Posts Tagged ‘PMOI’

Iran MEK,Maryam Rajavi,Naser Malek Motiei,NCRI,PMOI,Zahedan Protests

Nasser Malek Moteie's funeral

Anti-regime sentiment is present in public spaces everywhere across Iran

Nasser Malek Moteie's funeral

Nasser Malek Moteie’s funeral turns in to a protest against the regime – May 27, 2018

The students at Zahedan Azad University used their voices to stand up against the public humiliation of Iran’s Baluchi citizens. Many of Iran’s Sunni and minority communities suffer from state-endorsed discrimination. Prominent Baluchi religious leaders have been killed in recent years under suspicious circumstances. This has prompted many to question the regime’s involvement in their deaths.

On Saturday, May 25th the students joined other members of the public in expressing their frustration and dismay at the regime’s abhorrent discriminatory measures. They chanted “do not be afraid, we are all together,” and carried banners against the degradation of ethnic minorities. Agents of the regime arrested a number of students involved in the demonstrations.

Maryam Rajavi’s support

Leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, offered words of encouragement and support to the students and their compatriots. She denounced the regime, expressing “shame and hatred” for the clerical regime which “is the main source of discrimination and disunity in Iran today”. The President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) also called on the youth of the Baluchi and Sistan communities, as well as those in other communities across Iran, to stand in solidarity with the brave protestors of Zahedan.

Public Discontent

The protests in Zahedan, as well as recent truck driver protests, farmers protests, and student movements across the country, demonstrate the public’s desire to express their anger at the regime at every public opportunity. On Sunday, May 27th those gathered in attendance at the funeral of Naser Malek Motiei also used their voices to show their displeasure with the regime.

Naser Malek Motiei was a prominent Iranian cinema star who was isolated and attacked by the regime for refusing to concede to its unpopular policies. He used his art to show his displeasure with the regime, and it cost him four decades of his career.

It was entirely fitting then for those gathered at his funeral to use the opportunity to draw attention to the regime’s ill-treatment of Naser and the Iranian people. Out of respect for the deceased 88-year-old, the people chanted “death to the dictator, hail to Naser,” and “our disgrace is our (state) radio and TV”, referring to the state controlled

In an attempt to curb the protests, the regime dispatched anti-riot forces who tried to intimidate those in attendance with tear gas and shots fired into the air. The people were undeterred and continued the ceremony, adding chants of “shameless, shameless,” into their chorus.

Until the Iranian regime falls, the public will continue to vent their frustrations at every opportunity presented. The protests will only intensify until the current status quo is brought to an end.

Staff Writer

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Iran Protests,Iran Uprising,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,PMOI,Ramesh Sepehrrad

MEK Rally in support of IranProtests

New Study Suggests Revolution on Horizon in Iran

MEK Rally in support of IranProtests

MEK Rally in Paris, in support of Iran Protests-2018

A new study was written by Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, a scholar-practitioner at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University, published in the journal E-International Relations on May 21st draws attention to the growing unrest in Iran. The uprising that began last December gave voice to a growing number of Iranians who are tired of the regime’s shallow claims of reform and are demanding regime change. Sepehrrad’s paper discusses the roots of the uprising, the reason for its widespread impact, and its potential to start a revolution in Iran.

 

The scope of the Protests

 

According to Sepehrrad, the recent uprising in Iran began with a protest in the northeastern holy city of Mashad over rising food prices and quickly spread into a massive uprising that took place in 140 cities across Iran. During the two weeks before the regime temporarily suppressed the uprising, the scope of the protests grew from economic conditions to inequality, to corruption, and finally to calls for regime change.

 

The people protesting came from all walks of life, but the first protests were led by Iranians from the lower middle-class whose standard of living has decreased dramatically in recent years. They were joined by large numbers of women and youths who rose up in solidarity with those struggling through poor economic conditions. As the uprising grew, more people joined the ranks of protesters, including members of Iran’s many ethnic groups, including Turks, Kurds, Turkmen, Arab, Taleshi, Baluch, Lor, Bakhtiari, and Ghashghai, and the uprising began to look more like a coordinated effort and less like scattered protests. The regime attempted to paint the protesters as looters and criminals, but, as Sepehrrad wrote in her paper, this argument was invalidated by the fact that no looting occurred. The uprising was well-organized and goal-oriented, not a few protests by the poor and desperate.

 

Sepehrrad pointed out that Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei later acknowledged the role of the MEK in the uprising in an attempt to frighten people and prevent further protests. The regime’s record of brutality to the MEK is well-documented. In the summer of 1988 alone the regime executed 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members. By acknowledging the MEK’s role in the uprising, the regime hoped to discourage protesters who did not want to meet the same fate as the tens of thousands of MEK members who have been targeted by the mullahs, but instead, they inadvertently lent credibility to the resistance organization and its goal of regime change.

