#CaspianSeaSellOut,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,The Caspian Sea

The Caspian sea

Iranians Protest Regime Giveaway of Caspian Sea

The Caspian sea

The Caspian sea that was once part of Iran, is now shared between five states. Iranian regime’s President, Hassan Rouhani signed an agreement, accepting a small share of the sea, nearly 11% of the total area in a bid to gain regional support for its falling regime.

On Saturday, August 18th, dozens gathered in front of the Majlis (Parliament) in Tehran to protest the Caspian Sea Treaty. The treaty, signed by regime President Hassan Rouhani on August 12th, signed away Iran’s claim to a large portion of the Caspian Sea.

 

The giveaway of the Caspian Sea is widely unpopular with the Iranian people, who see it as the latest effort by the regime to hold onto power by whatever means possible. The Caspian Sea is one of Iran’s greatest natural resources, and the despicable move by the regime to give it away has been met by widespread criticism.

Demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans during their protest, including:

“Death to Rouhani, the president of the regime of Iran!”

“We shall fight, we shall win back our Caspian Sea!”

“Selling out the Caspian is like selling out your honor!”

 

The protesters were attacked by security forces and anti-riot police, who attempted to stop the protest. There were reports of a number of arrests of protesters by security forces. Those who were arrested were taken to undisclosed locations.

 

The Caspian Sea legal convention was signed on August 12th, paving the way for the sea to be divided between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Iran’s ownership of the Caspian Sea will drop from 50 percent to 11 percent under the treaty. The convention also led to agreements on a ban on ships owned by countries other than the states bordering the Caspian Sea, as well as exports of the sea’s oil and gas reserves. The treaty was signed by presidents of the five border nations at a meeting in Aktau.

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Opposition, which includes the MEK, responded to the Caspian Sea Treaty in a statement.

“For Khomeini, Khamenei and Rouhani, neither water, nor the land, nor the culture, nor the lives, nor the wealth of the Iranian people have any value. Only one thing matters: Preserving the rule of the mullahs, which Khomeini described as the ‘absolute imperative,’ and for which one can abrogate Islamic edicts, and first and foremost give away the land and water of Iran and its people and massacre its valiant children in the prisons.” She added “Indeed, what could an invader do that the mullahs have not done to Iran and the Iranian people. The mullahs are among the worst in Iran’s history.”

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MEK's popularity in Iran

Regime Experts Admit MEK’s Major Role in Recent Protests

MEK's popularity in Iran

A recent Infographic distributed over the internet, challenging the Iranian regime’s misinformation about the lack of popularity for MEK (the principal opposition to the regime) in Iran

While for years the Iranian dictatorship and its lobbies had denied MEK’s major support at home, and by running smear campaigns had tried to misinform the International audience from the popularity of the main opposition among Iranians inside and outside the country, the recent positions by various high officials prove differently.

A series of protests have spread throughout Iran’s cities since July 31st, in response to the terrible economic situation and the spread of poverty across Iran, the mismanagement of water and electricity and carelessness of the regime towards bare necessities of Iranians while spending billions to prop up the dictatorship in Syria. People from all walks of life have taken to the streets to protest the regime’s failed economic policies. Though the protests were sparked by economic unrest due to the latest plunge in the rial’s value and resulting increase in costs, outrage among the protesters soon turned to the regime and its leadership, particularly the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Chants of “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” were heard in Isfahan, Karaj, Tehran, and other cities and towns across Iran. The role of MEK during these demonstrations has been essential in mobilizing and expanding the anti-regime protests.

The following are some of the quotes that have been made by regime officials and “experts” over the past few weeks as protests have ramped up to the current widespread uprising.

On July 3, 2018, Hassan Rouzi-Talab gave an interview to Vatan-e-Emrooz State Daily. Rouzi-Talab is an IRGC expert on the MEK. He made the following statements in the interview, admitting MEK’s widespread support in the social media :

“The MEK has been on top of the social media scene from the start. They attract political activists in the streets and ordinary people and convince them to be MEK resources.” He went on to talk more about the MEK’s role in social media.

“More than 70% of calls to protest and video coming out of the protests… are related to MEK channels. Massoud Rajavi [one of the founders of the MEK] has issued five statements about the protests and clashes since December which is really unprecedented in recent years.”

He also acknowledged that the MEK organized the protests. “MEK forces have divvied up the cities among themselves and organized protest veterans in the streets into Telegram groups in a process that has taken several years. For example, in one small town, there are over 5,000 members in various groups who have the means to coordinate a place and time for gatherings there.

