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Iran Economy,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Truck drivers protests

Maryam Rajavi Calls Supporting Iran’s Strikers Citizens’ ‘Patriotic Duty’

2nd day of strike by merchants in Iran

For the second day, the merchants in various bazaars in Iran are on strike over the plunging rial and the dire economic crisis due to the regime corruption and mismanagement.

Tehran’s merchants are striking, as are the Iranian farmers and truck drivers as yet more protests threaten to engulf the country, based on reports from the MEK network inside Iran.

On Monday, November 5th, merchants in several Iranian cities closed their stalls in local bazaars. The strikes, which coincided with the reintroduction of strict US sanctions, were organized across social media and quickly gained traction.

Skyrocketing prices and crippling inflation have thrown many of Iran’s merchants into poverty. With new sanctions affecting Iranian imports and exports, the situation is set to worsen.

For the nation’s truck drivers, the working conditions are not much better. The sector shut down for the fourth time on the 31st of October and is yet to restart. Drivers from Tehran, Isfahan, Hormozgan, Zanjan, Golestan, Kermanshah, Kerman, West Azerbaijan, Central, Khorasan Razavi, and Yazd all turned off their engines in protest at the rising cost of spare parts, corruption, and appalling working conditions that have left many of them in a fight for their survival.

For Iran’s farmers, there is a similar picture of abstract poverty and a struggle to put food on the table. This has prompted many brave farmers from provinces across the country, including Isfahan a Khorasgan, to stage a sit-in and protest.

Unparalleled Bravery

The strikers are demonstrating their bravery and determination by maintaining these protests against the bloody and violent regime.

For the truck drivers, many of their colleagues and friends were arrested in the previous rounds of strikes. More than 200 drivers were detained in the third round of strikes that took place earlier this year. The regime then threatened to execute 17 of those detained.

The strikers that took to the streets in this latest round of protests are also demanding the immediate release of their colleagues.

The regime’s treatment of the truck drivers has not been atypical. The mullahs frequently employ repressive and heavy-handed strategies for dealing with public protest and political dissent.

The farmers and merchants, along with the valiant truck drivers, are aware of the danger they are in, yet they continue to risk their liberty and their lives to protest the regime and its policies.

A Call for Support

Their determination has not gone unnoticed by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi.

Ms. Rajavi saluted the striking truck drivers, farmers, and merchants in a statement to the Iranian people. She called on Iran’s youth to stand with these brave men and women and said that supporting the full restitution of the rights of the Iranian people was a matter of patriotic duty.

Maryam Rajavi also called on the international community to lend their support. She urged syndicates, trade unions, and human rights organizations to lend assistance to Iran’s farmers, truck drivers and merchants in whatever capacity they could.

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Hostage taking in Iran was with the order of the regime's supreme leader

Mohammad Ali Jafari Makes a Startling Confession About the 1979 Hostage Crisis

Hostage taking in Iran was with the order of the regime's supreme leader

IRGC Commander admits the U.S. hostage-taking in 1979 was with the order of the regime’s Supreme Leader order

Mohammad Ali Jafari made an unexpected and historic confession. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander admitted on November 4th, that the decision to take more than 60 US hostages from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 had been approved by Khamenei himself.

Jafari’s remarks came as he spoke at an event to mark the anniversary of the crisis, which took place on November 4th, 1979.

The 1979 Hostage Crisis

The hostages were taken when a crowd of Iranian students stormed the US embassy and took more than 60 Americans hostage over US President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow the recently ousted Shah to travel to the US for cancer treatment.

Beyond the Shah’s cancer treatment, the hostage crisis was a protest against Western governmental inference in Iran.

The students held the hostages for 444 days, only releasing them on January 21, 1981, after President Reagan had replaced Jimmy Carter.

New Light on a Historic Event

The statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says “Only a handful of the officials and revolutionary figures, and on top of them, the supreme leader, (Khamenei), were totally in support of this revolutionary move,” and if the hostage-taking had not taken place, “undoubtedly our revolution could not last for forty years and it would have been over in the first decade,” Jafari added.

At the time, the attack on the embassy was depicted as spontaneous and opportunistic and the perpetrators merely overzealous students. However, Jafari indicated that this was not the case.

