Washington, DC, August 7, 2020 – On July 20th, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) hosted “End Iran Regime’s Terrorism” Conference as part of a three day summit connecting over 30,000 locations across 6 continents in over 100 countries, including Iran. The focus was the regime’s use of embassies as a springboard for terrorism abroad.
The discussion highlighted a particularly sinister strategy by the regime to carry out terror operations against the Iranian Resistance. After a top regime intelligence officer operating under the guise of a senior diplomat in Austria masterminded a failed bomb plot in Paris two years ago, targeting the 2018 Free Iran Rally with 100,000 attendees, there was a ripple effect as Tehran’s diplomats were expelled not only from France, but by the Netherlands, and Albania.
Keynote speaker Mrs. Maryam Rajavi opened the conference from Ashraft 3 in Albania, where members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also referred to as Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), reside. She was joined by an impressive bipartisan array of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a stellar group of American policy and terrorism experts, and distinguished international figures.
“Terrorism is the essence and fundamental nature of this regime and it is inseparable from it. These are the methods used by the regime; this is how the regime has held onto power over more than 40 years, through suppression and terrorism,” Mrs. Rajavi emphasized.
The Resistance’s President-elect noted that “It was not the power of the regime that made the expansion of its terrorism and fundamentalism possible; it was a policy of appeasement,” adding that “The right policy can be summed up in a single word: firmness… That means firmly dispensing with everything that enables the regime’s terrorist activities, and firmly responding to every single criminal act… The regime’s terrorism grows and expands under the shadow of silence, denial, ignorance, turning a blind eye and looking the other way.”
Mrs. Rajavi concluded by laying out key measures that can stop the regime’s terrorism in Europe and elsewhere, including the following:
- Closing the regime’s embassies.
- Shutting down all centers of the regime’s espionage and terrorism, including front companies, cultural and educational centers, and religious associations funded by Tehran.
- Blocking international financial transactions by individuals or front companies of the mullahs’ MOIS or IRGC Qods Force.
- Expelling the regime’s agents and operatives who function under the cover of commercial, cultural, or religious fronts, or as journalists, “dissidents,” refugees, or “ordinary” citizens.
- Preventing security and intelligence services from establishing a relationship with the regime’s MOIS or IRGC Qods Force.
- Fully and publicly exposing the regime’s terrorist plots and operations, the identities of the MOIS and IRGC Qods Force agents and operatives active in Europe, and the regime’s front entities and/or lobbies.
- Passing effective legislation to facilitate the expulsion of MOIS and IRGC operatives from Europe and the U.S.
Honorable John Rood, former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, spoke next: “First, let me compliment Mrs. Rajavi on that powerful address. It’s also incredibly impressive the way that the organizers have brought together so many from so many different locations in a very interconnected way. … You should feel very proud of the way that you have connected everyone.
“Terrorism has been at the heart of the Iranian regime and part of its ideology since the 1979 Revolution that brought [Ruhollah] Khomeini to power. This ideology embraces terrorism as a tool of statecraft. And the ideology promoted by Khomeini envisioned spreading this revolution across the region… We have seen the Iranian regime using Iranian forces and utilizing its embassies and people registered as diplomats to conduct and support terrorism across the Middle East and globally in Europe, Africa, Asia, even in North America and South America. …The people of Iran do not support the regime’s terrorism.
“It’s very important that we continue the maximum pressure campaign… to deplete and limit the ability of the regime in Tehran to support terrorism and export its malign influence across the region… A second thing that we need to continue to do is use U.S. military forces to work with partners in the region to deter and where necessary take steps, like the strike on Qassem Soleimani, to restore deterrence and to deter further terrorist attacks where we see that deterrence fraying.
“We need to recognize that terrorism is a part of the fabric of this regime in Tehran. It has been since the start and remains so today. This means that things like Iranian embassies and so-called diplomats will continue to be employed in supporting terror. Countries must act accordingly to very closely monitor and surveil the activities of those Iranian diplomats posted abroad, and in some cases like we have seen in Albania, they will need to shut down embassies that support terrorism. We simply have to be clear that this is not acceptable, be firm in responding.”
Excerpts of remarks by other speakers from the United States include:
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani: “Let me congratulate you [Madame Rajavi] on the remarkable historic achievement of the [July 17] virtual conference that you held. We are starting to feel that freedom in Iran is getting closer… There is something we can do to help. We must get European governments to finally support decency, to finally support what they supposedly stand for: democracy and freedom. They went through their own revolutions to accomplish democracy and freedom. They should be on the side of your freedom and not the side of greed. The more pressure we put on Iran, the faster this can happen… I see a very strong path. The regime of terror will end.”