 

According to Sepehrrad, the December 2017/January 2018 uprisings were unique in several respects. For one thing, the protests were widespread, occurring in 140 cities over the course of two weeks. Protests occurred both in cities and in more rural areas. This was partially due to the use of social media, specifically Telegram, to spread the word of the uprisings. Government censorship efforts tend to cluster in the larger cities in Iran, so protesters in smaller cities were able to bypass state censors to get their message out in a way that would not have been possible in Tehran. The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is also more densely clustered in larger cities, meaning that protests in small cities were not quickly or easily suppressed before word could spread. In addition, the protests began because of frustrations with economic conditions. The poor are disproportionately located in smaller cities, so the places where protests could spread more easily were also the places where more people felt compelled to protest.

 

Sepehrrad found that protesters also utilized social media to collect data about the uprising. This information is an invaluable resource for predicting future acts of resistance by the people. Sepehrrad claims that the data gathered during the uprising shows a new model of protest in Iran that encompasses diverse groups and locations.

 

Sepehrrad also wrote about the unity shown by the protesters. People protested for many reasons, but all of the protesters were united by their desire for regime change. According to Sepehrrad’s research, 65% of protest signs seem during the uprising called for regime change. This was extraordinary for such a diverse group of people. The poor, women, young people, legitimate political groups, the labor movement, various ethnic groups, and representatives from every social class banded together to demand change. This sort of unity in protest has been seen historically in revolutionary settings.

 

The data collected during the uprising provided a picture of the protesters and their goals. Sepehrrad found four major themes in her analysis of the data.

 

  1. Unlike previous uprisings, the protesters in the recent uprising had no desire to negotiate with the regime for concessions. They demanded nothing less than regime change.
  2. The uprising was an organized nationwide movement, with protests occurring all over Iran, not just in the cities.
  3. Social media played a huge role in the uprising, in part because the protesters were able to flip the script and transfer the fear of retaliation from the protesters to the regime by documenting protests and communicating in a medium that could bypass the regime’s attempts at censorship.
  4. The unity displayed by a diverse group of protesters has unleashed sentiments of revolution across Iran.

 

Goals and Tactics of Protesters

 

Protesters shared the common goal of regime change, but Sepehrrad found that there were a number of different issues that led people to rise up. Economic conditions caused many people to rise up. The lower middle class made up a large percentage of protesters because this group has been forced into poverty by the regime’s policies. Under the ruling regime, economic disparities between regime officials and their families and the rest of the country have disillusioned many Iranians. The regime has been accused of financial corruption, leading to unequal access to wealth that has caused widespread poverty amongst Iranians. Numerous allegations of corruption by the members of the regime have been made, and these claims have been substantiated by a report by Transparency International, which ranked Iran 131 among 178 countries.

 

According to Sepehrrad‘s research, 40% of Iranian citizens in large cities live below the poverty line, and 60-70% of people in smaller cities and towns live in poverty. Young people, educated women, and college graduates are chronically unemployed or underemployed, with the regime acknowledging a 35% unemployment rate among the nation’s youth and a 52% unemployment rate among women.

 

In addition to the epidemic of poverty, Iran’s housing crisis has been unaddressed by the regime, leaving many living in dire conditions. Sepehrrad estimated that 25% of the population has been affected by this crisis. The environmental crisis caused by the regime has compounded the inhumane living conditions faced by the people. According to Sepehrrad, the regime’s mismanagement has led to the drying of 90% of the country’s wetlands, leaving many without access to water.

 

 

The Role of Social Media

 

 

The increased access to the Internet and social media drove many to demand change. Despite the regime’s efforts to censor online material, Iranians have found ways to connect with each other and the larger world. These people, particularly women and educated youth, see the disparity between the rights enjoyed by people in other countries and the oppression and inequality experienced within Iran. They protested for greater individual freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of association.

 

According to Sepehrrad, the increase in access to online information has also given the Iranian people access to unbiased news, and not just the propaganda published by the state. This has drawn attention to the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, a majority of whom were MEK members. Some of the biggest sites of protests were in cities where mass graves of the executed 1988 political prisoners were located.

 

Sepehrrad added that increased access to social media has also led to greater awareness of the plight of political prisoners. Word travels fast on the Internet, and now when someone is detained for the crime of speaking their mind, the rest of Iran knows about it. Iran’s abysmal human rights record (17 out of 100 points, according to Amnesty International) has led many to feel that Iran is unreformable. For many, the only solution to Iran’s problems is regime change. This sentiment, expressed by a large and diverse group of Iranians spread across the country, is the main ingredient of a revolution.