Jafari went on to suggest that without the events of November 4th, 1979, the Iranian regime would not have been able to cement its grip on power, and the regime would never have lasted until today. He said if it wasn’t for the hostage situation, “undoubtedly our revolution could not last for forty years… it would have been over in the first decade”.

 Could it Be Repeated?

Jafari’s comments are a cause for concern. He concluded his speech by implying that Iran would benefit from a similar high-profile situation like the 1979 hostage crisis. He said, “similar moves, of course not taking over embassies, this is not what I mean, but this sort of moves, should be conducted for creating stability”.

Jafari’s comments only further illustrate concerns long-held by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the Iranian opposition; that the regime relies on sewing destruction and violence to stay in power.

The statement by the NCRI concludes: “Jafari’s remarks is a clear acknowledgment that the clerical regime has always found the solution in hostage-taking, creating crisis and havoc, export of terrorism, and belligerence and it plans for these acts at the highest levels.”

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MEK Resistance Units activities in 1st week of November

MEK Resistance Units Increasing Activities

MEK Resistance Units activities in 1st week of November

Activities of the MEK Resistance Units in Iran during the first week of November 2018

On Monday, members of the MEK’s Resistance Units took several actions against the Iranian regime in an escalation of the uprising currently taking place in Iran. MEK members set fire to the entrance of a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij base in Kermanshah in a dramatic show of rebellion against the repressive Iranian regime. The base is home to a number of the regime’s repressive Units.

MEK members set fire to posters of regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Qaemshahr. In Karaj, they raised the flag of the National Liberation Army, chanting, “Death to Khamenei, Hail to Rajavi!”

In Gachsaran, they put up graffiti saying, “Death to Khamenei” in public places. MEK members in Tehran and Shiraz publicly displayed posters of MEK members who were murdered by the Iranian regime. Resistance Units in Mashhad, Isfahan, and Amol put up graffiti and posters calling upon students to organize protests on their campuses.

These acts of resistance take place against a backdrop of widespread anti-regime protests that have rapidly spread throughout the country. Economic unrest, along with dissatisfaction with the mullahs’ mismanagement and corruption, has caused Iranians from all walks of life to take to the streets to demand regime change.

Protests and strikes have been taking place in multiple locations on a daily basis. The following are a few of the protests that have occurred over the past few days:

Wednesday

Iran’s truck drivers entered their seventh continuous day of strikes, despite threats from the regime. The strike has now spread to 35 cities in 18 provinces across Iran, including Isfahan, Najafabad, Sabzevar, Mashhad, Ardabil, Qazvin, Mobarakeh, Yazd, Zarrin Shahr, Rumeshgan, Kermanshah, Shahr-e Kord, Sirjan, and Sabzevar.

The striking truckers are protesting low pay, the high price of spare parts and replacement tires, high fees, and poor working conditions. They are also demanding the release of their imprisoned colleagues who were arrested during the last round of strikes. During the last round of strikes, more than 200 truck drivers were arrested for participating in the strikes, and 17 of the arrested drivers were threatened with execution.

Saturday

In Chabahar, Naval University students gathered to protest school officials’ incompetence and their schools’ food services.

Friday

In Tehran, Open University students from the Medical Sciences Department rallied outside of the main building of the campus and outside of Parliament over unfair conditions at the school.

In Behbahan, young people held a protest at Friday prayers. The protesters were angry because they were not hired at the local refinery in favor of non-locals who would work for lower wages.

Thursday

In Varzaneh, Shatur and Ziar, farmers protested

the scarcity of water and lack of access to water resources. The regime has dried the Zayanderud River by diverting its water away from the Isfahan region to factories controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. The diversion of water, along with record droughts, has destroyed the farms of once-prosperous Isfahan farmers and caused water shortages throughout the region.

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Merchants Strike in Iran

Merchants Begin New Round of Strikes as Final Phase of U.S. Sanctions Takes Effect

Merchants Strike in Iran

New round of Strikes by merchants in Iran, as the Second major U.S. Sanctions take place.

Bazaar merchants in Iran went on strike on Monday in several cities. The strikes were timed to take place on the day that the final phase of U.S. sanctions took effect.

The planned strike took place after a call to action on social media. The bazaar merchants went on strike to protest skyrocketing prices and inflation.

