Posts Tagged ‘Free Iran Gathering’

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Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attacks

 

Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

The foiled terror plot to bomb Free Iran gathering, attended by over 100,000 supporters of Iran’s main opposition movement, the MEK.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on October 31st, 2018, Matthew Dalton provided an in-depth look at the Iranian regime’s planned terror attack targetting MEK‘s annual gathering in Paris this summer.

The piece, entitled, “Bags of Cash and a Bomb Plot:  Inside a Covert Iranian Operation in Europe”, examines the events that led to the attack’s discovery and what regime mechanisms were involved in coordinating the attack.

A Meeting in Luxembourg

According to Dalton, a meeting took place on the terrace of a Luxembourg café in late June between Amir Saadouni and a gentleman known only to Mr. Saadouni as “Daniel”. Daniel had been Saadouni’s link to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for several years. Daniel had made regular payments to Saadouni for information on a French opposition group that vehemently opposed the clerical regime in Tehran.

From 2014, Saadouni and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, had been monitoring the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). They had attended meetings and reported back to Daniel.

Daniel told Saadouni that the time for gathering intelligence was over. He gave Mr. Saadouni and Nasimeh Naam, the explosive material with the instructions to detonate the device at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering at the end of June.

The event, which took place on June 30th, attracts more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian opposition every year. Nations from around the world also send delegations which often include senior politicians and human rights activist.

At the 2018 event, Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, were among those in the American delegation.

Foiling a Terror Attack Against MEK’s Gathering in Paris

However, Saadouni and Daniel were not alone on the terrace in Luxembourg. Acting on a tip by the Israeli intelligence agency, European secret security officials were watching the exchange.

Shortly after Saadouni and Naami set off for Paris with the explosives, the Belgian authorities moved in and detained the couple. The explosives Daniel had given them amounted to 500g of TATP, a powerful explosive that would have caused significant loss of life.

Simultaneously, German officials apprehended “Daniel” a few miles from the Austrian border. Daniel’s real name turned out to be Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, Austria.

The MEK has since discovered that Assadi is an explosives expert with ties to the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran (MOIS). He had a long history of planning and facilitating terrorist attacks in Iraq and was responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe from his position in Austria.

The plot was disrupted at an integral moment. If Assadi had crossed the Austrian border, he would have been protected by diplomatic immunity and would have escaped back to Iran.

The Political Fallout

In his article, Dalton discusses the political fallout of the foiled attack. The attack came just one month after US President Donal Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. The French President, along with other European heads of state, were frantically trying to save the deal from collapse.

The revelations about Assadi, and his connections to the upper leadership of the clerical regime in Iran, have undermined Macron and the other leader’s efforts to salvage the deal.

Although the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, denied the regime’s involvement, the strong ties linking Assadi to the regime leadership make it inconceivable that the upper echelons of the regime had not given the attack the green-light.

The MEK obtained information that suggested Assadi reported to Reza Amiri Moghadam, a senior official in the MOIS and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On November 5th, the latest round of US sanctions will take effect, aimed at crippling Iranian regime’s oil exports and adding further strain to an already crumbling economy. European companies will be forced to choose between keeping their ties to Iranian markets and forgoing their US business ties or severing their Iranian ties to save their US interests. Given the size of the US economy, it is unlikely many companies will elect to maintain their ties to Tehran.

Macron, as well as Merkel and May, are all under intense pressure from the Trump administration to fall in line and support US sanctions. Until now, they have remained reluctant to do so.

A Danish Affair

As Europe grapples with the decision of how to proceed regarding Iran, with the nuclear deal in tatters and ferocious economic sanctions just around the corner, the Iranian regime planned another attack on European soil.

On Tuesday, the Danish intelligence agency announced that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident on Danish soil.

The foiled assassination attempt represents the third foiled attack on European soil in less than 12 months (the first was a thwarted plot to attack the MEK’s Persian New Year celebrations in Albania).

