Posts Tagged ‘Mujahedin-e Khalq’

MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

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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Protest against the abduction of Hashem Khastar

Iran: Protesters Call for Release of Abducted Activist Teacher

Protest against the abduction of Hashem Khastar

Tens of protesters object the continued abduction of the retired teacher and union activists, Hashem Khastar by the Iranian intelligence forces.

Tens of activists joined the family of Mr. Hashem Khastar, the retired teacher and head of the Teachers Union Center in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday to protest his abduction by the Iranian regime. Dozens of protesters rallied outside of Ebn Seena Hospital to demand Khastar’s release from the psychiatric facility where he is being held without cause.

State security forces and anti-riot units were already present and immediately arrested Khastar’s son.

Mr. Khastar’s wife, Sedighe Maleki, refused to leave, saying, “I will remain here until my husband is released.”

State security forces then arrested Mrs. Maleki as well and transferred her to an unknown location. Mrs. Maleki is currently in poor health following open heart surgery.

Mr. Khastar’s sister also refused to leave the hospital, despite orders from security forces. Witnesses saw her shouting for the release of her brother.

Khastar’s Abduction

Hashem Khastar was abducted from his farm in Mashhad on October 23rd by security forces. After his wife reported his disappearance, she received a call from a member of the Revolutionary Guards, who said that her husband was hospitalized in the psychiatric ward of Ibn Seena Hospital.

Activist Teacher Abducted by Iranian Regime

Mr. Khastar has no history of psychiatric illness. He takes blood pressure medication, which is normal for his age but has no other physical ailments.

Mr. Khastar is under heavy guard and has not been allowed, visitors. Mrs. Maleki has still not been permitted to see her husband. She spoke of her frustration in an interview:

“On Thursday, I went to the courthouse for permission to visit my husband, Mr. Seyed Hashem Khastar, in Mashhad’s Ebn Seena Hospital. There was no file or records about this arrest. I spoke to the deputy public prosecutor about my husband’s arrest and he said they had not issued any orders for his arrest. I spoke with another deputy public prosecutor and he said we had not given any orders either. I received the same answer from the Intelligence Ministry, the IRGC intelligence and the police.

“The Social Emergency unit arrested him outside his orchard and took him straight to the Ebn Seena Hospital. They took blood from him and gave him an injection… Considering the fact that my husband’s life is in danger in this psychiatric hospital, he must be released immediately,” she added.

Calls to Action

Mrs. Maleki asked the protesters to demand that the Iranian regime’s judiciary immediately release Khastar.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has issued a call for international human rights organizations to take action and call upon the Iranian region to release Mr. Khastar. The NCRI Education Commission is also calling upon the

United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran to guarantee Mr. Khastar’s safety.

Arrested for Activism

Reports published on social media by MEK sources say that Mr. Khastar was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents without a warrant and transferred to a psychiatric ward. Mrs. Maleki described the roadblocks she had encountered in her efforts to visit her husband.

“A nurse told me that Mr. Khastar has been hospitalized in an emergency room and is banned from any family visits, based on orders issued by security officials,” she said.

“He was completely healthy and after retiring spent many of his days farming. The only medication he consumed were blood pressure pills. Khastar being hospitalized in an emergency section of a special facility for psychiatric patients means [authorities] injected a special type of medication with the intention of killing him, or he had been severely injured under torture or during his arrest,” Mrs. Maleki added.

Khastar was a tireless advocate of teachers who had been arrested and imprisoned by the regime on a number of occasions for his activism. In the weeks leading up to his abduction, Khastar participated in protests on behalf of jailed teachers and made public calls for the release of his imprisoned colleagues.

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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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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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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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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.

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Iran rial is plunging due to economic crisis

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Rial continues to plunge in the exchange market, an indication of the surging economic crisis in Iran

Iran’s economy is starting to see the effects of U.S. sanctions, which began their first phase in August and are due to be fully reimposed next Monday, November 5th. An article published on ncr-iran.org on Thursday explains how the Iranian economy has been weakened by decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs and why the regime is ill-equipped to address the snowballing economic crises now facing the country.

The economic climate in Iran was already unstable when the nationwide uprising, led by the MEK, began last December. The widespread protests and strikes, which continue today on a daily basis in cities across the country, have further weakened the economy. The addition of the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May was catastrophic. By every metric, the Iranian economy is failing. The NCRI article broke down Iran’s financial crisis in terms of numbers. Below is a summary of the data.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The regime’s Parliament’s Research Center predicts a 0.8% drop in Iran’s GDP this fiscal year and a 2.5% drop next year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a steeper decline, estimating a drop of 1.5% this year and 3.6% next.