The MEK network posted images on social media of closed shops in Tabriz in northwest Iran and Mashhad in northeast Iran. A video posted by the MEK shows that striking merchants have closed shops in Tehran’s rug market despite threats from authorities. Owners of home appliance stores in Tehran were also on strike. In Babol in northern Iran, merchants in the Rezvanshahr market were on strike. In Gorgan in northern Iran, all of the shops were closed in the Aftab Mall, which is the largest mall in the city. Merchants in Tabriz in northeastern Iran also closed their shops and went on strike.

Sources indicate that the strikes had now spread to Roudsar in northern Iran and Saqez and Baneh in western Iran.

The merchants went on strike last on October 8th. That round of strikes spread to over 50 cities in 21 provinces.

Truck Drivers’ Strikes Continue for the Sixth Day

Meanwhile, the fourth round of nationwide truck drivers’ strikes reached its sixth day on Tuesday. The most recent round of strikes began on November 1st after a call went out on social media urging the drivers to park their truck and strike. The truckers are protesting low pay and high prices for spare parts and replacement tires. They are also demanding the release of their colleagues who were arrested during the last round of strikes.

The MEK shared a number of videos of trucks parked in loading terminals as truckers joined the strike and refused to load cargo.

The state-run ILNA news agency reported on the strike on November 4th, writing: “Lack of truck tires, the emergence of the black market and dealers, and price instability have been some of the problems that the automotive market has faced in recent months.

“Truckers and heavy vehicle drivers are the first to suffer from this issue. All of this has led to the economic downturn and less food on the table for the people and as a result, some truckers have bought government tires and sold them in the free market, which has implications such as the use of worn-out tires and consequently, increased crash rates.”

Despite four rounds of strikes, Iran’s truck drivers have not been able to achieve their goals. During the last round of strikes, regime authorities arrested over 200 striking drivers and threatened to execute 17 of the arrested truckers. The arrests and threats of execution drew international condemnation from labor unions, including the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
and the Teamsters
, who both wrote statements supporting the truck drivers and condemning the regime’s actions.

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Truck drivers strike in Iran

Iran’s Truckers Strike for Fifth Consecutive Day

Truck drivers strike in Iran

The Iranian truck drivers have entered their 5th day of the strike for the fourth time this year.

Monday marked the fifth consecutive day of strikes by Iran’s truck drivers. The MEK network inside Iran reported that the latest round of strikes has spread to 44 cities in 23 provinces across the country. The strikes have garnered widespread support from Iranians from all sectors of society.

 

Truck drivers across Iran are parking their trucks and refusing to carry loads. Videos shared on social media by the Iranian Resistance show evidence of the strike taking place across Iran. In Dezful and Mashhad, the loading stations were filled with parked trucks. In Marand, East Azerbaijan Province, the roads were empty of heavy trucks.

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and leader of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the striking the striking drivers, tweeting:

“Hail to #Iran’s truck drivers who have started their fourth round of nationwide strike. In addition to their basic rights, they are also demanding freedom of their imprisoned colleagues.”

Mrs. Rajavi further called upon Iran’s youth to support the drivers and asked international labor unions to lend their support to the strike:

“I call on the youth to lend their moral and material support to the truck drivers, and urge international workers and truckers’ unions to declare their solidarity with the truck drivers on strike in #Iran.”

This is the fourth strike this year for Iran’s struggling truck drivers. The drivers are protesting low wages, high prices for spare parts (particularly replacement tires), corruption, high fees, and safety issues. The drivers are also demanding the release of their colleagues who were arrested in the previous strikes.

Iranian Truckers Launch Fourth Round of Strikes This Year

During the third round of strikes, the regime arrested over 200 striking drivers and threatened to execute 17 of the detained drivers. The strikes gained international attention from labor unions, including the Teamsters and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), who called the threat of executions a blatant violation of labor rights.

 

James P. Hoffa, the Teamsters General President, wrote a letter in support of the striking drivers on behalf of the Teamsters Union during the October strikes:

 

“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million transportation and supply chain workers in the United States and Canada, stands in solidarity with our Iranian brothers and sisters. We urge the government of Iran to listen to the grievances of striking Iranian truck drivers, address their just demands and recognize their internationally recognized rights to assembly, speech, freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

 

The Iranian regime has ignored the pleas of its truck drivers even as its roads have emptied. It has ignored four strikes and international outcry at its acts of brutality. Truck drivers make up a crucial part of Iran’s infrastructure, and they cannot be silenced. The country cannot function without truckers, and truckers cannot function within the corrupt regime. Something has to change.

