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Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Former US Ambassador Joins Calls for MOIS Terror Designation

Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Ambassador, Ken Blackwell speaks with the Media about Iran policy, July 9th, 2016

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Ken Blackwell wrote an op-ed in Townhall, the conservative US news and analysis site. Blackwell’s piece, entitled ‘America’s Assertive Iran Policy Must Continue’, called on the US government to maintain pressure against the Iranian regime and confront Iranian aggression with a focused campaign of financial and diplomatic efforts.

Blackwell began by praising the Trump administration’s Iran policy, however, expressed concerns about the pace of its progress.

He lamented the fact that it took the US government until May of 2018 before the Trump administration withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, despite it being a campaign promise. He also mentioned the year delay between withdrawing from the deal and ending the waivers granted to countries importing Iranian oil.

Unprecedented Assertiveness

Despite the slow pace of change, Blackwell said that “The administration’s strategy for dealing with Iran and facilitating comprehensive change in its behavior has moved from merely ‘assertive’ to ‘unprecedented’,”.

Of particular note for Blackwell was the decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. The previous US and European governments deliberated but ultimately elected not to apply the designation to a branch of the “Iranian government”, instead, selecting to sanction individuals within the IRGC instead of the organ itself.

This was a mistake. The IRGC is one of the Iranian regime’s pillars of repression. It also controls around 90% of the Iranian economy through affiliated companies and has been instrumental in the Iranian government’s ability to circumvent sanctions and funnel money to terrorist and militia groups abroad.

Going One Step Further

The move was also welcomed by the Iranian opposition. At a press conference in Washington DC, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)  welcomed the designation. The pro-democracy groups urged the US government to consider going one step further and designating the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as another foreign terror organization.

The argument is gaining some traction. Blackwell also supports the move. “While the IRGC has a long track record of terrorist activity on foreign soil and support for well-known terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has been directly linked to the planning of bombings and assassinations,” he said.

Last year alone, the MOIS was responsible for organizing terror attacks and assassinations in the US, Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. Using its network of Iranian embassies on foreign soil, the MOIS has constructed a network of espionage and terror that has crept across Europe.

Although each of the 10 plots was foiled by European and US agencies, several came close to wreaking untold death and destruction on the European populace. In one incident, the MOIS attempted to detonate a car bomb at the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)’s annual Grand Gathering Event in Paris. The event featured 100,000 distinguished guests, including MEK supporters across Europe and high-profile political figures like Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

More is Needed

Blackwell’s piece described how, although the US government is making unprecedented progress towards neutralizing the Iran threat, more is needed to bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

Existing sanctions reportedly helped bring about a 10% decline in the Iranian regime’s military expenditure. However, “Iranian entities are still clearly threatening Western lives and territory,” Blackwell writes. “We cannot afford to take it for granted that this trend has gone far enough, or that it will continue naturally.”

Blackwell concluded: “The international community must keep its focus on the positive effects of preexisting economic pressures, all the while wisely targeting new measures against those Iranian entities whose violent threat has yet to be addressed.”

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Iran's Petrochemical Industry

Trump Considers More Aggressive Enforcement of Iranian Sanctions

Iran's Petrochemical Industry

Iran’s petrochemical Industry’s revenue fills the coffins of the Supreme Leader and the IRGC to be used for terrorist activities and to fund terrorists.

On Thursday, May 2, the Wall Street Journal published claims made from US officials that President Donald Trump is considering pushing for more rigid enforcement of his sanctions against the Iranian regime. The Trump administration reintroduced economic sanctions against the Iranian regime last year in an attempt to restrict its access to US dollars and reduce its ability to finance terrorist groups across the globe.

The officials cited petrochemical sales to Singapore and the sale of consumer goods to Afghanistan as two revenue sources Trump is particularly interested in restricting.

Spending Revenues on Terror

Under the current Iranian dictatorship, the regime leadership has expanded the Iranian petrochemical industry. It has brought most of the Iranian market under the control of regime-affiliated groups, including the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) which was recently added to the US terror blacklist.

