Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,The Daily Express

Iran Protests in various cities in Iran

Protests Spread across Country, Iranians Call for Regime Change

Iran Protests in various cities in Iran

Credit to The Daily Express-Iran news: Protest breaks out as tires set on fire (Image: PMOI/MEK – NCRI)

Protests, strikes, and demonstrations have spread throughout the cities and towns of Iran in response to the country’s crumbling economy. Protests began early last week with a merchants strike after the rial plunged in value yet again. The rial has dropped 120 percent in the last six months alone, leading store owners to close their shops and take to the streets to protest rising costs.

The merchants were soon joined by truck drivers (who were already in the midst of a weeks-long strike of their own), farmers, workers, the unemployed, and young people. The protests spread rapidly to other cities, and calls for regime change have been widespread. Protesters have chanted, “Death to the dictator!” “Mullahs must go!” and “Rouhani be ashamed, let go of our country!”

The protests have now grown into an uprising, spreading to every major city in Iran over the past week. Protesters have confronted suppressive forces in the streets, using police tear gas to set fire to tires and police motorcycles.

Shahin Gobadi, a spoke person for the people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) who is also a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee, gave an interview to the British website Express.co.uk. He said that the continuous nature of the Iran protests sends a clear message:

“The Iranian people are determined to bring about a regime change and they are not going to stop at anything short of that. The prospect for the mullahs to find a way out is becoming dimmer by the day.


“This is why the regime’s senior officials keep warning about the bleak prospects that loom on the horizon for the regime and the growing role of the resistance.

“As such, the regime’s official in charge of dealing with “soft warfare” stated on August 1, that 90 percent of the strikes and calls for protests are the result of activities of the “counter-revolutionaries”, ie the Iranian resistance.”

In regard to the Iran nuclear deal, Mr. Gobadi had this to say:

“It is time for the European countries to see the fast-moving realities in Iran and forgo any deals with the Iranian regime.

“Rather they should hold the clerical regime accountable for all its malign activities and side with the Iranian people and their aspirations.

“We would welcome any serious and tangible retreat by the mullahs because that would ultimately serve the interests of the Iranian people and the resistance units to bring down the regime and to establish democracy.

“But as the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has said time and again the regime is incapable of any major change of policies and change of direction.

“He said explicitly on May 10, 2017, that so far as the regime is concerned a change of conduct and behavior is tantamount to a change of the regime in its entirety.”

The daily Express also quoted Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition emphasizing: ‘The Iranian people’s nationwide uprising is growing by the day. Hail to the peoples of Isfahan, Gohardasht of Karaj, and Shiraz.”

The MEK believes that the only way to bring meaningful change to the Iranian people is through regime change. The economic problems facing Iran right now are dire, but they are not new, nor are they solely a result of sanctions. The rial has been losing value since the regime took power in 1979, due to the clerical regime’s corruption and incompetence.

Staff Writer

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A protester in Isfahan resisting the IRGC forces who had attacked the protesters.

An Unstoppable Force: the Rising Tide of Iran’s Protest Movement

A protester in Isfahan resisting the IRGC forces who had attacked the protesters.

A young Iran protester shows victory sign, while joining fellow protesters to push back on repressive IRGC forces in Isfahan

On Friday, August 3rd, Fox News published an article on its website from Ben Evansky, titled “Iran’s Widespread and Growing Protests Push Citizens to Brink”. Evansky outlined the rising discontent among the Iranian population.

 

His article comes at a prominent moment. The residents of Isfahan have joined the nation’s truck drivers in their protests, and protests in Tehran continue to rage.

The economy is in sharp decline as decades of mismanagement has caused rampant currency inflation. On top of a spiralling economy, Iranian’s have to contend with water shortages and price increases for basic essentials like food and drink.

A Growing Protest Movement

Evansky describes how in these uncertain times, the Iranian protest movement is rapidly expanding. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and their activists have published footage on social media of the protests in Iran. Tehran’s residents can be heard chanting “the mullahs must get lost”.

Similar images have been released from Arak. Protestors there are using the slogan, “no to Gaza, no to Lebanon, my life for Iran” (referring to the mullahs use of Iranian finances to fund foreign conflicts and terrorist organizations abroad while Iran’s own population goes hungry and thirsty).

In his article, Evansky analyzed the slogans used by the Iranian population during the protests and discovered they provide significant insight into the opposition movement. Firstly, the women of Isfahan province are among the chanters and protestors. Fox News based on analysis of an Iran analyst, asserted that the women of Najafabad in Isfahan province “used to be a traditional bastion of regime support”. Now, these same women are in the streets shouting, “they fed Syria but made our young people turn old”.

It is not just the women of Isfahan, other segments of the regime’s support base are turning against them. The urban and rural poor, the day laborers, the farmers, and the factory workers have all joined the protest movement, uniting all segments of Iranian society in opposition.