This has prompted officials and analysts to raise concerns over Iran’s increasing willingness to engage in violent and clandestine operations in Europe. Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a US think tank, and former CIA official, told the Wall Street Journal “they feel the constraints on them have been removed”.

If Riedel is right, terror attacks like those Europe has thwarted over the summer are likely to become a regular fixture in the future.

The French and Danish governments have both criticized the Iranian regime for its involvement in the respective attacks. The governments of Europe should come together and coordinate a clear and powerful response to these dangerous attacks. The European heads of state must show the regime that violence and aggression on European soil will not be tolerated.

Without a tougher stance, the regime will continue to show contempt for international laws and hunt its political enemies across the European continent, much to the danger and peril of European citizens and the MEK alike. Now, in the immediate aftermath of the Danish plot, is the time to take a stand. Europe cannot afford to show weakness or vulnerability in the face of a regime as violent and aggressive as Khamenei and Rouhani’s.

Staff Writer

 

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Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking at MEK's Rally in Paris

Rudy Giuliani: The World has “an Obligation to Listen to What the Iranian People Have Been Saying”

Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking at MEK's Rally in Paris

Mayer Rudy Giuliani speaking at Free Iran rally in Paris, where over 100,000 supporters of MEK gathered to call for regime change in Iran

On Sunday, October 28th, former mayor of New York and lawyer within the Trump administration, Rudy Giuliani, published an op-ed piece on Townhall. The piece, titled ‘Tehran Recognises Iran Opposition as the Alternative; So Should We’, lent its support to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and highlighted their strong standing as a viable alternative to the clerical regime in Iran.

Giuliani started his piece by describing what an “honor” it was to address the Iranian opposition in the United States at a recent protest in New York. Giuliani reiterated that the international community has “an obligation to listen to what the Iranian people have been saying”.

What Is the Iranian Public Saying?

Over the last nine months, the Iranian people have made their feelings clear. A wave of protests has swept over Iran. People have marched in the streets across Iranian cities, many chanting anti-regime slogans like “death to Khamenei”, and “death to Rouhani”.

Giuliani expressed his solidarity with the protesting Iranian public. He described himself as “one of a large bipartisan group of former governors, mayors, military leaders, senior administration officials and members of Congress, who agree on one critical foreign policy, as the Iranian people do: Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy”.

As part of his desire to bring freedom and democracy to Iran, Giuliani has strongly supported the largest and best-organized opposition group; the MEK.

Bringing Change to Iran

Giuliani explained his support in terms of organization. He said, “fundamental change in Iran requires organization, leadership, a platform, endurance, competence, and sacrifice”. In Giuliani’s eyes, the only group that possesses all of these qualities is the MEK.

He said, “the one leader that Tehran fears the most is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the broader coalition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which includes the MEK as a member”.

The group’s effectiveness and the threat it poses to the regime is apparent in the regime’s attempts to attack its members. This year, two terror attacks against the group were foiled in the last stages of their execution. The second plot aimed to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris, an event Giuliani himself attended.

Iranian spies have been detected operating in Belgium, France, Germany, Albania, and the United States. Each time, the object of the covert espionage activities has been the MEK and its members.

Giuliani spoke about two regime agents detained in New York last year. They were arrested at a rally held by the Iranian opposition with a “target package” and detailed instructions on capture and kill operations.

“New York has seen enough terrorism for several lifetimes; this must not stand”, Giuliani said. “Moreover”, he continued, “we can only conclude from an operation so brash that the regime in Iran feels threatened by all that is going wrong. They consider the MEK to be an existential threat”.

Addressing MEK’s Detractors

Giuliani also addressed the MEK’s detractors and critics who say that the organization is not widely supported by Iranians and does not have sufficient popularity within Iran.

Giuliani asked, “why would the regime be so methodical in imprisoning, torturing and killing MEK supporters in Iran as well as targeting its senior officials in Paris and New York if it didn’t feel threatened by it?”

