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The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

Delegation from European Parliament Meets with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana

The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

A delegation consists of 2 MEPs and the former chair of European Parliament’s official Delegation for Relations with Iraq meet with Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition

On Sunday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), met with a delegation of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Tirana to discuss Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania. They also discussed the ongoing protests in Iran.

Members of the delegation included Tunne Kelam, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of Friends of a Free Iran inter-parliamentary group, Jaromir Stetina, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense, and Struan Stevenson, Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change.

The meeting with the delegation from European Parliament followed a statement of support for the Iranian Resistance from 150 MEPs written earlier this month. The statement described the widespread protests that have taken place in Iran since December of last year, saying, “The social atmosphere is volatile, and people demand fundamental change. The regime’s officials have acknowledged the role of “resistance units” of the opposition PMOI [MEK] in organizing protests and nationwide strikes.”

The statement went on to describe the regime’s efforts to defeat the MEK and the Iranian Resistance through terrorist acts: “Unable to defeat the protesters at home, the regime launched a new wave of terrorism against the democratic opposition activists in Europe and in the United States.”

The MEPs concluded their statement with a call to action: “We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its terror plots and expel Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives from Europe. We must also condition our relations with Iran to an improvement of human rights and women’s rights, and a halt to executions.”

The EP delegation noted the statement from earlier this month and affirmed their support of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance.

Mr. Tunne Kelam expressed his admiration for the MEK members at Ashraf 3 during the meeting, noting their “wonderful advances in building this place in such a short period of time and on the other hand, their livelihood and joy.” He added, “To me, this is a promise that the people of Iran will achieve their freedom.”

Kelam also congratulated Mrs. Rajavi on the MEK’s progress, saying, “Your movement has set a new moral, political and democratic standard, something that gives you the power to confront the medieval, fundamentalist regime ruling Iran.
At the same time, Mrs. Rajavi and the PMOI [MEK] have provided moral and political inspiration for hundreds of European political leaders in supporting PMOI’s [MEK’s] struggle for freedom in Iran. European politicians have been encouraged to take a strong and principled political stand versus the appeasement policy.”

Mr. Stetina pointed out that the MEK and the NCRI enjoys broad support from MEPs from different political groups, saying that these groups “are confident that Iran’s future is tied to this Resistance and to you, personally.” He went on to say, “This is why the Iranian regime has once again resorted to terrorism. Their ill-fated terrorist attempts in Albania, France, and the U.S. clearly show that the Iranian regime views this movement as its main existential threat. When it cannot defeat the PMOI and the NCRI by suppression and terror, it moves full force to deploy the mercenaries and “reporters” it has trained to demonize the Resistance and carry out smear campaigns. This is something that we have very well experienced in the European Parliament.

Mr. Stevenson pointed out that the regime is faltering and cannot continue to rule. “The emphases by the leader, president and other officials of the regime leave no doubts on the role of the PMOI in advancing the popular uprisings. Therefore, there is nothing strange for us that their slander machine has been put to work at its highest speed. These efforts are in vain and will not deceive anyone,” he said.

Mrs. Rajavi thanked the MEPs for their support of the Iranian Resistance and explained the current situation in Iran. “Despite massive repression, widespread arrests and murders in detention projected as suicides,” she said, “the Iranian people’s uprisings have continued ever since they started in the final days of last year, becoming ever more organized. The growing trend of strikes, protests, and demonstrations by workers, farmers, and other toiling sectors have sounded the alarm bells for the regime, bringing closer the prospects of victory of freedom and democracy over the dark religious tyranny that has invaded our homeland for four decades.”

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Protests continue in Ahvaz and Shush

Factory and Steel Workers Continue Their Strikes Despite Repressive Measures by Iranian Regime

Protests continue in Ahvaz and Shush

The protest by workers of Fulad-Ahvaz and their families and other fellow citizens continue despite heavy security measure by the repressive regime.

Saturday marked the 15th consecutive day of strikes for Ahvaz Steelworkers and the 20th consecutive day of strikes for the Haft Tappeh sugarcane factory workers. The striking workers have continued to stand up for their rights despite repressive actions by the Iranian regime, based on reports from the MEK sources inside Iran.

