Human Rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

MEK supporters demonstrate for a Free Iran

Trump’s Sanctions are Just the Beginning

MEK supporters demonstrate for a Free Iran

Archive photo-Iranian diaspora, supporters of the MEK, hold a demonstration in support of the Iran Protests for freedom and democracy at home.

Under the current president, the US policy towards Iran has made a marked shift. The passive policy of appeasement that typified the Obama administration has given way to a firm and effective stance that the Iranian regime has come to fear and loathe in equal measure.

The American Thinker, in an opinion piece, writes, “the world has been challenged by Iran for at least four decades on various issues such as [the] illegal nuclear program; exporting terrorism; and, more important to the international community, “the deteriorating human rights situation.”

A Silenced Iranian Public

2018 saw the regime run roughshod on domestic human rights. As the Iranian opposition mobilized the population in a wave of protests spreading across all 31 of Iran’s provinces, the regime arrested political opponents, tortured detainees, and publicly executed citizens of falsified charges.

Three Iranians are Publicly Executed in Shiraz

“For a rare moment,” the American Thinker article writes, “disregarded Iranian voices were echoed in the UN Security Council by former US ambassador Nikki Haley as she repeated Iranians’ anti-regime chants during a meeting.”

The article on the American Thinker referring to a recent book, ‘Dear God Please Bring Freedom to Iran’, argues that the only way the Iranian people can truly protect their human rights and individual freedoms is by overthrowing the Iranian regime.

“The book tells the stories of the victims of human rights violations in Iran…These atrocities, rarely reported in the press, are just the tip of the iceberg of the regime’s brutality. Unknown political and religious prisoners in Iran have suffered much more than the rare cases that are reported in the bylines,” the article adds.

Cases like that of Saeed Masouri who is serving a life sentence in regime detention for his affiliations with the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). His case has largely gone unnoticed in the international media.

Another prisoner, Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, who was arrested and imprisoned over anti-regime posts he put on his social media pages, died after spending 60 days on hunger strike. However, his case has escaped media attention.

Sanctions are Just the Start

The authors of the book ‘Dear God Please Bring Freedom to Iran’ have welcomed the Trump administrations firmer stance towards the Iranian regime. They acknowledge that the latest round of economic sanctions is a step in the right direction. However, they are also acutely aware that sanctions are just the beginning.

“Despite imposed sanctions,” Bakhtiari said, “the ruling regime still oppresses people.” The mullahs are still able to create an imposing and repressive atmosphere across Iranian society.

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, recently recommitted the US government’s commitment to supporting the Iranian people in their fight against the mullahs. On his recent tour of the Middle East, he said, “our effort is to make sure that the Iranian people get control of their capital.”

However, in order to fully achieve this goal, the US must adopt some of the recommendations from the Iranian opposition.

Maryam Rajavi’s Recommendations

The American Thinker’s article concludes its article by referring to the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi,’s position on Mr. Pompeo’s stance saying. Maryam Rajavi has laid out detailed and specific recommendations for how international governments can lend their support to the Iranian people.

Her recommendations include designating the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as terrorist entities; referring Iranian human rights abuses to the UN Security Council; expelling the mullahs intelligence agents from the US and Europe, and excluding the Iranian regime from the UN.

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter

Detained British-Iranian Goes on Hunger Strike in Protest at Appalling Prison Conditions and Repeated Pressure to Become a Regime Spy

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, one of the dual citizens that is imprisoned in Iran on bogus charges in order to put political pressure on West. She recently went on another hunger strike for being asked to spy on the UK.

The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s Elham Zanjani had a piece published on International Policy Digest entitled, ‘The Two Faces of Iran’. The piece, published on Sunday, January 20th, charts the story of British-Iranian, Nazanin Zaghai-Ratcliffe, who is in regime custody in Iran.

Zaghari was detained in March 2016, at an airport as she attempted to fly back to London. Regime agents took her to Kernan and confiscated her two-year-old daughter’s British passport. After detaining her for months without trial, Zaghari was eventually sentenced to five years behind bars on falsified, jumped-up charges of acting against Iranian national security interests.