This has allowed the IRGC and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to use these revenues to finance terror and militia groups across the Middle East and beyond. The IRGC’s proxy forces have been found operating in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

Former MOIS chief, Ali Fallahian, described on Iranian state TV how the mullahs had diversified the Iranian economy to increase its spending on warmongering and terrorism.

“Many people, including Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader were insisting that the country should not be totally dependent on oil. So we decided to build the petrochemical industry in Iran. We had $16 billion income from exporting oil at that time. We planned on the export of petrochemical goods and another $16 billion income came from this. Of course, this was back then, now it is much more,” he said.

The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) recently wrote that according to some experts, Ali Khamenei controls over 90% of the petrochemical industry in Iran. The companies sell petrochemical products to foreign companies in exchange for foreign currencies. They then transfer these currencies through regime-affiliated exchange companies to their intended recipients.

Struan Stevenson: “Eighty Million Iranians Have Lost Their Fear”

These companies can transfer vast sums of cash. Some estimates put these transactions in excess of US$10 billion. These funds, once in the IRGC’s possession, are used to repress the Iranian population within Iran, or funneled to militias and terror groups outside the country.

The US and its European allies have a responsibility to disrupt and prevent the flow of funds from the Iranian regime to its terrorist affiliates abroad. The enforcement of rigid sanctions is one way of doing so. These sanctions are necessary to enhance global stability, reduce the export of terrorism and end the Iranian regime’s malign and nefarious activities across the Middle East and beyond.

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MEK- Iran: Fox News Covers NCRI Press Conference From Washington D.C.

Press Conference on ’Iran’s Emissaries of Terror’

NCRI-US press briefing on the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s role in terror in the U.S. and Europe

Fox News, covered the press briefing of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – U.S. representative office in Washington D.C. and called for blacklisting the Iranian regime Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and for the European nations to close their Iranian embassies in the interests of national security.

In an article on the Fox News website, Adam Shaw reported on an address by Alireza Jafarzadeh, the Deputy Director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He told reporters at a press conference in Washington D.C. this week, “What we are calling for is closing the Iranian regime’s embassies.” He added: “These diplomatic relations have allowed the regime to plot terrorist attacks and assassinations in the West.”

Fox News wrote:

“Iranian-backed plots have surged in recent years, particularly in 2018, when the NCRI logged 10 instances of terror plots or terror-related arrests against Iranian officials. The most significant was the foiled plot to bomb an annual gathering of Iranian dissident groups (under the umbrella of the NCRI) in Paris last year — an event that was attended by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. An Iranian diplomat based in Vienna was one of four arrested for the plot.”

A Network of Spies and Terrorists

The Iranian opposition group has written extensively on the Iranian regime’s use of embassies abroad to coordinate terror attacks against their political opponents.

In 2018 alone, authorities in Europe and the US foiled terror attacks or arrested Iranian agents on 10 separate occasions. Many of the attacks were planned against the MEK, the largest opposition group. Among the countries affected were the US, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Albania.

In one of the most nefarious plots, the Iranian regime planned to detonate a bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris. The event drew an attendance of more than 100,000 politicians, journalists, and activists from across the globe, including President Trump’s personal lawyer, former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani Issues Statement in Wake of Failed Terrorist Attack on NCRI Gathering

An Iranian diplomat working out of the regime’s embassy in Vienna allegedly provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with 500g of explosive material and detailed instructions of how to carry out the attack. The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was working for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and was tasked with coordinating attacks against the MEK in Europe.

The incident in Paris was one of several high-profile assassinations and terror attacks. In July, the Dutch government expelled two Iranian diplomats accused of orchestrating the murder of two Iranian dissidents living in the Netherlands. A similar incident occurred in Denmark when authorities exposed a plan to murder another opposition activist.

The European Union imposed sanctions against the regime in January 2019, following the spate of incidents.

Europe Still Reluctant to Take a Firmer Stance Against the Iranian Regime

Despite the string of terror plots exposed on European soil, the European Union has still been reluctant to take a firmer stance against the Iranian regime.

It has fallen to the US president to lead the charge against the bloodthirsty dictatorship in Iran, a mantle he has taken up with gusto. Last month, the Trump administration announced the inclusion of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on its foreign terror list (FTO).