Ahvaz Steel Workers

The striking Ahvaz Steelworkers rallied on Saturday in front of the governorate in Ahvaz and marched toward the Pol Sefid. Police confronted the workers and assaulted some of the protesters in an attempt to stop the demonstration, but young people who had joined the protest in support of the striking workers forced the police to retreat. The protesters chanted “Lest we are humiliated!” as they marched to Naderi Street.

Haft Tappeh Factory Workers

Also on Saturday, the Haft Tappeh sugarcane factory workers gathered in front of the governorate in Shush to protest the recent false statements by the regime’s Deputy Minister of Labor. The deputy minister claimed that the workers had all received their unpaid wages and returned to work and that the strike was over. The striking workers responded to these lies with a rally. They made banners reading, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!” The workers chanted, “Even if we die, we will get our rights!” The MEK network shared video of the protests on social media.

Regime authorities arrested 19 Haft Tappeh factory workers for taking part in the strikes and protests. After their fellow workers pushed back and rallied for their colleagues’ release, the regime relented and released 14 of the workers. Five of the factory workers are still detained.

Maryam Rajavi Salutes Striking Workers

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), commended the striking factory and steel workers for continuing their strikes despite the regime’s repressive measures. She further called upon all the people of Khuzestan to stand in solidarity of the oppressed workers and to support their strike. She specifically called upon the youth of Iran to support the striking workers.

Mrs. Rajavi also called upon trade unions and workers’ rights activists to condemn the labor policies of the Iranian regime and to support the workers’ strikes in Iran. The MEK has pledged its support for the striking workers.

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East Isfahan farmer's protest for water rights.

Iran: Farmers in Isfahan Wear Grave Shrouds to Protest for Water Rights

East Isfahan farmer's protest for water rights.

The Farmers in East Isfahan on their 65th day of protest for their water rights

On Friday, the farmers of Khourasgan, Isfahan Province, marked their 65th day of protests with a demonstration at Khourasgan’s fruit and vegetable market.

The MEK sources in Iran report that on Thursday, farmers in East Isfahan donned white vests symbolizing grave shrouds to protest for water rights. The farmers wore the grave shrouds while they attended the Mahdieh Mosque in East Isfahan and then held a session to discuss the farmers’ concerns. The act was meant to convey the message that the farmers are ready to stand up for their rights, no matter the cost.

Farmers in Koushk, Goldasht and Jozdan, in West Isfahan also held protests.

The farmers in Isfahan Province are protesting because of a lack of access to water for their crops due to mismanagement of water resources by the Iranian regime over the past two decades.

The Zayanderud River once flowed through Isfahan, providing the farmers in the region with ample water to farm their crops. But over the past two decades, the regime has built factories upstream of Isfahan and diverted the river to other regions. These practices, along with a prolonged drought, have caused the river to dry up before reaching Isfahan. Now the once-prosperous farmers of Isfahan can no longer sustain their crops.

Farmers in the region have protested numerous times over the past year in defense of their right to water, but the regime has failed to make meaningful changes. To date, none of the promises made by government officials have been fulfilled.

Regime’s Incompetence Forces Once Prosperous Isfahan Farmers into Poverty

Several months ago, Isfahan’s farmers protested during Friday prayers by turning their backs to the prayer leader and chanting, “Back to the enemy, face to the country!” Since then, this chant has spread to other protests across Iran.

Isfahan’s primary industry is agriculture, so the lack of access to water affects virtually everyone in the province. The farmers of Isfahan place the blame for the situation squarely at the feet of the regime and its leaders, who have mismanaged Iran’s water resources for decades. The MEK has called Iran’s water crisis one of the country’s “super challenges.” It is clear the mullahs have no plan to address this crisis.

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Protest continues by Haft-Tappeh and Fulad Ahvaz workers

Protests Continue to Rage in Ahvaz and Shush

Protest continues by Haft-Tappeh and Fulad Ahvaz workers

Despite the crackdown on peaceful protesters of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane factory and Fulad Ahvaz, their protests continue

On Saturday, November 24th, the protests at the Haft Tappeh sugarcane factory and the Ahvaz Steel company reached their 20th and 15th days respectively.

