Author Archive

IRGC BlackListing,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,NCRI,PMOI

Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Former US Ambassador Joins Calls for MOIS Terror Designation

Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Ambassador, Ken Blackwell speaks with the Media about Iran policy, July 9th, 2016

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Ken Blackwell wrote an op-ed in Townhall, the conservative US news and analysis site. Blackwell’s piece, entitled ‘America’s Assertive Iran Policy Must Continue’, called on the US government to maintain pressure against the Iranian regime and confront Iranian aggression with a focused campaign of financial and diplomatic efforts.

Blackwell began by praising the Trump administration’s Iran policy, however, expressed concerns about the pace of its progress.

He lamented the fact that it took the US government until May of 2018 before the Trump administration withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, despite it being a campaign promise. He also mentioned the year delay between withdrawing from the deal and ending the waivers granted to countries importing Iranian oil.

Unprecedented Assertiveness

Despite the slow pace of change, Blackwell said that “The administration’s strategy for dealing with Iran and facilitating comprehensive change in its behavior has moved from merely ‘assertive’ to ‘unprecedented’,”.

Of particular note for Blackwell was the decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. The previous US and European governments deliberated but ultimately elected not to apply the designation to a branch of the “Iranian government”, instead, selecting to sanction individuals within the IRGC instead of the organ itself.

This was a mistake. The IRGC is one of the Iranian regime’s pillars of repression. It also controls around 90% of the Iranian economy through affiliated companies and has been instrumental in the Iranian government’s ability to circumvent sanctions and funnel money to terrorist and militia groups abroad.

Going One Step Further

The move was also welcomed by the Iranian opposition. At a press conference in Washington DC, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)  welcomed the designation. The pro-democracy groups urged the US government to consider going one step further and designating the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as another foreign terror organization.

The argument is gaining some traction. Blackwell also supports the move. “While the IRGC has a long track record of terrorist activity on foreign soil and support for well-known terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has been directly linked to the planning of bombings and assassinations,” he said.

Last year alone, the MOIS was responsible for organizing terror attacks and assassinations in the US, Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. Using its network of Iranian embassies on foreign soil, the MOIS has constructed a network of espionage and terror that has crept across Europe.

Although each of the 10 plots was foiled by European and US agencies, several came close to wreaking untold death and destruction on the European populace. In one incident, the MOIS attempted to detonate a car bomb at the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)’s annual Grand Gathering Event in Paris. The event featured 100,000 distinguished guests, including MEK supporters across Europe and high-profile political figures like Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

More is Needed

Blackwell’s piece described how, although the US government is making unprecedented progress towards neutralizing the Iran threat, more is needed to bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

Existing sanctions reportedly helped bring about a 10% decline in the Iranian regime’s military expenditure. However, “Iranian entities are still clearly threatening Western lives and territory,” Blackwell writes. “We cannot afford to take it for granted that this trend has gone far enough, or that it will continue naturally.”

Blackwell concluded: “The international community must keep its focus on the positive effects of preexisting economic pressures, all the while wisely targeting new measures against those Iranian entities whose violent threat has yet to be addressed.”

Staff writer

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Iran Floods,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Ahvaz under flood

Unemployment Crisis Worsens in Aftermath of Flood

Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan has been under flooding, since last week, while reports indicate that no aid has been provided by the regime and they have been sending security forces to suppress any voice of protest.

Six weeks after catastrophic floods swept through 25 out of 31 of Iran’s provinces, disaster victims across the country are still waiting for much-needed assistance from the regime.

Villages Still Submerged

 

On Tuesday, the administrator for the district government office in Hamidiyeh, Khuzestan Province announced that three villages near the city of Hamidiyeh are still covered by floodwaters and another three villages are in danger of flooding.

 

“Some residents of the flood-hit areas are still living in tents, more than a month since the start of the floods in this area,” he added.

Economic Damage

 

The economic fallout from the floods has wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy, which was already in crisis. Businesses, mines, factories, and industries are struggling to recover from the massive damage caused by the disaster.

