Posts Tagged ‘Iran Protests’

Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI

Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

Iranian Regime Shows Signs Concern Over Nationwide Protests

Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

Iran MEK: Kazerun Protests Continue Despite Heavy Security Measures

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

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

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

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

A Nationwide Movement

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

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

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

 

A Regime in Crisis

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

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

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

The mullahs ship will sink in the storms of dissent.

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Iran's security forces suppressing the peaceful protests in Iran

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

Iran's security forces suppressing the peaceful protests in Iran

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Demonstrations in Mashhad, Iran- December 2017

History of Iranian Uprising since December 2017

Demonstrations in Mashhad, Iran- December 2017

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

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

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

Phase One

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

Phase Two

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

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

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

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

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

Phase Three

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

 

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

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

Characteristics of the Current Uprising

 

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

 

The Iran student protests of 1999:

 

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

 

 

The 2009 Iranian election protests:

 

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

 

2017-present uprisings:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Staff Writer

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

Protests in Tehran’s Bazaar Enter Second Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff Writer

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Large demonstration at Azadi Stadium against the Iranian regime.

Soccer Match Turns into Protest against Regime

Large demonstration at Azadi Stadium against the Iranian regime.

The Iranian youth turn the soccer match in to a large demonstration against the regime, chanting “death to the dictator”

A soccer match between Tehran and Tabriz clubs at Azadi Stadium erupted into protest on Friday, August 10th, when fans began chanting, “Death to the dictator!” The chants soon spread across the stadium, despite the heavy security presence stationed in and around the stadium.

Prior to the game, the regime attempted to prevent a possible protest by stationing Basiji forces, Revolutionary Guards, anti-riot police, and plainclothes agents amongst the crowd. The regime has continued to step up its efforts at suppression as the protest movement has spread since July 31st, but bringing anti-riot police into the stadium was an unprecedented move,

Despite these measures, the youth in the stands broke down obstacles that had been placed in the stadium stands and began the chants. The crowds also chanted, “Security Force, shame on you, savage, savage!”  and “Everywhere in Iran is my homeland; long live Azerbaijan!” The chants spread throughout the stadium. Outside of the stadium, young people who were not allowed to enter clashed with security forces.

The MEK network inside Iran was able to obtain video of fans in the stadium chanting during the game. Another video was shared on social media of the regime’s response to the protest.

The regime’s response to the protest was quick and brutal. Repressive forces attacked the protesters and punished them for speaking against the regime. The MEK network reported that one young man was beaten bloody by a man in an army uniform.

The protest did not end after the match. Protesters left the stadium and went to Azadi Square (Freedom Square), where they continued their protest. They were confronted there by anti-riot police and plainclothes police officers, who rushed the crowd with motorcycles. A number of protesters were injured and battered in the attacks.

There were reports of another protest during a soccer match in the Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium in Isfahan. Youth there began chanting “Death to the dictator!” and other anti-regime slogans during a match in protest of the regime’s meddling in the region.

The protests on Friday are the latest in a series of nationwide protests across Iran that began on July 31st in response to the most recent plunge of the rial. Calls for regime change have been widespread amongst Iranians from all walks of life. The response from the regime has been brutal, with violent acts of suppression taking place in cities across Iran. Acts of defiance by the people of Iran have been persistent though, which has led to the continuance of the uprising despite the crackdown.

Staff Writer

 

 

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MEK's popularity in Iran

Regime Experts Admit MEK’s Major Role in Recent Protests

MEK's popularity in Iran

A recent Infographic distributed over the internet, challenging the Iranian regime’s misinformation about the lack of popularity for MEK (the principal opposition to the regime) in Iran

While for years the Iranian dictatorship and its lobbies had denied MEK’s major support at home, and by running smear campaigns had tried to misinform the International audience from the popularity of the main opposition among Iranians inside and outside the country, the recent positions by various high officials prove differently.

