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Iran Protests,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI,Resolution H. RES. 374

MEK supporters rally in Paris

Bipartisan Resolution Enters US House Condemning Iranian Terrorism

MEK supporters rally in Paris

Young MEK supporters join the protest in Paris gloomy weather-February 8, 2019

A new resolution explicitly condemning the Iranian regime’s terror attacks against opposition group the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (ME) has been submitted to the US Congress. House of Representative Resolution 374, backed by 39 members of both the Democrat and Republican parties, also expresses the support of the US House for the Iranian people’s calls for a democratic, secular and non-nuclear Iran.

Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan

The resolution cites the ten-point plan from the President-elect Maryam Rajavi as a viable roadmap towards a democratic Iran. The plan maps Iran’s course to free elections, the establishment of the universal right to vote, the separation of religion and state, the removal of the death penalty, gender equality, equal rights for religious minorities and the dismantling of the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program.

The resolution also calls for increased cooperation between the US government and governing bodies in Europe to combat the threat of Iranian state-sponsored terror.

A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The Iranian regime intensified its espionage and terrorist activities on European and US soil throughout 2018. It has become an issue that heads of states from around the world cannot ignore any longer.

In 2018, the regime plotted terror attacks and assassination attempts against the MEK in Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US. The most severe of which, a planned car bomb to be detonated at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris, endangered the lives of more than 100,000 dignitaries and political figures from across the globe.

The Iranian regime has systematically used its embassies and diplomatic outposts to further its terror objectives. The planned Paris attack involved diplomats working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna and an Iranian diplomat by the name of Assadollah Assadi provided the perpetrators with explosive material for use in the attack.

Expanding Diplomatic Efforts in the Balkans

One of the areas Resolution 374 explicitly calls on the US government to work with international bodies is within the Balkans. The Iranian regime, following the MEK’s exile to Albania, increased its diplomatic activities in the Balkans. The Resolution argued that these “malign activities in the Balkans, specifically its presence and activities in Albania, pose a serious threat to United States national security interests.”

The resolution reminds that the US has an obligation to oppose human rights abuses and state-sanctioned terrorism across the globe wherever it occurs. The Iranian people have expressed their will in the streets in the form of vast anti-regime protests. Now it is up to the world to take note and ensure the international community comes down on the right side of history.

 

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Mehdi Abrichamchi, chairman of Peace and Security Committee of NCRI during a news conference.

New Report on Iranian Nuclear Program Sheds New Light on Iran’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons

Mehdi Abrichamchi, chairman of Peace and Security Committee of NCRI during a news conference.

Mehdi Abrichamchi the chairman of the committee of Peace and Security of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), during a news conference in Paris, revealing the Iranian regime’s clandestine nuclear activities – November 2013

The Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank focused on nuclear proliferation, published a report on May 7, shedding light on the Iranian regime’s clandestine nuclear program. The report, entitled ‘Shock Wave Generator for Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program: More than a Feasibility Study’, used information previously revealed by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), to gather intelligence and build a greater understanding of the Iranian development and manufacturing of key nuclear weapon subcomponents.

The Ahmad Plan

The report reveals that since the early 2000s, the Iranian regime has been active in the development of nuclear weapon subcomponents. The Ahmad Plan, as it was known, sought to develop a “shock wave generator”, a system designed to initiate a charge that would prompt weapons-grade uranium to achieve a supercritical mass and create a nuclear explosion.

The Ahmad Plan sought to develop five nuclear weapons using this technology. It also implemented the construction of an underground facility for nuclear testing. The report also indicated that the plan involved “at least one former member of the Soviet nuclear weapons program”, indicating that the clerical regime had the assistance of foreign agents.

Deep Cover

The report goes on to describe how after 2003, when the MEK and National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed many of the regime’s clandestine nuclear activities, parts of the program were given cover stories.

One such location was located near the village of Sanjarian. Known as the “Sanjarian facility”, the site was the location chosen to build the explosive components in the shock wave generator. After 2003, it was redesigned to appear to be a non-military facility carrying out non-military tests, hiding its true purpose.

However, in 2009, the NCRI and MEK sources got wind of the activities taking place at Sanjarian. The opposition revealed that the facility was engaged in the development of high-explosive detonators for use in nuclear weapons.

