Iran Nuclear,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI

SPND site in Tehran

Leading Iran Expert Questions the Regime’s Curtailing of its Nuclear Program

SPND site in Tehran

Iranian regime’s SPND, the center that deals with Iran’s neclear weaponry program, exposed by the MEK.

President of the International American Council Dr. Majid Rafizedah, a leading expert on Iran and US policy, penned an op-ed in Arab News on Thursday. In his op-ed, Rafizedah stressed the importance that nuclear inspectors be permitted to visit the Iranian military site at Parchin. His article is largely a response to those advocating the Iranian nuclear deal who criticized the US government’s decision to introduce sanctions against 14 individuals and 17 entities with ties to the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

Many in favor of the deal inaccurately claim that the Iranian regime has abandoned its nuclear ambitions and is complying with the terms of the deal. However, Rafizedah points out that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detect the Iranian regime’s Nuclear program. It was the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) that revealed the regime’s clandestine Nuclear program at its sites in Arak and Natanz.

Despite the IAEA receiving several credible intelligence reports warning of the Iranian regime’s clandestine nuclear program, the organization failed to report on the regime’s activities on several occasions.

Repeated Mistakes

For Rafizedah, the IAEA is “repeating the same mistake by ignoring reports and revelations surrounding Iran’s nuclear activities.” He describes how the German intelligence agencies have expressed concerns over Iran’s clandestine path to nuclear weapons. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella group of the MEK, has also raised concerns over the regime’s secret activities at Parchin military base.

Despite these valid and credible complaints, “the IAEA has not taken any action to inspect Iran’s military site at Parchin,” Rafizedah writes. According to the MEK and the NCRI, the Iran nuclear deal that came into effect in 2015 did little to disrupt the regime’s nuclear program. In a statement, the NCRI claimed, “it is now clear that in some fields its activities have even expanded.”

Even during the 2015 negotiations for the deal, there was intense resistance from the Iranian regime over Parchin’s inclusion in the list of sites that the IAEA would have the authority to visit. “Iran was determined that Parchin must be beyond the reach of IAEA inspectors,” Rafizedah writes.

“The Iranian regime has become skilled at disguising the true nature of its nuclear centers by using tactics such as labeling them as military sites or conventional research centers,” Rafizedah continues.

Even regime insiders have hinted that the regime has expanded its nuclear capabilities since 2015. The head of the regime’s Atomic Energy Organization, Akbar Salehi, said in an interview, “if we have to go back and withdraw from the nuclear deal, we certainly do not go back to where we were before. We will be standing in a much, much higher position.”

Rafizedah concluded his op-ed by calling for the immediate inspection of Parchin and all the Iranian regime’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) centers to ensure Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal and international rules. He also called for the IAEA to conduct interviews with senior figures in the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, along with scientists and researchers in the country.

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

MEK supporters rally in London

Protesters Gather in London to Express Support for Iranian Flood Victims and Condemn the Regime

MEK supporters rally in London

MEK supporters in London, demonstrate regime’s inaction regarding the flash-flood.

Supporters of the MEK, across the world, have been expressing their solidarity with the flood victims in Iran. On Saturday, March 30, protestors gathered in London outside the UK Prime Minister’s residence, Number 10 Downing Street. The protestors expressed their sympathy and condolences with their compatriots in Iran.

They also expressed their anger and frustration at the regime’s response to the disaster. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) revealed that the regime has deliberately misled the public over the death toll caused by the flooding.

A National Crisis

Heavy rain and extreme weather have caused widespread flooding across 25 of Iran’s 31 provinces. Roads, buildings, cars and tragically, people, have been washed away in flooding in Shiraz, Khorramabad, and Isfahan.

However, the regime’s response has been muted. Instead of mobilizing the country’s resources to organize coordinated rescue efforts, the regime has attempted to deflect blame. The MEK’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi drew attention to the regime’s role in exacerbating the flooding. In a statement, she said, “they destroyed the channel that used to lead floodwaters out.” During heavy rain, this led to extensive flooding in Shiraz.

The regime deployed the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Basij forces, but instead of helping victims, they were quelling protests, demonstrating that even in a time of national crisis, the regime will put its interest ahead of those of ordinary Iranians.

