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Student Day protests in Iran

University Students in Cities across Iran Protest Regime Suppression

Student Day protests in Iran

Archive-Student’s protest in Iran – On the occasion of the “Student’s Day” – December 2014

On Tuesday, students at a number of universities in Iran protested the suppression of students. The protests, which occurred prior to the upcoming Student Day this Friday the 7th, involved students from Tehran Polytechnic University, Tabriz Sahand University, Babol Noshirvani University, among others.

According to MEK sources in Iran, protests in Tehran turned violent as students clashed with Basij forces who had been dispatched to suppress the demonstration. Despite the regime’s attempts to prevent the protests, the students from Polytechnic University continued with their rally, chanting: “Imprisoned workers must be released!”

“Imprisoned students must be released!”

“Cannon, Tank, Machine Gun do not work anymore!”

“Real teachers should be released!”

“Death to this deceitful government!“

Students from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Tehran Allameh University, Kermanshah Razi University, and Sirjan University of Medical Sciences used the upcoming Student Day as an occasion to protest the regime and its acts of suppression toward university students. The students from Kermanshah Razi University also protested in support of teachers and workers who have participated in the growing strike movement this year. They chanted: “Student, Worker, Teacher, United, United!”

“Teachers are in jail from Khorasan to Tehran!”

“Free imprisoned teachers!”

The following day, students at Semnan University of Medical Sciences turned a visit from regime President Hassan Rouhani into a protest. When Rouhani entered the university hall, a group of students chanted, “Inflation, high prices, you, Rouhani respond!”

Babol Noushirvan University held their own protest against student suppression. The students carried signs reading: “Stop suppression of students!”

“Student would rather die than accept this humiliation!”

Repressive policies at universities in Iran are common, and penalties for violating these policies are severe. The Herasat Department at Chamran University in Kerman, which is a branch of the Ministry of Intelligence that operates on university campuses, has imposed repressive policies at Chamran. One of these policies states that students are not allowed inside each other’s rooms. Any student found inside another student’s room is fine 100,000 tomans.

This is only a single example of a policy at one university. Iranian universities are governed by policies and laws meant to repress students and prevent them from expressing independent thoughts or actions. The mullahs hope that by limiting freedom on university campuses, they can stop the youth of Iran from rising up against the theocracy that oppresses them. It is becoming clear that the opposite is true.

The youth of Iran are a large part of the ongoing uprising that is taking place among all sectors in the country. The MEK and the Iranian Opposition are working to organize and lead this massive movement to overthrow the corrupt regime and restore democracy to Iran.

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MEPs delegation in a conference in Ashraf3

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

MEPs delegation in a conference in Ashraf3

MEPs delegation in a conference held in Tirana-Ashraf3, during their three day visit to the place of residence of the MEK-November 2018

In November, Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina, Vice-Chair of Subcommittee on Security and Defence in the European Parliament, visited Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Tirana, Albania. He was accompanied by Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam, and former Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson. Štětina wrote about his experience visiting the camp in a recent article in euroactiv.com.

Štětina, like many who have visited Ashraf 3 before him, was struck by how quickly the residents of the camp have built a functioning city from the ground up. In his article, Štětina described the numerous facilities that have been built in less than a year.

Ashraf 3, which is named after the camps in Iraq that the MEK were forced to leave, has functioning water purification facilities, a medical and dental center, pharmacies, bakeries, a sports complex, a library, meeting halls, and learning centers. The entire project has been financed by donations and loans from supporters of the MEK. No government has financed any part of Ashraf 3.

Štětina also wrote about the resilience of the Ashrafis, who were displaced several times and were the victim of multiple attacks by pro-Iran militias during the years they lived in Iraq. Before arriving in Tirana, camp residents had their belongings confiscated. Štětina wrote that he had worked as a war correspondent for a number of years and had often seen displaced people in difficult situations. He was struck by the high spirits and morale of the 3,000 Ashrafis and their commitment to the cause of freedom for the Iranian people.

The Iranian regime, according to Štětina, was angry that the MEK camp was safely relocated to Albania. As the primary opposition to the regime, the MEK poses an existential threat to the mullahs, especially in light of the ongoing uprisings taking place across the country. The regime has been unable to suppress the protests and strikes taking place throughout Iran for almost a year, so it has launched a new smear campaign against the MEK in an attempt to prevent the opposition from gaining more support while simultaneously setting the stage for new terrorist plots against the MEK in Europe.

