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Poverty line in Iran

Iranian State-Run Media Publishes a List of Tax-Exempt Institutions and They’re Mostly Regime-Owned

Poverty line in Iran

A child worker selling flowers in the streets for living. Reports indicate that under the ruling mullahs, there are 10 million unemployed and 50 million under the poverty line in Iran.

Despite more 80% of Iranians living below the international poverty line, the mullahs and their state-run media outlets published a list of Iranian institutions which are exempt from paying income tax.

The list featured mostly national religious organizations, many of which are under the direct control of the Supreme Leader Khomenei. The Mostazafan Foundation, the Execution of Imam Khamenei’s Order (Setad), the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs (Bonyade Shahid), the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (Komiteye Imdad), the Sazman-e Tablighat-e Eslami (Islamic Propagation Organisation), the Office of Islamic Propagation of the Qom Seminary, the Bonyad Maskan of the Islamic Revolution (Housing Foundation), the Seminary Services Center, the Islamic Revolution Cultural Research Institute, and the Al-Mustafa International University in Qom all made the list.

Corrupt Opulence as Iranians Struggle for Survival

The economic situation for the Iranian population is dire. By every international measurement, the Iranian economy is failing.

GDP will fall by an estimated 0.8% this year. Inflation is currently at an estimated 260% and unemployment has reached double digits (a reported one-third of college-educated Iranian men and half of the Iranian women under 30 are unemployed).

In such desperate economic circumstances, the regime’s spending on these institutions is deplorable. Seven of the tax-exempt religious institutions received a budget of around 7,000 billion tomans from the regime’s coiffures this year. The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation alone received a budget of 4,800 billion.

The list reveals the widespread institutionalized corruption which is emblematic of the clerical regime. While ordinary Iranians struggle to put food on the table because of arbitrary fees, tolls, and taxes introduced by regime officials, the regime’s affiliates receive a steady stream of tax-free, public funding.

A Reuter’s investigation into Khamenei’s Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order Foundation, also known as Setad, found the conglomerate held extensive real estate assets, making it a multi-billion dollar organization.

4% of the Population holds Half of All Iran’s Wealth

Through religious organizations like those listed in the report, Khamenei and his allies are able to funnel public funds into their pockets through shell religious institutions. It is through these practices that the rich in Iran get richer while the poor get poorer.

Economist Ibrahim Zaraghi estimated that the wealthiest 4% of the population now holds the same wealth as the remaining 96% of Iranians combined. “You can see how fast the four percent have made the rest of the population poor”, he said.

Several in the Iranian Parliament have spoken out against the corruption and nepotism that has forced 10% of Iranians into conditions of absolute poverty. Hedayatollah Khademi criticized the mullahs’ mismanagement of the economy.

He said, “you have made the Iranian people miserable. You have taken away their respect and confidence. They don’t know what to do due to poverty and desperation. They have turned to sell their organs including their kidneys due to poverty.”

The mullahs are draining the Iranian finances. What doesn’t go directly into their pockets through religious institutions is funneled abroad to Hezbollah, militias in Syria and Yemen, and Hamas in Palestine. The regime also spends a staggering $25-$30 billion on developing missiles and advancing its nuclear ambitions.

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) quoting a member of the regime’s parliament had recently reported: “Plunging oil prices will trigger inflation and a mounting budget deficit for the Iranian regime.”

The Iranian economy will continue to flop while the mullahs have free-reign to plunder Iran’s institutions and funnel public finances into their pockets. The only way to improve the economic standing of the Iranian population is through regime change. This list only reiterates that.

The mullahs will not willingly relinquish their grip on the Iranian economy. The take back what is theirs, the Iranian people must do it themselves.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Assadollah Assadi, the arrested diplomat terrorist for plotting a terrorist attack on the opposition's gathering

Former Italian Foreign Minister Calls for Unity and International Pressure Against the Iranian Regime

Assadollah Assadi, the arrested diplomat terrorist for plotting a terrorist attack on the opposition's gathering

Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat terrorist that was arrested for masterminding the Paris foiled terrorist plot to bomb the MEK’s annual gathering- June 30th, 2018

Giulio Terzi, the former Italian Foreign Minister and former Italian ambassador to the United States, penned a piece for the Federalist on the need for international pressure against the Iranian regime.

The article, entitled “Another Foiled Terror Plot Underscores the Need for Maximum Pressure on Iran”, laid out several key ways governments could assist the Iranian people and put the mullahs clerical regime under pressure.

A String of Failed Attacks

Terzi began by outlining the spate of foiled terror attacks on European soil that have been traced back to the Iranian regime’s leadership. The most recent of which was a foiled assassination attempt on Danish soil.