Haft Tappeh

The Haft Tappeh workers initiated a walkout and protest almost three weeks ago over unpaid wages, deteriorating working conditions, and the forced privatization of the company. Both the workers and the factory itself are on the brink of bankruptcy, with many reporting being forced to purchase basic essentials on credit from local stores.

After several of their numbers were arrested, the protestors took their chants and slogans to the Shush governor’s building to demand their immediate release. Following intense international scrutiny and domestic public pressure, the regime released 14 of its 19 prisoners, however, four labor representatives and a civil rights activist remain in regime custody.

It is still unclear on what grounds they are being held. The regime has not revealed their charges.

Ahvaz Steel Company

Meanwhile, in Ahvaz, the workers at the Ahvaz Steel Company were facing down regime officials as well. They too have suffered economically due to unpaid salaries.

After the workers took their demonstration to the Khuzestan governate, regime officials opened channels of negotiations with the workers. However, they would not be fed lies and false hope. They made it clear they would not end the protest until they saw evidence of concrete actions designed to improve their working conditions and alleviate their financial hardship.

Rising Anti-Regime Sentiment

Like many other protests in recent years, including among Iran’s truck drivers and teachers, the strikes took a decidedly anti-regime tone.

In Shush, protestors from Haft Tappeh chanted “imprisoned workers must be freed”. In Ahvaz, the workers chanted “we will fight against tyranny”. These chants are significant as it shows a break with protests in the past, which have focused on specific demands and grievances.

While both protests are seeking a resolution from the regime to pay out their unpaid wages, they are also both part of a wider Iranian movement calling for the regime to be held accountable for its tyrannical and financial ruinous policies that have plunged Iran into an economic freefall.

Government mismanagement and corruption has increasingly taken center-stage at protests since the nationwide protests in December and January, in which the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) played a major role.

In Shush, the workers at Haft Tappeh called on their fellow citizens to rise up and join them, a sentiment echoed by the leader of Iran opposition, the President-elect Maryam Rajavi. Some days, the workers were joined by merchants, teachers, taxi drivers, and local residents. A feeling of solidarity is beginning to emerge as local residents provide the workers with meals and taxi drivers are providing free rides.

In Ahvaz, a similar situation is emerging. The people know that their grievances cannot be resolved under this corrupt and greedy regime. Their wages will remain unpaid. The mullahs and their cronies will only get richer, while the rest of Iran struggles to stay afloat.

It is clear, regime change is the only option remaining, a fact that is increasingly dawning on both the Iranian public and the regime itself. History is in the making in Ahvaz and Shush. The mullahs will no doubt try to contain the situation. It is up to the rest of Iran to ensure that their voices and their protests will not be contained. They will be heard and their grievances will be addressed.

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Haft-Tappeh's workers protest continues

MEK Network: The Haft Tappeh Protest Reaches Its 19th Consecutive Day

Haft-Tappeh's workers protest continues

The Haft-Tappeh worker’s protest, demanding the release of detained workers continued on its 19th day-November 24

The brave protestors at Haft Tappeh continued their strike for the 19th consecutive day. The sugar factory workers braved the rain to protest unpaid wages and the forced privatization of the company.

Ismael Bakhshi imprisoned worker of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane factory

The Worker’s representative in Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane factory, who is in custody for demanding the worker’s unpaid wages-November 2018

The workers took their protest to the Shush governor’s office to call on the regime authorities to release the detained workers’ representative, Ismael Bakhshi.

The workers came together in chants of “the jailed worker must be released”, as many carried black umbrellas for protection against the elements.

The oldest sugar factory in Iran

Haft Tappeh has been an iconic building for Iran’s sugar industry. It is the oldest sugar factory in the country, having been in operation for more than five decades.

However, in recent years the workers’ working conditions have deteriorated dramatically. In 2015, the factory was part of a forced privatization project which saw ownership transferred to its new owners.

Since then, the workers have reported unpaid wages, the reduction of its permanent workforce, and reduced rights and pensions.

“The families of some workers have to buy bread on credit because of unpaid salaries and if this situation continues, even bakeries will refuse to sell their bread to workers on credit”, said Jafar Azimzadeh, a trade unionist.

Like many of Iran’s key industries, the privatization efforts have merely served to make the managers richer and the workers poorer.

