giuliani. We believe the people of Iran do support the [Iranian regime]. Mr. Giuliani was right. The mullahs are murderers. They are the origin of all terrorist attacks,” he said.

“We are ready to relieve this people from this awful religious system. We are not against religion. But we are against using religion to kill people,” he said. “Religion is also the liberation of the people. Madam Maryam Rajavi, you are persistent and a fantastic model for the women of the world…We are completely with you to support such a fantastic program,” he concluded.

Pandeli Majko

Former Albanian Prime Minister

The former Albanian Prime Minister became visibly emotional as he compared his country’s past of sheltering Jews with providing sanctuary to the MEK. “In World War II, German Nazis required Albania to transfer its gold to the bank in Berlin and give up a list of its Jewish citizens. The Albanian answer was short: ‘Gold yes, Jews no!’” said Majko.

“Lately in Albania, politicians have been in tough arguments with each other, but there is no debate about your stay here in Albania. You are in our hearts,” he added.

“If the Iranian regime wants to touch you, they must know that we said to the Nazi invaders, ‘Gold yes, Jews no.’ The ambassador of Iran has been kicked out of Tirana. So, don’t push us,” he warned. “‘’Gold yes, Mojahedin no!’ I hope to come soon to see you in Tehran,” he concluded.

Fatmir Mediu

Chairman of the Albanian Republican Party

“We have to think about the next steps, but all of us agree that the time for a change in Iran is long overdue. The American government has stood up for change in Iran, and we wish that Europe also stands up for liberty and freedom for the people of Iran as God-given rights,” said Mediu.

“Last year the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador because they planned to attack us when we gathered with Mayor Rudy Giuliani to discuss iran,” Mediu said in reference to the terrorist plot against last year’s Free Iran Rally.

“Madam Rajavi, your ten-point plan is for sure the future of Iran. Here in Albania we have our political differences, but we are united in your cause to support you for a free Iran,” said Mediu. “We’d rather be remembered by history as people who fought with you for the freedom of the Iranian people than people who stood by and watched,” he concluded.

Judge Ted Poe

Former U.S. Congressman

Judge Poe referenced the false terrorist designation of the MEK in his speech. “It was a mistake for the U.S. to put the MEK on the terrorist list in the first place. But at the end, a federal judge ordered the State Department to delist the MEK,” he said. “How ironic is this that the MEK is not on the terrorist list now but the IRGC and the Iranian government is on the U.S. terrorist list,” he added.

“There is nothing more powerful than a woman who has made up her mind. And that woman is Madame Rajavi and she has made up her mind for freedom for all of you,” Poe said.

“Yesterday, Governor Tom Ridge said that we are all given certain rights by God. There is a right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Governments are instituted among people to secure their God given rights. And if governments don’t do that, the people have the right to abolish that government, like the mullahs in Iran,” Poe continued.

“Don’t fear the mullahs,” urged Poe. “Don’t let them deprive you of sleep at night. It is important that the mullahs fear you and you keep them awake at night. You speak for the voices that have been silenced by the murders that have taken place against them. They cry out for justice. Justice demands that the people of Iran rule their own country. The illegitimate regime of the mullahs is through.”

“When you have a snake, you must cut off the head of the snake… I’m here to tell you that the lion with the sword [the emblem of the Persian flag] will cut off the head of the serpent in Tehran,” he emphasized.

“Somethings are worth living and dying for and I don’t see anything more worth to live and if necessary die for, than the cause of freedom in Iran,” Poe concluded.

Dana Rohrabacher

Former U.S. Congressman

“The most powerful force in the world are those people who believe in freedom and are ready to sacrifice their lives for freedom. I’m saying this to the dictators in Tehran: Your days are numbered and the people here will carry the cause of freedom to Tehran,” Rohrabacher said.

“You are the most powerful force on the planet,” Rohrabacher said to the MEK members at the conference. “You will prevail. As long as we have courageous people like you we don’t need to send American boots to the region.”

“I know you will win and I will be with you when we go to Tehran and declare free elections,” he added.

Lance Goodan

U.S. Congressman

“The first thing I learned about Iran is that the most respected individual among the Iranian community is Madame Maryam Rajavi,” said Goodan.

 

“I encourage the young people across Iran to get together to fight and spread the message. Young people are the future of Iran,” he concluded.

