Ashraf 3,Ashraf III,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Struan Stevenson

Book on Ashraf III-MEK residence in Albania

New Book on the MEK and Ashraf III

Book on Ashraf III-MEK residence in Albania

Struan Stevenson Publishes New Book on the MEK and the new residence of the MEK in Albania, Ashraf III .

Struan Stevenson, a former Member of European Parliament representing Scotland and longtime supporter of the MEK, has written a new book, Ashraf III, Rising from the Ashes: Iranian Opposition Terrifies Tehran Rulers. The book, which describes the widespread protest movement currently taking place in Iran that threatens to topple the theocratic regime, also details the regime’s efforts to demonize the MEK over the past forty years and its numerous attempts to destroy the organization through missile strikes, smear campaigns, and terrorist plots.

The book’s main focus is the MEK’s struggle to find a safe haven, first at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, then at Camp Liberty in Iraq, and finally at Ashraf 3 in Albania. Thousands of members of the MEK lived in exile at Camp Ashraf and Liberty from 1986 until 2017. After the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, the MEK camp was targeted by repeated deadly missile strikes. These strikes were ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the behest of the Iranian regime. After years of negotiations and deteriorating conditions, the Albanian government agreed to allow the MEK to move its headquarters to Tirana.

Ashraf 3: A New Beginning

The new MEK camp, Ashraf 3, is home to 3,000 MEK members, all of whom have a personal stake in working toward the goal of a free Iran. These “Ashrafis” have worked tirelessly to a home for the Iranian Resistance.

Struan Stevenson visited Ashraf 3 last year, along with two other MEPs, Tunne Kelam & Jaromir Stetina. The delegation toured the camp and spoke to the residents there about their stories and motivations for working for the Resistance.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Stevenson described Ashraf 3 after his visit last year in a piece for UPI. He wrote: “These hard-working and resilient freedom fighters have constructed a small city with shops, clinics, sports facilities, kitchens, bakeries, dormitory blocks, meeting halls, offices, and studios.”

In his book, Stevenson writes about the efforts the Ashrafis have made to forge relationships with the Albanian community. He emphasizes the resilience of the MEK members in rebuilding their home after decades of attacks by the Iranian regime. Ashraf 3, says Stevenson, serves as a beacon of hope to the 80 million Iranian citizens who pray for freedom from oppression. The people of Iran see the MEK as the only viable democratic alternative to the theocratic regime, and the Ashrafis take this responsibility seriously.

Chaos in Iran

Stevenson’s report describes the current unrest in Iran that has arisen since the widespread uprising by the Iranian people in late 2017. The book details the regime’s response to the protests, which has included a massive crackdown on any political activity. Stevenson discusses the arrests, executions, imprisonment, and intimidation of the Iranian people and the failure of the regime to respond to the concerns of the protesters. He also shows how the regime has increased its efforts to censor social media and access to the Internet, as well as its demonization campaign against the MEK.

Stevenson also criticizes Federica Mogherini, the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs, for her failure to address the regime’s human rights abuses.

Struan Stevenson’s book may be purchased from Amazon.com.
ASHRAF III, RISING FROM THE ASHES: Iranian Opposition Terrifies Tehran Rulers; A European Delegation Report Paperback – February 2019

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Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,Poland Summit,Warsaw Ministerial Conference

Ministerial conference in Poland

The Warsaw Ministerial Conference Must voice support for the Iranian People’s Protests

Ministerial conference in Poland

The Iranian diaspora in the United States, supporters of the MEK, call on the upcoming Ministerial conference in Warsaw to support the Iranian people’s uprising in Iran for regime change.

Ahead of the Warsaw Ministerial Conference, when governments will meet in the Polish capital on the 13th and 14th of this month to discuss the Iranian threat, the Iranian diaspora in the United States took out an ad in the Washington Times.

Fourteen Iranian-American groups, including the Association of Iranian Americans in New York, the California Society for Democracy in Iran, the Members of the Organization of Iranian American Communities, and the Iranian American Community of Massachusetts, took out the whole-page ad to demonstrate the need to hold the Iranian regime to account.

The Iranian People Deserve to Have Their Voices Heard

The Iranian diaspora in the United States call on the upcoming Ministerial Conference in Warsaw to support the Iranian people’s uprising.

