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Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Protests,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Former Vice-President of European Parliament Urges the West to Take Stronger Action Against the Iranian Regime

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former vice president of the European Parliament and the president of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, wrote an op-ed for Eurasia Review on the need for international sanctions against Iran.

Vidal-Quadras outlined the European Union’s recent decision to impose sanctions against the Iranian Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) after it plotted an assassination attempt against an Iranian dissident living in Copenhagen.

He also charted the string of terror plots that have emerged from the MOIS over the last 12 months, including a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at an event in Paris, and the arrest of two Iranian operatives that planned to attack a compound in Albania where 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) live.

Following the attempted terror attacks, France expelled several diplomats and froze MOIS assets. An Iranian diplomat believed to be the mastermind behind the foiled plot, Assadollah Assadi, is awaiting prosecution in Belgium.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

The resulting investigation launched by French authorities found that senior members of the Iranian leadership were behind the Paris plot. It found that the Iranian regime’s diplomatic infrastructure, including European embassies and consulate buildings, had been involved in the planning process and harbored terrorists who would carry out the attacks.

Vidal-Quadras quotes a Belgian judiciary official who told reporters,

“nearly all Iranian diplomats in Europe are in fact members of the Iranian secret service.”

A Move Welcomed by the Iranian Opposition

Following the EU’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be imposing sanctions against the MOIS, “the NCRI quickly released a statement calling for further action,” Vidal-Quadras writes.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, or NCRI, is the umbrella group of the MEK and, along with its leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, is one of the most outspoken critics of the Iranian regime.

Its statement in response to the EU sanctions read,

“it is time for the EU to adopt a firm policy towards the mullah’s regime by expelling all of its mercenaries and agents from Europe.”

The First Step Towards Meaningful Action

Vidal-Quadras echoed the words of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. He called the sanctions, “a positive sign,” and, “a symbol of an ongoing trend toward greater recognition of the Iranian threat.”

However, Vidal-Quadras acknowledged that “that trend is still proceeding at too slow a pace. Meanwhile, the danger is growing much more quickly.” He cited the presence of further terrorist plots targeting Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Germany that were disrupted in 2018. He said, “Europe cannot count on its luck holding out over the long term, especially if lawmakers fail to take measures that will truly disrupt the regime’s terrorist infrastructure.”

The terror attacks have been targeted against the MEK and the Iranian resistance movement. As domestic protests increase in volume and intensity, the Iranian regime is lashing out at the MEK abroad. As a result, Vidal-Quadras says,

“the clerical regime is desperate to undermine any and all networks of support for domestic activism.”

“Under these circumstances,” Vidal-Quadras continued, “Iranian expatriate communities in every corner of the world are potential targets, and their host countries are in severe danger of suffering collateral damage alongside the dire insult of having their autonomy violated by terrorists dispatched by the Iranian government.”

It is in this context that Vidal-Quadras calls for “the expulsion of Iranian diplomats, the implementation of stronger sanctions, and other such firm policies.” He argues, these measures, “will not only help defend the Western world against Iran-backed terrorism, but it will also help the Iranian people to even more strongly assert their demands for civic freedoms and democratic governance.”

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Maryam Rajavi visits the European Parliamen

Former European Minister of Poland Calls on International Community to Support MEK in Op-Ed

Maryam Rajavi visits the European Parliamen

European Lawmakers led by , Ryszard Czarnecki the then Vice President of the European Parliament receive Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Opposition for a meeting on the occasion of the Human Rights Day in the European Parliament-06 December 2017

On Tuesday, January 15th, a former European Minister of Poland and sitting Member of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, penned an op-ed for International Policy Digest. The piece, entitled ‘Western Leaders Must Join Iranian Activists in Recognizing Their Movement’s Potential’, calls on governments around the world to lend their support to the only viable democratic alternative in Iran, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), led by Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, which the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) is the principal member to.

A Mobilised Population

Czarnecki praised the work of the Iranian resistance units operating inside Iran to promote the Iranian resistance movement. They have worked tirelessly, “placing posters in public places throughout Tehran and other cities, identifying martyrs by name and reiterating the slogans associated with their cause.”

