Disinformation by MOIS,Iran's Supreme Security Council,MEK,MEK Albania,MOIS,MOIS Agents,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Iranian regime's SSC meeting to plot against Iran's main opposition

Regime Orders Spying on MEK and Sets Stage for New Terrorist Acts

Iranian regime's SSC meeting to plot against Iran's main opposition

The Iranian regime’s Supreme Security Council plans new terrorist plot against the MEK

On August 6th, regime President Hassan Rouhani commented on the widespread protests that have taken place in cities across Iran this month. During his remarks, his hostility toward the MEK was evident when he said, “There is nothing wrong with the people’s protests … but it shouldn’t be like some people respond to a group(’s requests).”

The regime has now chosen to retaliate against the MEK for its role in helping to organize the recent protests by taking a number of measures to spy on the organization and to set the stage for future terrorist actions. The regime’s Supreme Security Council recently directed the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), the terrorist Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Intelligence and other agencies involved in the exportation of terrorism and fundamentalism to take the following actions against the MEK:

 

  1. MOIS stations in Europe were ordered to utilize more resources in order to collect information about the movement and activities of MEK members in Europe.
  2. The MOIS and Quds Force were directed to research the human, political, and technical potential for terrorists acts in Europe, particularly in Albania, using non-Iranian mercenaries. The goal would be to carry out terrorist acts against the MEK that could be attributed to either “internal conflicts of the Mojahedin [MEK]” or “natural incidents” and would not be traced back to the regime.
  3. In an effort to control the damage done to the regime’s public image after terrorist plots were revealed in Albania (April) and France (July), MOIS agents and mercenaries abroad have been instructed to cooperate with the regime’s cultural advisors in Europe, the overseas directorate of the State Radio and Television, the Islamic Propaganda Organization and other relevant organizations in order to increase the scope and dimensions of the demonization campaign against the MEK. Agents will step up the production and dissemination of false information and fake documentaries, spreading disinformation for the Iranian regime under the cover of journalism. Non-Iranians “hirelings” will be used to spread this propaganda.
  4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the Quds Force have all been ordered to petition European governments, particularly Albania, to curtail the Iranian Resistance and its activities. The plan is to achieve this task through talks with friendly “governments and parties” in Europe and the Balkans through political and economic relations.
  5. The regime plans to dispatch its mercenaries and agents to Albania to pose as MEK family members. MOIS and Quds Force agents, along with some so-called non-governmental organizations, have been ordered to go to Albania in groups. The pretext is that they are “Family members of the Mojahedin,” and the strategy employed is the same as that used at Camp Ashraf and Liberty.

Staff Writer

 

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Channel 4 journalist used to produce a hit piece against Iran's main democratic opposition

Britain’s Channel 4 is Working with the Iranian Regime in Albania

Channel 4 journalist used to produce a hit piece against Iran's main democratic opposition

Disgusting attempt by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to use UK media to try to demonize its main opposition.

Last week, on Friday, August 10th, 2018, a television crew in Albania stood on land adjacent to the headquarters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and began secretly filming the compound. The group had not obtained prior permission to film and were filming members and their residences without the MEK’s knowledge.

When local Albanian security guards noticed the three-person film crew acting suspiciously, they approached the group. The trio introduced themselves as reporters from the UK working for Britain’s Channel 4 television, at which point the security agents asked the group to stop recording and hand over the footage. They refused, and the security guards were left with little option but to call the police, reports the statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Once the group were taken into custody, it became obvious that everything was not as it seemed. One member of the trio had an expired press card from Britain’s ITN. The other two, after failing to provide identification, turned out to in fact be Albanians.

Two of the groups’ members have a history of collaborating with Iranian intelligence agencies and mercenaries. They had been involved in several projects to create propaganda material attacking the MEK.

The Footage

The group’s intentions became clear the following day when the footage they had collected from the site turned up on the Facebook page of the Iranian regime agent, Massoud Khodabandeh, and the Iranian intelligence community’s state-run website, Iran-Interlink.

It is widely believed that the team from Channel 4 working within Albania had been contracted by the Iranian intelligence services to create a television program vilifying the MEK.

Research into the project has exposed Darius Bazargan’s involvement in the project. Bazargan has worked for both NBC and ITN and is a well-known stooge of the Iranian regime in the Western media.

The Regime’s Use of the Media to Vilify the MEK

The regime frequently uses its state-run media networks to disseminate anti-MEK propaganda. They have also used television networks in the West to spread their malicious lies and propaganda.