The listing, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, criminalizes any American provides assistance, whether financial, physical or advice, to the organization. Given the IRGC controls 90% of the Iranian economy, it will have significant repercussions for any company of individual conduction business in Iran.

In his statement, Mike Pompeo said: “This is an effort by the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran – the president, Rouhani, who’s the president of Iran, is permitting to take place, where they’re going to Europe and killing people on European soil. This is unacceptable.”

Where Next?

In its press conference, the NCRI took the opportunity to call on European governments to follow the US’s lead and designate the IRGC as a terror organization. It also urged European nations to close Iranian embassies on their soil to limit the Iranian terror capabilities and disrupt the web of Iranian terrorism and espionage that has spread across Europe in the last 12 months.

Jafarzadeh also called on the United States to take measures to ensure the Iranian regime doesn’t divert funds away from the IRGC into the MOIS. It urged the Trump administration to follow up its IRGC designation by adding the MOIS to its FTO list. In doing so, it would ensure the maximum disruption to the Iranian terror machine.

John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Advisor, told journalists, “[The policy] is to put maximum pressure on the regime to change its behavior, and I think it’s working, and I think that’s what they’re worried about.”

The US’s maximum pressure policy is having its intended effect. Now it is time to tighten the screws and further limit the finances and resources at the regime’s disposal.

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Washington Times reflection of the NCRI-US press briefing

Former US Ambassador to Bahrain: “This is About Life and Death”

Washington Times reflection of the NCRI-US press briefing

The Washington Times published an article on the recent press briefing by the National Council of Resistance of Iran – U.S. representative office, on the Inner Workings of Tehran’s terror network.

The Washington Times published a piece on Wednesday, May 1, covering the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) press conference in Washington D.C.

The Deputy Director of the NCRI’s US operations, Alireza Jafarzadeh, is quoted in the piece pushing for the US government to take a firmer stance against the bloody and violent Iranian regime. In the press conference, Jafarzadeh urged the United States to add the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to its terror blacklist.

An Instrument of Terror

The MOIS has been behind many of the mullahs’ state-sponsored terror attacks planned across the globe. In 2018 alone, the Iranian regime orchestrated 10 separate terror attacks in countries like France, Albania and the US.

The MOIS uses diplomatic buildings in Europe as cover to send terror agents into the countries. In one incident last year, a diplomat working out of the regime’s Austrian embassy provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material. The couple’s target was the annual Grand Gathering of the largest Iranian opposition group in Paris.

“It is a clear sign of desperation. … The policy of [Iranian] appeasement had failed,” Jafarzadeh said. In response to increasing international isolation, the Iranian regime has increased its global terror activities.

“If [the U.S.] wants to fight terrorism, you designate the MOIS” as a terror organization, Jafarzadeh told reporters. Other notable terror groups on the US foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist include al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, etc.

Progress Under Trump

The strong progress in Iran policy under Donald Trump has not been lost on the NCRI and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). The Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the failing Iran nuclear deal, re-introduced economic sanctions, and listed the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

These moves have restricted the regime’s cash flow and brought enormous pressure against the Iranian regime to return to the bargaining table.

This has been the objective according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He told reporters, “We’re going to zero across the board. Our goal has been to get countries to cease importing Iranian oil altogether.”

A Matter of Life and Death

“This is not theoretical mumbo-jumbo, this is about life and death,” former US Ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli said on Wednesday. The Iranian regime’s persistent use of terror and intimidation as a tool of statecraft is a danger to global peace and stability.

The US must respond with strength and place the MOIS on its terror blacklist. Until it does so, it will continue to raise funds and coordinate devastating attacks across the West. It is a matter of life and death for every member of the Iranian opposition living abroad in exile, but also for the citizens of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US, who are at risk of being caught up in a deadly Iranian terror attack.