Matthew Offord

British MP

“I am proud to be part of a successful cross party effort to secure your resettlement here in Albania,” said Offord. “Your movement with Madame Maryam Rajavi is at the forefront of the cause of freedom of Iran and you are a beacon of hope.”.

“My colleagues and I urge our government to increase the number of people on its sanctions list for human rights violations in Iran. We urge our government to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist group, and we support the US sanctions on the regime’s Supreme Leader and urge the government to expand this to other regime officials,” Offord stated.

 

“I support Madame Rajavi’s ten-point plan that provides a clear alternative to the current Iranian regime,” Offord affirmed. “I call upon the UK government to recognize Madame Rajavi’s ten-point plan,” Offord added.

Baroness Sandip Verma

U.K. House of Lords

“There is no one stronger than a woman fighting for her children and land. Brave women in Iran are challenging the regime in every possible way. Many have been imprisoned and tortured in Iran. The prominence of women in the resistance is reflective of the role of women in Iran. It is time for the world to stand up and support the work of the NCRI,” said Baroness Verma.

“The regime in Iran considers women activists as enemies of the state,” continued Verma. “My sister, Maryam Rajavi, a Muslim woman, makes the Resistance a unique example in the Middle East. We hope to celebrate Madame Rajavi’s success, your success, our success in Iran soon,” she concluded.

Bob Blackman

British MP

“I welcome the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization and the U.S. decision to sanction the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader,” said Blackman.

“I hope that the UK will join our American allies in this effort soon,” he added. “The mullahs only understand the language of firmness. The international community must make it clear that we in the free world stand with the Iranian people and their resistance, NCRI, to bring democracy and freedom in Iran.”

Tom Ridge

Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Governor

“You can imprison a man or a woman but you can’t kill an idea. You can exile a man or a woman but you can’t kill an idea,” said Secretary Ridge.

“I say to each one of you: we pay tribute to your relentless pursuit for justice and freedom in your homeland which has a rich history of culture and has contributed much to the rest of the world,” Ridge said to the MEK members in attendance.

“You fight for all who cherish freedom and democracy around the world,” he added.

“There are probably millions in the world whose prayers are with you in your cause. Sometimes in your lives you have to pursue causes bigger than yourself. 120,000 men and women of the MEK have died embracing a cause bigger than themselves. You are embracing a cause bigger than yourself, and you will prevail,” Ridge emphasized.

“Your courage and sacrifice will be responsible for the freedom and democracy of generations; the same privileges that we take for granted in our countries,” he concluded.

Sid Ahmed Ghozali

Former Algerian Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister praised the Albanian government for their support of the MEK. “Albanians have shown that they are not big for their size but for the size of the ideas that they defend. When you defend democracy and freedom you become great people,” he said.

“The Ashrafis have shown that the Iranian Resistance will survive under pressure,” said Ghozali. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is a cruel and bloody religious dictatorship which wants to dominate the Arab-Islamic world,” he concluded.

Louis Freeh

Former FBI Director

“We will see amazing change and we will see it quickly. We have to get ready for is the prosecution and conviction of the thousands of criminals who have murdered, assassinated and killed, not by accident, but by a designed plan to mass murder a group of people,” stressed former Director Freeh.

“I see your museum here in Ashraf 3 as an evidence room that has photographs and digital records of the Iranian regime’s crimes. All the evidence that exists and that can’t be erased,” said Freeh.

“Apply your skills and start preparing for criminal prosecutions by an international criminal court. What will terrify terrorists more than anything is the prospect that they will be arrested and prosecuted under the rule of law,” advised the former FBI Director.

“I think of Ashraf 3 as temporary quarters. It’s Ashraf 4 that we would want to visit – that’s in Iran,” he concluded.

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Special Edition of Washington Times covers 5-day Free Iran conference

Washington Times Releases Special Edition on Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3

The cover photo for the Special Edition of the Washington Times on the Recent 5-day conference at MEK’s head quarter in Ashraf3- Albania.

The Washington Times released a special edition on Thursday detailing the MEK’s Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3 in Albania. The five-day event showcased the newly-constructed MEK headquarters and attracted more than 350 high-ranking political figures, human rights activists, and other dignitaries from 47 countries to speak in support of the MEK, the Iranian people and their fight to overthrow the clerical regime.

The featured article in the Washington Times special edition, entitled “MEK will fight Iran regime from new Ashraf-3 base in Albania,” explained the history of the MEK and the significance of Ashraf 3 in the Iranian Resistance’s struggle against the mullahs.