Hunger Strike

Zaghari re-entered the news cycle this week after beginning a hunger strike on Monday, January 14th. The British-Iranian allegedly began refusing food in response to poor prison conditions, lack of access to medical treatment, and persistent requests from regime agents to spy on the United Kingdom for the clerical regime.

The information emerged after her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, spoke about the conditions she is currently living in at Evin Prison. In a press conference, he said, “just after Christmas on December 29, Nazanin was visited in prison by two Revolutionary Guard interrogators. She was pressured to agree to things.” He added, “they tried to pressure her to become a spy for Iran against the UK. Specifically, to spy on [the] Department for International Development (DFID) and an organization called Small Media, which the Revolutionary Guard keep trying to link her to, but she has no connection to [it].”

Her husband asserts that Zaghari is being held as collateral to negotiate the payment of £650 million from the UK government to the Iranian regime. The regime alleges that the debt is owed from an unfulfilled arms deal negotiated between the two governments more than 40-years-ago.

A Violation of Human Rights

Elham Zanjani writes, “denying medical treatment to a prisoner is a violation of human rights, and ordering her to serve and spy for the Iranian Regime’s Intelligence and Revolutionary Guards under the cover of a journalist is an inhumane abuse of power.”

However, this type of behavior has become commonplace from the Iranian regime. The regime has systematically violated human rights, including the systematic execution of its political opponents (in one summer of 1988 the regime executed more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran).

Since the 1980s, the regime has executed an estimated 120,000 political opponents and attempted to recruit thousands into becoming spies for its nefarious activities at home and abroad. Zanjani writes, “none bowed down but instead, paid the price for freedom.”

Zanjani concludes, “the lesson to be learned from history and Zaghari’s story is that such regimes only understand the decisive language of force. Europe has recently proudly taken some decisive steps by listing two of the Iranian regime’s officials on the blacklist, how about more?”

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Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of NCRI-FAC

Chairman Mohaddessin: Domestic and International Pressures Have Left Iran’s Clerical Regime Vulnerable to Collapse

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of NCRI-FAC

Chairman Mohammad Mohaddessin, in charge of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’s Foreign Affair’s Committee during an online conference -June 2015

On Friday, January 18th, Mohammad Mohaddessin, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), published a piece for US-based news site, Townhall. In the piece, Mohaddessin argues that US sanctions are having a tangible effect on the Iranian economy, drastically weakening the clerical regime, and putting the mullahs’ in a position where the status quo is no longer tenable.

“The Iranian economy is infested with corruption,” Mohaddessin writes, “and has been so terribly mismanaged that an array of crises— unemployment, inflation, currency devaluation, poverty— have become existential threats to the socio-political order.”

Given the rapidly deteriorating economic situation, the mullahs’ future in power looks uncertain. With the added pressures of international sanctions, the regime is even more vulnerable to collapse.

The regime’s shortcomings have been clearly visible in the increasingly frantic and extreme rhetoric from its leaders. The Iranian leadership has made vague threats of seizing Saudi oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and taking international personnel hostage.

These wild threats only serve to show a “weakening regime under siege on multiple fronts,” Mohaddessin argues.

A Turning Point

Mohaddessin suggests that a turning point for the regime came in December 2017. Over the space of two months, anti-regime protests swept across Iran, rapidly spreading to 142 towns and cities in all of Iran’s 31 provinces.

Since then, protest after protest has engulfed Iran. Every sector of the Iranian economy, from logistics, to steel, sugar, taxi drivers, investors, and car buyers have taken to the streets or gone on strike to demonstrate their fury at the clerical regime.

These protests are now “a defining figure of the domestic landscape,” Mohaddessin writes. They “chip away at the regime’s power,” and leave it in an increasingly vulnerable state.

For the first time, the mullahs have begun to acknowledge the increasing influence of the Iranian opposition and its principal member, the MEK. On August 3rd, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei conceded, “we have problems.”

And the regime’s problems are growing. “A ruling structure dependent on repression will prove incapable of squelching public outbursts,” Mohaddessin writes. The mullahs have certainly become dependent on repression.