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The NCRI Holds a Press Conference in Washington D.C. On the Iranian Terror Threat

The National Council of Resistance of Iran – U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US) holds a press briefing to release a new book, Iran’s Emissaries of TerrorHow mullahs’ embassies run the network of espionage and murder.– May 1, 2019

On Wednesday, May 1, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference at its Washington DC bureau to introduce its new book “Iran’s Emissaries of TerrorHow mullahs’ embassies run the network of espionage and murder”. The opposition group’s Deputy Director of the US operations, Alireza Jafarzadeh addressed journalists and briefed them on what the book cover, the Iranian regime terror threats in the U.S. and the EU.

He began by addressing the recent surge in Iranian state-sponsored terror operations in 2018. “There were 10 instances of terrorist operations in 2018,” he said, “a sharp surge compared to earlier years.”

In 2018 alone, the Iranian regime coordinated terror attacks or assassination attempts in France, the US, Albania, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The attacks were enough for the French and Albanian governments to expel Iranian diplomats. The US also arrested two Iranian agents accused of planning an attack against the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), an opposition pro-democracy group.

Centralized Power

Jafarzadeh went on to describe the Iranian power structure. “There are five major decision-makers in Iran, but ultimately everything boils down to the Supreme Leader, Khamenei,” he said. This includes the final say on the terror plots, the decision to send agents to abroad under the cover of journalists, and the decision to carry out assassinations against MEK members living abroad in exile.

“Embassies provide cover to the MOIS to allow them to exploit diplomatic immunity & diplomatic pouches in order to carry out terrorist attacks. When terrorists are caught, their job is to explain it away and get their terrorists back to Tehran,” Jafarzadeh explained.

Jafarzadeh explained how the Security Council in Iran, which includes the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, is responsible for coordinating terror plots alongside the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

“Zarif should have been arrested once he arrived in NYC because he has been involved in terrorist activity for years,” he said.

Previous Iranian foreign ministers have also been implicated in the state-sanctioned terror apparatus. Ali Akbar Velayati, the former foreign minister, is wanted for his involvement in coordinating terror plots in Europe and Argentina.

The Moderate Myth

The implication of the senior leadership of the Iranian regime in state-sponsored terror attacks exposes the myth of the regime moderates. In the West, Hassan Rouhani and Javad Zarif have been held up as moderate elements in the regime, worthy of US and European cooperation and support.

A so-called “moderate” would not sit on a Security Council whose sole purpose is to coordinate terror attacks on foreign soil. “Javad Zarif puts on a smiley face but his hands are bloody,” Jafarzadeh said at the press conference. “His job at the United Nations was to explain away the massacre of political prisoners. His job was to cover up the murders of the Iranian regime,” he added.

The Next Step

For Jafarzadeh and the NCRI, the next step in confronting the Iranian regime’s export of terrorism is for the United States to include the MOIS on the Foreign Terrorist Organization(FTO) list. He said this would send “a very strong message to the Iranian regime: if you sponsor terrorism, we are going to treat you like terrorists.”

Jafarzadeh concluded: “What we are calling for is closing the Iranian regime’s embassies. These diplomatic relations have allowed the regime to plot terrorist attacks and assassinations in the West.”

He added: “No country should be allowed to buy Iranian oil.” And called for the imposition of increasingly strict sanctions to deprive the regime of oil revenues to spend on its terrorist activities.

“But the real solution for the Iranian regime,” he said, “is not just sanctions. The real cure is regime change by the people of Iran.”

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Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson: “Eighty Million Iranians Have Lost Their Fear”

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson, the former MEP, considers the #IRGC FTO designation by the U.S. a further nail in the coffin for the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran.

The former member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson published an op-ed in the Scotsman. In the piece, entitled ‘Donald Trump is intent on Downfall of This Fascist Regime’, Stevenson welcomes the US governments recent pressure on the Iranian regime and describes how ordinary Iranians are increasingly turning away from the regime and protesting its mismanagement of Iranian resources and rampant human rights abuses.

“Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the temporary waivers that had enabled countries like Iraq, Turkey, India, Japan, and China to continue purchasing Iranian oil without breaching US sanctions has hammered the final nail into the mullahs’ coffin,” Stevenson writes.

The decision constricts the flow of finances into the mullahs’ coffers and prevents them from increasing their spending on repressive mechanisms and efforts to destabilize other Middle Eastern nations.

