Hundreds of lawmakers, officials, and dignitaries from around the world traveled to Albania this weekend to take part in the 2019 Free Iran rally, including former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The conference was held at ‘Ashraf 3’, the headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK or PMOI), and also featured Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi as the keynote speaker.
Lieberman, who appeared on stage at the event, praised President Donald Trump for his “heroic” and “historic” action against the Iranian government.
WOW @JoeLieberman today: "I say this as a Democrat. President @realDonaldTrump has been heroic and historic in taking the actions he has to break the Iran nuclear agreement, to impose sanctions on the Iranian government."
— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) July 13, 2019
“What I’m about to say, I’m saying as a Democrat. And I’m saying it as somebody who didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016, that’s why I hope you believe I am saying it with all the more sincerity,” Liberman said. “President Trump has been heroic and historic in taking the actions he has to break the Iran Nuclear Agreement, to impose sanctions on the Iranian government.”
He added, “Today, it’s the IRCG that is clearly known and designated as a terrorist organization, and that’s what it is.”
Once Rajavi took the podium, she highlighted the horrific conditions under the mullahs’ rule in Iran.
“For the people of Iran, the forty years of the mullahs’ rule is synonymous with an all-out massacre,” Rajavi stated.
She added, “From several hundred executions every night in the notorious Evin Prison and the massacre of political prisoners during the first decade of the regime’s rule, to the massacre of the economy and production, environment, culture and art, and the Iranian civilization.”
Rajavi also noted the imminent end of the current humanitarian crisis in Iran:
Now, the mullahs’ religious fascism has reached the end of the line and is struggling to survive a crisis leading to its overthrow. The economic devastation, elimination of over seventy percent of industrial capacity, a ruined banking sector, the monthly exodus of some $3 billion worth of capital, and the ceaseless free fall of the value of the national currency, cannot be contained.
Giuliani, who shared a great deal of his experience at the conference on social media, took the stage to thank the Iranian resistance movement.
These are the brave women of Ashraf pic.twitter.com/qUR9okYAkX
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) July 13, 2019
“Thank you and particularly those who live here and have lived in Ashraf. When the history of this tragic part of Iran is written, you are the heroes. You will be the freedom fighters and you will be honored in Iran’s history. God bless you and thank you,” Giuliani said as he began his speech.
He added, “This organization has grown and grown, and I feel an optimism in this room that I haven’t felt in previous meetings. If you wanted to build this city in New York City, it would take 15 years.”
Former NY Mayor @RudyGiuliani responds to lobbyists for Iran's regime: The MEK is committed to freedom and democracy in Iran. We should support them to bring regime change in their country.#IStandWithMaryamRajavi #FreeIran #WeSupportMEK pic.twitter.com/LbTv9X2Z7K
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 13, 2019
Giuliani also praised Rajavi and claimed there is a greater alternative to the “horrible regime” that operates within Iran.
“This isn’t one of those situations when we have to dispose of a regime and we know that a more horrible regime will come. That was the case in Libya. But here we don’t have that problem,” Giuliani stated. “We have the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world and then we have the NCRI, led by the President-elect Maryam Rajavi.”
The President-elect of the NCRI is the heart and soul of of the Iranian desire for freedom. Maryam Rajavi is the brave leader of the Resistance to the #RegimeOfTerror. When they ask where are the great women leaders, here’s one of the best…male or female. pic.twitter.com/P9hQpRen2M
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) July 13, 2019
Other speakers at Saturday’s event included former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Michèle Alliot-Marie, former Foreign, Defense, Interior and Justice Minister of France; Former Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko; Judge Ted Poe; former U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher; former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Governor Tom Ridge; former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and several others.
Two major themes throughout the event were the desire to see the toppling of the current regime in Iran and praise for MEK for building Ashraf-3.
Saturday’s gathering in Albania marked the 15th edition of MEK’s “Free Iran” event, which was originally hosted in Paris from 2004 until 2018.