Rouzi-Talab revealed the MEK’s support at home by admitting their slogans and calls being popularly chanted by the people. “Their behavior and slogans are all related to the MEK… Direct calls for overthrow, it was heard everywhere (in all cities) and was repeated frequently.”
On July 14, 2018, IRGC Brigadier General Jalali, Commander of the regime’s “Passive Defense Organization” gave an interview to the Tasnim State News Agency. He credited the MEK as the basis of the resistance movement. In this interview, he said, “We are at a very critical point in the history of our revolution… The striking issue is that all counter-revolutionaries [activities] are designed on the basis of the MEK.”

On July 21, 2018, Ali Rabiei, the regime’s Labor Minister, spoke about the MEK’s role in Iran’s labor movements. He was quoted as saying:

“Today our enemies, particularly the MEK, are targeting the labor issues in the country, something that was very apparent in the issue of the truckers… Various networks were activated to transform this demand as a protest by the MEK in the shortest possible time…”

On July 25, 2015, Mohamad Khan Boluki, Managing Director of the regime’s Transportation Union, also claimed that the MEK was responsible for the labor movement. “The majority of the people that guided the truckers’ gatherings to insurrection were from the MEK who had infiltrated this social sector,” he said.

On August 1, 2018, immediately after the renewed set of protests began, Reza Hosseini, consultant to Soft Wars HQ of the Armed Forces gave an interview with Fars News Agency in which he discussed the MEK’s increased visibility in Iran. He said, “We have to pay attention to what the MEK did in the 1980s to understand how they have resurfaced again and have advanced to the forefront and leadership stage in some sectors.”
He went on to say, “Sometimes it is said that these guys (MEK) have been killed off and don’t mention them anymore!… As an expert, I will tell you that anyone who says the MEK is dead either has a bad motive or is ignorant.”Hosseini added, “The MEK are creating waves today. They have entered into various social strata like the truckers and bazaar owners and provide them with direction.”
 
Hosseini concluded by stating the importance that the regime places on the MEK and its influence on the people of Iran: “Right now they have influence in the universities, particularly in provincial capitals. That is why we sometimes hear discourses in university settings that are the MEK’s narrative.”

On August 2, 2018, as protests picked up steam, Ahmad Salek, a member of Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament), affiliated with the pro-Khamenei faction, spoke to Tasnim News Agency-Mullah about recent protests by workers in Isfahan: “The slogans that were chanted in the demonstration were directed by the MEK through foreign news channels.”

The running thread through all of the statements made by regime officials and experts is that the MEK – the powerful force in the Iranian resistance – is driving the protests and social upheaval taking place in the country. The regime is wrong to place the blame for the uprising at the feet of the MEK: the regime is responsible for the uprising through its corruption, cruelty, and mismanagement, and the people are rising up of their own accord. But the longstanding argument of the regime has been that the MEK is a weak organization that has no standing or power within Iran. Now that the people have risen up, it has been forced to adopt a new narrative and has contradicted itself. The MEK cannot be both a toothless organization with no internal support and a well-organized resistance that is responsible for a massive uprising and its slogans demanding freedom and democracy through regime change in Iran “being heard everywhere”.

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Iran Protests in Kazerun

An Interview with Hanif Jazayeri: The Iranian People Have Spoken Loud and Clear

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

On the 6th of August, as US sanctions affecting the purchase of dollars, metals, and car and plane parts were re-imposed on Iran, an interview with Hanif Jazayeri was broadcast across major American cities. Listeners in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Raleigh, and Pittsburgh could tune in to hear the Iranian news editor discuss the latest wave of economic sanctions and their effect on the already unstable clerical regime.

The United States announced its latest wave of sanctions, which will target the Iranian oil industry, the backbone of the Iranian economy; however, the EU and Russia have already voiced their opposition to the sanctions. They announced they would prefer to salvage the crumbling JCPOA agreement.

A New Breed of Protest

Hanif opened the interview by fielding a question on the changing nature of the Iranian protest movement. He said, “the Iranian people have spoken loud and clear”, “they are blaming the regime for their economic hardship”. In the wake of the JCPOA, the Iranian regime unlocked billions of dollars in aid packages, but the people saw none of the benefits.

“They have noticed this,” said Hanif, “and that is actually because all the money has been spent in Syria, to prop up the dictator there, to fund terrorist groups in the region, for the domestic suppression apparatus of the regime, and the rest of it has lined the pockets of the mullahs and their families.”