The Iranian regime, through its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), has funneled money to the militia and terrorist groups across the Middle East and beyond. Its proxies have been active in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. The abrupt end of its oil exports will reduce its ability to provide these financial resources to groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Tightening the Pressure

Stevenson describes how President Trumps decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement signed under Obama and reintroduction of economic sanctions against the Iranian dictatorship is putting increased economic strain on the regime. “the Iranian economy was already in freefall,” he writes, “with the rial collapsing and inflation soaring against a background of nationwide protests.”

The US government’s most recent move to isolate the Iranian regime and cut off the resources at its disposal was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week. Pompeo revealed that the US would add the IRGC to its international terror blacklist.

The listing will effectively make it a crime for any US citizen or organization to provide advice, services, assistance, money, or resources to the IRGC. Given the IRGC controls around 90% of the Iranian economy, “it will be virtually impossible for anyone to trade with Iran without breaching US sanctions or facing severe penalties for dealing with a listed terrorist organization,” Stevenson predicted.

The Next Step

For Stevenson and the Iranian opposition including the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), the US must go further and add the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to the same foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist.

The MOIS coordinates Iran’s elaborate global network of spies and terrorists. Last year it was behind a number of failed attacks in the US, France, and Albania, the most severe of which was thwarted when a Belgian-Iranian couple was found carrying 500g of homemade explosives destined for the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris. An Iranian diplomat had provided the couple with the explosive device along with precise instructions of where and how to coordinate the attack on the Iranian opposition group and its allies.

While disaster was narrowly averted, for the more than 100,000 attendees, including President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, it was undoubtedly a traumatizing ordeal.

In a similar incident, Albanian President Edi Rama expelled the Iranian Ambassador and his First Secretary. The president cited national security concerns, suggesting that the pair posed a risk to Albanian security and the country’s inhabitants.

“Once again, these ‘so-called’ diplomats were revealed as trained MOIS agents who had been plotting bomb attacks and assassinations of regime opponents in Albania,” Stevenson writes.” There are growing demands for Iran’s embassies, which are clearly being used as bomb factories and terrorist cells, to be closed down throughout the EU.”

An Increasingly Angry Public

At home, the international isolation of the regime is becoming a source of frustration for the Iranian public. Protests rack Iran’s cities on a near daily basis, with the Iranian population calling explicitly for regime change.

The public is demonstrating. They will no longer tolerate the regime’s violence, economic mismanagement, and lies. They chant, “the enemy is here, not in America!”

“They have watched as the elderly, bearded, misogynistic mullahs have corruptly enriched themselves while also sponsoring international terrorism and proxy wars,” Stevenson writes. They will no longer stand by while Iranian finances are funneled to despots and terrorists abroad.

In response to the growing protest movement, the mullahs have sent the IRGC, its main repressive organ, to silence and arrest protestors. Several of those arrested have been tortured to death in regime custody. Many more languish in squalid conditions in Iranian prisons and are subject to show trials and routine beatings.

In the wake of recent flooding, the mullahs even resorted to contracting foreign mercenaries to silence protestors and quell public dissent. Rather than make the IRGC’s helicopters, boats, and shelters available to the Iranian public, they withheld them, leaving the public to organize relief and rescue efforts themselves.

A Tipping Point?

“Eighty million Iranians have lost their fear,” Stevenson writes, “they have watched as the appeasement policy of the Obama administration and his EU allies has been consigned to the dustbins of history. They long for the freedom, justice, human rights, women’s rights, an end to the death penalty, an end to the nuclear threat and the restoration of a secular democracy that is being offered by the main and best-organized opposition movement, the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK).”

With the US president taking a firmer approach against the brutal dictatorship in Iran, the Iranian public feel empowered to protest and defy the regime’s tyranny. MEK resistance units are active across Iran offering hope and opposing the regime’s crimes wherever they occur.

Stevenson concludes: “The Iranian population now recognizes that they have support in the West. They know that the US administration will continue to turn the screw until this evil regime is replaced and peace and stability in the Middle East and worldwide can be restored.”