A series of protests have spread throughout Iran’s cities since July 31st, in response to the terrible economic situation and the spread of poverty across Iran, the mismanagement of water and electricity and carelessness of the regime towards bare necessities of Iranians while spending billions to prop up the dictatorship in Syria. People from all walks of life have taken to the streets to protest the regime’s failed economic policies. Though the protests were sparked by economic unrest due to the latest plunge in the rial’s value and resulting increase in costs, outrage among the protesters soon turned to the regime and its leadership, particularly the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Chants of “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to Khamenei!” were heard in Isfahan, Karaj, Tehran, and other cities and towns across Iran. The role of MEK during these demonstrations has been essential in mobilizing and expanding the anti-regime protests.

The following are some of the quotes that have been made by regime officials and “experts” over the past few weeks as protests have ramped up to the current widespread uprising.

On July 3, 2018, Hassan Rouzi-Talab gave an interview to Vatan-e-Emrooz State Daily. Rouzi-Talab is an IRGC expert on the MEK. He made the following statements in the interview, admitting MEK’s widespread support in the social media :

“The MEK has been on top of the social media scene from the start. They attract political activists in the streets and ordinary people and convince them to be MEK resources.” He went on to talk more about the MEK’s role in social media.

“More than 70% of calls to protest and video coming out of the protests… are related to MEK channels. Massoud Rajavi [one of the founders of the MEK] has issued five statements about the protests and clashes since December which is really unprecedented in recent years.”

He also acknowledged that the MEK organized the protests. “MEK forces have divvied up the cities among themselves and organized protest veterans in the streets into Telegram groups in a process that has taken several years. For example, in one small town, there are over 5,000 members in various groups who have the means to coordinate a place and time for gatherings there.

Rouzi-Talab revealed the MEK’s support at home by admitting their slogans and calls being popularly chanted by the people. “Their behavior and slogans are all related to the MEK… Direct calls for overthrow, it was heard everywhere (in all cities) and was repeated frequently.”
On July 14, 2018, IRGC Brigadier General Jalali, Commander of the regime’s “Passive Defense Organization” gave an interview to the Tasnim State News Agency. He credited the MEK as the basis of the resistance movement. In this interview, he said, “We are at a very critical point in the history of our revolution… The striking issue is that all counter-revolutionaries [activities] are designed on the basis of the MEK.”

On July 21, 2018, Ali Rabiei, the regime’s Labor Minister, spoke about the MEK’s role in Iran’s labor movements. He was quoted as saying:

“Today our enemies, particularly the MEK, are targeting the labor issues in the country, something that was very apparent in the issue of the truckers… Various networks were activated to transform this demand as a protest by the MEK in the shortest possible time…”

On July 25, 2015, Mohamad Khan Boluki, Managing Director of the regime’s Transportation Union, also claimed that the MEK was responsible for the labor movement. “The majority of the people that guided the truckers’ gatherings to insurrection were from the MEK who had infiltrated this social sector,” he said.

On August 1, 2018, immediately after the renewed set of protests began, Reza Hosseini, consultant to Soft Wars HQ of the Armed Forces gave an interview with Fars News Agency in which he discussed the MEK’s increased visibility in Iran. He said, “We have to pay attention to what the MEK did in the 1980s to understand how they have resurfaced again and have advanced to the forefront and leadership stage in some sectors.”
He went on to say, “Sometimes it is said that these guys (MEK) have been killed off and don’t mention them anymore!… As an expert, I will tell you that anyone who says the MEK is dead either has a bad motive or is ignorant.”Hosseini added, “The MEK are creating waves today. They have entered into various social strata like the truckers and bazaar owners and provide them with direction.”
 
Hosseini concluded by stating the importance that the regime places on the MEK and its influence on the people of Iran: “Right now they have influence in the universities, particularly in provincial capitals. That is why we sometimes hear discourses in university settings that are the MEK’s narrative.”

On August 2, 2018, as protests picked up steam, Ahmad Salek, a member of Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament), affiliated with the pro-Khamenei faction, spoke to Tasnim News Agency-Mullah about recent protests by workers in Isfahan: “The slogans that were chanted in the demonstration were directed by the MEK through foreign news channels.”