The President-elect Maryam Rajavi was acutely aware of the capabilities of the resistance cells in Iran. Last year, she predicted a “year full of uprisings.” 2018 lived up to her predictions.

In 2018, there were a total of 9,596 individual protests, affecting all 31 of Iran’s provinces and more than 142 towns and cities.

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

As Maryam Rajavi predicted, 2018 was a pivotal moment for the Iranian opposition movement. For the first time, the mullahs seemed to acknowledge that the MEK was behind the surge in opposition protests. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed the MEK for the surge in street protests and pointed the finger at their shrewd use of social media to organise protests and connect their supporters as the source of their influence.

Iran State Media Acknowledges MEK Can Topple Regime

This represented a break from the regime’s traditional propaganda narrative which had maintained that the MEK was a fringe movement, with little to no support within Iran, “and incapable of affecting change on a large scale,” Czarnecki writes.

2019 is unlikely to provide the mullahs with any respite. In the opening days of the year, bank customers, municipal workers, and car buyers took to the streets to protest. The regime’s failure to address the economic crisis and its “chronic inattention to public welfare,” means that the conditions that gave rise to the protests in 2018 are still very much present in the Iranian landscape in 2019.

However, Czarnecki writes, “what is much less clear is whether the international community will prove similarly responsive.”

The Iranian Regime is a Threat to Western Democracy

The Iranian regime’s policies do not play out in a bubble and are not limited to Iran. The mullahs desire to influence regional politics make the clerical regime a threat to Western democracies and their national security interest.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is active across the Middle East, including in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. The mullahs have also been accused of funnelling money and weapons to militia groups across the region.

Czarnecki predicts, “the footprint of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will deepen all across the Middle East, and can affect the situation in the West, where foreign supporters of the PMOI (MEK) were targeted several times over the past year.”

Czarnecki is referring to the high-profile terrorist attacks that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) planned in Paris, Albania, and the US, and the assassination plots that unfolded in the Netherlands and Denmark.

The regime has demonstrated that its actions are not limited to Iran, but place citizens from across the West at risk.

“The situation demands international attention, particularly in the form of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation aimed at limiting the regime’s ability to project force beyond its borders and to crack down on dissent inside them,” Czarnecki writes.

The work of the MEK’s resistance units offers an opportunity for international opponents to the Iranian regime to facilitate meaningful change in Iran. While the protest movement is expanding, the Iranian regime is in a vulnerable position. Should the MEK receive “earnest and sustained support from the international community,” Czarnecki writes, “it may soon be able to achieve the long-sought goal of regime change.”

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MEK Rally in London

Friday Prayer Leaders Express Fear of MEK in Dire Warnings about Protests

MEK Rally in London

Supporters of MEK, during a rally in London in support of the uprisings in Iran.

The clerical regime in Iran uses a variety of tactics to spread propaganda amongst the people. One of its most insidious methods is the use of Friday prayer leaders. Each week, these men use the guise of religion to promulgate the talking points of the mullahs.

As it has become clear that the protests that have been taking place across the country for over a year are not going to stop because of the regime’s efforts to intimidate and suppress the people, Friday prayer leaders have stepped up their warnings about the MEK and its role in the ongoing efforts to bring back democracy in Iran. In the process, the leaders have exposed the regime’s fear of the popular uprising and its potential to topple the theocratic regime.

MEK Network: Fact Sheet on Protest Suppression

“Plans of the Enemy”

Over the past few weeks, this phenomenon has been particularly pronounced. Friday prayer leaders have referred to the “plans of the enemy” and “uprisings by the disenchanted population” against the Iranian regime.

Mohammad Taghi Keramati, Golpaygan’s Friday prayer leader described an enemy who wants to “destroy the roots of the establishment.” Despite these ominous words, he said that officials should not be afraid and lose their resolve in the face of this enemy.

Ghorbanali Dori Najafabadi, Arak’s Friday prayer leader, named the MEK as the enemy of the Iranian regime in his sermon and said that the regime must “resist against the enemy with vigilance and awareness.”