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Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Former MEP Urges the US to Increase Pressure on the Iranian Regime

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Archive photo: Struan Stevenson, former MEP, and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), speaking at the Geneva Conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

The former member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson published an op-ed for UPI on Thursday, April 25. He used the opportunity to urge the US government to maintain its application of financial pressure on the Iranian regime and end its reign of violence and tyranny.

Stevenson called President Trump’s decision to end waivers for Turkey, Iraq, India, Japan, and China that permitted them to continue purchasing Iranian oil “the final nail” in “the mullahs’ coffin.” For Stevenson, this was a necessary move to slash Iranian oil exports closer to “zero” goal.

He also welcomed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of the US’s inclusion of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) on the US terror blacklist. Stevenson predicted that the move would drastically restrict the funds available to the Iranian regime.

“The IRGC controls almost 90 percent of the Iranian economy, so it will be virtually impossible for anyone to trade with Iran without breaching US sanctions or facing severe penalties for dealing with a listed terrorist organization,” he writes.

The Next Step

Stevenson outlines the next step for President Donald Trump. This would be the addition of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) on the same foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist.

“In June last year, a trained MOIS agent posing as an Iranian diplomat from its embassy in Vienna was arrested by German police and charged with handling a bomb to two other MOIS agents, instructing them to detonate it at a peaceful opposition rally in Paris,” he wrote.

The trained MOIS agent was Assadollah Assadi. He was working out of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Vienna.

Then, in December, the Albanian prime minister announced the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador and his first secretary. Edi Rama told his Albanian people that the pair posed a risk to the country’s national security. “Once again, these so-called diplomats were revealed as trained MOIS agents who had been plotting bomb attacks and assassinations of opponents of the regime in Albania,” Stevenson writes.

Freeing the Iranian People from the Shackles of the Regime

The Iranian public welcomed the IRGC listing with earnest. They are organizing protests against the mullahs and their bloody regime on a daily basis. This week, teachers and construction workers marched in Iran’s streets, next week it could be truck drivers, students, pensioners, farmers, investors, or any other segment of Iran’s repressed population.

“Iranians are sick to death of the repression and brutality they have been forced to suffer for four decades under the medieval fascist dictatorship,” Stevenson claims. At the heart of their grievances is the regime’s decision to spend Iranian funds on proxy wars and militia groups in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. At protests, chants of “forget Syria, forget Hezbollah, what about us?” ring out.

The mullahs use the IRGC as a tool of repression. They send the IRGC to crush protests and arrest dissidents. Following the nationwide uprisings orchestrated by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in early 2018, the regime arrested thousands of protestors. At least 14 died in regime custody under conditions of torture.

The most recent protests have focused on the regime’s inaction in the wake of recent flooding. Protestors denounced the regime’s inaction after flooding left at least 250 dead and many more without access to food and water. Instead of making the IRGC’s resources available to the rescue effort, including boats, helicopters, and shelter, the regime deployed mercenaries to keep civil order and prevent protests. Meanwhile, the Iranian people suffered.

“Some 80 million Iranians have lost their fear,” Stevenson writes, “They long for the freedom, justice, human rights, women’s rights, an end to the death penalty, an end to the nuclear threat and the restoration of a secular democracy that is being offered by the main and best-organized resistance movement, the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK).”

Resistance units across Iran are capturing the national sentiment, organizing protests, opposing regime violence and human rights abuses, and proudly displaying posters of the Iranian opposition’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi.

Stevenson concludes, “The Iranian population now recognizes that they have support in the West. They know that the U.S. administration will continue to turn the screw until this evil regime is replaced and peace and stability in the Middle East and worldwide can be restored.”

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Raisi a mass murderer

Regime Judiciary Chief Deserves Condemnation for His Role in 1988 Massacre, Says British Website

In a new article on the British website Express.co.uk, Shahin Gobadi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee argued that newly-appointed regime Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi should face international condemnation for his role in the mass execution of 30,000 political prisoners during the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

In the Thursday interview with the British website, Gobadi laid out the case against Raisi. He said: “Ebrahim Raisi, [was] a member of the Death Committee in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority of whom were activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) in 1988. Raisi is also a devoted supporter of the regime supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, Gobadi emphasized.