Following this blatant abuse of power and mismanagement of resources, the Iranian people have taken to the streets in their thousands to express their frustration at the mullahs’ regime. The people want an end to the regime.

The International Community

Hanif went on to mention the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi’s appeal to the international community to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and exclude the current regime from the international banking system. Only the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is benefitting from oil exports at present.

Hanif Jazayeri has played an active role himself in drumming up international support for the Iranian protest movement. He has been collecting footage from protestors in Iran and publishing them across social media to raise international awareness for the struggle of the Iranian people.

However, many within the international community have expressed reluctance and hesitation at the idea of reintroducing sanctions. A common argument against Maryam Rajavi’s proposal of sanctioning the Iranian oil industry is that it would further hurt the already struggling Iranian population.

Hanif attempted to dispel this common misconception. He cited the slogans adopted among the protestors which state, “our enemy is right here, they are lying when they say it is America”.

The people of Iran have suffered under the Iranian regime both when economic sanctions have been imposed, and after the sanctions were lifted. They saw no benefit from the lifting of the sanctions, their standard of living did not improve. Therefore, the lifting of the sanctions empowered the regime. It gave the Iranian regime more money to spend on suppressing the people.

Will Sanctions Empower Hardliners?

In response to Hanif’s argument, the interviewer countered that economic sanctions could empower the hardliners within Iran. They could be interpreted as “economic bullying” and allow the more extreme elements in Rouhani’s regime to portray Iran as a victim and being unfairly punished by the American government.

In reality, there are not hardliners and moderates within the Iranian regime. They are all hardliners. Rouhani himself has threatened to disrupt passage through the Strait of Hormuz if oil sanctions are imposed on Iran. His regime continues to arrest and execute political dissidents. There are no “hardliners” and “moderates”, only the regime in all its brutality.

Again, Hanif pointed to the slogans of the protestors to illustrate the point. The demonstrations across Iran have featured slogans stating, “no to hardliners, no to moderates”.

More than half of the country is in poverty and has been so for nearly forty years. For Iranians, the situation deteriorated after the sanctions were lifted. The regime received a financial windfall, which only gave them more resources to use in their routine abuse and repression of the Iranian people. “In the last two years, for example, the economic situation has spiraled downwards”, said Hanif.

Finally, Hanif Jazayeri saluted the brave protestors turning out across Iran, risking imprisonment and death in their determination to make their voices heard.

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Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

The Revolution is Around the Corner: Charlie Moore Describes the Iranian Revolutionary Hotbed for The Daily Mail

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi protesters who were arrested during their uprisings in March, 2018, are still detained without trial

Charlie Moore, staff writer for the Mail Online, the digital segment of the Daily Mail, published his article ‘Revolution is Coming’ on August 8th, 2018. His article focused on the delicate position the mullah’s find themselves in following last weeks protests. He wrote, “Iran is on the brink of revolution”, describing, “thousands flooding city streets”.

A Country on the Brink

Moore describes the Iranian discontent as stemming from the reintroduction of US sanctions, which is limiting Iranians access to US banknotes and key imports. He also alluded to the economic crisis ravaging Iranian cities, causing spiraling inflation.

The Iranian rial has lost 99% of its value. With the reintroduction of US sanctions on the horizon, the situation is unlikely to improve and could become markedly worse. Many Iranians are stocking up on foreign currency to get themselves through the crisis.

Ali, the owner of a kitchen store in Tehran’s bazaar, described a scene of consumers panic-buying essentials before the sanctions hit. “People are worried that if they don’t buy things today, they won’t be available tomorrow,” he said.

Foreign companies that arrived following the Iran deal are leaving. Total, Peugeot, and Renault are among the companies making the exodus from Iran.

An Escalating Problem for the Mullahs

Hanif Jazayeri of the Iranian opposition organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was interviewed for Moore’s article. He outlined crucial differences between the current wave of protests and those that gripped the country in 2009.

In 2009, a spate of protests spread rapidly across Iran. They featured a majority middle-class demographic and were a public backlash towards President Mahmoud’s re-election. Unlike the 2009 protests, the most recent round of protests has attracted Iranians across the social and economic spectrum. Demonstrators not been limited to the middle classes, but included women, the rural poor, the middling urban classes, students, factory workers, truck drivers, investors, and many more worker demographics from Iran’s rich social landscape.

