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Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

Five Young Women Receive Prison Sentences for Publicly Protesting in Iran

Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

The Iranian youth participating in protests receive long sentences.

This week, the Iranian regime sentenced several protestors arrested in August protests. Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM) reported on October 22nd reported that five young women arrested during the protests had received prison sentences of between 6 and 12 months.

Yasamin Ariani, aged 23, and 19-year-old Saba Kordafshani, will both serve one year behind bars at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Azer Heydari will also serve one year in prison. The other two, Mozhdeh Rajabi and Niloufar Homafar, both received six-month sentences from the Iranian regime Judiciary.

The circumstances under which Yasamin Ariani was arrested prompted outrage from the Iranian public and drew condemnation from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian opposition groups.

Yasamin was arrested and taken to Quarchak Prison after helping an elderly woman who was pushed to the ground by the regime’s anti-riot police.

Harsh Sentences

The sentences appear to be part of a coordinated effort from the clerical regime to administer particularly harsh sentences on those involved in protests. Last week, the regime sentenced six supporters of MEK to between 8 and 18 years in prison. They were charged for burning the images of the regime Supreme Leader Khamenei during last year’s protests.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released a list of 18 protestors that had been arrested and sentenced for participating in the December and January protests. The protestors, all of whom are serving their prison sentences at the Great Tehran Penitentiary, were administered exceptionally harsh sentences and subject to cruel and immoral punishments.

Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was charged with three “crimes”, “spreading propaganda against the establishment”, “insulting Ali Khamenei” and “disrupting public opinion”. He received a five-year sentence and 200 lashes.

Barzan Mohammadi, a Kurdish prisoner, is serving a six-year sentence for similar crimes. He was also lashed a total of 100 times.

The full extent of the regime’s crimes against its population becomes clear when confronted with the figures of those arrested. Agents of the clerical regime arrested more than 8,000 protestors during the December and January uprisings.

Of these 8,000, at least 14 have died in custody, likely due to extensive torture and beatings at the hands of guards. Further reports emerged this month of guards using electric cattle prods, sticks, and batons to beat inmates into submission.

Several inmates have reported fractured bones and concussion.

Condemnation from International Human Rights Organisations

Amnesty International called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested during the protests. They also urged the international community to call for an “impartial and independent” investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 26-year-old Reza Otadi, who died during a protest in Karaj.

So far, the international community has remained silent and Amnesty International’s pleas have not been heard. These young women, as well as the thousands of more Iranians sitting behind bars, and their families in Iran need the international community to be their voice. How many more innocent people have to be flogged, beaten and imprisoned before Europe and the West say enough is enough?

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Retirees protest in Iran

Retirees Protest Mullahs’ Failed Economic Policies

Retirees protest in Iran

Retired people protest the low salaries below the poverty line in Iran

September and October have brought Iranians from all walks of life into the streets to protest the corrupt regime, as the mullahs’ dictatorship teeters dangerously close to collapse. The regime’s failed economic policies, along with crippling U.S. sanctions, have led to a tsunami of poverty throughout the country. The Iranian regime funds wars and terrorist groups throughout the Middle East, but its own people suffer from poverty, skyrocketing inflation, water shortages, and rampant unemployment.

On October 16th, retired Iranian across the country protested against regime policies that have left them to live in poverty. The retirees protested the snowballing economic catastrophe brought on by the regime’s incompetence and mismanagement, including the alarming rate of inflation and the increase in the cost of living. The economic crisis has been particularly hard on the elderly population of Iran.

According to Jamshid Taqizade, managing director of the National Retirement Fund, Iranian retirees “have lost 67% of their purchasing power and live with hardship in very poor conditions.”

 

One retiree spoke of how the retirees’ plight has led young people to join the MEK’s Resistance Units. He said, “[O]ur present situation has disastrous consequences for the youths. They foresee no future for themselves. Our condition leaves young people realizing that life is getting worse for them, therefore they choose to challenge the regime by joining the resisting [MEK Resistance] Units and uprise.”