The regime’s demonization campaign, according to Štětina, includes media reports claiming that the MEK camp is a “cult-like” environment where members are cut off from the world and are forbidden by leaders from leaving the camp.

Štětina vehemently asserted that these were false claims. He wrote that in his short visit he met hundreds of camp residents who all expressed their commitment to a free Iran. Residents left the camp freely for shopping, recreation, appointments, or other purposes.

Former Scottish MEP Describes His Visit to Ashraf 3 in Albania and the Regime’s Vicious Misinformation Campaign

Štětina expressed his admiration for the women of Ashraf 3. During his visit to the camp, Štětina wrote that the women spoke of their sacrifices and commitment to fight against the oppressive regime no matter the price.

Over the course of the past year, Iran has been the scene of widespread protests and strikes. The workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory and the Ahvaz Steel factory in Khuzestan Province have been on strike for several weeks in protest of months of unpaid wages. Iranian truck drivers, teachers, farmers, and merchants have all participated in multiple nationwide strikes this year. A number of other sectors have protested or been on strike as well. The regime blames the MEK and Ashraf residents for organizing the protests, according to Štětina.

Štětina wrote that the regime has gone to great lengths to eliminate the MEK as a threat, even resorting to terror attacks. An attempted car bombing at a Nowruz celebration in Tirana was foiled by Albanian police in March. In June, an Iranian diplomat was arrested in Germany for masterminding a plot to bomb an Iranian Opposition gathering outside of Paris.

Last month, according to Štětina, Denmark recalled its Ambassador to Iran after an assassination plot targeting Iranian MEK members in Copenhagen was foiled.

Štětina ended his article by pointing out that E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini has remained silent about the Iranian regime’s terrorist plots on European soil. Štětina went on to state that he and many of his colleagues believe that the High Representative should place a higher priority on expelling Iranian regime diplomats from the E.U.

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Ahvaz Steelworkers protest - Day 24.

Ahvaz Steel Workers Gain Support in Their Protests

Ahvaz Steelworkers protest - Day 24.

The protest by thousands of Steelworkers in Ahvaz continues.

Monday marked the 24th day of protests for the workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, report MEK sources inside Iran. The workers once again rallied in the streets of Ahvaz to demand payment of their wages, which they have not received for several months.

The protesting workers held banners reading, “The workers are awake, they are fed up with exploitation!” and “Don’t make workers the victims of mafia deals!”

The Ahvaz steelworkers have demanded their unpaid wages for months, but they have been ignored by both their employers and the Iranian regime. The workers have now been forced to strike in order to make their voices heard.

The regime has responded to the protests with threats and intimidation. The head of the regime’s judiciary threatened to arrest the striking workers, calling their protests “sedition.” Nevertheless, the steelworkers have continued to rally on the streets of Ahvaz for more than three weeks to demand payment for their work.

Regime officials recently announced that two months of wages had been deposited into the workers’ accounts. However, according to the state-run ILNA new agency, workers reported that only 120 workers were paid. The 3,500 striking workers did not receive their wages.

The Ahvaz steelworkers place the blame for their situation on the regime and its corrupt policies. They are among many groups of oppressed Iranian workers who are suffering from the Iranian regime’s corruption. The workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory in Shush, Khuzestan have been protesting for their unpaid wages for 29 days. The factory workers blame the regime for allowing the privatization of their company, which has nearly bankrupted it.

Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Strike for 26th Day, Ignoring False Promises and Intimidation

As the strikes have gone on, the striking workers have gained support from the Iranian people and from human rights activists and labor rights groups across the world. MEK sources report that students have joined the steel workers’ protests. Students were seen holding signs reading, ““We’re the workers’ children; we’ll stand by their side!”

Regime officials have been forced to acknowledge that workers in Iran are unhappy with labor conditions in the country. State media has run a number of reports about the regime’s deep concerns that the workers’ dissatisfaction will lead to a large scale revolt led by the MEK.

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Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers Protest for 24th Day

Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

The protest in Ahvaz continues, despite the repressive measures the government has taken.

Saturday marked the 22nd day of protests by the Iran National Steel Industrial Group. The workers rallied in front of the Khuzestan governorate in Ahvaz with signs reading, “The workers of Ahvaz are awake and fed up with being exploited!” and “Don’t make the workers the victims of mafia scheme!”