 

Construction on Ashraf 3, according to the Washington Times piece, began 20 months ago on a piece of Albanian farmland. It is now home to more than 3,000 MEK members. The compound is the size of a small city and includes parks, a hospital, conference halls, shopping centers, restaurants, swimming pools, and a luxury hotel. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani commented on the speed at which the city had been constructed in his speech to conference attendees, saying, “If we tried to do this in New York, it would take 15 years and launch 14 corruption investigations.”

The MEK relocated to Albania after repeated attacks on its previous homes at Camp Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. Former Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko explained why his country provided refuge to the group in his speech at the conference. “In 1943, the Nazis conquered Albania and had two main demands when an Albanian delegation went to Berlin,” Mr. Majko said. “They wanted our gold transferred to Berlin, and they wanted a list of all the Jews in Albania. Our answer was simple: the gold, yes; the Jews, no. Protecting those in need is part of our identity,” he said.

 

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), noted the significance of having so many world leaders attend the conference at Ashraf 3. “We look at the fact that so many leaders came to our home so far from where they live as a testament to the international support that exists for MEK and the faith they have in what we want to accomplish,” he said.

The Washington Times article wrote that the primary goal of the MEK is regime change but that “its formal aim is to step into the void that a collapsed Iranian government would leave only long enough to hold free elections and establish a secular state.” Mrs. Maryam Rajavi would serve as President-elect until elections were held within the first six months after the overthrow of the regime.

 

The dozens of speakers were united in their praise of Ashraf 3 and their support for regime change. The Washington Times published excerpts of many of the speeches from the event. A few of the most notable quotes are included below:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect, NCRI

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

Joseph Lieberman

Former U.S. Senator

“The battle to liberate Iran from the radical religious dictators who control it today is a battle that not only has great significance for the people of Iran but for the cause of freedom throughout the world.”

Rama Yade

Former French Secretary of State for Human Rights

“But it’s you, with your hands, your courage, your hopes, that built this place. Also, by the sacrifice of 120,000 of yours… What you did here in less than two years, you can do in Iran in one day.”

 

Tom Ridge

First U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

[S]ometimes in your life you have the opportunity to pursue and embrace causes bigger than yourself. Some 120,000 men and women have died seeking and promoting and embracing a cause bigger than themselves. There will be an open, pluralistic, non-nuclear, democratic Iran, and you — you, your courage, your sacrifice — will be responsible for future generations to enjoy the liberty and freedoms.

 

Sid Ahmed Ghozali

Former Algerian Prime Minister

“What the history will remember is that you are a resistance against repression but also that Ashraf 3 represents a new culture; they are symbols for development and progress. My dream is to see a free Iran and only then, we may have the first democratic government in the Islamic world.”

Louis Freeh

Former Director of the FBI

“One of the things I just wanted to say is listening to the testimony yesterday and viewing the room next door (Martyrs Exhibition), one of the things we have to prepare for is the prosecution and conviction of the thousands of criminals who have murdered, assassinated, killed, not by accident, not by coincidence, but a designed plan to murder, mass murder a group of people.”

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March for regime change in Iran by Iranians, the second in series of demonstrations by supporters of MEK on June 21, 2019

What Have the Free Iran Events Accomplished?

 

March for regime change in Iran by Iranians, the second in series of demonstrations by supporters of MEK on June 21, 2019

Free Iran rally in Washington D.C. held on June 21, 2019- Over 10,000 supporters of MEK rallied in the streets of Washington D.C. and ended up their rally in front of the White House.
The rally was in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising and to voice the Iranian people’s quest for regime change by Iranians in Iran.

This summer the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a series of Free Iran events in world capitals in solidarity with the people’s anti-regime protests in Iran and their stated desire to overthrow the clerical dictatorship currently in power.

Washington Times Publishes Special Report on D.C. Free Iran Rally

Rallies in Brussels; Washington, D.C.; Berlin; and Stockholm drew thousands of demonstrators and attracted news coverage from numerous media outlets around the world. The five-day Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s newly-constructed headquarters in Albania, was also widely covered by international press outlets and received attention from the regime’s state-run media as well. The final rally this Saturday in London is expected to attract thousands of attendees.