The Regime’s End is Near

The former mayor of New York concluded his op-ed on an optimistic note. He predicted that the Iranian regime “will be overthrown. It is a question of when not if”.

He cited the Iranian people’s determination and will to protest in the streets, coupled with economic sanctions, like those introduced by the Trump administration, as the factors that will bring about the mullahs’ downfall.

“Iranians are demanding a democratic republic. Under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi and the movement of dedicated dissidents that she has established inside Iran and across the Western World, there is a strong and viable alternative that can make that happen”, Giuliani concluded.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Free Iran Rally in Villepint Paris.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

Free Iran Rally in Villepint Paris.

The Free Iran rally, where over 100,000 supporters of MEK gathered on June 30, 2018, to pledge support for the democratic alternative to the Iranian regime (the National Council of Resistance of Iran-NCRI). The Iranian regime had planned to bomb the gathering, but several of the Iranian regime operatives were arrested including one of its diplomats, Assadollah Assadi.

In a retaliatory gesture, the French authorities seized assets owned by the Iranian regime on French soil. On Tuesday, October 3rd, the French government confirmed that it had frozen accounts and funds owned by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, along with two other Iranian citizens.

The seizure was an act of retaliation. The Iranian regime attempted to carry out a terror attack in Paris in June 2018, at the Iranian opposition’s annual Grand Gathering. The event brings together members of the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

“Intolerable Activities”

A joint statement from the French government reinforced France’s commitment to fighting terrorism. It called the seizures, “preventative, targeted and proportionate”, asserting that the foiled terror attack, “could not go without a response”.

The French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire echoed his colleagues’ comments. He said, “we must dry up the channels of financing of terrorists to end their intolerable activities”.

The Iranian Leadership Were Involved

A senior official within the French government told reporters that Paris was certain that the Iranian regime orchestrated the terror attack. The official hinted that it may have come from religious hardliners in an attempt to undermine Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

A report revealed by the MEK and NCRI earlier this year indicated that senior members of the regime leadership were involved in the attack’s planning and execution.

One of the two Iranians whose assets have been frozen is Assadollah Assadi. Assadi was an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna. He was arrested in Germany for his involvement in the planned Paris attack. Assadi allegedly provided the explosives to be used in the attack.

According to the MEK, Assadi provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with an explosive matter, as well as detailed plans of how the attack was to be carried out. The couple was late apprehended by Belgian authorities. Assadi has been extradited to Belgium where he is expected to face trial.

The other Iranian affected by the asset seizures was Saeid Hashemi Moghdam. His involvement in the plot is still unclear.

Strained Paris-Tehran Relations

The timing is significant for French-Iranian relations. Hassan Rouhani, Iranian regime’s President, recently made a trip to Europe in an attempt to persuade the European heads of state to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

At last week’s UN General Assembly in New York, French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held talks with their counterparts in the Iranian regime. They reportedly sought answers over the thwarted Paris attack.

Aside from the asset seizures, Paris has suspended its nomination of a new ambassador to Iran. It has also refused to respond to Tehran’s nomination for diplomats in France.

These moves could be an indication of a changing tide in Europe.

Staff Writer

 

 

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The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Regime FM Says MEK Gathering is Hostile Measure

The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Over a 100,000 supporters of MEK, gathered in Paris, during the Iranian opposition annual gathering in Paris- June 30, 2018

On Sunday, regime Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was once again summoned to Majlis (Parliament) to answer questions about his visit to France in June, which coincided with the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) annual gathering in Paris. Zarif was called to Majlis two months ago to answer similar questions, but members of parliament were not satisfied with his answers, so he was called back for further questioning, amidst rising internal tensions within the Iranian regime.