 

The Ahvaz steelworkers went on strike in November in protest of not receiving their wages for several months. The workers were protesting for several months prior to the strike for basic rights, but the regime has yet to respond to any of their demands. Reports from the MEK sources inside Iran indicate that the protests have continued.

The workers blame the regime for their situation, saying that the government’s corruption is responsible for the factors leading to their protests and strikes. At Saturday’s protest, the workers chanted, “You’re taking advantage of Islam and have made the lives of the people a misery!” and “They speak of Hossein but they pride in their thievery!” The chants were in reference to the regime’s perversion of religious edicts and principles in order to rob the Iranian people of their wealth. Imam Hossein refers to the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, a revered symbol for Shiite Muslims.

Iranian Merchants, Steel Workers, and Factory Workers Strike as Part of Growing Nationwide Movement

The protests by the Ahvaz steelworkers are occurring simultaneously to strikes by the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory in Shush. Both sets of striking workers are in Khuzestan Province, and they have been supportive of each other throughout the protests.

The Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers have gained support from people across Iran, including students, teachers, truck drivers, merchants, and youth. Each of these groups have expressed solidarity with the striking workers. The MEK and the Iranian Opposition have also expressed their support for the workers’ strikes, and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged others to join the workers in solidarity with their protests.

As the strikes and protests have gained international attention, the striking workers have also received messages of support from workers’ unions and syndicates from around the world.

The Ahvaz steelworkers have vowed to continue their protests until their demands are met. On Saturday, the workers chanted, “Shame on the government that deceives the people!”

 

Strikes and protests have become common in Iran over the past year. The economy is in free fall, and the regime’s corrupt policies have left Iranian workers no recourse other than to take to the streets to protest. Regime officials have warned that a crisis is brewing due to workers losing their trust in their employers and the government.

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Bus driver's statement of support for Haft-Tappeh workers

MEK-Iran: Iran’s Bus Drivers Issue a Statement of Support for the Workers of Haft Tappeh

Bus driver's statement of support for Haft-Tappeh workers

Bus Drivers in Tehran, support the workers of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane factory, who have been on a protest for the past month.

The Haft Tappeh workers received a boost when the Greater Tehran Bus Syndicate issued a public statement supporting their strike and condemning the arrest and regime violence against its labor activist, Esmaeel Bakhshi.

The Haft Tappeh workers have been on strike over unpaid wages and the forced privatization of the company for almost eight weeks. Bakhshi was arrested, along with 18 other protestors during the first week of the protest. While most of the other protestors were released shortly afterward, Bakhshi and several others were kept in regime custody.

News later emerged that Bakhshi was rushed to hospital after sustaining serious head injuries in regime custody.

Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Strike for 26th Day, Ignoring False Promises and Intimidation

The Greater Tehran Bus Syndicate echoed the Haft Tappeh workers calls for Bakshi’s immediate release and the closure of any outstanding judicial cases against the Haft Tappeh protestors.

A Climate of Fear

The regime has resorted to its usual threats and oppression in an attempt to end the Haft Tappeh protests. The mayor of Shush, accompanied by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and plainclothes officers approached the protestors to issue threats unless they stopped the protests.

The protesting workers would not be deterred, instead of mounting chants against the corrupt mayor, and renewed chants of “jailed workers must be released”.

The arrests were also designed to create a climate of fear among protestors. However, they backfired. In the face of mounting regime violence, the protestors of Haft Tappeh have only received reinvigorated public support.

Many of Iran’s youth have taken to the streets with the striking workers in a clear display of solidarity.

The Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), also issued words of support. The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, took to Twitter to call on the Iranian public to stand with the brave workers.

Students from Tehran’s Art University also paid homage to the striking Haft Tappeh workers. Whilst holding their own anti-regime rally, the determined students chanted, “we’re the workers’ children, we will stand by their side”.

Additional Arrests

It wasn’t just Esmaeel Bakhshi that was detained on bogus charges, the former head of the Haft Tappeh sugarcane mill syndicate, Ali Nejati, was abducted from his home by regime forces and taken to an unknown location.

His loved ones are concerned as Mr. Nejati has a heart condition and was reportedly unwell when regime agents raided his property. He reportedly asked to see a warrant from the regime agents, but they were unable to produce a document.

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Haft-Tappeh workers continue strike for 26th day.

Iran: Haft Tappeh Workers Strike for 26th Day, Ignoring False Promises and Intimidation

Haft-Tappeh workers continue strike for 26th day.

The Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane workers continue their strike against the regime repressive measures and empty promises.

