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Denmark arrests another agent of the Iranian regime for terrorism

The Danish Government Brands the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attack “Completely Unacceptable”

Denmark arrests another agent of the Iranian regime for terrorism

Danish intelligence service arrests another Iranian regime terrorist for plotting attack in Denish soil.

On September 28th, 2018, much of Denmark came to a standstill over national security issues. The day was the cumulation of a nation-wide police operation dedicated to unraveling a terror plot coordinated and orchestrated by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

On Tuesday, October 30th, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service revealed that the Iranian government intelligence agency had planned to carry out an assassination on Danish soil. It also revealed that is had made an arrest in connection to the case and that a Norwegian-Iranian citizen was currently in custody.

Preparation for a Larger Attack

The Danish government suggested that the assassination was likely to be carried out as part of preparation measures for a larger terror attack on Danish soil.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in which it condemned the Iranian government. The statement called the attack “completely unacceptable” and said, “the gravity of the matter is difficult to describe”.

The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelson, revealed in the same statement that the opinion of the Danish government “has been made crystal clear to the Iranian ambassador in Copenhagen”. He also suggested that Denmark would consider further action over the matter.

“We are in close contact with several like-minded countries regarding the issue of an Iranian intelligence agency’s illegal activities in Europe”, Samuelson said.

An Increasingly Aggressive Regime

Samuelson does not have to look far to find other governments affected by the regime’s nefarious terror activities.

Most recently, 10 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) issued a statement calling for the regime’s inclusion on the European terrorism blacklist. Their statement followed several high-profile incidents this summer which exposed an intricate web of the regime’s state-sponsored terror activities on European soil.

Ten MEPs Issue a Statement Calling for the Iranian Regime to be Added to an EU Blacklist

In June, an Iranian diplomat was arrested in connection with a foiled terror attack in Paris. Assadollah Assadi, based at the Iranian regime in Vienna, had provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material and detailed instructions of how to carry out the attack, which was to take place at the annual Grand Gathering of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Following the failed attack, the French government froze all assets in France which belonged to the MOIS and a further two high-profile Iranians. It also expelled an Iranian diplomat from the Iranian embassy in Paris over the incident.

Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) Holds Conference on Iranian State-Sponsored Terrorism

The Danish government will likely find a “like-minded” country in France. Macron’s government has grown impatient with Tehran following irrefutable evidence that the June 30th attack was coordinated and planned by the regime’s leadership.

In the US, two regime agents were also detained on espionage charges. The pair were gathering information on the MEK in preparation for another terror attack.

Earlier in the year, another Iranian plot was uncovered. Once again, the MEK were the targets. The Albanian authorities discovered a violent plot to attack the MEK’s compound near the Albanian capital. The plan was to execute the plan during the Persian New Year Celebrations.

The Iranian regime has shown time and time again that it is willing to commit acts of extreme violence to further its agenda. It has no respect for the sovereignty or government of other countries, nor does it respect international law.

An increasing number of MEPs and European governments are beginning to see the merit in adding the regime to international terrorist lists. But to fully neutralize the regime’s threat, Europe would be better-placed to lend its backing to the Iranian people in their quest for regime change.

Only with the mullahs gone and the fall of the clerical regime will the threat be gone.

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protest in Pasargad

Despite Regime Aggression and Restricted Travel, Iranians Travel to Pasargad to Honour Cyrus the Great

protest in Pasargad

Archive- In 2016, on the anniversary of Cyrus the Great, thousands gathered at his tomb in Pasargad

On Monday, October 29th, people from across Iran flocked to Pasargad in Fars Province to honor Cyrus the Great, the ancient Persian king. The regime attempted to deter citizens from traveling to the capital of the ancient Persian empire, but many felt compelled to make the journey regardless.

Cyrus the Great commissioned the instruction of Pasargad in 559BC and once a year, on the 7th of Aban (usually around October 29th), the date Cyrus reportedly entered the ancient city of Babylon, thousands of Iranians gather at his tomb.