 

Protests did not end when the uprising was suppressed and continue each day in cities across Iran. In late January of 2018, protesters began using a secure crowdsourcing tool to communicate with each other about upcoming protests, resistance efforts, and the current locations of security forces. They also take videos of events in Iran to share with the rest of the world.

 

Sepehrrad noted that the use of purposeful collective action has been a factor in the uprising and continuing protests. Protesters have unified to act against the state in a coordinated fashion. Sepehrrad wrote that targets of these actions include “local religious leaders and centers, security forces and personnel, government-controlled financial institutions and banks, judicial branches, and government offices.” Protesters have taken down and burned images of the Supreme Leader in numerous cities. This action, in particular, has energized the resistance movement. Collective action is still occurring in Iran as part of ongoing protest efforts.

 

The MEK’s Role in the Uprising

 

According to Sepehrrad and the regime itself, Tehran has placed responsibility for the uprising on the MEK, who did indeed play a large role in organizing protests. But the seeds of dissent have been present among the people of Iran for decades. The MEK is simply an expression of the dissatisfaction of the people with the current regime.

 

The usual practice of the regime is to violently suppress any dissent. But Sepehrrad noted that those calling themselves “reformers” have been more hesitant to violently act against their own people. The uprising has given these reformers pause, and they have had to backtrack on many of their “reformist” views because it is clear that the people are serious about regime change. Sepehrrad wrote that on January 24, 2018, one of the senior pundits of the so-called “reformist” faction admitted that these protests will come in waves and as they recede, “they will come back stronger.”

 

The MEK has long been a target of the regime’s wrath, wrote Sepehrrad, as they are the largest and oldest resistance movement in Iran and have had success in opposing the mullahs’ rule. The regime has spent significant time and political capital in an attempt to delegitimize the movement and have claimed repeatedly that the MEK has been diminished and has little influence or support from the Iranian people. But the recent acknowledgment by the regime of the MEK’s role in the growing unrest runs counter to their argument that the MEK does not speak for the people. The large and widespread uprising that took place clearly shows the will of the people, and their goals align with the MEK and its longstanding position that meaningful change can only happen with the end of the mullahs’ rule.

 

Conclusion

 

Sepehrrad’s paper demonstrates that the uprising and continuing protests in Iran are not scattered acts of resistance. The large-scale nature of the protests, their continuance despite attempts by the regime at suppression, their diverse makeup, and the unity displayed by the protesters point to revolution. The use of social media has made Iranians more aware of their shared concerns and has enabled them to organize more effectively. The people have no desire to negotiate with the regime. Their message is clear. Revolution is the only way to bring true reform to Iran. Sepehrrad’s paper may be read in its entirety on the E-International Relations website.

 

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MEK rally in London

America’s JCPOA Withdrawal Offers Fresh Opportunities

MEK rally in London

Iran opposition activists rally in support of MEK

On May 22nd, townhall.com published a piece by Soona Samsami on Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The article published under the title “After Nuclear Deal, the West Should Focus on Real Change”, highlighted the rise of the pro-democracy movement in Iran and urged the international community to reassess its stance towards the Iranian regime.

Samsami, the U.S. representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, argued that with the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there is an opportunity for the international community to broaden the discussion. The JCPOA was negotiated to curb the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, first and foremost. With the deal’s looming failure, there is an opportunity to reach international consensus on a course of action which promotes democracy, peace, and security, not just denuclearisation.

A more comprehensive approach

The leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, was quoted in the article. She has often expressed concerns with the Iran deal. She believes that regime change is a prerequisite for “peace, democracy, security and stability”.

The recent wave of protests that began in December 2017, and continues to rage across the country, has shown that creating stability and security in the Middle East, depends on more than just an effective denuclearisation deal. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has organized highly-effective national protests which have mobilized Iranians from all walks of life.

These outbursts of dissatisfaction from the Iranian public demonstrate the unpopularity of the regime in Iran. It presents an opportunity for the international community to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions once and for all; by helping the people, and the MEK, secure regime change and restores Iranian democracy.

A regime under threat

There have been recent indicators that the position of Rouhani and his mullahs is under threat. He phoned French President Emmanuel Macron and urged him to crack down on the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) activities in France. A week later, Ali Khamenei conceded publicly that the MEK had planned protests across the country.

The regime has also attempted to repress dissent across the country by coming down violently on those that protest. In clear breach of international human rights laws, the regime has executed and imprisoned those that dare to protest in the streets.

