Adam Ereli,Disinformation Campaign,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK's Support,Michael Rubin,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Ambassador Adam Ereli

Former US Ambassador of Bahrain Debunks Hit Piece Against the MEK

Ambassador Adam Ereli

Amb. Adam Ereli, the former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, speaking at the panel of experts titled “the current policy of the U.S. and Europe toward the Iranian regime and policy recommendations to support the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran” organized by the Foundation for Middle Eastern Studies (FEMO)-June 2018, Paris

On March 28, 2019, The National Interest published an op-ed by Michael Rubin. The piece, entitled ‘The Mojahedin e-Khalk Aren’t America’s Friends’ was a hit piece against the largest Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK).

Rubin claimed that the MEK had limited support inside Iran, even among those that do not agree with the methods of the clerical regime and are in favor of regime change.

The piece was so inaccurate in its portrayal of the pro-democracy group that it inspired Joseph Adam Ereli, the former US Ambassador to Bahrain and Deputy State Department Spokesman under President George W. Bush, to write an op-ed of his own.

In the op-ed, also published on The National Interest, Ereli accuses Rubin of missing a crucial point;

“the reason this Iranian opposition group has survived for so long is precisely because it has support inside Iran.”

Considering the Evidence

Ereli implores his readers to consider the evidence instead of taking Rubin’s piece at face value. In 1988, the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Khomeini considered the MEK such a threat to the regime’s future in power, he had 30,000 political prisoners rounded up and killed, the majority of which were MEK activists.

If, as Rubin claims, the MEK was “unable to win any support from Iranians inside Iran”, why would the Iranian leader carry out such a widespread, and potentially damaging, crackdown on the opposition group, write Amb. Ereli?

There are also signs within Iran today that the MEK enjoys support from the Iranian population. Since 2017, protests have swept across Iran’s towns and cities. All segments of Iranian society have rallied together and taken to the streets in protest at the regime’s repressive policies, routine human rights abuses and gross economic mismanagement.

“Since December 2017, the government of Iran has been facing unprecedented waves of protests throughout the country. Iranians from all classes, social backgrounds, age demographics from every one of the country’s thirty-one provinces have been engaged in demonstrations against clerical rule. Students, merchants, truck drivers, young and old, educated and illiterate have called for an end to the Iranian revolution, which has brought them little beyond isolation, privation and corruption.

Video evidence from inside Iran shows that many of these protestors are MEK supporters. They hang pictures of Maryam Rajavi, the head of the MEK’s parent organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) from highway overpasses. They parade with signs condemning the regime and endorsing the MEK in front of mosques and major squares in Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz and even Qom, the seat of mullahs’ power. These people are putting their lives on the line. They know that if caught, they and their family members will be arrested, tortured and—some at least—probably executed. Yet despite the risk, they persist. These are not the actions of paid shills.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani even acknowledged the MEK’s role in the protests. In January 2018, when the wave of domestic protests reached its peak, Rouhani phoned French President Emmanuel Macron and requested that he limit the MEK’s operations in France. The French President declined to act.

A Costly and Extensive Demonisation Campaign

To further demonstrate his point, Ereli reminds his readers that the clerical regime devotes vast sums of money and extensive resources to demonizing the MEK both at home and abroad.

“Iran’s state media has produced a total of nineteen movies, series and documentaries- some of them consisting of up to twenty-eight segments of thirty to forty-five minutes each- that demonize the MEK.”

Referring to Michael Rubin’s efforts in trying to promote the Monarchists as an alternative to the MEK, Ereli writes:

“He [Rubin] then marshals a series of anecdotes and assertions in romanticizing about the make-believe world in which Iranians once again become subjects of the Pahlavi monarchy. He says that one storekeeper asked: “Oh my shah, my shah, where is my shah?” It is unclear if he is trying to be funny or just disingenuous.

To my knowledge, the regime has not spent a dime on demonizing the elderly remnants of the monarchy, but it does pay journalists abroad to publish fake stories against the MEK. The head of a major Canadian think tank revealed that the Iranian regime embassy offered him up to $80,000 to refer to the MEK as a “cult” in his publications.”

Ereli concludes that “This unprecedented demonization campaign tells me that the regime views the MEK (and only the MEK) as an existential threat.”

The Spectre of Terror

Ereli also cites the string of failed regime terror plots against the MEK as further evidence that the regime views the MEK and its increasing popularity among young Iranians at home and abroad as a direct threat to its future in power.