Most recently, on May 25th, 2018, America’s MSNBC demonized the MEK. Its “On Assignment” program accused the MEK of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists and US servicemen based in the country. The program used unnamed sources and did not offer a single shred of compelling evidence for its claims.

The United States State Department was evidently unconvinced; a senior official sought to distance the US government from the network’s claims, stating explicitly, “the United States Government has not claimed that the MEK was involved in the assassination of scientists.”

The program based its claims on interviews with Massoud Khodabandeh and his wife, Anne Singleton. However, a study from the University of Baltimore, further corroborated by a separate report from the Council of Foreign Relations, categorically concluded that the MEK had no involvement in the murder of six US servicemen in the early 1970s.

On top of this, there have been several court rulings in the US over the last decade which have concluded there is no evidence of terrorism within the MEK. It was these rulings that led to the MEK’s delisting as a terrorist organization in 2010, despite the Clinton administration’s own admission that it only put the MEK on the terrorist list in the first place as a “goodwill gesture” to the Iranian regime.

In reality, the MEK was also adversely affected by many of the acts ascribed to it by the regime. The same individuals who murdered the US service members in the 1970s also murdered several prominent members of the MEK.

Channel 4 Must Answer Pressing Questions

Given the sensitive nature of the situation, the responsibility now rests on Channel 4 to explain their activities in Albania. The network must release information regarding the trio responsible for filming and their reasons for carrying out this assignment. It must also detail why it opted to film the compound covertly rather than contact the MEK and request permission. Lastly, the network should release the details of everyone the footage has been shared with.

A MEK spokesperson contacted the Channel 4 editor on August 10th for a response to these questions. However, Channel 4 has not issued a response.

A follow-up query was also sent on August 13th following Khodabandeh’s publication of the images and footage. The query outlined Khodabandeh’s record as an agent for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), including reports from a UK Parliamentary Group and the Library of Congress highlighting his connections to the MOIS. Still, the editor did not respond.

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The Caspian sea summit-Iranian regime gave away the country's resources in order to keep in power longer

Iranian Regime Signs Treaty Ceding Control of Caspian Sea

The Caspian sea summit-Iranian regime gave away the country's resources in order to keep in power longer

The Caspian Sea summit, during which Rouhani gave away the Iranian people’s share of the Caspian Sea-August 2018

On August 12th, acting on orders from regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rouhani signed the Caspian Sea Treaty, effectively ceding control of 50 percent of the Caspian Sea and reducing Iran’s share of the sea to 11 percent.

This is just the latest move by a struggling regime fighting to maintain its tenuous grasp on power. The treaty has been met by widespread condemnation within Iran, as it clearly undermines the national interests of Iran and its people. Desperate measures that undermine the Iranian people are often used by the regime, who will go to any lengths to preserve the totalitarian rule of the vali-e faqih (absolute clerical ruler).
The regime wasted one trillion dollars in damages from its war with Iraq; it continues to plunder the wealth of the Iranian people with constant warmongering, exportation of terrorism, and its nuclear and missile programs; it spends millions of dollars targeting the MEK with smear campaigns meant to delegitimize the resistance movement; it destroys the environment; and it has dried up the nation’s water reserves through its mismanagement and incompetence.

 

The regime has now set its sights on the Caspian Sea, one of Iran’s greatest national treasures. The mullahs, in their most recent attempt to hold onto their rule, have given away Iran’s claim to a large portion of the sea.

 

The treaty is so unpopular that criticism has even come from experts within the regime and parliament deputies from different regime factions, who have characterized it as another Turkmenchay Treaty. (The Turkmenchay Treaty of 1828 ceded control of the South Caucasus to Russia.)

 

On August 12, 2018, the state-run daily, Etemad, quoted a Majlis Deputy, who said, Given the timing and particular political circumstance, negotiations about our share of the Caspian Sea and similar issues do not serve our interests.”

 

A second Majlis was quoted as saying, “Rouhani has gone to Kazakhstan at a time when the legal provisions of the Caspian Sea are in doubt. Is it true that Iran’s 50 percent share has dropped to 11 percent? Is there another Turkmenchay on the way?”

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) defended Rouhani’s decision to sell out the Iranian people, writing in its publication, Javan, on August 13th that “[e]xpectations for favorable terms regarding our rights to profit from, or making use of the Caspian Sea’s reserves in ‘determining the borders’ and ‘setting a demarcation point’ are unrealistic.”