Denuclearisation and human rights can go hand in hand

The American withdrawal from the Iran deal allows the international community to consider an alternative that would promote both denuclearisation and human rights in the region. Maryam Rajavi urged the international community to modify their stance towards the regime in consideration of the human rights abuses carried out by the mullahs. She said the Iranian people “are calling on the international community, in particular, the West, to support their uprising for the overthrow of the Iranian regime.”

The plight of the Iranian people has attracted support from prominent figures in the Trump administration, including Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton. Public events organized by the Iranian opposition across the globe also draw in large numbers in support of the cause. The annual rally in support of the Iranian opposition near Paris, which is held on June 30th at Villepinte this year, usually draws numbers of over 100,000.

The conditions in 2015, when the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated, were drastically different from those in the country today. The deal at a time when the survival of the clerical regime appeared much more concrete. International heads of state believed they would be dealing with the regime for the foreseeable future and had little margin for negotiation beyond curbing its nuclear program, which has now proved to be a mistake.

Today, the survival of the regime looks in doubt. Protests are intensifying and the well-organized opposition of the MEK are pushing for the regime’s overthrow. This is an opportunity for the Western world to support the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and regime change. Only then can they be sure that Iran will be free from nuclear weapons, and the stability of the Middle East will be improved. Allowing the regime to remain in power and pushing forward with an ineffective deal will only lead to more chaos, routine human rights abuses, and instability throughout the Middle East.

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Maryam Rajavi's position on Secretary Pompeo's speech on Iran

Maryam Rajavi, Mike Pompeo’s Iran Speech a step in Right Directions

Maryam Rajavi's position on Secretary Pompeo's speech on Iran

Maryam Rajavi’s position on Secretary Pompeo’s speech on Iran Deal – May 21, 2018

Two weeks after President Trump’s landmark decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, used his first public message to call for a united international response to the threat posed by the Iranian regime. Maryam Rajavi, leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed her position  on Secretary Pompeo ’s speech.

In his speech, Mike Pompeo outlined the reasons why the US felt compelled to withdraw from the deal. He cited the large sums of “blood money” awarded to the regime. He also raised American concerns over the deals inability to stop the regime’s uranium enrichment, the lack of access to nuclear sites, and the continued development of ballistic missile systems. He went on to appeal for a deal which would end close these loopholes, as well as one which would end the illicit funding for terrorist groups abroad and prevent the regime from interfering in the Syrian conflict.

Pompeo also acknowledged the progress made by the Iranian public in its speech. He said the protests “show that the Iranian people are deeply frustrated with their own government failures”.

Responding to Pompeo’s speech, Maryam Rajavi applauded the significance of Pompeo’s acknowledgment of the Iranian protest movement. She stressed that “forming an international front against the religious and terrorist dictatorship in Iran is requisite for the establishment of peace, security and coexistence in the region and world over.”

Many of the criticisms of the 2015 nuclear deal that Mike Pompeo aired in his speech had been stated by Maryam Rajavi herself in the past. In 2013, she expressed the need for a deal which completely halted uranium enrichment and called for “unhindered access to suspected nuclear centers and facilities”.

After the deal came into effect in 2015, she also warned the international community that the agreement would do little to block the mullah’s progression towards becoming a nuclear state. She also warned that the money awarded to the regime under the terms of the agreement would be misspent. She said, “Khamenei will use these funds to further the regime’s policy of export of terrorism and fundamentalism in Syria”.

It seems the US Secretary of State has now publicly acknowledged these concerns.

Staff Writer

 

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Free Iran Gathering in Paris

Western Policy Ignores the Will of the Iranian People

Free Iran Gathering in Paris

Free Iran gathering – June 30, 2018 – Paris

In Syria, the nightmare of Assad’s regime continues. Six million Syrians have become refugees, hoping to escape the fate of their countrymen. Half a million Syrians have been murdered by Assad’s regime and another five million have been internally displaced.

 

All of this carnage has been facilitated by the Iranian regime’s support of Assad and his brutal reign. By lending support to the Butcher of Damascus, fanning the flames of sectarian violence, and directly intervening in the Syrian crisis, Tehran has supported the brutality in Syria and extended Assad’s reign.

 

In addition to furthering the suffering of the Syrian people, Tehran has also backed terrorist activities in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza. The Iranian regime continues to develop nuclear warheads in defiance of the failed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Despite these acts of aggression, the West continues to prop up the regime with its money.

 

Tehran’s development of nuclear weapons and its exportation of terror continued unabated during the time the JCPOA was active. And Iran’s people made their dissatisfaction with the current regime known with the uprising that began last December and spread across more than 140 cities in Iran. And while it is good that the United States has recognized the weakness of the JCPOA, Western nations must go further to end the threat posed by Tehran, both inside Iran and across the world.