Staying One Step Ahead

More recently, the MEK confirmed that the regime had moved many of its activities out of Sanjarian. The opposition group concluded that the bulwark of the Iranian nuclear program was now being carried out in the Parchin military complex.

This is supported by satellite imagery of the Sanjarian facility, which appears less maintained than in previous years.

In 2017, the MEK published extensive findings on the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It revealed that the majority of its activities were now taking place in tunnels near Mamlo Dam north of the Parchin High Explosive Test Chamber Facility.

Ongoing Surveillance

The report concludes that moving forward, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must be permitted to regularly inspect Iran’s nuclear research sites, including Parchin and Sanjarian and examine any equipment and materials relating to the enrichment of uranium and development of shock wave generators.

The IAEA must also be granted permission to interview personnel involved in the shock wave generator project and characterize and understand the status of the project today.

The MEK will continue to work tirelessly to expose the Iranian regime’s nuclear activities. Since 1991, the resistance group has exposed some 100 secret nuclear projects and helped prevent the regime from fulfilling its nuclear ambitions.

 

 

 

 

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Iran human rights,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Who wrote the book of terror

Why Should International Community Hold Regime Accountable?

Who wrote the book of terror

IRGC is the main force behind Iranian regime’s terror and executions both at home and abroad.

Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated rapidly over the course of the past few weeks as the U.S. has toughened its stance against the regime. The escalating hostilities have left the mullahs in an untenable position. The regime is currently on the verge of collapse due to widespread domestic unrest, the catastrophic floods that recently devastated the country, and a failing economy that has driven 80% of the population below the poverty line. Iran has no money for additional conflict, but the mullahs will not stand down in the face of a challenge to their authority, and they will take the country down with them if they are not checked.

 

IRGC Terrorist Designation

In April, the United States designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), creating an economic and political disaster for the mullahs’ regime. The regime responded by immediately labeling the United States military as a terrorist organization and publicly threatening U.S. forces stationed in the region.

 

Two weeks later, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was canceling waivers to countries still importing Iranian oil, meaning that they would have to stop purchasing oil from Iran or face U.S. sanctions. Early this month, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani retaliated by announcing that Iran would partially withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. The United States withdrew from the JCPOA last May, but the European Union has struggled to keep the deal alive in the absence of the U.S.

 

In the last two weeks, the United States has responded to intelligence indicating that regime military forces and their proxies are planning an attack on U.S. military forces in the Middle East with the deployment of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, and B-52 jets into the Persian Gulf. U.S. Secretary of State denied that the deployment was an act of aggression, saying that the move was necessary to defend forces in the region. He added that any threat to U.S. interests would be dealt with in a “swift and decisive” manner.

President Trump has expressed willingness to drop sanctions if the Iranian regime would enter into negotiations about the terms of the nuclear deal, but regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei refused to consider this offer. The regime appears to be determined to continue escalating the conflict with the United States, no matter the cost.

 

The Trump administration says that it does not want a direct confrontation with Iran, but it is impossible to avoid appeasement of the Iranian regime without a firm position in response to its destructive behavior in the region.

The Iranian regime sows discord across the Middle East through its military forces and proxies. It props up dictators and funds terrorist groups. Over the forty years of the mullahs’ rule, the Iranian regime has been responsible for terrorist attacks that killed thousands of people.

The Regime’s Attacks on the MEK

The current target of the regime is the opposition MEK. Last year alone, the regime attempted to carry out terrorist plots in Albania, France, the United States, and Denmark. All of these plots were foiled by law enforcement, leading to sanctions, arrests, prosecutions, and expulsion of MOIS agents and regime diplomats from the European Union.

The regime’s relentless attacks on the MEK show two things. First, the regime is dangerously unstable and is willing to do anything to destroy its enemies. Second, the regime sees the MEK as a viable alternative that could realistically overthrow the mullahs and replace them.

The MEK has widespread support in Iran and has a ten-point plan for establishing democracy in Iran after the fall of the regime. The MEK’s Resistance Units are established inside the country and work with citizens from all sectors of Iranian society to organize protests and demonstrations. They know the needs of the people. They are the people.

