Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK hosts Vice President Mike Pence in Ashraf 3, Albania
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday visited the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf 3 near Tirana in Albania, praising their decades-long struggle to overthrow the theocratic mullahs’ regime and establish a democratic and secular government – and calling on the Biden administration to change their current Iran policy by adopting a strong approach, pulling out of the failed talks to enter a renewed nuclear deal with Tehran that Mr. Pence emphasized will merely serve to “empower and enrich” the current regime.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) welcomed Mr. Pence and the Mrs. Karen Pence, the former U.S. Second Lady, at the Iranian Resistance Museum in Ashraf 3, where Mrs. Rajavi provided a brief look into the 120-year history of the Iranians people’s struggle to establish freedom, democracy, and human rights in their country.
“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 all for standing strong in the name of freedom,” Vice President Pence said in his speech to a large gathering of PMOI/MEK members at Ashraf 3, who were joined with several dozen dignitaries from Albania and other countries.
“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 the United States and our allies will never allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,” Vice President Pence went on to add.
“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.”
Ashraf 3 is currently home to PMOI/MEK members and a site of the NCRI umbrella group of Iranian dissident groups that seek to topple the mullahs’ regime in Iran. Last month, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also visited Ashraf 3 to meet with Mrs. Rajavi and deliver a speech to a major gathering of PMOI/MEK members.
Prior to his speech, Mr. Pence had a formal meeting with NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi, and victims of human rights abuses in Iran. The Vice President’s remarks focused on lauding the PMOI/MEK’s efforts and ensuring them that the American people support their cause, while stressing that the Trump/Pence administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed devastating sanctions specifically targeting the mullahs’ regime and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
“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,” Mr. Pence said
Mr. Pence also stressed the role that the Iranian Resistance has played in presenting a democratic alternative to the tyrannical rule of the mullahs.
“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.”
“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.”
“The day will come when the ayatollahs release their iron-fisted grip on Iran and her people. A new glorious day will dawn, and a bright future will begin, ushering in an era of peace, prosperity, stability, and freedom for the good people of Iran and the world,” Vice President Mike Pence concluded.
The NCRI, headquartered in Paris and having across Europe and the U.S., has long been calling on the West to adopt a firm policy vis-à-vis the regime in Tehran. While opposing appeasement and efforts to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the NCRI emphasizes that the mullahs’ regime should not be trusted with anything, let alone complying with terms of a nuclear deal
Mrs. Rajavi delivered a speech welcoming Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and Mr. Marc Short, the Vice President’s chief of staff.
“Today, 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 to step 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,’” Mrs. Rajavi explained.
“The Iranian Resistance set a historical example: the resistance of a nation can change the course of history towards freedom. 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 the repression that paved the way for uprisings across our nation.
“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. The mullahs’ regime has made every effort to cover up this truth. Demonizing the Iranian Resistance, censoring its news, and denying its popular support are all intended to cover up the truth. Now that all illusions about any reform within the regime in Iran have disappeared, the mullahs are investing in a non-existent Shah to divert the uprisings.
“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 of the evil of nuclear mullahs. The November 2019 uprising, with its rebellious cities and the Army of freedom, showed the way.
“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.
“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,” NCRI President-elect concluded.