Thousands of MEK Supporters Gather in Stockholm for Free Iran Rally

The goals of this summer’s events extend beyond condemning the Iranian regime and asking the international community to end its financial support of the mullahs. The regime is on its last leg and will fall due to its own corruption and mismanagement even without outside pressure. Depriving the mullahs of support limits its ability to spread terror and bloodshed until its inevitable downfall.

Free Iran Rally in Berlin Receives International Press Coverage

Regime change is on the horizon, and the world wants to know what the alternative will look like. This is what this summer’s Free Iran events accomplished. By giving the international community a glimpse of the MEK and the NCRI, the world had the opportunity to see what Iran will look like once the mullahs have been overthrown.

Showed Ashraf 3 to the World

The choice to host the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3 was strategic and bold. The regime has spread propaganda that the MEK is a cult and has portrayed Ashraf 3 as a place that is closed off and secretive. The MEK disproved this conspiracy theory by throwing open its gates for 350 prominent politicians, human rights activists, lawmakers, and dignitaries from around the world and live-streaming the event to the world.

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

Proved that the MEK Can Rebuild Iran

The mullahs have sown fear that Iran would be devastated by regime change and would be unable to rebuild the country. Ashraf 3 disproved this notion by its very existence. Built on Albanian farmland, Ashraf 3 did not exist 20 months ago. MEK refugees from Camp Liberty in Iraq were relocated to the property after repeated Missile attacks ordered by the Iranian government and built the entire compound from the ground up in 16 months using their own donations. The MEK has shown that it is capable of building a city from nothing in less time than others would require to construct a single building.

Demonstrated Support for the MEK

The mullahs have deployed their propaganda machine to claim that the MEK is a fringe group that has little support within Iran, but Iranian youth who have recently fled the country spoke at Free Iran rallies this summer about the MEK and talked about their reasons for leaving the country and why they joined the MEK while they were in Iran. The regime’s state-run media acknowledges the role the MEK has played in the widespread protests that have engulfed Iran since December 2017.

Showcased the Alternative

Finally, the mullahs claim that any replacement to their rule would be just as bad for the international community as the current regime. This summer, the world heard from hundreds of speakers who praised Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-point Plan for Iran’s Democratic Future. They heard the NCRI’s platform and their commitment to religious freedom, to gender equality, to human rights, and to a non-nuclear Iran. They saw a future that they could believe in, and a Resistance that deserves the world’s support.

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List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

List of thousands of PMOI / MEK martyrs executed during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran- A photo of the exhibition at Ashraf3, during the 5-day conference in solidarity with the Iranian resistance- July 2019

The final day of the Free Iran Conference was dedicated to seeking justice for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 Massacre (mainly MEK supporters) and their families. A number of dignitaries gave speeches on Monday, but the most memorable words came from survivors of the massacre. Their words are summarized below.

Kobra Jokar – Former Political Prisoner

“I spent six years in prison. The Revolutionary Guards arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin Prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him,” said Ms. Jokar.

“A few days later, they executed my husband with 75 others. The torturer said his intention was for him to never see his child. When I gave birth to my child, they took me to a hospital and quickly brought me back to prison even though I was very ill. I personally knew 50 MEK pregnant women who were executed, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” she said.

“In prison, they would not give milk and food for the kids, and my cell mates would provide their sugar rations to me to give something to my baby. There was no doctor or medication for the children. In the public ward, there were only 15 minutes of warm water every other day, which we had to use to give the children a bath. Many of these children had lost their parents,” Ms. Jokar continued.

 

“The torturers even interrogated the children. They strapped a six-year-old girl to a chair in a dark room and said they would leave her there if she did not reveal the names of her mother’s friends,” she said.

“I managed to escape prison in 1986. All of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre,” Ms. Jokar said.

“The roots of our hopes and faith in our leaders helped us overcome the dark times in prison and to fight for freedom,” she concluded. Ms. Jokar remained stoic throughout her testimony but many in the room were visibly moved by her words.

 Hengameh Haj-Hassan

“I was a nurse in Tehran. In 1981, I was arrested and imprisoned in Evin Prison and Gohardasht Prison along with many of my colleagues. We were charged with helping the people who were injured by the IRGC,” said Ms. Haj-Hassan.

“In prison, we were subjected to severe tortures. Insomnia, packed cells, sleeping in coffins were what we had to endure,” she said.