Maryam Rajavi summed up the situation in another statement. “The disaster once again proved that the ruling mullahs’40-year policy of plunder and pillage has taken a heavy toll on the lives and livelihood of our people,” she said.

The leader of the Iranian opposition went on to call for cooperation among Iranian civilians. “The only way and the best way is that we help one another,” she said, adding, “no other power is more effective and more accessible than the power of solidarity among us.”

https://www.ncr-iran.org/en/ncri-statements/iran-resistance/26016-anglo-iranian-communities-express-solidarity-with-flood-victims-in-iran%5C

Lies and Deception

In addition to refusing to devote adequate resources to the rescue efforts, the clerical regime has deliberately hidden the full death toll from the public. The MEK believes more than 200 Iranian lives were claimed by the catastrophe. “The delay and procrastination in helping those who are besieged by the flood have increased the number of victims,” Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella group of the MEK, asserted.

In hiding the full extent of the crisis, the regime has prevented international aid agencies from offering sufficient assistance.

The International Response

In their protest on Saturday, the Anglo-Iranian community outside Downing Street called on the UK government to condemn the regime’s response to the crisis and work with the European Union to pressure the regime to provide disaster relief to the affected areas.

Malcolm Fowler, a solicitor and former member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales addressed the protestors. He said, “the neglect and deceptions of the Iranian regime over the catastrophic floods and landslides are characteristic of its disregard and oppression of all dissidents. Mrs. May’s Government must now take them to a task.”

Several other prominent UK lawyers also spoke at the rally, expressing their solidarity with the Iranian victims and calling for a more “responsible” government.

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

NCRI's Nowruz ceremony

Former US Lawmakers and Officials Address the NCRI in Washington to Mark Nowruz

 

NCRI's Nowruz ceremony

Former US lawmakers, and US officials speak at NCRI’s Nowruz ceremony in Washington D.C.

The US representative office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), celebrated Iranian New Year (Nowruz) by hosting a dinner reception. The event, held in Washington D.C. on March 22, featured several prominent former US officials who spoke at length on the threat the Iranian regime poses to international peace, stability and human rights.

All of those that took the floor took the opportunity to call for a firm stance from the US government towards the Iranian threat. But among the calls for firm action were hopeful messages. Dr. Sofey Saidi of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee opened the evening with a speech full of optimism.

She outlined how 2019 is set to be a strong year for the pro-democratic opposition in Iran. The NCRI and its main member, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) are making huge strides within Iran. Its resistance units in Iranian towns and cities have mobilized the disenfranchised Iranian population. Iran’s citizens are protesting the mullahs’ tyranny in streets across Iran on an almost daily basis. The fall of the mullahs is “inevitable,” Saidi said.

Unlawful Arrests

When Tom Ridge, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, took the floor, he condemned the regimes unlawful arrests of more than 10,000 people across 160 Iranian towns and cities. “The people in their own way are saying that the situation is unacceptable and they want change,” he said.

Former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph echoed these sentiments. He was hopeful that the Iranian people would “throw off this yoke of oppression.” “The days get longer than the nights, and the light replaces the darkness,” he said, adding that the symbolism of Nowruz was not lost on the Iranian people. “Forty years of oppression is forty years too long for the Iranian people,” he concluded.

A former US ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Kenneth Blackwell, spoke of the “new burst and a new energy and a new yearning for freedom in the country.”

The Only Viable Alternative to the Mullahs

The speakers also all echoed the same conviction that Iran’s rejection of the religious fascism instilled by the clerical regime must be replaced with the democratic values outlined in the MEK and Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan.

Robert Joseph said, “the ten-point plan of the MEK and the NCRI, I think, point the way to freedom and point the way to bringing that light to take away the darkeness.” “The rebirth of the great Persian nation is at hand,” he said, concluding, “the goal that so many of you have sought for so many years is reachable… the inevitable result is a free Iran.”

