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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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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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Iranian truck drivers go on strike again.

Iran’s Lorry Drivers Resume Their Strike

Iranian truck drivers go on strike again.

The truck drivers in Iran, have resumed their strike against their dire condition, high prices and regime’s corruption.

The truck and lorry drivers of Iran turned off their engines once more on Monday the 23rd of July. Less than two months after their last round of strikes, the drivers decided to strike once more, with news of the strike spreading quickly around Iran’s provinces in the early hours of Monday morning.

By the time the workday was due to begin, drivers across the country including in Tehran, Kurdistan, Isfahan, Kerman, Khuzestan, and Hormozgan refused to begin their workday and resumed the nationwide strike.

The latest round of strikes

In late May and early June, truck and lorry drivers across all 31 of Iran’s provinces went on strike for two weeks. Their grievances stemmed from low wages, appalling working conditions, poor worker safety, rising expenses, and the gradual erosion of worker rights.

The mullahs’ damaging policies have left the nation’s truck drivers fighting for their livelihoods. Inflation has made an already difficult economic situation even worse. In addition to soaring inflation, truck drivers have to deal with the arbitrary expenses imposed by the mullahs, including commissions, tariffs, and tolls. The mullahs have systematically robbed Iran’s truck drivers of their profits, leaving many struggling to survive in lives of extreme poverty.

The strike brought the country to a standstill. Factories and businesses across Iran had to close, and petrol stations ran dry, causing huge queues for fuel outside stations which still had a supply.

The regime responded to the strike with its usual repressive measures. Drivers reported intimidation and threats. Agents of the regime burnt vehicles which belonged to the striking drivers. They resorted to making false promises and concessions; however, their intentions were transparent, and the drivers resolve would not be broken.

The Iranian public stands with the striking drivers

Despite the turmoil that the truck drivers’ strike wreaked on the Iranian economy and logistics sector, the Iranian public stood with the brave drivers and wholeheartedly supported their fight for fairer working conditions.

The Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, offered messages of solidarity to the striking drivers. Rajavi tweeted, “hail to the truck drivers”, adding, “I urge my fellow compatriots to support and rise in solidarity with the toiling drivers”.

The drivers also received international support for their struggle. Teamsters, the strongest worker union in North America also issued a statement of support. It read: “Teamsters stand in solidarity with our Iranian brother[s] & sisters”.

The response this time will likely be as encouraging and supportive as it was in the last round of strikes. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) already issued a statement on Monday saluting the striking drivers. In its statement, the NCRI called on the Iranian youth, as well as the international community and as workers unions around the world to “protect these drivers and to condemn the anti-humanitarian policies of the mullahs’ regime.”

Staff Writer

 

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Truck and lorry drivers go on strike in Iran.

MEK Network- The Nationwide Truck Driver Protests Gather Momentum

Truck and lorry drivers go on strike in Iran.

Lorry drivers on strike for the third day- May 24, 2018

Based on news from MEK’s Network in Iran, starting on Tuesday, May 22nd, Iran’s truck and heavy goods vehicle drivers turned off their engines and went on strike. The statement from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) states that the drivers working conditions have gradually deteriorated in recent years. High vehicle installment costs and low freight have put driver’s livelihoods under threat. The striking drivers wish to make their voices heard and end the economic turmoil of their current situation.

NCRI reports, “The Iranian regime’s agents resorted to various measures to create disagreements among drivers”. In Isfahan, for example, the regime officials bumped up freight charges. In Bandar-Anzali, they increased the cost of shipping by 12% and the cost of bulk shipping by 17%, however, they could not break their strikes. In a time of severe economic hardship, these added costs are destroying the industry and putting many driver’s jobs at risk.

The strikes were not limited to individual regions but affected the whole industry across nearly 100 cities in 25 different provinces, MEK reports indicated. The movement also received Maryam Rajavi’s support. On Tuesday, the leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), urged the Iranian public to stand with the oppressed truck drivers in their struggle.

The protest continued into its second day on Wednesday, May 23rd. Goods remained at a standstill in the 70 cities, and another 23 cities joined the protests. The movement offers an outlet for truck drivers to air their grievances with the regime and its actions.

Strikes enter its third day

Meanwhile the NCRI statement on Thursday, May 24th, acknowledged that the nationwide strike of truck and lorry drivers on its third day has spread to 168 cities in 29 provinces of the country, and the number of trucks and lorries that have rejected loading goods are getting longer continuously.

“This is despite the fact that intelligence agents have been deterring them from engaging in strikes since the very first day in various ways, including sending threatening SMS messages on the drivers’ mobile phones, and summoning some of them to the branches of Intelligence Ministry in their cities”.

Reports from MEK network indicates that following the countrywide strike, many gas stations in Tehran and other parts of the country faced the shortage of gasoline. As a result, some of them are closed and some are just offering super unleaded fuel. The reports also indicate that as a result of the nationwide strikes the import and export process is also facing difficulties.

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Iran Protests in Kazerun

MEK Network: Protests in Kazerun Continue Despite Regime’s clampdown

Protests continue in Kazerun

Iran Protests continues in Kazerun, despite repressive measures and mass arrests of the youth by IRGC forces.

Protests continue to rage in Kazerun as the youth of the province remain determined to vent their frustrations with the clerical regime. The protests continued throughout the night on Thursday the 17th of May, and into the morning of Friday the 18th of May.

The protesters turned out in spite of intense repressive measures taken from the regime. On Wednesday, the regime’s state security forces opened fire on protesters, killing two and leaving many more injured.

The mullahs have also brought in anti-riot units from nearby Isfahan and beyond to arrest protesters and quell the demonstrations. The security forces attacked the demonstrators with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, leading to a number of injuries.