The regime fears a repeat of 2016

The regime often attempts to prevent Iranians from gathering on a historic day. They fear that such a concentration of people could spark a protest. Reports from the MEK network indicate that this year, numerous secret police agents have been deployed around Fars province and in nearby cities.

Not to be deterred, many Iranians are finding alternate routes to the burial site over nearby hilltops. The MEK reported that a number of people are bypassing the authorities by traveling on foot through the town of Surmeq and the surrounding mountain passes.

The regime fears a repeat of 2016 when thousands of Iranians descended on Pasargad and many in attendance began expressing their anger at the clerical regime. Chants of “clerical rule is synonymous with only tyranny and only war” could be heard among those gathered.

Closing Historical Sites

The MEK received reports from eyewitnesses on the ground that the regime is going to extreme lengths to prevent a repeat of the events of 2016.

The regime’s agents have closed the Persepolis historical site near the city of Shiraz, to prevent the public gathering and a protest taking shape.

Starting on Sunday afternoon, many of the roads around Pasargad were closed. There were reports of cars being turned away by regime agents as they approached the city.

Locals have received passes and anybody not traveling with a pass are finding their travel restricted in the region. There have even been reports of arrests taking place and vehicles being impounded.

In a more ominous sign, the regime also warned the local hospitals that the military would be “conducting drills” in the region and urged them to be prepared to receive people with injuries.

The news suggests that the regime is prepared to deploy excessive force to prevent the public from coming together for Cyrus Day celebrations. However, rather than cement the mullahs’ power, it only further mobilizes an already determined population and increases the public appetite for regime change.

 

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College students protest in Iran

Multiple Groups Protest Regime in Cities across Iran

College students protest in Iran

Protests in Iran on the surge-College students protest across in Iran

Protests are spreading across Iran, with multiple groups taking to the streets to protest against the corrupt regime, based reports from the MEK network inside Iran. Iran’s economy is in free fall, due to the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, as well as crippling U.S. sanctions.

Students’ Protests

On Sunday, students from Tehran’s Teachers University marched in protest of the University’s privatization policies.

The students held signs with a list of their demands:

  • Changing the current administrative norms.
  • Eliminate temporary extensions;
  • Present full and free courses for fifth term students based on orders issued by the Ministry of Sciences.
  • Cancel all plans aimed at forcing students to evacuate the dormitory and provide necessities.
  • Close all disciplinary dossiers launched against students.
    Guarantee the implementation of Ministry of Sciences’ orders.
  • Station inspectors on campus to guarantee adequate dormitory conditions.
  • Sack the Student Department officials.
  • Create transparent measures to provide adequate food at the campus’ self-service branch.
  • Launch Q&A sessions with students for college officials to respond to their demands and issues raised.

Students at Tehran’s Open University protested the “Guidance Police” on their campus. The protesting students blocked the units from their patrols. Four students were arrested and many others had their cameras confiscated for recording the protest. According to reports, one unit almost ran over a female student during the protest.

Retired Bank Employees’ Protests

On Saturday, retired bank employees from across Iran gathered outside of the Banks Retiree Fund office in Tehran to protest against their low pensions. The retired employees chanted: “Our pensions are far below the poverty line!”

One protester said, “We retired bank employees, in our senior ages, are facing many difficulties. Seeking answers to our demands of having our pensions increased is now added to that.”

The bank retirees say that they do not make enough money to cover their basic needs and that their pensions place them below the poverty line.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

On Thursday, clients of the Padideh credit firm protested outside of the provincial office in Mashhad to demand the return of their stolen savings. The authorities feared that the protest would spread and attempted to suppress the rally. They attacked the protesters and arrested a number of them. People at the scene protested these repressive measures.

On Saturday, clients of the Talaye Thamen credit company protested in Tehran for the return of their stolen savings. One banner demanded the prosecution of figures in the Gold Union and Ministry of Industry.

Farmers’ Protest

On Friday, farmers in Jozdan, near Najaf Abad, central Iran, protested authorities not responding to their earlier demands by parking their tractors and blocking the town’s main road.

Street Vendors’ Protest

On Thursday, street vendors in Karaj marched in protest of police brutality and confiscation of their goods by authorities. The vendors chanted, “Death to IRGC Basij members!”