Mohammad Reza Naseri, Yazd’s Friday prayer leader, said in his sermon that regime officials should be cautious about believing rumors. “The enemy intends to cause mistrust in officials and the goals of the revolution through rumors,” he warned in a sermon that was streamed on social media.

Fear of the MEK

Some prayer leaders sought to hide their anxiety about the upheaval taking place around the country by expressing relief that the Islamic Republic still stands.

Hormozgan’s Friday prayer leader, Gholamali Naeem Abadi, said, “As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, all the enemies who prayed for the destruction of the establishment have themselves been destroyed.” (It is worth noting that the MEK has not, in fact, been destroyed, and the regime and all of its officials and prayer leaders are abundantly aware of this, as are the Iranian people.)

Yusef Ghassemi, Kangan’s Friday prayer leader was less celebratory. “As Iran puts the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution behind, the enemies are trying to push protests toward strife by assembling working groups,” he said.

MEK Resistance Units Are Organizing a Revolution

Villainizing the MEK Abroad

Yet another common thread among Friday prayer leaders’ sermons has been a fixation with the MEK’s activities abroad. Mohammad Ali Ale Hashem, Tabriz’s Friday prayer leader, said that the MEK is “a group that has disagreed with the principles of the Islamic Republic for four decades and is seeking its collapse.” He described the MEK’s activities in Europe as a cause for concern and demanded that the European Union “respond to the Iranian people about harboring [MEK members].”


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Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Iran’s Regime is “a Lot Weaker Than You Would Expect”

Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Fox news quoting Maryam Rajavi, leader of Iran opposition in response to recent remarks by Secretary Pompeo emphasizing an end to the U.S. policy of appeasement towards the mullahs in Iran.

During coverage of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s nine-nation tour of the Middle East, Fox News aired Pompeo’s speech he made on Friday, January 11th.

In the speech, the Secretary of State denounced the Iranian regime’s “malign activity” as “creating enormous instability here in the region”. Pompeo announced that the US would arrange a world summit on Iran, to be held in Poland in February 2019, where the international community would explore avenues of curbing the regime’s influence in the region.

Fox News interviewed Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who spoke about his recent visit to the Middle East and meetings he had with top leaders in the region.

Dubowitz described leaders’ concerns about the Iranian regime and its “destructive and malign activities.”

He said, “dozens of countries, including the Europeans, understand, the Iranian regime is engaged in assassinations, support for terrorism, and building ballistic missiles,” he continued, “not to mention brutal human rights abuses within Iran.”

MEK, The Largest Opposition Group

Fox News then aired footage of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering, held outside Paris. Eric Shawn, the Fox News host, described how the Iranian regime had plotted to bomb the event, attended by more than 100,000 MEK supporters and allies from across the world.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

Shawn pointed out that among those in attendance were several former US officials, including Trump’s lawyer and former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who, Shawn said, “speak every year,” at the event.

Fox News aired comments from the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, in response to Pompeo’s speech in Cairo. Mrs. Rajavi said,

“the US Secretary of State reiterated that when America partners with enemies such as the mullahs, ‘they advance’ gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights, export of fundamentalism, and terrorism,” which Ms. Rajavi says, “are the four pillars holding up the theocratic regime ruling Iran.”

Maryam Rajavi President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), emphasized, “the ultimate solution for discarding the mullahs’ religious fascism is changing this illegitimate regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.”

Shawn put the question to Dubowitz, asking “can that ever be done?”

“These regimes are actually a lot weaker than you would expect,” Dubowitz asserted. “Hopefully within our lifetime, we will see the end of the Islamic Republic, which is the best guarantee for global security.”


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Protest by workers in Abadan

Municipal Workers, Bank Customers, and Vehicle Buyers All Protest As 2019 Begins Exactly As 2018 Finished

Protest by workers in Abadan

Protest by municipality workers over their unpaid wages

Customers that had purchased vehicles from Bahman Khodro gathered outside the company’s headquarters in Tehran on Sunday, January 13th, reports by the MEK network said. They had all handed over their money, but none had yet received their purchased vehicles.