Jazayeri also points out that the slogans adopted in the recent demonstrations indicate an underlying frustration which could boil over into revolution. Instead of protesting individual incidents, protestors are directing their anger at the regime itself. Slogans such as “death to the dictator”, and, “the nation is forced to beg while the leader lives like a God”, have become commonplace.

Jazayeri said, “these are different because people are calling for the death of the President and Supreme Leader”. He added, “people are starting to wake up and see that revolution is a real possibility. I think there will be one”.

The scale of the protests has also been overwhelming. In the January protests, 142 of Iran’s cities and towns were affected by protests. More recently, a video depicting more than 100,000 football fans protesting in the street following a football match recently circulated on social media.

A New Determination

The other factor that will have the mullahs concerned over their future in power has been the sheer will and determination among the demonstrators.

The very act of protesting in the street in Iran comes with enormous risk. Protestors are often arrested and even killed as the regime tries to silence demonstrators through violent and repressive means. Despite the risk involved, protestors have shown their bravery and determination and taken to the streets in the thousands.

Footage from Gohardasht shows protestors scrambling to escape the regime’s tear gas. In another video, filmed in Isfahan, demonstrators set fire to tires in an attempt to mask the irritant gas.

Regime Change is the Only Way Out

For Iranians, the only way out of this economic freefall is through regime change. President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, has echoed this sentiment. She issued a statement of support in early August hailing the demonstrators and applauding their determination.

The regime is committed to spending billions of dollars in funding conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and other local conflicts around the Middle East. Rouhani has also plowed Iranian funding into creating an elaborate network of espionage and terror in Europe and beyond.

Given the country’s economic turmoil, the reintroduction of sanctions, and the determination of the local population, it is difficult to see a resolution where the existing regime maintains its grip on power. The status quo is simply unmanageable.

As the economic situation worsens once the US sanctions come into full effect in November, and the population further suffers the effects of the regime’s economic mismanagement, a united, determined population will rise up, hungry for change.

 

 

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Iran Protests in various cities in Iran

Protests Spread across Country, Iranians Call for Regime Change

Iran Protests in various cities in Iran

Credit to The Daily Express-Iran news: Protest breaks out as tires set on fire (Image: PMOI/MEK – NCRI)

Protests, strikes, and demonstrations have spread throughout the cities and towns of Iran in response to the country’s crumbling economy. Protests began early last week with a merchants strike after the rial plunged in value yet again. The rial has dropped 120 percent in the last six months alone, leading store owners to close their shops and take to the streets to protest rising costs.

The merchants were soon joined by truck drivers (who were already in the midst of a weeks-long strike of their own), farmers, workers, the unemployed, and young people. The protests spread rapidly to other cities, and calls for regime change have been widespread. Protesters have chanted, “Death to the dictator!” “Mullahs must go!” and “Rouhani be ashamed, let go of our country!”

The protests have now grown into an uprising, spreading to every major city in Iran over the past week. Protesters have confronted suppressive forces in the streets, using police tear gas to set fire to tires and police motorcycles.

Shahin Gobadi, a spoke person for the people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) who is also a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee, gave an interview to the British website Express.co.uk. He said that the continuous nature of the Iran protests sends a clear message:

“The Iranian people are determined to bring about a regime change and they are not going to stop at anything short of that. The prospect for the mullahs to find a way out is becoming dimmer by the day.


“This is why the regime’s senior officials keep warning about the bleak prospects that loom on the horizon for the regime and the growing role of the resistance.

“As such, the regime’s official in charge of dealing with “soft warfare” stated on August 1, that 90 percent of the strikes and calls for protests are the result of activities of the “counter-revolutionaries”, ie the Iranian resistance.”

In regard to the Iran nuclear deal, Mr. Gobadi had this to say:

“It is time for the European countries to see the fast-moving realities in Iran and forgo any deals with the Iranian regime.

“Rather they should hold the clerical regime accountable for all its malign activities and side with the Iranian people and their aspirations.

“We would welcome any serious and tangible retreat by the mullahs because that would ultimately serve the interests of the Iranian people and the resistance units to bring down the regime and to establish democracy.

“But as the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has said time and again the regime is incapable of any major change of policies and change of direction.

“He said explicitly on May 10, 2017, that so far as the regime is concerned a change of conduct and behavior is tantamount to a change of the regime in its entirety.”

The daily Express also quoted Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition emphasizing: ‘The Iranian people’s nationwide uprising is growing by the day. Hail to the peoples of Isfahan, Gohardasht of Karaj, and Shiraz.”

