The panelists touched on a number of issues during the two-hour event. Some of the most notable moments from the panel are summarized below.
Paolo Corsini – Italian Politician and Academic:
“The West should end appeasement of Iran’s regime. We should support the Iranian people and the organized Resistance, the MEK, to bring about regime change. A viable alternative to the regime exists in Iran. It is the National Council of Resistance of Iran,” said Corsini.
Dr. Matthew Offord – British MP:
“The Iranian regime is making a mistake in thinking that we in Britain will be scared of its provocations. It should be assured that the UK is not scared. The UK has made it very clear we will protect ourselves, Dr. Offord said.
“I genuinely believe change is coming to Iran,” said Offord. The members of the MEK have re-emerged from the destruction of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. They have launched Ashraf 3 and have been embraced by the people of Albania,” he added.
Brian Binley – Former British MP:
“We first came to Albania back in 2014 with a task to the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, and we asked him to accept more Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents,” said Binley.
“We pleaded with the Prime Minister and it wasn’t hard. He asked us shouldn’t you be making this request to other European countries? We told him we were working hard on this issue and the Prime Minister said he would accept more Ashraf/Liberty residents. I pay massive tribute to Mr. Edi Rama for convincing the people of Albania to accept more of the Iranian opposition members in their country,” Binley continued.
“Having revisited Albania now, this country has made great progress in the past five years,” he added.
“This great city of Ashraf 3 showed Mr. Rama kept his promise. There has been astounding progress in Ashraf 3. All this work in just a year and a half is incredible. I always knew that those of people who had gone through the hell of Camp Liberty would get things moving for themselves. You have built yourself a city and I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart,” Mr. Binley said warmly.
“There’s more work to do and that is our task. There is much we can do in our country for the ten-point plan of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” he stressed.
Sergio D’Elia – Former Member of Italian Parliament, Activist:
“Ashraf 3 is not only a symbol; you are a sample for the future of Iran. You are no longer just a resistance against the regime; you are now a freedom movement,” said Mr. D’Elia.
“You can be free and also build up Iran. You are reliable, trustworthy, symbols of law and justice. By seeing Ashraf and you, I am convinced the MEK have created a sample of Iran in this city. I hope we are in Tehran next year. We can see Tehran here because Ashraf 3 exists and the future free Iran will also become a reality. The MEK is now part of my family, and that is why I call you my brothers and sisters,” he concluded.
John Perry – Former Irish Minister and Politician:
“It is very important to see the encouraging work of the PMOI/MEK. Especially when 56 million people are under the age of 25 in Iran. The new force of technology will certainly spread the word,” said Perry.
“It is now time for Europe to stand with Iran, and say enough is enough, to support Iranians remove the Khamenei regime and the mullahs from power. The future generation of Iran deserves an opportunity to live a free Iran,” he stressed.
Gerry Horkan – Irish Senator:
Senator Horkan referred to the speed at which Ashraf 3 had been constructed, saying, “We never think things will change so quickly, but they will. Hopefully, very soon we will see free, fair and democratic elections in Iran and Iranians will be voting for President Maryam Rajavi at the first election for a free and democratic Iran where freedom of religion is allowed. That is part of the Ten-point plan that we support.”
“There is huge global support for the NCRI and MEK in Ashraf 3. Hopefully soon we will see action and deliver results, including a free and fair government in Iran,” he concluded.
Leo Dautzenberg – Former Member of German Bundestag:
“The people in Iran and their struggle is the best sign of change to come to Iran. We can see that the mullahs are using Iranian wealth for their private interests. They are using the Iranian people’s money for terrorism and accelerating war in the Middle East. We do have a great responsibility and a duty towards the Middle East, and we should conduct this together,” said Dautzenberg.
“With the protests in Iran, we can also see that toppling the Iranian regime has to happen from within the country, and we have to support it from the outside. The change must come from within and from Ashraf 3,” he added.