Security forces attacked anyone who recorded the march, arrested them, and confiscated some of their phones in order to erase photos and videos.

With Iran’s economy in free fall, the people have become restless and angry. The mullahs have no viable plan to address the many problems facing the country and are struggling to hold onto their power with acts of intimidation and suppression. The Iranian people will no longer be intimidated.

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German delegation visit MEK residence in Albania

German Delegation Visits MEK Camp in Albania

German delegation visit MEK residence in Albania

The high profile German delegation headed by Rita Süssmuth, former president of the Bundestag visits Camp Ashraf 3, the new residence of the MEK in Albania.

Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania, received a visit from a six-member delegation from Germany last week. Rita Süssmuth, former president of the Bundestag, German parliamentarians Martin Patzelt, Thomas Nord, and Otto Bernhardt, and human rights activists, Hille Gosejacob-Rolf, and Christian Zimmermann made up the members of the delegation.

During their trip to Tirana from October 21-23, the visitors spent time with MEK residents at Ashraf met with Albanian government officials and political figures and attended a conference with Albanian parliamentarians and NGOs.

Conference in Ashraf-3

German delegation speaking at a conference held in Ashraf-3, the place of residence of the MEK- October 2018

On the first day of their visit, the delegation was greeted by MEK members, who briefed the visitors on the camp’s relocation from Iraq to Albania and their efforts to rebuild on a new site. The camp representatives emphasized that all costs of deployment, daily life, and medical care at Ashraf 3 are paid for by the MEK.

Rita Süssmuth expressed her surprise at the resilience and vitality of the camp residents. She was also impressed at how much the MEK members have been able to build over the course of a year. “Your vitality indicates a culture and a new way of life, which is not well known to others.” She said, “I constantly admire you for always starting from scratch and building again,” she said.

During their visit, the delegation toured Ashraf 3’s carpenter’s workshop, sports halls, and volleyball and basketball courts. They were introduced to the camp’s younger members, who shared their interests in music, art, video, history, and comedy. The delegation also toured the camp medical facilities, where they met dozens of MEK doctors and dentists who provide care for camp residents.

After touring Ashraf 3, the delegation sat down with a group of MEK members and discussed the MEK’s goals in Albania. The MEK’s representative from the camp expressed their appreciation to the German Friendship Group for its assistance during the MEK’s relocation from Iraq to Albania and other European countries.

Members of the delegation responded with words of support to the members of Ashraf 3.

Otto Bernhard said, “You have come a long way, but the remaining path to the goal should be short. The goal is to liberate Iran and we must reach this goal together.”

“The power of your eyes and your vitality is motivating to me, and it reflects your belief in the purpose you have,” said Rita Süssmuth. “You are even livelier than when you were in Ashraf and Liberty. Keep Fighting.”

Representative Thomas Nord spoke of the resilience of the MEK members and their willingness to continue fighting the regime. “Always one of my questions was how people can keep fighting decades for freedom and democracy and still be motivated, he said. “I got the answers to my questions today in Ashraf 3. Each of you could have had a good life in a corner of the world while being opposed to the regime, but you have chosen another way and that you are fighting collectively which is important. I wish you and all of us victory on this path.”

Christian Zimmermann was clear in his support of Ashraf 3: “I consider myself an Ashrafi,” he said. “It is now a matter of discussion in Germany and Europe that who is the alternative against Mullahs. I say, whoever wants to know the alternative should come to Ashraf 3.”

Ms. Hille Gosejacob-Rolf praised the women of the MEK for their leadership and gave gifts of table tops featuring the Iranian flag.

Rita Süssmuth led the delegation in presenting a gift of a painting of Reichstag, the German Parliament building, to the MEK representative.

On Monday, the delegation hosted a meeting at the Tirana International Hotel. Entitled “Solidarity with the Iranian Resistance: Disclosure of Islamic Fundamentalism and the Iranian Regime’s State Sponsorship of Terrorism in Europe and the Balkans,” the meeting was attended by political and human rights activists and Albanian supporters of the Iranian Resistance. The event received wide coverage by the Albanian press.