The MEK believes that the only way to bring meaningful change to the Iranian people is through regime change. The economic problems facing Iran right now are dire, but they are not new, nor are they solely a result of sanctions. The rial has been losing value since the regime took power in 1979, due to the clerical regime’s corruption and incompetence.

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A protester in Isfahan resisting the IRGC forces who had attacked the protesters.

An Unstoppable Force: the Rising Tide of Iran’s Protest Movement

A protester in Isfahan resisting the IRGC forces who had attacked the protesters.

A young Iran protester shows victory sign, while joining fellow protesters to push back on repressive IRGC forces in Isfahan

On Friday, August 3rd, Fox News published an article on its website from Ben Evansky, titled “Iran’s Widespread and Growing Protests Push Citizens to Brink”. Evansky outlined the rising discontent among the Iranian population.

 

His article comes at a prominent moment. The residents of Isfahan have joined the nation’s truck drivers in their protests, and protests in Tehran continue to rage.

The economy is in sharp decline as decades of mismanagement has caused rampant currency inflation. On top of a spiralling economy, Iranian’s have to contend with water shortages and price increases for basic essentials like food and drink.

A Growing Protest Movement

Evansky describes how in these uncertain times, the Iranian protest movement is rapidly expanding. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and their activists have published footage on social media of the protests in Iran. Tehran’s residents can be heard chanting “the mullahs must get lost”.

Similar images have been released from Arak. Protestors there are using the slogan, “no to Gaza, no to Lebanon, my life for Iran” (referring to the mullahs use of Iranian finances to fund foreign conflicts and terrorist organizations abroad while Iran’s own population goes hungry and thirsty).

In his article, Evansky analyzed the slogans used by the Iranian population during the protests and discovered they provide significant insight into the opposition movement. Firstly, the women of Isfahan province are among the chanters and protestors. Fox News based on analysis of an Iran analyst, asserted that the women of Najafabad in Isfahan province “used to be a traditional bastion of regime support”. Now, these same women are in the streets shouting, “they fed Syria but made our young people turn old”.

It is not just the women of Isfahan, other segments of the regime’s support base are turning against them. The urban and rural poor, the day laborers, the farmers, and the factory workers have all joined the protest movement, uniting all segments of Iranian society in opposition.

Fox News goes on to suggest that this could be a pivotal moment for the Iranian opposition. The residents of the regime heartlands have been the mullahs’ foundations of support. Those residents are now beginning to realise that the mullahs do not have their best interests at heart. This realisation casts uncertainty on the mullahs’ future in power.

The Role of the US

Many in the US government have proposed supporting the Iranian protestors. In his article, Evansky cited a spokesman for Republican Senator Ted Cruz who said that “the United States should be doing everything possible to support these protestors”.

The US government’s stance towards the mullahs is hardening. Since Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran deal, he has passed a new round of sanctions, urged European nations to adopt a tougher stance, and put a resolution through Congress pledging US support to the Iranian protestors.

Falling Dominoes

The latest protests and the hardening position of the international community towards the mullahs has set in motion a series of events that will lead to the ultimate collapse of the clerical regime. Like falling dominoes, the rapidly expanding protest movement will become too great for the mullahs to repress and silence.

The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, emphasized the importance of keeping the current movement going. In a statement, she exclaimed, “Iran’s risen and revolting cities are joining the protests, one after the other. The cry for freedom is becoming louder, and the uprising is expanding more and more every moment.”

Rajavi ended her statement by celebrating the powerful political force the Iranian public hold in their hands and their voices. “The is no force more powerful than the united force of young people”.

 

 

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New resolution introduced to the

US House of Representatives Passes Resolution in Support of the Iranian People and Opposition

New resolution introduced to the

The HR1304 resolution referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressing concerns over the terrorists activities of the Iranian regime and supporting Iranian people’s quest for freedom.

A resolution submitted to the US House of Representatives on Thursday, July 26th condemning the Iranian regime’s state-sanctioned terror plot in Europe. In the second session of its 115th Congress, the House of Representatives submitted resolution 1034.

The text of the resolution explicitly condemned the Iranian regime’s use of state-sponsored terrorism against Iranian dissidents and US citizens. It also expressed solidarity with the Iranian people “who are engaged in continuing legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime”.

The bill acknowledged the role of the Iranian regime in the foiled terror attack on the Free Iran rally in Paris. It also recognized the rights of the Iranian people “to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.”