The Iranian regime is the world’s leader in executions per capita. Its people suffer gross human rights abuses on a daily basis. In 2018, the regime detained more than 10,000 protestors in Iran. Their crime was merely taking to the streets to demonstrate their political opposition to the regime.

The political opposition living abroad have been the target of the world’s largest state-sponsored terror campaign. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) have been persecuted. In March, an Iranian plot was uncovered to attack their compound in Albania where more than 2,000 live in exile.

Then, in June, at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event where more than 100,000 international politicians and supporters meet in Paris, the Iranian regime orchestrated a plot to detonate a car bomb. The plan was foiled by Belgian authorities when they arrested a Belgian-Iranian couple en-route on the event in a car laden with explosives.

Beyond planning terror attacks, the Iranian regime is also financing terrorist and militia groups across the Middle East. Their finances flow to the coffers of Hezbollah, the Taliban, Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, and militia groups in Iraq.

The People Are Showing Their Anger

The regime’s heinous crimes and destabilizing activities have not gone unnoticed. The Iranian people launched a nationwide uprising at the beginning of 2018. The movement led to protests spreading across 160 cities and towns in the nation in all 31 of Iran’s provinces.

The MEK played a central role in these protests, facilitating communication through resistance units that distributed pamphlets and organized protests.

These protests represented a decisive moment in the opposition movement. The ranks of the protestors swelled to include teachers, students, merchants, farmers, nurses, retirees, investors, factory workers, and truck drivers. Demographics that the regime typically relied on for support have turned against the mullahs and are joining the opposition movement in larger numbers than ever before.

The statement by the Iranian diaspora, published in the Washington Times, expresses two points in bold. “Must voice support for the Iranian people’s uprising for a #FreeIran,” and “must hold Iran’s ruling theocracy accountable for its record.” The regime’s heinous and violent behavior and the momentum the Iranian opposition is building demonstrate the need for both. The mullahs’ current position is untenable. The international community would be well-placed to acknowledge that.

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Tom Ridge

Former US Homeland Security Secretary: The EU “Must Take Steps to Underscore the Existing Regime’s Illegitimacy

 

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge, Rudy Guiliani and Representative Robert Pittenger greet Maryam Rajavi – leader of Iran opposition as she joins them at the annual gathering of the MEK in Paris-June 2015

Tom Ridge, the former US Homeland Security Secretary (2001-2003) reiterated the threat the Iranian regime poses to democracies and called for a coordinated strategy from the European Union (EU) in addressing the Iranian threat. In an article published in the National Interest on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019, Ridge said:

“In January German authorities arrested an Afghan-German dual national for spying on behalf of the Iranian intelligence agency. The incident was far from the first, and only underscored the potential threat lurking behind each new revelation.”

There has been a surge in Iranian state-sponsored terrorism and intelligence operations over the last 13 months. In June, in what surmounted to one of the most high-profile plots, an Iranian diplomat was arrested in connection with a plot to bomb the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering event in Paris.

In March, two regime agents were arrested in Albania after targeting the Iranian opposition group once again. The agents had been monitoring the MEK’s compound outside the Albanian capital of Tirana with the intention of carrying out a terror attack during the Persian New Year celebrations.

Targeting the heart of the Iranian opposition

The MEK has always been the target of the regime’s ire but this has surged since the nationwide protests that broke out in Iran in January 2018. The protests quickly spread to more than 140 towns and cities in all 31 of Iran’s provinces.

The regime holds the MEK, a pro-democracy group, responsible. The MEK was instrumental in the protest’s organisation and communicated the plans with pro-democracy elements across Iran.

The MEK’s effectiveness and its central role in the Iranian opposition movement have made it a target for regime terror attacks. In addition to the Paris and Albania attacks, there have been assassination attempts, and murders carried out against MEK members.

A slow political response

Despite the Iranian regime’s numerous plots to kill and main MEK officials on European soil, the political backlash has been muted. France and Albania both expelled diplomats in the wake of the foiled plots, however, the EU has been reluctant to follow the US in adopting sanctions against the regime, rights Tom Ridge in his article.

The EU announced last month that it would introduce new sanctions targeting a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), but critics “do not believe they go nearly far enough,” Ridges writes.