Following June’s failed Paris attack, in which a car laden with explosives was planned to detonate at the annual Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition (MEK), the French authorities carried out an investigation into the regime’s terror capabilities.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the French government was able to conclude “without any doubt” that the Iranian regime had been involved in the planning and execution of the attack. As a result, Macron’s administration expelled an Iranian diplomat from the Paris embassy. It has also refused to name an ambassador to Tehran and seized assets held by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) held on French soil.

Terzi suggests that these high-profile terror plots “demonstrate a pattern of Iranian behavior that goes well beyond these two incidents”. In addition to the attack planned in Paris and the foiled assassination attempt in Denmark, there have been numerous attacks coordinated against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its members around the globe.

One such plot came during the Persian New Year celebrations in Spring of 2018. Two regime agents were arrested in Albania. The pair were planning to attack the MEK’s compound in the Albanian capital of Tirana, where the organization’s members live in exile.

The Plots May Have Failed but the Threat is not Gone

Terzi reminds the West that just because these attacks were thwarted does not mean the Iranian threat is gone.

“Iranian proxies like Hezbollah have killed hundreds of Western nationals over the years”, he wrote. The regime’s behaviour has not changed. If anything, Tehran has intensified its terror activities.

To curb the regime and end its destabilizing effect in the Middle East and beyond, Terzi recommends a policy of “maximum pressure” on the Iranian regime. Western heads of states tried to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels. The nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration sought to bribe the regime into ending its nuclear program and financing of foreign terror groups. But the deal failed.

The mullahs “basked in the international legitimacy” they were afforded, Terzi writes. The agreement failed to bring peace or stability to the Middle East. Instead, it just unlocked financial aid that the mullahs could use to further repress its own population and intensify its military ventures abroad.

Maximum Pressure

Terzi calls for a stronger stance against the regime. He cites the regime’s relentless persecution of the MEK and its leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi as a reason why Europe and the US cannot stand idle.

Given the expanding protest movement inside Iran, Terzi suggests that Western governments pledge their support to the Iranian people. The MEK predicted that 2018 would be the year of protest and it has lived up to its name, with protests spreading across Iran’s key industries in a wave of discontent.

Terzi suggested that Western governments help the Iranian people “break through tough digital barriers erected by the regime in Iran”. The Broadcasting Board of Governors in the US is already doing this. It is expanding its reach to broadcast directly to the Iranian people.

A Unified Response

Terzi also called for a unified response from Western governments. “The more pressure Tehran faces from abroad, the more it will be compelled to focus on the fight within its borders”, he wrote.

As the latest round of US sanctions has come into effect, it remains unclear as to whether European governments will follow suit. If the EU does not, it could provide an outlet for the regime to bypass US sanctions, severely mitigating the effect they will have on leveraging the Iranian regime.

All Eyes Are on Iran Following A Surge in Terror Activities

Terzi called on European governments to apply pressure to the regime in several key ways. Firstly, he suggests the closure of Iranian embassies on European soul that have been engaged in illegal activities. “All Iranian embassies in Europe known to have provided diplomatic cover for terrorism on the continent should be shut down”, he explained.

Following their closure, any Iranian agents and diplomats known to have been involved in the planning and execution of terror activities should be held to account and prosecuted. Finally, any companies or private organization is known to have aided and abetted the training or funding of terrorism should be heavily sanctioned.

Terzi’s message is very clear. The time for appeasement is over. Only through severe, concrete steps can the West apply pressure to the Iranian regime to bring it in line with international law and end its terror activities across the world.

Terzi ended the piece with a message of unity and optimism. “Hopefully, they are also concrete steps toward a goal we can all unite behind: an end to Iran’s terrorism, warmongering and domestic repression”.

Staff Writer

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The Guardian news paper used by the Iranian regime to demonize its main democratic opposition

The Guardian Spreads the Iranian Regime’s Propaganda

The Guardian news paper used by the Iranian regime to demonize its main democratic opposition

The Iranian Communities and supporters of the MEK, express outrage over the demonization campaign by the Guardian in-favor of Iran’s dictatorship

Following the Guardian’s publication of Aaron Merat’s article attacking the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the Iranian resistance and its allies lined up to condemn the piece.

The British newspaper published the 3-page piece on Friday, November 9th. It targeted the MEK and its allies and spouted the regime’s lies and falsehoods to demonize Iran’s political opposition.

Aaron Merat is far from an impartial journalist. He has close ties to the Iranian regime and has an extensive history of publishing articles sympathetic to the Islamic Republic and attacking its political opponents.

