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.

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Giulio Terzi,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Giulio Terzi

Giulio Terzi: Western Policymakers have Turned a ‘Blind Eye’ to Rouhani’s Human Rights Record

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

Former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi, wrote another opinion piece calling for European governments to sever economic ties with the ruthless and violent Iranian regime. The piece, entitled ‘Six Years After Rouhani’s Election, Moderation is as Far Away as Ever for Iran’, appeared in Euractiv on Friday, March 8.

In the piece, Terzi criticized the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as Head of the Iranian Judiciary which took place last week. Although Raisi’s predecessor was far from a moderate, his appointment represents a step back for Iranian human rights. “Raisi represents the worst features of the Iranian judiciary,” Terzi wrote, “at best his appointment by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei signals the regime’s public disregards for international human rights principles, and at worst it sets the stage for a dramatic upsurge in politically-motivated killings.”

A Dark Past

Raisi’s past is of particular concern. Like previous heads of the judiciary, he was part of the “death commissions” that took part in the 1988 massacre when regime agents rounded up and executed more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition. Many of those killed were members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group in Iran. Their only crime was their “failure to demonstrate loyalty to the theocratic dictatorship,” Terzi lamented.

The 30,000 executions took place in the span of a single summer. Many were buried in unmarked graves, the whereabouts of which the regime has continued to withhold, leaving many families in the dark on the fate of their loved ones.

The massacre was the regime’s response to growing calls for democracy. The MEK has established itself as a viable alternative to the regime’s ruthless branch of religious fascism, which it remains to this day.  “The massacre failed in its goal,” argues Terzi, “the PMOI (MEK) went on to gain in strength and popularity over the next three decades.” Today, the MEK is instrumental in coordinating protests against the regime’s economic mismanagement and rampant human rights abuses. It played a central role in the nationwide protests that rapidly spread across the country in 2018.

Like in 1988, the regime’s response has been to suppress protests through a violent crackdown on the Iranian opposition. In January alone, more than 8,000 Iranian protestors were detained and 50 were killed.

A Sustained Crackdown

When viewed in the context of recent events, Raisi’s appointment can be seen as a continued part of the regime’s backlash against the MEK and the Iranian opposition. Terzi called it

“a deliberate message to Iran’s activist community that the regime is ready to carry out further massacres.”

There have already been signs of impending violence. The clerical regime has made overt threats of executions against those engaging in protests and strikes against the regime.

 

Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, often championed among European governments as a “moderate” influence within the Iranian regime, has shown indifference towards the appointment of murderers and criminals to senior positions in the Iranian judiciary. He has also filled his own cabinet with those that took part in the 1988 massacre. These appointments show that at best, Rouhani is a loyal servant to the Supreme Leader and at worst, he is another hardliner, happy to promote murderers and brutes.

“Western policymakers have turned a blind eye to his record,” Terzi asserts, “because of their expectations about opening up Iranian markets and gaining access to Iranian oil.” “Such a short-sighted attitude cannot be a guiding principle for Western policies toward the Islamic Republic anymore,” Terzi concludes.

Terzi calls for the immediate severance of ties with Iranian businesses and diplomats. “The international community should push for an independent inquiry about all the crimes committed by the Iranian regime,” he asserts. If Tehran refuses, then international governments must embrace the only viable alternative to regime rule: the MEK.

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Geneva Conference on situation of human rights in Iran,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Struan Stevenson

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

Former Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, Speaks at Human Rights Conference in Geneva

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

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

Former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Struan Stevenson, spoke at a conference in Geneva on the human rights situation in Iran calling on the International Community and particularly the European governments to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes in Iran. He began by describing how, “after 40 years of a brutal clerical dictatorship, today, 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

Iranians are making their voices heard at an unprecedented level. In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets to demonstrate the regime’s brutality and violence. “Men, women, students, teachers, truck drivers, sugar-cane workers, business owners, and pensioners,” have come together under the call for regime change and in opposition to the regime’s greed, repression, and warmongering.

The mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances has left vast swathes of the population living below the poverty line and struggling to put food on the table.

“Instead of trying to mend Iran’s broken economy, the mullahs have used their equivalent of the Gestapo, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), to crack down on the demonstrators, murdering dozens and arresting over ten thousand,” Stevenson told those gathered in Geneva. Despite the very real threat to their freedom and lives, Iran’s brave protestors have not been deterred, but continue to oppose regime oppression and violence wherever it occurs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group, work tirelessly to organize protests and raise international awareness to the Iranian cause.