“We know for a fact that there are ongoing conspiracies to spy on European entities and set the stage for further terrorist attacks,” Ridges asserts, “making it absolutely imperative for the EU and broader international community to address the issue.”

“Any solution must confront the Islamic Republic on multiple fronts,” he continued. The regime is forging closer bonds with extremist groups like the Taliban, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen. If it is sharing the information it has collected through spies in Europe and the US with these groups, the consequences could be catastrophic.

Desperate measures at home and abroad

In addition to the regime’s violent and aggressive activities abroad, it is intensifying its repressive and bloody policies at home.

Following nationwide protests, the regime has launched a crackdown against the political opposition within Iran. The regime has arrested thousands of protestors and executed political prisoners, but the protest movement shows no sign of losing its momentum.

Ridges argues that a coordinated strategy from the international community that attempts to modify the regime’s behavior both at home and abroad is the best way to reduce conflict and increase global stability.

When world leaders meet on February 13th and 14th in Warsaw, Ridges argues, they have the opportunity to construct a coordinated response to Iranian aggression. “The Warsaw summit could go a long way towards developing a coordinated strategy to contain Iran,” he says, “but no strategy would be complete unless it also reaches out to, and coordinates with, Iran’s organized domestic opposition;” the MEK.

Ridges concludes that the EU, “must take steps to underscore the existing regime’s illegitimacy. There is no better way to do that than standing behind the regime’s most active domestic opponents.”

Staff Writer

 

 

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Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson: The Iranian People Have Lost Their Fear

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson, former MEP from Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change

Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), published a piece in the Riyadh Daily news outlet on the shifting global attitudes towards the Iranian regime.

The former MEP outlined how recent state-sponsored terror attacks on European soil have garnered the Iranian regime opponents in the international community. He also traces the development of the protest movement within Iran over the past twelve months and illustrates the increasing uncertainty surrounding the mullahs’ future in power.

A Growing Protest Movement

“The uprising, involving hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens, has raged for more than 13 months in towns and cities across Iran,” he begins. All walks of Iranian life have risked their lives and their freedom to exercise their right to protest the regime’s corruption, pillaging, and brutal use of violence.

 

Struan Stevenson describes how the Iranian regime has “stolen Iran’s wealth, oppressed its 80 million people, over half of whom are under thirty, and waged proxy wars across the Middle East.” “Poverty is widespread,” he says, and “people now struggle to feed their families against a backdrop of power cuts, water shortages, and soaring food prices.”

Protests have racked Iran’s key industries as truck drivers, pensioners, teachers, factory workers, farmers, and investors have taken to the streets to protest the regime’s abuse of power and economic mismanagement.

Instead of taking steps to remedy the dire economic situation, the regime has deployed agents and used its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to quell the protests. Struan asserts that the regime has murdered dozens of protestors and arrested “over twelve thousand,” “but the Iranian people have lost their fear. They are openly demanding regime change,” he added.

Economic Decline

Iran’s economy has been in freefall as the Iranian regime and its Supreme Leader Khamenei has funneled millions of dollars abroad to foreign militias and terrorist groups across the Middle East. The IRGC and Quds Forces are active in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza. In Lebanon alone, the regime pours some $750 million annually, much of it flowing into Hezbollah’s coiffures.

The Iranian people have made it clear that they will no longer foot the bill for these foreign ventures.

The Regime Lashes Out

As its grip on power weakens, the regime has responded by lashing out. In 2018, the mullahs orchestrated a string of terror attacks on European soil against the Iranian opposition. In June, Belgian authorities detained a Belgian-Iranian couple travelling to Paris in a car laden with homemade explosives. An Iranian diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was found to have provided the couple with the explosive material.

There were similar plots planned against the opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), in the US, Albania, Denmark, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

The moves left Iran further isolated on the international stage. In December, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador to the country on the grounds that they posed a significant security risk to the country. “They had been openly plotting assassination and terror activities targeting the 2,500 MEK opposition members” living in the country, Stevenson writes.

The move earnt the Albanian president, Edi Rama, praise from President Trump, who hailed his bravery in the face of Iranian aggression.

Albania’s Decision to Expel Regime Diplomats is Welcomed by the Trump Administration

 

In a display of Iranian isolation, the US government has scheduled a conference to take place in Warsaw in February. More than 90 world leaders will meet in Poland to discuss the Iranian terror campaign and the best way to deal with the Iranian threat.