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), responded to the treaty, saying: “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.”

Mrs. Rajavi 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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Iranian regime's Supreme leader during recent speech in the aftermath of July-August protests in Iran

Khamenei Tries to Steady the Ship in the Face of Mounting Domestic Pressure

Iranian regime's Supreme leader during recent speech in the aftermath of July-August protests in Iran

Khamenei speaks to regime followers denying the gravity of the situation and rejecting negotiations with the U.S.

On Monday, August 13th, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addressed the Iranian people for the first time since the latest wave of protests broke out across the country. In a carefully prepared speech, Khamenei attempted to dispel rumors of pandemic corruption among the regime’s leadership.

He also frantically tried to quell calls for regime change. “The government must remain in place to carry out its duties in resolving difficulties with strength”, he said.

Divisions Within the Regime’s Leadership

One striking theme throughout Khamenei’s speech was that he frequently passed the blame for Iran’s precarious economic and political situation onto regime President, Hassan Rouhani. He criticised Rouhani and his government’s lack of preparation for renewed sanctions. Khamenei asserted that “most of the recent economic problems are due to the measures taken within the country. If actions are taken more efficiently, more prudently, more swiftly and more firmly, sanctions cannot have much effect”.

He issued an ominous warning that appeared to be directed towards Rouhani’s government. He warned that the judiciary would confront “those who caused the fall in the value of the national currency”. Given the fact that severe economic mismanagement, as well as systematic corruption and the funneling of Iranian finances to foreign terrorist and military groups, caused the plummeting value of the rial, the blame must fall on Rouhani and Khamenei’s own shoulders.

Breaking His Silence on the Protests

Khamenei used his speech to break his silence on the new wave of protests engulfing Iran. He described them as “August incidents” and walked the often-treaded regime line, blaming foreign powers for the domestic unrest.

He accused the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of planning “for years to disrupt the country’s security”. He went on to call the protests, “so limited despite the enemies’ huge financial political investments.

Although his words downplay the significance of the protests, the very fact that Khamenei has broken his long-standing silence on the issue betrays his concern. The protest movement has been intensifying, with protesters chanting “Death to the Dictator”, and “Death to Khamenei”, in a series of protests in Tehran, Karaj, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, and many other major cities.

It is the rising severity of the protests that have forced Khamenei to come out of the shadows and attempt to pacify the protesters. This is evident in his attempt to discredit corruption claims and crush talk of a deadlock within the Iranian regime.

However, it was as much about calming the protestors as it was about reassuring the regime’s agents. Khamenei said, “the establishment has already passed through difficult stages and will pass through this one as well”.

Khamenei was Forced to Make Concessions

There were signs of concession from the Supreme Leader in his address. Firstly, he acknowledged his own failings in negotiating the nuclear deal; stating, “what I did was wrong, allowing some officials’ insistence to give a shot at nuclear talks, in which our red lines were not respected”.

His second concession came in the form of the economy. Despite trying to shift the blame onto his subordinates, Khamenei did concede that poor policy was a factor in Iran’s economic decline. He said, “the main factor is rooted in our performance”.

The Anti-Corruption Show

Khamenei pushed the idea that he would oversee a fight against corruption. However, rather than indicate a genuine desire to tackle graft among regime officials, he is likely to offer up ineffective gestures, as he has done before.

During the currency crisis, he had small-time currency dealers arrested. He also removed the director of the Central Bank. But neither action had any impact on corruption in Iran. The worst offenders are within the regime. Corruption is pandemic among the IRGC, the parliament, and among Khamenei, Rouhani, and their associates. Corruption is the lifeblood of the regime. It is the lubricant that keeps the machine running. Any meaningful attempt to eradicate corruption would bring the regime’s government grinding to a halt.

A Deadlock

Khamenei and the regime are in a deadlock. He must acknowledge that Rouhani’s appalling economic policies have caused the currency decline in which Iran finds itself. Anything less would invoke public outcry. If he passed the blame onto foreign powers, it would prompt the public to push for negotiations with the US.

However, at the same time, he cannot lay too much blame at the government’s door. If he did, the people may push for regime change. He attempted to diffuse this situation by acknowledging Rouhani’s role in the economic decline, but simultaneously branding anyone pushing for political change as an enemy of Iran. He said, “those who say the government should be sacked are actually moving in line with enemies’ plots”.

He has limited options. The deadlock he finds himself in will only worsen with each new wave of protest. There is no way out for Rouhani, Khamenei, and the entire clerical regime. This ship will not be steadied. It will only sink in the coming waves.