The international community is threatened by the Iranian regime and therefore it’s necessary to take efforts to end the horrific and brutal human rights crimes, the Iranian regime is responsible for.

Staff writer

 

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Iran Human Rights Monitor Reports Two Months of Human Rights Violations under Ebrahim Raisi

Since Raisi was appointed as regime’s chief Judiciary, there has been a surge in executions and in repressive measures.

“He should be investigated for grave crimes, rather than investigating them.”

Former Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi was appointed Chief of the Iranian regime’s Judiciary two months ago, leading to a sharp increase in human rights violations. The Iran Human Rights Monitor website reported on Raisi’s first two months as Judiciary Chief. Their findings are summarized below.

Executions

At least 44 people have been executed in Iran since Raisi was appointed as Judiciary Chief.

Amnesty International recently revealed that the regime secretly flogged and executed two 17-year-old boys, in violation of international and Islamic law. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the executions, describing them as “deplorable.”

A number of prisoners were executed for non-violent drug charges.

On April 27th, Kamal Shahbakhsh was hanged Arak’s Central Prison on drug charges.

One day later, Mohammad Bameri, 24, was executed in the same prison for drug smuggling. Bameri was a university student.

On April 29th, Seyed Hamidreza Hosseinkhani, 37, Majid Kazemi, 42, Mohammad Hemmati, 26, and Mohammad Davoudabadi, 26 were hanged in secret in Arak’s Central Prison on drug-related charges.

Arrests of Activists

Protests took place in a number of cities across Iran on May 1st and 2nd in recognition of International Labor Day and Teachers’ Day. A number of participants in both protests were arrested, some of whom still remain in custody without access to attorneys.

The Director General of the Intelligence Department in West Azerbaijan Province announced that 110 people associated with MEK Resistance Units have been “dealt with” over the past year.

According to the state-run Fars news agency, 60 people were arrested for communicating with the MEK, while another 50 were given warnings..

This announcement following an earlier statement from regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi, who bragged that “over the past year, 116 teams related to PMOI/MEK have been dealt with.”

 

In the wake of the devastating floods that swept Iran in March and April, regime authorities threatened anyone publishing news of the floods with a prosecution. 24 journalists were subsequently arrested for reporting on the floods, and four more were arrested for spreading information about the regime’s incompetence in responding to the disaster.

In the absence of government disaster aid, citizens volunteered to provide relief in the aftermath of the flood. Dozens of these volunteers have been arrested by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

In April, IRGC agents arrested at least eleven Arab-Iranian women who were providing emergency aid to flood victims in the village of Gurieh, Khuzestan Province.

In Malashiyeh, Khuzestan Province, state security forces arrested a group of independent volunteer relief workers and transferred them to an unknown location.

Oppression of Women

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported a crackdown in the regime’s policy on compulsory veiling of women.

Hundreds of women in Tehran were summoned and given warnings about violating the compulsory veiling policy while driving their cars.

 

On April 18th, Amnesty International released a statement asking the Iranian regime to end its intimidation of women’s rights activists who protest against mandatory veiling and release those who have been imprisoned for their activism. The statement read, in part:

“The criminalization of women and girls for not wearing the veil is an extreme form of gender-based discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that deeply damages women’s dignity. Instead of persecuting and jailing women who are standing up to this outrageous injustice, Iran’s authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all women’s rights defenders detained for their peaceful activism.”

Ebrahim Raisi’s Crimes against Humanity

 

Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi, member of the 1988 Massacre’s “Death Commission” assigned as the highest judicial position within the regime.

Ebrahim Raisi was appointed by regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as Chief of the Judiciary in early March. Several days later, he was elected to the Assembly of Experts, the powerful group of mullahs who chooses the regime’s Supreme Leader. Raisi is considered to be a possible successor to Khamenei.

 

In 1988, Raisi sat on Tehran’s infamous “death committee,” where he personally sentenced thousands of political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members to death.

 

Over the course of a single summer, the Iranian regime executed 30,000 political prisoners associated with the MEK in the 1988 Massacre. To date, no one has been held accountable for this crime against humanity. Raisi is the second death committee member to hold the position of Judiciary Chief.

