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Dr. Bernard Kouchner, addressing MEK supporters in New York-Free Iran Summit

Kouchner to Iranian Communities: Regime is “Playing a Destructive Role”

Dr. Bernard Kouchner, addressing MEK supporters in New York-Free Iran Summit

Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Former Foreign Minister of France, addressing OIAC’s summint in NewYork-September 22, 2018

On Saturday, September 22nd, the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC) held a summit in New York City. Titled “Iran Uprising: The Path to Freedom,” the event was attended by more than 1,500 leaders and delegates from the Iranian American community supporter of the MEK and featured a lineup of distinguished speakers, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and former Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Giulio Terzi, along with others.

Former French Foreign Minister and founder of Médecins Sans Frontières Dr. Bernard Kouchner was among the speakers at the summit. In his speech, Dr. Kouchner described the terrorist actions of the Iranian regime and emphasized the need for the United States and Europe to come together to support the Iranian people in their goal of a free Iran. He also praised the MEK for their work in the Iranian Opposition movement and pointed out that a democratic alternative exists to replace the regime.

Dr. Kouchner called for unity in opposing the repressive Iranian regime saying: “[W]e are dealing with a brutal regime—a theocracy, a religious dictatorship which suppresses its own people. Indeed, the prime victims of this regime are the Iranian people themselves. We in democratic countries cannot ignore such atrocities as a matter of human rights and pure national security interest. We are on the same side.”

The regime’s behavior, according to Kouchner is unacceptable to both Americans and Europeans. “There is hardly any problem in the region that the Iranian regime is not playing a very malignant role in,” Kouchner said. “In Syria, they join Assad in the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of Syrian people. In Lebanon, they created Hezbollah, which has divided the country. They were sending, and are still sending thousands and thousands of missiles to Hezbollah…[I]n Lebanon, in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution, they are arming the Houthis in Yemen. They are playing a destructive role in Iraq itself.  They are also in violation of Security Council,” he added.

Kouchner also discussed the regime’s terrorist activities in Europe, detailing the foiled terrorist plot last June against the NCRI annual gathering in Paris. Kouchner mentioned that he was one of the speakers at the gathering that was targeted and noted that “an Iranian diplomat personally provided the bomb to the agent to carry the terrorist attack.” Belgian authorities, working with the French police and the German judiciary, discovered and foiled the plot before the terrorists were able to reach the convention. Kouchner said that a similar plot against the MEK was thwarted in March in Albania.

Kouchner stressed that the people of Iran have been very clear about their desires: “[T]he people of Iran have expressed their desire that they want a republic based on separation of religion and state. They do not want this regime in its entirety.  They said the game of the so-called moderate versus hardliner is over. They want no more theocratic regime.”

Kouchner emphasized that Iran has another choice: “a democratic alternative which is struggling for a secular Iran.” Iran’s clerical regime, said Kouchner, is unacceptable for normal people.

Gender balance and separation of religion and government are what make the NCRI  “through Madame Rajavi, the fantastic agent of the necessity of having a gender balance,” said Kouchner. “The women are the future of Iran.”

Kouchner ended his speech with a call for Europe to take a firm stance toward the Iranian regime “for its own principle and for its own security.”

Staff Writer

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MEK supporters Rally in New York against Rouhani's presence at the UNGA

Fact or Fiction? Unravelling the Truth Surrounding Rouhani’s New York Visit

Iranians demonstration in New York against Rouhani's visit 2017

The Iranian communities supporters of the MEK, demonstrate in NewYork against Rouhani’s presence to the UNGA

Separating fact from fiction in Iran’s turbulent political landscape is no easy feat. The regime floods state-sponsored media outlets with disinformation. The international free media is forced to walk a tightrope. It cannot risk angering the regime or its journalists will be harassed or have their visas revokes. There are, therefore, few outlets to find reliable information.

It is this suppression of free information that is driving the Iranian population to the brink of revolution. The mullahs’ repressive policies are creating a buildup of pressure within Iran. The whole political landscape could explode at any moment.