“You have a president who, with her Ten-point Plan, which is very convincing, has created an alternative which represents freedom and democracy. This is also our choice for the future. From a European and German angle, we need to step forward and support this ten-point plan,” he concluded.
Kenneth Lewis – Swedish Lawyer:
“There are still a lot of people in Europe who have not understood that appeasement is not the way forward, and don’t care about human rights. Huge support is growing for this movement and we have work to do,” said Mr. Lewis.
“Human rights should be the most important aspect in dealing with the regime in Iran,” he stressed.
“Ashraf 3 is a wonderful achievement. This is an important part of the resistance. The fight to overthrow the mullahs is taking place on the streets of Tehran. Your program will be an essential contribution to that,” Lewis concluded.
Linda Lee – Former President of Law Society of England and Wales:
“We in the U.K. Law Society have and will support your cause for a free Iran. We want freedom for you. I couldn’t believe what a wonderful community and spirit is in Ashraf 3. This is not a town, it lives and breathes. The mothers and daughters who have suffered so much are so positive in spirit. This is a wonderful community of people,” said Ms. Lee.
“I believe that we are now so close. I want for all the men and women of Iran to have freedom. Next year we will be in Tehran,” she concluded.
Brian Medway – Australian Pastor:
“We support the MEK. Your integrity and commitment to serve the best interests of Iran, without any idea of how long this may take, this draws our affection. We will make your voice known in Australia,” said Medway.
Lars Rise – Former Norwegian MP:
“In 2005 my wife and I visited the MEK in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. After the first two days in Ashraf, my wife said I have never experienced such love. Ashrafis are people of integrity and love. It is the complete opposite of the regime in Iran,” said Mr. Rise of his experiences with MEK members.
“The leadership of this movement through Madame Maryam Rajavi is realizing amazing results. I always say I am a member of this movement and always will be,” he concluded.
Frederick Azzopardi – Member of Maltese Parliament:
“The Iranian people are being denied of their universal rights. The Iranian regime funds terrorism and threatens the world with nuclear proliferation. This regime is responsible of crimes against humanity that are punishable under international law,” stated Mr. Azzopardi.
“As Madame President Rajavi has said, regime change is the task of the Iranian people. We should support the Iranian people at all times.
Our message to the people is: We will never abandon you until your justified cause is fulfilled. You are, indeed, our heroes. Our common mission is a free Iran,” he concluded.
Paul Forseth – Former Canadian MP:
“In solidarity, we will continue to support the Iranian people. The MEK members in Ashraf 3 should be known as the ‘overcomers.’ For the Iranian people, the future is much brighter than the past,” said the former Canadian MP.
Professor Alfred de Zayas – Former U.N. Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order:
“The mullahs are not just going to roll over. Change, however, must come from within. I wish you success, perseverance, peace and happiness in Iran,” said Professor de Zayas.
Roger Lyons – Former President of Britain’s Trades Union Congress TUC:
Mr. Lyons spoke about the ongoing efforts by the TUC to support Iran’s workers. “We have been showing solidarity with the workers in Iran who face brutal repression. We have been educating various industries in order to support Iran’s workers,” he said.
Lyons also called attention to the plight of British-Iranian dual national citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. “She was arrested as a spy in Iran by the regime and separated from her baby,” Lyons explained. “The mullahs didn’t even give her decent medical attention. This is an outrageous example of the mullahs’ treachery. The mullahs’ attitude is making people understand far more about the need to support the Iranian Resistance and regime change in Iran. The evidence is here. Public opinion is strong and we will continue to campaign until we win,” he concluded.
Sir David Amess – British MP:
“This Free Iran conference and gathering in Albania is all about democracy,” said Sir Amess.
“What an example of the MEK to build such a wonderful camp in such a short period. It is absolutely magnificent. It is wonderful being with people who seek to establish freedom and justice for the Iranian people,” he added.