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Assadollah Assadi,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,MEK,MOIS,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

All Eyes Are on Iran Following A Surge in Terror Activities

Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

Surge in the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities against MEK

On Monday, November 5th, the Washington Times ran a piece entitled “’Iran Doubles Down on Terror, Turmoil’ Against the West”. The piece, written by L. Todd Wood, highlighted the mounting danger the clerical regime poses to Western governments and their citizens.

Following the press conference held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the Iranian political opposition coalition which includes the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), on Friday, the international community has been buzzing with discussion over the increasing threat of the clerical regime.

Governments from across Europe and North America have turned their attention to the mullahs following the Danish government’s revelations in late October that it had foiled an Iranian state-sponsored plot to abduct and murder a dissident on its soil.

All Eyes on Iran

Wood writes, “many Americans are not aware of the extensive attempts at the violence that have happened in the recent past in the United States and Europe”, referring to the two Iranian regime agents arrested on US soil this summer and numerous foiled terror attacks in Europe.

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

“Americans must become cognizant of the danger”, Wood urged. He argued this was essential for the neutralization of the Iranian threat. “Iran is the most significant existential threat currently facing America”, he wrote. With the public’s blessing, US politicians must face this threat in a forceful manner.

The NCRI Press Conference

In its press conference, the MEK and NCRI, outlined several strategies for confronting the regime’s international terror network.

Alireza Jafarzedah, a spokesperson for the Iranian opposition group, told those in attendance in Washington D.C. that European and US governments must close Iranian embassies on their soil and expel Iranian diplomats.

The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

The Iranian regime’s planned terror attacks in Europe, including a failed car bomb attack planned in Paris, have demonstrated that Iranian embassies are thinly veiled hubs of international terror and espionage.

In the failed Paris attack, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosive material for use in the attack.

Jafarzedah called for an internationally coordinated and unified response to tackle the growing threat from Iran. In his mind, this means internationally coordinated and enforced sanctions aimed at crippling the Iranian regime’s exports and finances.

As the latest round of US sanctions takes effect, their impact remains to be seen. Several European governments remain determined to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal and have expressed their opposition to US sanctions.

This division will not stand. The regime’s recent spate of planned attacks has demonstrated that the regime has little regard for international law, the sovereignty of international governments, and the safety of their citizens.

Without a unified response from both Europe and the US, the regime can bypass sanctions and continue to orchestrate plots unimpeded. If one of these plots slips through the net and comes to fruition, the loss of life will be devastating, tragic, and utterly avoidable had the international community come together to neutralize the Iranian threat once and for all.

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Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

22 Executed, 60 Flogged and 543 Politically-Motivated Arrests in the Month of October

Monthly report by Iran HRM on Iranian regime's violations of Human Rights

Photo Credit: Iran HRM: Iran Human Rights Monitor, Monthly Report for October 2018

On Saturday, November 3rd, Iran Human Rights Monitor published its monthly report of human rights violations taking place across Iran.

The report showcased the regime’s “dismal report card”, which featured 22 executions, among them a woman executed for a crime she allegedly committed aged 17.

The Persecution of the Iranian People

Iran Human Rights Monitor’s report indicated that the regime has continued its crackdown on the Ahvazi Arab population in Khuzestan province. Regime agents made numerous arrests in the month of October. Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate that women and children were among those arrested.

Following October’s truck drivers’ strike, the regime arrested large numbers of protesting truck drivers across Iran’s provinces.

The nation’s environmental activists have also been the target of a sustained and bloody crackdown. In October, eight prominent activists were detained on charges of “sowing corruption on earth”. If convicted, the eight could face execution.

The regime has also targeted activists in more nefarious ways. Farshid Hakki was murdered near his home on October 17th.

Iran Human Rights Monitor called on the Iranian regime to release the activists unless it can “produce evidence to justify the charges against them and guarantee a fair trial”.

A String of Executions

The regime executed 22 Iranians in October. One of the most alarming cases was that of Zeinab Sekaanvand. She was hanged in Urmieh central prison in West Azerbaijan province for murdering her husband.