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Telegram user imprisoned for two years is now transferred to a worse prison under the Ministry of Intelligence supervision.

Human Rights: Regime Imprisons Christian Congregation and Moves Telegram Activist to MOIS Ward

Telegram user imprisoned for two years is now transferred to a worse prison under the Ministry of Intelligence supervision.

Telegram activist transferred to notorious Evin prison.

The Iranian regime stepped up its efforts to intimidate its people through harsh prison sentences and practices this week. In one case, every member of a church was sentenced to a year in prison for the crime of practicing Christianity. In another case, a Telegram activist who has been held in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for over two years was transferred to a ward controlled by the Ministry of Security and Intelligence Services (MOIS), according to MEK sources inside Iran.

 

Article 18, a group that supports Christians in Iran, tweeted about the sentence on Thursday: “A Christian couple has reported that a court in Boushehr has just sentenced them and ten other Iranian Christians to one year in prison each for ‘Propagating against the Islamic Republic in favor of Christianity.’ This group of Christian converts was arrested on April 7, 2015.”

Last week, the Christian website Mohabat News wrote that the couple was charged with “orientation toward the land of Christianity.” On Friday, President of International Christian Concern Jeff King confirmed that every member of the church’s congregation was sentenced to one year in prison.

 

According to King: “Getting information on the arrests of Christians is incredibly challenging given the heavily censored nature of Iran. But based on the cases we have been tracking, this is the first time this year that we’ve seen a jail sentence being given based on the charge of ‘inclination to the land of Christianity.’ This could be interpreted as a reference to Israel, the birthplace of Christianity and also a country that Iran has adopted a very aggressive stance towards.”

 

According to the U.S. State Department’s 2017 report on International Religious Freedom in Iran, Christianity is legally recognized as a religion in Iran, but it is illegal for Muslims to convert to any other religion, including Christianity.

 

The State Department report says that in Iran the death penalty may be imposed on non-Muslims who try to convert Muslims to other faiths, as well as anyone who creates hostility against God or insults the Prophet. The laws are written intentionally to be vague so that they may be used against anyone who is perceived to be a threat against the regime. These charges are often brought against political prisoners, religious minorities, and those who question the regime or its policies.

The State Department report also notes that the Iranian regime is well-known for its history of harassing, intimidating, and jailing Iran’s religious minorities.

According to Open Doors USA, 800,000 Christians live in Iran, though the regime consistently underreports this number. Christians are marginalized and oppressed in Iran, and Open Door ranks Iran as the 10th worst country in the world to be a Christian.

In another example of the shocking human rights abuses perpetrated by the Iranian regime on its people, the MEK network inside Iran reported that Alireza Tavakoli, a Telegram activist who has been held in Iran’s Evin Prison for over two years, was transferred this week from Ward 8 to Ward 209, a section of the notorious prison that is operated by the MOIS and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the prison.

 

According to a source close to Tavakoli, “Alireza Tavakoli was transferred from Ward 8 to Ward 209, and the Ministry of Intelligence is likely to open a new prosecution against him.”
Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mohajer and Mohammad Mehdi Zaman Saleh were arrested by regime in 2016 on charges of blasphemy and sentenced to 12-year prison sentences. They appealed, and their sentences were reduced to five years each.

 

In July, Tavakoli wrote an open letter to Seyed Mahmoud Alavi, a cleric and Intelligence Minister appointed by Hassan Rouhani, saying that his five-year sentence was “outrageous.”

 

Mr Tavakoli is in poor health, suffering from joint and intestinal pain. Judicial authorities opposed a recent request by the MOIS to conditionally release Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mohajer and Mohammad Mehdi Saleh.

 

The Telegram app was banned by the regime in May as a means of suppressing dissent by the people. The popular messaging app was used by activists like Tavakoli to share information and news, some of which was critical of the regime. Activists also used Telegram to organize and spread information about protests and demonstrations in Iran. Speech is heavily censored in Iran, and those who dare to speak against the regime are frequently imprisoned.

 

These cases are more examples of the routine human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime. Freedom of speech and religion is non-existent, and those who defy the clerical dictatorship face heavy prison sentences. This is one of the many reasons that the people of Iran are demanding regime change.

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Rally in Isfahan against the dire economic situation.

Khamenei Breaks Silence on Plunge of Rial and Protests, Blames Government for Crisis

Rally in Isfahan against the dire economic situation.