“I was in a cage for seven months. These were small partitions where you could only squat. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t even cough or sneeze. If we moved, we were tortured. Our eyes were blindfolded. My eyesight has been degraded and my back was injured. I was operated on five times and yet I still have not recovered,” Ms. Haj-Hassan continued.

“When we came out of the cages, our friends didn’t recognize us. Inside the cage, we had to be prepared for any torture at any moment. The torturers used any excuse to torture us,” she emphasized.

“The torturer told us that we would die here. We were only given three minutes per day to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t even brush our teeth. The food they gave us was scarce and very dirty. At night, when we were allowed to sleep, they would turn on loudspeakers and play the regime’s mourning songs,” she added.

“The torturers sought to break our will and force us to turn our backs on our struggle. I decided that I would tell the enemy the name of the Mojahed. My friend Shekar was arrested with me, and she was executed in 1988 after suffering torture and the cage,” she stressed.

“I decided to prepare myself for hard days. I scheduled all my moments every day. My program was I started to remember all the songs and the contents of the Mojahedin books and the martyrs’ biographies that I already had read and started to repeat them. I had a physical exercise program. We weren’t allowed to move, but I exercised in my mind. I nursed patients in my mind,” she explained.

“At night, when we couldn’t sleep due to the loudspeakers, I trained myself to shut down those noises and take myself to pleasant places in my memories,” she added.

“The hardest times were the feeling of loneliness. I thought of God, and I thought of my leader, Massoud Rajavi. I spoke to him, and this way, I didn’t feel alone anymore,” Ms. Hassan continued.

“The torturers thought they would break our will through torture. However, they only made us stronger, as we understood that this proved what we were doing was right,” she emphasized.

“In prison, we considered ourselves PMOI representatives, and we deemed it our responsibility to defend their values. When I came out of prison, the first thing I did was to re-join my organization. This is a path that will continue until the end,” Ms. Haj-Hassan concluded. Her speech drew chants and applause from the audience.

Homa Jaberi

“I was in the regime’s prisons for five years and I witnessed many tortures. I was arrested in 1981 because I had participated in a peaceful MEK protest and spent many years in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin prisons. When the regime wasn’t able to break the will of the MEK woman through torture, they created a compound called the ‘residential units,’” said Ms. Jaberi.

“This was a secret compound. I was there for 40 days. From the first day, I was tortured brutally with whips and physically beaten. They took all of us to a room, blindfolded us, and told us that they would kill us until that night. They tortured us for hours until midnight,” she stated.

“My hands were swollen from the whiplashes. My face and body were bruised. The regime’s torturer said, ‘This is your hell. No one will hear you here. You will all die here.’ They kept us awake for many days and didn’t let us sleep,” she continued.

“Some of my friends were kept in this place for six months. We weren’t even allowed to scream under torture. Every command was given with whip lashes. For instance, if they wanted to tell us that we could sleep, they would do so by whipping us,” she added.

“After 40 days, I was taken to Evin Prison. Some of my friends had lost their mental balance. Some of the prisoners would not even speak of the tortures they had suffered. They said that the torturers made them make animal noises and insult themselves. Some had been raped,” Ms. Jaberi explained.

“I have faith that with the leadership of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, we will free Iran. It was this faith that helped me overcome the tough conditions of the prison,” she concluded to cheers and chants from the audience.

A video clip about the 1988 Massacre was shown to the conference attendees. MEK members held up photographs of loved ones who were martyred in the massacre. Some held more than one photograph. Mrs. Rajavi wiped tears from her eyes during the presentation.

 

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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.

Staff writer

 

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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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Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3 Hosts International Panel on Iran Policy and MEK’s Role in Iran’s Democratic Future

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative – MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, hosted an international conference on Thursday, July 11th entitled “Policy on Iran and a Viable Alternative.” A panel of prominent politicians and dignitaries from the United States and Europe offered their perspectives on the best approach to dealing with the Iranian regime. They also discussed the need for the international community to support the MEK as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Moderator:

  • Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Lincoln Bloomfield

Panelists:

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • Former Commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps James Conway
  • University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan
  • Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ambassador Robert Joseph
  • Former Foreign Minister of Canada
  • Former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli

The following are some of the most notable moments from the day’s event. (Questions in bold type were asked by panel moderator Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield.)

What is the Achilles heel of the mullahs’ regime?

Sen. Torricelli “There’s a fundamental belief that things will work out. The future is not as bad as the past. Even a despotic regime will reform itself over time. That’s a handicap for us. The Iranian regime is not going to reform. It’s not going to change.”

