Written by Hosseini Abedini
Last month former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined hundreds of prominent American and international personalities and lawmakers at Ashraf 3 in Albania, home to members of Iran’s democratic opposition People’s Mojahedin (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), to declare his unwavering support for regime change in Iran by the Iranian people and their organized opposition movement.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who attended the five-day ‘Free Iran’ convention in Ashraf 3, told the main conference on July 13, 2019 that officials of the Iranian regime are “criminals” who ought to be imprisoned for life, not least because of their role in the execution of 30,000 MEK members during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. “They’re murderers. They’re not leaders of countries,” he said. “They are no better than the murderer in the street except they’re worse because they’re mass murderers.”
Mayor Giuliani derided apologists of Iran’s regime who attack him for supporting the movement for democracy in Iran: “I wear it as a badge of honor. I support freedom, you support oppression. I support democracy, you support a dictatorship. I support decent people who share the values of decent governments, and you support mass murderers. Now who’s right and who’s wrong?”
He also had strong words of praise for the MEK for building their new base ‘Ashraf 3’ in Albania in a short period of time.
Addressing the #FreeIran2019 Conf. at Ashraf III,Albania. I accuse leaders of gov’ts who permit business with #RegimeOfTerror with supporting mass murder and terrorism. Time for prosecution of Khameini, Rowhani et al for crimes against humanity.
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17:46 – 13 Jul 2019 · Albania
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MPs of different parties support Madame Maryam Rajavi as a viable alternative to the #RegimeOfTerror at the #FreeIran2019Conference. She has support all over world including Rs and Ds in US Congress.
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17:24 – 13 Jul 2019 · Albania
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The President-elect of the NCRI is the heart and soul of of the Iranian desire for freedom. Maryam Rajavi is the brave leader of the Resistance to the #RegimeOfTerror. When they ask where are the great women leaders, here’s one of the best…male or female.
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22:11 – 13 Jul 2019 · Albania
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The following is the text of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s speech at the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3 on July 13, 2019:
Rudy Giuliani: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It really is thanking you and particularly to the people who live here in Ashraf, these are the people that when history is written about this tragic part of Iranian history, these are the people wo will be the freedom fighters who delivered your people from bondage and oppression with your blood, your tears, your lives, your consciences, many, many of your loved ones slaughtered by the murderers in Tehran. You’ll be the freedom fighters. You’ll be the ones who lead your people to freedom and you’ll be honored forever in Iranian history and in the history of those who love and are willing to die for freedom. God bless you and thank you.
This organization [the MEK] has grown and grown and grown and I feel in this room today a kind of optimism that I don’t remember feeling before when we were in Paris. I feel an optimism maybe because you’ve done a miracle here in Ashraf. If we were to build this in New York City, it would take 15 years and 14 corruption investigations. You built it in a few months. I was here a year and a half ago, this wasn’t here. The great building across the way wasn’t here. The beautiful lodge that you have, you even had a room for me. I may move in. I may have to.
And of course, all of this is possible because of the leadership of Madame Maryam Rajavi, a truly exceptional leader. Just like her husband Massoud Rajavi, who began this movement in one very brave act. He refused to swear allegiance to the Supreme Leader Khomeini to his face. He said, “No, I will not swear allegiance to you. I will not deliver my nation to a tyrant posing as a religious leader.” What sacrilege, a religious leader, a murderer with hundreds of thousands of people who he’s murdered. Their blood on his hands. And invoking religion. My goodness. Aren’t we now at the point in history when we can all stand up and say, no more? No more murders. No more crimes. No more oppression. You have to go.
I’m here to say three things. First, I accuse them. I accuse the Ayatollah [Ali Khamenei] and [the regime’s President Hassan] Rouhani and all of their sycophants and followers, I accuse them of murder. Not just murder, mass murder, crimes against humanity. How can we tolerate this and look at ourselves in the mirror? How can we live with this? Forty years of mass murder. Forty years of crimes against humanity. And our nations are supposed to stand for freedom and democracy and decency? We should be embarrassed for our countries if they haven’t stood up against this. There’s no middle ground here. These people have killed at least 120,000 members and associates of this great organization. 120,000 at least. You see the book. You go through the wonderful exhibit that they have, the sad, tragic, but heroic exhibit they have of the martyrs to freedom. Well, that’s a nice way of saying it but these people were slaughtered, many of them innocent people. Look at the photograph of the people in the infirmary being treated for illness, slaughtered just a few years ago. Killed 52 of them of the last 100 people who stayed at Camp Ashraf (the MEK’s original camp in Iraq), they tried to wipe them all out. They came in one day with machine guns and they killed 52 people in one day. In 1988, in two months they slaughtered 30,000 people. These are not numbers; these are human lives. Where’s our decency when we don’t stand up against this? Just listen to this and watch it on the evening news and it doesn’t get us angry, doesn’t get us upset, doesn’t get us so angry that we’re willing to act.