 

The U.S. Department of State and Human Rights Watch both condemned Raisi’s appointment to Judiciary Chief, citing his involvement in the “mass executions” of political prisoners in 1988.

 

Human Rights Watch released a statement about Raisi’s appointment, decrying the “deteriorating human rights situation” in Iran.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, commented on Raisi’s unfitness for the role of Judiciary Chief, saying, “It’s disturbing and frankly frightening that [Raisi] will be overseeing justice and accountability in Iran.”

She added, “He should be investigated for grave crimes, rather than investigating them.”

Staff writer

 

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Iran Protests,MEK,MEK Network,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,University of Tehran students protest

MEK Iran: Tehran’s Student Protest the Regime’s Repressive Policies

University of Tehran- Protesters object new restrictive measures against female students.

On Monday, April 13, students at Tehran university held a rally in opposition at the Iranian regime over the repressive restrictions in place on female students’ clothing on campus. A video clip of the students’ rally was shared across social media by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The University of Tehran enforces new restrictive forced hijab regulations. Female students have to wear the hijab and cannot make their own decisions regarding freedom of clothing. They chanted, “college students would rather die than live in shame,” and held signs reading: ““Freedom of choice is our right.”

A Nationwide Suppressive Force

The student protests come just days after the regime announced that it would launch a new police force to tackle political dissent and expression.

Last Wednesday, the regime’s chief of police, Hossein Ashtari, announced the assembly of the Razavion Patrol. The patrol is an extension of the Basij patrols that have taken place since the nationwide uprising in early 2018. The Basij forces regularly set up checkpoints in areas where there are more protests and harass suspected dissidents (i.e. supporters of the MEK).

The Razavion Patrol will undertake similar activities but are expected to have more funds and resources than their Basij counterparts.

Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, a commander in the Basij forces had alluded to the crackdown last September. He revealed, “we have begun a series of plans to upgrade the IRGC Basij… we believe our patrols are more effective than checkpoints. More recently, these Basij patrols have been dubbed as the Razavion network.”

The network was partially rolled out in November, with patrols beginning in Bukan and Yazd, as well as in Alborz Province. However, it wasn’t a nationwide scheme until now.

Growing Concerns

The Iranian regime is increasing pressure on protestors. The most recent student protest will have only increased regime fears that the political opposition is drawing increased support from the Iranian population.

2019 has seen regime officials become increasingly worried about the rising popularity of the MEK, the largest and most organized opposition group. Javad Javeed-Nia, the regime’s Deputy Prosecutor General in Cyberspace Affairs, said : “Considering the fact that our enemies [the MEK] have established cyber armies against the [mullahs’ regime], those who care about our state must launch a media campaign against the enemy, identify the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, and place forward an adequate analysis.”

The state-run Tehran Press News Agency also expressed concerns over the MEK’s use of the instant messaging app, Telegram.

The students’ rally must be seen in the context of a regime rapidly losing its grip on power in the face of mounting political dissent. The Iranian public, like Tehran’s youth, will not stand idly by while the regime embarks on a campaign of violence and repression.

The mullahs are scared. They are right to be. The tide of change is coming.

Staff writer

 

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Akram Nasirian,Iran Flood,Iran human rights,PMOI

Charity worker arrested in Iran

Charity Worker Arrested in Tehran

Charity worker arrested in Iran

Photo credit to Iran HRM- Charity worker, Akram Nasirian, has been arrested by regime security forces on unknown charges- April 2019

Regime security agents have arrested Akram Nasirian, a charity worker who has been working in the country’s flood-stricken regions.

According to ‘The Voice of Iranian Women’, a charity organization providing assistance to flood victims, Nasirian disappeared on April 29, 2019, in Tehran. A detective bureau agency in the capital traced her cell phone signal to the Evin region of Tehran, an indication that she was likely being detained in Evin Prison.

Scattered Information

Nasirian phoned her family, briefly informing them that she had been detained and held for questioning. She told them her case was being referred to the Second Branch of the Prosecutors office in Evin.

Nasirian’s son took to Instagram to share his mother’s story with the world. “My mother Akram Nasirian was arrested on the street on Monday, April 29 [2019] and taken to Evin Prison without anyone informing us,” he said.

