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MEK supporters rally in London-July 2019

MEK Supporters Hold Large Free Iran Rally in London

MEK supporters rally in London-July 2019

Thousands of the Supporters of MEK, rallied in London on Saturday, July 27, to express their solidarity with Iran uprisings and to show support for the Iranian resistance (MEK).

Iranians demonstrating in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people and their organized resistance coalition NCRI – July 27, 2019 – London, United Kingdom

On Saturday, a large crowd of Iranians rallied in London to show their unprecedented support for the main Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), as the cornerstone member of this movement. The event is the latest in a series of demonstrations held in different cities across the globe, including Brussels, Washington. D.C., Berlin and Stockholm.

The London gathering also comes just two weeks after a five-day event at Ashraf 3, the new PMOI/MEK headquarters in Albania, where hundreds of dignitaries from over 50 countries gathered to voice their support for Iranian protesters and the objective of overthrowing the mullahs’ regime.

 

British MP Dr. Matthew Offord

 

British MP Dr. Matthew Offord at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

“It was an honor for me to lead a British delegation to Free Iran event in Ashraf 3, Albania. It was an opportunity to meet the people of Ashraf and hear their experiences and their hopes for the future,” said British MP Dr. Matthew Offord.

 

“We were convinced during our visit that Madam Rajavi represents an opportunity for the future of Iran. She seeks peace in the region. Recent events in the Persian Gulf show Iran is engaged in state piracy,” he continued in reference to Iranian opposition NCRI President Maryam Rajavi.

 

“Today our response should be firm, held on the principle that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the regime of Iran should be held to account to their atrocities. These organizations should be proscribed in their entirety under the terrorism act,” Dr. Offord continued.

 

“We should say we want to see regime change in Iran, led by Madam Rajavi, to achieve a better Iran and a better world order,” this British MP emphasized.

 

“We should recognize that the greatest asset for us is the bond of friendship between the people of Iran, the NCRI and the world. The people of Iran are ready to stand up for change,” Dr. Offord concluded.

 

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi

 

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi delivering a video speech to the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

“The message of the people of Iran and supporters of Ashraf is the same everywhere: freedom and a free Iran. The mullahs must go. Regime change and regime change… And we do not get tired of repeating and insisting on these calls. We will cry out and repeat them again and again until the day they are realized,” NCRI President Maryam Rajavi said in her speech.

 

“Our Resistance has proven that peace and freedom can only be earned through fighting the mullahs’ religious dictatorship. This is in diametric opposition to the proponents of appeasement who defend the regime under the guise of peace,” she added.

 

Criticizing the proponents of the appeasement policy toward the mullahs, Mrs. Rajavi said, “These gentlemen’s hollow calls for peace are tantamount to safeguarding the regime against the Iranian people’s desire and against human rights.”

 

Members of the Iranian community in Europe attending the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“We urge Britain, Europe and all governments to halt giving concessions to the mullahs. Do not help them decrease the sanctions. Stand up to them. Place the IRGC and the mullahs’ Gestapo (Ministry of Intelligence and Security – MOIS), [Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei’s office and [President] Hassan Rouhani on the terror list,” the NCRI President highlighted.

 

“We urge you to set aside the policy of overlooking the main force in Iranian society and history. Instead of complicity and shaking hands with the religious fascism, stand on the side of the people of Iran for regime change,” she continued.

 

“I specifically urge the new UK government to support human rights, namely the suppressed human rights of the people of Iran. I urge them to take action to send an international fact-finding mission to Iran to visit the regime’s prisons and the political prisoners particularly, the women,” Mrs. Rajavi stressed.

 

“The era of religious fascism is coming to an end; Iran will be free. We will take back our most beautiful homeland by the resistance units and the Army of Freedom,” the NCRI President concluded.

 

Former MEP Struan Stevenson

Former MEP Struan Stevenson at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

“In the past few weeks, tens of thousands of supporters of NCRI supporters have gathered in Brussels, Washington, Berlin, Tirana, Stockholm and here,” said former MEP Struan Stevenson.