Archive-Protest in Isfahan against the Iranian regime’s corruption and the declining economic situation.

On Monday, August 13th, regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei finally broke his silence about the free fall of the rial and the swell of protests that have taken place across Iran since July 31st. His remarks made it clear that he has no solutions to the problems facing Iran.

 

Khamenei attempted to address growing concerns that the rank-and-file of the regime has become dissatisfied, saying, “Some wickedly propagate that the country is at an impasse and that there is no way out other than reaching out to some Satan or the Great Satan. Whoever says we have reached an impasse is either ignorant or his remarks are treasonous.”

Khamenei blamed the corruption in his regime on a few rogue agencies or people, refusing to acknowledge that the corruption extends to the regime as a whole, adding, “Some go too far in their remarks, calling all as corrupt, by referring to the term systematic corruption… Some are careless in their remarks and writings. One cannot extend corruption in some agencies or among some people to the country as a whole.”

 

Khamenei blamed his own regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, for the catastrophic economic situation in Iran, confirming rumors of infighting among the highest levels of the regime. Khamenei feigned ignorance about his own regime’s decision to  plunder Iran’s wealth on nuclear missile programs and warmongering in the region. blaming these actions on Rouhani.

 

 

He also blamed Rouhani for failing to prepare for U.S. sanctions, saying, “Most of the recent economic problems are due to the measures taken within the country. If actions are taken more efficiently, more prudently, more swiftly and more firmly, sanctions cannot have much effect.”

 

Khamenei indirectly blamed his government for plundering “18 billion dollars of the country’s existing currency,” warning that the judiciary would deal with “those who caused the fall in the value of the national currency.”

 

Khamenei personally oversaw nuclear negotiations with P5+1 and was fully aware of the situation, but he passed on the blame to Rouhani and Javad Zarif, saying, “On the issue of the negotiations, I made a mistake and because of the officials’ [Rouhani and Javad Zarif] insistence I allowed to test this. But the specified red lines were crossed.”

Despite these attacks on his own government, Khamenei then backtracked, fearful that any change to the regime would weaken the already faltering regime further. He said, “Those who say the government must be dismissed are playing into the enemy’s plans. The government must remain in place and carry out its duties in resolving the difficulties with strength.”

Khamenei has a history of blaming others for his own failures. Khamenei spoke against protesters in June, blaming the MEK for anti-government sentiment, saying, ““Since day one after the revolution, hypocrite groups [the derogatory name regime uses doe MEK] have existed, making a stance against our Islamic state and… creating problems for us”.

Khamenei spoke out once again on Monday about the recent protests that have shaken the regime to its core, breaking his silence for the first time since the newest wave of protests began on July 31st. He described the widespread protests as “August incidents, which despite enormous financial and political investment by the enemy turned out to be very limited.” The week-long protests, which took place in a number of cities in Iran, including Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan and Mashhad, were widely attended by people from all walks of life. Chants of “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” were heard on streets all over Iran.

 

Khamenei acknowledged that the regime is currently in a vulnerable state, saying, “We will not negotiate with America.” He went on to say, “We can enter into the dangerous gambit of negotiating with America only when we have reached the economic, political and cultural prowess which we envision…. But, negotiating now will certainly be to our detriment and is prohibited…. Even if we were to negotiate with the Americans, this being an impossible assumption itself, we would for sure never negotiate with the current (U.S.) government.”

With these words Khamenei made it clear that any change to the regime would lead to regime change.

 

Khamenei completely rejected the possibility of war, disappointing those who would would deny the people of Iran the power to take power back into their own hands, saying, “They raise the specter of a war. But there will be no war. There will definitely be no war.”

The people of Iran have made it clear they are tired of the regime’s meddling in the affairs of other countries. Protesters in recent demonstrations chanted, “Leave Syria alone, think of us!”  Despite the people’s opposition to the regime’s warmongering, Khamenei said, “We have helped the two friendly countries, Syria and Iraq in the face of threats by America and the Saudis.”

 

Khamenei’s remarks proved once again how little regard he has for the will of the people. And his willingness to publicly blame his own government show that the regime is crumbling from the inside.

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Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

Iranian Regime Shows Signs Concern Over Nationwide Protests

Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

Since December 2017, Iran has been hit by wave after wave of opposition protests. The mullahs have done everything they can to steady the ship, but decades of repression and corruption have fuelled the people’s anger, and the swell of public discontent is showing no signs of letting up.