“The second handicap is, those who would accommodate the regime take the high ground because they’re speaking out against war. Here’s the problem: first of all, there is a war. There’s no one fighting back. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by their own government. There’s been a war waged on the Iranian people since 1979. Those who would argue for patience and time have no moral high ground.”

Where can we have the maximum effect on pushing the regime back?

Amb. Joseph: “The right policy is whatever accelerates the end of this regime. The wrong policy is what prolongs the life of this regime. Appeasement has turned out to be not just a failure but also counter to American interests. We should start with maximum pressure, and the administration has been doing a good job. The sanctions are having a deep impact on the Iranian economy.

“If we show weakness, it’s provocative. When we show strength, the regime backs down. It’s important that we always keep in mind that the show of strength is key to success.”

“Land invasion is not what’s necessary. Change has to come from within [Iran]. A more effective policy would include calling out the regime on its gross human rights violations. We don’t do that often enough.”

“We should negotiate on nuclear affairs, but we have to keep in mind what our principles are. We should not be victim of the mindset that negotiations mean compromise and giving the other party concessions. That is what happened in the JCPOA.

“Our focus ought to be calling them out, and combining these tools, whether its sanctions or the military, that will facilitate the end of this regime.”

What’s the right strategy to impair the military of the Iranian regime? Is it something we should be looking at? What else could we be thinking of that would undermine the cohesion of this criminal enterprise?

Prof. Sheehan: “The contest is ultimately over the right to think freely. The regime fears the truth, they fear facts. We must hold panels like this and expand the truth. We must give the Iranian people a sense of what’s going on around them and the idea that there is this viable alternative.

“The Iranian opposition does not fear the truth, and they know ultimately that it is on their side. With time these ideas will lead to the revolution that we’d all like to see take place.”

Should we be more specific about the guilt of the Iranian regime?

Baird: “We can exploit the regime’s vulnerability, to support the people of Iran. The regime realizes that when it falls, they will have no place to go. The senior members of this regime know that they will have nowhere to go and they will be held to account for their crimes such as the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina.”

Sen. Torricelli: “No one can seriously believe this regime will last long. It’s an unsustainable situation. If you’re in the leadership today, there’s going to be a moment in your life when you’re going to be held accountable.”

What messages are the ones that really hurt the regime the most and isolate them among their people?

Amb. Joseph: “We must continue to push forward on exposing the regime’s brutality and its human rights violation. In the information space, we ought to focus on how this regime has failed the people. Just look at their inability to respond to the recent flooding. It is an incompetent regime. That is a vulnerability that would further deteriorate support for this regime in Iran, which is already decreasing day after day, month after month, year after year.”

Do the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) deserve to wear a uniform at all, given their unprofessional behavior?

General Conway, “Iran’s regime invariably gets greedy. Every one of the leaders of this regime have Swiss bank accounts that are growing while the people of Iran are living in poverty. We should expose that and let the people know who their leadership is.”

What will do the trick [to overthrow the mullahs]?

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan “The regime in Tehran fears internal pressure more than it fears external threats. The people of Iran don’t need the world to rescue them. The regime change will be led by you.”

Are we playing strong offense and defense?

Sen. Torricelli: “Not enough.”

“It happens all the time. In Tehran, they have carefully disseminated false information into the mainstream media. We’re fighting back, and it’s been a long climb. What the mullahs are doing with misinformation in Washington, London and Paris, you can do with the truth. “

Baird: “The fact that the European authorities uncovered a plot by the regime that tried to attack the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2018, the rashness just shows how fearful the regime is of you.”

How do we amass the power of the many outrages about the regime and put it all into a powerful mixture?

Amb. Joseph: “The process that I’ve seen is that reporters tend to go to the same sources over and over again. If you look at who they’re going to in the world of think tanks, most of these people are doing the work of the regime.”

“This is where the MEK and NCRI can make a difference.”

Is the world taking notice of the regime’s terrorism in their countries? When did it become acceptable behavior? What should we do about it?

Prof. Sheehan: “There are some groups and individuals that you simply can’t negotiate with, and the regime is emblematic of that group.”

“In Washington, DC, we found a deeply entrenched pro-regime lobby, and that lobby exists in other places of the world. But the tools and power of ideas that we have at our disposal today are much stronger than the tools we had before.”