Clashes between the regime’s forces and the protesters broke out in several locations. Vehicles were burnt, as were several government centers. Protesters used burnt tyres and cars to block the roads and prevent the movement of the Revolutionary Guards and more anti-riot units.

Silencing Voices

Iran Protests in Kazerun

MEK Network: Protests in Kazerun Continue Despite Regime’s clampdown

The regime’s agents have threatened the citizens of Kazerun with severe repercussions for anyone that shares information about the situation in the province. The regime is adamant that no information be leaked to the international press and no protesters lying in the hospital be allowed to share their stories. The regime disconnected Kazerun’s internet in an attempt to silence the public and prevent news of the protests spreading across the country.

The official line from the regime, as reported by IRNA news agency, is that some people attempted to “set the Friday prayer’s place on fire” in Kazerun. Mullah Khorsand said, “some people on Friday morning broke one of the doors of the Friday prayer’s place in Kazerun and threw firebombs inside, which resulted in serious damage to an air conditioner”. The Deputy Governor of Fars province, Hadi Pajouhesh Jahromi, added that “the protesters burned a bank building on Friday morning and damaged the public property”.

The mullahs repeatedly asserted that the “situation in this city is completely under control”, calling the clashes “scattered skirmishes”, and urging the public “to ignore and not trust the news broadcast in the social media and foreign networks”.

Standing with the Protesters

The leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, expressed messages of solidarity with the brave protesters. Rajavi hailed the heroic martyrs in Kazerun, called for the release of those imprisoned by the regime, and urged the Iranian public to assist those that are wounded.

Her message for the international community was to dispatch a UN delegation to the country. She urged a representative for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit the country and see the mullahs abuse of Iranian citizens for themselves.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo pledged the support of the Trump administration. He tweeted a message of solidarity with the Iranian protesters on Friday morning (May 18th). It read, “we support the Iranian people who are demonstrating against an oppressive government. 3 deaths & internet disruption show the regime’s true nature”.

Staff Writer

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MEK Network-Teachers Rally across Iran: Political Prisoners Must Be Freed

MEK Network-Teachers Rally across Iran: Political Prisoners Must Be Freed

MEK Network-Teachers Rally across Iran: Political Prisoners Must Be Freed

Teachers Rally across Iran: Political Prisoners Must Be Freed

On Thursday, May 10th, teachers across Iran gathered to protest their low wages, lack of benefits (including quality health insurance), and lack of job security. The protesters were comprised of both working and retired teachers who were tired of having their demands ignored. Protests in Iran have continued to grow in the wake of the uprising, which began in December of last year. The MEK (PMOI) activists were actively involved in organizing the initial uprising, but soon the people began to rise up and join the wave of dissent, joining the MEK in their demands for freedom and regime change. The latest protests by teachers took place in a number of cities and were witnessed by MEK activists inside Iran. The protests are summarized below:

Tehran – The Capital

Teachers in Tehran protested in front of Parliament and the regime’s Planning and Budget Organization. They chanted: “Efficient insurance is our absolute right!” and “Imprisoned teachers should be freed!” Teachers carried signs saying: “Teachers, Workers, Students, United!” “Salary above the poverty line is the right of teachers!” “Bread, Labor, Freedom, Educational Justice!” “Access to quality, free and fair education is the right of all children!” The protests were shut down by repressive IRGC forces, who arrested dozens of teachers and injured several, MEK network reported. Mercenaries beat the protesters and confiscated their phones. One woman suffered a torn eye as the result of the violent mercenary response.

Kazeroon-South Iran

Kazeroon teachers chanted: “Teacher dies, but does not accept discrimination!” “Imprisoned teachers must be freed!” One of the signs carried during the protest read: “The teacher’s place is in the classroom, not in prison!”

Sari- North Iran

Teachers in Sari protested, chanting: “Free Imprisoned Teachers!” “Salaries above poverty line is the right of teachers and retirees!” “Standard schools are the right of students and teachers!”

Mamasani-South Iran

Mamasani educators carried signs that read: “The teacher’s place is in a classroom, not in a travel agency!”

Hamedan-West Iran

A sign carried by teachers in Hamedan read: “The enemies of teachers are the enemies of this homeland!”

Isfahan-Central Iran

In Isfahan, teachers protested for free, fair, and high-quality education. They chanted: “The teacher is awake and hates discrimination and poverty!” “Our salaries are paid in Rial, while the costs are in Dollar!” “We don’t want incompetent minister!” Protesters carried signs saying: “We demand that all forms of discrimination (ethnic, gender, religious, class) be eliminated from the structure of the educational system of the country!” “Independent and free form of organization is our right.”

Marivan- West Iran

Teachers in Marivan carried a sign condemning the suppression of teacher protests in Tehran.

Mashhad-North East Iran

In Mashhad, teachers protested for free primary and secondary education and more post-secondary education in Iran. They carried signs which said: “Stop privatization of education!”

Kermanshah-West Iran

Protesters in Kermanshah stated that the lack of attention given to education is the root cause of “poverty, injustice, discrimination and embezzlement.” They carried signs which read: “Independent organization is our absolute right!”

Shiraz-South Iran

Speakers in Shiraz condemned theft by the government while teachers struggle to survive on insufficient salaries.

Bushehr-SouthWest Iran

Teachers in Bushehr conducted a symbolic funeral for Iranian education.

Khorramabad-West Iran

In Khorramabad, teachers protested with signs reading: “Efficient insurance is the teacher’s right!”

Bojnourd-NorthEast Iran

A protest was held in Bojnourd, but repressive forces surrounded the protesters, preventing photos or videos from being taken of the gathering.

Thursday’s protests were only the latest in a series of demonstrations by teachers. Iranian educators have become more and more vocal about the deficiencies in the education system in the past few months, and their protests show no signs of slowing.

Staff Writer

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