The running thread through all of the statements made by regime officials and experts is that the MEK – the powerful force in the Iranian resistance – is driving the protests and social upheaval taking place in the country. The regime is wrong to place the blame for the uprising at the feet of the MEK: the regime is responsible for the uprising through its corruption, cruelty, and mismanagement, and the people are rising up of their own accord. But the longstanding argument of the regime has been that the MEK is a weak organization that has no standing or power within Iran. Now that the people have risen up, it has been forced to adopt a new narrative and has contradicted itself. The MEK cannot be both a toothless organization with no internal support and a well-organized resistance that is responsible for a massive uprising and its slogans demanding freedom and democracy through regime change in Iran “being heard everywhere”.

Staff Writer

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Reza Outadi a protester who was shot dead by Iranian regime security forces in Karaj

Amnesty International to Iranian Regime: Release all Protesters

 

Reza Outadi a protester who was shot dead by Iranian regime security forces in Karaj

Reza Outadi, shot dead by Iranian regime security forces during peaceful demonstrations in Karaj-August 2018

Amnesty International has called upon Iranian authorities to release those who have been arrested solely for taking part in the protests. In an August 8th letter, Amnesty International also called for the authorities to conduct a prompt, impartial, and independent investigation into the shooting of Reza Outadi, a protester in Karaj who was killed on August 3, 2018.

The Iranian regime has responded to the spread protests and demonstrations across the country over the past week, with violent suppression and widespread arrests based on reports from MEK network inside Iran.

The letter from Amnesty International also urged authorities to protect those who have been detained from torture and other poor treatment and to reveal the location and dates of the dozens of detainees whose status has been unknown since their arrests.

Among those detained by the regime is Human Rights Defender Nader Afshari. He was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence Services (MOIS) agents in Karaj on August 1, 2018. He is believed to be held in a secret facility, but his exact whereabouts are unknown.

Amnesty International has expressed concern about reports that detainees who have been taken to Evin prison, Shahr-e Rey prison, and Fashafouyeh prison have not been given much if any access to their families or attorneys.

Protests began on July 31st in response to the rapid decrease in value of the rial and quickly spread across Iran. Deep dissatisfaction with the regime and its policies caused the protests to shift rapidly from economic matters to calls for regime change. The MEK network inside Iran reported chants of “Death to Khamenei!” and “Death to the the dictator!” in cities across Iran.

The regime responded to the protests with violent suppression, injuring dozens of people in the process. Videos taken during the protests and shared on social media show crowds of people running from the sound of gunfire.

Reza Outadi was a 26-year-old man who went to a protest in Karaj on August 3rd and was shot to death. The regime’s Prosecutor General of Karaj said that Outadi was “killed by gunfire that came from protesters amidst the rioting that took place” in Karaj. He claimed that Outadi was “shot in the back and killed.” He further claimed that security forces were also injured as a result of being shot, stabbed, and hit with stones. Reports from the MEK network in Iran say that Outadi was shot by security forces who fired into a crowd of unarmed protesters. During last December protests, at least 50 protesters were slain by repressive security forces, some under torture, while the regime authorities had claimed they had committed suicide!

The Fars News reported on August 7th that the regime’s Prosecutor General of Karaj announced that a special unit was to be set up to investigate Reza Outadi’s death.

Amnesty International has expressed concern that the regime’s special unit does not meet the standards of impartiality and independence required under international law. Amnesty urges Iranian authorities to ensure that the investigation into Reza Outadi‘ dreary is both impartial and independent and that anyone who is reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility is brought to justice in a fair trial without the death penalty as an option.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Iran Protests in Kazerun

An Interview with Hanif Jazayeri: The Iranian People Have Spoken Loud and Clear

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

On the 6th of August, as US sanctions affecting the purchase of dollars, metals, and car and plane parts were re-imposed on Iran, an interview with Hanif Jazayeri was broadcast across major American cities. Listeners in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Raleigh, and Pittsburgh could tune in to hear the Iranian news editor discuss the latest wave of economic sanctions and their effect on the already unstable clerical regime.

The United States announced its latest wave of sanctions, which will target the Iranian oil industry, the backbone of the Iranian economy; however, the EU and Russia have already voiced their opposition to the sanctions. They announced they would prefer to salvage the crumbling JCPOA agreement.