In 2018, the regime planned terror attacks against MEK members in France, Albania, and the United States. In response to these plots on European and US soil, France, Belgium, Germany, and Albania expelled diplomats from Iranian embassies in their countries.

Ereli concludes,

“suffice to say, that the MEK’s base of support does not lie in Washington, Paris or any other capital. It lies in the hearts and minds of the legions of Iranians who have and continue to be the target of the murderous policies of a ruthless and unrepentant Iranian regime.”


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Flooding in Ahvaz

Bungled Flood Response Lead to Cause Massive Protests

Flooding in Ahvaz

Photo credit to Iran News Wire-The locals in Ahvaz, rushing to block the flash flooding from damaging their farms, as the government seems not to care about them.

In the aftermath of a series of devastating floods that ravaged more than 27 provinces in Iran, thousands of survivors say that they have been abandoned by the regime. While the Tasnim news agency and other state-run media outlets continue to report that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Basij Forces, and other regime agencies are providing assistance to flood victims, reports from local residents and dozens of videos shared on social media tell a different story.

Flood Victims in Khuzestan Left without Shelter

The southwestern province of Khuzestan sustained heavy damage from the floods, leaving numerous people homeless and entire towns destroyed. In one video shared on social media, a man broke down sobbing, saying that he had still not received a tent one week after losing his home.

“How much cruelty?! I have been surrounded by water for seven days. They can’t come here and give me a tent?! My sister is sleeping under a tree. Didn’t we participate in the [Iran-Iraq] war to defend our country,” he asked.

“Who should I ask (for help)? Whomever I ask, they say it’s not my responsibility. I asked the IRGC, the army, and the Governor. Who should I ask then?! You give me an address to go wherever you say. Maybe I should kill myself. Why am I even alive?!” he cried.

Other videos show people in Khuzestan making their own flood barriers bags filled with rice and sand.

Pictures show young men sleeping on their homemade barriers to protect them at night.

Women Assist Lorestan Flood Victims

A video from Lorestan Province shows Iranian Arab women making bread for flood victims in the western province.


Lorestan Province was among the hardest-hit by the recent floods, and many villages are still inaccessible by roads. Residents in these areas have still not received badly-needed assistance from the regime, so Iranian youth are walking for hours through mountainous terrain to deliver supplies to their countrymen.

Waiting for an Opportunity

The failure of the regime to provide assistance to its people after the deadly floods have led to growing anger among the population. A number of regime officials and state-run media outlets and journalists have expressed concern that this anger could lead to a revolt.

Former regime intelligence official and political strategist Saied Hajarian worried that the regime’s failure to provide flood assistance could lead to distrust in the government.

“We have to take note that the crisis of distrust will lead to a crisis of discredit to the extent that people will prefer neutral foreign arbitrators to their Iranian counterparts,” he said.

In an April 9th interview published on the Fararu website, “reformist” journalist Abbas Abdi warned that the people were already angry with the regime and that the floods would cause additional protests.

“The people are waiting for an opportunity to vent out [their frustration] and what better opportunity than floods and similar incidents,” he added.

The Shoaar Sal website, which is affiliated with the regime, acknowledged that the regime has been negligent in addressing the floods in Lorestan Province, warning that the “people’s increased distrust will have horrifying effects in the future.”

Lack of Public Trust

The Ebtekar daily newspaper, which is closely tied to regime President Hassan Rouhani, wrote that the Iranian people no longer trust state-run media, turning instead to social media for flood-related news. The MEK uses its network inside Iran to share information on social media and the Internet as a whole. This has been invaluable in countering the mullahs’ propaganda and giving the Iranian people the power to access accurate news.

It admitted, “We continue to witness the public’s lack of trust in official media against social networks. The internet and reports on social media are more trusted by the people than official media.”

The regime has consistently underreported the extent of the damages and fatalities caused by catastrophic floods. Official reports claim that 70 people died in more than 20 days of flooding in 25 provinces.

Local reports and eyewitness accounts contradict that number. Several hundred men, women, and children are believed to have died in the floods, mostly in the cities of Shiraz and Poldokhtar.

The regime’s Attorney General attempted to suppress accurate reporting on the floods and the government’s response to them by threatening publishers of “fake news” on the floods, saying that anyone found publishing information contradicting official reports would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

According to Tehran’s Chief of Police, four people were arrested in the nation’s capital for “spreading rumors” about the regime’s botched response to the floods.