The Haft Tappeh sugar factory workers continued their strike for the 26th consecutive day on Friday, despite escalating threats and intimidation from the repressive Iranian regime. Reports from MEK sources inside Iran indicate that the protesters rallied again in front of the mayor’s office in Shush, chanting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

Arrest, False Promises, and Protests

Thursday was an active day for the striking Haft Tappeh factory workers. The regime attempted to halt the protests by sending an IRGC official and a member of the regime’s parliament to address the striking workers and attempt to negotiate with the protesters. The officials were accompanied by Basij forces. The regime officials promised to meet the workers’ demands if they called off the strikes. The striking workers were not impressed by the officials’ promises, which have gone unfulfilled before, and interrupted their speeches with chants.

Also on Thursday, security forces raided the home of Ali Nejati and arrested him. Nejati, former president of the Haft Tappeh sugar cane workers union, suffers from heart disease and is currently ill. Upon his arrest, Nejati was badly beaten by security forces. He has since been transferred to an unknown location.

A Labour Activist Involved in the Haft Tappeh Protests is Hospitalized After Suffering Abuse in Regime Custody

A growing group of supporters has joined the striking Haft Tappeh workers in solidarity with their protests. On Thursday, students from Zanjan University in Tehran gathered in support of the demands of the Haft Tappeh workers. They chanted, “We are the children of workers. We will stand by their side. Haft Tapeh, Khuzestan, the role model of the hardworking people!” and “Students, workers, teachers, unity is the key to victory!”

Unpaid Wages and Privatization

The Haft Tappeh factory workers began their strike to protest unpaid wages and the privatization of their company. Workers at the company have not received their salary in several months and have been deprived of basic rights and benefits that are guaranteed under Iranian labor laws.

Haft Tappeh is the largest sugar factory in Iran and supplies thousands of jobs to the people of Khuzestan. The factory was government-owned until the regime allowed it to be privatized in a controversial 2015 deal. Since then, employees say working conditions have deteriorated and the factory’s poor leadership has brought it to the verge of bankruptcy. The striking workers want the owners to be removed and their salaries paid.

A Call to Action

The MEK and the Iranian Opposition has called upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to intervene and demand the release of Ali Nejati and other workers who have been arrested by the Iranian regime.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has called upon on all human rights organizations to stand in solidarity with the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory and to take action to secure the release of imprisoned Iranian workers.

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Isfahan Farmers' protest continues

Iran Protests Continue

Isfahan Farmers' protest continues

Demonstrations and sit-in of poor farmers of the cities and villages of East and West of Isfahan are continuing for the third month

Strikes and protests are still raging across Iran and show no sign of abating as workers continue to express their dissatisfaction with labor conditions and the ever-worsening economic crisis in the country.

Update (7:30 AM Thursday, November 29th): On Thursday morning, MEK sources inside Iran reported that security forces raided the home of Ali Nejati, one of the striking workers from the Haft Tappeh sugar mill. Nejati was arrested, and when his family asked to see the arrest warrant, they were beaten by police.

The factory workers marched to the mayor’s office, chanting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!” and “Nationalize the company!”

Iranian drivers from across the country have expressed their solidarity with the striking factory workers through video messages. One driver said, “I understand your situation. I am a driver and we too are facing harsh conditions. I stand with you and wish you the best of luck in achieving your demands.”

Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory Workers’ Strikes

Thursday was the 25th consecutive day of strikes for the factory workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugar mill in Shush. The workers are striking in protest of months of unpaid wages and the privatization of the company.

The workers published a list of their demands on their Telegram channel and in a written statement. Their demands include basic labor rights such as regular payment of salaries, employer payment of insurance fees, job security for contract workers, and provision of work tools and materials.

Protests Continue to Rage in Ahvaz and Shush

Most of the workers’ demands are already guaranteed under the Iranian regime’s labor laws, but these laws are not being enforced. For example, Iranian labor law dictates that employers are responsible for providing transportation or compensation for transportation for their employees’ commute to and from work. Haft Tappeh has ignored this regulation altogether. Employers are also required by law to provide one hot meal per shift. This law has also been disregarded by Haft Tappeh’s owners.

The regime has responded to the workers’ demands by sending suppressive forces to arrest the striking workers and by dispatching the head of the regime’s judiciary to threaten the strikers and accuse them of sedition.