In 2018, the regime responded to the protest movement by increasing repressive measures. They arrested protestors, restricted internet and communication access, and publicly executed prisoners.

Iranian Opposition Calls for Release of One Thousand Protesters Arrested during August Uprising

“At the right moment, such conditions can bring down any dictatorship,” Mohaddessin writes.

Running Out of Options

So what can the mullahs do? Mohaddessin points out that they cannot negotiate with the US. Khamenei has already stated that to do so would amount to “treason”. To go back on this could lead to the regime collapsing from the inside.

It has instead launched a demonization and terror campaign aimed at the Iranian resistance. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest and most influential opposition group, has been the target of several foiled regime terror attacks abroad, the largest of which saw the attempted detonation of a car bomb at a MEK event attended by more than 100,000 supporters.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

This has only left the regime increasingly isolated on the international stage. Following the failed terror attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris, the French government froze assets belonging to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and expelled two diplomats. The EU also recently approved their own set of sanctions against top MOIS officials. Mohaddessin suggests this indicates, “a closing of the ranks, and an increasingly aggressive posture toward” the mullahs.

“In such circumstances,” Mohaddessin concludes, “the best end game is an end to the malicious dictatorship that has consistently meddled in the region and suppressed its own citizenry.” Given the increasing pressure the regime faces at home and abroad, this may not be too far over the horizon.

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MEK members in Ashraf3

The National Publishes Report about MEK’s Cyber Warriors and Their Fight to Counter Regime Censorship

MEK members in Ashraf3

Photo credit to The National-Three #MEK members who live in Ashraf3 city in Albania posing for a photo for “The National”-January 2019

The Scottish Website The National recently published a report about the MEK’s cyber-warriors working inside Ashraf 3 in Tirana, Albania. The report explains the role of the MEK research team in spreading information about the people’s uprising currently taking place in Iran.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Ashraf 3 is a compound in Tirana for MEK members who were relocated from their previous camp in Iraq. According to The National, Ashraf 3 had only a few hundred residents when it was founded in 2013, but it now houses over 2,500 MEK members.

The uprising in Iran has been taking place in cities and towns across Iran for over a year, but the protests and strikes are largely unreported inside Iran by state media. According to The National, the MEK’s cyber warriors use encrypted social media channels to broadcast video clips of the protests recorded on mobile devices to their supporters in Iran.

One Year Later: A Summary of Protests in Iran in 2018

The camp members are exiled from their home country, but according to resident Forough Moezzi, who works in the information unit, ““It’s not a refugee camp – we are a resistance movement so our lives and our work is part of the struggle against the Iranian regime. We live here together and plan the future. We want to go back to Iran – a free Iran – and I think it will be very soon because we see international sanctions and pressure on the regime. I believe freedom is very near.”

Moezzi and her sister joined the MEK when the camp was still located at Ashraf in Iraq. She has been at Ashraf 3 for two years. After she joined the MEK, her father returned to Iran. She said: “When he returned to Iran the regime attacked our home just because my sister and I were here, and he was tortured for more than 10 years. Although he had cancer they wanted to kill him just because his daughters supported PMOI. The regime executed my uncle when he was 23 for the same reason.”

Parvin Poureghbalie is another MEK member who is committed to helping Iranians still inside the country. Poureghbalie studied in Iran in 1980, a year after the 1979 Revolution, and said that violence against dissenters started around that time.

She said: “I was in one of the smaller cities in Iran – Kerman – we were about 180 young girls and we were arrested. From that 180 the majority were either killed or disappeared, some went to other countries and only a small number are still in Iran.

“I feel I have a heavy responsibility for them. The people are starving and searching the garbage for food in a very rich country.

“Workers have been asking why they haven’t had their salaries for months. Just to get their salaries they have to demonstrate.

“We have taken a long and hard path but now we are sure that our return is coming closer. The time we go back to a free Iran will be very soon.”

Mohammad Shafaei was orphaned at the age of eight when the regime killed most of his family. His father, a physician, was shot for treating wounded resistance members, and his brother was tortured to death in Evin Prison, according to The National.