Many of the protesters were retired teachers, who said that their pensions are less than half of the other retirees. One retired teacher said this about living in poverty: “We are fed up with poverty and having no money. After three decades of teaching, our pension only covers ten days of our expenses. What are we supposed to do for the rest of the month?”

Sources report that protests took place in a number of cities, including Isfahan. The retirees chanted: “No Gaza! No Lebanon! No Syria! My life for Iran!”

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert voiced her support of those participating in the nationwide strikes in Iran, tweeting this from her official State Department Twitter account.

“We are following the reports of nationwide strikes in #Iran. We support the right of the Iranian people to peacefully express their rightful demands. These strikes have a message for the regime: stop wasting Iran’s wealth abroad and start addressing the needs of your own people.”

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Iran protests in every sectors of the society

Iran: Protest Movement Grows as Regime Weakens

Iran protests in every sectors of the society

The protests in Iran continues over the high corruption, human rights abuse and the repressive measures the government is taking in response to the legitimate calls for change.

A rising wave of protests has swept across Iran in response to the snowballing crises overtaking the Iranian regime. Reports from MEK’s network inside Iran indicate new protests and strikes arise each day among every sector of Iranian society as the ongoing uprising against the corrupt and incompetent regime reach a fever pitch.

Firefighters Protest

Firefighters in Shadegan gathered outside of the Khuzestan’s governate office to demand an increase in pay. The protesters represented 300 firefighters who have not been paid in nine months.

Youth Protests

In Behbahan, youth protested again against unemployment at the Friday prayer site. The protesters rallied because authorities are hiring non-locals to work at the nearby refinery while the town’s youth are left without jobs.

Truck Drivers’ Strikes

Iran’s truck drivers finally forced the regime to concede to three of their demands after three weeks of continuous strikes. This is the third strike by Iranian truckers this year. The striking drivers, who have received international support from trade unions, have been subjected to mass arrests and threats of execution by the regime.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

Clients of the Caspian credit firm gathered outside of the regime’s Central Bank in Tehran to demand the return of their looted money by the Revolutionary Guards-linked financial institution.

During the rally, the protesters chanted: “The bankrupt government is sitting on our money!”

In the city of Rasht, plundered clients of the Caspian credit union gathered in front of the Caspian branch in a downpour of rain to demand the return of their sacongs.

They chanted:

“Our life’s work has been stolen and plundered!”

“We’ll continue our protests until our money is returned!”

“Our money has been stolen and we can’t put food on the table!”

In Tehran, clients of the Kuye Farzan credit company gathered outside the mayor’s office to protest. They held a banner that read, “We are requesting houses and criminals to be handed over to the judiciary.”

Also in Tehran, clients of the Sekeye Thaman credit company gathered in front of the public prosecutor’s office to demand that their stolen savings be returned to them.

Livestock Workers’ Strikes

On Monday, livestock workers in Haft Tappeh went on strike to protest pressure imposed by regime officials.

Municipality Workers’ Protests

On Monday, municipality workers in Shushtar rallied outside of city hall to demand their paychecks that have been delayed for the past six months, due to a privatization measure that the employees did not agree to.

Students’ Protests

On Saturday, a group of Ph.D. students from across Iran rallied in Tehran to protest the lack of foreign currency based on government rates. This policy was promised by education officials and not honored. The rally was held despite threats by education officials.

On Monday, students at Sanandaj Open University in western Iran protested the decision by officials to eliminate the field of nursing one week into courses.

Factory Workers’ Protest

Factory workers in the Albroz Industrial Complex in Qazvin Province held a rally to protest the withholding of their pensions for the past 14 months.

Teachers’ Strikes

Nationwide strikes by Iran’s teachers have spread to 103 cities, according to the most recent reports, and continued for their second day on Monday.

Sources report that all teachers are on strikes in the cities of Qeshm, Ahvaz, Poldokhtar, Ravansar, Rafsanjan, Zarineh and Babol. The strikes have also spread to Mashhad, Marivan, Isfahan, Hamedan, Karaj, Homayounshahr, Shahinshar, Ahvaz, Baneh, Ravansar, Divandareh, Shiraz, Sanandaj, Sari, Langrud, Saqqez, Khomeini Shahr, Kermanshah, and many other cities.