“Raisi should be subject to international prosecution for committing crimes against humanity in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 and tried for the genocide of MEK members.

“His appointment as the highest judicial authority of the clerical regime signals a hard turn to even more repression by the clerical regime against the Iranian people and resistance.

“In addition to committing a major crime in the 1988 massacre, Raisi is a low ranking cleric without adequate religious credentials.

“He is under the control of Khamenei and has been serving in the regime’s repressive agencies since the age of twenty.

Taken from the Social Media, widely used during campaigns upon Raisi’s appointment to the highest Judicial position under the mullahs’ rule.

“Raisi’s appointment by Khamenei proves once again that as the head of the crisis-stricken theocratic regime, he finds no other solution than a hard turn towards further repression in order to contain the growing crisis that the regime faces.

“Khamenei thus wants to barricade his clerical regime against the uprising of the Iranian people and their organized resistance for justice and freedom in Iran.”

The 1988 Massacre

During the summer of 1988, in the final months of the Iran-Iraq War, then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the executions of all MEK members currently imprisoned in Iran. Over the course of a single summer, political prisoners were marched in front of “Death Committees” and sentenced to death in trials that lasted only minutes. Prisoners were asked if they renounced their allegiance to the MEK. Anyone who said no was sent immediately to the gallows, where people were executed in groups. 30,000 people were executed in the summer of 1988.

 

To date, none of the perpetrators responsible for the massacre have been held accountable. The regime has blocked all attempts to investigate the executions and has gone as far as to destroy mass graves of victims to cover up evidence of their crimes.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Role in the Massacre

Ebrahim Raisi sat at the head of Tehran’s Death Committee and personally sent thousands to their deaths. An audiotape surfaced in 2016 that provided insight into the brutality of the crime against humanity in which Raisi participated. In the recording, then Deputy Supreme Leader Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri can be heard expressing remorse over the mass executions. He is heard saying that “pregnant women and 15-year-old girls” were among those executed and that the mass executions were the “biggest crimes committed by the Islamic Republic.”

Raisi is the second former Death Committee member to later be appointed to the position of Judiciary Chief in Rouhani’s “moderate” regime. Meanwhile, family members of victims of the massacre are prevented from publicly honoring their relatives, and their graves continue to be destroyed by a regime that mocks their loss by installing mass murderers in the Ministry of Justice.

Raisi was also recently named to the mullahs’ Assembly of Experts. He is widely considered to be a favorite to succeed Khamenei as regime Supreme Leader.

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Iran Protests,Mahmoud Alavi,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK resistance units,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Zarif and Alavi during Tehran's security conference

Tsarism Op-Ed Challenges the Regime’s Claim of “116 Resistance Units” Arrested

Zarif and Alavi during Tehran's security conference

Regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and regime’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, during a security conference in Iran. A close relationship between the two Ministries both inside and outside Iran

Tsarism, a news and analysis site, published an op-ed on the Iranian intelligence minister’s claim that the regime has arrested and “dealt with” 116 resistance units. The announcement came after the US State Department announced the inclusion of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on its terror blacklist.

The regime has been rallying around its IRGC in recent weeks, with regime officials turning up to a parliamentary session wearing IRGC uniforms in a gesture of solidarity. It has also attempted to downplay the listing, asserting that the foreign terror organization (FTO) listing would not impact the group.

Dealing with 116 MEK Resistance Units

In an attempt to boost the morale of the IRGC and other repressive units, the Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi announced during Friday prayers last week that the regime had arrested and “dealt with” 166 resistance units as part of “national security efforts”.

He said: “Over the past year, we have confronted 116 [resistance] units affiliated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq organization [the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK / PMOI)].” He claimed that this crackdown had come from the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei himself.

An Underestimation

Following the announcement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI), the umbrella organization of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), claimed that Alavi’s estimate was an underrepresentation of the true figure. It asserted that the number of arrests was far higher than those Alavi claimed, suggesting that he may have omitted units and MEK members arrested by the IRGC’s Intelligence and Information Protection branches.

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to arrange for an international delegation to visit the arrested activists currently detained in Iranian regime prisons. Alongside her calls, the MEK and NCRI published a list of prisoners currently in regime custody.