State-Sanctioned Terrorism

The move comes after details emerged of a terrorist plot organized and planned by the regime leadership in Iran. French authorities arrested a Belgian couple of Iranian descent with explosives in their possession. Their target had been the 2018 Free Iran rally, organized by the Iranian resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The rally, which took place on June 30th, drew in a crowd of more than 100,000 people, as well as delegations of politicians, journalists, and activists from the US, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, among others.

Following the arrest, the couple admitted that they had received their orders and the explosives from Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat working within the Iranian embassy in Vienna, and an agent for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Assadi was arrested by German authorities following the couple’s admission.

The foiled plot is merely the latest development in a long history of state-sponsored terror and violence. The Iranian regime’s leadership have been behind hijacking, assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings which have taken place across the globe since the 1980s. Hossein Abedini recently described his harrowing experience of being attacked by two masked gunmen in 1990.

A Firmer US Stance

While European Governments have offered muted responses following the failed terror attack on French soil, the US has been unequivocal. On July 22nd, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, addressed the Iranian-American community at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. He pledged the support of the US government to the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and regime change.

A Senior Official in the State Department also urged the international community to investigate diplomat activity in Iranian embassies. The anonymous official stated, “all nations need to exercise vigilance to protect themselves against the Iranian [regime] threat”.

The latest resolution from the House of Representatives is in line with the US Government and the Trump administration’s firmer stance towards the clerical regime in Iran. It also goes further than previous messages of support.

The bill acknowledges the regime’s involvement in terror activities and condemns it accordingly, but it also recognizes the right of the Iranian people to establish a democratic republic in Iran.

The resolution explicitly mentions President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan dedicated to establishing a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Iran. This holds significance for the Iranian people and the opposition coalition.

Rouhani’s brutal and violent regime cannot be permitted to engage in international acts of terrorism with impunity. The US has taken the lead in condemning the abhorrent actions of the mullahs. Now the rest of the world, particularly Europe must follow the US Government’s lead. The Iranian regime must be held accountable for its violence.

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portray of Rouhani and Khamenei

How the portrayal of Rouhani as a moderate weakens the Iranian opposition

portray of Rouhani and Khamenei

How the portrayal of Rouhani as a moderate weakens the Iranian opposition

On Saturday, July 28th, The Daily Caller published an article entitled “Iran Echo Chamber’ Campaigns to Stop Iranian People’s Struggle Against the Theocracy’, revealing Iranian regime’s apologists and their campaign against a firm position towards the dictatorship ruling Iran also questioning Rouhani’s label as a “moderate”.

The article drew comparisons between Rouhani and other hard-liners within his organization, suggesting Rouhani and regime’s Foreign Minister Zarif are wolves in sheep’s clothing and painting the picture of them as reformers or moderates creates a dangerous and misleading narrative.

The Drums of War

The article argues that Rouhani is a destabilizing factor on the global stage. His latest blustering included a threat of war with the US should they prevent Iran’s oil exports. At a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran, Rouhani stated, “anyone who understands politics a little bit would never say that he/she would prevent exports of Iran’s oil,” adding, “America should know the war with Iran is the mother of all wars”.

Rouhani suggested that if Iranian oil exports were interrupted, Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important body of water linking the Persian Gulf with the Oman Sea. The strait is a trade artery for the whole Middle East and its closure would inflame geopolitical tensions across the region. With such dangerous and grave consequences, the decision to threaten the international community is this way are not the actions of a moderate reformer.

Rouhani’s threats were welcomed by the hard-line leaders of both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Quds Force. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC commander, expressed his support, stating, “we stand ready to put in action President Hassan Rouhani’s latest position that if Tehran were not able to export its crude oil through the Strait of Hormuz, no other country would be able to do so”. The IRGC terrorist Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani echoed Jafari’s sentiments.

While Rouhani’s posturing is designed to provoke, we cannot dismiss his words as empty threats. The Daily Caller article points out that Tehran is internationally isolated, and the mullahs are losing their grip on power at home as the country’s economic and social crisis worsens.

The President has already sent a signal to the international community. Rouhani, along with senior members of his regime, planned a terror attack against the Iranian opposition in Paris.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) organized their annual Free Iran Rally in Paris on June 30th. A Belgian couple was detained by French authorities armed with explosives and instructions to attack the rally. They had received their explosives from an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Austria.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

The article argues that Rouhani’s aggressive threats and foiled plot to launch a devastating terrorist attack on European soil demonstrate that he is far from the moderate reformer he is often touted to be.