Bahman Khodro is a subsidiary company of the Bahman Group, a company joined-owned by a number of Iranian investment companies with close ties to the ruling regime. One of the Bahman Group’s largest shareholders, Mehr-e Eqtesad Financial is an investment arm of the Mehr Eqtesad Bank which was recently on the receiving end of US sanctions over its involvement in financing the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force terrorist plots.

Another Bahman Group shareholder, Ghadir Investment Company, was also sanctioned due to its close financial relationship with the Iranian regime.

The Start of a 2019 Protest Wave

As angry customers protested in Tehran, simultaneous protests erupted in Shadegan and Abadan. In Shadegan, Khuzestan province, municipal workers gathered to protest their unpaid wages. Many of the city’s workers have not received a paycheck in more than eight months and have had to seek alternative means of employment to ensure their family’s survival.

In Abadan, also in Khuzestan province, municipal workers also gathered to protest their unpaid wages. The workers of Abadan have reportedly now gone three months without receiving a paycheck.

Elsewhere, in Yasuj, customers of the Bank-e Ayandeh (Future Bank) gathered outside the bank’s Yasuj branch demanding their deposits. There have been increasing reports that the bank has gone bankrupt, which led to protests outside branches across the country as panicked investors demanded their money.

Although the Iranian Central Bank has denied Bank-e Ayandeh’s bankruptcy via state-run media outlets, this has done little to ease public concerns.

Customers remember the events of 2017 that led to thousands of Iranian investors and bank customers losing their deposits after state-backed financial institutions engaged in fraudulent behavior to trick the public out of money.

As customers fear of losing their savings once more, calls for Bank-e Ayandeh to return customer deposits are increasing.

Whether or not the Iranian public will receive their funds remains to be seen. But the protests sweeping across Iran once more are indicative of the surging influence of the Iranian opposition heading into 2019.

Protests among the Iranian public are showing no sign of letting up as the Iranian regime continues to weaken. Many in the opposition movement are predicting 2019 will be a pivotal year for the Iranian resistance. All indications so far support this conclusion.

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Protest by looted families in Iran

More Protests in Iran over Financial Corruption

Protest by looted families in Iran

Iran Protests continue in various cities across Iran, over regime-backed fraud

Looted customers held protests this weekend in Tehran and Mashhad to demand the return of their savings, MEK sources report from inside Iran. The protests are the most recent in a series of protests by customers in cities across Iran who have had their savings stolen from them.

Customers of the Caspian Credit Institution gathered in Tehran on Sunday to demand that the regime’s parliament hold the credit firm accountable for the illegal Ponzi scheme that robbed millions of Iranians of their savings and investments.

Badr Tous Clients Protest

On Saturday in Mashhad, clients of Badr Tous, one of the financial institutions which merged with Caspian before it declared bankruptcy, protested in front of the governorate in Khorasan Province.

The protesters addressed officials at the Caspian Credit Firm and the Iranian regime when they chanted, “Is this the Central Bank, or the center of thieves?”

“Caspian has committed theft, the government has supported it!”

The protesters were clear in stating that the regime was complicit in the looting of their savings. They also vowed to continue to protest until their money is returned. Credit firm clients have protested off and on for well over a year now, so their threats carry weight.

Bankruptcy and Looted Accounts

In 2017, Caspian and four other credit institutions declared bankruptcy, emptying billions of dollars of money from its investors’ accounts. The credit institutions, which were closely tied to regime officials, had received permits from regime ministries to take investor money and were widely trusted by the Iranian people. Three years prior to their collapse, the credit institutions began collecting investments from Iranians, promising high rates of return. Many people deposited their life savings into the credit institutions, believing that they would be safe there. After the collapse of the credit firms, the customers found their accounts were empty. Protests have been taking place since then. The MEK has reported on the ongoing protests as they have occurred.

MEK Network- Iran: Looted Credit Institution Customers Protest

Sekeh Samen Clients Protest

Also on Saturday, customers of the website Sekeh Samen gathered in front of the headquarters of the Gold and Jewelry Union in Tehran to protest the union’s corrupt practices. The union was one of the primary supporters of the website. Protesters entered the union building and chanted slogans as part of their demonstration.