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Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,MEK,MEK Abania,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Spiegel Fake News

Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Der Spiegel to Pull Unsupported Claims Against the MEK

Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Spiegel published a full of lies story about MEK, Iran’s main opposition force, raising outrage among the Iranian communities-February 2019

On Tuesday, March 26, the New York Times reported on the decision from a German court ordering German magazine Der Spiegel to pull passages of an article for unsupported allegations. Der Spiegel published a feature on the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) last month. In it, the magazine made brazenly false allegations that the group engages in activities that amount to torture.

In a statement, the group categorically denied the allegations. The MEK accused the publication of promoting the Iranian regime’s international objectives and deliberately participating in the mullahs’ disinformation campaign against the political opposition.

Published at NYT on March 26, 2019

Analyzing the Claims

In the piece, Der Spiegel accused the MEK of practicing massacres and torture at its compound in Albania. It also accused the group of holding members against their will.

Both are claims often repeated by the Iranian regime. The regime wants to sway international opinion against the political opposition. The MEK is a pro-democracy group that stands opposed to the mullahs’ brand of religious fascism. By painting MEK members as bloodthirsty savages, the regime attempts to legitimize its violent terror campaign and assassination attempts against the MEK membership both within Iran and abroad.

The MEK, upon hearing of the article’s impending publication and its contents, invited Der Spiegel’s journalists to visit its compound in Albania and witness the conditions there for themselves. They refused. Had they have taken the MEK up on its offer, they would have seen that they do not engage in the activities they stand accused of.

International court cases brought against the MEK by regime stooges for allegedly holding members against their will have been dismissed. This information is widely available online. Even a rudimentary observance of basic journalistic fact-checking principles would have revealed many of the allegations laid out in the article to be categorically false. But Der Spiegel published it anyway.

Deep Ties with the Iranian Regime

There were also indications that the magazine conspired with the Iranian regime in the publication of the hit piece against the Iranian opposition group. Before the article was published, sections appeared on an Iranian state-affiliated website.

A journalist working on the piece was also hosted in Iran and granted access to the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Justice

A court in Hamburg ordered Der Spiegel to remove the unsupported allegations from its website. The magazine will have to pay a 250,000 euro fine (US$282,000) if it fails to adhere to journalistic standards, and repeats the claims on any of its publications.

The MEK celebrated the ruling. The group released a statement accusing the magazine of “spreading a wealth of lies and false allegations.”

In the age of fake news and rampant disinformation online, the ruling represents a victory for truth and justice. Western media outlets must be held accountable for journalistic standards. Their reporting can have very dangerous implications for political groups like the MEK, who are a constant target of Iranian state-sponsored violence and terrorism. The media must remain a guardian of truth, not a political mouthpiece. Der Spiegel has demonstrated that its lack of commitment to truth, instead choosing to become a political tool to a violent and repressive foreign dictatorship.

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Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,MEK,MEK Abania,MOIS,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Spiegel

Hamburg court rules against misinformation targeting the MEK

A Hamburg Court Rules Against Der Spiegel in Blow to Regime’s Misinformation Campaign

Hamburg court rules against misinformation targeting the MEK

The court in Hamburg rules against the spread of false information against MEK, Iran’s main opposition.

A Hamburg court struck a blow to the Iranian regime’s misinformation and demonization campaign against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). On Thursday, March 21, a Hamburg court ruled that German Magazine Der Spiegel acted illegally by spreading false accusations against the MEK. It determined that the magazine had failed to adhere to the basic principles of journalism and adequately fact check information it received from the clerical regime in Iran.

Vile Lies and Falsehoods

In an article published in the magazine on February 19, Der Spiegel printed a host of lies and falsehoods about the Iranian pro-democracy organization. In particular, it repeated regime lies that accuse the MEK of engaging in brutal violence and torture, which were proved to be incorrect, the court order says.

The MEK pointed out that Der Spiegel’s “journalist” who researched the piece, worked closely with the Iranian regime and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The magazine also ignored the MEK’s requests to visit its compound in Albania, Camp Ashraf, the alleged site of torture and violence. Der Spiegel’s unwillingness to visit the MEK’s site at the invitation of the group demonstrated a lack of interest in uncovering the truth and reality of the situation in Albania. It showed the magazine preferred to spout fabrications at the behest of the Iranian regime.

Part of the article was even published before its release on a website controlled by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). This illustrates the deep cooperation between Der Spiegel and the clerical regime.