The Backlash

Struan Stevenson, the Coordinator of Campaign for Iran Change and former member of the European Parliament (MEP), wrote an open letter to the Guardian expressing his concerns over the article’s publication. He challenged the assertions in Merat’s article and said they had been “lifted directly from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

Stevenson’s letter questioned Merat’s ability to perform objective journalism on the subject. “He lacks the minimum journalistic standards regarding the issue of the Iranian regime and its opposition. His interviews and opinions during the run-up to the “presidential election” of the clerical regime, as well as his articles and tweets against the PMOI [MEK] are available and well-publicized”, he wrote.

He also called the article’s allegations, “so wide of the mark that it brings to mind Voltaire’s statement: ‘those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities’”.

Regime Ties

Merat’s ties to the Iranian regime were evident in the manner in which he carried out research for his article. Merat visited the MEK’s residence in Albania in August. Two MOIS agents reported extensively on the visit, indicating that they had received a copy of Merat’s notes.

On the day Merat’s article was published on the Guardian site, the article was also translated within hours and posted across regime-controlled websites. This also indicates that Merat had provided the MOIS with a copy of his article prior to publication.

A Climate of Fear

The article, for all of its lies and falsehoods, does offer a glimpse into one aspect of Iran’s political climate. It demonstrates the mullahs’ fear of the MEK and its need to vilify and demonise the group internationally.

The MEK played a major role in the organisation and execution of the nationwide protests in December and January, a role that was acknowledged by the regime’s Supreme Leader.

https://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-resistance/25492-the-guardian-demonises-iran-s-democratic-opposition-to-the-benefit-of-the-ruling-regime

The MEK also enjoys extensive support across Europe and the United States. Its annual Grand Gathering event draws crowds of more than 100,000 people, including former politicians from France, the UK, the US, Germany, and Canada.

In an attempt to curb the rise of the MEK the mullahs have spent millions on demonization campaigns across the Middle East region and beyond. It has also orchestrated several terror plots against the MEK and its members. A recent plot to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering event with a car laden with explosives was foiled in the final stages by European law enforcement.

With the introduction of the latest round of sanction, the Iranian regime is in a panic. The Guardian article can be seen as a knee-jerk response to rising inflation, increasing public unrest, and the rising clamour for regime change inside Iran.

Iran Human Rights Monitor has documented an increase in executions and human rights abuses within Iran as the mullahs attempt to get a grip on the situation.

Aiding and Abetting the Iranian Terror Machine

In publishing an article like Aaron Merat’s on Friday, the Guardian is aiding and abetting the Iranian terror network by legitimizing its attacks on the MEK. It also discredits itself as a bastion of free and independent journalism.

The mullahs use of the international press to attack its opponents will not save them. The regime’s days are numbered. Strikes are spreading across the country as a result of the repressive and inhumane policies of the ruling elite, while the regime is engulfed by deadly crises, Iran’s key sectors are crippled, and the national economy is only set to further decline.

The Iranian people are ready for change. No amount of regime propaganda in the international media can change their minds.

Staff Writer

 

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Poverty in Iran

State-run Media Acknowledges Corruption Is Driving Economic Crisis

Poverty in Iran

Credit to Mojahedin.org: 80% of Iran’s economy is in the hands of the repressive IRGC.

The economic situation in Iran has reached a critical stage, which some economists have dubbed a “super crisis.” The economy has steadily worsened under the mullahs’ rule, but the regime and its surrogates have long downplayed the problems facing the country. Over the past year, though, a series of crises have snowballed into a catastrophe that can no longer be ignored.

Unemployment and Unpaid Wages

Recently, the state-run ILNA news agency published a report about the economic crisis facing Iran and its effect on the country’s workers, many of whom have lost their jobs or have not received wages from their jobs for months.

In an interview as part of the ILNA report, trade union member Maziar Gilani Nejad said, “At present, sectors including industry, agriculture, animal husbandry and fruit farming have experienced an unprecedented stagnation. More than 60% of industrial workshops have been completely shut down, or their production capacities have been reduced to less than half.”

“In agriculture and animal farming, the situation is the same,” Nejad  went on to say. “The recurring demonstrations of Isfahan farmers in protest to water scarcity and unemployment is proof of this claim.”

MEK Network-Continued Water Shortages Lead to More Protests in Iran

In Isfahan, farmers who were once wealthy has been forced into poverty as a result of the regime’s failed policies and corruption. Farmers in the region have protested repeatedly over the past year over the lack of access to water and the economic crisis.

Regime’s Incompetence Forces Once Prosperous Isfahan Farmers into Poverty

Nejad also referenced the HEPCO workers who were recently flogged and given prison sentences for participating in protests. “How can workers who have not been paid for months continue to work?” he asked.

The trade union member went on to ask, “How can they manage their day to day life? How can they ask these workers to stay silent and not demand their wages which is their inalienable right?”