Rouhani’s Visit to New York

Regime President, Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to New York was a particularly contentious issue.

He traveled to the city last week for the United Nations General Assembly, during the same week President Trump chaired the UN Security Council’s meeting on Iran.

In the state-run press, articles suggested that the two presidents were on course for conflict. The Ebtekar Daily wrote, “Tehran and Washington are on the verge of a direct confrontation”, adding, “this might be the underlying factor for many unexpected events in the future”.

There were also attempts in the state-run media to blame President Donald Trump’s speech for the continued decline of the rial. Armin state-run daily wrote, “Donald Trump severely attacked Iran’s leaders in his speech, accusing them of carrying out crimes and massacres in the region… which will have alarming consequences”.

The Iranian regime has frequently attempted to portray America as an international villain and the root of all Iran’s problems. Since 1978, state-run media outlets have broadcast stories referring to the global superpower as “the great Satan”.

The Real Culprits

So, how do we separate fact from fiction? Despite what the state-run media says, the Iranian regime is to blame for the deepening economic crisis in the country.

The regime has systematically looted Iran’s institutions, funneled money to fund foreign wars, and ploughed funding into missile programs.

Instead of using the funding released from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2016 to help the Iranian population, the mullahs used it to hold the population hostage. It used it to clamp down on political dissidents, plot terror attacks, and expand its espionage network abroad.

Although the US government has reinstated sanctions against the Iranian regime, many European heads of states have been reluctant to follow suit because of the increased economic pressure sanctions could put on the Iranian population. The Iranian people are being held as the mullahs’ hostages to prevent European nations from adopting anti-Iranian policies.

The End Goal

The US has made it clear that its goal is not to cause increased economic disruption to the Iranian people. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined his government’s objectives in a recent report.

He said, “Iran is a society with so much greater potential. We want to reach a new agreement with Iran that ensures its nuclear activities are peaceful and that its role in the Middle East is constructive. We seek a deal that ensures Iran does not support terrorism around the world and provides for a greater opportunity to its own people.”

Far from “the great Satan”, the US wants to help the Iranian people. It sees a regime dragging its people towards economic ruin, abusing their human rights, and silencing the political opposition.

It also acknowledges that if the Iranian regime was going to change, it would have done so already. It knows that the mullahs’ regime will not stop abusing its population, warmongering in the Middle East, and carrying out acts of international terrorism of its own accord.

The only way to stop the mullahs and bring freedom to the Iranian people is through regime change.

Staff Writer

 

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6th day of truck driver's strike in 220 cities across Iran

Fifteen Drivers Arrested as Truckers Strike Enters Sixth Day

6th day of truck driver's strike in 220 cities across Iran

Truck driver’s strike continues into sixth day to object the rising prices and the repressive measures imposed on the drivers. The strike covered 220 cities across Iran.

Iran’s truck drivers continued their strike on Friday, despite the arrests of 15 striking drivers on Thursday. Friday marked the sixth day of the strike, which has now spread to more than 220 cities across the country.

 

Ismaeel Sadeghi Niaraki, the regime’s prosecutor in Qazvin Province in northwest Iran, said that the drivers were arrested because they “blocked roads with their trucks and disrupted commuting inroads inside the province.”

 

In an interview with the state-run Mehr news agency, Niaraki threatened the striking drivers, saying, “Action has been taken against any individual who disrupts people’s lives and we will not allow people seeking their own interests to block roads and prevent general commuting, disrupting people’s lives.”

“Individuals who disrupt people’s lives by blocking truck commuting in our roads and damage people’s lives will be facing firm action,” he added.

 

Arresting drivers is a departure from the regime’s usual method of dealing with truck drivers’ strikes. Iran’s truck drivers have gone on strike twice already this year, and the regime has responded by intimidating the drivers with threats, setting trucks on fire, trying to transport cargo with army trucks, attempting to lure drivers to terminals with replacement tires, claiming that the MEK was responsible for fomenting dissent, making minor concessions to the drivers, and making a series of promises to the drivers that went unfulfilled after the strikes ended.