“We don’t have to wait for Washington to change its policy. Every citizen around the world can help contribute to this change.”

A lot of people in Washington fear that what happened in Syria and Libya will repeat in Iran.

Baird: “They need to understand who the Iranian people are and what their capacity is. We have to push back against the elite foreign policy view in the West. In the West, regimes start to do crazy stupid things and the type of behavior we’ve seen in this regime. They are not being rational in their final days, and the more we see this, the closer they are to their end.”

The Iranian people have had this aspiration from at least the beginning of the 20th century. How can we convince the West that we can trust them if this regime collapses?

Sen. Torricelli: “Tehran is desperately trying to keep the Europeans in a dialogue to keep an economic lifeline. They do not want military confrontation but they are attacking the U.S. drone. These are irrational acts. When the regime becomes this irrational, it means that the sanctions are working. Those irrational actions tell me that we’re reaching a point. If I were Trump or Merkel or Macron, I would press my foot on the pedal because they’re telegraphing that what we are doing is working.”

How do we direct western policy in the right direction? What could we do that we are not doing enough of?

Giuliani: “We had an opportunity a few years ago when the sanctions were working. There are strong indicators that the protests in Iran are becoming political.”

“People have said bad things about you because you support the MEK and Madam Rajavi. What does Washington need to know that this group is entirely misportrayed in Washington?” asked Amb. Bloomfield.

Giuliani: “We need a massive public relations campaign. When people find out what this group really stands for and they get past the allegations, it all starts to make sense. We’ve got the same goal that is a free democratic Iran.”

Is there a potential for Canada, the U.S. and Europe to find common ground on how the regime is gaming the west and escaping accountability?

Baird: “After Iraq, President Obama and other European leaders were so desperate to make diplomacy work rather than military force. What we need is leadership. The weakness in 2009 in not standing up for the Iranian people will go down in history as a lost opportunity. We must do all we can to stand up for what’s right. We need leadership. That is what Madam Rajavi is trying to provide.”

Sen. Torricelli: “The people are realizing that this regime will not moderate. The regime’s behavior is also deteriorating all the time.”

What can we do to show there’s a democratic alternative? How do we find that next gear in Washington?

Giuliani: “In the past year, the regime has become more frightened and irrational. Striking the drone and what they’re doing with the tankers, maybe they want us to attack them and they hope that it would rally the people behind them. We’re so reluctant to take military action, and the world would also react badly, that the mullahs could push us along if they engaged diplomatically. But their poking their finger in our eye.”

“I think the mullahs are going to fall, with these protests going on, the crazy things they are doing. I think they are desperate. What they are doing sounds like a regime that is not thinking in clever ways.”

Let’s assume the Iranians will continue to lash out desperately. What’s your advice in Washington for a legitimate response?

Amb. Joseph: “One of the things we need to do is recognize that revolutions are very messy. What is missing in those revolutions is a viable alternative that would be beneficial not only to the Iranian people but also to the U.S. and the world in general.”

“What we need to do is to think strategically and integrate our tools in an effective strategy. The only solution to the nuclear issue in Iran is regime change and the viable alternative is a key component to that.”

“I spoke to many people in Ashraf. The sacrifices that the members of MEK in Ashraf have endured are many. But they do not have a sense of revenge. That, I think, will deliver the people of Iran their freedom.”

Do we have the ability to select surgical targets as an acceptable response?

Prof. Sheehan: “What unifies us here in this panel and this room is that the mullahs are not irrational when it comes to one thing, which is their fear of the organized resistance. What I wish U.S. officials knew is the democratic aspirations and inclinations of the Iranian people, which run very, very deep. The Iranian people are not the slightest bit irrational. I have come to appreciate how sophisticated and educated they are. I have come to appreciate that the NCRI’s platform and Madam Rajavi’s plan is the future of Iran. That’s the viable alternative that we need Washington to realize.”

People have been in the streets since the late 2017. They are admitting that the MEK and NCRI are organizing the demonstrations. Are we making progress here?

Giuliani: “The fact that the protests continue is a very good sign even though the regime has tried to harm them. The biggest frustration is getting the European governments to do the right thing. Whatever their economic interests and fear, we should all be together in eliminating this regime. We have to keep up the pressure, try to put more sanctions. And the important point is, some of these revolutions have happened without an alternative. Here you do not have to let that happen. We must get Americans to understand that there is an alternative and let them see it.”

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