Sekaanvand was forced to marry her abusive husband aged just 15. She killed him in 2012, at aged 17. She was detained and tortured into providing a full confession. On October 2nd, she was hanged for her crime, aged 24.

The case drew criticism from international human rights organisations. Amnesty International’s Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, Phillip Luther, said, “her execution is profoundly unjust”, adding, “the fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her execution more outrageous.”

Sekaanvand sought help several times from the authorities after her husband became violent. She also asserted that her brother-in-law had repeatedly raped her. Luther said, “instead of investigating these allegations… the authorities consistently ignored her and failed to provide her with any support as a victim of domestic and sexual violence”.

Brutal Punishments

In October, Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 60 cases of flogging, including 15 workers at the HEPCO manufacturing company who received lashing sentences and jail time for striking over their unpaid wages. Among the 15 were labour representatives engaged in negotiations with their employers.

A graduate student named Pedram Pazireh received 74 lashings and a 7-year prison sentence for organising a ceremony to mark the country’s National Student Day.

A court in Arak also handed out lashings to 11 people arrested during the December and January protests. They faced a litany of charges including “disrupting the public order and peace by taking part in illegal rallies”.

Politically Motivated Arrests

Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 543 politically motivated arrests across Iran in the month of October. There were also 11 arrests made on the religious and ethnic basis.

Many of these ethnic arrests were made against the Ahwazi Arab minority in Khuzestan following the attack on a military parade in Ahvaz. Amnesty International questioned the timing of the arrests and accused the regime of using the attack as an excuse to repress the Ahwazi population.

The regime also abducted and imprisoned Hashem Khastar, a leading advocate for teachers’ rights. Khastar disappeared from his family’s farm in north-eastern Iran. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Mashad, despite having no history of mental illness. His family has not been permitted to see him.

Khastar was not the only teachers’ advocate to face the regime’s repression. Four teachers were also arrested over their participation in a two-day sit-in protest. The head of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) secretariat, Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, was also arrested following the protest.

Several other ITTA members were also arrested in Mashhad and Aligoudarz. Teachers across several Iranian cities were protesting poor living and working conditions.

Poor Prison Conditions

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported over 70 political prisoners went on hunger strike at Urmia prison following a brutal attack on inmates from the prison’s guards.

Prison guards beat inmates in ward 12, the ward which houses the regime’s political prisoners.

Elsewhere, prisoners who have been on hunger strike are suffering deteriorating health. Farhad Meysami went on hunger strike on August 1st. The women’s rights defender detained in Evin Prison has reportedly lost 18 kilograms despite being force-fed intravenously.

Prisoners housed in the women’s section of Evin Prison were denied their visiting rights. Three female political prisoners, Golrokh Iraee, Atena Daemi, and Maryam Akbari Monfared were unable to receive visitors for three weeks.

The regime agents reported that the visitation rights were withheld following a verbal altercation between the women and several prison guards. The women allegedly chanted protest slogans in the visitation hall.

The report shines further light on the appalling conduct and behavior of the regime’s agents. It underscores the extent that the regime is carrying out a systematic and brutal campaign of repression against the Iranian population.

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The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

NCRI-US introduction of the book "Iran double downs on terror and turmoil"

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)- US office, introduces the new book “Iran double downs on terror and turmoil” in a press briefing in Washington D.C. at NCRI-US office- November 2, 2018

On Friday, November 2nd, the deputy director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Alireza Jafarzedah, held a press conference in Washington DC ahead of the release of the new book entitled “Iran Doubles Down on Terror and Turmoil”. In the conference, he outlined the Iranian regime’s decision-making, planning, and execution of terror attacks abroad.

He also explored strategies for confronting the regime’s network of terror and detailed what the international community can do to prevent Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks occurring.

A Surge in State-Sponsored Terror Attacks

Jafarzedah drew attention to the increased volume of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks over the last 12 months. In 2017, the Iranian regime planned and executed two state-sponsored terror attacks

However, in the first 11 months of 2018, Tehran has planned and attempted to carry out no less than eight terror plots on US and European soil.

Several of the most high-profile attacks included an attack in March against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Albania. The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) planned to detonate a truck bomb during the MEK’s Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations.