The nationwide strikes began on Sunday to protest low pay and benefits, inability to form labor unions, failure of the regime to implement agreed-upon policies, and poor learning environments for students.

Teachers have also demanded the release of their imprisoned colleagues.

Students in a number of cities have voiced their support for their striking teachers.

Strikes have become a popular means of protest since the massive anti-regime uprising began in Iran last December. Iranians from every social class and sector of society have joined together in raising their voices against the mullahs’ regime, with thousands taking to the street to protest and many closing their shops and refusing to enter their places of business. The MEK works each day to organize these diverse groups of people in their shared goal of overthrowing the corrupt regime and bringing democracy back to Iran.

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Report on Iranian regime's demonization campaign against MEK in Albania

NCRI Report Shows the Iranian Regime Used Channel 4 to Further its Objectives and Sway Public Opinion

Report on Iranian regime's demonization campaign against MEK in Albania

A new report by the NCRI, reveals details of the Iranian regime’s demonization campaign, using friendly “journalists” producing propaganda programs against Iran’s main opposition. The propaganda is used to prepare for terrorist attacks against the MEK members residing in Albania.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a report on Friday the 20th of October. The report shed new light on the Iranian regime’s nefarious activities in conjunction with Britain’s Channel 4 surrounding the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) compound in Albania.

The MEK play an integral role in the Iranian opposition movement.

The NCRI’s report concluded that Channel 4 and Al-Jazeera News were involved in a smear campaign, at the behest of the clerical regime, designed to vilify the MEK and influence international and public opinion.

The Mullahs’ Are Working to Manipulate Public Opinion

The revelations come just one month after the regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on Twitter’s CEO to close the MEK’s Twitter accounts.

The Iranian regime’s own social media activities have also been under scrutiny in recent weeks. Twitter recently released more than 10 million tweets from 770 Twitter accounts with suspected links to the Iranian regime.

Among the Tweets linked to regime-run media outlets and Tweets deliberately designed to turn public opinion against the MEK.

The accounts masqueraded as foreign journalists and US citizens to influence public opinion in the US.

Using Mullah-Friendly Journalists to Further the Regime’s Objectives

The NCRI report revealed that Britain’s Channel 4 referenced a fabricated Albanian police report to portray the MEK in a negative light. In Channel 4’s program on the MEK, which was aired on September 6th, Oli Zola, the former head of the Albanian Intelligence Agency claimed that the MEK is “building a government within a government in Albania”. He also claimed that anyone who violates the MEK’s laws “may be killed by other members of the group”.

The NCRI revealed that Oli Zola was dismissed from the Albanian Intelligence Agency for smuggling and is a close associate of Vincent Trist, an Albanian citizen with ties to the Iranian regime who was arrested for secretly filming the MEK compound in Albania.

The regime is working tirelessly to demonize the MEK’s activities in Albania. It believes that is doing so, it can legitimize its terrorist operations against the organization, which included a foiled terror attack during the group’s Iranian New Year celebrations (Norooz) in Albania.

Following the failed attack, the Albanian government arrested and deported two agents of the Iranian regime for their involvement in the terrorist plot. The Albanian media reported that the pair were operating in Albania under the masquerade of foreign journalists.

Perpetuating the lie that the MEK kill their own members also strengthens the regime’s narrative of the events that occurred at Camp Ashraf in Iraq in 2011. The Iranian regime killed 36 members of the MEK during an attack on Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s compound in Iraq. It has since claimed that 33 of the 36 members were killed by the MEK themselves!

A Fabricated Police Report

The Albanian government has distanced itself from Oli Zola and the fabricated police report that featured in Channel 4’s reporting. The Albanian government denied governmental involvement in presenting the report. It also expressed its desire to fully investigate the report’s origin.

The NCRI believes the report came from a false report which originally appeared on the Albanian Fax Web TV Channel in March without official police letterheading. When Channel 4 presented the report in September, it appeared with Albanian police letterheading.

Forged statement on Albanian police letterhead

An Albanian Police official confirmed the report’s fabrication. The official pointed to the report’s use of terms such as “Islamic Marxist” as evidence of its inauthenticity. The official confirmed that official police reports never use this term.