The Opposition Grows Stronger

Meanwhile, the Iranian opposition is growing stronger. The MEK is present in “virtually every town and city in Iran,” Stevenson writes. These members coordinate protests, distribute leaflets, and world tirelessly opposing the mullahs’ cruelty and corruption in an effort to secure a free Iran.

“It is clear that in the MEK there is a credible opposition movement ready and prepared to restore peace, freedom and justice to Iran’s 80 million citizens,” Stevenson concludes. “The West must recognize this fact and provide their full support to the new revolution.”

 

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Massoud Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the main Iranian opposition to the religious dictatorship ruling Iran

Massoud Rajavi in the words of international dignitaries

 

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the main Iranian opposition to the religious dictatorship ruling Iran

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK), the Chairman and founder of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI)

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK / PMOI) has had a major role in forming the opposition against the religious dictatorship ruling in Iran. Ever since his release from the Shah’s prisons, he started a massive campaign of education to draw a line between the real tolerant and  democratic view on Islam versus the fanatic, and extremist interpretations by the reactionary religious elite that gained the leadership of the 1979 revolution, led by the then Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, who later issued a decree to kill all the supporters and activists of the MEK for that reason.

Massoud Rajavi has been known as the key strategist and leader of the MEK and one of the most popular politicians in Iran’s contemporary history for his dedication to freedom, democracy and standing by the progressive and humanitarian morals the Iranian nation are known for. Below you will find several of many existing quotes by famous politicians that have known Rajavi or have worked with him during the past few decades.

Professor Jean Ziegler, Switzerland, April 2015

Professor Jean Ziegler, Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council

One of the things that impressed me most was the letters exchanged between Kazem (Rajavi) and Massoud (Rajavi) which I happened to receive every once in a while. In reading these letters, one could feel an enormous sense of respect on the part of Kazem for his brother but also a sense of deep love. And a mutual sense of trust that would immediately come to fore. It was all too obvious that there was something far beyond political solidarity and cooperation at work between the two brothers.

There was deep affection between the two, brotherhood and mutual understanding without saying a word. And seeing the two together was much too beautiful. It was the image of genuine fraternity. And I think that Massoud gave a lot of energy to Kazem in his struggle. Today, Massoud remains without Kazem but I am sure that Kazem’s memory is a source of energy not only for us, the ordinary combatants but also for Massoud.

Ché Guevara used to say that martyred revolutionaries never die because they are like stars that will continue to shine on to us for centuries after they die.

 

 

 

François Colcombet, founder of the French Judges Syndicate, June 30, 2018

François Colcombet, former French Parliamentarian and famous politician

Massoud Rajavi was the last political prisoner released from Shah’s jails before the fall of the monarchical regime. Let us remember that he was twice sentenced to death and Khomeini always considered him to be the regime’s No. 1 enemy because Massoud Rajavi was the only one who confronted the mullahs’ religious dictatorship by calling for a democratic revolution. And the death squads are still after him. Today, Massoud Rajavi’s messages continue to inspire freedom-fighters and freedom lovers in Iran and works as their driving force.

 

 

Giulio Terzi, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Giulio Terzi, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Those who embrace a tolerant pluralistic democratic vision for the society must take the lead. That was a conviction deeply rooted in Massoud Rajavi’s political and moral teachings.

Already in 1983, in a period of extreme violence for the Iranian theocratic revolution and repression against all political opponents, Massoud Rajavi described Islam with these prophetic words: A particular characteristic of Islam we believe in is its democratic nature. This Islam recognizes the rights of other religions, opinions, and schools of thought.

 

 

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament, June 22, 2013

You are the beacon of a resistance which never gets tired and that does not need to rely on foreign powers. I commend President Rajavi for her leadership and also wish to salute the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance, Massoud Rajavi. I hope to meet him very soon in a free Iran.

Massoud and his brave followers have become symbols of perseverance and hope in these dark times of moral relativism and dirty pragmatism.

 

 

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament, December 19, 2012

You are the beacon of a resistance which never gets tired and that does not need to rely on foreign powers. I commend President Rajavi for her leadership and also wish to salute the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance, Massoud Rajavi. I hope to meet him very soon in a free Iran.