Sakeh Samen was launched in 2016 as an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of precious metal coins and gold products. The site claimed to provide 24-hour services worldwide. However, in August of 2018, the website suddenly took down its online trade section, supposedly for maintenance. The Gold and Jewelry Union, which is responsible for regulating the trade of precious metals, then ordered the closure of Sekeh Samen altogether. Thousands of online traders were left with emptied accounts and no way to collect on their debts.

The Gold and Jewelry Union claimed that Sakeh Samen did not have a work permit, but the union had actively promoted the site on its online portals and in its facilities. The site’s inexplicable closure has triggered another series of protests against the regime’s financial corruption and mismanagement.

The MEK supports the protests against the regime and its corrupt economic policies. The mullahs’ mismanagement of the Iranian people’s wealth affects people from all walks of life, and it will only get worse until the regime is toppled and Iran is free.
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Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

An End of Appeasement and Realising a Democratic Iran

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Archive photo-Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition during a speech to the Paris conference, “Mullahs’ Regime in Crises”-December 16, 2017

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, made a speech in Cairo outlining the termination of the United States’ policy of appeasement towards the ruling mullahs in Iran. He said,

“we joined the Iranian people in calling for freedom and accountability”, adding, “the age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering.”

He reiterated the need to form strategic partnerships with the mullahs’ international enemies, suggesting that when these forces collaborated, they were able to “advance.”

Following his statement, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian opposition, which includes the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK),  welcomed Pompeo’s announcement and welcomed an end to the policy of appeasement that has characterized US Iranian policy for decades.

She reiterated that the Iranian regime relied on a climate of fear, instilled by the accumulation of long-range weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights at home, and the export of state-sponsored terrorism abroad.

Mrs. Rajavi asserted that the only way to end the religious fascism that has typified this regime is through the Iranian public and their unwavering pursuit of regime change.

She reiterated the importance of international governments and organizations recognizing the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as the only viable democratic alternative to the Iranian regime.

Maryam Rajavi calls for necessary steps to rectifying and ending the disastrous policy of appeasement

Maryam Rajavi and the MEK have long advocated for a transition to a democratic Iran. She has put together a ten-step plan to democracy that would ensure a smooth transition from the authoritarian dictatorship under the mullahs, to a free Iran governed by principles of a secular democracy.

Maryam Rajavi and the MEK advocate the following measures to help bring democratic governance to Iran:

  1. International recognition of the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the mullahs’ fascist dictatorship and remove themselves from the shackles of the repressive regime.
  2. The addition of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) on EU and US terrorist entity lists.
  3. The expulsion of Iranian regime agents from the US and Europe.
  4. The referral of Iranian human rights violations to the UN Security Council.
  5. The opening of an international tribunal to investigate the murder of 30,000 political dissidents in the summer of 1988.
  6. The removal of the Iranian clerical regime from the UN and the immediate recognition of representation of the people’s just Resistance.
  7. The expulsion of the Iranian regime’s forces from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
  8. Compelling the government of Iraq to pay compensation for the properties, equipment, arms, and camps the PMOI/MEK and the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), which had fully paid for them and whose evidentiary documents are available.

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Torture in Iran

No to torture Banner

Report Marks 40 Years of Torture

No to torture Banner

The sign held in MEK supporters’ rally in Canada, protesting the violations of human rights in Iran.

Iran News Wire recently published a report on the Iranian regime’s widespread use of torture in its four decades in power.

Despite the regime adamantly denying using torture methods, the report highlighted the role flogging plays in the Iranian penal code. The clerical regime has made flogging a punishment for more than 100 offenses. The punishment method has been entrenched in the regime’s justice system and dished out in a multitude of cases.

Torture as an Interrogation Method

Iran News Wire reported that torture has been used in interrogations since the 1980s. Reports have consistently shown that regime agents routinely use physical torture methods to force confessions from prisoners.

The Iranian public also has limited legal protections and recourses available should they receive torture at the hands of the regime. They are unable to take their complaints to any legal authority and the regime is free to carry out torture without ramification.

