Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 29, 2020—In 2016, Albania took a courageous step to host the members of the Iranian opposition movement the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who were under constant rocket attacks in Camp Liberty in Iraq. This brave initiative marked the beginning of a lasting friendship between the Albanian people and the Iranian Resistance.
But it also triggered a new wave of attacks by the Iranian regime, aimed as always to either physically eliminate the members of the MEK in Albania or to tarnish their reputation among the Albanian people.
But despite the Iranian regime’s demonization campaign, the Albanian people, society and politicians have developed very strong and friendly ties with the MEK members who are today in Ashraf 3, their main headquarters in Albania.
Ashraf 3, home to 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition movement the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
In contrast, the regime has suffered a series of setbacks in its terror and public relations campaigns in Albania. On December 19, 2018, Albania expelled two Iranian regime’s diplomats, including its ambassador Gholamhossein Mohammadnia for "involvement in activities that harm the country's security" and "violating their diplomatic status." According to Albanian authorities and politicians these measures show how terrified Tehran is of the MEK.
This point was further highlighted during the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance, the Free Iran Global Summit 2020, held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event connected 30,000 locations in 102 countries and featured speeches and remarks from many Albanian politicians and dignitaries, who emphasized the friendly relationships of Albanian society and politicians with the MEK.
“Albania is your second home today,” said Sali Berisha, former Prime Minister of Albania and the historic leader of the Democratic Party. Berisha reaffirmed the wise decision of the government to expel the Iranian ambassador and further called for the complete severance of diplomatic ties with the mullahs’ as a necessary response to the terrorist acts planned against the MEK.
On December 19, 2018, Albania expelled two Iranian regime’s diplomats, including its ambassador Gholamhossein Mohammadnia for "involvement in activities that harm the country's security" and "violating their diplomatic status." According to Albanian authorities and politicians these measures show how terrified Tehran is of the MEK.
Pandeli Majko, former Albanian Socialist PM described the MEK as credible opposition and alternative to the regime in Tehran, which can rebuild a new relationship between the Iranian people and the world and the region and said, “The status of relation between Albania with Iran is without doing diplomacy is in the level of zero. Albania has taken a clear position in front of the future of Iran because we think that freedom, will be the future of this great country and nation of Iran. We believe, the MEK are a platform of trust, of faith, and relation between Iran and the world.”
Albanian personalities and political figures spoke at the Iranian Resistance annual gathering, the Free Iran Global Summit 2020 which was held online in connection with 30,000 locations in 102 countries in support of MEK members in Ashraf 3.
Opposition leader Lulzim Basha mentioned that throughout the decades, Iran’s mullahs have shown a behavior of repeated and unprovoked aggression and violence against their own people, their neighbors, and the global community of nations. “The consequences of such conduct have taken a high toll, from murder to torture targeting ordinary Iranian citizens, to the violent suppression of political manifestations in 1999, 2009, and 2017, and the killing of countless Iranian protestors in November 2019, to targeting U.S. personnel from Lebanon to Iraq, to harboring, aiding and launching terrorist organizations, the Iranian regime has confirmed that it is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain its grip on power at the cost of innocent lives and regional stability,” Basha said.
Fatmir Mediu, leader of the Albanian Democratic Party, stressed that the people of Albania stand with the members of MEK in their struggle to free Iran. “I think it’s a time that Albanians should think that if we gave shelter to you and make you feel at home, then you are fighting for the right cause. We should join you in actions together,” he said.
“I’m so happy and proud to be part of the Albanian government that has helped and supported the relocation of MEK people here in Albania, with the leadership of our Prime Minister Edi Rama, which also officially has announced that these are serious threats to international peace and security,” said Elona Gjebrea, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.
Many other Albanian MP’s and political dignitaries spoke during the Free Iran Global Summit, including Former Albanian Minister Drita Advyli, MP Grida Duma, MP Edmond Spaho, former MP Valentina Leskaj, MP Endri Hasa, MP Namik Kolpliku, MP Orjola Pampuri, and Fatbardha Kadiu MP.
Emiriana Sako, Mayor of Durrës, a town near Ashraf 3, said, “It is in our tradition to open our doors for people who are in danger. During the past three years the MEK have established friendly relations with the local communities. Ashraf 3 has played a positive role in the area and provided humanitarian aid to the locals. I wish you a fast return to your country when freedom and democracy is established.”
In a message to the Free Iran Global Summit, the members of the Municipality of Manzë, a town neighboring Ashraf 3, said, “We, like many Albanians, support Ashraf 3, and we understand the lies of the mullahs. We hope the region and the world will be liberated from the mullahs. We wish for Iran and Albania to have friendly relations.”
During the 2019 earthquake that destroyed large parts of the western coast of Albania, MEK members in Ashraf 3 provided humanitarian aid and donations to the disaster-stricken people of the region. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), personally visited residents of Manzë who were truck by earthquakes. Mr. Muharrem Sula, the mayor of the city had stressed that since the establishment of Ashraf 3, the MEK have developed sincere relations with Albanian citizens in the area.
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) visited victims of earthquake in Albania- December 2019.
In a message read by the Municipality of Manzë during the Free Iran Global Summit event was said, ““We, like many Albanians, support Ashraf 3, and we understand the lies of the mullahs. We hope the region and the world will be liberated from the mullahs. We wish for Iran and Albania to have friendly relations.”
Also, Nobel Peace Prize Candidate in 2005 and well-known women's rights advocate Sevim Arbana, writer Diana Culi, composer Zhani Ciko, and lawyer Margarita Kola were other Albanian social figures who expressed friendship with the MEK members in Ashraf 3 and their support for the Iranian Resistance in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Albanian President Ilir Meta visits Ashraf 3 and meets Maryam Rajavi - September 13, 2019
Previously, Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Albania, visited Ashraf 3, on September 13, 2019, and met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
Also, The Archbishop George Anthony Frendo of the Central Catholic Cathedral of Tirana, Saint Paul Metropolitan Archdiocese welcomed Mrs. Rajavi on the Christmas Eve mass in December 2019 were he extended his prayer for the Iranian people who are “oppressed, and enduring pain and suffering.”