The report’s sources also cast doubt over the report’s legitimacy. Four mercenaries are cited as sources in the report. All four have ties to the Iranian regime, several are currently serving within the regime’s Intelligence Ministry inside Iran.

The NCRI previously reported in January 2018 that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) was paying mercenaries in Albania to spy on the MEK and orchestrate terror plots against its members.

Following the regime’s evident fabrication of official Albanian police documents, the NCRI’s Security and Anti-Terrorism Committee urged the Albanian government to investigate the Iranian agent’s responsible and bring them to trial, or at least expel them from the country.

The regime’s nefarious activities within Albania and the wider European region undermine national governments and demonstrate the regime’s engagement in plotting and carrying out violent terrorist attacks.

The regime and its agents, therefore, pose a very real threat to international stability and its diplomatic activities must be thoroughly investigated anywhere they are being carried out.

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Labor Unions object death penalty for striking truck drivers in Iran

International Labor Unions Condemn Possible Executions of 17 Truck Drivers Arrested during Recent Strikes

Labor Unions object death penalty for striking truck drivers in Iran

Labor Unions worldwide condemn outrageous sentences for striking truck drivers

In a letter or condemnation, five international trade unions expressed “deep shock” over the recent demand by Qazvin Province’s prosecutor general to execute seventeen truck drivers for their part in the nationwide truckers’ strikes that began in late September. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Education International, the Industrial Global Union and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) called the possible executions a blatant violation of labor rights and said that it was unacceptable to execute workers for asking for economic rights.

 

The trade unions’ letter asked regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to reverse his accusations against the arrested drivers and to guarantee their safety. They also asked that the Committee on Freedom of associations and the  Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (ILO) to inform the regime of its responsibilities to its workers and to reaffirm their fundamental rights.

The most recent truck drivers’ strike started on September 23rd, 2018 and went on for three weeks, spreading to 310 cities in every province in Iran. This was the third strike by Iran’s beleaguered truck drivers this year. The truck drivers face unsafe conditions, subpar pay, corruption by officials, and exorbitant prices for replacement parts, particularly tires. Truck drivers cite a 600% increase in the price of spare parts.

Striking truck drivers were arrested for “disturbing the transportation and provoking the drivers to strike” in a number of provinces, including Tehran, Fars, Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi, Kurdistan, Lorestan, Western Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Qazvin, Alborz, Hamedan, Charmahal Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, Kerman and Bushehr.

The truck drivers’ strike received international support from labor organizations when it began on September 22nd. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa pledged support for the striking drivers in a letter, writing: “The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million transportation and supply chain workers in the United States and Canada, stands in solidarity with our Iranian brothers and sisters. We urge the government of Iran to listen to the grievances of striking Iranian truck drivers, address their just demands and recognize their internationally recognized rights to assembly, speech, freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

Iran: International Transport Workers’ Federation Issues Statement in Support of Striking Truckers

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also supported the striking Iranian truck drivers, writing a letter of concern as the regime retaliated against the drivers several days into the strike. In a statement, the ITF wrote: “The ITF is extremely concerned that news emerging from Iran has detailed a large number of driver arrests. Around 150 truck drivers in various provinces have reportedly been detained for participating in the action, with a spokesperson for the judiciary threatening ‘heavy punishment.’” The statement went on to say, “Drivers have been protesting about low and unpaid wages, the high cost of parts (including tires), and rising costs of the context of a deteriorating economic situation nationally.”

The MEK has been active in its support of the striking drivers. The MEK’s Resistance Units continue to work with all of the workers of Iran to fight against the regime and it’s corrupt and inhumane policies that have left 75% of the Iranian people in poverty.

During the strike, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called upon human rights organizations, labor rights defenders, unions and labor syndicates to support the striking drivers, urging that they take immediate action to call for the release of those drivers who had been detained. “When regime threatens strikers with death, it must be isolated by the international community,” she said.

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Urumia prison

Political Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike Following A Brutal Attack from Guards

Urumia prison

Urumia Prison, one of the Iranian regime’s most notorious prisons in Iran

On Tuesday the 16th of October, dozens of political prisoners in Urmia Central Prison’s wards 12 and 13 suffered a brutal and bloody attack at the hands of the prison guards.

Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate that the prisoners’ captors beat them with batons, electrocuted them with cattle prods, and deployed tear gas against the political dissidents. At least one prisoner suffered a broken nose in the altercation. It is believed that none of the prisoners received medical attention following the incident.

The guards also attacked at least eight prisoners in the prison’s youth ward.

Meeting Violence with Stoicism

Following the violence on Tuesday, at least 60 prisoners from ward 12 have gone on hunger strike. They were joined by 12 of their peers the following day, bringing the total number of prisoners on hunger strike up to 72.

Senior prisoners have been spotted at Urmia prison. It is believed they are attempting to negotiate with the prisoners to end their hunger strike.

A judge also summoned three inmates to discuss the hunger strike. The prisoners have confirmed they have nothing to say and instead urged the judge to come to the prison to hold discussions there.

Appalling Living Conditions

The inmates in Urmia Central Prison are routinely subjected to horrifying and appalling living conditions. They are deprived of even basic medical attention. In the last month alone, three political prisoners have perished inside the prison.

Dozens of political prisoners go on hunger strike after prison guards’ attack

They are also routinely exposed to beatings like the one which occurred on Tuesday. On October 8th, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) reported that one inmate, Morteza Zohr-Ali, was beaten so badly he fractured his hand.

A few months previously, Javad Shirazi, a young offender housed in the prison’s youth ward, was hospitalized after suffering a concussion.

It is worth noting that these beatings are not the result of a handful of rogue and corrupt guards but stem from a malicious and concerted effort from the prison and regime leadership to instill fear and repression among the inmates.

In April, a prisoner named Safeed Nouri was severely beaten by two guards while he stood in the office of the prison’s internal manager.

The international community cannot continue to endorse and do business with a regime that so blatantly abuses its prison population with so little regard for their basic human rights. It is up to international human rights groups, along with the governments of the West to apply pressure on Hassan Rouhani and his tyrannical regime to end its bloody campaign of violence against its own population.

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Iran uses child-soldiers vastly in Syrian fronts

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Financial Institutions, Regime’s Use of Child Soldiers

Iran uses child-soldiers vastly in Syrian fronts

Child – Soldiers are being used by the Iranian regime on Syria’s war fronts.

Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, recently tweeted about some of the new sanctions targeting the Iranian regime’s financial institutions. In an October 16th tweet from her official State Department account, she wrote:

“U.S. Treasury sanctioned a vast financial network supporting the Iran regime’s despicable practice of using child soldiers —as young as 12. The regime uses Afghan children as the ‘first wave’ in Syria, resulting in higher casualty rates.”

The United States imposed sanctions on a network of financial institutions and companies who do business with or otherwise provide support to the Iranian regime’s paramilitary Basij force, citing gross human rights abuses and criminal acts.

The sanctions, which were imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department, encompass twenty regime banks and companies. According to a report from Agence France-Presse, all of these banks and businesses were sanctioned for their support of the regime’s militias.

A Far-reaching Web

Among the list of sanctioned institutions is Mehr Eqtesad Bank, which used to operate under the name of Gharz-al Hasana Mehr Basijian. Mehr Eqtesad Bank is associated with Bonyad-e Taavon Basij, which translates to Basij Cooperative Foundation. This bank’s ties to the Basij Forces can literally be found in the names of its associates.

Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company also faces sanctions from the U.S. It owns shares in Mobarakeh Steel Company in Esfahan, which is the largest steelmaker in the Middle East and North Africa. The company also owns shares in Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC), which is also a target of the new sanctions.

Mehr Eqtesad may harm other Iranian regime-affiliated companies as well. It owns shares in a number of other companies, including Iralco, Sadra, Jaber Ebne Hayyan Pharmaceutical Company. U.S. sanctions could affect any company associated with an institution that is targeted, meaning that a wide network of Iranian companies will likely face harsh economic penalties for their association with those who are under direct sanctions. Sanctions on Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company are likely to further damage Iran’s already struggling economy.