A New Breed of Protest

Hanif opened the interview by fielding a question on the changing nature of the Iranian protest movement. He said, “the Iranian people have spoken loud and clear”, “they are blaming the regime for their economic hardship”. In the wake of the JCPOA, the Iranian regime unlocked billions of dollars in aid packages, but the people saw none of the benefits.

“They have noticed this,” said Hanif, “and that is actually because all the money has been spent in Syria, to prop up the dictator there, to fund terrorist groups in the region, for the domestic suppression apparatus of the regime, and the rest of it has lined the pockets of the mullahs and their families.”

Following this blatant abuse of power and mismanagement of resources, the Iranian people have taken to the streets in their thousands to express their frustration at the mullahs’ regime. The people want an end to the regime.

The International Community

Hanif went on to mention the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi’s appeal to the international community to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and exclude the current regime from the international banking system. Only the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is benefitting from oil exports at present.

Hanif Jazayeri has played an active role himself in drumming up international support for the Iranian protest movement. He has been collecting footage from protestors in Iran and publishing them across social media to raise international awareness for the struggle of the Iranian people.

However, many within the international community have expressed reluctance and hesitation at the idea of reintroducing sanctions. A common argument against Maryam Rajavi’s proposal of sanctioning the Iranian oil industry is that it would further hurt the already struggling Iranian population.

Hanif attempted to dispel this common misconception. He cited the slogans adopted among the protestors which state, “our enemy is right here, they are lying when they say it is America”.

The people of Iran have suffered under the Iranian regime both when economic sanctions have been imposed, and after the sanctions were lifted. They saw no benefit from the lifting of the sanctions, their standard of living did not improve. Therefore, the lifting of the sanctions empowered the regime. It gave the Iranian regime more money to spend on suppressing the people.

Will Sanctions Empower Hardliners?

In response to Hanif’s argument, the interviewer countered that economic sanctions could empower the hardliners within Iran. They could be interpreted as “economic bullying” and allow the more extreme elements in Rouhani’s regime to portray Iran as a victim and being unfairly punished by the American government.

In reality, there are not hardliners and moderates within the Iranian regime. They are all hardliners. Rouhani himself has threatened to disrupt passage through the Strait of Hormuz if oil sanctions are imposed on Iran. His regime continues to arrest and execute political dissidents. There are no “hardliners” and “moderates”, only the regime in all its brutality.

Again, Hanif pointed to the slogans of the protestors to illustrate the point. The demonstrations across Iran have featured slogans stating, “no to hardliners, no to moderates”.

More than half of the country is in poverty and has been so for nearly forty years. For Iranians, the situation deteriorated after the sanctions were lifted. The regime received a financial windfall, which only gave them more resources to use in their routine abuse and repression of the Iranian people. “In the last two years, for example, the economic situation has spiraled downwards”, said Hanif.

Finally, Hanif Jazayeri saluted the brave protestors turning out across Iran, risking imprisonment and death in their determination to make their voices heard.

Staff Writer

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Iranian regime plain cloth forces arrest a young protester in Iran

MEK Network: Fact Sheet on Protest Suppression

Iranian regime plain cloth forces arrest a young protester in Iran

A protester arrested by murderous plain cloth forces, during Iran Protest – August 5, 2018

A report based on MEK network inside Iran on the regime’s suppression of the recent protests in Iran was published recently. The protests are part of a larger uprising that has grown from economic unrest due to the fall in the value of the rial as U.S. sanctions are set to resume. Calls for regime change have been widespread among protesters in cities across the country.

 

The recent protests and demonstrations in Iran began on Tuesday, July 31st, in several cities. Riot police, security forces and plainclothes agents

were dispatched to the scenes of the protests to disperse the gatherings and subsequently beat and arrested unarmed protesters. A young man identified by the MEK network as Reza Otadi was shot and killed by security forces while protesting in Gohardasht, Karaj on August 3rd.

The MEK network has prepared a fact sheet about acts of suppression by security forces during the recent protests. The information initially published by Iran HRM has been summarized below:

Tuesday,  July 31st

Shiraz: The regime’s police force fired tear gas onto the protesters, hitting a seven-year-old boy in the face.

Karaj: Protesters were beaten by riot police and plainclothes police officers. The regime used water cannons to disperse protesters at night.