 

“After suffering many attacks in Ashraf and Liberty, MEK has risen from its ashes in Ashraf 3, Albania,” he continued.

 

“We have shown the world in the past few weeks the strength of our movement. The Guardian should be ashamed of the rubbish they publish. It’s a disgrace that newspapers like the Guardian still follow the appeasement policy with the mullahs. Why don’t they support the Iranian people who want human rights, women’s rights, justice, peace?” asked Mr. Stevenson.

 

“These newspapers claim the choice is between war and appeasement. We do not see war, we see courage, resilience. We must show our support for the people of Iran and the Iranian resistance,” the former MEP emphasized.

 

“My message to Boris Johnson and his government. Please respect the PMOI and its charismatic leader Mrs. Rajavi. Please respect their struggle for regime change. We don’t need intervention. We must just support the people and the resistance,” Mr. Stevenson highlighted in a message to the new UK government.

 

Members of the Iranian community in Europe attending the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“This criminal regime has added international piracy to its long list of transgressions. It has become a universal pariah. It is supporting terrorism while its 80 million citizen struggle in poverty. It executes dissidents and hangs people in public. It has executed more than 3,500 people under the so-called ‘moderate’ Hassan Rouhani,” he added.

 

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the resistance and with the MEK,” Mr. Stevenson concluded.

 

Irish Senator Catherine Noone, Deputy Leader of Irish Senate

Irish Senator Catherine Noone, Deputy Leader of Irish Senate, at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

“Iran still holds the highest number of executions per capita. The regime deprives women of their basic rights and punishes them for mal-veiling and wearing colorful clothes,” said Irish Senator Catherine Noone.

 

“Mrs. Rajavi has made many sacrifices for a better future for all Iranians, particularly the women of Iran… The people of Iran have had enough of this dictatorship. They’re chanting down with dictator. Women play a prominent role in protests, inspired for the NCRI,” she added.

 

“Iran needs regime change, and it needs to happen soon,” Senator Noone concluded.

 

Former MEP Jim Higgins

 

Former MEP Jim Higgins at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“A country that hangs its own citizens is barbaric. A company that suppresses its own people is a tyranny that must be removed,” said former MEP Jim Higgins.

 

“We rejoice in the fact that Ashraf 3 in Albania is such a success. The mullahs know the clock is ticking and their days are numbered,” he added.

 

“40 years ago, the Shah left Iran. A vacuum was created. It should have been the dawn of freedom and democracy. But we’re here today because that 1979 dream turned into a nightmare. We’re here to make sure that dream is realized,” Mr. Higgins continued.

 

“We pledge our support to do anything possible to make that dream come true. We’re here to send a strong message to the regime: your days are numbered. Hand over to a real democracy. Hand over to a real president, to Mrs. Rajavi,” the former MEP concluded.

 

Irish Senator Gerry Horkan

Irish Senator Gerry Horkan at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The strong attendance of thousands of Iranians and politicians in these events debunked claims by some media that Mrs. Rajavi and NCRI have no support,” said Irish Senator Gerry Horkan.

 

“The 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners is evidence of the regime’s fear toward the MEK and the resistance movement. The regime has been waging assault on the rights of the Iranian people for over 40 years, and has destroyed their economy through its corruption,” he added.

 

“We urge the EU and the UK government to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization as the main tool for the regime to export terrorism. We must alter the policies of our government to recognize the rights of the Iranian people,” the Irish Senator highlighted.

 

Dowlat Nowruzi, NCRI Representative in the UK

Dowlat Nowruzi, NCRI Representative in the UK, at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“We are here to convey the four decades of suffering of the Iranian people. We are here to convey the main aspiration of the Iranian people, demanding justice, demanding freedom, demanding regime change and demanding support for Mrs. Rajavi,” said Dowlat Nowruzi, NCRI Representative in the UK.

 

“Decisiveness is the only solution to dealing with this regime. Our resistance movement has paid the highest price for the rights of the Iranian people,” she added.