Now Shafaei works on the MEK’s research team, which helps Iranian citizens circumvent regime censorship in order to access the Internet and messaging apps.

Shafaei also works to curb “malign Iranian activity” by identifying fake apps and spyware. The research team has a television channel that is broadcast on Telegram, a messaging app that is used by almost half of the Iranian population.

“Our focus is on Telegram and Instagram because other social media like Facebook and Twitter are banned,” says Shafaei. “What we do is provide proxies to let the people circumvent internet censorship so they can see the demonstrations and unrest in their own country. Iran uses fake applications or spyware, spreads them among users in the country to trace their connections – so we try to disclose all these activities in cyberspace.

“They have their own version of the Telegram client and they use it to collect user information and we investigate all these things and provide reports of what these apps do.”

Staff Writer

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Tulip Square - Ashraf 3

Journalists from the National Visit Camp Ashraf

Tulip Square - Ashraf 3

The main entrance of Ashraf 3, the place of the residence of the MEK-Albania

The Iranian regime and its allies in the international media attempt to portray the largest pro-democracy Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) as a brainwashing cult. It has often levied accusations against the group that it holds members at its compound outside the Albanian capital of Tirana against their will.

Daniel M. Zucker Refutes Merat’s Guardian Hit Piece

The MEK has responded by giving international journalists unfettered access to its Albanian compound, Camp Ashraf 3, which houses some 2,500 MEK members. Most recently, the opposition group invited journalists from the National newspaper from Scotland.

A Reeling Economy

Whilst there, the journalists spoke with Senior MEK member, Mehdi Baraie, an active MEK member who spent six years incarcerated in Iran under the Shah.

 

Mr. Mehdi Baraie, one of the Senior member of the MEK

Baraie described the effects of Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions against the Iranian regime was having on the country’s economy. The sanctions have left the Iranian economy reeling as the rial’s value is in freefall against the dollar, inflation is rising, and unemployment is creeping up.

 

“What’s happening now is interesting,” he said. “2018 was a very important year because the uprising continued despite the regime trying everything it could to stop it.”

But Baraie predicted that 2019 would be vital for securing a democratic future for Iran. He explained, “as Ali Khamenei has said, 2019 is vital. Nobody believed the uprising could continue the way it has… Now every day they [the MEK and the Iranian opposition] have demonstrations everywhere.” He concluded, “it’s obvious that the Iranian regime will not be able to continue and will be overthrown.”

A Regime Fighting for Its Survival

As the domestic landscape in Iran becomes more hostile to the regime, and daily protests become more explicit in their calls for regime change, the regime has embarked on a propaganda campaign against the MEK and the Iranian opposition.

It believes that by turning international opinion against the MEK, it will legitimize its violent crackdown against the group, which has seen more than 5,000 members imprisoned and many executed.

The Regime’s Fear is a Sign of Changing Times

A pillar of this disinformation campaign is to portray the MEK as oppressors and hostage-takers. The Iranian regime used a Canadian-Iranian couple, Mostafa and Mahboubeh Mohammadi as mouthpieces and forced them to claim the MEK had taken their daughter, Somayeh, against her will.

Somayeh Mohammadi, MEK member now living in Albania

The pair told the international media that the organization was holding their daughter at Camp Ashraf 3 and that she was unable to leave the compound.

This narrative has been exposed as a lie. Somayeh told the National that her father was working on behalf of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). She said, “when I wanted to leave Canada and join the MEK movement my parents would not give their consent.”

Somayeh’s father was among the Iranian agents that traveled to the MEK’s former camp in Iraq and installed loudspeakers around the compound making threats against the members inside. Somayeh recounts how her father was involved in blaring messages of abuse and death threats towards herself and other MEK members.

“He was claiming that he loves me as my father but was against what I wanted to do,” she said, adding, “what kind of father would do this to their child?”

Somayeh has appeared in public disputing her father’s claims that she is being held against her will. She even wrote a book debunking the regime’s lies about her and her family.

Her father had all his claims rejected by the Iraqi judiciary. After an Iraqi judge interviewed Somayeh, the judge concluded that Somayeh was staying with the MEK at its compound of her own free will.