Esmail Bakshi, a labor activist who recently recounted the torture he experienced in regime custody, is now facing charges from the regime for publicly reporting his ordeal. The activist told the world in an Instagram post that regime agents tortured him “to the brink of death,” over a period of thirty days.

Torture and Execution in the 1980s

In the early days of the Islamic Republic, the regime adopted violent and abusive torture methods. In 1988, the regime tortured and executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a political opposition group.

In a recent report from Amnesty International, investigators concluded, “by concealing the fate and whereabouts of thousands of political dissidents who were forcibly disappeared and secretly executed in prison 30 years ago, Iranian authorities are continuing to commit crimes against humanity.”

Amnesty International Holds Press Conference Following its Landmark Report on 1988 Massacre

Those that were in regime custody in the 1980s have frequently called the period one of the darkest times in regime history. Torture was widespread and often brutal. Women reported being systematically raped before their execution.

Torture in the 21st Century

In the early 2000s, students became the object of much of the regime’s brutality and violence. Following a wave of student protests, many Iranian students were imprisoned and held in regime custody. Many have since shared their memories of torture and abuse at the hands of the regime’s agents.

In 2009, after protests erupted following contested elections, many activists and members of the Iranian resistance were arrested and taken to Kahrizak Detention Centre. There, many were raped, sexually abused, and physically and psychologically tortured.

At least 5 inmates died during torture sessions.

With a capacity of 50 prisoners, Kahrizak was filled with hundreds of inmates. Eyewitnesses report limited ventilation and toilet facilities. They recount that guards beat them with metal bars, electrocuted them, sexually abused them with batons, and forced them to urinate on other bound prisoners.

More recently, since 2010, the rise of technology has offered an even clearer glimpse into the regime’s use of torture. Those detained are able to write about their experiences in online blogs.

These blogs have indicated that the regime has focused its energies on psychological torture methods in recent years. It has routine employed sustained solitary confinement as a torture method, as well as the harassment of families of those imprisoned.

Agents have withheld medical treatment, including for those suffering from cancer. Rape is also still widely used as an intimidation and torture method.

Following the nationwide uprising in December 2017 and January 2018, dozens of prisoners perished in regime custody while undergoing torture. The regime attempted to hide their murders by claiming the prisoners were drug addicts and had committed suicide in prison, however, few have been persuaded by this narrative.

After 40 years, Iran’s citizens are tired of the regime’s rampant use of torture and human rights abuses. They are making their voices heard and standing up to this brutal and abhorrent regime.

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Regime Insider Says Protests Are Unlikely to Stop

Hessamoddin Ashna, Hassan Rouhani's advisor

Hessamoddin Ashna, one of Hassan Rouhani’s advisors, reveals regime’s fear of the continued Iran Protests

Speaking to the state-run ISNA news agency, Hesamodin Ashna, an advisor to Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, conceded that the domestic protests that have racked Iran for the last 12 months were unlikely to stop.

The regime insider told viewers that the cause of the protests had not been resolved. The issues in the Iranian economy were still present. Therefore, it was unlikely the protests would abate.

He said that the economic conditions that had prompted widespread protesting across Iran in the 1990s existed in Iran today. Only this time around, he conceded, the protests had “much more depth” than protests of the past.

A Look at the 1990s Protest Movement

In the 1990s, the Iranian cities of Mashhad, Qazvin, and Islamshahr were affected by large-scale protests. In response, the regime imprisoned, tortured, and executed a large number of protestors.

Several regime officials have expressed concerns that the conditions that led to these widespread protests were present in the Iranian political and economic landscape of today.

Iranian regime’s Interior Minister Alireza Rahmani Fazli, said last March that the conditions within Iran were such that just “a spark would flare” the protests.

In the interview with ISNA, Ashna said that the protests that took place across the country last year had the explicit goal of overthrowing the government. He said, “some people thought that the government could be weakened without weakening the state, but experience from the December 2017 protests showed that the weakening of the government and the state were one path.”

“If there was a plan for these protests,” he continued,” it was to bring down the state and if there was none, the state could still have collapsed.”