 

The truck drivers have a reasonable list of demands that were not effectively addressed during previous strikes. They have asked for the following concessions:

 

  • a decrease in truck prices;
  • a restructuring of the truckers guild through free elections;
  • base charges made using tons per kilometer;
  • spare parts and tires provided at government fixed-rate (42,000 rials per U.S. dollar);
  • an increase in drivers’ salaries and a 35% increase in transfer rates;
  • an increase in retirement pensions, adjusting for inflation;
  • better road safety and security;
  • regulation of transportation company fees;
  • a decrease in commissions for loads and renovations of the truck fleet;
  • the provision of fuel rations for the drivers and owners of transport trucks on a permanent basis;
  • a decrease in highway tolls;
  • regulation of the process of load terminals;
  • the provision of health and recreational facilities for drivers at city and border loading stations;
  • penalties for authorities who bribe drivers.

The truck drivers have received an outpouring of support over the last year from international truck drivers unions and transportation labor groups.

Each time the truckers go on strike, they lose wages for days and face intimidation from the regime. The drivers already struggle to maintain their vehicles and pay their bills. Iran’s truck drivers are on strike for the third time in one year because they have no other choice. It has become too expensive to do their jobs.

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General James Jones United States Natinonal Security Adviser

General James Jones: The Iranian Regime Remains Mankind’s Most Existential Threat to Peace and Stability

General James Jones United States Natinonal Security Adviser

General James Jones, former United States National Security Adviser, addressing the Free Iran Summit in New York (supporters of the MEK) – September 22, 2018

General James Jones, former National Security Adviser under President Obama, and the interim Chairman of the Atlantic Council addressed the Iranian opposition movement at its 2018 Iran Uprising Summit. He was greeted to the stage by a standing ovation amid cheers and applause from all in attendance.

Jones has been outspoken in his disdain for the Iranian regime. He recently told The National that he has little hope of the regime abandoning its export of state-sponsored terrorism and called the regime, “an existential threat to the region”.

A “Threat to Peace and Stability”

Jones began his speech by echoing these comments. He said that today, “the Iranian regime remains mankind’s most existential threat to peace and stability”.

In support of his statement, he referred to the regime’s systematic violation of human rights and interference in regional affairs.

“Tehran remains a chief antagonist of democracy and liberalization across the Middle East”, he continued. “We see the regime’s aspirations of regional hegemony graphically on display in countries like Syria, Yemen, and Iraq”.

He condemned the regime’s spread of “radical ideology” through “force and intimidation” across the Middle East. He also decried its financial support of militant and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah.

The US “Must do Everything Necessary” to Curb Tehran’s Territorial Ambitions

Jones was unequivocal in his belief that the US must check Tehran’s ambitions. “If the regime succeeds, the strategic implications will be grave”, he said. “The result will be more death and suffering”, he explained. He urged the United States government to remove “passivity and weakness” from its Iran policy.

Jones spoke about his time in government as the National Security Adviser. He lamented that despite his best efforts, the US government did not act quicker in coming to rescue of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) when the regime committed crimes against its membership.

“Frankly, I regard that chapter as a glaring, and I hope atypical, failure in America’s leadership of the international human rights movement”, he said.

“New Challenges”

James Jones stressed the importance of responding to today’s challenges. He described “new obstacles”, referring to the regime’s terrorist plots against the MEK in Europe. “The regime is keeping up its efforts to silence dissidents”, he said.

Jones took the opportunity to praise those in the US government who are working to support the Iranian people. He named the current National Security Adviser to President Trump, John Bolton, and praised him for remaining “steadfast in his support” of the Iranian opposition.

He praised Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it the “correct measure”, which prompted applause from those in attendance.

“The Most Enduring and Forceful Protest Since 1979”

Jones went on the praise the brave people of Iran, that have taken to the streets to express their frustration at the Iranian regime.

“We know that Iran is suffering deep economic pain… some will point to the sanctions, old and new, as the culprit but ladies and gentlemen, the true culprit is the regime”.