The members of the German delegation spoke about their visit to Ashraf 3 at the conference.

Rita Süssmuth said, “We were surprised by the progress made by MEK, and that could not be possible without the constructive cooperation of the government and civil society in Albania.”

Süssmuth added: They (the MEK) have relied on their financial autonomy and have provided funds for all their expenses and construction costs themselves. They are democrats, volunteers, lively and active, profoundly against dictatorship and committed to the cause of freedom.”

Martin Patzelt spoke of the need to stop supporting Iran: “The situation in Iran is quickly evolving, and we are witnessing that the policy towards the regime is changing,” he said. “Although Europe has been a supporter of a nuclear deal with the regime, the Iranian Regime’s domestic and international crises, as well as its destructive policies and its support of terrorism, has made it difficult for Europe to continue supporting it. A serious crisis in relations between Europe and the Iranian regime is about the terrorist acts of the regime in Europe.”

Otto Bernhard called for the expulsion of all regime intelligence agents. He discussed the case of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat who was arrested by German police for a foiled terrorist attack on the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris on June 30th and recently extradited to Belgium to await trial on terrorism charges. The Iranian regime attempted to prevent Assadi’s extradition. Because of the Assadi case, France has expelled another regime diplomat and sanctioned the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The Netherlands has expelled two regime diplomats as a result of the case.

 

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Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

The Iranian Regime Targets Environmental Activists in a String of Arrests and Suspicious Deaths

Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

Five environmental activists arrested nine months ago will be facing charges of “corruption on earth”. This is while Farshid Hakki another environmentalist was murdered outside his home last week.

The clerical regime in Iran has brought charges against five environmental activists arrested nine months ago. The five will appear in court on charges of “corruption on earth”, although the regime previously charged them with espionage charges.

Environmental activists have been the target of the clerical regime in recent months. On October 17th, environmental activist Farshid Hakki died in suspicious circumstances near his home in Tehran.

The state-run news networks and IRGC media outlets reported that the cause of Hakki’s death was self-immolation. However, the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) remains skeptical.

Suspicious Deaths of Activists

Environmental activists have been subject to extreme violence and physical abuse at the hands of the regime. In January, IRGC intelligence officers arrested several activists, among them was Dr. Kavous Seyyed Emami, a former director of the Wildlife Agency.

Iran says prominent environmentalist committed suicide in a Tehran prison

Emami died shortly after his arrest while he was in regime custody in Evin Prison. The regime absolved itself of responsibility and claimed that the Emami had committed suicide.

In the wake of the national uprising at the start of the year, the regime claimed that at least 14 prisoners that died in custody committed suicide or died due to drug use. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) asserts that in reality, the prisoners died due to the regime’s violent and brutal use of torture.

Mohammad Reza, the head of the parliamentary environmental faction voiced his concerns. “The arrest of a number of environmental activists… is suspicious”, he said, “and the death of Dr. Seyyed Emami in prison is unfortunate and increases the ambiguity regarding the charges against the detainees”.

The MEK has previously reported the dangers of arbitrary arrests and fabricated charges. The regime’s increased weaponization of the judicial system to silence critics is an indication of its vulnerability.

In an attempt to preserve its weakening grip on power, the regime is locking up activists and political opponents.

The Iranian resistance movement and the MEK remains vehemently opposed to the regime’s misuse of justice and crimes against humanity. The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, have repeatedly called on the international community to stand with the abused Iranian people and condemn the regime’s actions.

The MEK and NCRI have urged international NGOs and governments to establish a delegation tasked with investigating the abuse of political and environmental activists in Iranian prisons and the 14 suspicious deaths that occurred in custody.

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Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Regime Officials Predict Riots and Revolt on State Media

 

Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Photo Credit: The Media Express- Iranian-Americans gathered in New York protest against the Iranian regime president invitation to the United Nations, calling for regime change in Iran-September 2018

A recent analysis published at the official website of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that regime officials fear that the people will revolt and overthrow the regime. Iran’s economy has taken a nose-dive, while the Iranian Resistance movement, led by the MEK, has gained momentum. Regime officials are terrified that these two factors will lead to the end of the mullahs’ regime.