 

When President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA, he stated that the Iranian regime would have bigger problems that they’ve had in the past. But Tehran’s problems go far beyond the sanctions that are to come. Cities across Iran have been the sites of continuous protest since the uprising that began last December, with multiple demonstrations taking place each day.

Khamenei, regime’s Supreme Leader, acknowledged the MEK’s role in the uprisings, which explains the regime’s anxiety about the growing unrest in Iran. The extent of regime’s fear could be seen when in January, Rouhani attempted to persuade French President Emmanuel Macron to take action against MEK members in France. Macron refused. It is therefore clear that the mullahs are desperate to hold onto their power and fear that it is already slipping away.

 

This fear is magnified by the international community’s support for the recent uprising and by the clear message of those protesting. Protesters chanted, “Death to Rouhani!” and “Death to Khamenei!” in streets across Iran. Protesters also chanted, “Hardliner, reformer, the game is now over!” making it clear that they would not be satisfied by anything less than regime change.

 

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the largest member, discussed the future of Iran, saying, “Any future investment in this regime is doomed to failure” and that it “will only embolden the religious fascists’ warmongering, and export of fundamentalism and terrorism.”  The only way to stop Iran’s terrorist actions and free its people is to put an end to its repressive regime.

 

The West can support the resistance movement by curbing its aggression in the region and addressing its ballistic missiles violation, as well as cutting off Tehran’s access to the international banking community. This will cripple its repressive forces at home and abroad.

 

On June 30th, a Free Iran rally (#FreeIran2018) will be held in Paris. The annual event hosts delegations of resistance members and supporters, as well as dignitaries and high-ranking officials from across the world. This event will offer the opportunity for the international community to support the MEK in its efforts to bring freedom to Iran. By supporting the resistance, the West can help bring democracy and equality back to Iran and end its terrorist activities in the region.

 

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Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI- Ramadan 2018

Maryam Rajavi Had Messages of Optimism for Iran and the Middle East at an Event Marking the Advent of Ramadan

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI- Ramadan 2018

Maryam Rajavi welcomes Muslim dignitaries on the occasion of Ramadan-May 19, 2018

Muslim dignitaries from around the world attended an event on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan on Saturday, May 19th. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), spoke of her aspirations for this holy month.

She expressed her hope that this month would yield victories in the emancipation, peace brokering, and solidarity around the Middle East, particularly in Syria. She said, “Today, the first step in solving the Syrian problem is evicting the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from that country”.

Removing the evil Iranian regime

Maryam Rajavi added that peace and stability in the Middle East depended on the removal of the Iranian regime. The clerical regime’s funding of terrorism and pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the security of the entire region. Rajavi asserted that the restoration of peace and stability in the region could only be realized with the elimination of the mullahs’ tyrannical regime.

Rajavi praised the protest movement in Iran. She described the profound impact the movement has had across Iran, stating “Iran’s uprising erupted in late December 2017, but its waves have continued ever since, through the strikes and protests of workers, farmers, teachers, plundered people and other social strata.” She also hailed the objective at the heart of the protestors; the overthrow of the regime.

International support

Maryam Rajavi’s final message was for the international community. She contended that the only way to tackle the Iranian regime’s warmongering and terrorist efforts is to stand with the Iranian protestors in their quest for regime change. She said, “turning a blind eye on the suppression and slaughter of the people of Iran emboldens the mullahs’ religious tyranny in its crimes.”

Her concluding remarks urged the UN Security Council to investigate the crimes of the mullahs and routine human rights abuses in Iran and refer the case to an international tribunal.

She asserted that her organization and the Iranian opposition defend “genuine Islam”, which spurns compulsory religion, economic exploitation, and inequality. She asserted that the MEK and NCRI champion equality, and fraternity between Sunnis and Shiites, reiterating that the NCRI stands in direct opposition to the regime, representing a democratic alternative to religious tyranny.

Her closing statement was one of optimism. “With the resolve of the people of Iran and all the Middle East nations, freedom, democracy, peace, and brotherhood will undoubtedly surmount the criminals.”

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Ahvaz,Ahvaz Protests,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

Ahvazi Protesters Still Detained

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

On Friday, May 18th, NCRI-Iran.org reported on the plight of protesters in Ahvaz. Hundreds of Ahvazi Arabs are still in detention a month after mass arrests in Khuzestan province in Iran. The protesters are being held without trial, and their future is uncertain.

