Thursday, June 23, 2022: The 48th US Vice President Mike Pence and former second lady of the United States Mrs. Karen Pence visited Ashraf-3, the residence of thousands members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania.
Excerpts from the remarks of Maryam Rajavi and Mike Pence as follows:
Excerpts from the speech of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi
Your visit to Ashraf-3 coincides with the Iranian people’s uprisings. Various sectors of our nation have risen up in different cities, including Tehran, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Shush, Zanjan and Rasht. The Resistance Units are also fighting across the country.
Three days ago, marked the beginning of the 42nd year of our nationwide Resistance against the mullahs’ regime. On June 20, 1981, Khomeini ordered his troops to open fire on the MEK’s half-a-million-strong and peaceful demonstration in Tehran, and turned it into a mass killing.
The same night, mass executions began without even identifying the victims.
You know about Khomeini’s fatwa for the execution of all MEK members and sympathizers, who remained steadfast in their ideal. This, no doubt, is evidence of a strong and relentless resistance to establish a free and democratic Iran.
The MEK is also proud of stopping Khomeini’s expansionist war in 1988. He had been waging that conflict for eight years with the slogan of capturing Quds (Jerusalem) via Karbala.
However, in 1988, the National Liberation Army of Iran forced Khomeini, to, in his own words, drink the chalice of the poison of the ceasefire in a war with one million dead, two million maimed and wounded, 4 million homeless, and more than one trillion dollars in damages on the Iranian side alone.
The MEK was also the first to expose the regime’s nuclear projects since 1991. In 2002, it uncovered the regime’s secret sites and informed the world of its bomb-making program.
Without those revelations, the mullahs would have obtained the bomb years ago.
Today, I want to underscore three points: First, the objective conditions of Iranian society; second, the alternative to the regime; and third, the international community’s approach to the religious fascism ruling Iran.
First, the world is witnessing that conditions are ripe for change in Iran and that people are ready for change. Protests are erupting with increasing intensity across the country.
On the other hand, the regime has no answer except stepping up repression, executions, or torture in its prisons. The people of Iran have the right to resist, much like the war of independence in America. The mullahs have occupied our country. People now chant, “Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s America.”
The Iranian Resistance set a historical example: the resistance of a nation can change the course of history towards freedom. Today, we see this experience in Ukraine. Indeed, if the people of Ukraine themselves had not taken up arms, what would have guaranteed the protection of their country?
External conditions are effective only when a fighting force on the ground is prepared to pay the price. In the past year, the MEK Resistance Units in Iran carried out more than 2,350 campaigns against repression that paved the way for uprisings across our nation.
Second, by virtue of believing in a democratic Islam, the MEK is an effective counterforce to the mullahs’ sinister ideology.
By promoting the separation of religion and state, this alternative is a solution to establish democracy in Iran and an obstacle to Islamic fundamentalism in the entire region.
Now that all illusions about any reform within the regime in Iran have disappeared, the mullahs are investing on a non-existent Shah to divert the uprisings.
Yes, Tehran rulers are at their weakest point. They face the Iranian people’s uprisings for change.
We can and must rid Iran, the Middle East, and the world from the evil of nuclear mullahs.
The November 2019 uprising, with its rebellious cities and the Army of freedom, showed the way.
Third, today, the world clearly sees that the policy of appeasement of the mullahs has failed.
This is a regime that gives a bomb to its diplomat to blow up the gathering of the Iranian Resistance where hundreds of distinguished international personalities were present.
This is a regime that disables IAEA cameras at its nuclear sites and runs more advanced centrifuges. Yes, this regime has never abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons as a guarantee for its survival. This is part of Raisi’s mission.
The International Community must activate the trigger mechanism.
The Iranian regime’s dossier on human rights violations and terrorism, particularly the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, and the crackdown on protesters in November 2019, must be referred to the UN Security Council, and the regime’s leaders must be prosecuted for committing genocide and crimes against humanity.
If the regime did not intend to provoke wars, its conventional army would have sufficed. Therefore, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (the IRGC) must be dismantled.
Like Ukraine, the Iranian people and their Resistance deserve international recognition and support. The war of Iran’s rebellious youths against the terrorist IRGC to overthrow the regime must be recognized.
Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Pence,
Today, Iran’s freedom fighters who have fought against the Shah’s regime and the religious tyranny ruling our nation welcomed you to Ashraf-3.
Tomorrow, a free Iran will welcome you for standing by the Iranian people and Resistance.
Excerpts from the speech of Vice President Mike Pence
It is a great honor for me and my wonderful wife to be here in Ashraf-3, Albania, where the eternal flame of freedom burns bright. It’s a privilege for us to be here, the home of thousands of courageous Iranian men and women… the home of peace and prosperity… the home of hope for a free and democratic Iran.
I have traveled more than 5,000 miles from my home in Indiana to be here today because we share a common cause: the liberation of the Iranian people from decades of tyranny, and the rebirth of a free, peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iran. Thank you for standing strong in the name of freedom.
This is the first opportunity I’ve had to visit Albania since completing my term as Vice President. And while I no longer speak on behalf of the U.S. government, I do speak with confidence regarding the views of the American people. I can say with certainty that the American people are with you as you stand and labor for freedom in Iran.
The American people support your goal of establishing a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Iranian republic that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.
Most Iranian Americans came to the United States following the tragic events after the revolution in 1979.
What the Iranian people have endured since 1979 will be recorded by history as one of the great tragedies of the modern era.
In 2009, like so many other Americans, I remember watching with great hope and anticipation as the people of Iran began rising up to claim their birthright of freedom.