Under such appalling financial and working conditions, many of the workforces are resorting to extreme measures. In one high-profile case in February, Ali Naghdi, a worker at the Haft Tappeh factory, was found dead in a canal. It is believed he committed suicide due to his escalating debts and unpaid wages.

The mass detention of workers

The regime marched against the protestors on the 14th day of strikes and arrested 19 protestors and their supporters. Among those arrested was Sepideh Ghelian, an activist and journalist who was protesting with the workers of Haft Tappeh.

In the days following the arrests, the regime released the majority of those arrested. Only Ghelian, Bakhshi, and three other workers’ representatives remain in custody. It is unclear on what grounds the regime is holding them on. A lawyer representing the four labor representatives told sources that he did not know what charges they were facing.

He said, “I still don’t know [details] of the security charges that the court announced”.

This is not the first time the Haft Tappeh workers have gone on strike. In August, the workforce walked out over unpaid wages. The regime’s response then was similar to now. Five workers were arrested on charges of “disrupting order”.

The Iranian opposition has pledged its support to the brave factory workers. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has expressed its solidarity with the brave men and women. The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi took to Twitter to offer words of support for the brave workers and encourage international human rights groups, trade unions, and NGO’s to lend their support.

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Public hanging in Iran

Three Iranians are Publicly Executed in Shiraz

Public hanging in Iran

A scene of a public hanging in Iran.

On Wednesday, November 21st, as the morning sun beat down on the beige buildings, three blindfolded men were led into the middle of a public square. Around them, masked men readied several nooses. Another masked man shouted their charges through a megaphone.

The three prisoners, the masked man exclaimed to the small group gathered in attendance, were accused of “moharebeh” or “fighting with God”. The charge is increasingly being used by the clerical regime in Iran to arbitrary try its political opponents.

In December, a court upheld the death penalty for Swedish resident, Ahmadreza Djalali over the same accusations. Several arrested during the December and January protests have also been charged with the same “moharebeh” umbrella charge.

The three men in Shiraz are forced aboard trucks, carefully positioned so the flatbeds lie underneath the pre-arranged nooses, on their flanks are three further masked men. Escape is not an option.

In a brutal act of suppression and violence, the three men were hanged in the sunlit square, in full view of the Iranian public.

A Regime in Crisis

The events that took place on Wednesday in Shiraz are not an isolated incident. Across Iran, unlawful public hangings like these are becoming increasingly common. Between January and June this year, the clerical regime executed 176 Iranian citizens.

The increasing use of the death penalty, including in cases against minor offenders who committed their crimes under the age of 18, is a sign of the increasing peril the regime finds itself in.

Alongside the surge in executions, has been a surge in anti-regime protests. Most recently, the brave workers at Haft Tappeh sugar factory took to the streets over the regime’s forced privatization of the company. Similar, the workers at Ahvaz Steel also went on strike in protest over the regime’s oppression and mismanagement.

The Iranian regime has always responded to civil unrest with violence and repression. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), Iran’s largest and most popular political opposition group, was on the receiving end of this violence and oppression every time it threatened the regime’s future in power.

The most violent of all these responses took place in 1988 when the regime executed more than 30,000 MEK members in regime custody.

International Condemnation

In response to the Iranian regime’s widespread use of violence and executions to ensure its future survival, international NGOs and human rights groups have lined up to condemn the mullahs and their Supreme Leader Khamenei.

U.N. Censures Iranian Regime for Human Rights Abuses for 65th Time

The MEK, the Iranian resistance, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, and the rapporteur on arbitrary executions have all spoken out against the regime’s arbitrary application of the death penalty.

They have called for the immediate cessation of this medieval and inhumane form of punishment.

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MEK supporters demonstrate in Denmark

Protestors Gather in Copenhagen to Call for a Firm Response to Iranian Aggression

MEK supporters demonstrate in Denmark

Demonstrators gather in Copenhagen to protest EU’s inaction in the face of the Iranian regime’s terrorist attempts in Europe.

On Friday, November 23rd, members of the Iranian diaspora, supporters of the Iranian resistance and allies and sympathizers to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) gathered in Copenhagen to call for a stern response to Iranian aggression.