Legal Ramifications

Following the article’s publication, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella organization which includes the MEK, applied for an injunction in the Hamburg courts against the magazine.

The court ruled that Der Spiegel is now prohibited from publishing allegations of torture against the MEK at its settlement in Albania. The court decided that the NCRI had “substantiated the false nature” of the allegations. It also prevented the magazine from publishing any further allegations that accuse the group of practicing “cutting throats with knives, breaking hands, piercing eyes with fingers” and, “tearing corners of the mouth.”

The court determined that Der Spiegel’s investigation methods did not meet national journalistic standards, making the information unlawfully reported.

The court threatened Der Spiegel with a €250,000 fine. In the event that the magazine cannot, or will not, pay the fine, the court invoked a custodial sentence of up to six months.

Der Spiegel removed the illegal statements from its article online.

Emboldening the Iranian Regime

The original article repeated regime mistruths and lies. It was welcomed by the regime’s state-run media. The Mehr and Fars news agencies both ran pieces echoing Der Spiegel’s claims to much fanfare and many other Iranian media outlets published translations of the article.

In a statement from the NCRI, its representative office in Germany explained the danger of allowing regime misinformation to propagate. “By spreading false information, the regime justifies its domestic massacres of the PMOI/MEK and prepares the ground for its terrorist operations on European and foreign soil,”. Referring to the reasons for a rise in the misinformation campaigns against the MEK, the statement says:

“After the safe and organized relocation of the PMOI/MEK from Iraq to abroad, and after popular uprisings in Iran in January 2018 and the end of US appeasement of this regime, the Iranian regime has resorted to intense terrorism and disinformation campaigns against the PMOI/MEK and Iranian Resistance, believing this to be a remedy to its existential crisis. By spreading false information, the regime justifies its domestic massacres of the PMOI/MEK and prepares the ground for its terrorist operations on European and foreign soil. Additionally, it messages a lie to Western circles that there is no alternative to this regime and that if it were overthrown, conditions in Iran would worsen.”

As a result, the ruling in Hamburg must be viewed as a victory. Not just for the MEK, but for truth, democracy, and stability both in Iran and in the West. The regime must not be permitted to hijack Western media outlets to advance its own objectives and undermine regional security. It is our collective responsibility to challenge regime lies, wherever they occur.

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Ali Khamenei,Iran Economy,Iran Protests,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Ali Khamenei, regime's supreme leader

Khamenei’s “Hopeful” Nowruz Speech Paints Dismal Portrait of Iran

Ali Khamenei, regime's supreme leader

Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime.

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in his recent speech published in his website, on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, in which he tried to portray the spectacular failures of the past year in a positive light and to deflect blame for the growing economic and political crises within the country on rival factions within his own government and unnamed “enemies.”

Despite his justifications and blame-passing, though, Khamenei was unable to deny that the past twelve months have been difficult for both the Iranian people and the regime. Once again, the Supreme Leader attempted to give a message of hope and inadvertently reaffirmed that the regime is close to collapse.

Growing Resistance

Khamenei mentioned the growing protest movement in the country, led by the MEK and the Iranian Resistance, when he said, “We surpassed a very adventurous year. Our enemies had plans for the Iranian people.” Khamenei often refers to the MEK as “the enemy” and has expressed his fear that the organization could overthrow the regime on a number of occasions.

 

Khamenei falsely claimed to have the support of the people, saying, “The people… showed a strong response in the political and economic perspectives.” He also said that the regime was popular with the people, noting that the regime had celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at a rally on February 11th. He failed to point out that the rally was widely boycotted by the Iranian people.

Economic Crisis

The regime Supreme Leader referred to the economic crisis that has left 80% of the Iranian people living below the poverty line as an “issue.”  He said, “Economically, we have many issues. The lowering value of the national currency is an important matter. So is the people’s purchasing power. The problems facing our factories, unemployment, and in some cases, some of our factories closing down. These are issues,”

Khamenei, who has allowed Iran to sink further into economic crisis, said that he had a simple solution to all of the country’s problems. “I have studied these issues and listened to the experts. The key to all these issues is developing our national production.”