 

Protests broke out in Ahvaz last month after a television program on state-controlled media led ethnic Arabs to believe they would be expelled from the region. People protested the program with weeklong demonstrations and rallies in Ahvaz and across Khuzestan province. The regime responded to these protests with mass arrests. Human rights activists estimated the number of people arrested at 500, though no official numbers have been released. The regime’s Ahvaz MP did confirm that arrests were made, but he estimated that only 150 were detained. Many of the families of detainees have gathered in front of the prison where their children are held and in front of government offices to protest their detention without trial.

 

Protests have continued to take place since the uprising that began at the end of last year, despite the regime’s attempt to suppress dissent. The MEK had a large role in organizing the uprising, and the people responded with a cry for regime change. Despite mass arrests, protests continue to occur across Iran.

 

According to the NCRI report, among those arrested during the protests was Reza, a young taxi driver who did not take part in the protests. Reza described his arrest:

 

“I was just back from Friday market and wanted to change my car’s oil. I left the car in an auto repair shop and then went to buy the oil when I noticed people gathering on the street. Security forces were chasing a number of young people who were just passing by while I was just watching. Suddenly I felt pressure and a heavy blow that caused me to fall down to the ground. I was then circled by security forces who were beating me and forced me into a police van, without allowing me to say a word.”

 

Reza said he was shocked and could not resist.
“I was blindfolded and taken aboard a bus. The bus didn’t move for about an hour, waiting to be filled with other detainees.”

 

Reza was taken to an unknown detention center with 200 other people, where they were held in appalling conditions until the next day. He said that there was no room to sit down and the center had a foul smell.

 

The following day, he and the other detainees were transferred to Ahvaz Shayban Prison, where they were given inadequate food. More detainees arrived daily. Reza was not a part of the protest and is not politically active. Despite this, [he] was repeatedly interrogated in the prison while being beaten each time, uselessly telling them that [he] was mistakenly arrested.”

 

The taxi driver was finally released on a 110-million-toman bail after 22 days and taken home by his family.

 

Those who dared to seek answers about the detainees were arrested as well. Saeed Fakhernasab, the former head and deputy head of Shadegan and Ahvaz district one education departments and prominent Ahvazi civil rights activist, was arrested after meeting with members of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, MPs, and high-ranking officials of the regime in an attempt to have the Ahvaz protesters released. He was finally released on a 500-million-toman bail after he had to be hospitalized. He remains on bail until his sentencing.

 

An Ahvazi civil rights activist familiar with the protesters’ situation said that that arrested fall into three groups: people who took part in the protests, people arrested at home or at work, and activists arrested after the protests. He added, “We’ve been informed that random arrests have taken place to a great extent.”

 

The activist went on to say that many of those arrested, like the taxi driver,  had not participated in the protests. Some of the detainees were arrested by high-ranking officials hoping to settle scores with activists.

Staff Writer

 

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Free Iran Gathering 2018

MEK- Free Iran Event on June 30th to Present Alternative to Regime

Free Iran Gathering 2018

The Grand Gathering of Iranians (supporters of the MEK) for a free Iran.#FreeIran2018

Discussions about the Western world’s policy on Iran often fail to consider the will of the Iranian people. Events on the ground in Iran must be considered as part of a comprehensive foreign policy.

The uprising that began late December 2018 in Iran created shock waves, both within Iran and throughout the world. In 140 cities across Iran, people took to the streets with chants of: “Down to Khamenei!” Down to Rouhani!” “Reformists, hardliners, the game is over!” These protests, which continue today, leave no doubt that the people demand regime change. Iranians want a free republic to replace the oppressive theocracy currently in power. Many people in governments across the West were surprised to find that many of the people who were on the streets protesting for change were the same people that they had previously thought of as the regime’s base of support. Iranians from all walks of life are demanding change.

On June 30, 2018, a massive event will be held in Paris. Titled “Free Iran: The Alternative,” this gathering is expected to attract tens of thousands of MEK supporters from all over the world. Each Iranian who attends represents many Iranians inside the country who are protesting for a free Iran. News of the planned event has reached those inside Iran via social media, and people all over the world have sent messages of support. The Free Iran event is meant to be an echo of the protests for freedom that continues inside Iran.

FreeIran Gathering 2018

MEK- Free Iran Event on June 30th to Present Alternative to Regime

MEK supporters gather annually for this event, drawing crowds of 100,000 people in previous years. This year’s event is expected to surpass previous attendance due to the unrest inside the country and because of international events concerning Iran. People are expecting to show up in record numbers to mark the dawn of freedom in Iran and the end of Islamic fundamentalism.

During last year’s annual event, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK (PMOI) is the largest member, said that regime change in Iran is an achievable and necessary goal. Many people (including so-called “experts” on Iran) who heard her message were skeptical at the time, but the recent uprising has proved her to be correct. This year her message will be direct and simple: there is a democratic alternative to the oppressive regime in Iran.