Regime experts estimate that almost ten thousand factories were damaged in the floods, leading to the loss of 30,000 jobs.

 

Regime Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli recently estimated the cost of these damages at between 30 and 35 billion Toman.

Farmers have suffered grave financial losses due to the floods, and many are unlikely to see any relief.

 

Regime Minister of Farming Mahmoud Hojjati estimated flood damages to be approximately 13 thousand billion Toman.

 

According to the ILNA news agency, “The floods have caused more damage to the farmers of Golestan, Lorestan, and Khuzestan, than anywhere else in the country.”

No Unemployment Benefits

 

However, the regime’s Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare stated that insurance benefits will only be paid to those who previously paid for unemployment rights. Those on short-term contracts were promised limited assistance, but MEK sources inside Iran report that these people have yet to be contacted.

 

Approximately 1,300 pumping stations in Lorestan Province, along with gardens and lands, have been damaged, according to Mohammad Biranvand, the representative of Khorram Abad.

Residents in these areas are unlikely to receive assistance, though, because of the regime’s restrictions on who can claim government benefits. Social support expert Farshid Yazdani told the ILNA news agency that “many of the villages are uninsured, so their residents will struggle with claiming their unemployment rights now.”

 

Unemployment was a serious issue before the floods, and now the crisis has reached a breaking point. The regime has yet to propose a workable plan to repair the damage done by the floods or to address the needs of its citizens in the aftermath of the disaster. Meanwhile, it has become evident that government incompetence and corruption was responsible for a large portion of the destruction caused by the floods, and no solutions have been proposed to prevent a future catastrophe.

Incompetence in Bridge Building

 

An environmental expert from Tehran studied the failure of bridges during the floods and concluded that the regime was responsible for designing and engineering faulty infrastructure that failed during the floods.

 

“Over 400 bridges have been destroyed during the recent floods in Iran,” he said. “These bridges are less than 50 years old, whereas the Sasani Bridge built around two thousand years ago, still stands. This proves our incompetent government management and poor engineering designs of our infrastructures.”

Staff writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

NCRI Calls for International Prosecution of Ghafour Derjezi for his Role in Assassination of Opposition Members

 

Photo credit Mojahedin.org- Ghafour Derjezi (top right and Bottom right) responsible for the assassinations of Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, former representative of NCRI in Italy (top left).

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), including the MEK, is calling for the prosecution of former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) member Ghafour Derjezi (also known with the name Amir Mansur Assl Bozorgian) and former Iranian regime ambassador to Italy Hamid Abutalebi after startling revelations of their involvement came to light about their involvement in the assassinations of opposition members.

According to Ali Daei, former head of the Saipa football club in Tehran, Derjezi has been using the name Mostafa Modaber in order to conceal his past. Derjezi was responsible for the assassinations of a number of opposition figures, most notably Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, former representative of NCRI in Italy.

https://t.co/iK2mqnSjJ2

Derjezi, who is also known as Amir Mansour Bozorgian, carried out the assassination of Naghdi in Rome, Italy, on March 16, 1994, on the order of Hamid Abutalebi, Tehran’s then-ambassador to Italy. Abutalebi currently serves as an advisor to regime President Hassan Rouhani.

Background

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Derjezi worked as an operative of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in Fort Ramadan of Kermanshah. He played a role in the 1989 assassination of Iranian Kurdish dissident leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou in Austria.

Mohammad Hossein Naghdi initially served as a member of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic team in Italy. He resigned from his post in 1981 in protest of the regime’s corruption and joined the NCRI. After the 1988 death of regime founder and first Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued an order calling for Naghdi to be assassinated.

Then-deputy MOIS chief Ali Fallahian was assigned the mission to assassinate Naghdi. Fallahian ordered Hamid Abutalebi to carry out the attack.

Abutalebi formed one team to provide logistics and a second to carry out the actual assassination. Derjezi, also known as Ami Mansour Bozorgian at the time, was given the position of commander of the logistics team. He was also given the responsibility of coordinating the assassination team on the ground. On the day of the assassination, Derjezi gave the order to fire.