Massoud and his brave followers have become symbols of perseverance and hope in these dark times of moral relativism and dirty pragmatism.

 

Dr. Ahmad Al-Khattab, Syrian opposition figure

In 1984, thirty years ago in days like this, we came to this place. There were three or four of us Syrians and the oldest among us was national leader Akram Hourani. In front of us was the Iranian national leader, the lion of Iran, Massoud Rajavi. A number of other members of the leadership were by his side. We had a meeting lasting for 2 or 3 hours and we issued a joint statement.

 

Reza Al-Reza, Secretary General of the Jaafari Shiite Delegation of Iraq

The world will see that the Mojahedin are like a firm mountain that is not shaken by the storms of oppressors of history. Massoud Rajavi’s school of thought is against religious and racist regimes and has drawn a red line with these two issues.

 

Senator Jean-Pierre Michel

Senator Jean-Pierre Michel – France

I would like to remind the 1980 article by Le Monde which said if Massoud Rajavi’s candidacy had not been stopped (by Khomeini’s fatwa), he would have won millions of votes and Iran would have seen a different destiny. This is a clear answer to all those who questioned the support your movement and resistance enjoy in Iran.

 

 

 

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield,

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, September 6, 2014

Le Monde said that Massoud Rajavi had he been allowed to run instead of having a secret fatwa calling for his death would have gained millions of votes including the support of all of the ethnic minorities, women and religious minorities as well.

 

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Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,MEK,MEK Abania,MEK Support,Mostafa Tajzadeh,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Mostafa Tajzadeh,

Regime Faction Representative Reveals Coverup of Crime Blamed on MEK

Mostafa Tajzadeh,

Mostafa Tajzadeh, former deputy of the Iranian regime’s interior ministery during Mohammad Khatami’s Presidency, revealing the crimes of the regime during the so called moderate President.

A debate between representatives of Iranian regime factions about the history of the regime and matters of state unexpectedly turned into an admission of guilt for past crimes covered up by the Iranian regime in a recent broadcast on state-run media.

The debate took place between Mostafa Tajzadeh, former Deputy of the Interior Minister during Mohammad Khatami’s presidency (so-called moderate president), and a rival, former MP Alierza Zakani. The debate quickly turned to a discussion of the Iranian regime’s role in two horrific criminal scandals that the regime has previously attempted to conceal and in an attempt to demonize its main opposition had blamed MEK for.

The Chain Murders

The first series of crimes referred to during the debate was a string of more than 80 assassinations of Iranian dissident intellectuals that took place from 1989 to 1998. Khamenei initially claimed that the assassinations, known as the chain murders, were planned and carried out by “foreign enemies,” but subsequent investigations proved that the murders were orchestrated by the Iranian regime and carried out by Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents.

Bombing of the Shrine of Imam Reza

The second crime the two faction members referred to was the 1994 bombing of the Shrine of Imam Reza, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, in Mashhad. The bombing, which was timed to coincide with the holy day of Ashura, killed at least 25 people and injured dozens more. The regime blamed the MEK for the bombing, despite a lack of evidence, and rounded up a number of people who claimed to be part of the Resistance and coerced them into confessing that they had been ordered by the MEK to carry out the attack. These false confessions, which were most likely

The International Committee “In Search of Justice” (ISJ) in a statement dated March 1, 2012, wrote: “Iranian regime has a long history of criticizing the victim instead of the murderer. This regime carried out the murder of Christian priests, the explosion of Imam Reza‘s sacred shrine in 1994 and killings in Mecca in 1988. Later the Iranian officials admitted that they put the responsibility on the opposition to defame them.”the result of torture, were broadcast on state television.

The Debate-Historical confession

During the debate Tajzadeh confessed: “Regarding the chain murders, Mr. Zakani, who has to be exposed? Who was opposed to keeping the issue silent and solving the issue in another way? They suggested to Mr. Khatami to carry out a scheme just like in Mashhad, find two so-called [MEK members] and say they did it. They wanted to extract confessions in ways that they know, and we would execute them.”

The Guardian Spreads the Iranian Regime’s Propaganda

Tajzadeh’s admission is a perfect example of the regime’s technique of committing crimes against its own people and then blaming the MEK for those same crimes. This is a strategy the regime has employed a number of times in its relentless campaign of demonization against the MEK. The goal is to delegitimize the opposition so that it cannot gain support in toppling the ruling regime.