 

Zarif struggled to justify his visit to Europe during the questioning, using the regime’s old tactic of blaming the MEK for daring to hold a rally in Paris in the first place. Zarif even called the gathering an act of terrorism, which is an astounding feat of illogic, considering that an Iranian regime diplomat was arrested and charged with plotting a terrorist attack on the very same gathering in Paris that Zarif decried. In fact, Zarif would not be in trouble with parliament were it not for the ensuing public outcry.

 

Najafi Khoshrudi, the spokesman of the Majlis (regime’s Parliament) National Security & Foreign Policy Committee, asked Zarif:

“Why do you visit France, without an intelligence and security analysis, coinciding with the annual session held by the [PMOI/MEK] and enemies of the Islamic republic? They don’t allow [the Iranian regime’s state-run TV/radio] IRIB network and you fail to protest?”

Zarif responded to this question by saying “ we cannot stop our diplomatic efforts,” and that “we made it clear in public and private sessions with French officials.” He also claimed that the MEK is not important enough for the Foreign Ministry to consider it when scheduling its activities.

 

Karimi Ghodusi pressed Zarif on his answers, saying that the question is of national interest. Zarif while unwillingly admitting the regime’s fear from its main opposition, revealed the continuous attempts to prevent the activities of the MEK, and responded:

“Unfortunately, the [PMOI/MEK] have been holding their session each year in Paris ever since they were delisted from the terrorist organization list. We consider this event as a hostile measure by Western countries against the Islamic republic and we consider this as an unacceptable measure in support of terrorism. We have always made this position clear with the French government, including in a phone call that I had yesterday with the French Foreign Minister.”

 

Ghodusi pressed further, illuminating the discord currently unfolding within the regime as regime leaders struggle to deal with both foreign and domestic crises. Ghodusi said:
“The Islamic republic allocates a budget and we have an embassy in France. The ambassador should provide you an analysis to come two days later, two days earlier, or even return, to not coincide with this session held by the ‘hooligans’ with assistance provided by France. You didn’t even issue a formal complaint. When did I say stop your diplomatic efforts? Why do you raise such allegations against me? I never believe in such things. The coinciding nature of your visit raises questions. It happened yet again and the French government had their Foreign Minister give an interview yesterday, saying Iran cannot expect to engage with us without accepting negotiations over its missiles and its role in the region. This is not acceptable.”

Putting its “moderate” musk aside, Zarif responded by stating that he was following orders from Khamenei – regime’s Supreme Leader. “I emphasize that we all act based on orders provided by the Supreme Leader and the framework specified by the Supreme Leader. It is my honor that the Supreme Leader in his speech on Wednesday, aired completely by the IRIB, kindly described me as a small soldier, which is far more than what I deserve, and I will always be in debt to his kindness,” said Zarif.

 

The regime’s attempts to pass the blame over its foiled terrorist plot continue and infighting caused by the scandal has revealed the growing cracks in the facade of the regime’s leadership.

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Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich addressing Free Iran Rally-2018

Giuliani Issues Statement in Wake of Failed Terrorist Attack on NCRI Gathering

Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich addressing Free Iran Rally-2018

Mayer Giuliani and House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaking at Free Iran Rally- june 30, 2018

On Saturday, the day of the rally, a couple was arrested by Belgian authorities with explosives and a detonator, which they were planning to use to bomb the NCRI gathering in Villepinte, outside of Paris. The couple had Belgian citizenship and claimed to be supporters of the MEK. According to the Belgian VTM news, as cited on the NCRI’s website, those explosives, if combined with a nail bomb, could have caused hundreds of casualties.

An Iranian diplomat from the regime’s Austrian Embassy in Vienna was also arrested in connection with the planned terrorist attack. According to the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office, he was arrested in Germany as a contact person to the terrorists.

On July 2nd, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a statement about the attempted terrorist attack and the subsequent arrests. His statement read:

“All the participants at the “Free Iran 2018 – The Alternative” rally in Paris on June 30, appreciate and admire the fine work of law enforcement particularly in Belgium and France in arresting the terrorists who, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s office, were planning an attack on the gathering supporting freedom from the theocratic oppressive regime in Iran.

