- - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As members of the American team, we call on our friends and colleagues from all over the world to recognize 2019 as the “Year of the Ashraf Resident.”

The members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) residing at Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq from 2009 to 2016 suffered three ground assaults, five rocket attacks, deprivation of basic life support (such as food, water, and proper sanitation), and denial of reasonable access to timely medical treatment. One hundred and sixty-eight members lost their lives and 1,487 suffered injuries. For all they endured, and for their unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom, justice and a democratic Iran, they have not only earned our admiration, but they have also earned their place in the history of Iran and the world.

Now residing in central Tirana, Albania, at their new encampment, appropriately named Ashraf III, on July 13, 2019, the residents will host many of their supporters and defenders from around the world. American team members participating in the event will carry with them the message of respect from all of us.

The residents demonstrated their fierce determination to survive and show the world what people dedicated to democratic principles can achieve.

These democratic principles prioritize the return of Iran to its rightful owners, its citizens. The instruments of government power have been seized by religious extremists who have subjugated the Iranian people and others across the region. These religious extremists have become the number one state sponsor of terror.



The MeK and coalition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) are committed, through peaceful political means, to building a viable and democratic alternative to the current regime in Iran. The foundation of this commitment is the Ten Point Plan developed by NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

The MeK and the NCRI are determined to create an environment in Iran that creates a government dedicated to bettering the lives of its people, not exploiting them.

The fundamentalist government of Iran fears the MeK and the NCRI more than any other organization in the world. The regime’s days are numbered, and every day that number becomes smaller.

NCRI is not dedicated to achieving power in Iran; it is dedicated to achieving democracy in Iran for all Iranians consistent with the four freedoms articulated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Despite the efforts of the Iranian government to discredit the MeK and the NCRI, the truth about the regime is emerging throughout the world. Nowhere is this more evident than the MeK having been removed from its wrongful designation on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization list and being replaced by the Iranian Regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Ashraf III is evidence of what can be created in Iran. At the original Ashraf, the residents built a city out of the Iraqi desert. Now at Ashraf III, the residents have built a modern city in the Albanian hills. This quality of life will become available to all citizens in Iran, once the religious extremists in Tehran have been removed from power.

History is on the side of the MeK and the NCRI. When that history is written, a special chapter will be dedicated to what was endured and accomplished by the MeK residents who were in Iraq and now are in Albania.

Again, we call on our colleagues from all over the world to recognize 2019 as the “Year of the Ashraf Resident.”

Amb. J. Kenneth Blackwell — Former

U.S. Representative, United Nations

Human Rights Commission

Hon. Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr. —

Former Special Envoy and Asst. Sec.

State

Colonel (Ret.) Thomas V. Cantwell,

— Former U.S. Military Commander for

Camp Ashraf

General (Ret.) George Casey —

Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff and

Commander of Multi-National Forces

- Iraq

Hon. Linda Chavez — Former

Assistant to the President for Public

Liaison; Chairman of the Center for

Equal Opportunity

Hon. Newt Gingrich — Former Speaker

of the House

Hon. Marc Ginsberg— Former U.S.

Ambassador to Morocco

Hon. Rudy Giuliani — Former NYC

Mayor, Presidential Candidate

Hon. Porter Goss — Former Director of

CIA, Former Chairman of House Intel

Committee

General (Ret.) James L. Jones — Former

USMC Commandant, NATO Commander, National Security Advisor

to the President

Hon. Robert Joseph —

Former Under Secretary of State for

Arms Control and International Security

Hon. Michael B. Mukasey — Former U.S. Attorney General

Brig. Gen. (Ret) David Phillips — Former Ashraf Commander and former 89th M.P. Brigade Commander

Hon. Mitchell B. Reiss — Former

Ambassador, Special Envoy to the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Hon. Bill Richardson — Former N.M.

Governor, Secretary of Energy, U.N.

Ambassador, Presidential Candidate

Hon. Tom Ridge — Former P.A. Governor, Secretary Homeland Security

Hon. John Sano — Former Deputy Director CIA National Clandestine Service

Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Ph.D. — Executive Director School of Public and International Affairs, Univ. of Baltimore

Colonel (Ret.) John Cirafici — Former

Defense Attach, Algiers

Gen. (Ret.) James Conway — Former

Commandant U.S. Marine Corps

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Deptula —

Former Deputy COS for Intel,

Surveillance, and Reconnaissance,

U.S. Air Force

Hon. Patrick Kennedy — Former Rhode

Island Congressman

Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman — Former

Connecticut Senator

Colonel (Ret.), U.S. Army Wesley M.

Martin — Former Senior Antiterrorism

Officer, Coalition Forces - Iraq

Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan —

Retired Federal Judge

Hon. Raymond Tanter — Former Personal Representative of Secretary of Defense to Arms Control Negotiations

Professor Alan Dershowitz — Professor of Law, Harvard Law

School

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Leo McCloskey — Former U.S. Military Commander for Camp

Ashraf

Hon. Robert Torricelli — Former N.J. Senator

Hon. Louis J. Freeh — Former

Director FBI

Hon. R. Bruce McColm — President,

Institute for Democratic Strategies

Colonel (Ret.) Gary Morsch — Former

Senior Medical Officer at Ashraf

Hon. Frances Townsend — Former

Homeland Security Advisor to the President

General (Ret.) Charles (Chuck) Wald — Former Deputy Commander U.S. European Command

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