The prosecution determined that he had been in regular contact with the Iranian regime, which was also apparent in his travel arrangements. “He was staying at the most expensive hotel in Tirana, the Plaza. How could he afford to stay in a hotel like this for four months when back home in Canada he was a builder, an ordinary construction worker?” Somayeh exclaimed.

“I go out with my friends every other day. I can go to Tirana and buy whatever I need, I go to shops or the hospital, where I translate for PMOI [MEK] residents who need treatment,” she said.

A Terrorist Regime

The Iranian regime spreads these falsehoods and lies as part of a wider strategy to eradicate the MEK. In March, the Albanian authorities uncovered a plot to bomb the MEK’s compound during the Persian New Year celebrations. Fortunately, the agents involved were arrested before it was allowed to develop.

Then, in June, the Iranian leadership planned a car bomb attack on the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering in Paris. The plan was also foiled, and the Belgian authorities saved the lives of countless numbers of the 100,000 supporters who gathered at the event.

Following the foiled Paris attack, the French government concluded that senior members of the Iranian regime had been involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist plot. It froze the assets of several MOIS officials and expelled two Iranian diplomats from the country.

Baraie told the National, “the international community should put the Iran intelligence [MOIS] and [the] IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] on the terror list.”

Baraie echoed the belief of many of the MEK and the international community that the increased volume of attacks and propaganda aimed at the MEK demonstrates one thing; that the group represents a very real threat to the regime.

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

The mullahs know their days are numbered. They are resorting to violence and dishonesty in an attempt to stay in power. But everyone at Camp Ashraf 3 knows their plans. They know they have the support of the Iranian people. They know they will secure a peaceful, democratic future for Iran.

Staff Writer

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Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Protests,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Former Vice-President of European Parliament Urges the West to Take Stronger Action Against the Iranian Regime

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former vice president of the European Parliament and the president of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, wrote an op-ed for Eurasia Review on the need for international sanctions against Iran.

Vidal-Quadras outlined the European Union’s recent decision to impose sanctions against the Iranian Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) after it plotted an assassination attempt against an Iranian dissident living in Copenhagen.

He also charted the string of terror plots that have emerged from the MOIS over the last 12 months, including a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at an event in Paris, and the arrest of two Iranian operatives that planned to attack a compound in Albania where 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) live.

Following the attempted terror attacks, France expelled several diplomats and froze MOIS assets. An Iranian diplomat believed to be the mastermind behind the foiled plot, Assadollah Assadi, is awaiting prosecution in Belgium.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

The resulting investigation launched by French authorities found that senior members of the Iranian leadership were behind the Paris plot. It found that the Iranian regime’s diplomatic infrastructure, including European embassies and consulate buildings, had been involved in the planning process and harbored terrorists who would carry out the attacks.

Vidal-Quadras quotes a Belgian judiciary official who told reporters,

“nearly all Iranian diplomats in Europe are in fact members of the Iranian secret service.”

A Move Welcomed by the Iranian Opposition

Following the EU’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be imposing sanctions against the MOIS, “the NCRI quickly released a statement calling for further action,” Vidal-Quadras writes.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, or NCRI, is the umbrella group of the MEK and, along with its leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, is one of the most outspoken critics of the Iranian regime.

Its statement in response to the EU sanctions read,

“it is time for the EU to adopt a firm policy towards the mullah’s regime by expelling all of its mercenaries and agents from Europe.”

https://twitter.com/amsafavi/status/1085116260680126464

The First Step Towards Meaningful Action

Vidal-Quadras echoed the words of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. He called the sanctions, “a positive sign,” and, “a symbol of an ongoing trend toward greater recognition of the Iranian threat.”

However, Vidal-Quadras acknowledged that “that trend is still proceeding at too slow a pace. Meanwhile, the danger is growing much more quickly.” He cited the presence of further terrorist plots targeting Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Germany that were disrupted in 2018. He said, “Europe cannot count on its luck holding out over the long term, especially if lawmakers fail to take measures that will truly disrupt the regime’s terrorist infrastructure.”