 

“Enough is enough! The mullahs must go. They do not represent the Iranian people. We want regime change now,” Ms. Nowruzi continued.

 

“The main message of protesters across Iran is ‘hardliners, reformists, the game is over.’ Massoud Rajavi called for solidarity for the millions of people in Iran and the hundreds of thousands who poured onto the streets for their rights. The people of Iran deserve the violators of human rights who are occupying the top to bottom of this regime to face justice,” the NCRI Representative in the UK emphasized.

 

“It is time for the UK government to realize that they must lead in Europe for a policy toward Iran. As Ashraf 3 proved to the world community, this movement is committed in its entirety it is dedicated to freedom in Iran. They proved they can build the future of Iran,” she continued.

 

“The recent terror attempts of the regime are all indications that the world community must be united with the NCRI for a policy of regime change in Iran,” Ms. Nowruzi concluded.

 

British MP Roger Godsiff

British MP Roger Godsiff at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The UK must recognize the rights of the Iranian people for regime change and support the NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for the future of Iran,” said British MP Roger Godsiff.

 

“The main barrier to democratic change in Iran is the IRGC. I welcome the decision of the U.S. government to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization and to place sanctions on the office of the supreme leader. I hope our government in the UK takes similar steps,” he continued.

 

“This brutal regime only understands the language of firmness. The international community must make clear to the regime and its officials that we in the free world stand with the people of Iran and their resistance movement to bring about democracy and human rights in Iran,” Mr. Godsiff added.

 

“We fully support the NCRI and we look forward to the day where we can be Iran and celebrate a free and democratic Iran,” the British MP concluded.

 

Former MEP Paolo Casaca

 

Former MEP Paolo Casaca at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“Tomorrow, we will remember the 10th anniversary of the first massacre in Ashraf. It was followed by another massacre in 2011 and again in September 2013, as well as massacres in Camp Liberty. I pay homage to all these heroes who fell in these massacres and those who have been disabled for life,” said former MEP Paolo Casaca.

 

“We will think about them. But we must also think about the present and about ways to confront this regime which is a monster to its people and its neighbors. We must think about ways to confront the sea of lies being thrown at the Iranian opposition. We have seen ludicrous lies and fabricated accounts in newspapers here in England,” he added.

 

“The mullahs want to steal the past of the Iranian people to prevent them from obtaining the future. The past of the Iranian people, Cyrus the Great, Sattar Khan, Mossadegh, and of course Massoud Rajavi, they are your heritage, and you are going to make an Iran that is absolutely in line with its past glories, after putting the mullahs away and putting behind this dark era of your history… The future is yours,” Mr. Casaca concluded.

 

Former British MP Brian Binley

Former British MP Brian Binley at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The regime has moved to arrest hundreds of PMOI supporters and their families in Iran because the popular protests are undermining the regime’s power. The regime is showing with its own actions that we should support the NCRI and Madam Rajavi if we want to counter the regime’s malign activities. They represent a true and viable alternative to the current regime,” said former British MP Brian Binley.

 

“The attacks we’ve witnessed in the past months prove the regime sees the NCRI as its main threat. The regime is warning about the growing support for the Iranain resistance,” he added.

 

“Boris Johnson needs to change the policy that was pursued by previous governments that were frightened to oppose the regime, a regime that is not supported by the people. We need change in the British government,” Mr. Binley concluded.

 

Denise Lester, Member of The Law Society of England and Wales

Denise Lester, Member of The Law Society of England and Wales, at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The Law Society has called for the release of Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh after defending women who took part in protests. Lawyers must be able to perform their judicial functions without hindrance and harassment,” said Denise Lester, Member of The Law Society of England and Wales.

 

“We support you in the cause for human rights, women’s rights and democracy in Iran,” she concluded.

 

Roger Lyons, former president of the UK Trade Unions Congress

Roger Lyons, former president of the UK Trade Unions Congress, at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“In Ashraf 3, we saw impressive constructions. But it is only temporary, until it goes back in Tehran,” said Roger Lyons, former president of the UK Trade Unions Congress.

