Vice President Mike Pence Visits Ashraf 3

Democracy and Freedom in Iran Feasible Only With the Iranian Resistance

On June 23, 2022, Mike Pence, the 48th Vice President of the United States, visited Ashraf 3 in Albania, home of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance.

The former US Vice President, addressed nearly 3,000 members and activists of the Iranian Resistance, 1,000 of them former political prisoners under the monarchical dictatorship and the current theocracy. He expressed support for Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan and praised Resistance Units fighting the regime in Iran.

Below please see excerpts of Mrs. Rajavi’s remarks, welcoming the U.S. Vice President.

Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Pence,

I want to begin with recalling a memory from Ashraf in Iraq. During the attacks on Ashraf on July 28 and 29, 2009, we had 13 martyrs and 505 wounded. Most of those injured are here in this hall.

Two days after the deadly attack, the friends of the Iranian Resistance in US Congress tabled House Resolution 704, which garnered a bipartisan majority. The resolution strongly condemned the massacre of Ashraf residents and demanded safeguards for their well-being.

The resolution urged the US President to “take all necessary and appropriate steps to support the commitments of the United States under international law and treaty obligations to ensure the physical security and protection of Camp Ashraf residents.”

I only mention the names of a few of the signatories to that resolution: Congressman Mike Pence, a Republican Party leader and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; the late Congressman John Lewis, Representatives Ed Towns, and Sheila Jackson Lee from the Democratic Party; Judge Ted Poe, Dana Rohrabacher, and Iliana Ros-Lehtinen from the Republican Party. And today, after 13 years, on behalf of all Ashraf residents, I would like to say, thank you, Mr. Vice President, and I also thank your colleagues for stopping that carnage.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi Welcomes Vice President Pence to Ashraf 3
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi Welcomes Vice President Pence to Ashraf 3

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. Three days ago, marked the beginning of the 42nd year of our nationwide Resistance against the mullahs’ regime.

On June 20, 1981, Khomeini ordered his Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the MEK’s half-a-million-strong and peaceful demonstration in Tehran, and turned it into a mass killing. The same night, mass executions began without even identifying the victims. Moments ago, in the Museum of Resistance, you saw a glimpse of the Iranian people’s suffering under the mullahs’ rule and also their resistance against the regime. One thousand political prisoners tortured by the Shah’s regime or the ruling religious dictatorship are present in this hall today. Some have lost 10 or 12 family members.

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.

You rightly said last October in Washington, “The atrocity of 1988, the fatwa that was issued by the Ayatollah, resulting in the murder of 30,000 members of the MEK, was ultimately about religion and a belief that people who believed in liberty and in freedom for Iran did not have the religion that was acceptable to the tyrants in Tehran.”

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 liberating Quds (Jerusalem) via Karbala.

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.

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. Without those revelations, the mullahs would have obtained the bomb years ago.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi Welcomes Vice President Pence to Ashraf 3
Vice President Mike Pence and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi Waive to the Crowd
Iranian society is ready for change

Today, I want to underscore three points: First, the objective conditions of Iranian society; second, the alternative to the regime; and third, the international community’s approach to the religious fascism ruling Iran. First, 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.” The Iranian Resistance set a historical example: the resistance of a nation can change the course of history towards freedom.

Today, we see this experience in Ukraine. Indeed, if the people of Ukraine themselves had not taken up arms, what would have guaranteed the protection of their country? 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. Second, by virtue of believing in a democratic Islam, the MEK is an effective counterforce to the mullahs’ sinister ideology. Look at what the mullahs have done in the name of Islam in Iran’s neighboring countries, from Iraq to Syria, to Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen. But our Islam rejects tyranny and misogyny. It respects and guarantees the rights of oppressed ethnic minorities. It does not distinguish between the ways of Christ, the ways of Moses, and the ways of Muhammad.

By promoting the separation of religion and state, this alternative is a solution to establishing 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. But you rightly said, “I’m confident I speak for the views of tens of millions of Americans. And I tell you with certainty that the American people support your goal of establishing a democratic, secular, non-nuclear Iranian Republic.”

Yes, 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. Third, 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.

This is a regime that disables IAEA cameras at its nuclear sites and runs more advanced centrifuges. Yes, this regime has never abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons as a guarantee for its survival. This is part of Raisi’s mission. The International Community must activate the trigger mechanism. 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.

Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Pence,

Today, Iran’s freedom fighters who have fought against the Shah’s regime and the religious tyranny ruling our nation welcomed you to Ashraf-3. Tomorrow, a free Iran will welcome you for standing by the Iranian people and Resistance. Thank you and God bless you.

Mrs. and Vice President Mike Pence and Mrs. Rajavi Visit the Resistance Museum in Ashraf 3
Mrs. and Vice President Mike Pence and Mrs. Rajavi Visit the Resistance Museum in Ashraf 3
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