Fox News goes on to suggest that this could be a pivotal moment for the Iranian opposition. The residents of the regime heartlands have been the mullahs’ foundations of support. Those residents are now beginning to realise that the mullahs do not have their best interests at heart. This realisation casts uncertainty on the mullahs’ future in power.

The Role of the US

Many in the US government have proposed supporting the Iranian protestors. In his article, Evansky cited a spokesman for Republican Senator Ted Cruz who said that “the United States should be doing everything possible to support these protestors”.

The US government’s stance towards the mullahs is hardening. Since Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran deal, he has passed a new round of sanctions, urged European nations to adopt a tougher stance, and put a resolution through Congress pledging US support to the Iranian protestors.

Falling Dominoes

The latest protests and the hardening position of the international community towards the mullahs has set in motion a series of events that will lead to the ultimate collapse of the clerical regime. Like falling dominoes, the rapidly expanding protest movement will become too great for the mullahs to repress and silence.

The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, emphasized the importance of keeping the current movement going. In a statement, she exclaimed, “Iran’s risen and revolting cities are joining the protests, one after the other. The cry for freedom is becoming louder, and the uprising is expanding more and more every moment.”

Rajavi ended her statement by celebrating the powerful political force the Iranian public hold in their hands and their voices. “The is no force more powerful than the united force of young people”.

 

 

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New resolution introduced to the

US House of Representatives Passes Resolution in Support of the Iranian People and Opposition

New resolution introduced to the

The HR1304 resolution referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressing concerns over the terrorists activities of the Iranian regime and supporting Iranian people’s quest for freedom.

A resolution submitted to the US House of Representatives on Thursday, July 26th condemning the Iranian regime’s state-sanctioned terror plot in Europe. In the second session of its 115th Congress, the House of Representatives submitted resolution 1034.

The text of the resolution explicitly condemned the Iranian regime’s use of state-sponsored terrorism against Iranian dissidents and US citizens. It also expressed solidarity with the Iranian people “who are engaged in continuing legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime”.

The bill acknowledged the role of the Iranian regime in the foiled terror attack on the Free Iran rally in Paris. It also recognized the rights of the Iranian people “to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.”

State-Sanctioned Terrorism

The move comes after details emerged of a terrorist plot organized and planned by the regime leadership in Iran. French authorities arrested a Belgian couple of Iranian descent with explosives in their possession. Their target had been the 2018 Free Iran rally, organized by the Iranian resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The rally, which took place on June 30th, drew in a crowd of more than 100,000 people, as well as delegations of politicians, journalists, and activists from the US, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, among others.

Following the arrest, the couple admitted that they had received their orders and the explosives from Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat working within the Iranian embassy in Vienna, and an agent for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Assadi was arrested by German authorities following the couple’s admission.

The foiled plot is merely the latest development in a long history of state-sponsored terror and violence. The Iranian regime’s leadership have been behind hijacking, assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings which have taken place across the globe since the 1980s. Hossein Abedini recently described his harrowing experience of being attacked by two masked gunmen in 1990.

A Firmer US Stance

While European Governments have offered muted responses following the failed terror attack on French soil, the US has been unequivocal. On July 22nd, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, addressed the Iranian-American community at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. He pledged the support of the US government to the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and regime change.

A Senior Official in the State Department also urged the international community to investigate diplomat activity in Iranian embassies. The anonymous official stated, “all nations need to exercise vigilance to protect themselves against the Iranian [regime] threat”.

The latest resolution from the House of Representatives is in line with the US Government and the Trump administration’s firmer stance towards the clerical regime in Iran. It also goes further than previous messages of support.

The bill acknowledges the regime’s involvement in terror activities and condemns it accordingly, but it also recognizes the right of the Iranian people to establish a democratic republic in Iran.

The resolution explicitly mentions President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan dedicated to establishing a secular, democratic, non-nuclear Iran. This holds significance for the Iranian people and the opposition coalition.

Rouhani’s brutal and violent regime cannot be permitted to engage in international acts of terrorism with impunity. The US has taken the lead in condemning the abhorrent actions of the mullahs. Now the rest of the world, particularly Europe must follow the US Government’s lead. The Iranian regime must be held accountable for its violence.

Staff Writer

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portray of Rouhani and Khamenei

How the portrayal of Rouhani as a moderate weakens the Iranian opposition

portray of Rouhani and Khamenei

How the portrayal of Rouhani as a moderate weakens the Iranian opposition

On Saturday, July 28th, The Daily Caller published an article entitled “Iran Echo Chamber’ Campaigns to Stop Iranian People’s Struggle Against the Theocracy’, revealing Iranian regime’s apologists and their campaign against a firm position towards the dictatorship ruling Iran also questioning Rouhani’s label as a “moderate”.