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Chief commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)

After Calls from the MEK and NCRI, the US is Set to Include the IRGC and MOIS in its Terror Blacklist


Chief commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)

IRGC Commander, Ghassem Soleimani (Middle) commander of the terrorist Quds force, sitting next to Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari is the Iranian commander-in-chief of the IRGC (left), and IRGC deputy commander Salami (Right)

Over the weekend, two op-eds captured the international sentiment towards the Iranian regime. The first came on Saturday, April 6. Ali Safavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) Foreign Affairs Committee wrote an op-ed for Lima Charlie World calling on the international community to acknowledge the threat of Iranian state-sponsored terror.

The Iranian regime has openly admitted that it sends agents to the United States and other nations under the guise of journalists. In August last year, US authorities arrested two agents of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) for plotting a terror attack against members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), an opposition pro-democracy group.

Given the clear evidence that the Iranian regime is planning terror attacks on US soil, Safavi argues that that the MOIS and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) should be included in the US’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.

The two are already on the US government’s Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) blacklist.

The IRGC plays a central role in suppressing the political opposition within Iran. Companies associated with the entity control most of the Iranian economy.

Exporting Terrorism and Violence

Safavi describes how both the IRGC and the MOIS are active in several countries across the globe. “The IRGC has numerous facilities inside Iran to train terrorists as part of the regime’s strategy to step up its meddling abroad,” he writes.

The IRGC has also been behind around 608 deaths of American service members, around 17% of the total US personnel deaths in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. This is in addition to the many thousands of Iranians it has tortured and killed.

2018 saw a marked increase in the regime’s state-sponsored terrorism output. Plots were foiled in Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US. Iranians and European citizens were among those targeted.

Safavi argues that the MOIS and IRGC meet the criteria for inclusion on the FTO list. Under Section 29 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a group must meet three requirements for inclusion on the list. It must be a foreign organization. It must engage in terror activities, or “retain the capability and intent to engage” in terrorist activities, and it must pose a threat to US nationals or the national security of the United States.

The IRGC and MOIS clearly fulfill all three requirements.

A Welcome Announcement

Writing for Eurasia Review, human rights advocate Hassan Mahmoudi wrote that the blacklisting of IRGC would, “ramp up pressure on the elite force.”

The move will be welcomed among the Iranian opposition, including the NCRI and MEK. The MEK’s president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, has been calling for a more assertive stance towards the Iranian regime from the international community. This inclusion of its MOIS and IRGC forces will be just that.

On January 11, Maryam Rajavi urged the US to include the IRGC in its FTO. She also called for governments to refer Iranian human rights abuses to the UN Security Council.

For decades, western governments have adopted a policy of appeasement towards Iran. In doing so, it has empowered and emboldened the regime. Mahmoudi writes, “inaction regarding the IRGC and MOIS has further enabled the regime to set up missile factories in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq in order to broaden its regional sphere of influence.”


The inclusion of the organizations on the FTO is more than simply a symbolic one. It will make it illegal for a US person to provide material “support or resources” to these entities. This includes advice or assistance. It will also allow the government to remove MOIS or IRGC officials from US soil.

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IranHRM March report

Iran Human Rights Monitor Releases its Monthly Report for March


IranHRM March report

The cover photo for “Iran Human Rights Monitor” report – March edition, covering the horrific flooding and the consequences of the mismanagement of the regime on the people residing in the flood-stricken areas.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report for the month of March. The group shone a light on the recent flooding that has affected 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces, reporting that at least 200 Iranian have lost their lives in the disaster.

The group accused the regime’s aid of being “too little and too slow.” Instead of getting aid workers to the regions affected as quickly as possible, the regime dispatched its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Basij forces. They were instructed to prevent any outbreak of protests.

As Iranians were stranded without food and water, the regime refused to help, instead focusing on its own preservation. “Many social media users observed that residents, often themselves victims of the floods, rushed to help others, while the authorities did very little or nothing,” Iran Human Rights Monitor reported.

Inspired by messages of solidarity from President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, Iran’s citizens rallied around each other and offered their support for their fellow compatriots. Shop owners, mechanics and other business owners in Shiraz offered their services to the flood victims free of charge.

A Regime Responsible

Iran Human Rights Monitor noted that the regime must bear a share of the responsibility for the scale of the flooding. “Authorities have been over-constructing for a long time and it has destroyed the natural flood barriers that were in place,” it reported.