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “I am pleased, as I was last year, that so many of you are safely in Albania. Your safety and security offer a glimmer of hope that all Iranian people may someday be able to live in safety, dignity and freedom… While in Congress we may have differing approaches about the best way to address the threat from Iran, rest assured that we remain united in opposition to the regime’s ongoing abuses against its own citizens…”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “What a privilege it is to speak to all of you as you continue to fight for a free Iran. America stands in full solidarity with the people of Iran and fully supports their desire to be a free people as evident in the uprisings as we have seen in the last few years. Earlier this year, I joined a number of my colleagues to sponsor a resolution that supports the people of Iran as they continue to engage in legitimate forms of protests and condemns the current regime’s murderous response. But that’s just one step in the path towards a free Iran. We’ve got many more to go. America stands with the people of Iran in their desire to be free.”
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD): “Our [Senate Resolution 539] supports the rights of the Iranian people to self-determination and condemns the regime for its violent suppression of free expression … It also calls on the administration to do everything possible to ensure free and uninterrupted access to the internet for the Iranian people. Finally, the resolution urges the U.S. President and Secretary of State to work with the international community to ensure that members of the Iranian regime be held accountable for their violations of human rights… The fight is not over. The Iranian people are brave and resilient and you’re continuing to wage a heroic uprising against the corruption and brutality of the regime. But a brighter future is within reach in Iran.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): “In addition to being the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, the evil regime in Tehran continues to suppress the most fundamental human rights of its people. The Iranian people deserve a government that respects the rule of law, democratic norms, and places the needs of the Iranian people above funding its adventurism abroad. It is critical for the United States and other democracies around the world to stand with the Iranian people.”
Senator Mike Braun (R-IN): “As a threat to our national security and leader in human rights abuses, we must be harsh with Iran. Since coming to the U.S. Senate, I joined with my colleagues in supporting a variety of resolutions to call out the Iranian government for its atrocious actions and to hold it accountable through sanctions. I want to once again condemn Iran specifically for the human rights abuses. In the past year, Iranian citizens have been denied the freedom to peacefully assemble, the freedom of speech, with hundreds of protesters killed by Iranian security forces. I will continue to speak out against Iran and stand up for the Iranian people.”
Gov. Tom Ridge, first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security: “The mullahs and Rouhani oversee the Central Bank of terrorism. We have discovered that their embassies have become branch banks. In those embassies, they stimulate chaos and anti-government activities… As we have said during this three-day summit, it’s time for the world to embrace regime change, to recognize the NCRI, this incredible organization led by a leader [Mrs. Maryam Rajavi] who has been able to generate global support for her vision for a peaceful and non-nuclear Iran, which promotes gender equality and separation of church and state. I am very proud to be part of this group of NCRI supporters that grows larger every day..”
Former Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ): “[The July 17 summit] was an extraordinary event… The reaction from Tehran told us all we really needed to know. The vitriol against the MEK, Maryam Rajavi in particular, all the rest of us and all of you, is the evidence we needed that we are on track, that the MEK is on their minds, and a growing, looming threat to the regime. To me, it was a confirmation of everything that we’ve been fighting for and evidence that this final chapter, the freeing of Iran, is at hand… In another time, in another place, an attempt of that magnitude [Tehran’s plot to bomb NCRI’s 2018 Free Iran gathering], on that number of people, consciously, would be seen as an act of war… How can the governments of Western Europe not take similar actions, knowing that an attempt was made on the lives of their highest ranking officials and a peaceful democratic assembly in the heart of France?”
Ambassador Robert Joseph, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security: “For the mullahs, terror is a way of life. It has been so from the outset. Terror is embedded in the regime’s DNA, and it is its future as it has been its past… Iranian diplomats have repeatedly been implicated in terrorist plots abroad, including in the U.S. and particularly in Europe… Three important steps: We must assume the regime will continue to implement terrorism. It is wrong to think that the regime will someday conform to international norms. At the operational level, we need to work closer on law enforcement and information sharing. We must sanction individuals and institutions. When there is evidence embassies are involved in terrorism, they must be shut down, whether in Tirana, Vienna, or elsewhere. At the strategic level, counterterrorism must be a central element of the maximum pressure campaign against the mullahs’ terrorism.”
General George Casey, 36th Chief of Staff of the United States Army: “I firmly believe this regime will be a profoundly destabilizing force in the region and the world as long as it remains in power… Iran uses the Quds Force to destabilize countries. I firmly believe that [Tehran] is actively using terror to accomplish its objectives. This is a problem not only for its people, but for the international community. This regime will not change and will remain a destabilizing force as long as it remains in power. It can’t be a productive player. Change must come to Iran.
Ambassador Marc Ginsburg, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco: Iran regime is a danger to the world. The NCRI offers hope in an agenda of freedom, liberty, and economic change in Iran that would finally end the long nightmare that the regime has inflicted on the world since it came to power in 1979… As this event continues, those of us supporting the aspirations of Madam Rajavi and the NCRI will find even more strength and fortitude to be able to lend more help to the Iranian people.”