The MEK came to this conclusion through close scrutiny of recent comments by regime officials in state media. A large number of the comments made contained dire warnings about the future of the regime, using words such as “enemy,” “mistrust,” “dangerous times,” and “current conditions.”

Regime Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi openly discussed the ramifications of the “social gap” and the “trust gap” caused by his own regime. In an October 12th interview on state-run TV, he said:

“What will become even more transparent these days is the social gap between various classes. We are facing a reality that there is a trust gap, with people knowing officials will not live up to their pledges. We shouldn’t deny this. Why should we? The reason is that they see our actions differ from our words, and this is seen in different fields of work.”

Regime economic expert Hossein Raghfar spoke of his concern that the economic crisis in Iran will lead to food shortages, further uprisings, and an eventual revolt by the people.

Raghfar said:

“Those who are living on subsidies, they have nothing. We are heading towards riots. These riots are due to economic insecurity. Workers who haven’t been paid, how are they supposed to provide for themselves…and this leads to riots. All these riots will be taking shape.”

Raghfar is right to worry about a revolt. The economic crisis is due to decades of corruption and mismanagement by the regime. U.S. sanctions have aggravated a problem that was ongoing when the current uprising began last December. The people are angry, and they are ready to overthrow the mullahs.

Raghfar expressed concern that the pressure from the economic crisis might manifest as mental health issues, such as depression. This has been true for many years under the repressive Iranian regime. He also worried that petty crime would increase as a result of economic insecurity.

“A worker that doesn’t get paid has no solution but to revolt,” he commented.

Raghfar also fretted about the so-called “brain drain,” which is a process in which the country’s most talented citizens leave Iran to find better opportunities elsewhere, leaving the already-struggling regime with few people with the ability to address its problems.

He went on: “There will be other riots, seen in the country’s brain drain. There will also be riots against themselves, such as suicides. Other people will be suffering from psychological damage, such as depression. This is another kind of riot in and of itself. And yet another riot is the rise in crime.”

Finally, Raghfar predicted that Iran’s inflation rate could rise to 80-90% by the end of the year, which would likely signal the end of the regime.

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Looted credit firm clients demand their money back.

Looted Credit Firm Clients in Mashhad Demand Return of Their Savings

Looted credit firm clients demand their money back.

A group of looted credit firm clients protest outside one of the branches, demanding their savings to be returned to them.

On Thursday, clients of the regime-linked Padideh credit firm protested in Mashhad for the return of their looted savings. Suppressive forces were dispatched to prevent the protest from spreading, and several people were arrested after security forces attacked the demonstrators, report MEK network inside Iran.

The rally in Mashhad followed a similar rally on

Keshavarz Avenue in Tehran on October 14th by clients of the Padideh and Caspian credit firms.

Protesters at that rally chanted:

“We will sacrifice our lives for freedom! Down with this cruelty!”

“Our three branches pass us to each other, leaving us in limbo!”

“Hands behinds the scenes, what have they done with our money?”

“We shall fight, we may die, yet we will not accept living in shame!”

“Theft has become legal under the cloak of law!”

Hamidreza Jalalipour, one of the regime’s experts frequently cited by the regime, warned against the spread of protests like these, which is what the regime fears most.

In an interview on state TV, Jalalipour said: “We must answer to the people’s demands… you must answer so that the society becomes calm… If we don’t pay attention to these demands, it will become concerning and I can show how since last year these protest rallies are changing and these changes must be taken seriously.”

He went on to say: “In the past year, the people’s measures have changed… Just take a look, during the past year (and even during the 1979 revolution), we had never witnessed violence. However, in the protests of the past 12 months, we have been witnessing violence… people were angry, upset; they have difficulties, people have lost their money, yet banks were set on fire and they headed towards the prosecutor’s office… These are dangerous measures. These are concerning issues that we should be all worried about. The people’s measures must be responded to. It shouldn’t result in unrest, protests, and God forbid, violence, and then strikes… if you look at the big picture, things will get serious.”