The article drew comparisons between Rouhani and other hard-liners within his organization, suggesting Rouhani and regime’s Foreign Minister Zarif are wolves in sheep’s clothing and painting the picture of them as reformers or moderates creates a dangerous and misleading narrative.

The Drums of War

The article argues that Rouhani is a destabilizing factor on the global stage. His latest blustering included a threat of war with the US should they prevent Iran’s oil exports. At a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran, Rouhani stated, “anyone who understands politics a little bit would never say that he/she would prevent exports of Iran’s oil,” adding, “America should know the war with Iran is the mother of all wars”.

Rouhani suggested that if Iranian oil exports were interrupted, Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important body of water linking the Persian Gulf with the Oman Sea. The strait is a trade artery for the whole Middle East and its closure would inflame geopolitical tensions across the region. With such dangerous and grave consequences, the decision to threaten the international community is this way are not the actions of a moderate reformer.

Rouhani’s threats were welcomed by the hard-line leaders of both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Quds Force. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC commander, expressed his support, stating, “we stand ready to put in action President Hassan Rouhani’s latest position that if Tehran were not able to export its crude oil through the Strait of Hormuz, no other country would be able to do so”. The IRGC terrorist Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani echoed Jafari’s sentiments.

While Rouhani’s posturing is designed to provoke, we cannot dismiss his words as empty threats. The Daily Caller article points out that Tehran is internationally isolated, and the mullahs are losing their grip on power at home as the country’s economic and social crisis worsens.

The President has already sent a signal to the international community. Rouhani, along with senior members of his regime, planned a terror attack against the Iranian opposition in Paris.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) organized their annual Free Iran Rally in Paris on June 30th. A Belgian couple was detained by French authorities armed with explosives and instructions to attack the rally. They had received their explosives from an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Austria.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

The article argues that Rouhani’s aggressive threats and foiled plot to launch a devastating terrorist attack on European soil demonstrate that he is far from the moderate reformer he is often touted to be.

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, suggested the same thing. During a speech to the Iranian-American community living in the United States, he cast doubt on Rouhani and Zarif’s moderate image. “The truth is they are merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry. Their nuclear deal didn’t make them moderates; it made them wolves in sheep’s clothing”, he said.

Regime Agents in the Western Media

Regime Apologists

An infographic distributed widely on the internet to express outrage against biased and propaganda pieces against MEK by regime apologists.

The regime has allies in the Western media, like Guardian journalist Saeed Kamali Dehghan and MSNBC producer Darius Bazargan, who perpetuate the myth of Rouhani as a moderate reformer. Former Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian even admitted that the regime had sent agents to infiltrate foreign media outlets and promote regime interests in the Western media.

This was apparent following the foiled terror attack in Paris. Several media outlets published pieces criticising the victim, the NCRI and MEK and their leader, President-elect Maryam Rajavi. They attacked both the Iranian opposition directly, and President Trump for the firm stance he is pursuing towards the Iranian regime.

The article cites the attacks on US ambassador Nikki Haley as an example of pro-regime journalists targeting MEK and NCRI sympathizers. Haley retweeted a photo from the official MEK Twitter account. Journalists working for BBC Persian singled the ambassador out in their criticisms. The BBC Farsi channel is known as “Ayatollah BBC” in Iran for its pro-regime positions.

These journalist’s criticism and vilification of the Iranian opposition movement and the MEK attempt to offer justification for the mullahs’ attempted terror attack. They create an atmosphere of appeasement to the regime and of hostility towards the NCRI and MEK.

This, Daily Caller article argues, sows “discord among Iranian communities” and is yet another strategy from the regime to fragment and divide the opposition. By creating a competing narrative and fostering a debate over Rouhani as a hard-liner or a moderate, the regime can effectively weaken the opposition by preventing the formation of a united front.

The article finishes by outlining the struggle confronting the Iranian people. “The Iranian people are not only struggling against a brutal religious dictatorship but also must overcome a massive media campaign aimed at [discrediting] their legitimate struggle for liberty, democracy and the pursuit of happiness.”

Staff Writer

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Hossein Abedini during a news conference in London-2016

The Iranian Regime’s Recent Terror Plot Stirs Memories of Previous Attacks on European Soil

Hossein Abedini during a news conference in London-2016

Hossein Abedini, – At a press conference on March 7, 2016, in London – Archive Photo

Hossein Abedini, member of the Iranian parliament in exile and part of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the 24th of July. The piece, entitled ‘Iranian Terror on European Soil’, recounts the harrowing attempt on his life in 1990.

On March 14th, Abedini was in Istanbul. He was in a car, traveling to the international airport before a flight. He remembers how on this journey, without warning, a car blocked the road in front of the vehicle. At the same moment, another car approached Abedini’s vehicle from behind, and two armed men jumped out.