The Iranian people are confronted by a ruined economy, ravaged public institutions, and a foreign policy that hinges on funneling Iranian funds to terrorist and militia groups across the Middle East. Their tolerance for the systematic abuse of power and economic mismanagement by the clerical regime is running low. The people are taking to streets now, exercising their right to protest to have their voices heard.

However, protesting in public does not come without its risks. Since the protests began in December, the regime has shot dead more than 50 protestors and arrested over 8,000.

Despite the grave consequences, the numbers that have turned out to protests the regime’s leadership have been overwhelming. The public presence is having the desired effect. Reformist elements in the regime have compared the regime’s situation as to “a person standing on a floating bridge, waiting for disaster to strike”.

A Nationwide Movement

The protest movement has gone from strength to strength. In just the past seven days, protests broke out in bazaars, sports stadiums, and public squares across the country, with protestors chanting anti-regime and anti-Khamenei slogans.

Social media accounts from within Iran, including those from the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), show demonstrators from all walks of life chanting in unison.

The regime is trying to hide the true extent of the protest movement. It is downplaying the severity of the demonstrations and blaming “Iran’s enemies” for the civil unrest. In doing this, the regime has created a paradox. It simultaneously asserts that the protests are small pockets of civil disobedience, triggered by the enemies of Iran, and that the MEK and the Iranian opposition play a key role in the movement.

 

A Regime in Crisis

In frantically denying the reality of the protest movement, the regime is demonstrating that it finds itself in a dire situation. Rouhani and Khamenei prefer to vilify the protestors, lie in the media, and ignore the rising tide of unrest than deal with the people’s grievances.

On top of the domestic landscape, there are problems for the mullahs within the regime. Cracks are beginning to appear as infighting undermines the strength of the regime. The regime is facing criticisms from both sides. Many elements in the regime believe the leadership should address the concerns of the people. Others are adamant that the regime must take a tougher stance in the face of growing public outcry.

Whether the regime tears itself apart from within or is toppled by public protest, the regime’s days are numbered. It cannot maintain the status quo. With every new protest, its situation looks more precarious, and in denying the severity of the situation, the regime only exposes its lack of control over the domestic situation.

The mullahs ship will sink in the storms of dissent.

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Iran's security forces suppressing the peaceful protests in Iran

MEK Reports: Iran’s Youth See Arbitrary Arrests as Major Issue

Iran's security forces suppressing the peaceful protests in Iran

Archive Photo- Young demonstrators resist repressive forces during Iran protests – January 2018

The problems of arbitrary arrests and detention in Iran are serious issues in a time when the people are rising up in protest of the corrupt and brutal regime and its policies.

The Iranian regime can find any excuse to arrest its citizens and uses arrest and detention to maintain an atmosphere of fear in the country. Anyone may be found suspicious under the mullahs’ regime, no matter what their activity or their innocence. The youth of Iran commonly refer to their country as one big prison. In this oppressive environment, there is no room for independent thought. The people are allowed to believe what the government tells them to believe and nothing else, upon pain of imprisonment.

The United Nations held International Youth Day on Sunday, August 12th, to draw attention to issues affecting young people, particularly the need to safe spaces for youth to congregate without fear of violence. The U.N. states that young people should be free “to engage in governance issues,” but in Iran a seven-year-old child was shot in the face with tear gas a week ago by security forces attempting to disperse a protest. The problems in Iran are more complicated than they are in the rest of the world.

 

The youth of Iran have spent the last four decades standing up to a corrupt and medieval clerical regime. They have protested again and again against the tyrannical dictatorship, despite extreme suppressive measures. They have been betrayed by the so-called moderates and their promises of reform, and they are done. The youth of Iran demand change.

The greatest concern of today’s youth in Iran is the shocking rate of arbitrary detentions. United States Secretary of State and noted Iranian rights activist Mike Pompeo said that 5,000 Iranians were arrested in January after the beginning of nationwide protests across Iran. According to the MEK network inside Iran, some of those arrested remain in prison today. Their families are afraid to share details of their fates for fear of retaliation by the regime.

A statement by Amnesty International indicated that minorities in Iran were being arrested without cause. Amnesty specifically mentioned the case of

Ibrahim Nouri, an Azerbaijani Turk activist who remains imprisoned in Iran. The statement also mentioned 120 Azerbaijanis who were arrested in July and August after attending two separate Azerbaijani Turkic cultural gatherings.