Three months later, the regime’s MOIS coordinated an attack on the MEK’s annual grand gathering event in Paris. More than 100,000 members of the Iranian resistance and their supporters attended the event, including delegations of prominent politicians from the US and Europe.

The plan was foiled when two MOIS agents were arrested. The pair had entered Albania under the guise of reporters. The president-elect of the Iranian resistance,  Maryam Rajavi, was present at the event, as was the former mayor of New York and lawyer to President Trump, Rudy Giuliani.

Jafarzedah detailed the MEK’s findings that a regime diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosive matter. The couple was instructed to detonate a car laden with explosives at the annual event.

The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was the MOIS station-chief in Vienna and responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe. Assadi was arrested by German authorities, the couple was detained whilst traveling in a car to the event in Paris armed with the explosives. Disaster was narrowly averted.

In response to the failed attack, the French government froze MOIS assets and expelled an Iranian diplomat from Paris over their involvement in the attack’s planning.

Another plot was foiled in the US. Two Iranian regime agents were arrested in August. The pair had been monitoring the MEK with the intention of carrying out a “capture/kill” operation against MEK members.

Most recently, Danish authorities foiled a regime-orchestrated plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. The Danish authorities arrested one suspect in connection to the plot. It also recalled the Danish ambassador to Iran.

Jafarzedah concluded that these plots were not rogue operations. He cited evidence that indicates the highest levels of the Iranian leadership were involved in the plots. 4 diplomats were implicated, based in three different countries. It is unfathomable to think that the Iranian leadership, including Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader Khamenei, was not involved in the plots’ coordination.

The Web

Jafarzedah outlined the Iranian leadership’s decision-making web that coordinates these elaborate and damaging terror attacks.

Based on the MEK’s findings, Jafarzedah described how the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, coordinates terror attacks with the assistance of the heads of MOIS, IRGC Intelligence, Qods Forces and the Intelligence Coordination Council.

Why Now?

So, why is the regime ratcheting up its terror attacks now? Jafarzedah asserted that it is because of the increasing popularity and effectiveness of the MEK in Iran.

Over the past 10 months, MEK-organised protests have broken out across 142 Iranian cities and hit many of Iran’s major sectors. The protests have also taken a far stronger anti-regime tone. Protestors’ slogans have centered on a rejection of the regime and its authoritarian and repressive ideologies.

Jafarzedah said that the terror attacks were a sign of the regime’s “utter desperation” in the face of mounting pressures both internally and externally.

Confronting the Regime’s State-Sponsored Terrorism

Jafarzedah recommended several strategies for containing and limiting the Iranian regime’s terror activities.

First and foremost, Jafarzedah recommended that all the regime agents be prosecuted under the full weight of US and European law.

Secondly, the US and European governments must expel all Iranian terrorist diplomats and shut down Iranian embassies in Europe. The involvement of several diplomats in the planning and coordination indicate that Iranian diplomatic activities must be put under the microscope.

The MEK has repeatedly asserted that Iranian embassies make up a barely-concealed espionage web through which the regime can plot terror attacks. It is only through shutting down these embassies that the regime’s nefarious activities can be stymied.

Finally, Jafarzedah asserted that international sanctions must be levied against the Iranian regime. By constricting the flow of money to the regime, the international community can end the regime’s financing and training of international terror groups.

Is the International Community Warming to the Idea?

Immediately following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, European governments scrambled to salvage the deal. Even when the US announced its latest round of sanctions, European governments resisted them.

However, following the recent terror plots on European soil, including the Paris and Denmark attacks, the European community has warmed to the idea of possible sanctions.

Fox News reported that the Danish government is now calling for economic sanctions against Tehran. When the idea was floated at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, eight countries, including France and the UK expressed support for the idea.

The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, expressed his pleasure. “I appreciate the support from my colleague Theresa May today. In close collaboration with [the] UK and other countries, we will stand up to Iran”, he said after a meeting with his counterpart from the UK.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his government stands with the European heads of state to end the regime’s assassination attempts on European soil.

Pompeo said, “that kind of behavior needs to stop, and we have offered our support and effort to help the Europeans in preventing these kinds of assassination attempts from taking place”.

The MEK had suggested that in the face of increased regime terror attacks, the European community should begin to rethink its policy of “appeasement” with the Iranian regime. At the Friday press conference, Jafarzedeh said, “they [European governments] now have to look at these realities in a totally different light”.