When the MEK had a camp located in Iraq, regime officials claimed that the MEK was responsible for the series of deadly missile attacks carried out by Iraqi proxies of the Iranian regime to dismantle the main opposition to the regime, which eventually forced the residents to flee to Albania. Once the MEK settled into its new home in Albania, the regime tried to bomb its camp there and again claimed that the group had staged the attack itself. After an Iranian regime diplomat was arrested for masterminding a foiled terrorist attack on the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance last summer in Paris, the regime claimed that the MEK was responsible for the attempted attack on tens of thousands of its own supporters. The European Union disagreed and issued sanctions against the MOIS and two of its agents earlier this month. The regime diplomat accused of masterminding the attack is currently standing trial in Belgium.

Iranian Diplomat-Terrorist and Accomplices Arraigned in Belgian Court on Terrorism Charges

The Iranian regime has a long history of perpetrating crimes and then blaming the MEK for those crimes. The recent televised debate is the latest illustration that this strategy is an open secret in Iran.

 

 

 

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Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

The Iranian Opposition Plan Large Rally Ahead of Poland Conference

Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

Free Iran Rally – February 8th, 2019

As a plague of poverty sweeps across Iran, all but wiping out the middle class in its wake, the Iranian regime continues to try and blame the international community for Iran’s economic woes.

Years of economic mismanagement and corruption have hollowed out Iranian industries, caused rampant unemployment, and prompted rocketing inflation. Rather than cause Iran’s economic decline, the international community is finally holding the Iranian regime to account.

A Turning Tide

In early January, the EU introduced its first sanctions against the Iranian regime since the landmark JCPOA agreement. The new sanctions targeted a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as well as two senior officials.

Despite the new sanctions, many in the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), believe that without a full terrorist blacklisting of the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the effect of any sanctions will be severely limited.

Although the sanctions are limited in scope, they do represent a changing tide in the mindset of European governments. For decades, the EU’s heads of state have stuck firmly to a policy of appeasement. But now, after a string of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks plotted on European soil, France and Britain are leading the charge for a firmer stance against Iran.

Amongst the possible actions up for discussion are economic sanctions, asset freezes, and travel bans for senior figures in the Iranian regime.

A senior EU diplomat said, “we’d prefer not to take these measures, but they [the mullahs] need to stop trying to kill people on our territory.”

In 2018, the Iranian regime plotted several terror attacks and assassinations against members of the MEK and other dissident groups living on European soil. Plots were unraveled in Albania, France, Denmark, and the US.

Albanian President Expresses Support for Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats

The Poland Conference

The United States has organized a conference in Poland on the 13th and 14th of February in which the international community will discuss the Iranian threat. The foreign ministries from 90 countries across the globe will attend. International cooperation and support for a firmer stance against the regime are essential for curbing their nuclear ambitions and ending their campaign of terror on European soil.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, said,

“we have always urged western governments to be firm against the mullahs’ terrorist dictatorship. So, today, we urge them to expel the mercenaries of the mullahs’ intelligence services and the terrorist Qods force from the US and Europe.”

The MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have worked relentlessly to draw attention to the human rights abuses taking place across Iran. Ahead of the conference in Warsaw, the Iranian opposition will hold a major demonstration against the Iranian regime’s widespread abuse of human rights and employment of terrorism as a technique of repression.

Rajavi is convinced. She has spoken on the international stage and asserted that the only way to free the Iranian people from the violent and repressive clerical regime is through regime change. Following four failed terror attacks in Europe, any measure short of listing the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist organizations will fall well short of what is needed to eliminate the Iranian threat and bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

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Struan Stevenson speaking at a seminar on situation of human rights in Iran after the recent uprisings.

Struan Stevenson: “The Time is Right For the EU to Follow America’s Example”

Struan Stevenson speaking at a seminar on situation of human rights in Iran after the recent uprisings.

Archive Photo-Struan Stevenson, addressing a symposium at the European headquarter of the United Nations, on the situation of human rights in Iran after the uprising in last December-March 2018

In Mr. Stevenson’s most recent op-ed, he calls time on appeasement and advocates a tougher stance towards the Iranian regime. Writing for UPI, Stevenson says, “it is time for the EU to pull out of the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

As a former Scottish Member of the European Parliament and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, Struan Stevenson is well-versed in the decades-old policy of appeasement Western governments have long adopted towards the Iranian government.