The terror attacks have been targeted against the MEK and the Iranian resistance movement. As domestic protests increase in volume and intensity, the Iranian regime is lashing out at the MEK abroad. As a result, Vidal-Quadras says,

“the clerical regime is desperate to undermine any and all networks of support for domestic activism.”

“Under these circumstances,” Vidal-Quadras continued, “Iranian expatriate communities in every corner of the world are potential targets, and their host countries are in severe danger of suffering collateral damage alongside the dire insult of having their autonomy violated by terrorists dispatched by the Iranian government.”

It is in this context that Vidal-Quadras calls for “the expulsion of Iranian diplomats, the implementation of stronger sanctions, and other such firm policies.” He argues, these measures, “will not only help defend the Western world against Iran-backed terrorism, but it will also help the Iranian people to even more strongly assert their demands for civic freedoms and democratic governance.”

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Maryam Rajavi visits the European Parliamen

Former European Minister of Poland Calls on International Community to Support MEK in Op-Ed

Maryam Rajavi visits the European Parliamen

European Lawmakers led by , Ryszard Czarnecki the then Vice President of the European Parliament receive Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Opposition for a meeting on the occasion of the Human Rights Day in the European Parliament-06 December 2017

On Tuesday, January 15th, a former European Minister of Poland and sitting Member of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, penned an op-ed for International Policy Digest. The piece, entitled ‘Western Leaders Must Join Iranian Activists in Recognizing Their Movement’s Potential’, calls on governments around the world to lend their support to the only viable democratic alternative in Iran, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), led by Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, which the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) is the principal member to.

A Mobilised Population

Czarnecki praised the work of the Iranian resistance units operating inside Iran to promote the Iranian resistance movement. They have worked tirelessly, “placing posters in public places throughout Tehran and other cities, identifying martyrs by name and reiterating the slogans associated with their cause.”

The President-elect Maryam Rajavi was acutely aware of the capabilities of the resistance cells in Iran. Last year, she predicted a “year full of uprisings.” 2018 lived up to her predictions.

In 2018, there were a total of 9,596 individual protests, affecting all 31 of Iran’s provinces and more than 142 towns and cities.

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

As Maryam Rajavi predicted, 2018 was a pivotal moment for the Iranian opposition movement. For the first time, the mullahs seemed to acknowledge that the MEK was behind the surge in opposition protests. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed the MEK for the surge in street protests and pointed the finger at their shrewd use of social media to organise protests and connect their supporters as the source of their influence.

Iran State Media Acknowledges MEK Can Topple Regime

This represented a break from the regime’s traditional propaganda narrative which had maintained that the MEK was a fringe movement, with little to no support within Iran, “and incapable of affecting change on a large scale,” Czarnecki writes.

2019 is unlikely to provide the mullahs with any respite. In the opening days of the year, bank customers, municipal workers, and car buyers took to the streets to protest. The regime’s failure to address the economic crisis and its “chronic inattention to public welfare,” means that the conditions that gave rise to the protests in 2018 are still very much present in the Iranian landscape in 2019.

However, Czarnecki writes, “what is much less clear is whether the international community will prove similarly responsive.”

The Iranian Regime is a Threat to Western Democracy

The Iranian regime’s policies do not play out in a bubble and are not limited to Iran. The mullahs desire to influence regional politics make the clerical regime a threat to Western democracies and their national security interest.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is active across the Middle East, including in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. The mullahs have also been accused of funnelling money and weapons to militia groups across the region.

Czarnecki predicts, “the footprint of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will deepen all across the Middle East, and can affect the situation in the West, where foreign supporters of the PMOI (MEK) were targeted several times over the past year.”

Czarnecki is referring to the high-profile terrorist attacks that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) planned in Paris, Albania, and the US, and the assassination plots that unfolded in the Netherlands and Denmark.

The regime has demonstrated that its actions are not limited to Iran, but place citizens from across the West at risk.

“The situation demands international attention, particularly in the form of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation aimed at limiting the regime’s ability to project force beyond its borders and to crack down on dissent inside them,” Czarnecki writes.