In the 2009 uprising, millions of courageous young men and women filled the streets of Tehran and Tabriz, and what appeared for all the world to be every city and village in between. They denounced a fraudulent election, and demanded an end to decades of repression.
Those brave protesters looked to the leader of the free world for support. But as I saw first-hand as a member of Congress, then the president of the United States stayed silent.
But I knew where the heart of the American people was. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I recognized that lack of action for what it was: an abdication of American leadership as courageous Iranians took to the streets for freedom. The American cause is freedom. And in this cause we must never be silent.
As we witnessed that horror, I said at the time, what we were witnessing was a Tiananmen in Tehran. But the enduring hope for a free Iran can never be extinguished.
That same resolve was evident in the continuation of nationwide uprisings since 2017, including in November 2019, when the Iranian regime fired on peaceful protesters and killed 1,500 in cold blood.
Under the Trump-Pence administration, I am proud that in our time, America did not turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the Iranian people. We did not remain silent in the face of the Iranian regime’s countless atrocities.
We stood with the freedom-loving people of Iran. We cancelled the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal, which had flooded the regime’s coffers with tens of billions of dollars, and pallets of cash — money that the regime used to repress its own people and support deadly terror attacks across the wider world.
We imposed crippling new sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. We launched a campaign of maximum pressure, punishing the regime for its belligerent behavior and assault on its own citizens. We vigorously enforced sanctions to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero during our administration and deny the regime its principal source of revenue.
We called on the free nations of the world to stand with us and with the Iranian people. We encouraged world leaders to condemn Iran’s unelected dictators and defend the Iranian people’s unalienable right to determine their own destiny.
A renewed nuclear deal won’t lead to peace and stability. It will lead to more terrorism, death and destruction.
A renewed deal won’t block Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. It will pave a path in gold.
And a renewed Iran nuclear deal won’t benefit the people of Iran in any way. It will empower and enrich a corrupt regime that has tormented and tortured the Iranian people for generations.
So today, simply as an American, we call upon the Biden administration to stand with the people of Iran… to stand up for the cause of freedom and justice.
Today we call on the Biden administration to immediately withdraw from all nuclear negotiations with Tehran, voice support for the organized opposition in Iran and make it clear that America and our allies will never permit the regime in Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
Weakness arouses evil – and the evil now rising in Iran and around the world speaks to the weakness projected by the current American administration. But let there be no doubt, whatever message may be coming from the American government, that the American people are strong – and we remain absolutely committed to the goal of establishing a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Iranian republic that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. And the American people always will.
The Iranian regime has never been weaker than it is today. Four out of five Iranians now live below the poverty line. Corruption is at an all-time high. The Iranian people are fed up, and ready for change.
The regime’s sole focus is now maintaining its precarious grip on power, which grows weaker by the day.
But the greatest evidence for the growing weakness of the Iranian regime is the recent selection of Ebrahim Raisi to serve as Iranian president.
As you all know, and history records, 30 years ago, Raisi was in charge of the Ayatollah’s death squads. We walked through the museum today, where that history is recorded. He is a brutal mass murderer responsible for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. His selection as president is intended to quash internal dissent and intimidate the people of Iran into remaining silent.
But it has backfired. But good people must never remain silent in the face of evil. And neither will we. Many of you whose family have suffered under Raisi know full well. You lost loved ones by Raisi’s hand. You lost your homes and your livelihoods. You bear the scars of his brutality on your bodies. Some of you barely escaped his grip with your lives.
Today, I join you in pledging that his crimes must not go unpunished. Ebrahim Raisi is unworthy of leading the great people of Iran. He must be removed from office by the people of Iran – and he must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and genocide that he perpetrated thirty years ago and every day since.
Today, the resistance movement in Iran has never been stronger. It’s been inspiring for me today to learn more. Resistance Units in Iran are the center of hope for the Iranian people. They are an engine for change from within during the uprisings and continued protests. And every day, it’s clear they are growing stronger while the regime grows weaker.
Today, teachers, workers, retirees, have courageously taken to the streets. Protests that used to be isolated and sporadic quickly spread to multiple cities. Hope is a flame in the heart of freedom loving men and women, and that flame is burning brighter than ever before thanks to all of you. I came here to simply say, we stand unequivocally on the side of the Iranian people.
One of the biggest lies the ruling regime has sold the world is that there is no alternative to the status quo. But there is an alternative – a well-organized, fully prepared, perfectly qualified and popularly supported alternative. And let me thank Maryam Rajavi and all of those gathered here in Ashraf 3 for offering hope to the people of Iran.
Your Resistance Units, commitment to democracy, human rights, and freedom for every citizen of Iran. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten Point Plan for the future of Iran will ensure freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the freedom for every Iranian to choose their elected leaders.
It’s a foundation on which to build the future of Iran.
The regime in Tehran wants to trick the world into believing that the Iranian protesters want to return to the dictatorship of the Shah as well. But we are not confused by their lies. Let me ask all of you, right here, right now, for all the world to hear: do the Iranian people want to replace one dictator with another? Or do the Iranian people want to live in freedom and democracy?
We know that Iran can be a great nation once again. We know the rich history of Iran, which stretches back to time immemorial, is the story of a people who have made great contributions to art, music, literature, science, and commerce – and we know that story is far from over.
All free nations of the world must continue to support the Iranian people in their calls for freedom and demand that Iran’s leaders cease their dangerous and destabilizing actions and respect their people and their inalienable rights.
We stand with the proud people of Iran because it is right, and because the regime in Tehran threatens the peace and security of the world.
The day will come when the ayatollahs release their iron-fisted grip on Iran and her people. A new glorious day will dawn, a bright future will begin, ushering in an era of peace, prosperity, stability, and freedom for the good people of Iran and the world.