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 Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Ashraf 3 conference.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani:
Thank you. I really want to thank you and particularly to the people who live here in Ashraf [PMOI/MEK members]. These are the people that when history is written about this tragic part of Iranian history, these are the people wo will be the freedom fighters who delivered your people from bondage and oppression with your blood, your tears, your lives, your consciences, many, many of your loved ones slaughtered by the murderers in Tehran. You’ll be the freedom fighters. You’ll be the ones who lead your people to freedom and you’ll be honored forever in Iranian history and in the history of those who love and are willing to die for freedom. God bless you and thank you.
This organization has grown and grown and grown and I feel in this room today a kind of optimism that I don’t remember feeling before when we were in Paris. I feel an optimism maybe because you’ve done a miracle here in Ashraf. If we were to build this in New York City it would take 15 years and 14 corruption investigations. You built it in a few months. I was here a year and a half ago, this wasn’t here. The great building across the street wasn’t here. The beautiful lodge that you have, you even had a room for me.
And of course, all of this is possible because of the leadership of Maryam Rajavi, a truly exceptional leader. Just like her husband, Massoud Rajavi, who began this movement in one very brave act. He refused to swear allegiance to [Iranian regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini to his face. He said, “No, I will not swear allegiance to you. I will not deliver my nation to a tyrant.”
Posing as a religious leader. What sacrilege, a religious leader, a murderer with hundreds of thousands of people who he’s murdered. Their blood on his hands. And invoking religion. My goodness. Aren’t we now at the point in history when we can all stand up and say, no more? No more murders. No more crimes. No more oppression. You have to go.
I’m here to say three things. First, I accuse them. I accuse the [current regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] and [regime President Hassan] Rouhani and all of their sycophants and followers, I accuse them of murder. Not just murder, mass murder, crimes against humanity. How can we tolerate this and look at ourselves in the mirror? How can we live with this? Forty years of mass murder. Forty years of crimes against humanity. And our nations are supposed to stand for freedom and democracy and decency? We should be embarrassed for our countries if they haven’t stood up against this. There’s no middle ground here. These people have killed at least 120,000 members and associates of this great organization [PMOI/MEK]. 120,000 at least. You see the book. You go through the wonderful exhibit that they have, the sad, tragic, but heroic exhibit they have of the martyrs to freedom. Well, that’s a nice way of saying it but these people were slaughtered. Look at the photograph of the people in the infirmary being treated for illness, slaughtered just a few years ago. Killed 51 of them of the last 100 people who stayed at Ashraf, they tried to wipe them all out. They came in one day with machine guns and they killed 51 people in one day. In 1988, in two months they slaughtered 30,000 people. These are not numbers, these are human lives. Where’s our decency when we don’t stand up against this? Just listen to this and watch it on the evening news and it doesn’t get us angry, doesn’t get us upset, doesn’t get us so angry that we’re willing to act.
So, there are three things that we have to do. Number one, we have to get the governments of Europe to stand up, to wake up, to reclaim their dignity and their honor. So how, how can the leaders of those countries turn their back on mass murder? How can they do it and live with themselves? It’s time to end that shameful disregard.
There’s no statute of limitations on murder. There’s no ability to say, oh it was only 30 years ago that we killed 20,000 people. I prosecuted two Nazis 40 years after their horrible deeds. One killed 20,000 people, the other killed 12,000 people, and we found them and it took years and we brought them to justice. We brought them to the penalty they deserved, which in their case was death.
The people who slaughtered 30,000 people in 1988 should be identified, they should be prosecuted, and they should either be imprisoned for life or executed. They’re criminals. They’re murderers. They’re not leaders of countries. They are no better than the murderer in the street except they’re worse because they’re mass murderers. We can’t tolerate that if we want to preserve freedom and decency and democracies for our countries. So, stand up leaders of Europe. Stand up in Germany. Stand up in France. Stand up in the United Kingdom. Stand up in Italy and Greece. If you gave us democracy and freedom, if you expanded it for us, then don’t abandon democracy and freedom now and be a disgrace to your nation. We don’t allow people to be slaughtered the way the tyrants in Iran have slaughtered people.
Well, I say to the leaders of Europe, you can be liberators. You can go down in history as fighters for freedom.
Isn’t that better than just running a government and making money and money and money and more money and giving blood money to Iran? How can you do commerce with them? We all know they’re the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. But we say it like a phrase. The largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. What does that mean? That means they fund and they supply murderers not only in their own country but all over the world. And when you give them money, when you relieve them of a debt, which my government did in the prior administration, and put over a billion dollars back in their hands, you are supporting murder. What do they use it for? They don’t use it on their people, their people are starving. Their people know, their people know that when they get money, when a French company or a German company does business with them, that money, that profit is going to be used to kill people in Syria or to kill people somewhere else or to send people to Albania to kill us.
That’s what they’re funding, don’t you realize it? Are you so blind you don’t realize you are funding murderers? That makes you complicit in murder. We don’t allow people to fund murderers. Louis Freeh will tell you how many people who funded the Mafia we put in jail and took away their money and took away their businesses. They weren’t the murderers, they just funded it and profited from it. Well wake up. When you buy oil from Iran you are funding murder. Face it. And stop it.