Wednesday August 1st

Isfahan: Suppressive forces maintained a heavy presence in the main streets of Isfahan, there were attacks on protesters in several areas. Protesters who had gathered underneath a bridge were also attacked by riot police.

 

Security forces in Noavaran Square stood in a row in front of protesters to attempt to block their path, then used water cannons on them to push the crowd back and disperse them. In another area, security forces clashed with protesters, firing tear gas and bullets into the crowd.

Rasht: Riot police and security forces using batons and Tasers, beat protesters severely, injuring several.

 

Karaj: Protesters were beaten by riot police and security forces.

Thursday, August 2nd

Isfahan: Riot police fired tear gas and pellet guns into a crowd of protesters. The protesters responded by throwing rocks at the police. The police subsequently fired live ammunition into the crowd, shooting a young protester in the leg.

 

Ahvaz: Agents of the regime attacked small groups of people who were standing on the street.

 

Tehran: Security forces in Valiasr Square assaulted and arrested several protesters.

 

Shahin Shahr, Isfahan: Bassij forces from the Revolutionary Guards Corps confronted and severely beat people.

Shiraz: A heavy security presence was in place in Shiraz. Security forces on motorcycles attempted to intimidate protesters by patrolling the area and attacking protesters. Plainclothes agents attacked protesters as well. Riot police fired tear gas into the crowds. Undercover agents went into the crowds of protesters to detain participants.

 

Qahdarijan, Isfahan: Riot police shot tear gas into crowds after clashes with protesters.

Karaj: Protesters were attacked on the streets by Bassij forces. Riot police fired tear gas at protesters. As night fell, riot police attempted to intimidate the protesters by marching on the street with motorcycle police following behind them.

 

Mashhad: Police shot tear gas at protesters from motorcycles and from on foot. A number of protesters were detained.

 

Friday,  August 3rd

Shahin Shahr, Isfahan: Riot police shot tear gas into crowds of protesters, as police assaulted protesters with their batons. Riot police attempted to intimidate the protesters by patrolling the streets on motorcycles. Protesters were attacked by Bassij forces.

 

Karaj: A large presence of security forces of all types was dispatched to the protests in Karaj. Many riot police were on the scene to fire tear gas and pellet guns into the crowds of protesters. Riot police also assaulted the protesters. Bassij forces, Revolutionary Guards Corps agents, and plainclothes agents attacked protesters with batons. Security forces shouted their support for the regime’s Supreme Leader while they beat the protesters.

 

Security forces opened fire into the crowd. A young man, identified as Reza Otadi, was killed by security forces in the protests. Another young man was shot in the arm and taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

Tehran: A heavy security presence was active in Tehran, with a large number of both police and plainclothes agents. Police arrested a number of people in Valiasr Square, both men and women.

 

People who filmed the protests with cellphones were arrested. Police attacked a number of people with batons and Tasers, singling out women.

 

Bujnord, North Khorasan Province: At least ten people were detained by security forces. Numerous protesters were attacked.

 

Saturday,  August 4tt

Karaj: About 100 Bassij forces and Intelligence agents posed as protesters during the day, wearing masks and participating in the protests. As night fell, riot police attacked on motorcycles and the undercover agents began arresting people, pulling the protesters’ shirts over their heads and forcing them onto a bus.

 

Qahdarijan, Isfahan: Security forces shot guns into the air.

Eshtehard, Karaj: Protesters who had gathered outside of the Eshterhard Seminary were attacked and detained by security forces.

Sunday,  August 5th

Tehran: Protesters in South Kargar Street were attacked by riot police. Numerous people were arrested.

 

Security forces were positioned in every major street to prevent any gathering.

 

Internet lines were slowed and then completely shut off for a few hours overnight. Nothing could be sent out.

Karaj: A water cannon and several different armored vehicles were brought into the streets, along with at least 30 security forces on motorcycles and almost 50 plainclothes agents in masks. All of the streets leading to Gohardasht were barricaded with cement barrier blocks. Cameras were installed in strategic locations to identify protesters. Security forces threatened store owners around Gohardasht and told them to close their shops. Bassij forces were armed with sticks, agents carried batons and other equipment, plainclothes agents carried weapons under their clothes to beat protesters. Security forces beat and detained a number of protesters. They shot tear gas into the crowd at frequent intervals. In other areas of Tehran, riot police and tanks were brought out.