Pro-democratic campaigners have often criticized the deal, which led to the release of $150 billion in frozen assets and saw the lifting of economic sanctions against the clerical regime.

This money, Stevenson argues, enabled the theocratic state to redouble its funding of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the brutal Shi’ia militants in Iraq, etc.

Under president Trump, the US government has recognized the deep flaws in the agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it, “a failed strategic bet that fell short of protecting the American people or our allies from the potential of an Iranian nuclear weapon.” He described how “Iran’s destabilizing behavior has grown bolder under the deal” and asked, “every nation who is sick and tired of the Islamic Republic’s destructive behavior to join our pressure campaign.”

The United State’s “pressure campaign” has seen the withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear deal and the reintroduction of economic sanctions against the Iranian regime. However, Europe has as of yet been reluctant to follow suit.

A Campaign of Terror on European Soil

Europe’s inaction has occurred despite a bloody and ruthless campaign of state-sponsored terror that the Iranian regime has launched on European soil. 2018 saw a string of terror incidents plotted by Iranian regime agents on European soil, the most serious of which saw a Belgian-Iranian couple carry 500 grams of improvised explosives and a detonator to Paris in an attempt to attack members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and their allies.

“Similar terror plots were uncovered in Albania, where Iran’s newly appointed ambassador and first secretary were found to be leading Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents,” Stevenson writes.

MEK members in Europe have been subject to a spate of regime-orchestrated planned terror attacks, indicating a complete lack of respect for the sovereign rights of European nations and total disregard for the safety of European citizens.

Stevenson writes,

“despite clear evidence that Iranian embassies in Europe were being used as terrorist bomb factories, EU lawmakers on July 5… approved plans for the European Investment Bank to do business with the ruling theocracy in Iran.”

No gesture better encapsulates Europe’s dedication to appeasement than this. However, there are signs of cooling attitudes towards the Iranian regime.

Shifting Attitudes

Diplomats from France, the UK, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands held a meeting in Tehran in early January. They reportedly informed senior members of the Iranian leadership that the EU could not tolerate sustained ballistic missile testing and assassination attempts on European soil.

The meeting did not go well. According to Stevenson, Iranian officials stormed out of the room and slammed the door.

Europe’s Sanctions Are Welcome, Now A Change In Policies Is Required.

Stevenson concludes, “clearly the mullahs are deeply perplexed. A state of total confusion has persisted ever since Trump tore up the nuclear deal and re-imposed tough sanctions.” He added, “the time is right for the EU to follow America’s example and pull the plug on the nuclear deal.”

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The time has come to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Lord Clarke: The time has come to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Lord Anthony Clarke, addresses the MEK Free Iran Rally by expressing his support for freedom and democracy to overcome the current dictatorship ruling Iran-July 2016

On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Daily Caller published a piece from the former chair of the UK Labour Party, Lord Anthony Clarke. In his piece, Clarke laments the lack of moderation among the Iranian regime leadership.

Clarke begins, “in February 1979, the people of Iran threw off the rule of one dictator, only to watch as religious extremists installed another.” The Iranian regime which secured power 40-years-ago this year has proven to be just as hard-line as their predecessors, pulling the Iranian population out of the metaphorical frying pan and into a fire.

“In recent years, there has been talk of a trend toward “moderation” among Iran’s leadership,” Clarke writes. However, to interpret current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderate is a misinterpretation of the Iranian political landscape.

Under Rouhani, Iran has continued to undermine stability across the Middle East. The regime has continued to funnel money to terrorist organizations in the region, and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Forces are active in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Clarke describes “the reality of the situation,” which is that while the nuclear deal held Iran’s nuclear activities “partially in check, [Iran’s] overall behaviors were emboldened by what the regime’s opponents tend to call “policies of appeasement.”

These behaviors that have undermined the stability in the Middle East will be the focal point of discussions at an upcoming international conference in Warsaw.

A Firmer Stance from the US

Following Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the Trump administration and the United States government have adopted a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime. The US president accused Tehran of violating the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231 which prohibited the development and testing of ballistic missiles.