After Naghdi’s assassination, Derjezi returned to Iran and worked in a number of administrative roles in the Secretariat office of the Supreme National Security Council, as the head of the regime’s state radio/TV organization’s security branch, as the head of the state radio/TV Commerce Union, and as director general of security matters overlooking the regime’s Majlis (parliament).

Derjezi is now the Director General of the Saipa football club, using the name Mostafa Modaber. Daei’s revelation about Derjezi’s dark past has intensified pressure on the Iranian regime, which now has to deal with the potential consequences of having a former IRGC member in charge of a football club. Because of the recent U.S. designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, any person or organization who provides support or funding to an organization or entity tied to the IRGC may face criminal or civil prosecution. Regime officials are scrambling to hide past ties to the IRGC.

Staff writer

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Social Media in Iran

Regime Insiders Express Fear Over the MEK’s Rising Online Popularity

Ibrahim Golfam, head of regimes propaganda in the Army during a press conference.

Elements within the Iranian regime have publicly expressed fear at the Iranian opposition’s swelling popularity across social media. The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), the largest and best-supported Iranian opposition group, have been attracting swathes of the Iranian youth to its social media campaigns.

Feeling the Pressure

So much so, that the Cultural Deputy of Iranian regime’s Armed Forces Department Ibrahim Golfam aired his concerns over the group’s rising online influence. “The [PMOI/MEK], stationed in the capital of a European country, are day and night busy creating an atmosphere against the Islamic Republic in Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram,” he complained.

Speaking to journalists in Yasuj, Southern Iran, Golfam described the ongoing war for the hearts and minds of the Iranian public. He said a “battle formation” was “needed in the fields of economics, culture and soft war.”

Golfam’s comments were echoed by the regime’s Friday prayer Imam in Shiraz. Lotfollah Dezhkam, during a sermon, complained about the MEK’s social media presence. “There are some behaviors seen on the internet that need our attention. It is not right for anyone to say anything they wish,” he said. He expressed his opinion that the regime should more closely monitor the Iranian opposition’s online presence and censor Iranians’ access to their posts.

“This is a direction that needs to be taken by FATA (Iran’s internet police) and finally the judiciary. Both of these entities need to be involved and there need to be some control mechanisms from our part,” he said.

Dezhkam also vented about the closure of the social media accounts belonging to senior members of the Iranian regime’s leadership. “They make a fuss and brouhaha about providing an open atmosphere! Free! Anyone is able to say anything they wish! You do know that they erase even one sentence that is expressed by us,” he complained, adding, “why do they not allow people to hear what they have to say? Those who close these accounts are cowards!”

MEK Has “Inflicted Severe Blows” with Social Media, Say Regime Experts

The Regime’s Demonization Campaign

Twitter and other social media accounts have taken a stronger stance against the Iranian regime in recent months. The MEK revealed last year that the Iranian regime uses an extensive social media campaign to vilify and demonize the Iranian opposition.

In 2018, Twitter removed more than 750 accounts affiliated to the Iranian regime. Many accounts posed as foreign journalists and shared anti-MEK propaganda in an attempt to turn public opinion against the opposition group. Following this incident, Twitter and other social media platforms have scrutinized regime-affiliated accounts.

Staff Writer

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Hassan Rouhani,Iran Deal,Iran Nuclear Agreement,Iran Opposition,JCPOA,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Only Free and Unfettered Access to Iranian Nuclear Sites Can Prevent the Mullahs Developing Nuclear Weapons

Chairman Mohaddessin, in charge of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-FAC), during an online conference call-June 2015

Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani announced that the regime will partially withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, a year after the United States exited the arrangement. He told the P5+1 nations that they had 60 days to renegotiate financial and oil deals. Failure to do so would result in the regime’s partial withdrawal.

International Condemnation

Several governments condemned the announcement, including France’s Defence Minister Florence Parly.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated in a tweet that “Stockpiling enriched uranium and heavy water are violations of JCPOA and the UNSC Resolution 2231. It shows the need to total shut down of enrichment, heavy water, and all nuclear sites, exposing military aspects of the nuclear project, and snap inspections of all sites more imperative.”