In a moment of panic, Hossein rushed them, armed with nothing but his briefcase. As one assailant’s gun jammed, the other was able to fire at Abedini nine times. Abedini was badly hurt, and the injuries he sustained left him fighting for his life. He was taken to Istanbul’s International Hospital where he remained in a coma for 40 days.

Mistaken Identity

As Hossein lay in a hospital in Istanbul, his survival uncertain, the state-run media in Tehran was reporting that Mohammed Mohaddessin had been killed in Istanbul. Mohaddessin was the chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee.

It became clear that Mohaddessin had been the intended target of the attack. Even as the Iranian regime realized that it had failed in its objectives, and Abedini had survived the attack, it sent agents to finish the job. Hossein recalls how “one on occasion agents disguised themselves as Turkish police; on another, they pretended to be friends coming to visit”.

Abedini survived the initial attack, and the subsequent plots against his life while he remained in hospital, but, he explains, many were not so fortunate. In 1990, the same year that gunmen opened fire on Abedini, Kazem Rajavi, a human-rights activist, was killed in Geneva. Two years later, several Kurdish activists would also be shot and killed in plots that would later be linked to the Iranian leadership.

Déjà vu

The recently foiled terror plot in Europe evokes flashbacks of the bloody killings and state-sanctioned terror plots of the 80s and 90s. The Iranian regime attempted to detonate a bomb at the Iranian opposition’s Free Iran Gathering in Paris on June 30th. Belgian authorities arrested a Belgian couple of Iranian descent with more than 1lb of explosives and a detonator in their possession.

The pair received the explosives, along with their instructions, from Assadollah Assadi, a station chief for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) operating in Vienna. He had met with the couple in Luxemburg in June and given them detailed instructions to attack the Free Iran Gathering.

The annual gathering drew a crowd of more than 100,000 NCRI and MEK supporters from around the globe. Delegations of politicians, journalists, and activists were present from the US, Canada, the UK, France, and many other nations. While it is unclear at this moment exactly who the targets of the plot were, it is evident that the consequences would have been catastrophic.

Deafening Silence

Abedini goes on to call the plot, “the most recent example of Iran using diplomatic cover to plot terrorism in the heart of Europe”. Assadi’s role as a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna means he was free to carry out covert activities in Europe under the cover of diplomatic immunity.

Even once he was detained by German authorities, state-run media outlets in Iran which serve as mouthpieces for the regime condemned the incident suggesting that the “dignity of the Iranian passport had been sullied”. European authorities have uncovered evidence of Iranian diplomats’ involvement in planning terror attacks on European soil. Abedini questions why, in the face of this startling and concerning evidence, “are European governments remaining silent in the aftermath?” He added, “how far are they willing to go to appease the theocracy ruling Iran?”

Abedini urges the European heads of state to realize that they “can’t conduct business as usual with a state that has institutionalized terrorism as statecraft”. The foiled plot has exposed Iran’s embassies in Europe as “centers of terrorism and espionage”.

In Abendini’s eyes, European governments must expel Iran’s diplomats and intelligence agents and release the details of their investigations to the public. Only then can “the world cripples the Iranian regime’s terror machine”.

Staff Writer

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BFV report on Iranian regimes espionage in Germany against MEK

Europe Should Expel Regime Diplomats, Agents

BFV report on Iranian regimes espionage in Germany against MEK

Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province in Germany, in its 2017 report released in July 2018, emphasized on the focus of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) against the opposition, particularly the MEK

The Iranian regime has stepped up its activities against the MEK in response to its foiled terrorist attack on the annual Grand Gathering of the Iranian Resistance on June 30th in Paris. The MEK has long been a target of the regime, as revealed in the 2017 report released this week by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province in Germany, which focused on the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its work against the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The report included the regime’s attempts to infiltrate the opposition movement in Germany and added that the Quds Force is active in Germany.

 

According to the report, “The official headquarters of the Iranian Regime’s Ministry of Intelligence at its embassy in Berlin had an important role in reconnaissance activities of the secret service.”

The terrorist Quds Force is a special unit of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). It independently collects intelligence abroad and engages in security and counter-espionage efforts.

 

The BfV report specifies that the regime’s activities in the Nordrhein-Westfalen province and across Germany are primarily conducted by the MOIS and are focused on spying on the opposition, specifically the MEK and the NCRI. According to the report, the MOIS uses infiltration to spy on the opposition and then attempts to discredit them through the use of propaganda. The report added that the MOIS also uses conventional spying in political, military, economic and scientific fields.

This report is cause for concern for European citizens as well as Iranian refugees. The most recent attempt at a terrorist attack by the Iranian regime was aimed at the MEK and NCRI but was set to take place among a large group of people in Paris. This planned attack was similar in scope to ISIS, with the critical difference that this act of terror was planned and implemented by the Iranian regime’s own diplomats and officials in Europe.