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, suggested the same thing. During a speech to the Iranian-American community living in the United States, he cast doubt on Rouhani and Zarif’s moderate image. “The truth is they are merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry. Their nuclear deal didn’t make them moderates; it made them wolves in sheep’s clothing”, he said.

Regime Agents in the Western Media

Regime Apologists

An infographic distributed widely on the internet to express outrage against biased and propaganda pieces against MEK by regime apologists.

The regime has allies in the Western media, like Guardian journalist Saeed Kamali Dehghan and MSNBC producer Darius Bazargan, who perpetuate the myth of Rouhani as a moderate reformer. Former Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian even admitted that the regime had sent agents to infiltrate foreign media outlets and promote regime interests in the Western media.

This was apparent following the foiled terror attack in Paris. Several media outlets published pieces criticising the victim, the NCRI and MEK and their leader, President-elect Maryam Rajavi. They attacked both the Iranian opposition directly, and President Trump for the firm stance he is pursuing towards the Iranian regime.

The article cites the attacks on US ambassador Nikki Haley as an example of pro-regime journalists targeting MEK and NCRI sympathizers. Haley retweeted a photo from the official MEK Twitter account. Journalists working for BBC Persian singled the ambassador out in their criticisms. The BBC Farsi channel is known as “Ayatollah BBC” in Iran for its pro-regime positions.

These journalist’s criticism and vilification of the Iranian opposition movement and the MEK attempt to offer justification for the mullahs’ attempted terror attack. They create an atmosphere of appeasement to the regime and of hostility towards the NCRI and MEK.

This, Daily Caller article argues, sows “discord among Iranian communities” and is yet another strategy from the regime to fragment and divide the opposition. By creating a competing narrative and fostering a debate over Rouhani as a hard-liner or a moderate, the regime can effectively weaken the opposition by preventing the formation of a united front.

The article finishes by outlining the struggle confronting the Iranian people. “The Iranian people are not only struggling against a brutal religious dictatorship but also must overcome a massive media campaign aimed at [discrediting] their legitimate struggle for liberty, democracy and the pursuit of happiness.”

Staff Writer

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Hossein Abedini,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Terrorism

Hossein Abedini during a news conference in London-2016

The Iranian Regime’s Recent Terror Plot Stirs Memories of Previous Attacks on European Soil

Hossein Abedini during a news conference in London-2016

Hossein Abedini, – At a press conference on March 7, 2016, in London – Archive Photo

Hossein Abedini, member of the Iranian parliament in exile and part of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the 24th of July. The piece, entitled ‘Iranian Terror on European Soil’, recounts the harrowing attempt on his life in 1990.

On March 14th, Abedini was in Istanbul. He was in a car, traveling to the international airport before a flight. He remembers how on this journey, without warning, a car blocked the road in front of the vehicle. At the same moment, another car approached Abedini’s vehicle from behind, and two armed men jumped out.

In a moment of panic, Hossein rushed them, armed with nothing but his briefcase. As one assailant’s gun jammed, the other was able to fire at Abedini nine times. Abedini was badly hurt, and the injuries he sustained left him fighting for his life. He was taken to Istanbul’s International Hospital where he remained in a coma for 40 days.

Mistaken Identity

As Hossein lay in a hospital in Istanbul, his survival uncertain, the state-run media in Tehran was reporting that Mohammed Mohaddessin had been killed in Istanbul. Mohaddessin was the chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee.

It became clear that Mohaddessin had been the intended target of the attack. Even as the Iranian regime realized that it had failed in its objectives, and Abedini had survived the attack, it sent agents to finish the job. Hossein recalls how “one on occasion agents disguised themselves as Turkish police; on another, they pretended to be friends coming to visit”.

Abedini survived the initial attack, and the subsequent plots against his life while he remained in hospital, but, he explains, many were not so fortunate. In 1990, the same year that gunmen opened fire on Abedini, Kazem Rajavi, a human-rights activist, was killed in Geneva. Two years later, several Kurdish activists would also be shot and killed in plots that would later be linked to the Iranian leadership.

Déjà vu

The recently foiled terror plot in Europe evokes flashbacks of the bloody killings and state-sanctioned terror plots of the 80s and 90s. The Iranian regime attempted to detonate a bomb at the Iranian opposition’s Free Iran Gathering in Paris on June 30th. Belgian authorities arrested a Belgian couple of Iranian descent with more than 1lb of explosives and a detonator in their possession.