Ambassador Adam Ereli, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain & Deputy State Department Spokesman: “The MEK has done a great deal for the people of Iran and for the world. But the greatest testimony to your effectiveness is the fact that the Iranian regime hates you so much… Those who support you in the U.S. and Europe also testify to your power… The MEK has been exposing this conspiracy of terror by the government of Tehran over many years. And this is why not only have they tried to destroy you inside Iran, but they have also tried to demonize you outside of Iran. They have tried to convince governments that MEK is an outlaw organization and has no support inside Iran. But the fact that they are saying this, is proof that the opposite is true… The power of Iran lies in its people, and the friends of Iran and MEK need to do everything they can to support the people and opposition movements like the MEK, who are at the frontlines of trying to build a peaceful Iran along the lines of Madam Rajavi’s 10-point plan.”
Former Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX): “Thank you Madame Rajavi for your leadership. History will record you as one of the people in all of human history who stood up for freedom… The embassies are being used as a spying network, as forward operating bases for the IRGC. We must not allow that to occur anywhere in the world. They must be closed down. We are allowing a foreign terrorist enemy into our homes. Close them down now… The mullahs must go. The regime is about to topple. And we must help the people of Iran do that. The mullahs’ plague is worse than the coronavirus. We must fight this plague.”
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): “It is important to condemn human rights violations in Iran. I support the 10-point plan of Madam Rajavi to support a free, democratic, and nuclear-free Iran. I support Albanian officials who expelled the Iranian regime terrorists from their land. I urge Albania to close the Iranian embassy. We must stand united and recognize that the Albanian government is good in its desire and by taking the courageous step to host the MEK… We are looking for a time when the leadership of Iran will be one that is democratic, secular and supportive of freedom. We should never stand away from justice, equality and freedom for everyone. I support your efforts for democracy.”
Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA): “What you are doing will assure peace and security of the world against the Iranian regime. There is one issue that still unites the American people, and that is the work you are doing… The regime is abusing its power, suppressing its people, and threatening the world. We in the U.S. Congress believe that shutting down the Iranian regime’s embassy in Albania will make all Albanians more secure… The U.S. stands squarely with the freedom-loving people of Iran and must show leadership against the tyranny of the ayatollahs. The arms embargo against the regime must be extended and snapback sanctions reinstated… The American people and freedom-loving people around the world are inspired by your courage and stand by your struggle.”
Senator John Boozman (R-AR): “Friends and participants at the July 2020 Free Iran Global Summit, I support the efforts of the Iranian people to bring change and democracy to their country… The U.S. remains committed to democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law, and supports the Iranian people in their calls for a democratic government that respects these rights and freedoms.”
Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL): “Thousands of Iranians have suffered arrest and death for standing up against the regime of Iran. We support the people’s struggle against the Iranian regime… Our resolution [H.Res 752] condemns the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses and calls on all democratic governments to unequivocally support the Iranian people’s basic need for human rights.”
Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN): “I was proud to cosponsor a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives, which condemns Iranian state-sponsored terrorism, and expresses our support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, nonnuclear republic in Iran.”
Representative David Trone (D- MD): “The people of Iran deserve a government of their choosing. The protests in November 2019 were a legitimate expression of grievance against the government. My colleagues and I strongly condemned human rights abuses by the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime pursues its own corrupt interests in the region instead of acting in the interests of its people.”
Senator Todd Young (R-IN): “We need an Iran that supports the people, not a regime of tyrants, of clerics who don’t value human rights and the dignity of all human beings. We need an Iran that is brought into better behavior. I support sanctions against the Iranian regime because of their human rights abuses, their export of terrorism and fundamentalism. I will continue to stand with you for a free Iran.”
Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC): “Democracy is a treasure that must be fought for. We support freedom-loving Iranians. We have imposed sanctions on the regime of terror and its agents. I am troubled by the suppression of protesters who have stood up for their freedom in Iran. Here in Congress, we have taken important steps to support the pro-democracy movement… We must not forget that the Iranian government’s hatred of liberty is not just domestic, but is part of the regime’s global network of terror.”
Representative Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ): “These events are critical to keeping alive the movement for freedom and democracy in Iran. Iranians are among the most educated people on earth. They’re one of the youngest populations in the Middle East… That is why summits like this one are so critical to a free Iran.They remind the world that the current government does not speak for the people, that Iranians are committed to the ideals of democracy like free speech, public assembly, and fair elections, that human rights are universal rights sought by every people and nation on earth.”
Representative Don Bacon (R-NE): “America stands with the freedom-loving people of Iran. The Iranian government killed 1,500 peaceful protesters in November 2019. [Iran’s regime is] the world’s largest exporter of terror. They’re undermining their neighbors… In fact, we know that Iran’s intelligence is tracking and targeting Iranian dissidents throughout the world. And that must stop. Our goal is to have a freedom-loving Iran that is nuclear free and respects its neighbors.”
Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN): “The Iranian government can’t be trusted. They sponsor terrorism and suppress their citizens, escalate tensions in the region. I support your quest for freedom.”
Representative Mario Diaz-Balert (R-FL): “The United States stands with the Iranian people for a free, democratic and non-nuclear Iran. They have the right to choose their leaders. They deserve absolute, total freedom. And I stand with this cause.”