Inflation

According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the inflation rate for the month of September alone was 5.4%. According to the Central Bank, the rate was 6.1%.

Exchange Rate

The regime artificially set the exchange rate at 42,000 rials per U.S. dollar in April, but the global exchange rate reached 200,000 rials per U.S. dollar in October. It is widely speculated that the volatile risk will plunge again, driving up prices for the already struggling Iranian people.

Unemployment

Iran has a double-digit unemployment rate, which is troubling, but the employment situation is much worse for those with college degrees, particularly young people. According to estimates, one-third of Iranian men and one-half of Iranian women under 30 with college degrees are jobless.

Housing Market

People are hesitant to buy property in an unstable economy. Prices are high, and home values could plummet at any time.

Exports

Exports are up immediately preceding the U.S. deadline for the reimposition of oil sanctions, but these are expected to fall dramatically next week.

The Iranian regime has not proposed a plan to address the economic cataclysm facing the nation. Its solutions are either patently ridiculous (banning the export of tomatoes) or actively harmful. Artificially setting the exchange rate did nothing to help the economy, but it did allow the IRGC to exploit the difference in the artificial rate and the global rate to profit off imports and exports.

While the people of Iran suffer from the consequences of the mullahs’ corruption and mismanagement, the regime continues to bungle every attempt at handling their self-made crisis and profits from their own incompetence.

The economy will not recover as long as the mullahs are in charge.

Staff Writer

 

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Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Reza Merat

MEK supporters

MEK Spokesperson Pens Two Letters to the Editor of the Guardian

MEK supporters

MEK supporters in the Free Iran gathering

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) revealed on Thursday that it had sent two letters to the editor of the Guardian, a UK-based newspaper. In the letters, MEK spokesperson Shahin Gobadi warned that the Iranian regime is trying to use its newspaper as a political mouthpiece to advance its agenda.

Under the guise of “journalists”, the regime attempts to demonize the MEK the main Iranian opposition movement. Smear campaigns are a regular occurrence, designed to legitimise attacks, kidnappings and assassination attempts made against the group.

A Slanderous Article

The first letter drew attention to the “slanderous article by Arron Reza Merat against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran”. It warned the Guardian’s editor that Merat’s article would “be riddled with lies, slander, and baseless allegations against the Iranian resistance”. Warning that these, should they appear in print, could provide the foundations for legal action.

Arron Reza Merat is preparing an article on the MEK and has reached out to senior members of the MEK for an interview.

However, Merat is far from an objective journalist. He is a public advocate of the clerical regime in Iran. He also has an extensive history of publicly criticizing and condemning the MEK and other Iranian resistance groups.

A Future Attack?

In the letters, the MEK spokesperson laid out its concerns that in giving Merat an international platform to spout the regime’s propaganda, the Guardian would be setting the stage for a future terrorist attack against MEK.

The Iranian regime has increased its terror activities in recent months. In March, Albanian authorities foiled a planned terror attack against the MEK during the Persian New Year celebrations. Then, in June, Belgian authorities intercepted a couple driving a car laden with explosives. Their target was the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering in Paris.

Most recently, Danish officials revealed a regime-sponsored plot on Danish soil to kidnap and murder a political dissident.

In a letter dated October 3rd, the MEK spokesperson called the Guardian’s coverage of the June Paris attack, full of “wild allegations, slander, and smears that totally tarnished the image of the PMOI (MEK), which was used to justify and legitimize this criminal act”.

The spokesperson also called out the newspapers “hysterical enmity towards delisting of the PMOI [from the US, UK and EU terrorist blacklist]” as, “utterly shameful”, reiterating that the “highest courts in the UK, EU, and the US had repeatedly determined that the terrorist designation was unjust and perverse”.

Shoring Up Regime Power

In addition to legitimizing attacks against the MEK, the MEK spokesperson reiterated that the article would bolster the regime’s power at a time when it is at its most vulnerable.

The MEK’s popularity is rising. It now represents a significant domestic threat to the regime. External threats are also mounting as the latest round of US sanctions is due to hit in a matter of days.

The regime needs an article like Merat’s to shore up its leadership and cement its position in power.

Gobadi concluded his letters by reiterating that the MEK had no objection to the Guardian reporting on its activities. But it wants the newspaper to exercise “primary journalistic principles” and correct the lies it has previously reported about the regime, as well as using actual objective journalists in its future reporting.

Using mouthpieces of the regime only serves to increase the danger for MEK members by increasing the likelihood of future attacks allow the regime to shore up its power. A newspaper of international acclaim like the Guardian should understand its journalistic obligations and consider them before publishing future articles on the MEK.

Staff Writer

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