On Thursday, June 23, 2022, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect Maryam Rajavi at Ashraf-3, the home to thousands of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) members in Albania.
Mr. Pence’s visit to Ashraf-3 comes after former U.S. Secretary of States Mike Pompeo’s visit on May 16 and Ukrainian MP and Golos Party leader Kira Rudik’s visit on June 6. Furthermore, former U.S. Second Lady Mrs. Karen Pence and former VP Chief-of-Staff Marc Short accompanied the former U.S. VP.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi welcomed the prominent delegation outside the Resistance Museum. Then they visited the museum and paid tribute to hundreds of thousands of freedom-loving Iranians who were fallen in the cause of a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic of Iran.
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) June 23, 2022
“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,” said Mrs. Rajavi.
She also counted the prominent events during the 42 years of struggle between the Iranian people and their Organized Resistance against the religious dictatorship in a conference titled, “Birth of Resistance vs. Religious Dictatorship.” The meeting was virtually broadcasted on different social media.
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) June 23, 2022
Maryam Rajavi: The People of Iran Are Ready for Change
“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,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “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 strong and relentless Resistance to establishing a free and democratic Iran.”
Mrs. Rajavi also pointed to the MEK’s pivotal role in stopping the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq. “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,'” she said.
“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.”
Mrs. Rajavi also reminded the imperative of the Iranian Resistance’s revelations to discover the mullahs’ clandestine projects for acquiring nuclear weapons. “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,” she said. “Without those revelations, the mullahs would have obtained the bomb years ago.”
Mrs. Rajavi, afterward, underscored and explained three significant points regarding Iran’s today situation:
First, the objective conditions of Iranian society
Second, the alternative to the regime
Third, the international community’s approach to the religious fascism ruling Iran
Mike Pence: It’s a Privilege to Visit the Home of Hope for a Free and Democratic Iran
“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,” said Mr. Pence. “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.”
“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.”
“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,” he said. “Those brave protesters looked to the leader of the free world for support. But as I saw first-hand as a member of Congress, the then-president of the United States stayed 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,” Mr. Pence said. “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,” the former VP added. “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.”
“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,” Mr. Pence emphasized.
“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 families 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 on your lives,” Mr. Pence added.
“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,” Mr. Pence said.
“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,” Mr. Pence heralded.