The will of the Iranian people has been ignored and put aside for too many years. The narrow lens of the West failed to account for the reality that the mullahs’ regime requires suppression of its people and the export of terrorism to continue its existence. Appeasement of the ruling regime only serves to embolden the mullahs in their warmongering and fundamentalism. The only way to avoid more war and unrest in the region is to replace the religious dictatorship in Iran and replace it with a secular democracy.

The Iranian people have demanded a free Iran. It is time to heed their cries for freedom and look at the alternative to the oppressive theocracy currently in place. A free Iran is a democratic Iran which honors the rule of law. A free Iran is one in which women are treated as equals to men and are represented in the country’s political leadership. A free Iran is one in which people of all races, ethnicities, and religion can live and work together in peace to build a new Iran on the ashes of the mullahs’ regime.

The Free Iran event is also unique its lack of partisanship. In this era of polarization and division, people from all over the political spectrum will gather together to support the Iranian people’s goal of freedom and democracy through regime change. Dignitaries, politicians, and lawmakers of rival political parties are joined in their support of a free Iran. Among those addressing the rally will be Americans and Europeans, Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Christian Democrats as well as Social Democrats and Socialists, as well as Iranians representing their communities inside Iran.

Iranians attending the rally come from different social classes, different educational levels, and different political affiliations, but they will be united in their shared goal of a free Iran and in the bond that connects them with the millions inside Iran working toward the same goal. The unity of the opposition is strong and can lead the country to regime change. Ali Khamenei, the regime’s Supreme Leader has already acknowledged the role of the MEK in organizing the uprising in Iran. Regime President Hassan Rouhani even went so far as to demand that French President Emmanuel Macron take action against MEK members in France, a request that Macron denied. The regime is afraid that the MEK has the power to lead the people to a democratic Iran.

Last year’s rally was attended by over 500 dignitaries from the international community and included former prime ministers, government officials, and Members of Parliament. European attendees included Bernard Kouchner, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs; Rita Suessmuth, former President of Germany’s Bundestag; and the former U.K. Minister of Northern Ireland. American dignitaries included Ambassador John Bolton, Senator Joe Lieberman, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor Ed Rendell, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The “Free Iran: The Alternative” event will take place in Paris on June 30, 2018 ,and will present the alternative to religious dictatorship in Iran. Freedom is within the reach of the Iranian people.

Staff writer

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Baneh,Iran Protests,MEK,Merchant's Strike,NCRI,PMOI,Tehran Bazaar Strike

Strike in Tehran Baazar objecting Iranian regime's mismanagement.

Tehran Merchants Go on Strike to Protest the Mismanagement of the Iranian Economy

Strike in Tehran Baazar objecting Iranian regime's mismanagement.

Tehran Merchants Go on Strike to Protest the Mismanagement of the Iranian Economy

On Monday, May 14th, merchants in Tehran bazaar closed their shutters in protest at the destructive economic policy and prohibitive customs tariffs imposed by the clerical regime. Popular stalls, including the Kuwaiti bazaar, Sadaf Passage, and Aladdin Passage, were closed after marketers called for a day of strikes.

The move comes in the face of increased repression towards protestors. Intelligence agents of the clerical regime made ominous threats against any vendors who would shutter their stalls in solidarity with the opposition.

A statement published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said: “Striking bazaaris object to the fall of the official exchange rate of the country, market fray and ambiguity about the future of the economic situation. The 4200 tomans dollar exchange rate, announced by Rouhani and his deputy, is not existant, currency exchanges are closed, and the dollar is traded in very limited amounts and more than 8,000 tomans.”

Tehran’s merchant strike comes as the merchant strike in Baneh enters its fourth week. There, the authorities have responded with repressive measures. Merchants striking are being arrested and running the risk of losing their livelihoods.

They have no choice

The reality of the situation is that the vendors have no choice. The Iranian regime closed border crossings at Baneh, Marivan, Piranhasar and Sardasht. This has reduced local employment options, causing a sharp rise in unemployment. This means people are not shopping as much as they used to. The economy is stagnating, and shop owners are seeing their profits erased.

This economic stagnation is compounded by the mullahs’ decision to increase customs tariffs in April. What meagre profits merchants were able to scrape together are now being devoured by the mullahs in the form of tariffs, leaving the people with no choice but to go on strike.

What next?

The regime will undoubtedly employ the same tactics of terror and repression it is using in Baneh, against the merchants in Tehran. Plain clothes agents and guards are already roaming around the bazaar, positions at important intersections including Imam Hossein Square, Ferdowsi Avenue and Molawi.