He asked, “For what crime have you arrested my mother? For teaching Afghan refugees to read and write and helping flood victims in the south of the country?” He ended the video message with an appeal to “social activists and human rights groups to work for her immediate and unconditional release.”

A String of Detained Charity Workers

Nasirian is the latest arrest in the regime’s crackdown on charity workers and others providing assistance to victims of flooding across the country. In April, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) arrested dozens of Iranian-Arabs in Ahvaz who were active in providing assistance to victims in Khuzestan province.

The effort is part of a wider regime strategy to downplay the impact of flooding and its inaction in supporting flood victims. The regime arrested reporters revealing the full death toll and investigating the regime’s role in exacerbating the issue.

At least 2 million citizens are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Flooding cut off food and clean water supplies, left more than 300,000 families without shelter, clothing, and medicine. It also claimed more than 200 Iranian lives.

Estimates suggest that the damage caused by the floods was equal to or greater than the damage caused by the entire eight-year war with Iraq. Many sources have accurately suggested the 2019 flooding was the country’s worst national disaster in fifteen years.

Instead of mobilizing the country’s resources to assist in the rescue and humanitarian efforts, the regime channeled its energies on stifling dissent, arresting reporters and employing mercenaries to help crush dissent. Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani mercenaries roved the affected areas, outraging residents and highlighting the regime’s utter inadequacy to respond to a national crisis.

The arrest of Nasirian is the latest proof that this regime is totally unfit to govern. It clearly demonstrates its lack of empathy for the Iranian people and selfish determination to maintain its grip on power at all costs.

Staff writer

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Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Womens Rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,PMOI

Execution of women in Iran continues.

The Regime’s Misogynist and Inhumane Use of the Death Penalty

MEK supporters during a rally ask for an end to executions in Iran

On October 26, 2018, Iranian state news reported that the regime had executed the 88th woman under President Hassan Rouhani. The woman, identified only as Soudabeh, had been imprisoned for 12 years after standing accused of murder. It is still unclear where the execution took place.

The execution came just a few weeks after the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet criticized the regime for the high volume of executions. Bachelet reiterated that the UN opposes executions in all circumstances. It reminded the regime that no jury in the world is immune from making mistakes.

Women Facing the Death Penalty

Across Iran, dozens of women are on death row. Many are accused of political crimes, including for supporting opposition group the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Others are facing charges for murder in self-defense or during episodes of domestic violence. Under the extreme laws of the Iranian regime, in cases of murder carried out for self-defense, the victim must face charges and retribution for the killing.

Eight women are on death row in Iran’s infamous Urmia Grand Central Prison. Their names are:

  1. Chenar Salehi,
  2. Yasna Sadeqi,
  3. Arasteh Ranjbar,
  4. Nazdar Vatankhah,
  5. Tahmineh Danesh,
  6. Farideh Hassanpour,
  7. Shelir Khosravi,
  8. Somayeh Ebrahimzadeh.

A further eleven women face the death penalty in Varamin’s Qarchak Prison. Their names and charges are as follows:

Azam Maleki has been detained for eight years, charged with the murder of her brother-in-law and nephew-in-law.

Narjes Tabaii has been detained for three years, charged with the murder of her husband’s second wife.

Fereshteh Shirazi has been imprisoned for five years, charged with the murder of her mother-in-law (the victim was the sister of Assadollah Lajevardi, the infamous warden at Evin Prison known as ‘the Butcher’).

Tahereh Noori has been detained for 12 years, charged with the murder of her husband.

Roya Amirian has been detained for 14 years after allegedly murdering a man harassing her in the street.

Mahtab Shafii has been detained for three years, charged with her husband and mother-in-law’s murders.

Mahboubeh Rasoul, has been detained for seven years, charged with the alleged killing of her mother-in-law.

Mahnaz Agahi, has been imprisoned for seven years, charged with murdering her husband.

Soghra Eftekhari, has been imprisoned for ten years, charged with murder during a conflict.

Eshrat Nazari, has been imprisoned for six years for allegedly killing her husband; Samira Sabziyan.

Misogyny has been enshrined and institutionalized in the regime’s laws. Many other countries, even those with capital punishment laws, protect women from receiving the death penalty when they are acting in self-defense against an abusive family member. However, the Iranian regime affords the victims no such protection.