The U.S. Won’t Fund Recruitment of Child Soldiers

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says that sanctions are necessary to cut off financial support for institutions that fund the Basij in their recruitment of child soldiers.

“The Bonyad Taavon Basij network is an example of how the IRGC and Iranian military forces have expanded their economic involvement in major industries and infiltrated seemingly legitimate businesses to fund terrorism and other malign activities.  This vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction,” Mnuchin explained.

Protests among many sectors of Iranian society have been taking place since last December as dissatisfaction with the corrupt and brutal regime rises. Economic ruin has driven thousands of Iranians into the streets to protest even before sanctions were announced earlier this year with the help of the MEK’s Resistance Units and a growing sense of outrage over the regime’s failure to address human rights, poverty, or foreign meddling, the people are close to reclaiming Iran.

Companies Under Sanction

The following is a list of companies that have been subjected to new sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department:

  • Andisheh Mehvaran Investment Company
  • Bahman Group
  • Bandar Abbas Zinc Production Company
  • Mellat Bank
  • Bonyad Taavon Basij,
  • Calcimine company
  • Isfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company
  • Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC)
  • Iran’s Zinc Mines Development Company (IZMDC)
  • Mehr Eghtesad Bank
  • Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company
  • Negin Sahel Royal Company
  • Parsian Bank
  • Parsian Catalyst Chemical Company
  • Qeshm Zinc Smelting and Reduction Company
  • Sina Bank
  • Tadbirgaran Atiyeh Investment Company
  • Taktar Investment Company
  • Technostar Engineering Company
  • Zanjan Acid Production Company

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Second round of strikes by truck drivers in Iran

The Regime’s End is Near but What Comes After?

Truck Drivers' strike in Iran Continues

Archive Photo: Truck Drivers continue on strike on their 10th day, due to high prices and Iranian regime’s extensive corruption.

The mullahs are staring down the barrel of a revolution, a similar barrel the Shah faced in 1979. A wave of protests, which began with a nationwide uprising in December 2017 and January 2018, has shown no sign of abating.

The most recent truck driver’s protest has run for more than 18 consecutive days, despite vicious threats against the strikers from the regime.

The strike demonstrated the full extent of the regime’s weakened position in power. Not only did the mullahs’ repressive and violent strategies for dealing with the protests fail to curb the dissent, but the truck drivers drew support from the Iranian people, both at home and abroad.

Even Regime Insiders Acknowledge Their Position is Weakening

“The severe downfall in the national currency value and skyrocketing prices for basic necessities indicate that the country is not being governed properly”, said Golamreza Heydari a member of the Iranian regime’s parliament.

Heydari added, “the way the country is running is that all the power is in one place and others are held accountable”.

The international press is reporting water shortages, corruption, a media crackdown, executions, the arrest of political opponents and extensive economic mismanagement from the clerical regime.

Concern from within the regime, a breakdown of effective governance and rising determination to change the status quo from the Iranian people all suggest that the regime’s end is near.

What Comes Next?

The answer to the question of what comes after the fall of the regime lies in the viable alternative to the mullahs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi, have a cohesive ten-point plan to bring democracy and tolerance to Iran.

The MEK grew out of the Iranian people’s resistance to the regime’s human rights violations. It refused to legitimize a ruthless dictatorship shrouded in religious rule.

This steadfast refusal to live under a religious dictatorship made the MEK a beacon for Iran’s youth. The group rapidly expanded and has drawn support from politicians and journalists from across the globe.

For nearly 40 years, the MEK has worked to establish itself as a viable and organized alternative to the arbitrary rule of the clerical regime. It has embraced democratic values of religious tolerance and an independent judiciary, drawing support from human rights groups and supporters of freedom.

One of the strongest indicators that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi represent a very real alternative to the regime is that the regime itself feels threatened by the opposition group.

Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani recently asked, “Who has the best conditions of seeking to overthrow [the regime] and the ability to turn this potential into a reality?” The answer, he said, is “the MEK and this is something that the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has stressed upon repeatedly. So, it is necessary that we identify them, raise awareness about them”.