Referring to President-elect Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition’s message Subsequent to the temporary nuclear agreement with P5+1 on Nov. 2013 Mohaddessin reminded that “the full implementation of the Resolutions, in particular, complete stop of enrichment, and free access to the IAEA inspectors are necessary steps to prevent mullahs from obtaining the bomb.”

Free Access to Inspectors

Mohaddessin’s comments highlight concerns often cited by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The Iranian opposition has frequently expressed concerns over the nuclear deal and claimed that the Iranian regime continued to secretly enrich Uranium in pursuit of developing nuclear weapons.

During last December uprisings and on various other occasions, the Iranian public has expressed their quest for the regime to abandon its pursuit of atomic weapons. The relentless investment in missile capabilities and nuclear programs is a drain on Iranian resources and finances. At a time when the country is on the brink of economic collapse and more than 70% of Iranians live in poverty, it is an unnecessary and wasteful expense.

“It is a tool to survive religious fascism which is faced with popular outrage and is on the verge of the overthrow,” Mohaddessin said in a Tweet.

In the face of mounting domestic protests, the regime has resorted to increasing military spending and missile development to expand the tools of repression in its arsenal. It relies on violent organs like the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and Quds forces to maintain its grip on power. Abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons would be a major blow to the regime’s hegemonic ambitions in the region.

Staff writer

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Internet censorship,Iran Protests,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Censorship in Iran

The Mullahs Want to Censor the Internet—Except When They Are the Ones Being Censored

Censorship in Iran

Internet access is filtered in Iran under the ruling religious dictatorship.

The unrestricted use of the Internet and social media has become a serious issue for the mullahs’ regime. The availability of encrypted messaging applications has given the Iranian people the ability to bypass regime filtering to share news and information.

As the Iranian people continue to lose faith in state-run media, they increasingly turn to the Internet and social media sources for information. Over the past year, the MEK has successfully used social media to organize protests and spread information about the regime’s corruption. This has helped foster the growth of the protest movement within Iran and has caused panic among the mullahs, who fear widespread rebellion and the ultimate overthrow of the ruling regime.

Regime Friday prayer imams, who are considered the mouthpieces of the mullahs, repeat the Supreme Leader’s rhetoric to people across the country in their sermons each week. Through these sermons, it is possible to see the regime’s current fears and insecurities.

Last week, Lotfollah Dejkam, the Friday prayer imam in Shiraz, Fars Province, complained about Internet access in a confusing and contradictory sermon.

The Internet Must Be Censored

 

Dejkam first argued that the Internet must be censored in order to prevent people from freely exchanging information, saying, “On the Internet, there is conduct that must be observed carefully. It is not right to allow people to say and do whatever they want on the Internet.

The imam went on to echo the regime’s position that the FATA (the regime’s Internet police) and other repressive authorities should step up their efforts to prevent the free flow of information.

“It is an area in which both FATA units and the judiciary can get involved in. There should undoubtedly be some kind of control by the authorities,” Dejkam said.

The Internet Must Be Free

In the same sermon, Dejkam complained that Google and Instagram had removed or blocked accounts belonging to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) leaders, arguing that regime leaders should be free to speak online without fear of censorship.

“They were talking so much about the internet being free! It is free! People can say whatever they want. But they block even one sentence from us, against the leader [Khamenei, whose Instagram account was briefly suspended] and others [IRGC commanders whose Instagram accounts were blocked]. Let them be heard. Those who close down these accounts are cowards,” Dejkam said indignantly.

He went on to threaten the international social media giants, saying, “they cannot achieve anything through silencing us.”

Dejkam and the regime’s leadership would do well to take heed of these words. The Iranian people will not be silenced. The regime’s attempts to censor online communication have failed and will continue to fail. The MEK has provided an alternative to state-run propaganda and has given Iranians a place to share their outrage about the regime’s corruption and to organize for regime change.