The regime has destroyed more than 30% of the country’s forests, built villas in agricultural lands, failed to effectively upkeep dams and built on vulnerable river banks and flood plains. This natural mismanagement of Iran’s natural flood defenses exacerbated the disaster and undoubtedly led to the destruction and loss of life this month.

Human Rights Abuses

The group also reports that the regime carried out 15 public executions over the course of the month, including a father and son in Birjand Prison charged with the murder of two regime agents.

Three activists received flogging sentences.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer arrested in 2018, was tried again on a further seven charges. The lawyer is currently in prison serving a five-year sentence for “association and collusion with the intent of sabotaging national security”. She was tried in absentia for a further seven charges. Her lawyer was prevented from attending the trial. She received another 34-year prison sentence and 148 lashes.

Sotoudeh became the target of the regime’s injustices for her peaceful human rights work. She was vocal in her defense of women protesting the regime’s compulsory veil laws and a public critic of the death penalty.

Along with Sotoudeh, labor activist Arsham Rezai received an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence. He was tried without a lawyer or prior notice. He was accused of “spreading propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.”

There were also reports of prisoners being denied treatment. Ali Badrkhani, who is being held at Urmia Central Prison, is reportedly being denied access to outside treatment for his kidney disease. Abolghasam Fouladvand at Raja’I Shahr Prison is also reportedly being denied treatment for his heart failure.

The Persecution of Ethnic Minorities

Iran Human Rights Monitor also reported the rampant arrest of ethnic minority groups in Iran. In March, the Iranian Judiciary sentenced 23 members of the Sufi Dervish to a total of 190 years in prison and numerous lashes. Most of those convicted received sentences of between six and nine years and will serve them in the Greater Tehran Prison.

At least eight Iranian- Arabs from Ahvaz and 24 Kurds were also arrested throughout the month.

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90 Flood Deaths in One Western Iranian City, According to Internal Police Report

Flood covers vast areas of Khuzestan Province, South West Iran

Flooding in western Iran led to the deaths of at least 90 people, according to an internal police report. The deaths occurred in the city of Poldokhtar in Lorestan Province during the country’s most recent fatal flood.

Poldokhtar is surrounded by the Karkheh River. The city flooded when heavy rains caused the river to swell, and the dams overflowed.

Kioumars Heydari, Commander of the regime’s Army’s Ground Forces, acknowledged that conditions in Poldokhtar were “horrific” in an interview with the IRGC affiliated Tasnim News Agency.

“The bridges and roads have been completely blocked off and homes in villages have been engulfed by water up to their rooftops,” he added.
Videos posted on social media show homes in Poldokhtar collapsing from the force of the rushing water.

Regime Official Denies Deaths

Heydari denied that anyone died in the catastrophic floods, though. On Tuesday, he told the ISNA News Agency that “there were no fatalities” reported in the floods, directly contradicting the internal report.

Heydari also claimed that “the necessary equipment for relief aid to the people of Poldokhtar had been provided.” Heydari is responsible for providing emergency aid to the residents of Poldokhtar.

This is despite local reports, which indicate that a number of people were stranded on their rooftops for a day without food, water, or assistance.

Flood victims in other areas of Iran have been vocal in their criticism of regime officials’ response to the floods. Residents of flood-stricken areas say that they have received no emergency aid from the government and that what assistance they have received has come from the public.

The Iranian regime frequently covers up the number of fatalities in disasters. This is largely due to the fact that the Iranian people fault the regime for its mismanagement of the country’s infrastructure and its destructive environmental policies, both of which worsen the effects of natural and manmade disasters.

Publishers of Flood Reports Threatened

Those who have reported on the floods have been threatened with arrest. The regime’s Attorney General recently warned that publishers of “fake” news about the floods were violating national security and that anyone who was caught publishing such information would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

The disparities between the regime’s official reporting of the fatal floods and local and eyewitness reports are significant. Local reports, which are supported by numerous videos and eyewitness accounts, indicate that at least 150 people lost their lives during the March 25th floods at the Quran Gate in Shiraz. Regime officials claim that 19 people died in the deadly floods.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) called for solidarity among the people of Iran in a statement last week. The regime has neglected and abandoned people affected by the flood, so Iranians, particularly the youth and the MEK’s Resistance Units, must organize councils and provide assistance to one another.

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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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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.”

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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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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Regime Apologist Publishes Falsehoods and Propaganda 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).


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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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.

Staff writer

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