He elaborated on his plan, which is an extension of the same failed plan he tried last year. “We named last year, 1397, as the year of Supporting Iranian Products,’” he said. “I can’t say this motto was completely implemented. However, I can say that this slogan was acknowledged at a wide scale.” According to Khamenei, 1398 will be the year of “Production Growth.”

“If production is launched as it should, it can solve both our poor living standards and provide what we are in need of from foreigners, including countries that are our enemies. It can also resolve our unemployment and national currency issues to a significant extent,” he added.

Khamenei’s words illustrate the current state of the regime. The only piece of good news the Supreme Leader could share was that the regime had made it through a year of protests and economic upheaval without collapsing. Khamenei’s half-baked plan for economic recovery was a rehash of last year’s half-baked plan, which failed so completely that workers across the country have been forced to strike after working for months without wages. It is a New Day in Iran, and the mullahs are stuck in the past.

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Charshanbe Suri,Fire feast,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Fire festival in Iran

MEK-Iran: Fire Festival Becomes Act of Rebellion as Protesters Clash with Suppressive Forces

Fire festival in Iran

Fire Festival in Iran, turns in to a protest against the regime in entire Iran

On Tuesday, March 29th, people in cities across Iran, especially the youth, used the celebration of Chaharshanbe Suri (Fire Festival) as an opportunity to protest the mullahs’ oppressive regime. The protests took place despite the regime’s efforts to prevent celebrations of the national holiday.

 

Last year’s Fire Festival followed the December 2017 uprisings that spread to 142 cities in every province over a two-week period. The massive nationwide protests brought thousands of Iranians from all sectors of society into the streets to demand the overthrow of the clerical regime and sparked a protest movement that continues to this day.

Chaharshanbe Suri came on the heels of this massive uprising, and the MEK and Iranian Resistance organized celebrations of the event in cities and towns around the country as an act of rebellion. The regime, which was already shaken to its core by the uprisings and growing Iranian Resistance, reacted to the Fire Festival celebrations with suppressive actions.

Fatwa against Chaharshanbe Suri

This year the regime expressed its fear of protests by stepping up its attempts to prevent celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri. Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against the Fire Festival, saying that “Chaharshanbe Suri has no religious basis and it leads to damage or corruption or propagation of false beliefs, not permitted.” Members of the regime’s judiciary warned people in several cities that “those in violation” would be dealt with severely.

Protests and Clashes with Suppressive Forces

Despite these threats, youth in a number of cities, including Tehran, Mashad, Karaj, Masjed Soleiman, Khorramabad, Semnan, Ilam, and Mahshahr protested on Tuesday, burning pictures and effigies of Khamenei and Khomeini and chanting, “Death to Khamenei, death to the principle of Velayat-e-faqih, death to the dictator, with you, Dictator, we would fight fire with fire!

 

In other cities, people attacked official centers with sound grenades and fireworks. In the city of

Divandareh, youth clashed with repressive forces, who fired guns into the air to disperse protesters.

Attempts at Suppression

In Isfahan and several other cities, security forces unsuccessfully attempted to stop people from celebrating Chaharshanbe Suri, but their attacks were not enough to stop the Fire Festival.

 

The clerical regime slowed the Internet in some areas and cut off access to the Internet completely in others in attempts to prevent protesters from sharing photographs and videos of the protests on social media. These efforts were not entirely successful.

Background

Chaharshanbe Suri is an Iranian tradition that predates the Islamic regime. The Fire Festival takes place on the last Tuesday before Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and includes a number of traditions, including jumping over a bonfire. The holiday has long been a target of the mullahs’ ire because of its association with pre-Islamic tradition, but it is deeply ingrained in Iranian culture and particularly popular among the nation’s youth. Attempts to suppress public celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri have proved to be fruitless, and over the past two years, the holiday has become a symbol of the growing Resistance Movement.

The MEK’s Social Headquarters issued a communique on March 1, 2019, inviting the youth of Iran and the Resistance Units to burn pictures and effigies of Khamenei, Khomeini, and other symbols of the regime in every street and corner during celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri.