“This accentuates the growing sense that the regime that is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world is increasingly weakened by constant large demonstrations in over 140 cities. It is also becoming apparent that Madam Maryam Rajavi and the NCRI pose a realistic alternative to this homicidal regime. Nothing could be worse for these misogynists than a movement seen as replacing them headed by a heroic woman.”

Giuliani was also present and spoke at the annual Grand Gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on June 30th, where he gave an impassioned speech in support of the Iranian Resistance movement, which includes the MEK. In his speech, Giuliani said, “Freedom is around the corner” for the Iranian people.

Rudolph Giuliani has been one of the biggest supporters of the Iranian Resistance Movement and the NCRI and MEK, and has spoken at several past Grand Gatherings. His statement underlies the growing acknowledgment of the international community that the Iranian regime has weakened under the pressure of the Resistance Movement, as well as the reinstatement of sanctions due to the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA.

 

Newt Gingrich who was one of the key speakers at the NCRI gathering also expressed his concerns in a tweet, emphasizing on the fact that the cowardish plot “shows how frightened the dictatorship is of the free Iran movement”.

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, voiced similar sentiments, in his speech at the gathering, acknowledging the regime’s weakness and calling for an end to the policy of appeasement. In his speech, he also urged the resistance, which includes the MEK, to strike now to bring down the regime, and encouraged the international community to support the Iranian people by writing their elected leader and tweeting support of the ongoing protests in Iran.

With regard to encouraging European countries to reimpose sanctions on the regime, he said:

“We need to make clear that whatever money they are making out of the dictatorship is a terrible price to pay for the people for their betraying in every single town in Iran. We need to insist that they join the sanctions once again.”

Staff Writer

 

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The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Youth Vow to Make a Free Iran Possible At NCRI Gathering

The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Over a 100,000 supporters of MEK, gathered in Villepinte-Paris, to voice support for Iran’s main opposition, and a free Iran- June 30, 2018

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, tens of thousands of supporters of MEK, the Iranian opposition gathered in Paris for the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) annual gathering, this year entitled “Free Iran: The Alternative.

The three-day event was marked by panel discussions about the weakness of the regime and the growing opposition movement, speeches by political figures, government officials, and dignitaries from all over the world, and a keynote address from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI.

The unifying message from all of these speakers, who ranged from across the political spectrum, was one of hope for a free Iran and support for the NCRI and the MEK.

Maryam Rajavi addressing Free Iran 2018 grand gathering in Paris-June 2018

The Iranian opposition President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, addresses over 100,000 supporters during the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris-2018

The event also featured videos, celebrations of the cultural history and heritage of the Iranian people, examples of how the resistance is working inside Iran, and delegations of supporters of the resistance movement. Many members of the MEK were in attendance.

Early in the day, a video was shown from the perspective of a political prisoner facing execution during the 1988 massacre of political dissidents in Iran. In the summer of 1988, 30,000 Iranians, most of them members of the MEK, were executed by the regime. The video, shot from the perspective of one of these prisoners, counted down the minutes until execution.

The Iranian flag played a large role in the day’s events as well, with delegates waving the true Iranian flag, which features the lion and the sun. The regime changed the flag’s center when it took power, but the resistance continues to recognize the traditional flag as the legitimate flag of Iran.

Among the most inspiring of Saturday’s events was the delegation of youth who have recently fled Iran. These youth were represented by a young woman who spoke passionately of the commitment of the youth of Iran to the cause of freedom. Her words were stirring:

“We promise that we will continue our fight to make a free Iran possible,” she vowed.

“We are the centers of the resistance in Iran.” She continued, “The light of freedom will soon shine in the sun of Iran.”

As she spoke, the rest of the delegation solemnly stood behind her holding signs. A small child stood with the youth holding a red flower.