 

The closure of the regime’s agencies in Europe, the expulsion of its diplomats, its agents,  and the mercenaries of the MOIS and the Quds Force is urgent and necessary to protect the security of Europe and the Iranian refugees living there.

 

The situation is dire, but the response from the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been silence. The tendency to appease the mullahs and preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is strong, but it leaves Europe vulnerable to other attacks by the regime.

 

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former vice-president of the European Parliament and current president of the Brussels-based International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), wrote this about the European Union’s tendency toward appeasement: “The EU’s eagerness to further unconditional engagements with Iran seems to have only made Europe more vulnerable to state-sponsored terrorism, as Iran has used its ease of access to the European Union countries for espionage and terror plots that jeopardize the lives of European citizens. The EU needs to wake up. We should follow up with the brave actions of our intelligence and police services with firm and decisive political action. We could respond by downgrading our diplomatic relations and expelling agents that are linked to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry in order to prevent more terrorist attacks on European soil.”

Staff Writer

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Supporters of Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, welcome her to the grand gathering of Iranians in Paris- 2016

The Rise of the MEK and Overcoming the Regime’s Smear Campaign.

Supporters of Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, welcome her to the grand gathering of Iranians in Paris- 2016

The large crowd of supporters of MEK, during their grand gathering in Paris-2016

On Tuesday, July 17th, E-International Relations posted an article from Ramesh Sepehrrad entitled, “A Revolution is Brewing in Iran but What Comes Next”. As the title suggests, the article argues that Iran is on the path to a revolution and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) will be an integral part of Iran’s future.

Sepehrrad explores the rise of the MEK, its role in the protests, and its ability to overcome the aggressive smear campaign launched by the clerical regime.

The MEK’s role in Iran’s Protests

Sepehrrad begins the conversation about Iran’s future by looking at the most important players in Iran’s opposition and political landscape. This brings him to the MEK. He writes, “no one can provide an account of Iran’s contemporary political history without reference to the MEK”.

The MEK has been operating in Iran for more than five decades. Sepehrrad points to the MEK as the only group with experience managing a large-scale volunteer force, the only group which possesses extensive international support networks, and the only group with a proven record of challenging inequality and human rights abuses in Iran.

The MEK had a major role in the recent uprisings. Spokespeople for the regime have publicly acknowledged the MEK’s role in inciting protests, as have state news sources, and regime-affiliated intellectuals.

In Kazerun, Sepehrrad says, the protestors slogans were inspired by the MEK. Similarly, following the recent protests in Tehran, which forced the closure of the Bazaar, Iranian security forces issued a statement which read, “many rioters arrested in the unrest have been trained by the MKO [MEK]”. The MEK’s fingerprints have been all over the defining moments which have pushed Iran to the brink of a revolution. The MEK has been a powerful voice and effective mobilizer among the Iranian population. It only seems right that the MEK would be involved in Iran’s future following the fall of the regime.

The view of the Iranian people

Sepehrrad goes on to examine the view held among Iranians towards the MEK. Since the first days of 2018, Iran has been racked with protest and civil disobedience. In response to the growing public unrest, the regime has intensified efforts to publicly vilify the MEK.

In spite of heavy criticism from Iranian state-run media outlets, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and the regime’s lobbies and agents abroad, the MEK has survived, and even expanded and grown its operations, demonstrating extensive support from Iranians both at home and abroad. The reason for its success is that the Iranian population support MEK members. They see the members of the MEK as the “best” Iran has to offer.

The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Over a 100,000 supporters of MEK, gathered in Villepinte-Paris, to voice support for Iran’s main opposition, and a free Iran- June 30, 2018

An intense smear campaign from the Iranian regime has created mixed feelings towards the Iranian leadership. However, as Sepehrrad points out, a pattern has emerged. Groups that have interacted and come into contact with the MEK directly, through intermediaries or family members, have a strongly supportive view of the organization. Those that have negative opinions of the MEK and its leadership have usually not come into contact with the organization directly and are, therefore, more likely to be affected by the extensive smear campaigns in the international and national press.

Refuting the falsehoods about MEK

Sepehrrad briefly explores the lies frequently disseminated by the regime about the MEK and its supporters in an attempt to shed some light on the ugly campaign of hate that the regime has embarked on.

The regime frequently airs the question, “why did the MEK side with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war?” But 15 years after the war, no evidence has emerged to support the claim that it did. The MEK had bases on Iraqi soil at the time, due to the situation in Iran, where the widespread persecution and murder of its members at the hand of the regime had created a domestic climate that forced the MEK to relocate its headquarters. However, this does not amount to siding with Saddam Hussein.