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1988 Massacre,Alejo Vidal-Quadras,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Dr. Vidal Quadras writes to the Guardian objecting its article in bashing the MEK, Iran's main opposition

Former vice-President of the EP: EU Must ‘Rethink the Way We Deal With Iran’s Inhumane Theocracy’

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 and a prominent Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics, penned an op-ed for Fair Observer criticizing the EU’s approach to the Iranian regime.

The professor cited the regime’s latest appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the Iranian judiciary as yet further evidence that the regime remains committed to stifling political dissent at home and abroad. A recent Amnesty International report into the 1988 massacre, in which the Iranian regime killed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), asserts that Raisi was directly involved in the roundup and execution of the political prisoners. He was part of a “death committee” in Iran that sent tens of thousands of Iranians to the gallows.

The case, which Vidal-Quadras denounces as a “crime against humanity”, went too far even for several regime insiders. In 2016, a recording of the successor to the Supreme Leader in 1988 was released in which Hossein Ali Montazeri can be heard denouncing the executions as “the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic.”

He told the regime leadership that “history will condemn us,” and added, “they’ll write your names as criminals in history.”

A Source of Pride

For Vidal-Quadras, the evil deeds of 1988 have been compounded by the reluctance to bring those accountable to justice in the subsequent years. “This crime against humanity is not only an insufficient cause for investigation and punishment of the perpetrators but a source of pride for its instigators,” he lamented.

Raisi has previously boasted of his role in the massacre. In 2015, he spoke of his atrocities against the MEK with glee. Vidal-Quadras asks, “weren’t the European Union’s efforts to appease Iran and all these years of dialogue and concessions supposed to empower moderate figures and isolate the hardliners?”

For Vidal-Quadras, the EU has been duped. It has fallen into Tehran’s trap of believing that there are two warring factions; one made up of religious hardliners and one of more placid moderates. As Europe rushed to appease the Iranian “moderates”, the regime received financial aid it could use to repress its people and carry out human rights abuses.

The appointment of Raisi, a “mass murderer”, to the head of the judiciary shows that there is no such division. There are only hardliners. Vidal-Quadras calls on the European Union and its foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to add Raisi and other senior figures of the regime leadership to the EU’s sanctions list. “Europe must work forcefully for the right of Iran’s people to live in freedom and democracy,” he said.

Vidal-Quadras concluded, “the EU was founded on the principle of human rights. It is high time for the EU to understand its failure and to rethink the way we deal with this inhumane theocracy.”

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Human Rights,Iran human rights,Javaid Rehman,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Regime Ambassador to U.N. Criticizes MEK for Exposing Human Rights Abuses

Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, delivering his report to the UN

On Monday, March 11th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman presented his first report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. In his report to the council, Rehman expressed concern about the increasing number of executions in Iran and the regime’s practice of sentencing minors to the death penalty.

In responding to Rehman’s report, the Iranian regime’s Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh focused on the MEK’s role in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses, saying, “It is very unfortunate that one of the main sources for the Special Rapporteur’s documents is the [MEK] who have been recognized by their supporters as the opposition and human rights advocates.”

Hamaneh’s words are reflective of the regime’s attitude toward the MEK, which it sees as an existential threat and often attempts to delegitimize when it feels threatened.

Despite Hamaneh’s assertions, Rehman’s report is consistent with the U.N. ’s previous research, which has found Iran to be the world’s leader in executions per capita for years. The Iranian regime has refused a number of requests by Rehman to visit the country to independently assess the situation.

Children Sentenced to Death

Rehman was particularly concerned about the fact that the Iranian regime regularly sentences children to death. Under Iranian law, the death penalty may be imposed on girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15. This is a clear violation of both international law and U.N. conventions. As a member of the United Nations, this practice is a violation.

“The practice, illustrated in numerous cases reviewed, of waiting until the child offender reaches the age of 18 before execution, repeated postponements, and the inherent vulnerability of the child given his or her age, amounts to a pattern of torture and other ill-treatment,” said Rehman.

He further stated that at least six people convicted of crimes that occurred when they were under the age of 18 were executed in 2018. Another 85 child offenders currently await execution.

Rehman called on the Iranian regime to comply with international law by abolishing the death penalty for juvenile offenders. He also asked that all current death sentences against children be commuted.

