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Ashraf 3: The symbol of change in Iran

Ashraf 3 is home to members of the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI  MEK) in Tirana, Albania
Ashraf 3 is home to members of the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI MEK) in Tirana, Albania

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, July 23, 2019 - The series of events held by the Iranian Resistance, including demonstrations in U.S. and Europe, and a five-day event in Ashraf 3, Albania, has been widely covered by international media outlets and even the state-run media of the Iranian regime.

It's important to know what the main message of these events is and how will it affect developments in Iran and the 40-year struggle of the Iranian people against this regime.


Free Iran Gathering, Ashraf 3, Albania, July 2019

Free Iran Gathering, Ashraf 3, Albania, July 2019


Iranian opposition annual conference in Ashraf 3 – July 13, 2019 – Tirana, Albania


The regime's deepening crises and the strengthening of the alternative

"Regime change will now happen not if, but when, and the world will be a much better place because of it," wrote The Washington Times.

Anyone who is following the developments in Iran can see that the regime is faced with a multitude of crises inside the country, a deteriorating economy, an explosive society, and international isolation. Dead ends in every domain is driving the regime toward its ultimate collapse.

The alternative

Given what has just come to pass in Ashraf, few can argue that the regime is deeply engulfed in crises. The question now isn't weather the regime will stay or not, but who will replace it. Is there an alternative that can take care of the country's affairs after the regime falls?


Prominent international dignitaries joining Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi at a conference in Ashraf 3 - Tirana, Albania - July 12, 2019

Prominent international dignitaries joining Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi at a conference in Ashraf 3 - Tirana, Albania - July 12, 2019


The regime is doing all it can to try to convince the world that there is no alternative and if the mullahs are overthrown, the situation will become worse than before. The Iranian regime is trying to scare the international community and the Iranian people.

To answer this question, in an article titled "Making Sense of The MeK," Ilan Berman, Vice President of the Council of Foreign Relations, explained that the MEK is the main player in Iran." Even by the notoriously fractious standards of Iranian opposition politics, the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MeK) is a controversial entity—one all too often misunderstood by U.S. policymakers and demonized by its competitors. Yet it is also an important part of any serious conversation about the future of Iran, such as the one now taking place in Washington, DC as the Trump administration’s 'maximum pressure' campaign against the Islamic Republic takes hold in earnest," he wrote.

Elsewhere in the article, Berman writes, "Significantly, Trump administration insiders such as National Security Advisor John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, have also publicly backed the MeK—contributing to the popular perception that it now represents Team Trump’s preferred alternative if the current regime in Tehran falls."

There are various analyses and assessments in this regard, but what happened during this year's annual conventions of the Iranian resistance set forth a definite answer to this question.

The mere fact that 350 dignitaries from across the world gathered in Ashraf 3 to support the Iranian Resistance and the alternative to the mullahs' regime destroyed all efforts led by the mullahs’ regim ein the past two years to demonize the MEK and NCRI, especially regarding the new headquarters of the MEK in Albania.

This was an act of powerful political offense by the Iranian resistance. As far as the Iranian regime is concerned, it will continue to disseminate falsehoods and fake allegations against the Iranian resistance, but any impartial observer will dismiss them as propaganda, especially those who came to Ashraf and saw things for themselves.

Even the regime's own officials are acknowledging the role of the MEK in their efforts to demonize the Iranian opposition.

The not-too-hidden power of the MEK

The truth is, the power of the Iranian alternative does not go unnoticed to the apologists of the Iranian regime in the west. But their interests forced them to turn a blind eye on this reality. So another question we must answer is: How do we know whether western powers will change their policies? Will they not continue to pursue their economic and political interests and back the regime instead of standing with the people?

Again, the five-day event in Ashraf 3 answered this question by turning the tide against the Iranian regime.

Again, quoting from Berman's article, "[W]hile many opposition activists advocate “civil disobedience” to achieve this aim, the MeK is convinced that the Iranian regime is simply too brutal, too entrenched and too invested in maintaining its hold on power to be removed solely by peaceful means. The alternative could well be armed resistance, and here the MeK holds a distinct advantage should such action become necessary—both because of the past military-style structure and discipline of its cadres and owing to its past successes against the regime."

How Ashraf 3 affects the Iranian society

The true target of the events held by the MEK in Ashraf 3 were the Iranian people, who are fed up with this regime. Through its propaganda and demonization campaigns, the regime tries to convince the Iranian people that the mullahs can't be overthrown, and if they are, what will come next will be much worse.

The MEK has been through numerous trials and tribulations in the past 40 years. They have proven that they do not seek power for themselves and are only after achieving freedom and democracy for their people.

But one question that remained was, would the MEK be capable of rebuilding Iran after the mullahs have ruined the country for four decades? The building of Ashraf 3 put an end to all questions about whether the MEK is qualified for this task. The dignitaries who visited the headquarters of the MEK in Albania described it as unbelievable, incredible and miraculous.