The young speaker took a moment to adjust her veil, but when she continued, her voice was strong.

“I will now ask everyone to stand up, close your fists, say that you are the voices of our friends in Iran. You are the voices of our political prisoners, and hold our flag, and be part of this international campaign, and to condemn the suffering of those in the land of the sun and the lion. To say that we will continue to fight, that we will sacrifice, that we will reclaim Iran and free Iran.”

Mrs. Rajavi has praised the young people who are currently protesting in Iran and urged them to continue their fight.

Delegations from France, Albania, Yemen, Canada, the United States, San Marino, and Arabs opposed to the regime were among those who took the stage during the convention.

The delegation from the United Kingdom was large and comprised MPs from both houses and several political parties.

A number of notable political figures from the United States from both parties gave speeches as well, including Bill Richardson, Rudolph Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Louis Freeh.

Staff Writer

 

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MEPs support for Iran Freedom.

More MEPs Voice Support for Free Iran Rally

MEPs support for Iran Freedom.

MEPs express support for the #FreeIran2018 gathering in support of Iran’s main democratic opposition.

As the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition grows near, a growing number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and other governmental entities have expressed their support for the event and the opposition movement, of which the MEK is the largest and most well-organized group.

 

The two most recent MEPs to express solidarity with the Free Iran rally and the Iranian opposition movement are Emma McClarkin and Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea.

Emma McClarkin is from the U.K. and was first elected to European Parliament in 2009. In 2014, she was re-elected to represent the East Midlands as one of its two Conservative MEPs. In her statement of support for the gathering she said:

 

“The people of Iran want real change from the protests in January. We have seen that you want an end to oppression, that you want freedom and democracy to come to Iran and an end of the oppression by the regime and their security forces.

 

“On the 30th of June, I’m delighted that the Iranian community will be meeting in Paris. The freedom of expression that you experienced there hopefully will inspire you to express those very real wishes that you have for real change in Iran. We in the European Parliament will be participating. We’ll be watching. We will be listening and we will always be supporting a free Iran.”

Spanish MEP Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea also recently expressed her support for the Free Iran rally. Ms. Basterrechea is a liberal-democratic writer and politician from Madrid. She is the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and is a member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

 

In her statement of solidarity for the Free Iran event, she said the following:

 

“I am particularly encouraged by the role women play in leading many of these protests. I think Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of NCRI, whom I have met several times, is a role model for many women who want to stand up for their rights in Iran.

 

“From all indications, we can see that after four decades of brutal and anti-women rule of the mullahs, change is about to come to Iran. The people of Iran have said it clearly: We don’t want to be ruled by these fanatics who have ruined the country in all these years!

“I, therefore, believe that the Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition that will be held in Paris on 30 June can be a turning point towards a democratic change in Iran. So, I urge everyone to come to the rally to join voices in support of a free Iran.”

This year’s gathering is titled “Free Iran: The Alternative” and will he held on June 30th in Paris. The MEK will help lead the discussion on the future of Iran and the need for regime change. More information about the Free Iran rally may be found here.

Staff Writer

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Annual gathering of Iran opposition (NCRI)

Voices from the Iranian regime are fearful of the upcoming Grand Gathering in Paris

Annual gathering of Iran opposition (NCRI)

Archive- The annual gathering of Iran’s main opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran-Paris, July 2017

As the mullahs grapple with the wave of protests that has engulfed Iran and threatened to topple their tyrannical regime, the Iranian opposition is busy making arrangements for their annual conference that will take place at the end of the month.

On June 30th, People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters will gather in Paris. It is one of the most significant events of the year for the Iranian opposition movement, bringing together opposition supporters from across the globe.

There are signs that the gathering is worrying the clerical regime. The regime’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman told the national press that Rouhani held talks with the French government in an attempt to get them to cancel the event. The spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi threatened France, stating “those who give a permit to such gatherings are wrong”, ominously adding, “they themselves will be affected by the consequences as well”.