On Friday, a soccer match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium turned into a scene of protest when fans of the Tractor Sazi football club led chants of “Death to the dictator!” during the match. The chants spread throughout the stadium, and security forces, who were already positioned throughout the crowd to prevent such a protest, stacked the protesters. Security forces clashed with the mostly young men, and 43 people were arrested. MEK sources reported that some of the protesters were beaten by security forces during the clashes.

Families in Ahwaz have gathered at Sheyban Prison to determine the fate and location of their children. Numerous young boys and girls were taken to prison, with many dragged from their houses by security forces, according to locals. Some of these youngsters’ only crimes are internet activism. A few have been arrested for simple acts, such as writing poems in Arabic or performing rap songs.

Over the last few months, people in Khuzestan Province have been increasing their protests for water. Many of the protesters have been arrested for the crime of asking the government for clean, accessible water and water to irrigate their crops. Ahwazi Human Rights activist Karim Dahimi said that many of those who have been arrested have no access to lawyers, they end up staying in prison. Some of the prisoners are accused of supporting enemies of the state, such as the U.S.

The Tonekabon Revolutionary Court in Mazandaran Province is now handing down group sentences. One such sentence was recently given to a group of eight prisoners.

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has expressed her support for the recent protests in Iran. “I salute all the women and youth who waged a staunch resistance today against the criminal revolutionary guards, Basij, and plainclothes agents.”

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Demonstrations in Mashhad, Iran- December 2017

History of Iranian Uprising since December 2017

Demonstrations in Mashhad, Iran- December 2017

Archive Photo- Demonstration in Mashhad against the high prices – December 2017

On December 28, 2017, a protest began on the streets of Mashhad that triggered an uprising that continues on eight months later.

This new wave of protests has been marked by continuity. But the uprising can be divided into three main phases. Mojahedin.org reported on the three phases of the current uprising taking place in Iran.

Phase One

The first phase started on December 28, 2017 with a protest about inflation. It quickly mutated into a series of anti-government protests targeting the regime as a whole. The protests lasted until January 6, 2018. Though the uprising has ebbed and flowed, it has continued in one form or another since then.

Phase Two

The second phase of the uprising started in March 2018, at the beginning of the Iranian New Year.

The Ahwazi Arabs began protesting on March 28, 2018. The farmers of Isfahan took to the streets after the start of the new year, taking the lead in the uprising. The farmers had already begun protesting for water rights before the beginning of the new year. The authorities cracked down on the farmers, making widespread arrests.

On April 14th, the people of Kazerun began weeks of protests for freedom. Four protesters were killed when security forces opened fire upon a crowd of protesters in May.

On May 10th, teachers went on a nationwide strike in 34 cities across Iran. Their strike had a major impact on the next events in the uprising.

The border city bazaars went on strike in April and May, and on May 14th the strikes spread to Tehran’s Grand Bazaar and then to other cities.
On May 22nd, Iran’s truckers began a nationwide strike that spread to almost every province in the country. The strike had a deep impact on the regime. The strikes were widespread, highly visible, difficult to suppress, and enjoyed popular support. The truck drivers strikes drew a great deal of attention to the regime’s incompetence.

Phase Three

On July 23rd, Iran’s truck driver’s began their second round of strikes. The regime made a number of concessions and promises for reform after the first round of strikes, but most of these had gone unfulfilled.

 

On July 31st, the industrial workers of the Shapur district in Isfahan were joined by other citizens of Isfahan in a grand uprising after the plunge in value of the rial. The uprising quickly spread to a number of other cities, including Shiraz, Karaj, Arak, Mashhad, and Tehran. Calls for regime change were reported by the MEK network inside Iran within the first day of protests.

The third phase of the Iranian uprising is currently in progress. Protesters are asking for the same things they have asked for in past uprisings: Freedom, economic opportunity, human rights, and a free and democratic government.

Characteristics of the Current Uprising

 

Since the mullahs took power in the 1979 revolution, there have been a number of protests and uprisings. These protests and uprisings may be organized into three major cycles.

 

The Iran student protests of 1999:

 

These protests consisted mostly of students and resulted from an internal power struggle between “reformists” and conservatives within the Iranian regime. Protesters hoped to find a solution within the existing political system.

 

 

The 2009 Iranian election protests:

 

These protests included the middle and upper classes of Iran and also resulted from internal struggles between “moderates” and conservatives. In contrast to the 1999 protests, the 2009 protests were not limited to students and included Iranians of different education levels, ethnicities, and origins. The protests were widespread, including virtually every major city. And while protesters initially hoped to find a solution within the system, as the protests grew and spread, that hope was abandoned and the protesters turned on the regime as a whole.