 

 

 

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Hanif Jazayeri,Iran Protests,Iran Revolution,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,NCRI

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

The Revolution is Around the Corner: Charlie Moore Describes the Iranian Revolutionary Hotbed for The Daily Mail

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi protesters who were arrested during their uprisings in March, 2018, are still detained without trial

Charlie Moore, staff writer for the Mail Online, the digital segment of the Daily Mail, published his article ‘Revolution is Coming’ on August 8th, 2018. His article focused on the delicate position the mullah’s find themselves in following last weeks protests. He wrote, “Iran is on the brink of revolution”, describing, “thousands flooding city streets”.

A Country on the Brink

Moore describes the Iranian discontent as stemming from the reintroduction of US sanctions, which is limiting Iranians access to US banknotes and key imports. He also alluded to the economic crisis ravaging Iranian cities, causing spiraling inflation.

The Iranian rial has lost 99% of its value. With the reintroduction of US sanctions on the horizon, the situation is unlikely to improve and could become markedly worse. Many Iranians are stocking up on foreign currency to get themselves through the crisis.

Ali, the owner of a kitchen store in Tehran’s bazaar, described a scene of consumers panic-buying essentials before the sanctions hit. “People are worried that if they don’t buy things today, they won’t be available tomorrow,” he said.

Foreign companies that arrived following the Iran deal are leaving. Total, Peugeot, and Renault are among the companies making the exodus from Iran.

An Escalating Problem for the Mullahs

Hanif Jazayeri of the Iranian opposition organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was interviewed for Moore’s article. He outlined crucial differences between the current wave of protests and those that gripped the country in 2009.

In 2009, a spate of protests spread rapidly across Iran. They featured a majority middle-class demographic and were a public backlash towards President Mahmoud’s re-election. Unlike the 2009 protests, the most recent round of protests has attracted Iranians across the social and economic spectrum. Demonstrators not been limited to the middle classes, but included women, the rural poor, the middling urban classes, students, factory workers, truck drivers, investors, and many more worker demographics from Iran’s rich social landscape.

Jazayeri also points out that the slogans adopted in the recent demonstrations indicate an underlying frustration which could boil over into revolution. Instead of protesting individual incidents, protestors are directing their anger at the regime itself. Slogans such as “death to the dictator”, and, “the nation is forced to beg while the leader lives like a God”, have become commonplace.

Jazayeri said, “these are different because people are calling for the death of the President and Supreme Leader”. He added, “people are starting to wake up and see that revolution is a real possibility. I think there will be one”.

The scale of the protests has also been overwhelming. In the January protests, 142 of Iran’s cities and towns were affected by protests. More recently, a video depicting more than 100,000 football fans protesting in the street following a football match recently circulated on social media.

A New Determination

The other factor that will have the mullahs concerned over their future in power has been the sheer will and determination among the demonstrators.

The very act of protesting in the street in Iran comes with enormous risk. Protestors are often arrested and even killed as the regime tries to silence demonstrators through violent and repressive means. Despite the risk involved, protestors have shown their bravery and determination and taken to the streets in the thousands.

Footage from Gohardasht shows protestors scrambling to escape the regime’s tear gas. In another video, filmed in Isfahan, demonstrators set fire to tires in an attempt to mask the irritant gas.

Regime Change is the Only Way Out

For Iranians, the only way out of this economic freefall is through regime change. President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, has echoed this sentiment. She issued a statement of support in early August hailing the demonstrators and applauding their determination.

The regime is committed to spending billions of dollars in funding conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and other local conflicts around the Middle East. Rouhani has also plowed Iranian funding into creating an elaborate network of espionage and terror in Europe and beyond.

Given the country’s economic turmoil, the reintroduction of sanctions, and the determination of the local population, it is difficult to see a resolution where the existing regime maintains its grip on power. The status quo is simply unmanageable.

As the economic situation worsens once the US sanctions come into full effect in November, and the population further suffers the effects of the regime’s economic mismanagement, a united, determined population will rise up, hungry for change.

 

 

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