Ahmad Hamzeh, a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament), acknowledged that there was cause for alarm. He warned that widespread poverty could unleash a wave of jobless and hungry Iranians who would revolt.

“Do people have to pour into the streets for us to hear their voices?” he asked.

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Hashem Khastar arrested for his support of the teacher's strike

The Regime Intensifies its Crackdown Against the Teachers of Iran

Hashem Khastar arrested for his support of the teacher's strike

Hashem Khastar a Teacher’s Union leader has been arrested for his support of the recent teacher’s strike across Iran.

On Tuesday, October 23rd, a leading advocate for teacher’s rights, Hashem Khastar, was kidnapped by the IRGC forces, reports the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Khastar disappeared from his family’s farm in north-eastern Iran. When his family tried to contact him, his phone was turned off.

Khastar was quickly taken to the Ibn Sina Hospital in Mashhad and admitted as a psychiatric patient. His wife was later informed of his admittance. His wife went to the hospital to find her husband but was not permitted to speak to him.

The arrest came following the recent protest by teachers across the country. The clerical regime and its security forces have put Iran’s teachers in its crosshairs. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have arrested numerous teachers across the country.

The regime’s decision to place Khastar in a mental hospital is a clear coverup of its despicable behavior. Khastar has no history of mental illness. He is physically healthy.

The regime has imprisoned Khastar in the past. He was in prison from 2009 to 2011 for his outspoken criticism of the regime.

Following the teacher’s strike, Khastar penned an open letter to the regime in which he called the mullahs “cruel rulers” and “tyrants”. He also called on the Iranian public to rise up against the regime.

A Call to Action by the Iranian Opposition

The resistance called on the international community to pressure Hassan Rouhani and regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei into releasing him from the psychiatric hospital.

” The Iranian Resistance calls on the international community for firm condemnation of the repressive measures of the mullahs regime against educators and teachers and urgent action to release Mr. Khastar and urges teachers, educators, and students unions and syndicates in different countries to support protests and rightful demands of Iranian teachers.”

It also urged teachers, educators, students, and syndicates inside Iran and around the world to support Iran’s teachers in their protests and stand with them against the repressive and murderous regime.

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Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

Regime Official Acknowledges Widespread Child Malnutrition, Extreme Poverty is to Blame

Widespread child malnutrition as a result of poverty in Iran

While the Iranian regime spends billions to prop up the Syrian dictatorship, millions of Iranians are living under absolute poverty line.

An official linked to the Iranian regime has acknowledged the devastating effect that extreme poverty is having on the Iranian population. The Deputy of Health and Support of the Hamedan Provincial Relief Committee revealed to the state-run ISA that the province was suffering from a crisis as cases of malnutrition in children have exploded.

Ali Bahiraei said, “3,083 children under the age of six in Hamadan province suffer from malnutrition”. He was of no doubt that extreme poverty was behind the worrying figures.

A Crippling Economic Crisis

Iran is in the midst of a devastating economic crisis brought on by decades of economic mismanagement and pandemic corruption. In the last six months, the rial has lost approximately half its value against the dollar, crippling Iranians purchasing power and leaving many in the grips of extreme poverty.

More than 75% of the Iranian population in Sistan and Baluchistan provinces live in conditions of poverty. Many struggles to purchase enough food to feed their families.

The Chairman of Tehran’s Council, Mohsen Hashemi, said that the mullahs’ “quick and careless formation of policies” has taken its toll on the economy, prompting a wave of inflation that shows no sign of letting up.

Alarm Bells are Ringing

Bahiraei is not the first regime official to raise their concerns over rising food shortages. Two MPs, one from Sistan and Baluchistan and another from Zahedan, also highlighted the problem in interviews.

Mohammad Amini Fard, the representative for Sistan and Baluchistan said the province “ranks as the worst such province” for food shortages. He also commented that the province “ranks very low regarding development and unjust wealth distribution, and unfortunately due to the lack of natural resources and an 18-year drought, the province is facing an enormous food shortage”. As a result, many villagers are leaving the province and heading to nearby cities.