A Terrorist Machine

The protest was prompted after 2018 saw a surge in Iranian aggression across Europe. In early 2018, during the Persian New Year celebrations, Albanian authorities foiled a plot to attack the MEK members living in exile.

Then, in late June, another plot was foiled. An Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Austria provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with an explosive device, along with detailed instructions of where to detonate the car bomb. Its target was the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event, where more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian opposition had gathered in Paris.

Following an investigation by French authorities and the MEK, it was concluded that senior members of the regime leadership had been personally involved in the planning and execution of the foiled Paris attack.

Iranian Embassies: A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The regime’s nefarious and dangerous plots were not restricted to European soil. Shortly after the unraveling of the Paris attack, the United States government detained two regime agents on espionage charges.

The men had been gathering intelligence against the MEK in the US. It is likely that the pair were involved in reconnaissance work ahead of a planned terror attack on the MEK.

Europeans are Calling for Action

At the protest in Denmark, protestors braved the Scandinavian cold and held placards reading, “we want regime change in Iran!” Others carried images of the MEK’s leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi.

The protests mirrored many of those seen across Iran in recent months. The most recent of which has seen the workers at Haft Tappeh sugarcane factory go on strike and call for the toppling of Rouhani and Khamenei’s evil regime.

The protestors also urged the EU and Western governments to coordinate a coherent and united response to Iranian terrorism. The protestors called on the EU to include the Iranian regime in its terrorist blacklist.

This sentiment has been echoed by many prominent European politicians in recent weeks. On Monday, 150 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) signed a document calling for the expulsion of regime intelligence agents from embassies on European soil.

Former Italian Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi, has also publicly advocated a policy of maximum pressure on the Iranian regime.

Those Responsible Must Be Held to Account

Among the pleas of the protestors in Copenhagen was the need for all those accused of state-sponsored terrorism to face trial in Europe.

Assadollah Assadi, the regime diplomat who orchestrated the Paris plot, was extradited to Belgium to face trial. However, his defense lawyers argued the move was illegal. They suggested that his diplomatic status, granted to him under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, meant he could not stand trial for his crimes.

The people of Europe evidently understand the need for a coordinated and firm response. Without it, it is their lives the European heads of state are putting at risk. Should the Iranian regime succeed in executing a terror attack in the heart of Europe, the casualties will be numerous, with many European citizens caught up in the collateral damage of the regime’s war with the MEK.

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Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran opposition, speaking at Free Iran Rally in Paris- June 2018

Maryam Rajavi’s Alternative to War and Appeasement

Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran opposition, speaking at Free Iran Rally in Paris- June 2018

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, speaking to a large crowd of over 100,000 supporters in Villepinte, Paris- June 2018

The West has long held that the only solutions to managing the Iranian regime are either to appease the mullahs or go to war. Since the 1979 Revolution, the prevailing strategy has been appeasement, and Western countries have gone to great lengths to feign ignorance of the regime’s acts of brutality at home and outside of its borders in order to prevent war, which has been deemed the less desirable option for a number of reasons.

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has proposed a third option, which would end the reign of terror in Iran and restore democracy in Iran. This option has gained the support of the Iranian people and the Resistance Movement, led by the MEK.

Mrs. Rajavi has made it clear that the regime is “a medieval theocracy that lacks the capacity to reform” and that it is pointless to negotiate with the mullahs. The absolute clerical rule is enshrined in the constitution and precludes the possibility of democracy in any form. As long as the mullahs are in power, their rule will be absolute.

In regard to appeasement, Mrs. Rajavi said: “Let there be no doubt: European policies such as critical dialogue, constructive engagement, and human rights dialogue will not change anything as far as the regime is concerned. Appeasement is not the way to contain or change the regime. Nor is the path to avoid another war. Appeasement only emboldens the mullahs.”

However, a war would be disastrous for the Iranian people. It would endanger the lives of citizens and could create a power vacuum that would undermine the Iranian Resistance. In this situation, it would be easy for a corrupt group to seize control of the government.

Mrs. Rajavi proposed a third option, saying, “The equation of “either a military invasion or appeasement” is an exercise in political deception. A third option is within reach. The Iranian people and their organized resistance have the capacity and ability to bring about change.”