The Haft Tappeh factory workers have also asked for the release of their colleague, Esmail Bakhshi, as part of their demands. Bakhshi is a spokesperson for the protesters who was arrested with several others as part of a crackdown by suppressive forces last week. After the striking workers and a growing number of supporters rallied for their release, the regime relented and released the other jailed protesters, but Bakhshi remains in custody.

Farmers’ protests enter the third month

The farmers of Isfahan are entering their third consecutive month of protests over the lack of access to water, which has wreaked havoc on agriculture in the province. Agriculture is the primary source on income in Isfahan, so virtually everyone in the region has been affected by the scarcity of water due to the drying of the Zayanderud River.

Isfahan’s farmers blame the water crisis on the regime’s corruption and mismanagement of the country’s water resources. Over the past two decades, the regime has diverted the Zayanderud River, which supplies water to the Isfahan region, to its factories upstream of Isfahan, leaving the once-prosperous farmers without water to irrigate their crops. This, combined with droughts, has left the farmers without a source of income.

The Isfahan farmers have protested by blocking streets with their tractors and machinery and camping in intersections of cities and towns.

On November 25th, farmers in the village of Qarnah destroyed water pipes to prevent the transfer of water from their village to other regions. Special Guard mercenaries responded by attacking the farmers with tear gas, injuring several of the protesters. The farmers chanted: “Zayandeh Rood water is our absolute right!” “We die, we do not accept humiliation!” and “The farmer is awake, he hates (empty) promises!”

Also on November 25th, farmers in Qarnah staged a sit-in at the Qarnah mosque. State security forces attacked the protesters there and broke the mosque’s windows in the process.

The striking farmers at that sit-in held banners proclaiming: “We want our water rights!” “Do not split our Zayandeh Rood!” “Is there any helper?” “Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation!”  “Until when false promises?”

The water crisis has reached such epic proportions that regime has been forced to acknowledge it, at least in part. Hasan Kamran, a member of the regime’s parliament who represents Isfahan, admitted that the Ministry of Energy has given 1,592 million cubic meters of water to Isfahan Steel, Iron and Steel and military industries, leaving the people of Isfahan to survive on wastewater. “The law of water right goes back to 1964, and the Ministry of Energy had no legal right to change it and sell the water,” he said in an October 21st interview with a state-run media outlet.

In an earlier interview with Radio Farhang, Kamran said: “For a decade, water right of the farmers of Isfahan has been plundered… We have lied to them for 10 years… On the one hand, the bank brings an arrest warrant because he (the farmer) was unable to pay his debt. On the other hand, we give his wheat money late, we don’t give him compensation, we steal his water right; who is stealing from him? The same Ministry of Energy.”

Nasser Mousavi Largani, another member of the regime’s parliament, described the current agricultural conditions of Isfahan’s farmers in dire terms. “The farmers of Ghahderijan – their land has turned into desert. They do not have bread to eat. Likewise, the farmers of Pirbakon,” he said.

Ali Bakhtiar, another member of the regime’s parliament, told the Parliament News Agency that

the number of dairy cattle has dwindled from 50-60 thousand to less than 30 thousand. “Livestock is really disappearing … 70-80% of poultry farms in the region are not used,” said Bakhtiar.

The MEK salutes Isfahan’s striking farmers and calls upon all Iranians, particularly the youth, to join in solidarity with their protests and to support them in their demands for water rights.

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Haft-Tappeh strike continues.

A Labour Activist Involved in the Haft Tappeh Protests is Hospitalized After Suffering Abuse in Regime Custody

Haft-Tappeh strike continues.

Despite the repressive measures by the government, the workers strike continues into its forth week.

The Haft Tappeh sugar factory workers have been on strike for over two weeks. What started as a protest over unpaid wages and the forced privatization of the company, quickly took on a more pressing note when 19 of their peers were arrested by the regime.

Ismael Bakhshi imprisoned worker of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane factory

The Worker’s representative in Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane factory, who is in custody for demanding the worker’s unpaid wages-November 2018

Although most were released, several labor activists remained in regime custody, including Ismael Bakhshi. As soon as Bakhshi was arrested, the protestors marched on the municipal buildings in Ahvaz and called for his immediate release, reports from MEK network inside indicates. However, as the protestors feared, the latest reports indicate Bakhshi is in a bad way.

The Subject of Torture

Iran News Wire reported that sources have revealed Bakhshi has been transferred to a local hospital after suffering barbaric abuse at the hands of regime agents.