He also went on the describe the similarities between President-elect of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan, and the principles that America was founded on. “These are Jeffersonian principles”, he said, “that every form of tyranny fears.”

“This is what the regime fears the most and we look forward with great anticipation to the day when its fears are realized”. He acknowledged the role of the US and its allies in bringing to fruition “the kind of future that the ten-point plan promises”.

It was in this context that Jones laid out his own five strategic imperatives. The first imperative, he said, is to extensively monitor the Iranian regime’s nuclear missile program.

The second imperative is to bring an end to the conflict in Syria and end the ongoing human rights crisis that has engulfed that part of the Middle East. “Nothing would strengthen Tehran more than to maintain Syria as a proxy”, he warned.

The third strategic imperative, Jones said, is to support the Gulf community in its creation of an alliance against the Iranian regime. The fourth is to “reinvigorate the Middle East peace process”.

Jones’ final imperative is to “support the Iranian people who hunger for democracy and a government worthy of their hopes and dreams”. “That is the future we are entering”, he said, the regime’s days are numbered because the Iranian people “will not stop in their demand for a government that reflects their hopes, their dreams, and their aspirations… That is a future worth creating”.

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The plunging rial

Iran: Regime Responsible for Currency Crisis

The rial plunged once again, dropping to an exchange rate of 170,000 rials to one U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The rate for euros was 185,000 rials for one euro. Iran’s currency has been in free fall for the past year, due to the country’s economic unrest, according to a recent statement from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the

The plunging rial

The dire condition of economy in Iran under the rule of the mullahs.

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Regime President Hassan Rouhani appointed a new Central Bank chief in July and promised as recently as August 15th that Iranian currency would stabilize. The rial is still dropping in value, though, as is the “Bahar-e Azadi” gold coin, which was trading at 47.4 million rials as of Tuesday, according to the state-run ISNA news agency.

A Crisis Rooted in Government Corruption

The Jahan-e San’at daily described the source of Iran’s currency crisis, writing, “The starting point of this economic fiasco is rooted in the government’s currency policies.

The primary problem is that regime agencies and the IRGC have a monopoly over Iran’s oil and petrochemical export industry, which allows them to profit from the currency crisis. The regime set the currency rate at 4,200 rials per U.S. dollar. Individuals associated with the regime purchase U.S. dollars at this rate and then sell them on the black market for much higher prices. On Wednesday, prices on the black market soared to 200,000 rials per U.S. dollar. Those within the Iranian regime have no personal financial incentive to resolve the economic crisis because they profit from it.

Iran’s state-run media agrees that the regime is to blame for the currency crisis, as do the regime’s experts. In a recent interview with a state-run media outlet, one of the regime’s own experts said this: “The banks and financial institutions owe the Central Bank at least $23.8 billion (based on the government fixed rate of 42,000 rial/dollar) and far more to the people. The government and the parliament decided to increase currency prices to provide for this budget.”

Skyrocketing Prices and the Death of the Middle Class

The result of the devaluation of Iran’s national currency is a surge in prices around the country, which has drastically increased the price of necessities. One of the first consequences of skyrocketing prices is an increase in the number of people living below the poverty line, say regime experts.

Currently, more than 80 percent of Iran’s population lives below the poverty line. Meanwhile, those who buy up U.S. currency at the fixed rate and sell it on the black market get richer. The gap between rich and poor widens and the middle class shrinks more every time the rial rises.

Rouhani claims that the currency devaluation will lead to increased exports and additional revenues, with a boom in non-oil exports. Even if this statement were possible or true, it could not possibly offset the economic losses caused by the continued devaluation of the rial.

In addition, the devaluation of the rial impacts inflation and production and raises the prices of imports. Production is already an issue in Iran, with numerous factory closures causing production delays, as well as months-long delays in salaries for workers.

A Democratic Alternative

The economic crisis has caused many Iranians to take to the streets to protest over the past year. The current uprising, which began last December and continues today, began because of economic concerns and soon spread to widespread calls for regime change. Because all of the people of Iran are affected by the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, people from all walks of life have joined the call for a democratic alternative to the mullahs’ oppressive rule and have joined the MEK in the fight for a free Iran.