 

2017-present uprisings:

 

The ongoing uprising is fundamentally different in nature from past protest movements. These difference could lead to its eventual success in overthrowing the regime.

 

Protesters are looking outside of the system for answers. The Iranian people have learned that the myth of the moderate is a lie. Rouhani promised reform during the election and has failed to follow through on a single promise. The MEK network has repeatedly reported chants of “Moderates, conservatives, the game is over!” at protests. Protests on issues as diverse as water access and economic stability turn to calls for regime change within hours. The people are done with the lie that “moderates” are willing or able to change the system.

 

Second, the current uprising is unprecedented in its duration. The uprising has lasted for over eight months. In the almost 40 years of the mullahs’ rule, no wave of protests has ever lasted this long. This is despite the brutal crackdown by the regime.

 

Third, the protests are comprised of a wide range of Iranians from across the political spectrum and from every class, ethnicity, and occupation. Farmers, merchants, truckers, and industrial workers are all marching side by side for freedom. Young people march for a secular government, while religious protesters go to Friday prayers and turn their backs on regime-backed prayer leaders, chanting, “We turn our backs to the enemy, and embrace the country!” Fully chador-clad women join protesters on the streets after Friday prayers, chanting, “Our enemy is right here, they lie about it being America!”

 

Finally, the Iranian regime is in a tailspin due to its corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, and sanctions. In the past, the mullahs have been able to use oil profits to cover for their incompetence. But the economy is no longer able to sustain decades of mismanagement. Experts estimate Iran’s inflation rate is between 100-200 percent per year, and the rial has dropped 100 percent in value against the U.S. dollar in the past six months alone. With the economy in free fall, the mullahs may have lost any leverage they once had to deal with dissent from the people.

 

The people are no longer afraid of the regime’s security forces. Phase three may be the final phase of the uprising.

Staff Writer

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The Shoe-Baazar owners and workers protesting against high prices and the government's mismanagement

Protests in Tehran’s Bazaar Enter Second Day

The Shoe-Baazar owners and workers protesting against high prices and the government's mismanagement

The strikes of the merchants of Tehran’s shoe bazaar entered their second day despite heavy security measure.

On Sunday, August 12th, merchants in Tehran’s shoe bazaar began their second day of strikes and protests. The merchants are striking due to high prices and lack of access to basic goods needed to do their work. They chanted “Death to high prices!” and “Death to the dictator!” echoing the sentiment of the recent protests that have focused their frustration on economic issues on the regime as a whole.

Reports from the MEK network say that security forces have threatened shop owners, demanding that they open their shops. Despite these threats, shops in the bazaar remain closed, and the protests continue to grow. Based on the same reports, the protesters continue to flock to Tehran’s shoe bazaar, despite the heavy security presence. Protesters are chanting “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to high prices!” and calling for other merchants to join them in their protests and to close their shops.

The Vahid, Azam, and Kamali shopping centers in Tehran are participating in the strike, but the number of merchants on strike continues to increase.

The protests began yesterday in the shoe markets and quickly expanded to other merchants, gaining the support of Sepahsalar, Manuchehr Khani, and Moussavi bazaars.

One MEK activist reporting from the scene said, “The Iranian regime has dispatched a unit of special forces to the Passag-e Moussavi and Emamzadeh Seyyed Vali. They’re accompanied by plainclothes agents. The head of the police department’s investigation unit is also here and is threatening anyone who’s taking films and pictures. Some of the merchants still haven’t opened their shops.”

“There’s a military curfew here,” the activist continued. “The agents will crack down on anyone who takes pictures or closes their shops. Some of the agents are saying, ‘We are tired, but we’ve been ordered to prevent any protests from taking place.’”

Despite the regime’s attempts to suppress the merchants’ strikes and protests, many shops are still closed, and the bazaar continues to be a scene of unrest.

The protests are taking place as part of the larger nationwide protest movement that began in December and has continued since then. Since July 31st, the uprising has swelled again, with an uptick in protest activity after the most recent plunge in the value of the rial. Efforts by the regime to suppress the protests have resulted in clashes between security forces and protesters, in one case leading to the death of a protester, identified as 26-year-old Reza Otadi.

The regime has increased its security presence in strategic areas of Tehran and other cities. The people have resisted these efforts and have become bolder in their protests and defiance of the regime.

Staff Writer

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