Furthering the MEK’s Political Goals

The regime perpetuates the idea that in Iran there are only two possible choices. One is to accept their clerical regime at face value, acknowledging its existence and tolerating its violence and dangerous behavior.

The other option, it argues, is a full-scale military conflict (likely involving the assistance or presence of a foreign military in Iran), whereby if the opposition groups win, they can usher in a new period of democracy.

But this is not the reality. The MEK and Maryam Rajavi do not stand for a war with the regime. They do not want to see a further conflict in Iran.

Instead, the MEK has worked tirelessly to explore other ways to further their political goals. Over the last 20 years, Maryam Rajavi and the MEK have spread their message across the world, drawing support from the international community including MPs, former ministers, and military commanders.

Initially, the group worked on reversing the unjustified labeling of the MEK as terrorists, a regime-concocted lie disseminated through its official mouthpieces and backchannels.

The MEK secured its removal from several countries’ blacklists between 2008 and 2012. It is now working with the international community to fight the regime’s support of international terrorism.

It is also one of the loudest voices calling for justice for the families of victims who were executed in the 1988 massacre. In the summer of 1988, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists. Those responsible have never been brought to justice, and several hold senior positions in the regime leadership today.

Despite what the regime touts, there are not merely two options for Iran. A third option exists and is increasingly looking like the most likely outcome.

The third option sees the Iranian people rise up against their oppressors in a wave of protests. This wave of discontent combined with international economic and political sanctions erodes the mullahs’ positions of power and sees their ultimate overthrow.

Then Iran can be free. The MEK will oversee the implementation of democracy and free and fair elections. Only then, when a democratically elected government sits in the office in Tehran, can Iran make strides towards its brighter, better future.

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Khamenei speaks to Basij and IRGC in Tehran

Khamenei’s “Morale-Boosting” Speech Signals End of Regime

Khamenei speaks to Basij and IRGC in Tehran

Khamenei gives a speech to a crowd of Basiji and IRGC thugs in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. Experts consider the speech a show of regime’s fear of the growing discontent among the youth in Iran

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave a fiery speech in Azadi Stadium in Tehran on October 4th. The speech, which focused on Iran’s youth, was addressed to the country’s Basiji forces and was intended to boost their morale. Instead, Khamenei’s words revealed his fear of the growing protest movement that is taking aim at the tyrannical regime he heads and the U.S. sanctions that have crippled Iran’s already struggling economy.

In his speech, Khamenei harshly characterized Iran’s youth as “deviated” and “a problem for the society,” saying that “the true problem is that the country’s youth believe there are no solutions.”

Khamenei’s resentment toward the country’s youth results from the active role young people currently plays in the Resistance Movement. The regime spent the past four decades cultivating a demonization campaign against the MEK, hoping to delegitimize the opposition group and preserve the mullahs’ rule, but Iran’s youth have not fallen for the regime’s propaganda attacks. The rebellious youth of Iran know the MEK through their work to seek justice for the 30,000 political prisoners who were massacred by the regime in 1988, their efforts to end the regime’s current record of human rights atrocities, and their fight to put an end to the mullahs’ corruption and mismanagement of Iran’s wealth. And now, the young people of Iran know the MEK and its Resistance Units as the people who are organizing and leading the uprising that aims to overthrow the mullahs’ regime and restore democracy and freedom to Iran.

Khamenei can no longer deny the power of the youth and the threat they pose to the status quo. He has been forced to acknowledge that young people are playing a defining role in the ongoing uprising that threatens to topple the dictatorship that he controls, and his anger is evident.

Despite the malice Khamenei displayed toward Iran’s youth earlier in his speech, he later claimed that youth are the “driving force” of the regime. He neglected to mention that since the mullahs took power four decades ago, they have executed tens of thousands of these “driving forces.”

In a rare moment of self-awareness, Khamenei did admit that many former supporters of the regime have defected and continue to do so. This was an unusual strategy to employ in a morale-boosting speech, as it appeared to be an acknowledgment that the regime is faltering. He went on to repeat Khomeini’s old line that the regime’s enemy is not the United States but the MEK operating inside Iran. He further warned of active dissidents hiding within Iran.