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Repression in Iran against Iran Protesters

Iran Human Rights Monitor Reveals the Horrifying Extent of the Mullahs’ Human Rights Abuses

Repression in Iran against Iran Protesters

Photo credit to Iran-HRM.com: Iranian regime’s security forces arrest a young protester.

The Iran Human Rights Monitor has released a report on the widespread torture and cruel treatment of those in custody in Iran for political reasons. The organization compiled reports from prisoners and their families, painting a picture of rampant human rights abuses and ill-treatment.

Arbitrary Arrests

The clerical regime rounds up and detains members of the political opposition before protests begin. The regime targets known political opponents and arrests them ahead of protests in an attempt to limit the public turnout.

Iran Human Rights Monitor reported members of the political opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), were being arrested in Yazd, Bushehr, and Gonaveh.

Those arrested were taken to premises used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and aggressively interrogated. The regime pressured the prisoners to make a false confession to a fabricated claim. They then told the prisoners the only way they could ensure their release was by making a public statement against the MEK.

Identifying Political Opponents

The regime has adopted a number of measures to identify its political opponents. The mullahs use plainclothes agents to identify leaders at protests.

Once identified, the agents follow the protestors to a secluded area, then attack them with tasers and abduct them using a motorcycle or vehicle.

In other instances, plainclothes agents recorded the protests and used the footage to later identify ringleaders. In some cases, there have been reports of government agents using the footage from public security cameras to identify members of the Iranian resistance.

One protester recounts, “they attacked and detained me and took me for interrogation. They showed me various videos which indicated that I had participated in the demonstrations. The videos were recorded via security cameras in the square.”

A Violent Regime

The reports documented in Iran Human Rights Monitor consistently describe beatings and mistreatment by regime agents.

One prisoner in Arak remembers how plainclothes agents bundled him into the trunk of a car and took him to a deserted area. Once away from the city, the agents beat him with PVC pipes. The beatings and interrogations lasted nine days.

Another protester, who was held in Shahin Shahr Prison during the December and January uprisings, remembers prisoners being “beaten constantly with batons and sticks”. “They made a human tunnel through which the detainees had to pass. The agents on either side of the tunnel beat the detainees with batons and shoved them to each other”, he said.

Another prisoner recalled being flogged and beaten so badly, he passed out a number of times. In Isfahan’s Dastgerd Prison, one 20-year-old prisoner was beaten so extensively he began having seizures. An eyewitness described how agents ignored the young man and accused him of faking it.

Many of the beatings took place against prisoners without a formal charge.

Iran Human Rights Monitor has sufficient evidence to conclude that many of the political prisoners were taken to Rajaie Shahr Prison’s Section 8. The Ministry of Intelligence runs Section 8. Its staff do not answer to the Iranian Prison Organisation, only to the clerical regime.

In Evin Prison, reports emerged of detainees being subject to electric shocks. Many were also flogged and hung by their hands. The constant threat of execution was also a recurring theme.

One prisoner remembers how agents repeatedly told him “we’re taking you for execution”. Others were urinated on, threatened with rape, or had their beards cut as a gesture of humiliation.

A male prisoner was told that if he did not reveal who he was in communication with and where he was sending videos of the protests, his detainer would “have 20 people rape him and take pictures of it”.

A female prisoner held in Section 209 told Iran Human Rights Monitor that her detainer told her, “I will burn you with an iron and pull out your nails. I will beat your children in front of you and then kill you.”

Section 209

A large number of those arrested during the December 2017 and January 2018 protests ended up in Section 209. Here they lived under the constant belief that they were to be hanged. Even those who had no criminal charges and had not confessed to any wrongdoing were held here.

Those that were not taken here, were often moved around. Some prisoners recall being moved every two to three days.

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council cannot allow Hassan Rouhani’s regime to get away with these atrocities. The Iranian people need the help of the international community.

Edmund Burke once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. The UN Security Council cannot afford to do anything. If it does, the mullahs have won and evil has triumphed.

