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.
Following are key remarks by former undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ambassador Robert Joseph at the Ashraf 3 conference.
Ambassador Robert Joseph:
Thank you. Thank you very much. Those images are so incredibly powerful. Madame [Maryam] Rajavi, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here today and to be even a small part of what I believe is a great day for the cause of freedom in Iran and in fact the cause of freedom throughout the world.
I'd like to make just a few brief comments, and I'd like to address my remarks to the residents of Ashraf 3 and to the resistance units who are risking their lives every day in Iran. Because they represent what I believe is the frontline in a battle, a historic battle between good and evil. And I know that sophisticated foreign policy specialists and the think tank intellectuals will reject that characterization. They’ll reject it as overly simplistic. They’ll reject it as too emotional. With regard to emotion, I think it's very difficult to be dispassionate when tens of thousands of your compatriots, in fact, over 100,000 of your compatriots have been killed in this struggle. And with regard to being overly simplistic, I think it’s absolutely essential that we acknowledge that evil does exist in this world. And if we deny that it exists, we tolerate it. And if we tolerate evil, we encourage it. We saw this with Hitler and the hideous Nazi killing machine in World War II. We saw it 40 years later with Pol Pot and the killing fields of Cambodia. What we have seen in Iran in terms of the crimes against the Iranian people, the crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated by the mullahs, truly rises to the level of evil. And I think we need to recognize that, and we need to stand up to it.
I think what I have seen, what you have shown us over the course of the past two days, is that your cause will triumph. Your cause will prevail over evil. What you have accomplished here in Ashraf 3 has been recognized by a number of our speakers. And I would say that even more important than the material infrastructure that you have built, even more important than the magnificent buildings that you have built, is the spirit of Ashraf 3. What I have learned over the course of the last two days is that the regime may fight you with bullets. It may fight you with missiles. It may fight you with armored vehicles. It may imprison you. It may torture you. It may kill your mothers and your father and your sisters and your brothers. But the regime will not triumph over your spirit. That spirit is defined not by a sense of bitterness but by a sense of hope and optimism, which I think is grounded in your total dedication and commitment to a free Iran.
Your strength is derived from the truth, and the truth is your most powerful ally. And after the lives of the regime are exposed, what will remain will be the facts. The second president of the United States, John Adams, who was also an architect of our revolution and our fight for freedom more than 200 years ago, once said that facts are stubborn things. And the facts are clear. It is the fact that there is a path to a free, a democratic, a secular, a nonnuclear Iran, and that path is revealed in Mrs. [Maryam] Rajavi's 10-point plan. It is a fact that there is a viable alternative to this regime. The NCRI and the MEK provide that alternative. This is not Syria. This is not Libya. We have a capable government in exile who can guide the Iranian nation to freedom, who can restore the basic rights of the Iranian people. And it is a fact that the regime will fall. It will fall because of its incompetence, because of its brutality, because of its endemic corruption, and because, and I think most of all because of the desire of the Iranian people to be free.
So, let me thank you for your generous hospitality. Let me thank you for sharing your experiences and for sharing your hope and your vision for the future. I’m truly proud to be in your company. Thank you.