The work of the MEK’s resistance units offers an opportunity for international opponents to the Iranian regime to facilitate meaningful change in Iran. While the protest movement is expanding, the Iranian regime is in a vulnerable position. Should the MEK receive “earnest and sustained support from the international community,” Czarnecki writes, “it may soon be able to achieve the long-sought goal of regime change.”

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Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Iran’s Regime is “a Lot Weaker Than You Would Expect”

Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Fox news quoting Maryam Rajavi, leader of Iran opposition in response to recent remarks by Secretary Pompeo emphasizing an end to the U.S. policy of appeasement towards the mullahs in Iran.

During coverage of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s nine-nation tour of the Middle East, Fox News aired Pompeo’s speech he made on Friday, January 11th.

In the speech, the Secretary of State denounced the Iranian regime’s “malign activity” as “creating enormous instability here in the region”. Pompeo announced that the US would arrange a world summit on Iran, to be held in Poland in February 2019, where the international community would explore avenues of curbing the regime’s influence in the region.

Fox News interviewed Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who spoke about his recent visit to the Middle East and meetings he had with top leaders in the region.

Dubowitz described leaders’ concerns about the Iranian regime and its “destructive and malign activities.”

He said, “dozens of countries, including the Europeans, understand, the Iranian regime is engaged in assassinations, support for terrorism, and building ballistic missiles,” he continued, “not to mention brutal human rights abuses within Iran.”

MEK, The Largest Opposition Group

Fox News then aired footage of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering, held outside Paris. Eric Shawn, the Fox News host, described how the Iranian regime had plotted to bomb the event, attended by more than 100,000 MEK supporters and allies from across the world.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

Shawn pointed out that among those in attendance were several former US officials, including Trump’s lawyer and former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who, Shawn said, “speak every year,” at the event.

Fox News aired comments from the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, in response to Pompeo’s speech in Cairo. Mrs. Rajavi said,

“the US Secretary of State reiterated that when America partners with enemies such as the mullahs, ‘they advance’ gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights, export of fundamentalism, and terrorism,” which Ms. Rajavi says, “are the four pillars holding up the theocratic regime ruling Iran.”

Maryam Rajavi President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), emphasized, “the ultimate solution for discarding the mullahs’ religious fascism is changing this illegitimate regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.”

Shawn put the question to Dubowitz, asking “can that ever be done?”

“These regimes are actually a lot weaker than you would expect,” Dubowitz asserted. “Hopefully within our lifetime, we will see the end of the Islamic Republic, which is the best guarantee for global security.”

 

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EU Sanctions against Iran for terrorism,expulsion of Iran diplomats,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

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

Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime’s top diplomat, whose staff have now been arrested or expelled from several European countries, attacks EU as a escape goat to justify acts of terrorism in EU soil.

Europe introduced its own set of sanctions against Iran in what represented a small shift in policy towards the Iranian regime. Not since before the Iran nuclear deal has Europe employed sanctions against the Iranian Regime. The move signifies that European leaders may finally be awakening to the fact that the Iran nuclear deal has not altered Iran’s behavior and the Iranian regime is still the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The sanctions are rooted in the terrorist threat Iranian regime poses

In 2018, the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorist machine increased its output dramatically. In March, a pair of Iranian regime agents were detained in Albania after it emerged the regime has orchestrated a bomb attack against the members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the principal opposition group living in exile outside the Albanian capital of Tirana.

Shortly afterward, in June, the regime launched its most ambitious plan of the year. An Iranian diplomat working out of the regime’s embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosives and sent them to Paris to detonate a bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

The event was attended by more than 100,000 people, including dignitaries from the UK, the US, France, Germany, and Italy, amongst other nations. Belgian authorities foiled the attack at the eleventh hour, preventing hundreds and thousands of potential deaths. Following the attack, the French government froze assets belonging to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and expelled two diplomats from the country.

In October, Denmark announced that it had discovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident living on Danish soil. The revelation prompted an outcry among the Danish public as protestors gathered in the capital to call for a firm response to Iranian aggression.

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

Most recently, the Dutch government revealed that it believes the Iranian government was behind the assassination of two Dutch citizens. The Dutch government said this week that it had evidence that the Iranian government had hired hitmen to carry out the assassinations.