Number two, let’s make it clear, if we have to say it over and over again and prove it, there is an alternative to this horrible regime of terror. This isn’t one of those situations in which we have the choice of deposing a horrible dictators and we don’t know if a more horrible one will come along. Right? And when we saw that happen, we saw it happen in Egypt, in some ways we saw it happen in Libya where Qadhafi was there, Qadhafi was neutered, and we took him away and now we’ve had years and years of civil disturbance, of civil war.
But here we don’t have that problem. We’ve got the worst regime in the world by far, the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world—don’t just say it, think of what it means—we’ve got them sitting there. And then we have the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), led by the president-elect, Maryam Rajavi. Coalition of resistance organizations. Respected throughout the world. There are representatives of most of the major countries in the world here. They’ve gotten to know her. They’ve gotten to respect her. In my country, she’s totally respected. She has more support in Congress than I would have or Bob [Torricelli]. There are people on our list who wouldn’t even talk to me. A couple who wouldn’t talk to him. But she brings them together. She’s got support in all the countries I mentioned, a lot more.
You don’t usually have that in a situation like this. We usually have to do it blind. We have to say—and I think in the case of Iran you would do it, these people are so bad, how could it be worse? How could it be worse than 30,000 murders in two months? How could it be worse than shooting down people in the streets today. This isn’t a history, it’s going on now. They’re killing people now. Maybe they’re killing somebody right now. So, but we don’t have to say, well, what could be worse? We know there’s something much better. We know there’s a group of people who have been fighting for freedom all their lives, who have lost the closets people to them in the fight for freedom, who are dedicated to it.
Oh, by the way, this is what they call cult [PMOI/MEK], being dedicated to freedom. Dedicating your life to free your people, and now you're a member of a cult. Well maybe they don’t recognize it anymore because they’ve become so cynical and so greedy. Maybe they don’t recognize idealism and decency and honor anymore. People here at Ashraf, let’s make it clear. I spent a lot of time with them the other night. These are people [PMOI/MEK members] who are dedicated to freedom. And if you think that's a cult, then there’s something wrong with you. There’s something missing in your soul.
But we know that there is a government in exile, it negotiates with the whole world, and it’s written down plain as it can be what it stands for. And it looks just like our Bill of Rights, just like the Universal Declarations of Freedom and decency and human rights enshrined in the great documents of the world. Free elections within six months is the promise, and I believe it will be fulfilled. They built this place in like three months. They can do that in six months. I mean they’re miracle workers. They’re for gender equality. They’re for human rights. They’re for a system of law. They’re for we don’t imprison someone unless they have a fair trial.
This is a decent organization. This is a good organization. And it’s an organization that is ready, willing and able not to take over Iran but to guide Iran to elections as quickly as possible. This is a group that we can support. It’s a group that we should stop maligning and it’s a group that should make us comfortable having regime change in the worst regime in the world.
Last thing, what can you do? When people hear about things like this, they say to themselves, what can I do? I’m just one person. Here’s what you can do. You can be a witness like in the Biblical sense of a witness. You know something that a lot of people don’t know. You know really how bad it is in Iran. You know about the murders and you know about the continuing murders. And you know about MEK. And you know about Maryam Rajavi. And you know the truth, not the lies, the cult, they don’t have support in Iran. Why are the ayatollahs been murdering them for 40 years if they don’t have support in Iran? [laughs] There’d be a lot better people for them to murder. How stupid can you be not to understand that? I mean now they actually say it, they’re so desperate. [Khamenei], Rouhani, have said that this organization is the only one that’s really a danger to them. Well, we should recognize that. We understand that.
So, you can be a witness to that. You can write and you can speak, you can organize. Be a part of it. You know, sometimes there are big questions that determine the rest of your life that get presented to you. You see a man maybe being beaten in the street. Do you walk away or do you step in and try to protect the man or the woman? And I know I’ve done that occasionally and boy do I feel proud of myself when I don’t walk away. I don’t know how I would feel if I did.
Well, when you face it, you now have a responsibility because of your knowledge. You know about the atrocities, the crimes against humanity being committed by this regime. Don’t be euphemistic about it. Don’t hide your eyes. You are being asked to do something. Well, you can turn your back like the leadership in Europe has done hopefully no more. You can always redeem yourselves. You can always change it. You can always offer new leadership. But you shouldn’t turn your back. You’ve got to go and you’ve got to spread the word however you can. You’ve got to get the leaders of your country to stand up so you can all be proud of your country and its heritage. You’ve got to get your family members to stand up.
And when you see the lies about us, stand up. I get attacked and my colleagues who will be here in a moment get attacked all the time in America. Oh, terrible things about us, why we’re doing this. We’re doing it really very simply because we love freedom and we can’t turn our back on people who are being treated this way and we can’t turn our back on a situation that could be catastrophic for them and catastrophic for the world. But they ascribe all kinds of terrible motives. You know what I say to them? Keep doing it. Keep doing it. I wear it as a badge of honor. I support freedom, you support oppression. I support democracy, you support a dictatorship. I support decent people who share the values of decent governments, and you support mass murderers.
Now who’s right and who’s wrong? So, keep criticizing and keep doing what you’re doing. But I know and I feel as I’ve told you, as I conclude, the optimism in this room, and I know why there’s an optimism in this room. Because you know what I know. We’re going to be in Tehran much sooner than all those cynics believe. We’re going to have our celebration there much sooner than they believe. You know why? (Hazer, Hazer, Hazer, Hazer, Hazer). We’re ready. Get out of our way. God bless you.