Ghasemi was not alone in his criticism of the French government. Regime’s National Security Commission Spokesman, Naghavi Hosseini also condemned the French decision to allow the gathering to go ahead. He suggested it was a policy which would put the French government in confrontation with the Iranian regime. Hosseini added, “the MEK is going to harm Iran-European relationships”. Hosseini said that Iran would have to re-evaluate its European policy should the gathering go ahead.

The Parliamentary Research Centre and the Iran-Europe Parliamentary Relationships Group have also written letters to their French counterparts that indicate their fear of Iran opposition’s activities even outside Iran. The letters warn the French authorities of the NCRI’s “hostile moves in France”. They also express anger at the European Union’s decision to remove the MEK from its terror list in 2009.

The chairman of the regime’s Parliamentary Research Centre, Kazem Jalali, accused the MEK of creating a “rift” between France and Iran. His comments were echoed by Mohammadjavad Larijani, the regime’s judiciary International Deputy. He told a State TV program that the regime had expressed its disapproval to the Europeans over their permission of other recent NCRI and MEK events. He also questioned the role the US would have in the gathering.

The comments are one of the strongest indications yet that the MEK’s activities pose a real threat to the existence of the mullahs’ regime. With the parliament, the judiciary, and senior officials of the regime all speaking out against the Paris gathering, the mullahs evidently feel threatened by increasing domestic and international support for the opposition movement.

They are right to fear the protest. It will inspire domestic demonstrations across Iran as the Iranian public see that the international community is ready to support them. The NCRI’s status as a democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime will receive international attention, as will the NCRI’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi.

The Grand Gathering in Paris will add to the growing chorus of voices calling for regime change in Iran. The mullahs should be nervous. Their days are numbered.

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Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

MEK –  People of Iran Are Deprived of Freedom in all Areas of Life

Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

Iranians in Europe and America, will gather in Paris this June to show support for Iran Protests

In Iran, the concept of freedom does not exist. The regime has imposed its standards of behavior, preventing the exercise of free will or choice among its people, stifling their ability to live in freedom.

The Iranian regime is particularly repressive with respect to religious expression. Laws and regulations in Iran are based on an extremist interpretation of Islam and Sharia law. The people of Iran are forced to conform to extremism, not secular law. Iranian law says that any non-Muslim who encourages a Muslim to convert to another religion should be sentenced to death. This effectively makes the free expression of religion punishable by death.

Iran, which is responsible for fully half of the world’s executions, unfairly uses the death penalty to punish non-Muslims in other situations as well. If a victim of a crime is a Muslim, but the perpetrator is not, the perpetrator may be sentenced to death.

The Iranian regime controls its citizens by preventing them from choosing their religion. Muslims in Iran are prohibited from converting to other religions or from renouncing Islam. Anyone who is born into a Muslim community in Iran must remain a Muslim forever. The right to choose one’s faith is nonexistent.

Many members of religious minorities in Iran have been imprisoned for their beliefs. Charges against these people have ranged from “corruption on earth” to “insulting Islam.”

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the largest member, has long stood in opposition to the regime’s treatment of religious minorities and sought to draw attention to their plight. The NCRI and MEK have also sought to clarify that the regime’s interpretation of the  Islamic faith runs counter to the true values of peace and sharing promoted by religion.

The idea that anyone would be prohibited from choosing and following their own spiritual path seems bizarre and abhorrent to those living in a free society, but this is a fact of life in Iran. Freedom of religion is absent in a country where women are not permitted to attend sporting events and are forced to abide by a rigid dress code. Freedom does not exist in a country where minorities are persecuted and those who dare to protest against the regime are shot in the streets.

The clerical regime who rules Iran uses these restrictions to suppress and control the people and maintain its power. These restrictions fly in the face of basic human rights, but despite the pleas of human rights activists, nothing has changed.