Although few details are known, it is suspected that Bakshi was beaten and sustained injuries to the face and head. He is also thought to be suffering from internal bleeding after the ordeal.

MEK Network: The Haft Tappeh Protest Reaches Its 19th Consecutive Day

The brave workers gathered again today in Shush to call for their colleague’s release. The crowd chanted, “detained worker must be released!”

Further Arrests

There are also reports that further arrests have been made in connection to the protest. Ali Nejati’s home was raided by regime security forces and he was taken into custody. Eyewitness reports state that Nejati demanded to see their warrant for the raid, but the agents on the scene were unable to produce legal documents authorizing the raid.

In the course of the raid, they beat Ali Nejati and his defenseless family. His son, Peiman Nejati was also arrested.

Those close to the family are concerned. Ali suffers from a heart condition and was reportedly unwell during the time of the arrest.

The CEO Called an End to the Strike

The arrests and beatings came on the same day the Haft Tappeh CEO send a video message to the protestors, urging them to end their protests.

Omid Asadbeigi, the CEO of Haft Tappeh, appeared next to a photo of the Supreme Leader Khamenei and a large Islamic Republic flag and echoed the regime’s demands to end the strike.

He told the workers that their strike was causing “numerous problems for the factory”. He also reiterated that the factory would not be returned to the public sector. “It will remain private”, he said.

 

“I deem it necessary to immediately put an end to these rumors”, he added.

The whereabouts of Omid Asadbeigi remains a mystery. Some elements of the regime have asserted that he is a wanted man and is facing charges of misconduct. Other elements have reported that he is in regime custody.

Support from the MEK

The striking workers may take solace in the knowledge that they have the support of the Iranian people and the opposition movement.

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi have issued statements of support for the Haft Tappeh workers.

Maryam Rajavi published a statement on her Twitter account which read, “the enemy tries in vain to silence the voice of the deprived workers of Haft Tappeh through arrests and suppression”.

The MEK has called on Iran’s youth and the public to help the sugarcane workers in any capacity they can and stand with them in solidarity against the mullahs’ violent clerical regime.

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OPCW session in the Hague

U.S. Ambassador Says Iranian Regime Violated Chemical Weapons Treaty

OPCW session in the Hague

An extraordinary session of member-states of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague-November 2018

The Iranian regime has long relied on policies of appeasement by Western countries to facilitate its destructive and illegal weapons programs. Over the past two years, however, the United States and some European countries have begun to reconsider these policies because it has become impossible to ignore the regime’s atrocities at home and abroad.

Violations of OPCW

The most recent example of the regime’s blatant disregard for the international community occurred a few days ago when the U.S, ambassador to the Netherlands Kenneth Ward accused the Iranian regime of failing to declare its weapons-related activities. This was in direct violation of Iran’s agreement with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Iran has been a signatory to the 193-member Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997. The anti-chemical weapons group is managed by the

OPCW.

Ambassador Ward made this allegation at the fourth annual meeting of the intergovernmental organization in The Hague. He said that he is concerned that Iran is developing “central nervous system–acting chemicals” for offensive military purposes.

Ambassador Ward cited three examples of the Iranian regime’s violations of the treaty. Iran failed to declare its capability to fill weapons with chemicals, it didn’t announce the transfer of chemical-filled shells to Libya in the 1980s, and it currently markets CR gas as a riot control agent at defense expos.

The Washington Post reported in 2011 that

chemical munitions uncovered in Libya in 2011 appeared to have originated in Iran.

Damage Control by the Regime

Regime officials scrambled to deny the accusations and shift the blame. Bahram Qasemi, Iranian spokesperson for the regime’s Foreign Ministry said in his denial, “The reason for such claims is animosity towards the Iranian people.”

Regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif ominously tweeted that the accusation against the regime was “dangerous.”

Previous Attempts to Blame the MEK

The Iranian regime’s attempts to shift the blame in regard to their use of chemical weapons is not new. In the 1980s, the regime used chemical weapons during the Iran/Iraq War and claimed the MEK was responsible for the attacks.

The MEK released a statement in 2004 revealing that the regime planned to use lawyers to pin the blame for the atrocities it committed in Halabja during the Iran-Iraq war on the Iranian opposition.

The regime’s chemical attack on Kurdish dissidents in Halabja during the final days of the Iran/Iraq War was the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian population in modern history, according to the Federation of American Scientists. At least three thousand people died during the poison gas attack.