Europe’s sanctions target the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS)

Europe’s latest sanctions target the MOIS, including the director general of the Iranian intelligence agency, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. The targets have had their European assets frozen and have been added to Europe’s terror list.

In response to the announcement, Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while admitting the regime’s role in terrorist attempts attacked the EU as regime’s usual way, to avoid responding to the crimes it has committed. Wall Street Journal Editorial, on its Wednesday Jauary 9 edition, writes:

“The new sanctions target an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its agents, including deputy minister and director general of intelligence Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. They have been added to Europe’s terror list and their assets will be frozen. Iranian Foregin Minister Javad Zarif on Twitter tried to justiry the attacks: “Accusing Iran won’t absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorist”- his preferred word for anyone who opposes the regime.”

What is the next step?

While the sanctions against the MOIS unit and senior officials in the department are welcome, they will not stop the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities.

To protect its citizens and national security interests, Europe must follow up with firmer action. Continuing to do business with the Iranian regime, whose economy is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and other repressive organizations, any trade in Iranian markets will indirectly fund terrorist activities, including similar attempts trying to target the opposition.

The regime has demonstrated that it has little or no regard for foreign sovereignty or the safety of European citizens. It will use terrorism as a weapon against its enemies, regardless of who is hurt or killed in the process.

The Iranian opposition has recommended blacklisting the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, closing Iran’s embassies on European soil, refraining from issuing visas to the regime leadership, expelling Iranian agents and mercenaries, and ending ministerial meetings between European and Iranian officials.

The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

Expelling Iranian diplomats and closing Iranian diplomatic offices and buildings must become a priority. Investigations in the wake of the 2018 terror attacks demonstrated that Iranian embassies on foreign soil were hotbeds of terror activities and were instrumental in the planning and execution of terror attacks.

Europe should follow their sanctions against the MOIS with tough economic sanctions, restricting Iranian trade and preventing companies from doing business with the ruthless and repressive regime.

Staff Writer

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Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Iranian Regime Paid Hitmen to Assassinate Dissidents, Dutch Government Says

Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Stef Blok, the Netherlands Foreign Minister, revealed the role of the Iranian regime in two assassination that took place in 2015 and 2017 in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, the 8th of January, the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent published an article on the company’s website revealing the Iranian regime’s nefarious dealings with criminal gangs in a plot to assassinate political dissidents living in the Netherlands.

According to the Dutch government’s findings, the Iranian clerical regime hired two gangs to kill a pair of dissidents living in the Netherlands. The findings come just several months after the EU introduced sanctions on regime officials over their involvement in the attempted assassination on a political dissident in Denmark.

The Dutch government revealed that during an investigation into the murder of two Dutch citizens, it found links between the assassins and the Iranian regime.

The pair were both gunned down by hitmen who fled in stolen BMWs. The families of the victims involved had long-suspected that the Iranian regime was involved in the killings, but until now the Dutch government had refused to speculate.

The Dutch government explained its decision to withhold the information in a statement. The Foreign Ministry said it had “strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations” but that it kept the matter hidden “in the interests of facilitating this common EU action against Iran.”

Last year, the Dutch government expelled two Iranian diplomats from the country, although it refused to say whether or not the decision was linked to the assassinations.

Iran’s History of Violence

This is not the first time the regime has hired international gangsters to carry out the murder of its political opponents.

In 2011, the United States government accused the regime of hiring a Mexican cartel to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C.

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) welcomed the EU’s introduction of sanctions against players in the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). In a statement, the MEK called them a “positive but important step in the face of the regime’s state terrorism.”

However, the episode that played out on Dutch soil further demonstrates that any nations which have an Iranian embassy operating on their soil, cannot guarantee the safety of their citizens.

Embassies have been implicated in various state-sponsored assassination attempts and terror attacks, including a planned attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris.

The only way for a nation to truly ensure the safety of its citizens is to follow Albania’s lead and expel diplomats. Only through a complete cessation of Iranian diplomatic activities in Europe can EU nations protect their citizens from the ever-present threat of terrorism and murder.

Staff Writer

 

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