The summer of 2018 could mark a turning point in international policy towards the Iranian regime. Should the European governments end their decades-long policy of appeasement towards the mullahs, they will find themselves under even more pressure.

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Farmer's protest in Isfahan

Regime’s Incompetence Forces Once Prosperous Isfahan Farmers into Poverty

Farmer's protest in Isfahan

Archive Photo: Farmers in Isfahan are protesting, objecting the water shortages and violation of their rights by the regime-March 2018

The farmers of Isfahan are once again protesting water shortages and violations of their water rights. Sources from the MEK report that farmers in Varzaneh, Shatur, Ziar, and other cities in Isfahan Province gathered on Thursday to protest water shortages and lack of access to water.

The Drying of the Zayanderud River

The Zayanderud River used to flow through Isfahan, providing the wealthy farmers in cities such as Qahdarijan with water to irrigate their crops. Then the regime drained the river by  building factories upstream of Isfahan and diverting the water to other regions. These practices, combined with a drought, caused the river to dry up. Now the once prosperous Isfahan farmers have been forced into poverty.

The city of Qahdarijan is covered in agricultural land and depends upon farming. The drying of the

Zayanderud, the largest river in central Iran, has been disastrous for the area’s economy and environment.“The water cycle has been annihilated. The entire water of the river has been allocated to industry,” said an Isfahan environmental activist in July.

The representative from the city of Falavarjan on the Isfahan Islamic Council, Hesam Nazari, discussed the impact of the water shortage on the people of Qahdarijan in an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency.

“The city of Falavarjan has about 270 thousand inhabitants and has three districts and most of the people work in the agricultural sector,” he said. “I don’t exaggerate when I say that 90% of the people in Qahdarijan are engaged in all sorts of agricultural-related jobs.”

Before the Zayanderud dried, most farmers in the Isfahan region grew onions, but rice and other crops were grown as recently as a few years ago. Water shortages have forced farmers to stop growing these crops altogether.

“Some the people who were once wealthy, are currently so deprived and poverty-stricken that they are covered by relief foundations such as the Emdad Foundation,” Nazari said.

“Many of them are retired farmers who have large families and many children and relatives and have no other source of income. If this is not a catastrophe then what is it?” asked the Isfahan Council official on state-run TV.

Nazari affirmed the water rights of the Isfahan farmers. “If there is water in Zayanderud River, then all the people, especially those with water rights should have equal access to it. Of course, farmers are more entitled since their livelihood depends on it,” he said. “When a person has problems with his livelihood, he suffers very much. Unfortunately, at the moment, most people are unemployed and do not have an income in Qahdarijan.”

Protests Will Become Political

Nazari implicitly acknowledged the anti-regime protests that have taken place among Iran’s farmers, saying that protests would turn political. The MEK has helped to organize protest movements across Iran since nationwide anti-regime protests broke out last December amongst all sectors of society. Iran’s farmers are one of the many groups who have organized to repeatedly protest against the regime’s corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources.

“The Ben-Brojen Plan, which incorporated providing a huge water supply to large industrial factories and using the water for other areas and many decisions that resulted from mismanagement has made the people angry,” Nazari said.

“The farmers say kill us or throw us out of Iran. Are we not as farmers part of the people of this country, they ask”, he said.

Nazari pointed out that the protesting farmers were only asking for fair distribution of water. “Unfortunately, the Ministry of Energy does not take into consideration the approved decisions of the Supreme Water Council and ignores farmers,” he said.

Nazari warned, “If officials cannot handle the demands of the protesters, they should know that these protests and demands may be exploited by the enemies of the Islamic Republic.”

The farmers of Isfahan protested water shortages at the beginning of the year. The protests and demonstrations focused on the regime’s corruption and lasted for more than two months. Sporadic protests have broken out in the region over the past eleven months as the uprising has continued throughout the country.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

An increase in Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

The Regime’s Terror Activities are a Growing Concern in the US

An increase in Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

Photo Credit to Daily Express: Iranian regime’s terrorist activities increase in Europe.