This is just one example of misinformation which is repeatedly printed in state-run media and regime-affiliated publications across the world. The regime’s campaign to vilify the MEK has been relentless. The regime spews the same falsehoods at every opportunity, without offering a shred of evidence to support its claims.

Sepehrrad highlights Ambassador Lincoln Broomfield’s independent assessment in 2011 of the regime’s claims. Broomfield is a former Deputy Assistance Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and undertook a mammoth task of debunking all the regime’s falsehoods and tracing them back to their source. The 94-page report finds that almost every one of the regime’s claims about the MEK can be traced back to a regime representative as the original source.

MEK, after 2016

Sepehrrad singles out a moment in 2016 as the incident which derailed the regime’s smear campaign. Audio recordings of the late Ayatollah Montazeri were leaked to the public by his son. On the tapes, Montazeri berated officials responsible for the 1988 massacre, in which the regime executed 30,000 members of the MEK in a single summer. Montazeri is clearly heard saying, “you cannot eradicate their beliefs by killing them all” and goes on to provide details of the killings.

This had a profound effect on the Iranian youth. It opened their eyes to the fact that the regime routinely lied about the MEK and its involvement in their suppression. Since 2016, the MEK has been able to better connect with the country’s youth, both because of their newfound skepticism for the regime’s misinformation, and because of the MEK’s shrewd use of technology and social media.

The MEK regularly holds Q&A sessions online. It makes the group accessible and open to those who wish to find out more.

This has left the regime scrambling for solutions. The head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Admad Jannati said, “cyberspace is a blow to our life”, acknowledging that the regime is losing the online battle for Iran’s youth.

MEK’s support abroad

The MEK has also successfully expanded its support from the international community in recent years. Its annual Grand Gathering draws in crowds of more than 100,000 supporters, including delegations from North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Among Iranians abroad, the MEK also features prominently in their hopes for Iran’s future. In his piece, Sepehrrad quotes one who said, “let’s hope the MEK can bring this regime down because they are the only one who can”.

The MEK continues to pick up momentum, capturing the hearts of the Iranian youth, both at home and abroad. Despite immense criticism from the regime, the MEK has managed to expand its support base, and emerge as the most effective and viable opposition group in Iran. Those that come into contact with the group, overwhelmingly describe positive experiences.

In the coming months, the MEK will continue to build on its successes and continue its efforts to topple the regime. As Sepehrrad says, the Iranian vehicle is on the road to revolution, and the MEK are in the driving seat, with the map, navigating the country to a brighter democratic future.

Staff Writer

 

 

 

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Washington Times Special Edition on Free Iran Rally

Washington Times Reports on Free Iran Gathering

Washington Times Special Edition on Free Iran Rally

Special Edition of Washington Times on Free Iran Rally- July 2018

July 21st marks the 37th anniversary of the 1981 founding of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This month, the Washington Times published a special section on its website about the NCRI annual Grand Gathering, which took place on June 30, 2018, in Paris. This year’s gathering, titled “Free Iran: The Alternative,” was attended by over 100,000 people, including members of the Iranian Resistance movement, specifically the MEK and the NCRI; dignitaries; diplomats; and politicians from all over the world.

The Grand Gathering included dozens of speeches from these well-known leaders from across the political spectrum offering their perspectives on the NCRI and the MEK as the only viable alternative to the clerical regime currently in power in Iran. The timely series on the Free Iran event by the Washington Times included quotes from many of these speeches.

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, gave the keynote address at the gathering, opening her speech by saying, “[T]he flames of the auspicious and liberating uprising are again rising in Tehran and across Iran.” She praised MEK members who have recently resettled in Albania, challenged anyone who felt they could topple the regime without a plan to do so and outlined her plan for a peaceful transition to a democracy after the fall of the clerical regime.

Rudolph Giuliani, former New York Mayor and advisor to U.S. President Trump, said this:

“You’ve got an alternative that’s built on a solid foundation of 10 principles. Democracy, human rights, a non-nuclear Iran, separation of church and state, and the rights of women and of all minorities to be protected. My goodness, that sounds like a full-fledged democracy. That’s what the NCRI stands for. That’s what Madame Rajavi stands for, and that’s what your martyrs died for.”

 

Former U.S. Congressman Newt Gingrich said this in his speech: “[F]reedom will come. It has been paid for by the blood of patriots. It has been paid for by the sweat of patriots. It has been paid for by those willing to stand up to the dictatorship.”

 

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson spoke directly to the Iranian Resistance: “You are the source of change in Iran. The young people, the women, the resistance, the youth, the young people here. And I want to tell you a lot of people ask, ‘Is there an alternative to the mullahs, to the dictatorship?’ And the answer is, Yes, it’s the resistance. It’s the MEK. It’s Mrs. Rajavi. But it’s you…the power is with you. The power is with everyone in this room and each one of you represents thousands in Iran that are saying, ‘No dictatorship.’ The end is near. The end is near.”