Khamenei didn’t bother to hide the obvious fact that the regime faces a “treacherous road” and is in desperate need of “intellectual and practical overhaul.” He went so far as to say that those at the top of the regime are “tired, out of steam and lacking any spirit.”

“We have economic problems. We have an economy relying on oil, which itself is a major problem. We also lack a culture of cutting back on consumption,” he added.

The Supreme Leader admitted that U.S. sanctions have crippled Iran and that the country is likely to suffer more as the final wave of sanctions hit on November 8th. His solutions, though, focused mainly on preventing information from reaching the people.

“Our dissidents are using the media to influence public opinion. The media is an important tool and if the enemy gets a hold of it, it is a dangerous tool,” he said.

Khamenei failed to mention that the regime controls thousands of state-run media outlets, while the Resistance only has a few outlets through which to disseminate the truth. The people fight censorship to access these few avenues of truthful information, despite the efforts of the regime to suppress dissent through “networks of social media and other outlets.”

Khamenei told his Basij Forces that they should feel free to “fire at will” toward the end of his speech. These are the words of a desperate man struggling to hold onto the last vestiges of power.

It is worth noting once again that Khamenei’s speech was meant to boost morale. If this is what a morale boost looks like for the forces of the regime, then the people of Iran are very close to freedom.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Iran Protests,l Farmers' Protest,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Retirees' Protests,Teachers Protest in Iran,Workers' Protest

Retirees' Protest in Iran

MEK Network: Retirees, Teachers, Farmers, and Workers Protest Iranian Regime’s Policies as Unrest Grows

Retirees' Protest in Iran

Photo Archive, Retirees’ protest against low pension below the poverty line in Iran

A new sector of Iranian society joined the list of striking and protesting groups on Tuesday, as retirees voiced their dissatisfaction with the mullahs’ regime in the latest round of protests in the uprising that has been ongoing since last December.

Retirees’ Protests

Reports from MEK’s network inside Iran indicate that a crowd of retirees gathered in front of the Program and Budget organization in Tehran on Tuesday morning to protest unfair policies. Protesters from Fars and Kermanshah provinces, among others, are demanding that their salaries be increased above the poverty line to account for inflation, implementation of a coordinated payment system, balanced salaries, and payment of their insurance premiums.

State-run media reported that protesters complained that their salaries cover less than ten days of expenses each month. Regime officials recently acknowledged that retirees have lost two-thirds of their purchasing power in the past few months, though the actual numbers are far lower.

Teachers’ Protests

Earlier this week, teachers across Iran staged their own protests, refusing to go to their classrooms and holding sit-ins. The teachers were protesting low pay, poor benefits, looted trust reserves, the inability to form unions to advocate for their rights, and the failure of the regime to implement agreed-upon plans. Iranian teachers are also angry that their schools are underfunded, leaving their students poorly served. Finally, the teachers expressed outrage that many of their colleagues have been imprisoned for participating in unions or protesting for teachers’ rights.

Students in Karaj, Qom, Qeshm, Ahvaz, and Langroud protested in support of the striking teachers. Students from Allameh University and faculty members from the Social Sciences Department of the University of Tehran protested as well, carrying handmade banners, reading: “Imprisoned teachers must be freed!

“Imprisoned students must be freed!”

“Teacher, worker, student, unity, unity!”

Farmers’ Protests

As protests in other sectors have gained momentum, the farmers of Varzaneh in the province of Isfahan have added their voices to the growing protest movement. The farmers are protesting the loss of their water rights and the corrupt regime policies that have led to the drying of Zayandeh Rood, which has destroyed their ability to sustain their way of life. The farmers have been protesting for several days. They made a banner addressed to regime President Rouhani, which sarcastically read: “Do not do any more to revitalize Zayandeh Rood!”

Workers’ Protests

Workers are also part of the current protests. Hundreds of workers from the municipality of Sushtar gathered in front of the municipality’s building for the second consecutive day to protest. They have not received their salaries or bonuses for several months.

Economic unrest and dissatisfaction with the regime’s corruption and mismanagement have reached a fever pitch in Iran. Protests and strikes grow in strength and number on a daily basis.

Staff Writer

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