The Iranian opposition and the MEK have long called on the international community to scrutinize the Iranian regime’s arbitrary arrests and torture against political dissidents. Following the nationwide uprisings that broke out at the end of 2017 and early days of 2018, 14 prisoners died in regime custody. Many died during torturous interrogations.

More Determined Than Ever

Despite the daily persecution and constant threat of arrest, MEK resistance units are more committed than ever to confronting the regime and challenging its reign of tyranny and violence. On April 18, resistance units set fire to IRGC bases across Iran.

The op-ed assessed that “the resistance units are one of the most important parts of the Iranian people’s revolution, and they are playing their historical role in various methods.”

It concluded: “By organizing and leading the Iranian uprising in an effective manner, resistance units are injecting hope and new life into society.”

Staff writer

 

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Iran Terrorism,IRGC BlackListing,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Alireza Jafarzadeh

Deputy Director of the NCRI’s US Office Examines the IRGC’s FTO Designation

Alireza Jafarzadeh

Alireza Jafarzadeh during an NCRI press conference in Washington on 27 April 2017. During this conference, Jafarzadeh based on first-hand information exposed the continuation of the Iranian regime’s nuclear activities despite the nuclear agreement by the IRGC affiliated officials in SPND.

Alireza Jafarzadeh of the National Council of Resistance of Iran penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on Sunday, April 21. Entitled ‘Iran’s guard gets a long-overdue but much-deserved terrorist designation’, the piece examines the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and analyses the recent designation of the group as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the US State Department.

Jafarzadeh began by welcoming the designation. “This is a major step towards effectively countering Tehran’s systemic use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” he said.

The IRGC Meets the State Department’s Criteria

In order for an entity to be eligible for inclusion in the US government’s terror blacklist, it must meet the State Department’s criteria:

  • It must be a foreign organization.
  • It must engage in acts of terrorism or retain the capability and intent to engage in acts of terror.
  • It must threaten American nationals or the national security of the United States.

Jafarzedah states that IRGC adequately meets these three criteria. “It is the core apparatus of repression, the primary driver of war and export of terrorism, and it runs Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile projects,” he writes.

The Move was Welcomed by the Iranian Opposition

The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) and the leader of the opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, have long called for the IRGC’s inclusion on the US terror blacklist. Following the announcement, Mrs. Rajavi issued a statement praising the US’s response to a “long-standing and righteous demand of the Iranian Resistance.”

She called the designation an “urgent and necessary step to end war and terrorism throughout the region and the world.”

Hard Realizations

Jafarzadeh also examined the response from Tehran. He asserted that the mullahs’ “realize that from this point on, they will have drastically less room to mount terror operations and act with impunity.”

The regime has already demonstrated that it lacks the resources and mechanisms to contain uprisings and public protest. At the tail end of 2017 and into 2018, the MEK-led national uprising quickly spread across all 31 Iranian provinces and hit all of Iran’s major towns and cities.

The regime relied on the IRGC’s suppressive tactics to restore order and maintain its grip on power. With the IRGC severely weakened by the FTO designation and with constrained financial resources, should another uprising emerge, the regime will find its vital repressive organ stretched beyond its capabilities? “In short, Tehran is much weaker now than it was a year or so ago,” Jafarzadeh writes.

“The foreign terrorist organization designation gives U.S. officials an additional tool for prosecuting Americans who help the Iranian regime,” he continues. But beyond the financial limitations and reduced international support, the designation also scores a major psychological victory over the IRGC.

It demoralizes the IRGC forces and their proxies abroad. It shows them that they are not on the winning side. “The designation should also boost the morale of Iranians, who detest the Guard,” Jafarzadeh adds.

It will also resonate across the rest of the world. The designation will prompt second thoughts from European companies considering doing business with the IRGC.

Jafarzadeh concludes:

“The next step is to identify all Guard affiliate entities and subject them to sanctions. The foreign terrorist organization designation strikes a major blow to the terror apparatus of the regime. Tehran’s terrorists and those who enable them can finally be made to pay the price.”

Staff writer

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