The pair received the explosives, along with their instructions, from Assadollah Assadi, a station chief for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) operating in Vienna. He had met with the couple in Luxemburg in June and given them detailed instructions to attack the Free Iran Gathering.

The annual gathering drew a crowd of more than 100,000 NCRI and MEK supporters from around the globe. Delegations of politicians, journalists, and activists were present from the US, Canada, the UK, France, and many other nations. While it is unclear at this moment exactly who the targets of the plot were, it is evident that the consequences would have been catastrophic.

Deafening Silence

Abedini goes on to call the plot, “the most recent example of Iran using diplomatic cover to plot terrorism in the heart of Europe”. Assadi’s role as a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna means he was free to carry out covert activities in Europe under the cover of diplomatic immunity.

Even once he was detained by German authorities, state-run media outlets in Iran which serve as mouthpieces for the regime condemned the incident suggesting that the “dignity of the Iranian passport had been sullied”. European authorities have uncovered evidence of Iranian diplomats’ involvement in planning terror attacks on European soil. Abedini questions why, in the face of this startling and concerning evidence, “are European governments remaining silent in the aftermath?” He added, “how far are they willing to go to appease the theocracy ruling Iran?”

Abedini urges the European heads of state to realize that they “can’t conduct business as usual with a state that has institutionalized terrorism as statecraft”. The foiled plot has exposed Iran’s embassies in Europe as “centers of terrorism and espionage”.

In Abendini’s eyes, European governments must expel Iran’s diplomats and intelligence agents and release the details of their investigations to the public. Only then can “the world cripples the Iranian regime’s terror machine”.

Staff Writer

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Iran's espionage in germany,MEK,MOIS activities against Iran opposition,Mujahedin-e Khalq

BFV report on Iranian regimes espionage in Germany against MEK

Europe Should Expel Regime Diplomats, Agents

BFV report on Iranian regimes espionage in Germany against MEK

Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province in Germany, in its 2017 report released in July 2018, emphasized on the focus of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) against the opposition, particularly the MEK

The Iranian regime has stepped up its activities against the MEK in response to its foiled terrorist attack on the annual Grand Gathering of the Iranian Resistance on June 30th in Paris. The MEK has long been a target of the regime, as revealed in the 2017 report released this week by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province in Germany, which focused on the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its work against the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The report included the regime’s attempts to infiltrate the opposition movement in Germany and added that the Quds Force is active in Germany.

 

According to the report, “The official headquarters of the Iranian Regime’s Ministry of Intelligence at its embassy in Berlin had an important role in reconnaissance activities of the secret service.”

The terrorist Quds Force is a special unit of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). It independently collects intelligence abroad and engages in security and counter-espionage efforts.

 

The BfV report specifies that the regime’s activities in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province and across Germany are primarily conducted by the MOIS and are focused on spying on the opposition, specifically the MEK and the NCRI. According to the report, the MOIS uses infiltration to spy on the opposition and then attempts to discredit them through the use of propaganda. The report added that the MOIS also uses conventional spying in political, military, economic and scientific fields.

This report is cause for concern for European citizens as well as Iranian refugees. The most recent attempt at a terrorist attack by the Iranian regime was aimed at the MEK and NCRI but was set to take place among a large group of people in Paris. This planned attack was similar in scope to ISIS, with the critical difference that this act of terror was planned and implemented by the Iranian regime’s own diplomats and officials in Europe.

 

The closure of the regime’s agencies in Europe, the expulsion of its diplomats, its agents,  and the mercenaries of the MOIS and the Quds Force is urgent and necessary to protect the security of Europe and the Iranian refugees living there.

 

The situation is dire, but the response from the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been silence. The tendency to appease the mullahs and preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is strong, but it leaves Europe vulnerable to other attacks by the regime.

 

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former vice-president of the European Parliament and current president of the Brussels-based International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), wrote this about the European Union’s tendency toward appeasement: “The EU’s eagerness to further unconditional engagements with Iran seems to have only made Europe more vulnerable to state-sponsored terrorism, as Iran has used its ease of access to the European Union countries for espionage and terror plots that jeopardize the lives of European citizens. The EU needs to wake up. We should follow up with the brave actions of our intelligence and police services with firm and decisive political action. We could respond by downgrading our diplomatic relations and expelling agents that are linked to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry in order to prevent more terrorist attacks on European soil.”

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