The people of Iran have shown their willingness to rise up against the mullahs over the past year. Since the uprisings began last December, people of all walks of life have taken to the streets to protest the regime, despite brutal acts of suppression.

Maryam Rajavi said: ”The presence of protests in society reflects the Iranian people yearning for regime change. The presence of an organized resistance with 120,000 martyrs and more than half-a-million prisoners is indicative of the depth and the intensity of society’s rejection of the regime.”

The MEK has organized most of these protests and has the power to overthrow the regime and restore democracy to Iran. The mullahs see the MEK as a threat to their very existence and have taken extreme measures to attack MEK members abroad and to suppress the uprisings at all costs.

Maryam Rajavi said: “Why in all their international interactions, the mullahs demand the exertion of pressure on the resistance movement? Are all of these not indicative of the mullahs’ paranoia over the third option?”

Mrs. Rajavi explained that the NCRI represents the majority of the Iranian people and is the only viable democratic alternative to the mullahs’ rule. The NCRI offers the only real solution for the peaceful transfer of power after the fall of the regime. The NCRI is committed to setting up free elections for a constituent assembly within six months of regime change and handing over the affairs to the people’s elected representatives. Mrs. Rajavi has a ten-point plan for restoring democracy in Iran that has been endorsed by a broad coalition of international leaders.

Maryam Rajavi said: “We want to rebuild Iran, which the mullahs have ruined, through the people’s participation, the return of our experts and friendship with the rest of the world. We seek neither the West’s money nor weapons. We want them to remain neutral between the Iranian resistance on one hand and the ruling regime on the other.”

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Political Prisoner's letter of support to the Iran protesters in Ahvaz and Shush

Political Prisoners Write Letter of Support for Striking Workers in Ahvez and Shush

Political Prisoner's letter of support to the Iran protesters in Ahvaz and Shush

The political prisoners held in Gohardasht prison, write an open letter in support of the protests in Ahvaz and Shush (SouthWest Iran)

On Wednesday, the workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugar Factory entered the 17th consecutive day of strikes, and the Ahvez Steel Factory workers entered their 12th consecutive day of strikes. The striking workers have drawn widespread domestic and international support as the protests have gained momentum.

In a show of support, political prisoners in Gohardasht prison wrote an open letter declaring their solidarity with the striking workers who are protesting for their rights.

The prisoners wrote: “The glorious resistance and persistence of the hardworking workers of Haft Tapeh sugar mill and Ahvaz steel factory is the echo of enraged shouts of the workers and oppressed people who are fed up from the plundering and tyranny of a regime that is engulfed in corruption and thievery.”

The Haft Tapeh factory workers and Ahvez steel workers are both striking in protest of unpaid wages and poor working conditions. Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. Similar protests are taking place across Iran and have been for months. The MEK and its resistance units are working to organize and lead workers’ protests across all trades and professions.

Haft Tapeh is the largest sugar cane factory in Iran. Thousands of workers depend on the factory as their main source of income. In 2015, the factory was privatized in a controversial deal, and now the company is close to bankruptcy. Many workers have not been paid in months, and the new owners are discussing plans to reduce the workforce. Factory workers blame the problems at Haft Tappeh on local national government officials’ misman and dishonesty.

The political prisoners continued in their letter: “The people [of Iran] who have been witness to the plundering of their possessions and labor on a daily basis, and whose wealth and assets are being spent on warmongering and suppressing their protests are now fully aware of who the real enemy is.”

The Iranian regime has attempted to blame the economic crisis facing the country on U.S. sanctions. The nationwide uprisings began last December, though, long before U.S. sanctions were re-imposed, and protesters have been clear from the beginning that Iran’s problems lie with the ruling regime and its warmongering and corruption. The anti-regime protests have repeatedly called attention to the billions of dollars spent on wars in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Iranian people carry banners at home proclaiming, “Workers of Haft Tappeh are hungry!”

The letter concluded with a call for other communities in Iran to join the striking workers. The prisoners wrote: “While stressing our support for the noble workers of Haft Tapeh and Ahvaz Steel, we the political prisoners of Gohardasht hail their commitment and call on all other suppressed communities to unite with them. We believe that the only solution against the tyranny is uprisings and protests. The national unity of all walks of life and suppressed communities will eventually defeat the tyrants.”