Staff Writer

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MEK supporters Rally in New York against Rouhani's presence at the UNGA

The Iranian-American Community Turns Out in New York to Protest Rouhani

MEK supporters Rally in New York against Rouhani's presence at the UNGA

The Iranian diaspora, supporters of the MEK, rally in New York, opposite the United Nations headquarter to express their outrage over the presence of Hassan Rouhani in UNGA.

On Wednesday, September 26th, demonstrators at the Free Iran Rally in New York City rallied near the UN Headquarters in protest at the Iranian regime. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

39 Years of Repression

The Iranian-American community and supporters of the Iranian opposition groups, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gathered in front of the UN plaza.

They recounted 39 years of repression under the tyrannical regime of the mullahs and called on the US and the international community to recognise the Iranian resistance as a viable alternative to the mullahs’ rule.

Iranians suffer intense persecution, with strict restrictions on religious freedom. The US State Department estimates that more than 600 Christians have been imprisoned for their faith in the last eight years.

The regime has adopted extremely violent and repressive strategies to maintain its position in power. The summer of 1988 was one of the worst periods in Iran’s history. More than 30,000 members of the MEK and the Iranian opposition were executed for their political beliefs.

The executions are still occurring today. Iran executes more of its own citizens than any other country on earth. Since Rouhani came to power five years ago, more than 3,500 citizens have been executed.

Iran Needs International Support

They also called for the international community to take concrete steps towards ending the mullahs’ warmongering foreign policy, nuclear development programs, and financing of foreign terrorism.

Victims of the regime’s warmongering policies were also represented. Dr. Fahmi Kheirollah from the Syrian opposition addressed the crowd, pledging, “the Iranian people will prevail and we will come to Tehran to celebrate with you!”

Guest Speakers Addressed the Crowd

Those gathered shouted chants of “terrorist Rouhani! Out of New York!”, “Down with the dictator!”, and “Victory is ours!”

Guest speakers also pledged their support to the Iranian resistance movement. Pastor Linda told protestors, “Iranians have suffered enough!” and explained, “negotiations can no longer save the mullahs”.

Senator Robert Torricelli also pledged his support to the throng. “Rouhani does not belong among the heads of state”, he said, adding, “he is a thug, a tyrant and a murderer”.

Torricelli also condemned the regime’s use of state-sponsored terror. He said, “Rouhani in June dispatched his own diplomats to plant a bomb to kill all of us”, referring to the failed terror attack on the NCRI’s Grand Gathering in Paris earlier this year.

Torricelli also had a message for Rouhani. “We have given up on reform. You can’t fool us anymore with change or phoney elections… We want a free Iran”, he said.

The protesters were adamant in their demands. They shouted that Rouhani does not deserve his seat at the UN General Assembly, suggesting that President-elect of the NCRI and leader of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi, should be there instead.

Rouhani does not deserve to walk among other legitimate heads of state. He is a tyrant and a dictator. Instead of handshakes, he should be in handcuffs for the human rights abuses carried out against his own tortured population.

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Truck Drivers strike in more than 40 cities across Iran

New Round of Protests on Horizon as Truck Drivers’ Strike Enters Fourth Day

On September 23rd, protests flared again across Iran as a new round of anti-regime protests spread across the country. The protests began with a yet another strike by Iran’s truck drivers. The strike began in 40 cities, but MEK sources inside Iran report that, as of Wednesday, the strike has spread to 190 cities.

Truck drivers make up an essential part of the framework of Iranian society. Past strikes by the country’s truck drivers have caused massive disruptions throughout Iran, forcing the regime to acknowledge their importance and make a series of concessions to the drivers. Despite these token concessions, the majority of Iranians in the transportation industry live below the poverty line. Truck drivers find themselves struggling to pay for replacement tires for their vehicles because of the regime’s mismanagement and corruption. Without the support of their government in addressing this issue, they have no alternative but to strike.

Truck drivers cited a number of issues as reasons for their strike. A fuel driver from Kermanshah said,

“Rates are rising every day but car rents are fixed. How would you manage your life? I’m tired of this wreck!”