Trump and his cabinet have also called out Iran’s role in regional conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

One common theme is the US government’s rhetoric against the Iranian regime has been the plight of Iranian citizens. Nobody has suffered more under the violent, repressive, hard-line policies of the mullahs. Trump has referred to the Iranian people as the “longest suffering victims” of the dictatorship.

A Firmer Stance from Europe?

Clarke draws attention to the recent incidents of state-sponsored terrorism directed against the regime’s opponents on European soil.

In March, two regime agents were arrested after a planned attack against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Albania was foiled. Then, in June, another plot against the MEK, this time targeting the pro-democracy group’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris was scuppered.

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

“The vast majority of these targets were affiliated with the NCRI,” Clarke writes, “whose members already comprise the vast majority of persons who have been murdered by the Iranian regime.”

In 1988, 30,000 MEK/NCRI members were executed in a single summer. No investigation or acknowledgment of wrongdoing has emerged from within the regime. “Quite to the contrary,” Clarke says, “numerous high-ranking officials have been explicitly advocating for greater levels of brutality in their repression of dissent.”

Clarke continues, “the Iranian Judiciary continues to defy the international community over matters like the execution of juvenile offenders and it continues to push for death sentences as punishment for those who have participated in the past year’s nationwide protests.”

Clarke concludes, “although the Trump administration has avoided the phrase regime change, it is sure to use the Warsaw conference to push for policies that trend in that direction. The time has come for what opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said was “imperative to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Staff Writer

 

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Ryszard Czarnecki

The Regime’s Outward Confidence is All Smoke and Mirrors

Ryszard Czarnecki

MEP, Ryszard Czarnecki, the former Vice President of the European Parliament and former Polish Minister.

The former European Minister for Poland and current Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ryszard Czarnecki, published an op-ed in the Eurasia Review ahead of the Warsaw summit.

The op-ed reveals that the Iranian regime’s external bravado ahead of the summit which will focus explicitly on instability in the Middle East is nothing more than bluster.

Czarnecki points to the Iranian regime’s response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calls for an “Arab NATO” to confront and curb Iranian influence in the region. Following the announcement of the Warsaw summit, Ali Shamkhani, the head of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council mocked Pompeo publicly and downplayed the effect of US sanctions.

“When someone who says ‘sanctions with maximum pressure’ is reduced to holding ‘seminars and conferences’, it only means that he has lost the upper hand,” Shamkhani said.

His comments were echoed by the regime’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, who called the summit “a desperate circus”.

A Projection of Strength to Hide Internal Vulnerabilities

“There is certainly no basis for [the] Islamic Republic of Iran to dismiss it [the summit] ahead of time, other than to broadcast a show of strength and unfounded confidence,” Czarnecki writes. “In fact, that is rather transparently the intention behind… Iran’s response. And it betrays the fact that it is the regime, not the US or any of its allies, that is “desperate” and “confused”.”

The Iranian regime is in the grip of intense internal unrest and international scrutiny. A wave of protests, organized by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), has engulfed the country. Following a spate of foiled terror attacks on European soil, Iranian diplomatic activities abroad are under the microscope, and US sanctions are starting to ripple across the Iranian economy.

The French government initially imposed sanctions on Iran after Belgian authorities foiled a state-sponsored terror attack due to being carried out in June on the outskirts of Paris. Then, in the wake of an assassination attempt carried out by regime agents against a dissident in Denmark, the Danish government pressured the EU to adopt sanctions against the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), which it subsequently did.

There is a distinct sense across the international community that the decades-old policies of appeasement towards to the mullahs from both European and US leaders are coming to an end.

This has been celebrated among the Iranian resistance. The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, commended the West taking steps towards “rectifying and ending the disastrous policy of appeasement.”

With appeasement slowly dying, the Iranian regime finds itself increasingly isolated. Czarnecki writes, “in direct contrast to the narrative being peddled by Iranian officials, it strengthens the White House’s “upper hand.””

While it is still unclear over the extent of European nations’ participation in the Warsaw summit, and their role in a broader anti-Iran coalition headed by the United States, Czarnecki concludes, “most of the current evidence points to that shift being embraced as [a] model for Western democracies and Iran’s global adversaries. But until that happens, the possibility remains that Iran’s propaganda about successful defiance of Western power— presently just a fantasy— could become real in the face of European inaction.”

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