So, there are three things that we have to do. Number one, we have to get the governments of Europe to stand up, to wake up, to reclaim their dignity and their honor. These are the countries that gave us democracy. Greece, Rome, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Germany, all places in which freedom was born, democracy was born, democracy emerged. It went through tremendous tests, it went through tremendous revisions, it went through challenge, and then it emerged. Democracy for my nation came out of Europe and the experience of Europe. So how, how can the leaders of those countries turn their back on mass murder? How can they do it and live with themselves? It’s time to end that shameful disregard.
There’s no statute of limitations on murder. There’s no ability to say, oh it was only it was 30 years ago that we killed 20,000 people. I prosecuted two Nazis 40 years after their horrible deeds. One killed 20,000 people, the other killed 12,000 people and we found them, and it took years and we brought them to justice. We brought them to the penalty they deserved, which in their case was death. 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. They’re criminals. They’re murderers. They’re not leaders of countries. They are no better than the murderer in the street except they’re worse because they’re mass murderers. We can’t tolerate that if we want to preserve freedom and decency and democracies for our countries. So, stand up leaders of Europe. Stand up in Germany. Stand up in France. Stand up in the United Kingdom. Stand up in Italy and Greece. If you gave us democracy and freedom, if you expanded it for us, then don’t abandon democracy and freedom now and be a disgrace to your nation. We don’t allow people to be slaughtered the way the tyrants in Iran have slaughtered people.
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. Bad enough nuclear weapons are in the hands of responsible governments, but in the hands of a maniacal murderer? The president I worked for, Ronald Reagan, had a great fear. And the great fear was of mutual assured destruction which comforted people during the Cold War. It kept him up at night because he said there are two men, then men, right, the president of the United States and the leader of the Soviet Union, and they have a button. And the only thing that keeps the world together is their sanity, their rationality. If one of them turns out to be insane, the world could end. And that’s no way for the world to survive. We have to end it. And he did everything he could and made more progress in ending it than any president at least during the Cold War. He’s one of the great liberators. And one of the things that I think comforted Ronald Reagan was he was a liberator. There’s nothing greater for a leader to be than a liberator. He liberated millions of people in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union from the horrible oppression of Communism. Well, I say to the leaders of Europe, you can be liberators too. You can go down in history as fighters for freedom.
Isn’t that better than just running a government and making money and money and money and more money and giving blood money to Iran? How can you do commerce with them? We all know they’re the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. But we say it like a phrase. The largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. What does that mean? That means they fund and they supply murderers not only in their own country but all over the world. And when you give them money, when you relieve them of a debt, which my government did in the prior administration, and put over a billion dollars back in their hands, you are supporting murder. [applause] What do they use it for? They don’t use it on their people, their people are starving. Their people know, their people know that when they get money, when a French company or a German company does business with them, that money, that profit is going to be used to kill people in Syria or to kill people somewhere else or to send people to Albania to kill us or to send people to France like they did last year to kill Madame Rajavi and us. That’s what they’re funding, don’t you realize it? Are you so blind you don’t realize you are funding murderers? That makes you complicit in murder. We don’t allow people to fund murderers. Louis Freeh will tell you how many people who funded the Mafia we put in jail and took away their money and took away their businesses. They weren’t the murderers, they just funded it and profited from it. Well wake up. When you buy oil from Iran you are funding murder. Face it. And stop it.
Number two, let’s make it clear, if we have to say it over and over again and prove it, 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. Right? And when we saw that happen, we saw it happen in Egypt, in some ways we saw it happen in Libya where Qadhafi was there, Qadhafi was neutered, Qadhafi was a horrible man, no doubt about it, but he pretty much had been tamed and put in his corner. And we took him away and now we’ve had years and years of civil disturbance, of civil war. Four of my countrymen dying at Benghazi. Never would have happened. Just think of it.