Amini Fard’s comments are supported by University studies which show the province’s population has a smaller height and lighter weight than the rest of the Iranian population.

The parliamentary representative for Zahedan, Alim Yar Mohammadi told a similar story. “The people of this province’s villages don’t have adequate drinking water or even bread. By any standards they are living in very poor conditions”, he said.

The malnourished population are also at risk of disease, exacerbated by their emaciated conditions. Diseases and illnesses are spreading in the worst affected areas.

The conditions are also forcing rural villagers to fight for their survival. Mohammadi said, “when the people of the province don’t enjoy adequate food supplies, it is highly likely people will start eating the meats of animals such as cats and crows.” The villages in the south of the province are the worst affected.

A Humanitarian Crisis?

What began as an economic crisis, is quickly becoming a humanitarian one. Villagers from rural communities are heading to the outskirts of cities in search of work and food. These people are homeless, jobless, and in a desperate state. But the cities are offering little in the way of salvation.

Those that are able to earn a living as street vendors, face harassment and violence at the hands of regime officials.

These victims of malnourishment need help. Not beatings. But under this bloody and violent regime, they will find only further economic distress, repression, and violence.

 

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Abduction of the Teachers' union leader Hashem Khastar

Activist Teacher Abducted by Iranian Regime

Abduction of the Teachers' union leader Hashem Khastar

The teachers’ union leader Hashem Khastar was abducted by the Iranian regime agents in response to the teachers’ nationwide strike in Iran

On Tuesday, Hashem Khastar, a local union leader who represents teachers in Razavi Khorasan province in north-eastern Iran, disappeared from his family’s farm outside of Mashhad. His wife and friends tried to call him, but his phone was turned off. His car was left near the farm.

The following day his wife, Sadigheh Maleki, called authorities, to ask for information about her husband. On Wednesday, she received a call from a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who said that Khastar had been hospitalized for mental illness.

Maleki went to Eben’e Sina Hospital in Mashhad to find her husband, but security forces were blocking anyone from going near the area where he was being held.

Khastar has no history of mental illness, nor does he has any physical ailments other than high blood pressure, which is common for a man of his age. Khastar is, however, a retired teacher who has been a vocal critic of the regime. He recently participated in peaceful protests in support of better working conditions for teachers.

Khastar served prison time for his education activism in the past, most recently from 2009 to 2011. He has openly criticized Iran’s educational system and the regime as a whole, going so far as to call regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei a dictator.

After the two-day teacher’s strike earlier this week, Khastar wrote a letter criticizing the regime.

“We don’t have guns,” he wrote.  “Our guns are our pens and our words and our gatherings and sit-ins. The guns are in the hands of those who protect lawless, tyrant, cruel rulers instead of defending the rule of law. They defend those who steal millions and yet arrest petty thieves and cut off their hands and legs.”

On the day before he was abducted, Khastar wrote a passionate appeal to the Iranian people, which he sent to several Persian websites for publication. He wrote that “Iran would soon be free from this hell.” He also implored the Iranian people to rise up against the regime, writing, “Your children in prison can write a short letter and repent to easily be released from prison and live their own lives. But they teach the people the lesson of resistance by saying no to tyranny. They teach the people that one can stand against tyranny like other nations to realize freedom and democracy.”

Khastar wrote that Khamenei was “the root of the corruption and all the problems” and must be held accountable.

Authorities abducted Khastar without a warrant and hospitalized him without evidence of any physical or mental illness. It is unclear at this point how Khastar ended up in a psychiatric facility. He could have possibly been injured during his arrest or authorities may have locked him in a psychiatric facility in order to sedate him. It does seem clear that Khastar was hospitalized for his activism and not for his health.

Khastar’s message echoes that of the MEK, which has been fighting to overthrow the corrupt and brutal theocracy and restore democracy to Iran. The MEK’s Resistance Units have worked with teachers to organize protests across the country to improve working conditions for teachers and free those who have been imprisoned for their activism.

Iran’s teachers are demanding that the authorities provide further information about Khastar. They have further renounced the regime for its role in his abdication and its treatment of the retired teacher.

Staff Writer

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