 

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey used his time to speak about the weakness of the regime, saying, “Finally the stars seem to be aligned to accomplish what we all want to accomplish, which is the downfall of the mullahs’ regime.”

 

Retired U.S. General George Casey spoke about the ruling regime in Iran and the need for a democratic alternative: “Iran, through its terrorists on the Quds Force, continues to support terrorism and destabilize not only its neighbors but the entire region, and that’s not normal behavior. And I firmly believe that no government that actively imports and exports terror can be a productive player in the world today. Change must come to Iran.”

 

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh spoke first to the Freedom Fighters in Iran, saying: “We support you, we’re there for you, we can move.”

 

He had an additional message for the criminal mullahs in power in Iran, saying: “We have the ability, and will maintain the ability, to bring those criminals to justice. The day will come when not only democratic change will be brought to Iran, but the criminals who have committed crimes against humanity will fill the criminal courts of the international community. They will be brought to justice.”

 

Frances Townsend, the former Homeland Security Advisor, addressed the women of the Iranian Resistance: “You are the roses of the future that will lead us to a free Iran.”

 

Former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli spoke directly to the mullahs, voicing his support for the MEK and his certainty that the regime would fall: “[Y]ou are in the fighting ring of history. We stand with the people of Ashraf. We stand with the MEK. We stand with the people in the streets of Iran fighting for freedom.”

 

 

A large bipartisan delegation of U.S. Congressmen and women sent letters of support to the NCRI. Among them was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who wrote: “This year, the world has watched men and women bravely stand up for their rights in peaceful protests across the country. Their courage and determination inspire all to recommit to our shared mission, to build a democratic, free and non-nuclear Iran. America stands in solidarity with every Iranian man and woman and child as they fight for the right to speak freely without fear of persecution.”

 

Dr. Bernard Kouchner, former French Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres offered this advice for the Iranian Resistance: “Be brave and clear in offering freedom and democracy. The French are with you.”

 

Martin Patzelt, member of the German Bundestag from the Ruling Christian Democratic Party, praised the Iranian Resistance movement: “It is very well organized and is in a position to bring together all those discontented and freedom-lovers who are still not organized.”

 

Former Canadian Prime Minister and Chairman of the International Democrat Union Stephen Harper expressed the support of the international community for the Iranian people. “You have many friends, as today’s gathering shows, from all around the world, who want a new Iran. An Iran governed not by the hatreds of the past, but by the people’s aspirations for their future. Keep up the fight.”

 

Sir David Amess spoke on behalf of a huge delegation of over 50 British Members of Parliament from both the House of Lords and House of Commons and from all political affiliations. “Madame Rajavi, dear friends, we are here to say we stand with you and the Iranian people as you strive for a better future. And we will continue to support you until Iran is free,” he said.

 

U.K. Member of Parliament Theresa Villiers spoke of her hope for the future for Iran’s brave women: “Let us all hope that one day Mrs. Rajavi is able to put into effect her 10-point plan, and finally we will see an Iran that is free of the brutal repression of the mullahs, free of the cruelty and human rights abuse to which it’s been subjected for far too long, and free at last to pursue a democratic future where men and women have an equal chance to follow their dreams, make their own choices, and succeed in whichever field of life they want to.”

 

Former Senator from the Republic of Colombia Ingrid Betancourt spoke of Maryam Rajavi’s success in organizing the resistance: “Maryam Rajavi’s determination has brought this thousand Ashrafs to life inside Iran. But it is the courage, the sacrifice paid with blood, and the love of those who are fighting in the streets in all the provinces, in all the capitals, and also in Tehran, that will bring this uprising to victory.”

 

Former Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, who also served as Defense Minister and a Member of Parliament in Albania, where thousands of MEK members are currently living in exile, said this about Albania’s decision to provide refuge for the resistance members:“[O]ur choice is to help you. And this is the reason that 3,000 Iranians are sheltered in Albania. They are in our faith, and Albanian faith is a word large, like world. We are waiting to see you soon back in Tehran.”

 

Staff Writer

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Commemoration of 30,000 MEK supporters executed during 1988 massacre of Political prisoners

Regime Change is the Only Way to Bring an End to Iran’s Human Rights Abuses

Commemoration of 30,000 MEK supporters executed during 1988 massacre of Political prisoners

Members of MEK raise photos of some of the fallen heroes and heroins of MEK, for standing to the criminal regime in Iran

The Iranian regime has systematically abused the population to maintain its grip on power. In May 2018 alone, Human Rights organizations have documented 16 executions, five flogging sentences, 17 murders, the beating of protesters, the destruction of homes, and the forceful cutting off of a young girl’s hair for improper veiling.