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Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former US Ambassador to the UN Calls for a UN Response to Iranian Human Rights Abuses and Terrorism

Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former U.S, Ambassador to the U.N, Mr. Ken Blackwell speaking at a conference in support of the Iranian opposition (NCRI), on the occasion of the Iranian New Year in Washington D.C-March 2018

On November 20th, 2018, Townhall published a piece from Kenneth Blackwell, the former US ambassador to the UN. In his piece, Blackwell called for an international response to Iranian aggression.

Blackwell began his article by drawing attention to the UN General Assembly’s resolution on November 15th which denounced the Iranian regime for its systematic widespread human rights abuses. The resolution means that the General Assembly will vote on a censure next month.

The “summer of blood”

The Iranian regime’s human rights abuses have been well-documented. The mullahs and their Supreme Leader Khamenei launched a vicious campaign to eliminate the regime’s political opposition.

First on their list of political opponents was the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its members. This cumulated in the “summer of blood” of 1988. In just one summer, a period of fewer than five months, the regime and its death squad systematically executed more than 30,000 MEK members in regime custody.

Today, the regime continues to run roughshod over the human rights of the Iranian population. Politically motivated arrests are common- and the conditions many prisoners are subject to in prison, which include routine torture sessions and beatings from guards, has prompted many prisoners to go on hunger strike in protest.

Executions are also commonplace in Iran, including in cases where the alleged perpetrator committed their crime as a minor, under the age of 18. Between January and June 2018, the regime executed 176 executions. Among them were prisoners held on drug charges, politically motivated charges, and juvenile offenders.

Blackwell went on to condemn the regime’s harsh treatment of protestors. He cited the regime’s arrests of truck drivers, teachers, merchants, students and nurses as particularly concerning examples where citizens found themselves imprisoned for exercising their right to protest.

A Terrorist Machine

In addition to the regime’s campaign of repression and violent suppression at home, the Iranian regime has launched an international terror campaign. In 2018, the MEK reported that the regime leadership was involved in the planning and execution of terrorist plots in Albania, France, and the US.

Iranian Embassies: A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The most severe of these attacks was the regime’s attempt to detonate a car bomb at the annual gathering of the MEK and its supporters in Paris. An Iranian diplomat named Assadollah Assadi provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material to attack the gathering, where delegations of high-profile politicians gathered from around the world, including former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.

The Demonization Campaign

Blackwell also condemned the regime’s systematic and deliberate demonization campaign against the MEK. Blackwell writes, “in lockstep with its terrorist plots, the regime has also stepped up its demonization campaign and vilification campaigns”.

Twitter closed 770 regime-affiliated accounts in September for deliberately attempting to manipulate public opinion against the MEK abroad. Many of the accounts posed as foreign journalists or American citizens in an attempt to appear more legitimate, however, they spewed regime-created propaganda attacking the MEK with lies and falsehoods.

Blackwell continues, “data released by Twitter shows that anti-MEK tweets by the regime’s intelligence agents in 2018 jumped to a total that was six times higher than the previous six years combined.”

He also pointed at the regime of employing “pseudo-journalists”, like Arron Merat who recently wrote a hit piece on the MEK for the Guardian. These are regime-affiliated agents who work as journalists for foreign media outlets, spreading lies and misinformation to further the regime’s interests.

The Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers Issue a Statement on the Guardian’s MEK Hit Piece

Despite the Regime’s Best Efforts, the MEK Grows Stronger

Despite these underhanded methods, Blackwell writes, “the movement’s [the Iranian opposition] organizational prowess is growing”. He describes the MEK’s resistance units of young men and women who coordinate protests across Iran and mobilize the Iranian population.

“Iran’s people are demanding democratic freedoms and an end to the extremism, corruption, and mismanagement that has devastated their living conditions”, Blackwell writes. “The international community cannot remain nonaligned. It is time to side with the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and a brighter future.”

Blackwell concludes by stating that the regime’s human rights abuses must be referred to the UN Security Council for urgent action because it “would be the clearest sign yet that the international community supports the Iranian people’s right to resist a tyrannical regime that systematically violates their human rights.”

Staff Writer

 

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