On Thursday, November 1st, Fox News published an article by Hollie McKay on the Iranian terror network in Europe targetting the MEK, Iran’s principal opposition group. Headlined, “Foiled Iranian Plots in Europe Raise Concern in US, Spotlight Israeli Intelligence Sharing”, the article outlines the recent spate of regime-sponsored terror plots in Europe and the response to them in the US.

McKay quoted Michael Rozin, the president of a US-based threat detection company. “Given recent geopolitical developments, there is a growing concern of Iran orchestrating assignations and potential attacks”, he said.

A Growing Concern

This growing concern has been on display in recent months. Following this summers foiled terror attacks in Albania and France, on Tuesday, the Danish government revealed that it had apprehended a suspect with ties to the Iranian regime over their involvement in an assassination plot.

Few details have been revealed about the nature of the plot, however, it is clear that the regime’s target was a member of the ASMLA, an Arab separatist movement.

The regime had planned to assassinate the member of the Iranian resistance on Danish soil, prompting outrage from the Danish government.

In August, the US Department of Justice also arrested two Iranians on espionage charges. Once again, their targets were members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), an Iranian resistance group.

One of the pair, Majid Ghorbani, had photos of MEK members in his possession, prompting the assumption that they were preparing an attack against the opposition group. The indictment brought against Ghobani described his involvement in a plot to kidnap and kill a leading MEK member, Ali Safavi.

Applying Leverage

McKay’s piece mentioned the methods the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) recruit citizens to plan the attacks. Michael Rozin told Fox News, “Iranian intelligence services typically leverage local residents or citizens for pre-operational activities”.

They use those with families in Iran they can threaten and use as leverage. Amir Saadouni, one of the Belgian-Iranians arrested in the foiled Paris terror attack in June, reportedly had received threats from MOIS agents. They said they would make life very difficult for his family if he didn’t go along with the attack.

Often, recruits are brought to Tehran for training under the guise of visiting family. There they receive payments for small missions, or extensive training to become a full MOIS agent.

Something Bigger

Ali Safavi, the target of an MOIS kidnapping and assassination plot expressed his concerns. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was part of something bigger”, he said, “I don’t think authorities have gotten to the bottom of this- more information of a network could most certainly come to light”.

Many in the US intelligence establishment share Safavi’s concerns. There are fears that these arrests are merely the tip of the iceberg and are indicative of a far wider underground terror and espionage network.

A former CIA operative with contacts in the Middle East intelligence network told Fox News that the regime in Iran is “one of our top national security concerns and challenges”, adding that the intelligence services have become increasingly “engaged with the Iranian threat”.

An Iranian Pushback

On Monday, the latest slew of economic sanctions will come into effect, targeting Iranian exports with the intention of crippling the Iranian oil industry. Many are concerned that the sanctions will invoke a response from Tehran.

One unnamed source said, “it is a good bet Iran will do something to lash out in response to the sanctions”. The source specified that it was unclear in what capacity or where this response would occur, “it could be targeted against US allies in the Gulf region, or against US targets and interests in Europe”.

Senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation, James Phillips explained. “Iran has a long history of terrorism and assassinations”, he said, citing the failed 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. as one example.

Fox News speculated that General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds forces, controls between 10,000 and 15,000 agents currently based outside Iran. These recruits make up an extensive terror network spanning across Europe and the West.

Jonathan Ruhe, Associate Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy, said, “the IRGC Quds Force, which carries out many of these operations, even has a special directorate for operations against the US and other Western countries”.

Traditionally, Ruhe said, these attacks have “focused on terrorist bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings”.

Election Interference

Sources have also expressed concern over election interference. In September, Twitter deleted 770 accounts that were linked to the Iranian regime. The accounts had been responsible for 1,122,936 tweets, most of which were about the 2016 US presidential election with the intention of influencing the American electorate.

Many of the accounts posted under the guise of foreign journalists or US citizens, however, they provided links to Iranian regime-affiliated media networks.

An unnamed source approached by Fox News explained the threat the Iranian regime poses to the midterm elections. “The state-sponsored elements are certainly cognizant of our midterm elections”, they said.

As the midterms approach and the sanctions increase the uncertainty over the mullahs’ future in power, the Iranian regime may resort to increasingly violent and aggressive strategies to maintain its grip on power. Europe and the US must recognize this and aim to dismantle the underground web of terror that permeates across the Western world.

Staff Writer

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