For the mullahs, the Iranian government is the political institution headed by Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet. However, the state is considered to be the political system itself, characterized by the Islamic Jurist (or Vilayat-e-Faqih). The head of the state is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the authoritarian who makes the bulk of the decisions in Iranian society.

A Red Line

While the Iranian regime has not been able to prevent the protests, criticism of the state and the Supreme Leader is a red line.

If 2018 saw a Wave of Protests, 2019 Will see a Tsunami

In this context, the 2018 protests that saw protestors chant, “Death to Khamenei!” will have been a particular source of discomfort for the mullahs and the clerical regime.

Another cause for concern was the breadth of the protest movement. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest and most influential opposition group, was able to mobilize a significant portion of the Iranian population, including from demographics traditionally seen as the regime’s support base.

The spontaneous protests continued in Iran all through the year 2018 across Iran

The Security Deputy of the Minister of the Interior, Hussein Zolfaghari, expressed his concern and acknowledged that the opposition protests had “crossed all the country’s political factions.”

The widespread disapproval of the government and the state has led many in Iran to adopt the position that the only way to cure Iran and resolve the public’s political grievances is through regime change.

Instead, the regime has adopted a more violent approach to curbing the spread of discontent. In the December 2017 protests, which engulfed all of Iran’s 31 provinces and spread to 142 towns and cities across the country, the regime’s security forces slaughtered 25 protestors. Ten further protestors died in regime custody after the protests in suspicious circumstances.

At least, 8,000 protestors were imprisoned during the period of nationwide unrest, based on the reports from MEK sources inside Iran.

As Ashna states, the circumstances that led to the nationwide uprising are still present. Therefore, there is nothing stopping protests of a similar scale to emerge in 2019. In fact, given the continued deterioration of the Iranian economy, the rising inflation, and the plummeting purchasing power of the Iranian rial, 2019 is likely to be a year of even more protests and instability.

The mullahs’ days are numbered. They know it. The MEK knows it. And the Iranian public knows it.

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Iran Test Ballistic Missiles in breach of UN resolution 2231

MEK Iran: Regime Plans Missile Tests to Distract from Growing Political Unrest

Iran Test Ballistic Missiles in breach of UN resolution 2231

The Iranian regime’s recent Missile test, a breach of 2231 UN resolution.

The Iranian regime is using the guise of sending satellites into space to conduct missile tests.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a stern warning and made the United State’s states position very clear. He said in a statement that any such action would violate the UN Security Council’s resolution which demands that the regime not test any ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Pompeo told the regime to cease the tests of risk extreme political and economic isolation in the international community.

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the “satellite launches” would violate the terms of the UN Security Council’s resolution. These assertions have been the same every time the Iranian regime has tested a missile since 2016.

A Deal Teetering on The Edge

Following the United States’ withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal, the deal has been circling the drain. The European powers have scrambled to hold it together, but should the regime blatantly violate UNSCR 2231, the remaining signatories in Europe could have a change of heart.

Additionally, the latest round of US sanctions is starting to bite across the Iranian regime’s economy. Should Tehran’s tests sufficiently anger the Trump administration, and they appear set to do so, there would be nothing to prevent the US government from increasing the economic pressure on Tehran in the form of tighter and more comprehensive sanctions. So why would the mullahs risk further angering the international community?

The regime is under intense domestic pressure. It has been unable to contain the growing protest movement in Iran and curb the activities of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

In a clear effort to distract from the existential threat knocking on the regime’s door, it is using these missile tests as a distraction tool. If the regime can be seen to be asserting strength and testing missiles, it reasons that it may be able to quell the mounting opposition movement through a demonstration of power and repression.

Iranian human right advocate Heshmat Alavi explained, “it is an undeniable fact that Iran’s regime is facing growing isolation, as the international community is coming to understand the clerics’ mortal weakness in the face of mushrooming protests.”

He continued, “having no solutions, the Iranian regime is kicking the can down the road. 2019, with protests showing no signs of cooling and Washington determined to increase economic and diplomatic pressures, is promising to be a devastating period for Tehran.”

Staff Writer

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