Regime Reacts to Implications of IRGC Terrorist Listing with Growing Alarm and Confusion

Meanwhile, social media platforms such as Facebook are removing the accounts of IRGC leaders in the wake of the designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Facebook, which owns Instagram, has one billion members and is one of the largest corporations in the world. The regime’s threats to both its own people and to social media platforms are hollow and desperate.

Staff writer

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Human Rights Monitor,Iran Protests,MEK,MEK Network,PMOI

Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor Outlines Human Rights Abuses in its Monthly Report for April

Iranian regime's executions during the month of April 2019

The chart shows the Iranian regime’s executions during the month of April 2019

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report on the regime’s human rights abuses for the month of April 2019. The document makes for grim reading as the regime continues to run roughshod over the rights of Iran’s citizens on a near-daily basis.

The report revealed that in the month of April, the regime carried out arbitrary arrests and killings, tortured prisoners in its custody, violated the rights of ethnic minorities, and carried out several executions.

The Execution of Two Juvenile Offenders

Perhaps the most abhorrent act undertaken by the regime in April was the unlawful execution of two juveniles. Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, two 17-year-old cousins, were executed in Shiraz on April 25.

In a statement issued two days after their execution, international human rights group Amnesty International condemned the regime for carrying out an unfair trial and breaking international law prohibiting the execution of prisoners under the age of 18.

In a statement, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director, said: “It seems they cruelly kept these two boys in the dark about their death sentences for two years, flogged them in the final moments of their lives, and then carried out their executions in secret.”

Their families were able to visit them shortly before their death but were not informed of their impending execution, robbing them of their goodbyes.

The act also prompted outrage from the UN human rights chief who reminded the regime that the execution of children is banned under international law.

The Global Leader in Juvenile Executions

The Iranian regime executed more juvenile offenders than any other nation on earth. Between 1990 and 2018, the regime executed 97 inmates convicted of crimes as minors. Just last year it executed seven prisoners who committed the alleged crimes as minors.

More than 90 remain on death row in prisons across Iran according to Amnesty International.

Torture and Arbitrary Arrest

April also saw the prominent human rights defender Nader Afshari sentenced to 74 lashes and a year in prison on charges of “disrupting public order” and carrying out “propaganda against the state.”

A further 63 volunteers were arrested after carrying out community rescue operations and providing assistance to victims affected by recent flooding in Khuzestan. Also, 25 internet activists were detained for reporting on the flooding online.

The regime has attempted to stifle any information regarding the full death toll of the flooding out of fear it will inflame public anger. At least 250 people died after heavy rains brought widespread flooding to Khuzestan and the surrounding areas. The regime’s inaction compounded the destruction and loss of life as the mullahs refused to make boats, helicopters, and shelters available for public use in the rescue efforts. MEK sources in Iran reported widely on the damage the floods created, also the Iranian regime’s inaction during and in the aftermath of the floods.

On April 16, the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran also issued an indictment for the arrest of Amir Salar Davoudi on charges of “cooperating with hostile governments” and “establishing a group to overthrow the system” after he participated in an interview with VOA and partook in a Telegram messaging group sharing information about news and events pertaining to the Iranian judicial system.

Inhumane Conditions in Iranian Prisons

Iran Human Rights Monitor also describes the despicable and abhorrent treatment of prisoners in Iranian prisons. It reported the withholding of medical treatment for Alireza Shirmohammad-Ali in Great Tehran Penitentiary. Shirmohammad-Ali was beaten by guards and has been suffering from acute abdominal pain. He has received no treatment for his condition.

Mojtaba Dadashi, an imprisoned university student also went on hunger strike after being denied treatment for his respiratory tract infection he contracted last week.

In another incident, an inmate was encouraged to assault another inmate by the prison agents. An inmate convicted of drug offenses was promised a case review if she assaulted her fellow inmate, Sima Entesari.