 

“We’re here because the mullahs are falling apart. They tried a terror plot against the Paris conference last year. Then they tried to blow us up in Albania, and their ambassador was expelled.

 

Lyons referred to the bankrupt state of the Iraniain economy and the abysmal human rights conditions, including the imprisonment of British national Nazanin Zaghari.

 

I also wish to state a remark to Jeremy Corbyn. We aren’t happy with the support he has given to the mullahs. We aren’t happy that he has been paid by PressTV to spread propaganda for the Iranian regime. You should support the Iranian resistance, not the mullahs.

 

Resistance in Iran is growing under the leadership of NCRI and Mrs. Rajavi. The mullahs are falling out.

 

Iraqi jurist Dr. Mohamed al-Sheikhli

Iraqi jurist Dr. Mohammad al-Sheikhli at the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The PMOI represents the dreams of the Iranian people. We must remember the victims of the mullahs’ regime and the blood that was shed for freedom,” said Iraqi jurist Dr. Mohamed al-Sheikhli.

 

“Let us remember the role of the champions, the Ashraf residents before the government of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and agents of the Iranian regime. The mullahs are violating international law. They’re a serious threat to global security. The actions of the mullahs in and around the Strait of Hormuz proves this regime does not respect and adhere to international laws. It supports death squads in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The mullahs’ regime evades sanctions by controlling the Iraqi people’s money and stealing the country’s oil resources,” he added.

 

“This is part of the regime’s expansion plans in the Middle East region. The regime is also planting terrorists and death squads in the EU through its embassies. The EU and UK must take urgent action and shut down these embassies to preserve the security of their citizens,” Dr. al-Sheikhli continued.

 

“The crimes of the bloody regime should not be forgotten. The international community must form an international tribunal against the regime for its crimes against the Iranian people, the Iraqi, Lebanese and Syrian people,” the prominent Iraqi jurist emphasized.

 

“This regime seeks to obtain nuclear weapons. The international community must take responsibility to confront this criminal regime. They need to tighten sanctions in all forms against this regime. The international community is fully aware that the true alternative to this regime is the leadership of Maryam Rajavi and the PMOI. They are the true hope for the Iranian people and the people of ME,” Dr. al-Sheikhli concluded.

 

Iranian community delegation

Members of the Iranian community in the UK attending the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

Comments by members of the Iraniain community in the UK:

 

“We are a generation who have never seen our homes, whose parents were tortured and executed by the mullahs, whose aunts and uncles were massacred in Ashraf and Liberty, whose brothers and sisters are being beaten in Tehran’s streets and attacked by the mullahs thugs. The Iranian regime has failed in suppressing us.”

 

“With heroes in Ashraf 3, how can we not have courage? How can we not be hopeful? How can we not be strong with the leadership of Maryam Rajavi? We will continue to carry the flag of 120,000 martyrs. Free Iran is the true desire of the Iranian people. We call on Boris Johson to stand on the right side of history and support the Iranian people. Recognize the NCRI and Maryam Rajavi as the true alternative that can bring freedom and democracy to Iran.”

 

Members of the Iranian community in the UK attending the London rally of Iranians in support of regime change in Iran by the Iranian people – London – July 27, 2019

 

“The people are rising across Iran. They have one clear message: The mullahs’ regime must go. This regime has only brought pain and hardship for the Iranian people and their neighbors. We show our support for the youth in Iran. You are strong and steadfast and you are an inspiration to us all.”

 

“We stand here to say in one united voice that we want regime change. The Iranian people have the right to decide their own future. Boris Johnson has a duty to stand with the Iranin people.  Appeasement has only resulted in hostage-taking and terrorism by the regime. We demand the IRGC and the entirety of the mullahs’ regime to be put on the list of terrorist organizations.”

 

“Victory is ours. The future is ours.”

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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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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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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.

Staff writer

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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.

Staff writer

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