The annual Free Iran rally in Paris on June 30th will provide an opportunity for the NCRI to discuss ways to use the resistance movement to help the Iranian people achieve freedom. The rally will affirm the support of the NCRI and MEK for the people of Iran in their desire for regime change.

In the absence of any capacity for reform in the velayat-e-Faqih(the rule of the divine over an entire nation)’s dictatorship, the people of Iran have made it clear that regime change is the only path forward. The regime has systematically oppressed its people for four decades and shows no signs of stopping. The pattern of corruption, brutality, exportation of terrorism, and suppression is beyond reform. The MEK stands firmly behind the people of Iran in their quest for regime change.

Staff Writer

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Free Iran 2018,Free Iran Gathering,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Regime Change

FreeIran Gatheing in Paris.

#FreeIran2018 an Occasion for the World Leaders to Stand with the Iranian People for Freedom

FreeIran Gatheing in Paris.

A young man raise the flag of Iran’s opposition, during a rally in Brussels protesting Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister visit to Brussel.

On June 10th, the Kansas City Star published a commentary piece by Saeid Sajadi. The article, entitled “Real hope for democracy in Iran, but the U.S should help”, called on the Trump administration of offer a message of support to annual gathering of the Iranians in Paris, the Free Iran-2018.

Saeid Sajadi began by exploring the effect regime change in Iran would have on the wider Middle East. He called the Iranian regime, “the most destructive force affecting the stability, safety and security in the region and beyond”.

Regime Change is Within the People’s Grasp

The uprisings which took place at the tail end of 2017 “shook the foundation of the regime”, Sajadi said. Rather than isolated demographic groups protesting their individual grievances, the uprisings united people from all walks of Iranian society. The poor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the urban middle class and wealthy merchants.

This was a landmark moment for the regime. It had long relied on the unfettered support of the nation’s lower classes. Slogans like “death to the dictator”, and “the game is now over”, will have shaken the mullahs’ confidence.

The rapid spread of civil unrest, which reached 140 cities over the span of a few days, shows two things, according to Sajadi. Firstly, it demonstrates the extent that Iranian society has been harbouring a desire for regime change. The eagerness with which people took to the streets, risking both their lives and freedom, indicates that many held deep-rooted mistrust towards the regime.

The Effectiveness of the MEK

The second is the strength of the MEK’s networks. Sajadi said the scale of the revolts indicates how “deeply the hidden and effective network of the main Iranian opposition force- PMOI, or the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran [MEK]- is rooted throughout Iran”.

What is incredible, is that the group has survived a perpetual attack on its existence by the Iranian government. Sajadi cites the massacre of 1988 when the government executed 30,000 MEK members in a single summer. Yet the group is not only still active but thriving and threatening the mullahs’ grip on power.

As President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, predicted, 2018 has so far been a “year of uprising”. Nationwide-strikes have crippled the logistics sector. Other sectors like education, metalworks, taxi drivers, shop owners, and students have also organised protests and strikes against the regime.

The role of the US

Unable to avoid the will of the Iranian people, the US is beginning to change its stance towards the clerical regime in Iran. On May 21st, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, outlined 12 areas in which the regime needed to adjust its behaviour. The demands were explicitly designed to minimise Iran’s influence as a disrupting force in the Middle East.

These demands, although intended to limit Iranian power and influence, also provide support to the Iranian public. However, Sajadi argues the US should go further. With Iranians risking their lives in Iran to show the world that they want regime change, the U.S. has the opportunity to support real change in Iran. Lending its support to the Iranian people, in concrete terms, is in the interests of American people, Sajadi says.

He even provides an opportunity for the US to do so. On the 30th of June, there will be an international gathering of NCRI supporters in Paris. Many Iranians living in exile, and Iranian-Americans are set to attend. Sajadi calls on President Trump to offer a message of support at this, or another event organised by the Iranian opposition, to provide solidarity to the Iranian people on their quest for regime change.

 

 

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