The Iranian resistance, the NCRI and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) stand with the merchants. The organisations, called on the public, especially the youth, to support and express solidarity with the protests of merchants in Tehran and other cities.

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Disinformation Campaign,Foreign Policy Propaganda,Iran's Misinformation,MEK,PMOI

Iran Mullahs Step up Attacks against MEK as Uprising Continues

Mullahs Step up Attacks against MEK as Uprising Continues

Iran Mullahs Step up Attacks against MEK as Uprising Continues

Foreign Policy article demonizes MEK – The continuation of the failed policy of appeasement.

On May 11th, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published an official rebuttal to the most recent smear attack against the MEK by the ruling regime. The article, entitled “Bolton’s ascent gives Iranian group a new lease on life” was published on ForeignPolicy.com on April 30th and claimed that the MEK does not enjoy popular support within Iran and is thus not a viable alternative to the current regime. The mullahs have often used these false claims in their failed attempts to delegitimize the MEK, and it is unsurprising that they should do so again, in the wake of the uprising in Iran that began last December.

 

In the rebuttal, Shahin Gobadi wrote that the article “is a rare collection of threadbare allegations against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI) that the propaganda machine and smear campaign of the mullahs’ regime have been conjuring up for years. What is very telling is the timing of the article.”

 

The recent uprising, which took place in 140 cities across Iran in late December and January, clearly indicated a desire for regime change amongst the Iranian people, who chanted “Down with Rouhani!” and “Down with Khamenei!” This threatened both the mullahs’ regime and the regime’s lobbyists and apologists in the West, who had clearly misunderstood the will of the people in their assessments.

 

The policy of appeasement to the regime has been popular in the West for decades, a policy which assumed that the people were happy with the oppressive regime and that the best way to deal with Iran was to appease and compromise with its ruling mullahs. Part of the appeasement policy focused on going along with the regime’s demonization campaign against the opposition, specifically the MEK, which relied on lies about the organization.

 

This appeasement policy no longer works in the face of the popular uprising in Iran. The strength of the movement has become undeniable. The Foreign Policy article is an act of desperation by those who advocated appeasement, as they struggle to justify their failed policy.

 

The power and popularity of the MEK has grown to the point that Khamenei himself acknowledged it, saying that the MEK organized the recent widespread uprising. MEK members inside Iran come from all walks of life and include “academics, intellectuals, scientists, traders, and businessmen.” MEK members outside of Iran include some of the country’s most educated and productive citizens, who left Iran to escape its repressive regime. The most recent MEK gathering outside of Iran was held in Paris on July 1, 2017, and more than 110,000 people attended. The MEK is the largest non-governmental organization in Iran and has formed hundreds of associated groups.

 

The “experts” quoted in the article are known regime apologists who have touted hollow “reforms” and moderation by the regime. But the Iranian people have seen that these claims ring false and are demanding change.

 

Recently, the President-elect of the NCRI, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, revealed her 10-point plan for regime change, which was met with bipartisan support from numerous American officials and dignitaries. Military leaders from four past administrations, U.S. Congressmen, and officials dealing with national security have taken part in NCRI meetings. This diverse group of Democratic and Republican leaders has embraced the MEK’s opposition movement as the logical alternative to the dangerous and oppressive Iranian regime.

 

The article also included patently false statements about the MEK’s inclusion in and subsequent delisting from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. These claims have been rejected by courts in the U.S., U.K., E.U., and France, who all delisted the resistance organization after no evidence was found that the MEK participated in any terrorist activities. In fact, the inclusion of the MEK on the terrorist lists was a goodwill gesture to the regime and was used as a bargaining chip to curry favor with the mullahs. All of this information is recorded in numerous court rulings across the West, and many Western leaders later denounced the MEK’s designation on the list.

 

Further claims that the MEK fought against the Iranian people in the Iran/Iraq war are also false and easily disproven. The MEK was an Independent presence in Iraq throughout its time in the region. According to the rebuttal, “eight American agencies confirmed this via a 16-month investigation and even the current, Tehran-controlled government of Iraq has not been able to provide any evidence to the contrary.

 

The claim that the MEK helped expose the nuclear weapons program in Iran is not in dispute. The MEK was a leading force in exposing the regime’s dangerous nuclear program, using its expansive network of members inside Iran. These members exposed the nuclear program at grave personal risk in order to prevent nuclear war. The world at large has benefited from their brave actions.

 

The regime and its apologists can no longer deny the power of the resistance movement led by the MEK, so they are once again attempting to demonize the organization. These desperate acts are the last gasps of a dying theocracy vainly attempting to hold onto power. The people have demanded regime change and will not be fooled by lies and deceptions.

 

Staff writer

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