Nejad finished the interview by summing up the problem that faces many of Iran’s workers: “We should not forget that the economic situation is such that even if the employer pays the workers’ wages every month, the households still do not have enough to provide their livelihood, so imagine the situation of workers who have not received their salaries for months.”

It is telling that even state-run media now routinely acknowledges that the widespread protests taking place across Iran are happening because of valid frustrations with the regime. State-run media has also repeatedly acknowledged the MEK’s influence over the protest movement and its threat to the ruling regime.

Hyperinflation

Despite regime President Rouhani’s statements to the contrary, Iran is currently suffering from hyperinflation. According to the International Monetary Fund’s  (IMF) most recent report, Iran’s inflation rate is at least 30%.

In a November 3rd report on ILNA, economist and university professor Morteza Afghah said that “Iran’s economy was turning into a disaster.”
““We should consider the current situation as hyperinflation, and we should have a worse-than-expected forecast if economic variables and our foreign relations do not change. Given the sharp fall of the number of people below the line of poverty, especially those belonging to the working class, this indicates the presence of hyperinflation,” Afghah said.
“In addition to workers, employees who had a better livelihood, like teachers and nurses, are also falling below the poverty line,” he added.
Afghah admitted that the regime had no solution for the crisis facing Iran. It is worth noting that the MEK has gained popularity in large part because it offers a viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime and a democratic solution to the many crises facing Iran.

Corruption

State-run website have tentatively broached the subject of the regime’s corruption, sometimes writing in-depth reports of corruption by regime officials, although they have to tread lightly when discussing or quoting those within the regime.

Seyed Reza Akrami, a member of the Combatant Clergy Association, told ILNA that the regime was hoarding its assets.

“Do not put your capital in the safe and the hidden places and bring it to industry, industrial workshops, and farms and use it for domestic production. (If you do) we will surely see the rise of employment and production and reduced dependence on the outside,” Akrami said.

In reference to the economic harm arising from regime corruption, Akrami, a former cleric and member of the regime Parliament, said, “There are many things that cannot be said.”

“I shouldn’t express everything that goes on in my mind. Some things cannot be said because those listening might not be able to handle it or it could be considered giving information to the enemy.”

Staff Writer

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Students protest against the repressive Iranian regime forces.

Regime Officials Fearful of MEK

Students protest against the repressive Iranian regime forces.

Archive photo: University students retaliating as soon as the repressive IRGC and Basij forces attack them, during one of the protests in Tehran- December-2017

The Iranian regime has found itself in an unsustainable position. The economy is in a downward spiral, a rising tide of protests has swept the country, and the mullahs’ attempts to suppress the uprisings have backfired and drawn more Iranians out into the streets to protest against the corrupt and brutal regime.

Officials within the ruling government are now openly voicing their concerns that the regime will not be able to suppress dissent and re-establish control over the people of Iran. The MEK and its Resistance Units have been effective in organizing protests and sharing information among its expansive network, causing protests to spread quickly across the country. There has been a great deal of internal division within the regime within the past year, but regime leaders agree that the MEK poses the greatest threat to the theocratic dictatorship.

In a recent interview on state-run media, senior Revolutionary Guards member Hassan Abbasi discussed the recent outbreak of protests and their causes in grim terms. “The problem is, in the next few years, our currency will become so worthless that people will pour into the streets because of the hardships to their livelihoods,” Abbasi said. “Clashes will ensue, people will distance themselves from the government and confront the government. The government will confront the people. A few people will be killed, and then the people will rise in revenge.”

Abbasi, who is from the hardliner faction of the Iranian regime, predicted that the MEK would play a larger role in the protests as tensions between the people and the regime continue to grow. Although he espoused a number of conspiracy theories as part of his argument, he did admit that the Iranian people have real concerns that have not been addressed by the regime. “The people are protesting for their rights, their rights to water, their rights to the security of their financial assets, their unpaid wages,” he said.

In an interview with the same TV station, regime theorist Mohammad Reza Khatami, who is the brother of former “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami, admitted that most of the country is unhappy with the ruling regime and expressed his fear about the regime’s collapse. “Possibly the majority of the people have grievances and criticism,” he warned. “Ordinary people might say that we are fed up with this system and we want another system. But how? With whom?”

 

Khatami acknowledged that regime change would invariably involve the MEK. “Why am I opposed to regime change? We want the MEK to come and change our regime? Under the current circumstance, I see a very dark future,” he warned.

Khatami also made the long-overdue admission that the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution was a plot to gain support for the mullahs by making the regime appear to be anti-imperialist and to undermine the influence of revolutionary forces such as the MEK.