Release of Imprisoned Protesters

Rehman also expressed concern about the regime’s treatment of protesters who have taken to the streets in increasing numbers since the nationwide popular uprisings in December 2017. He noted that the country is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has led to massive protests over unpaid or delayed wages, water and food shortages, lack of healthcare, high unemployment, and substandard living conditions.

The Iranian regime has responded to protests by arresting the participants in large numbers. Rehman called for their release.

In his report, Rehman said, “Today, the people of Iran face a myriad of challenges. Many have voiced their concern through protests, demonstrations, and strikes. People from diverse sections of society—from truck drivers to teachers to factory workers—across the country have protested. It is in this context of increased challenges that concerns are mounting about human rights, including the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and to association in Iran.”

 

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,Tahar Boumedra

Tahar Bumedra

Former UNAMI Human Rights Chief Denounces the Ebrahim Raisi’s Appointment

Tahar Bumedra

Tahar Bumedra, speaking at a conference on the situation of human rights in Iran- March 7, 2019

Tahar Boumedra, the former chief of the human rights office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), penned an op-ed for the prominent news and analysis site, Eurasian Review. The legal expert and human rights champion criticized the Iranian regime over its recent appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the judiciary.

Boumedra traced Raisi’s historic disregard for human rights, describing Raisi’s involvement in the 1988 massacre which led to the execution of more than 30,000 Iranian political dissidents. “Raisi was among the officials appointed to three-person “death commissions.”

Top clergies in charge of the criminal Iranian regime’s Judiciary. From left to right, Ebrahim Reisi, recently promoted as the chief of regime’s Judiciary, member of the 1988 Massacre’s Death Committee, Sadegh Larijani, previous chief of the regime’s Judiciary, Mohsen Ejehei, the deputy of regime’s Judiciary, Pour Mohammadi, regime’s previous Minister of “Justice”, also one of the 4 members of the Death Committee during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.

In his role in the death commission, Raisi rounded up and killed members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian pro-democracy groups. Boumedra writes, “the precise scope of the killings remains unclear because many of the victims were buried in secret mass graves,” many of which were subsequently paved over in an attempt to hide the regime’s atrocities. The deliberate destruction of evidence in this manner prompted Amnesty International to call for a full UN-led investigation into the massacre.

Given the regime’s willingness to promote those involved in the massacre, such as Raisi, to senior positions within the regime, it cannot be trusted to carry out a full and impartial investigation into the matter. Prior to 2016, when audio recordings were discovered outlining the regime’s involvement in the killings, the regime refused to acknowledge the massacre took place at all. Since the recordings, made by Hossein Ali Montarezi, were made available to the public, the regime has instead focused its efforts on justifying the massacre.

No Shame

“When asked in 2016 about the killings of PMOI (MEK) members and other critics of the Iranian regime, Pourmohammadi (the former Justice Minister) openly stated that he was “proud” to have helped to carry out “God’s command” of death,” Bumedra pointed out. Pourmohammadi was then replaced in 2017 by another former death commission member, Alireza Avaie.

“These and other high-profile appointments have sent the clear message that the regime stands by its past acts of violent oppression and has no interest in rehabilitating its image,” Boumedra wrote. Raisi’s appointment only serves to further demonstrate this message.

The Implications for the Opposition

Raisi’s appointment will have a significant impact on the Iranian opposition movement and the MEK. It sends the message that Tehran is intending to crack down even harder on Iranian protestors and civil disobedience. As the Iranian opposition gears up for another year of protests in 2019, the Iranian opposition will no doubt hear this message.

However, they are unlikely to be deterred. Since 2017, the Iranian protest movement has expanded. It has untied Iranians from all walks of life and pensioners, teachers, students, factory workers, investors, farmers, and truck drivers have all marched against the violent and repressive clerical regime shoulder to shoulder.

For the MEK, who have played a leading role in the protest movement, Raisi’s appointment indicates that the regime is setting the scene for another massacre. Boumedra points out that only the international community can stop another massacre on the same scale as 1988. They must apply economic pressure to the mullahs and secure human rights reform. Without it, the lives of millions of Iranians hang in the balance.

Staff Writer

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