The Fate of Ethnic Minorites

Ethnic minorities continue to suffer under the clerical regime. State security forces arrested 88 Ahwazi Arabs, 12 Kurds, and three Baluchi people. They also killed nine Kurdish porters

Staff writer

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Ali Khamenei,Iran Economy,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Iran's Petrochemical Industry

Trump Considers More Aggressive Enforcement of Iranian Sanctions

Iran's Petrochemical Industry

Iran’s petrochemical Industry’s revenue fills the coffins of the Supreme Leader and the IRGC to be used for terrorist activities and to fund terrorists.

On Thursday, May 2, the Wall Street Journal published claims made from US officials that President Donald Trump is considering pushing for more rigid enforcement of his sanctions against the Iranian regime. The Trump administration reintroduced economic sanctions against the Iranian regime last year in an attempt to restrict its access to US dollars and reduce its ability to finance terrorist groups across the globe.

The officials cited petrochemical sales to Singapore and the sale of consumer goods to Afghanistan as two revenue sources Trump is particularly interested in restricting.

Spending Revenues on Terror

Under the current Iranian dictatorship, the regime leadership has expanded the Iranian petrochemical industry. It has brought most of the Iranian market under the control of regime-affiliated groups, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) which was recently added to the US terror blacklist.

This has allowed the IRGC and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to use these revenues to finance terror and militia groups across the Middle East and beyond. The IRGC’s proxy forces have been found operating in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

Former MOIS chief, Ali Fallahian, described on Iranian state TV how the mullahs had diversified the Iranian economy to increase its spending on warmongering and terrorism.

“Many people, including Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader were insisting that the country should not be totally dependent on oil. So we decided to build the petrochemical industry in Iran. We had $16 billion income from exporting oil at that time. We planned on the export of petrochemical goods and another $16 billion income came from this. Of course, this was back then, now it is much more,” he said.

The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) recently wrote that according to some experts, Ali Khamenei controls over 90% of the petrochemical industry in Iran. The companies sell petrochemical products to foreign companies in exchange for foreign currencies. They then transfer these currencies through regime-affiliated exchange companies to their intended recipients.

Struan Stevenson: “Eighty Million Iranians Have Lost Their Fear”

These companies can transfer vast sums of cash. Some estimates put these transactions in excess of US$10 billion. These funds, once in the IRGC’s possession, are used to repress the Iranian population within Iran, or funneled to militias and terror groups outside the country.

The US and its European allies have a responsibility to disrupt and prevent the flow of funds from the Iranian regime to its terrorist affiliates abroad. The enforcement of rigid sanctions is one way of doing so. These sanctions are necessary to enhance global stability, reduce the export of terrorism and end the Iranian regime’s malign and nefarious activities across the Middle East and beyond.

Staff writer

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Black list IRGC,Dr. Majid Rafizadeh,Iran Terrorism

MEK-Iran: Expert Criticizes Regime’s Use of Foreign Prisoners as Political Pawns

Zarif and Jafari, two faces of a criminal dictatorship

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister embraces Ali Jafari, the then commander-in-chief of the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), now blacklisted as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran policy and president of the International American Council, penned an op-ed for Arab News on Thursday, May 2. Entitled, ‘Iranian regime uses foreign prisoners as political pawns’, the piece examined the way the Iranian regime uses prisoners in international diplomacy and the treatment of foreign citizens as political currency, to be traded and leveraged to further regime interests.

During Javad Zarif’s recent visit to the US, the Iranian foreign minister made a shocking offer to Western nations whose citizens are currently languishing in Iranian prisons. He offered to exchange them for Iranian prisoners inside the US and European nations.

“I put this offer on the table, publicly, now. Exchange them. All these people that are in prison inside the United States, on an extradition request from the United States… Let us exchange them,” he said.

False Hope

The centralized structure of power in Iran means that only the Supreme Leader Khamenei is able to make such offers and follow through with them. The matter of prisoner exchanges would fall under the remit of the judiciary. The head of the judiciary is appointed by Khamenei. Therefore, the judicial system would need Khamenei’s direct approval to make any prisoner exchange offers.