The chemical attack was planned by the Iranian regime to kill off Kurdish dissidents during the chaos of the final days of the war, but the regime successfully used propaganda to convince the world that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attack. Later it became more convenient to accuse the MEK of carrying out the attack instead.

A year after the MEK warned that the regime planned to blame the MEK for the chemical attack, French lawyer of the former Iraqi head of state Emmanuel Ludot revealed that the Iranian regime’s ambassador to France, Sadeq Kharrazi,  had asked him to blame the gassing of the Kurdish dissidents on the MEK. In an interview with the Franco-English television network, ARTE, Ludot said, “The Iranian ambassador told me [to] say Iranians did not gas the Kurds … [that] this was the work of the MEK.”

Ludot gave another interview to Al Jazeera later that year, where he said: “I want to tell you a secret that may have dire consequences for me. The Iranian ambassador asked me personally to the embassy… the Ambassador told me to let’s make an agreement. We will say that Saddam didn’t attack the Kurds with [chemical] gas and you say that the Iranians didn’t attack the Kurds with gas. Then we will present a case that the PMOI has used these gases against the Kurds. Thus, the guilt will be on someone else and all of us will be safe. What do you think?”

The regime’s attempts to cover up its crimes have become more obvious to the international community. The world is becoming less willing to look the other way while the mullahs commit atrocities and pass the blame to its most convenient enemy. The Iranian regime poses a danger to the world.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Inflation on the rise in Iran

Inflation Rises Again While the Regime Refuses to Address Iran’s Economic Crisis

Inflation on the rise in Iran

Photo Credit-tradingeconomics.com: The annual inflation rate in Iran has increased to 36.9 percent in October of 2018.

New findings from the Iranian Statistical Center indicate that inflation is up 34.9% from last year’s levels. Between October 23rd and November 22nd, the average family had to spend 34.9% more than they did last year to buy the same goods.

This also represents an increase in last month’s inflation rate, which was 32.8%.

International observers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predict that Iran’s rate of inflation will increase by a staggering 40% next year. They both also predicted a sharp increase in unemployment by 13% or 14%.

The predictions align with the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) own reporting, which predicted a “tsunami of poverty” to strike Iran in the latter part of 2018.

Iran’s Economy is Shrinking

The IMF estimates that Iran’s economy will shrink by around 1.5% at the end of 2018, and by 3.6% in 2019. However, the reality could be far worse. The IMF basis its predictions on government figures, many of which are deliberately manipulated to hide the full extent of Iran’s economic woes.

Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins University has called the economic situation in Iran, one “of the worst government-induced inflationary regimes in the world”. Hanke estimates that only Venezuela suffers from a higher rate of inflation.

Worsening Purchasing Power

The economic situation in Iran has gotten so bad that many Labor activists estimate that most workers can only provide 50% of their families’ basic needs.

The mullahs and their clerical regime have demonstrated virtually no economic acumen or experience. They have not implemented a single economic policy designed to lift Iran’s economic standing. The mullahs’ only response to the deepening poverty gripping the country has been to offer “support packages”.

These packages are small cash boosters provided to people who earn less than 3 million toumans. Given the surging inflation rate, even with these meager offerings, most workers are fighting for their survival.

Alireza Fathi, a board member for the Tehran Islamic Council of Workers said, “workers have been abandoned until the point of an [economic] earthquake when they are forgotten forever”.

There have been reports of many of Iran’s workers resorting to extreme measures when faced with financial ruin. In some regions, workers have sold organs to keep a roof over their heads. Elsewhere, workers are committing suicide due to the stresses induced by living in abstract poverty.

According to a state-run news site, suicides are up by 71% in men and 66% in women on last years figures.

Amin Montazeri, the head of the Crisis Committee of the Labor Council said, “many show their reaction by attempting suicide or lashing out against others”. Drug addiction rates in Iran are also rising alongside the country’s inflation rate as workers turn to narcotics to escape the realities of their existence.

The Regime’s Coverup

Part of the regime’s inability to address Iran’s spiraling economic problems stems from its inability to acknowledge the severity of the situation. The Iranian Statistical Center’s findings now prove beyond any doubt that the mullahs’ claims of keeping inflation under control are blatantly false.

Fathi said, “not only is there no policy to control prices, but also the head of state clearly states that we have no problems”.

Without admitting there is a problem, the regime is condemned to inaction and Iran’s economy is doomed.

Staff Writer

 

 

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