The regime is rapidly losing its grip on power, and its leaders are well aware that it is close to being toppled. The MEK is leading the Resistance movement and gains support, knowledge, and strength each day. It is not surprising that the regime has spent the past year planning failed terrorist attacks against the MEK, spying on its members, and using every measure of suppression available to punish protesters. These are acts of a terrified regime at the end of its reign of terror.

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Terribly biased article on the Guardian against the MEK

Falsehoods and Lies: Debunking the Guardian’s Piece on the MEK

Terribly biased article on the Guardian against the MEK

Biased article bashing the MEK in the Guardian raises outrage among the Iranian diaspora. The piece is considered a reaction to the recent surge in protests and strikes in the country and a preparation for more terrorist activities against the main opposition, the MEK.

Aaron Merat’s long-awaited hit piece was finally published in the Guardian on Friday. Under the headline ‘Terrorists, Cultists- or Champions of Iranian Democracy’, the piece pedaled the regime’s brand of lies and misinformation. It was a clear example of Tehran’s smear campaign against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) that it has used to undermine the Iranian opposition and legitimize its use of violence against political dissidents.

The Death of Independent Journalism

Even before the article’s publication, the MEK expressed its misgivings over its content. MEK spokesperson, Shahin Gobadi, wrote two letters to the editor of the Guardian in recent weeks. In the letters, he aired his concerns over Aaron Merat’s ability to conduct objective journalism on the MEK.

Merat has close ties to the Iranian regime and its lobbyists. He worked for the Economist between 2011 and 2014, during which time he was an outspoken advocate for the regime. He has written previous articles with the explicit intention of demonizing the MEK and condemning the Iranian resistance.

Who is the MEK?

It came as little surprise then that his piece for the Guardian was no different. It was essentially a hit piece against the Iranian resistance group and was full of inaccuracies, falsehoods, and barely concealed attacks on the MEK.

In his very definition of who the MEK are, Merat is incorrect. He described the organization as a “fringe Iranian revolutionary group”.

The MEK is far from a “fringe” group. They are the oldest, largest, and most popular Iranian resistance group.

The group organized nationwide protests in January and December which spread across every major city in Iran. At its annual Grand Gathering event, it draws an attendance of more than 100,000 supporters, including high-profile political figures such as former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, and President Trump’s National Security Adviser, John Bolton.

The Grand Gathering of over 100,000 MEK supporters at VillePinte Paris-June 30, 2018

The resistance group enjoys widespread support inside Iran and abroad.

Merat later seems to admit that the MEK does enjoy the support of international political figures but seeks to explain this by suggesting that the MEK pays “western political influencers fees to pen op-eds and give speeches”.

This is untrue. Professor Raymond Tanter debunked this myth with the help of the US Treasury Department. The Treasury Department investigated the allegations that its political figures had received cash to write opinion pieces and give speeches at MEK-organised events, but found them to be “unsupported claims”.

Ms. Somayeh Mohammadi

Merat’s piece begins by describing Mostafa and Robbie Mohammadi’s journey to Albania to “rescue their daughter”. Merat alleges that Ms. Somayeh Mohammadi, the couple’s daughter, is being held against her will by the MEK.

These allegations are false. Ms. Somayeh Mohammadi joined the MEK in 1990 and has been a member for more than two decades. She has previously been interviewed by Canadian and US officials, and each time she has maintained that she is in Albania working for the MEK out of her own free will.

Somayeh Mohammadi, one of distinguished members of MEK, now living in Albania

She has previously written a book about the regime pedaling lies about her situation and using her case to legitimize terror attacks against the MEK. She even went as far as to write an open letter to Albania’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Fatmir Xhafaj, publicly calling for an end to his lies.

Repeating Lies to Demonize the MEK

The Guardian piece goes on to blame the MEK for the deaths of six Americans in Iran in the 1970s.

However, subsequent investigations by both the US State Department and the Washington Post newspaper found this to be false. The 2005 State Department report clearly states, “a splinter organization with ties to Marxist groups in Cuba and Oman… appropriated and modified the MEK name and symbols, clashing with original MEK members, and killed Americans in Tehran”.

The report describes that the individuals responsible for the murders were later caught, tried, and executed for the killings.

Merat also attempts to blame the MEK for killing Iraqi Kurds in the North of Iraq. He claims Saddam Hussein used MEK members to quell the Kurdish armed resistance during the 1990 Gulf War.

The Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) provided a written statement in 1999 that unequivocally stated the MEK was not involved in the killing of the Kurdish people. The statement read “the KDP can confirm that the Mujahedin were not involved in suppressing the Kurdish people neither during the uprising nor in its aftermath”.

Delisting the MEK as a Terror Group

Merat goes on to suggest that the MEK’s delisting as a terrorist group was not because the group was deemed mislabelled and was a non-violent organization, but because if the US didn’t delist them, the group would have been wiped out in Iraq.

Once again, this claim is unfounded. The Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit actually threatened to court order Hillary Clinton’s State Department unless she removed the group from the country’s terror list.

Burying the Regime’s Terrorist Plots

Merat then furthers the regime’s interests by attempting to cast doubt over the regime’s terror activities in Europe. In June, European authorities foiled a plot to detonate a car laden with explosives at the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris.

After a thorough investigation, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat working at the regime’s embassy in Vienna was found to have orchestrated the plot. The French government froze the assets of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.

Merat attempts to shift the blame away from the regime. He quotes the Iranian Foreign Minister directly in his piece, who called the allegations of the Iranian terror plot a “sinister false flag ploy”.

If the plot was nothing more than a “false flag ploy” it seems unlikely that the French government would have taken such forceful actions against the Iranian regime.

On top of seizing assets, the Emmanuel Macron’s government expelled an Iranian diplomat and is currently refusing to nominate a new French ambassador to Iran. France’s foreign ministry also confirmed that following its own investigation, it was in no doubt that the Iranian intelligence ministry was behind the June 30th terror plot.

The Regime is Fearful

Aaron Merat’s piece goes on to spout all of the regime talking points against the MEK. However, his piece does provide some insight into why the regime spends so much time, money and effort on demonizing the MEK and its supporters.

He wrote, “politicians openly called for bombing the Islamic republic, amid growing panic over Iran’s nuclear program- the existence of which had first been exposed by the MEK”. In this sentence, Merat demonstrates why the regime despises the MEK. It works tirelessly to bring the regime’s atrocities and illegal behavior to light.

Merat writes that the MEK and its supporters around the world “openly call for the overthrow of the Islamic republic and the installation of Maryam Rajavi as the leader of Iran”.

In this one aspect, Merat is correct. But in drawing this to attention, Merat is also drawing to attention why both he and the regime relentlessly pursue the MEK.

The MEK represents the single greatest existential threat to the mullahs’ regime. It has orchestrated nationwide protests that have crippled Iranian regime’s key industries. Even regime officials have admitted publicly that the MEK is a direct threat to the regime.

The MEK has resistance units working inside Iran, that mobilized in the nationwide uprisings in December and January of this year. This has the Iranian regime terrified and explains why they use mouthpieces like Aaron Merat to undermine and demonize the MEK in international media outlets.

New Report Details Iran Regime’s Demonization Campaign Against the MEK

The piece in the Guardian is little more than the mullahs lashing out at the MEK out of fear. The MEK is gathering momentum. Strikes and protests are now a daily occurrence in Iran and the mullahs future in power is growing more uncertain by the day. The fact is, regime change is on the horizon. When it comes, the world will look at Merat’s piece, and others like it and wonder how they got away with such blatant lies and deceit.

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Human rights record in Iran

Nobody is Exempt from the Regime’s Violent Punishments

Human rights record in Iran

Archive Photo: The crude scene of a public hanging in Iran.

The clerical regime in Iran remains among the most and violent dictatorships on earth. Only China carries out more executions per year than Iran, and the country has a population 17 times larger than Iran’s.

The mullahs execute more people per capita than any other country in the planet and according to figures released by Amnesty International, more than half of all the executions that take place each year take place in Iran.

Nobody is exempt

The regime in Tehran is ruthless in its application of the death penalty. Nobody is spared including juvenile offenders and women.

Among the worst targeted are ethnic and religious minorities and political dissidents. Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 3,602 executions carried out under current President Hassan Rouhani. Among them were 34 juvenile offenders, 84 women, and 86 political dissidents.

Iran is among a handful of countries on earth that executes young offenders. There are currently 85 individuals on death row for crimes they committed as a minor. The regime detains young offenders until they reach the age of 18. Then they execute them.

In one recent case, the regime executed Mahboubeh Mofidi, a 20-year-old accused of murdering her abusive husband when she was 17. She had been forced to marry the man when she was just 13.

In 2018 alone, 223 people have met their end at the hands of the regime, including 6 individuals who were executed for crimes they committed under the age of 18.

Many of the executions were carried out in prisons or behind closed doors. However, 35 were carried out in front of the public.

The death penalty is a tool for the regime

The regime uses the death penalty as a political tool to cement its position in power. When anti-regime protests and strikes occur, the mullahs are quick to remind the public that they are not just risking their liberty in protesting, they are risking their lives.

Most recently, when truck driver protests erupted across Iran’s towns and cities, the regime threatened the striking drivers with the death penalty. According to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the regime’s Chief Prosecutor, General Montazeri, personally threatened the striking drivers.

Silencing the Opposition

The death penalty is widely employed against members of the political opposition. In 2018, 10 political prisoners have been executed, several of which were denied a fair trial.

Ramin Hossein Panahi was executed in early September over allegations he pulled a gun on Iranian security agents. He confessed to his crimes, but his family suggested that in court he showed signs of torture on his body. He subsequently went on hunger strike in Rahaei Shahr prison in protest at his circumstances.

Three Condemned for Corruption after Bloody Month of Executions

A similar story occurred in the case of Mohammad Salas. The 51-year-old was accused of killing three police officers. The only piece of evidence connecting him with the murder was a confession he allegedly made from his hospital bed. He was denied access to a lawyer throughout the proceedings and was sentenced to death last March.

Prisoner’s on death row also report horrifying and brutal conditions. Many report prolonged periods of solitary confinement and tortures akin to those used in Medieval Europe, including scalding with boiling water, pushing needles into their genitals, hanging prisoners by their wrists and ankles, pulling out prisoners’ fingernails, and floggings.

When prisoners are finally taken to the gallows, often their families are not informed, giving them any opportunity to say goodbye.

To add insult, the families are often billed for the noose used in the hanging, or the bullet used to shoot them. They are often prevented from retrieving the victim’s body until the debt has been paid in full.

Iran Human Rights Monitor, as well as the MEK and other Iranian opposition groups, call on human rights advocates around the world to use their position to pressure the Iranian regime to abandon this barbaric and outdated form of punishment.

Staff Writer

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Maryam Rajavi Calls Supporting Iran’s Strikers Citizens’ ‘Patriotic Duty’

2nd day of strike by merchants in Iran

For the second day, the merchants in various bazaars in Iran are on strike over the plunging rial and the dire economic crisis due to the regime corruption and mismanagement.

Tehran’s merchants are striking, as are the Iranian farmers and truck drivers as yet more protests threaten to engulf the country, based on reports from the MEK network inside Iran.

On Monday, November 5th, merchants in several Iranian cities closed their stalls in local bazaars. The strikes, which coincided with the reintroduction of strict US sanctions, were organized across social media and quickly gained traction.

Skyrocketing prices and crippling inflation have thrown many of Iran’s merchants into poverty. With new sanctions affecting Iranian imports and exports, the situation is set to worsen.

For the nation’s truck drivers, the working conditions are not much better. The sector shut down for the fourth time on the 31st of October and is yet to restart. Drivers from Tehran, Isfahan, Hormozgan, Zanjan, Golestan, Kermanshah, Kerman, West Azerbaijan, Central, Khorasan Razavi, and Yazd all turned off their engines in protest at the rising cost of spare parts, corruption, and appalling working conditions that have left many of them in a fight for their survival.

For Iran’s farmers, there is a similar picture of abstract poverty and a struggle to put food on the table. This has prompted many brave farmers from provinces across the country, including Isfahan a Khorasgan, to stage a sit-in and protest.

Unparalleled Bravery

The strikers are demonstrating their bravery and determination by maintaining these protests against the bloody and violent regime.

For the truck drivers, many of their colleagues and friends were arrested in the previous rounds of strikes. More than 200 drivers were detained in the third round of strikes that took place earlier this year. The regime then threatened to execute 17 of those detained.

The strikers that took to the streets in this latest round of protests are also demanding the immediate release of their colleagues.

The regime’s treatment of the truck drivers has not been atypical. The mullahs frequently employ repressive and heavy-handed strategies for dealing with public protest and political dissent.

The farmers and merchants, along with the valiant truck drivers, are aware of the danger they are in, yet they continue to risk their liberty and their lives to protest the regime and its policies.

A Call for Support

Their determination has not gone unnoticed by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi.

Ms. Rajavi saluted the striking truck drivers, farmers, and merchants in a statement to the Iranian people. She called on Iran’s youth to stand with these brave men and women and said that supporting the full restitution of the rights of the Iranian people was a matter of patriotic duty.

Maryam Rajavi also called on the international community to lend their support. She urged syndicates, trade unions, and human rights organizations to lend assistance to Iran’s farmers, truck drivers and merchants in whatever capacity they could.

Staff Writer

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Hostage taking in Iran was with the order of the regime's supreme leader

Mohammad Ali Jafari Makes a Startling Confession About the 1979 Hostage Crisis

Hostage taking in Iran was with the order of the regime's supreme leader

IRGC Commander admits the U.S. hostage-taking in 1979 was with the order of the regime’s Supreme Leader order

Mohammad Ali Jafari made an unexpected and historic confession. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander admitted on November 4th, that the decision to take more than 60 US hostages from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 had been approved by Khamenei himself.

Jafari’s remarks came as he spoke at an event to mark the anniversary of the crisis, which took place on November 4th, 1979.

The 1979 Hostage Crisis

The hostages were taken when a crowd of Iranian students stormed the US embassy and took more than 60 Americans hostage over US President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow the recently ousted Shah to travel to the US for cancer treatment.

Beyond the Shah’s cancer treatment, the hostage crisis was a protest against Western governmental inference in Iran.

The students held the hostages for 444 days, only releasing them on January 21, 1981, after President Reagan had replaced Jimmy Carter.

New Light on a Historic Event

The statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says “Only a handful of the officials and revolutionary figures, and on top of them, the supreme leader, (Khamenei), were totally in support of this revolutionary move,” and if the hostage-taking had not taken place, “undoubtedly our revolution could not last for forty years and it would have been over in the first decade,” Jafari added.

At the time, the attack on the embassy was depicted as spontaneous and opportunistic and the perpetrators merely overzealous students. However, Jafari indicated that this was not the case.

Jafari went on to suggest that without the events of November 4th, 1979, the Iranian regime would not have been able to cement its grip on power, and the regime would never have lasted until today. He said if it wasn’t for the hostage situation, “undoubtedly our revolution could not last for forty years… it would have been over in the first decade”.

 Could it Be Repeated?

Jafari’s comments are a cause for concern. He concluded his speech by implying that Iran would benefit from a similar high-profile situation like the 1979 hostage crisis. He said, “similar moves, of course not taking over embassies, this is not what I mean, but this sort of moves, should be conducted for creating stability”.

Jafari’s comments only further illustrate concerns long-held by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the Iranian opposition; that the regime relies on sewing destruction and violence to stay in power.

The statement by the NCRI concludes: “Jafari’s remarks is a clear acknowledgment that the clerical regime has always found the solution in hostage-taking, creating crisis and havoc, export of terrorism, and belligerence and it plans for these acts at the highest levels.”

Staff Writer

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MEK Resistance Units activities in 1st week of November

MEK Resistance Units Increasing Activities

MEK Resistance Units activities in 1st week of November

Activities of the MEK Resistance Units in Iran during the first week of November 2018

On Monday, members of the MEK’s Resistance Units took several actions against the Iranian regime in an escalation of the uprising currently taking place in Iran. MEK members set fire to the entrance of a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij base in Kermanshah in a dramatic show of rebellion against the repressive Iranian regime. The base is home to a number of the regime’s repressive Units.

MEK members set fire to posters of regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Qaemshahr. In Karaj, they raised the flag of the National Liberation Army, chanting, “Death to Khamenei, Hail to Rajavi!”

In Gachsaran, they put up graffiti saying, “Death to Khamenei” in public places. MEK members in Tehran and Shiraz publicly displayed posters of MEK members who were murdered by the Iranian regime. Resistance Units in Mashhad, Isfahan, and Amol put up graffiti and posters calling upon students to organize protests on their campuses.

These acts of resistance take place against a backdrop of widespread anti-regime protests that have rapidly spread throughout the country. Economic unrest, along with dissatisfaction with the mullahs’ mismanagement and corruption, has caused Iranians from all walks of life to take to the streets to demand regime change.

Protests and strikes have been taking place in multiple locations on a daily basis. The following are a few of the protests that have occurred over the past few days:

Wednesday

Iran’s truck drivers entered their seventh continuous day of strikes, despite threats from the regime. The strike has now spread to 35 cities in 18 provinces across Iran, including Isfahan, Najafabad, Sabzevar, Mashhad, Ardabil, Qazvin, Mobarakeh, Yazd, Zarrin Shahr, Rumeshgan, Kermanshah, Shahr-e Kord, Sirjan, and Sabzevar.

The striking truckers are protesting low pay, the high price of spare parts and replacement tires, high fees, and poor working conditions. They are also demanding the release of their imprisoned colleagues who were arrested during the last round of strikes. During the last round of strikes, more than 200 truck drivers were arrested for participating in the strikes, and 17 of the arrested drivers were threatened with execution.

Saturday

In Chabahar, Naval University students gathered to protest school officials’ incompetence and their schools’ food services.

Friday

In Tehran, Open University students from the Medical Sciences Department rallied outside of the main building of the campus and outside of Parliament over unfair conditions at the school.

In Behbahan, young people held a protest at Friday prayers. The protesters were angry because they were not hired at the local refinery in favor of non-locals who would work for lower wages.

Thursday

In Varzaneh, Shatur and Ziar, farmers protested

the scarcity of water and lack of access to water resources. The regime has dried the Zayanderud River by diverting its water away from the Isfahan region to factories controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. The diversion of water, along with record droughts, has destroyed the farms of once-prosperous Isfahan farmers and caused water shortages throughout the region.

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