The United Nations (UN), the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and other human rights groups have collected extensive evidence of widespread human rights abuses under the mullahs’ regime. With no end to the atrocities insight and minimal assistance from the international community, the MEK has outlined its own plan to end the routine human rights abuses.

Crisis Point

The current situation is approaching a crisis point. As the protest movement in Iran intensifies, and the opposition groups get stronger, the regime becomes more repressive and violent. The more Rouhani feels his grip waning, the more violent and aggressive he becomes.

Iran now leads the world rankings in both the number of executions per capita and in the number of child executions per capita. For those that are spared the gallows, their fate is no better. There are more than 74 different forms of torture employed in Iranian prisons.

Under President Rouhani, the situation has deteriorated. Under the brutal regime of the mullahs, more than 120,000 activists mainly supporters of the MEK have been executed. Since Rouhani ascended to the presidency in 2015, over 3,200 people have been executed on various charges, in order to intimidate the public.

A Muted Response from the International Community

The response from the international community has done little to alleviate the plight of the Iranian people. The US introduced its latest round of sanctions at the end of May. However, economic sanctions have been employed in the past, to little effect.

The time for words and economic sanctions is over. Neither has proven effective in improving the human rights situation in Iran. The only way to protect the Iranian population from the bloodlust and barbarism of the mullahs is through regime change.

A Democratic Future for Iran

Understandably, the international community has been reluctant to endorse regime change. Governments fear that an Iran without the regime would quickly descend into chaos and anarchy. When Western governments had a hand in regime change in Libya and Iraq, the outcome left the countries in a chaotic spiral.

However, Iran is not like Iraq and Libya. Iran already has a viable democratic opposition government waiting to fill the power vacuum left behind by the regime. President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, already enjoys support both at home in Iran and from the international community and Western governments.

The NCRI’s ten-point plan is a comprehensive roadmap to a democratic Iran. It includes a detailed outline for the establishment of a peaceful, non-nuclear Iran with a secular government, universal suffrage, and an independent judiciary.

The international community must act now. The rampant executions, murders, beatings, and intimidations must end. The only way to put Iran on the path to peace, democracy, and economic freedom is through regime change. The MEK and the Iranian people need international allies in their struggle for a brighter future. It is time for Western governments to step up and be those allies.

Staff Writer

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Iran Protests a daily scene in Iran

The Message Behind Iranian Regime’s Extreme Actions Against MEK

Iran Protests a daily scene in Iran

A scene of daily protests in Iran, objecting the corrupt and inhumane policies of the dictatorship ruling Iran.

The Iranian regime has made international headlines over the past few weeks, after an attempted terrorist attack on the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition and supporters of the MEK, was foiled when the terrorists were arrested with 500 grams of explosives in Belgium. The mastermind of the planned attack, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat stationed in Vienna, was arrested in Germany and charged with espionage and conspiracy to commit murder for planning the attack.

 

Since the terrorist attack by the regime and its minions was thwarted on June 30th, many articles have been published in international media about the Iranian regime and the reasons for the attack.

 

The regime has repeatedly characterized the MEK as an organization with little power, but its actions prove differently. The regime, in fact, is afraid of the MEK, because it knows that it poses a viable alternative to the clerical regime, which is growing weaker each day. The Iranian regime is not only a government with the moral turpitude to carry out a terrorist act; it is also a government that would dispatch its diplomats to plan a terrorist attack against a resistance organization. This is a government desperate to hold onto power and terrified of the alternative to its rule. The regime is clearly afraid of the MEK and the threat it poses to its tenuous grip on power.

 

The regime took great risks to attempt this attack, and in fact, the attack failed, and an Iranian regime diplomat was arrested, causing massive upheaval within the ranks of the regime leadership and a diplomatic nightmare. For the regime to attempt such a daring terrorist attack and risk embarrassment on an international level, the fear of the MEK must have been great.

 

The MEK has always been the primary target of the mullahs’ ire, as it has been the group most likely to replace the mullahs’ tyrannical rule with democracy and freedom.

 

Recent reports indicate that the regime has resorted to sending its own people to staged rallies by those claiming to be part of the opposition movement. The Jomhouri daily published a report on June 26th about regime operatives infiltrating rallies:

“This crowd (of Khamenei operatives) have become so audacious that a number of them were seen directing a group of people towards the parliament with chants of ‘Long live Reza Shah’ (referring to the Pahlavi dynasty in power prior to the 1979 revolution). They were also escorted by the police. These people are the same group of individuals seen taking part in Friday prayers and the various marches.”

The regime grows more desperate by the day as the Iranian opposition (the MEK), grows stronger. It is clear that the ruling powers are afraid of the resistance. The people are ready for change. The time has come to make that change a reality.

Staff Writer

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