One protester from Amoi cited the regime’s broken promises, saying, “We were tired and disappointed with failed promises made by the government. The only solution is to protest against them.”

The price of replacement tires is a sticking point for many of the striking workers. A driver from Tehran said, “I’ve been at this job for 12 years but I still can’t afford a new truck tire. My truck has a flat tire and if I can’t get it running, I don’t have a job.”

The drivers are encouraging others to join their strike, with many driving home with empty tankers as a sign that they are participating in the protests. One striking worker from Marvdasht, Fars Province recorded a video message, saying, “I’m driving back home with an empty truck. Everybody should do the same!”

The truck drivers’ strike is expected to lead to additional protests by other workers. The merchants of Tehran are planning to strike next week. Tehran’s merchants sparked the August uprising over the devaluation of the rial, which brought protesters in cities across Iran into the streets to protest. The rial plunged again on Tuesday, selling at 18,000 rials to one U.S. dollar. It is worth noting that the last uprising occurred under almost identical circumstances, also in solidarity with a truck drivers’ strike.

Rampant unemployment and factory closures are additional factors that are likely to drive people to the streets to protest. Factory workers in Zarandiyah and Saveh from more than 35 closed facilities have waited more than 10 months for their salaries. The impending U.S. oil sanctions add to the growing tension.

The people of Iran are restless and dissatisfied. They see the regime for what it is, and they see an alternative. A new round of protests is here.

Staff Writer

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Ambassador Nikki Haley

U.S. Ambassador Says U.S. Is Not Giving Regime a Pass

Ambassador Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

In a September 23rd interview on the American political television program “Face the Nation,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley discussed sanctions against Iran. The interview took place ahead of U.S. President Trump’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, the 25th, and the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, the 26th. Trump is scheduled to chair the Security Council meeting and will likely discuss U.S. policy toward Iran during Wednesday’s Security Council meeting.

In May, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed economic sanctions on the country. Trump cited a number of reasons for exiting the deal, including the Iranian regime’s meddling with other countries in the Middle East, its exportation of terrorism, and the ineffectiveness of the 2015 deal.

The MEK opposed the 2015 deal from the outset. The Iranian regime never stopped developing its nuclear program, and lifting sanctions rewarded a corrupt and cruel regime that routinely perpetrates human rights crimes upon its own people.

Haley reiterated the ineffectiveness of the Iran nuclear deal in her interview on Sunday, saying: “Our decision was that hundreds of billions of dollars was going to Iran and in return they were having ballistic missile testing, they were selling arms to terrorist fighters, they were basically continuing to support terrorism. And what we said was, ‘We’re not going to give you money to continue to do those bad things.’”

In addition to re-imposing sanctions, the U.S. is also requiring that foreign countries reduce their imports of Iranian oil to zero. The deadline to sever business ties with Iran is November 4th. The delay in the re-imposition of sanctions was intended to give foreign businesses time to wrap up their business deals with Iran.

Some companies have already cut their ties with Iran and stopped importing oil from the regime, while others have begun to reduce their imports. The State Department predicts that most countries will comply with the November 4th deadline.

Several countries have asked for exemptions from sanctions. Haley said during her interview that U.S. allies should not depend on receiving such exemptions in order to continue doing business with Iran.

Other signatories of the Iran nuclear deal urged Trump not to withdraw from the deal, claiming that Iran had remained in compliance with the terms of the agreement and that the deal makes the world a safer place. The Europeans, in particular, have sought to find ways to appease the Iranian regime since the Iran nuclear deal fell apart.

Haley was asked a question about the other signatories of the Iran nuclear deal and whether they would face consequences if they continued to do business with Iran. She was very clear in her answer: “The Europeans have a decision to make.
And I think that decision is already being made. If you look, they are dropping business from Iran left and right. We will have decisions to make in terms whether they get exemptions or not, but I’ll tell you right now, we’re going to be really tough on Iran. We’re not giving them a pass.”

Staff Writer

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