Zarif appeared to acknowledge this. In an interview, when Zarif was probed further on the details and quizzed about the possible release of eight US environmentalist from an Iranian prison, he responded with: “This is not my job. Our judiciary is independent. I have not agreed with the accusations against them, but I am busy enough preventing wars and economic pressures.”

Both the American government and the European Parliament have raised the issue of the eight detained environmentalists with the Iranian government before. In a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, several members of the European Parliament complained, “we understand that the Iranian judiciary has accused the activists of using environmental projects as a cover to collect classified strategic information, but a committee established under your authority has found no evidence of these allegations.”

The Iranian government has not yet responded. It has been previously unwilling to release the eight environmentalists or any of the other seven American and European prisoners currently detained in prisons across Iran.

Rafizadeh describes how under President Hassan Rouhani, several countries have increased their travel warnings, urging their citizens to take extra precautions, and in some cases, advising against traveling to Iran while the regime is in power.

The British Foreign Office recently warned all UK-Iranian dual nations to avoid traveling to Iran.

Political Pawns

The Iranian regime has a long history of using detained foreigners as diplomatic leverage to advance its international interests. Rafizadeh concluded: “In a nutshell, the Iranian regime is once again using foreign citizens as hostages in order to blackmail other governments.

He urged: “It is incumbent on these countries not to submit to Tehran’s hostage-taking game. Accepting Iran’s terms will only embolden and empower the regime.”

Staff writer

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Iran Protests,MEK,MEK Network,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Regime Leaders Powerless as Iranian People Turn to MEK and Social Media for News

Regime officials have recently expressed increasing concern about the MEK’s use of the Internet and social media to report accurate news of events within Iran and to expose the regime’s corruption and incompetence.

Reporting during the Floods

These fears have intensified in the wake of the destructive floods that caused severe damage across the country. Recently, the head of the FATA (the regime’s police division that handles Internet censorship) in Isfahan complained about the MEK’s reporting during the floods. He was most upset that the MEK had exposed the regime’s role in worsening the severity of the floods and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s (IRGC) incompetent response to the disaster.

He said, “Most of the news on the recent floods were published by the PMOI/MEK on the internet. The cyber war is the front line of today’s wars… Most of the news about the recent floods were published on social media by this group…”

Public confidence in state-run media has plummeted since the rise of social media has made it possible for Iranians to access information other than regime propaganda. During the floods last month, official regime reports downplayed the severity of the disaster even as people in 25 out of 31 provinces saw significant damage from the floods. Officials gave false numbers of casualties and damages and made claims of recovery efforts that had not taken place. People turned to social media for truthful reporting of the floods. The regime’s judiciary responded to the public’s loss of confidence by threatening those who published information about the floods. A number of Internet activists were subsequently arrested.

An “Overt and Covert Role”

The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security is taking measures to address the MEK’s growing influence in shaping the flow of information going in and out of Iran. The MOIS announced that it held an event in Mashhad to evaluate the “overt and covert role” of the MEK in social media platforms.

“Gathering Information”

 

Regime leaders, who for years claimed that the MEK had little influence within Iran, are now openly expressing their fears about the MEK’s ability to expose the regime’s corrupt and illegal acts through their powerful connections within the country and their growing online presence.

Regime Expresses Fear that MEK Will Overthrow Regime through Online Activism

Former IRGC member and current regime faction head Kan’ani Moghadam expressed his concerns about the MEK’s ability to uncover regime plots.

“They have infiltrated our apparatus inside the country, becoming very capable in gathering information,” he said. “The PMOI/MEK is monitoring all of our activities.”

“Spreading Disappointing News”

On Sunday, a member of Majlis (the regime’s parliament) voiced his concern that the MEK is effectively countering state propaganda and changing public opinion about the regime. The regime relies on propaganda to prevent widespread rebellion, so this is troubling news for those in power.

“Around 15 percent of the [Iranian regime dissidents] and the PMOI/MEK inside the country are active on social media,” he said. “They are spreading disappointing news about the Revolution and the state to influence public opinion.”

Staff writer

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2018 MEK-Iran.com. All Rights Reserved
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial