On July 13, 2019, dignitaries from dozens of countries across the world attended the main event of the Free Iran 2019 international conference. The conference was part of the five-day Free Iran 2019 series of conferences at the main headquarters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Ashraf 3, Albania. Several dignitaries, political and human rights activists delivered speeches, issuing remarks about the struggles of the Iranian people and their resistance movement for freedom in their country.
This is the first time that the Free Iran Gathering, the annual convention of the Iranian resistahce, is being held at Ashraf 3. Ashraf 3 was built by MEK members who were relocated from Iraq to Albania.
Following are key remarks by former Chief of Staff of the United States Army and former commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq General George Casey at the Ashraf 3 conference.
General George Casey:
Good evening everybody, Madame Maryam Rajavi, President Berisha, nice to see you again. Distinguished guests, Ashrafis, it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here with you tonight celebrating with you the obvious pride you see in what you’ve accomplished here in the last 20 months. Congratulations on what you’ve done.
Yet over the last year, Iran’s malign activities have only been increasing and they’ve been driving up tensions across the Middle East in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Iraq, and across the Persian Gulf. Iran’s behavior is not normal behavior, it’s terrorist behavior. And no government that actively supports terror can be a productive player in our world today.
So, as has been said many times already today, it’s time. Change must come to Iran. Many of us in the U.S. military, we have on the ground firsthand experience with Iran, as all these gentlemen know from their time in Iraq. And we know and we have seen firsthand that Iran purposely uses terror and subversion to accomplish their political and ideological objectives. The Iran regime is a challenge not only for the Iranian people, it’s a challenge for the international community. And change must come to Iran.
Let me just close by a couple of remarks directed at the residents of Camp Ashraf 3, the Ashrafis. What you have built here is a tribute to your courage. It’s a tribute to your determination. And it’s a tribute to your 168 comrades who lost their lives during your journey here. It’s through your grit and your determination you have cemented, cemented both literally and figuratively, Ashraf 3 as the global center for democratic resistance to the Iranian regime. And because of you and what you’ve done, change will come to Iran. Thank you.