The names of these women in Qarchak should be a beacon for human rights groups around the world. They illustrate inhumane and unjust laws employed by the Iranian regime and highlight the growing need for penal reform and the abolishment of the death penalty across Iran.

Staff writer

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Iran human rights,MEK,MEK Network,PMOI,Razavion Patrol

The oppressive Razavion Patrol.

Regime Rolls out New Suppressive Force as Part of Crackdown on Protests and Dissent

The oppressive Razavion Patrol.

The new oppressive patrol-Razavion- is setup to add on to various regime security forces-as fear of a surge in uprisings in Iran grows among regime officials.

On Wednesday, the Iranian regime’s Chief of Police announced the nationwide launch of new patrols as part of its continued efforts to suppress political dissent and protests.

 

In an interview with the IRNA news agency, Hossein Ashtari said, “An agreement has been reached between the police and the Basij Organization in the context of further engagement and cooperation on the launch of the Razavion Patrol.”

The Razavion Patrol is massive in scope and will have sizable resources and power at its disposal. The Chief of Police in the city of Qom described the patrol as “a plan on the national level which has been coordinated with the IRGC, Judiciary, and the police and will use the infinite power of the Basij.”

Evolution of the Razavion Patrol

 

The Basij Force began patrolling Iranian neighborhoods in early 2018 in response to the nationwide uprising in December 2017 and subsequent anti-regime protests. In September 2018, the Basij Force stepped up its patrols, set up checkpoints in neighborhoods where MEK supporters were known to reside, and began conducting drills. This was due to increased activity by MEK Resistance Units.

 

In September, Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, a commander of the Basij Force, commented on the crackdown, saying, ““We have begun a series of plans to upgrade the IRGC Basij. We have not rounded up our patrols and we believe our patrols are more effective than checkpoints. More recently, these Basij patrols have been dubbed as the Razavion network.”

 

The Razavion Patrol was partially rolled out in November 2018, coinciding with Iran’s Week of Basij. Patrols were launched in several cities, including Bukan, western Iran, and Yazd, central Iran. Patrols were also rolled out in a number of cities in  Alborz Province.

 

On May 5th, Iranian state-run news agencies reported that Razavion Patrols were also launched in Qom in order to prevent “theft and crime.” The commander of the regime’s police force claimed that the patrols were launched in Qom for the purpose of “promoting the people’s security”, read regime security.

Past Uses of Suppressive Patrols

 

The use of suppressive patrols is not a new idea. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij Force have used their expansive authority in the past to set up similar patrols intended to intimidate people under the guise of “providing security.” Previous iterations were called “Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice” patrols and “Revolution Committee” patrols.

 

Ashtari described the Razavion Patrol as “neighborhood security patrols,” but those who have been subject to the patrols have compared them to the “Revolution Committee” patrols of the early years of the regime. The Revolution Committee patrols suppressed dissent and prevented an uprising during the first decade after the mullahs stole the 1979 Revolution, and its members went on to form the IRGC and establish its core values of violent suppression of dissent.

 

The Razavion Force is a new version of an old strategy by the regime. The mullahs are terrified of a widespread rebellion and will do anything to suppress it short of actually listening to the people’s demands. At this point, people have only one demand: regime change.

 

Staff writer

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Iran Economy,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,PMOI

Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

Members of the Majlis Raise the Alarm

Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

The infighting between various members of the regime’s parliament, a daily scene during Majlis sessions.

The Iranian regime has gone from a blow to blow in recent months. Since the US’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal last year, the regime has had to contend with strict financial sanctions and now the designation of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

The severely diminished position on the international stage has not gone unnoticed at home. The Iranian public is protesting with unprecedented frequency as the nation’s economic crisis deepens. The regime’s insistence that it is the “protector of the poor” looks increasingly like the fiction that it is, as the mullahs’ role in Iran’s economic collapse is becoming more apparent.

Raising the Alarm

The regime has attempted to maintain the veneer of stability, but the cracks are starting to show. Statements of concern from officials pepper the media and messages of alarm have begun to appear in the Iranian Majlis (parliament).

In its May 6 session, Amir Khojasteh, chair of the regime International Policies Commission, vented his frustrations. “This isn’t an economy,” he said, the inflation pressure on people’s shoulders is crushing them. Every day there is a new scenario. One day, it is the dollar and nobody pays attention. One day it is fuel. One day it’s about onions. 8,000 rials onions become 150,000 rials. This is a scenario. Who’s pulling the strings?”

While showing the increasing infighting between different rifts for a bigger share of power, he warned that “When we see inflation in the country and there isn’t a response [from the government], it will upset the people; it has driven the people angry.”

He was not alone in his concerns. His peer, Soheila Jolodarzadeh, raised similar concerns that the Iranian public is reaching the end of its tether. He cited corruption as a major barrier to reconciliation and contributing to the widening gap between the rich and poor.

““When paychecks are not increased according to the inflation rate and following the consequences of the devaluation of the national currency, the situation has become such that you can’t live under these circumstances anymore,” he said.

Lighting the Stack of Discontent

Naghavi Hosseini of the regime Parliament’s Security Commission, revealing the regime’s fear of the people’s protests, warned Hassan Rouhani (regime’s President) that if the price of fuel increases, the Iranian people may rise up in protest. “Today, talks were focused on fuel becoming more expensive. We shouldn’t in any way come to terms with such a thing. Fuel becoming more expensive means igniting the stack of discontent,” he said.

In reality, the stack has already been lit. The Iranian people are tired of the Majlis and the political infighting among all factions of the Iranian leadership. Their calls have been for Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) and her ten-point plan for a democratic Iran.

Staff writer

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INSTEX,Iran Deal,Iran Economy

The UK, France and Germany announcing INSTEX in a press conference

INSTEX: An Economic Savior or Pipe Dream?

The UK, France and Germany announcing INSTEX in a press conference

The Foreign Ministers of the UK, France and Germany announced the formation of a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX- January 2019

It remains unclear exactly how Europe’s INSTEX financial mechanism will impact the Iranian regime. Originally developed as a way to circumvent US sanctions against the Iranian regime, INSTEX continues to baffle regime pundits and analysts.

For the Iranian regime’s state-run media, INSTEX does not go far enough. On May 7, the state-run media broadcasted the following analysis of Europe’s INSTEX program: “After the U.S. exited the JCPOA, the Europeans were supposed to provide for Iran’s interests under the JCPOA framework. However, after one year, Europeans did not want or could not cover those interests.”

The regime criticized Europe: “Europe promise was downgraded to a limited and narrow channel that hasn’t been made operational until now.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif echoed these criticisms, asserting that Europe had respected “only one percent of its obligations in real terms.”

The European Perspective

The European Union (EU) sees the situation differently. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “We are obliged to fully respect all the obligations that are provided by the JCPOA and this must mean for the Iranians to respect all their nuclear obligations.”

The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged the Iranian regime to understand the reality of the situation He said: “We’ve made it clear to Iran that we don’t have the capability to cover the losses of European companies who are hit by losses in their business with Iran because of the threat of U.S. sanctions.”

Hope for the Regime?

For Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, INSTEX is a source of hope for the regime. The regime has launched SATMA, its version of INSTEX to facilitate trade between Europe and the regime. He also suggested that SATMA would deal with other stakeholders including Russia and Turkey.

However, the state-run Mehr news agency is less hopeful. It saw Zarif’s optimism as a “bitter joke” and warned that INSTEX is still a pipe dream. “INSTEX is still limited to talk and registration and is far from implementation,” it said.

Tasnim news agency also expressed concerns that without a bank or financial institution willing to cooperate with INSTEX, the company would be unsuccessful in circumventing US sanctions. An unnamed economic official was quoted saying: “Unfortunately, the sanctions have resulted in a situation that no bank is ready to do business with Iran.”

“Now, three months after INSTEX was established, it appears that Iran and Iranian businessmen have got ‘nothing’ and INSTEX has not been able to open a route for trading between Iran and Europe,” Tasnim concluded.

One thing is clear from the debate raging over INSTEX: it will not be the silver bullet the regime was hoping to render US sanctions ineffective. Whatever happens, the US sanctions are biting and the regime’s future in power is looking more precarious by the day.

Staff writer

 

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