But here [with Iran] we don’t have that problem. We’ve got the worst regime in the world by far, the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world—don’t just say it, think of what it means—we’ve got them sitting there. And then we have the NCRI, led by the president-elect, Madame Rajavi. A coalition of resistance organizations. Respected throughout the world. There are representatives of most of the major countries in the world here. They’ve gotten to know her. They’ve gotten to respect her. In my country, she’s thoroughly respected. She has more support in Congress than I would have. Or Bob [Torricelli]. There are people on our list who wouldn’t even talk to me. A couple who wouldn’t talk to him. But she brings them together. She’s got support in all the countries I mentioned, a lot more.
You don’t usually have that in a situation like this. We usually have to do it blind. We have to say—and I think in the case of Iran you would do it, these people are so bad, how could it be worse? How could it be worse than 30,000 murders in two months? How could it be worse than shooting down people in the streets today. This isn’t history, it’s going on now. They’re killing people now. Maybe they’re killing somebody right now. So, but we don’t have to say, well, what could be worse. 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.
Oh, by the way, this is what they call a cult, being dedicated to freedom. Dedicating your life to free your people, well now you’re a member of a cult. Well maybe they don’t recognize anymore because they’ve become so cynical and so greedy, maybe they don’t recognize idealism and decency and honor anymore. People here at Ashraf, let’s make it clear. I spent a lot of time with them the other night. These are people who are dedicated to freedom. And if you think that’s a cult, then there’s something wrong with you. There’s something missing in your soul.
But we know, we know, we know, we know that there is a government in exile, it negotiates with the whole world, and it’s written down plain as can be what it stands for. And it looks just like our Bill of Rights, just like the universal declarations of freedom and decency and human rights enshrined in the great documents of the world. Free elections within six months is the promise, and I believe it will be fulfilled. They built this place in like three months. They can do that in six months. I mean they’re miracle workers. They’re for gender equality. They’re for human rights. They’re for a system of law. They’re for ‘we don’t imprison someone unless they have a fair trial.’ And because of their history, they oppose capital punishment, because there’s been too much of it. And it isn’t just capital punishment, it’s murder in their country. This is a decent organization. This is a good organization. And it’s an organization that is ready, willing and able not to take over Iran but to guide Iran to elections as quickly as possible and hopefully they will be part of the coalition governing Iran like they’re part of the coalition that is trying to guide Iran to freedom. This is a group that we can support. It’s a group that we should stop maligning and it’s a group that should make us comfortable having regime change in the worst regime in the world.
Last thing, what can you do? When people hear about things like this, they say to themselves, what can I do? I’m just one person. Here’s what you can 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, and the [false claims that they’re a] cult, they don’t have support in Iran. Why has the ayatollah been murdering them for 40 years if they don’t have support in Iran? There’d be a lot of better people for them to murder. How stupid can you be not to understand that. I mean now they actually say it, they’re so desperate. The Ayatollah, Rouhani, have said that this organization [the MEK] is the only one that’s really a danger to them. Well, we should recognize that. We understand that.
So, you can be a witness to that. You can write and you can speak, you can organize. Be a part of it. You know, sometimes there are big questions that determine the rest of your life that get presented to you. You see a man maybe being beaten in the street. Do you walk away or do you step in and try to protect the man or the woman? And I know I’ve done that occasionally and boy do I feel proud of myself when I don’t walk away. I don’t know how I would feel if I did. Well, when you face you are now you now have a responsibility because of your knowledge. You know about the atrocities, the crimes against humanity being committed by this regime. Don’t be euphemistic about it. Don’t hide your eyes. You are being asked to do something. Well, you can turn your back like the leadership in Europe has done hopefully no more. You can always redeem yourselves. You can always change it. You can always offer new leadership. But you shouldn’t turn your back. You’ve got to go, and you’ve got to spread the word however you can. You’ve got to get the leaders of your country to stand up so you can all be proud of your country and its heritage. You’ve got to get your family members to stand up.
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. Oh, terrible things about us, why we’re doing this. We’re doing it really very simply because we love freedom and we can’t turn our back on people who are being treated this way and we can’t turn our back on a situation that could be catastrophic for them and catastrophic for the world. But they ascribe all kinds of terrible motives. You know what I say to them? Keep doing it. Keep doing it. I wear it as a badge of honor. I support freedom, you support oppression. I support democracy, you support a dictatorship. I support decent people who share the values of decent governments, and you support mass murderers. Now who’s right and who’s wrong? So keep criticizing and keep doing what you’re doing.
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. We’re going to have our celebration there much sooner than they believe. You know why? ‘Hazer, hazer, hazer.’ (A Persian slogan chanted by MEK activists in Iran that roughly translates to ‘We’re ready to fight.’)