Their effort is necessary. Stevenson said, “Iran is the most repressive country in the Middle East. It executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Here we have a regime that tortures, rapes, sodomizes, and executes political prisoners.” It uses flogging, amputations, and hanging as methods of punishment and has executed more than 4,000 people under the Rouhani administration.

One of the Worst Atrocities of the Twentieth Century

In 1988, the Iranian regime committed one of the worst human rights abuses of the twentieth century. In one summer, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, many of whom were members of the MEK.

Although Amnesty International recently released a landmark report on the atrocity and have petitioned the UN to investigate, the crimes went largely unrecognized by the international community and no formal international investigation took place.

“The perpetrators of that massacre are still in positions of power within the regime today,” Stevenson exclaimed. “Many have even boasted about their roles.” One of these has been Ebrahim Raisi, President Hassan Rouhani’s head of the Iranian judiciary.

Death Committee Member Appointed as Regime Judiciary Chief

The leader of Iran opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, has frequently criticized the move. In a recent Tweet, she wrote, “the Iranian regime has appointed Ebrahim Raisi, one of the most brutal agents of the 1988 massacre.” She continued, “in doing so, it has made a mockery of justice and trampled upon all legal and judicial standards.”

In Geneva, Stevenson continued, “despite this appalling record of human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, we still have EU governments that prefer to overlook these issues and seek to continue to sign trade deals as an act of craven appeasement of the vile Iranian regime.”

Many European heads of state have expressed a reluctance to follow the US’s lead in adopting strict economic sanctions against the regime. In what amounts to a gesture of placing profits ahead of human rights, France, Germany, and the UK are actively exploring ways to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

Stevenson concluded his address by saying, “appeasing and kowtowing to this brutal dictatorship is a historic mistake and a betrayal of the Iranian people. The mullahs must be held to account for their crimes. They cannot benefit from impunity.” He finished with a call to the UN. “The focus of the civilized world today is on the United Nations. Please heed the cries of the oppressed millions in Iran.”

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Alfred de Zayas,Human rights situation in Iran,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,Parviz Khazai,PMOI,Remy Pagani,Struan Stevenson,UN Geneva

Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Families of Victims and International Experts Speak About Iranian Human Rights in Geneva

Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

The panel of speakers at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

On Thursday, March 7, the Iranian opposition gathered in Geneva for a conference on the Iranian regime’s human rights record throughout 2018. The Iranian people have endured four decades of regime rule. They have suffered barbaric and violent human rights abuses. But now they are making their voices heard and taking to the streets to say, ‘enough is enough’.

Ongoing Abuses

A recent Amnesty International report confirmed that the regime has arrested more than 7,000 members of the Iranian opposition over the past year, many being charged for their affiliation to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest of the Iranian opposition groups.

Remy Pagani, a Swiss politician, opened the conference by decrying these arrests. He told those gathered that “it is time that democracy moves forward, and human rights are respected in Iran.”

An Outraged Population

The Iranian people are doing all they can to move democracy forward. Protests break out across the country daily. Most recently, Iran’s teachers demonstrated over unpaid wages and the unlawful arrests of their peers. “After 40 years of clerical dictatorship, 80 million Iranians have had enough,” former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, Struan Stevenson said, “men and women, students, truck drivers… have taken to the streets in protest against [the] fascist mullahs’ regime.”

Aside from rampant human rights abuses, the economic decline caused by the mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances is galvanizing the population. Iran’s middle-class is shrinking. Inflation has skyrocketed. Iranian purchasing power has dropped dramatically, and many workers now struggle to make ends meet.

When Parviz Khazai addressed the conference, he criticized the mullahs’ wasteful spending that brought about the economic collapse of Iran. “The regime is at war with its own people but also at war against [the] Lebanese… it supports dictators, spending Iranian assets in the war against [the] people of the region and elsewhere,” he said.

At War With Its Own People

Khazai’s words couldn’t be more accurate. The regime has conducted a war against its own population. It is one of the most repressive states on earth and routinely tortures, hangs, and gouges out the eyes of its own population.

In 1988, the regime executed 30,000 members of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. Death squads rounded up dissidents and marched them to the gallows. Amnesty International recently released a report on the massacre, but it has been overlooked by the international community and the UN in recent years. This has been an ongoing issue, one that the Iranian opposition and their allies are calling to amend.

Taher Bumedra of the MEK said on the subject, “we hope the new rapporteur will continue to work on this issue and his next report will include this crime against humanity perpetrated by the mullahs’ regime in 1988.”

Inaction Only Emboldens the Regime

All the speakers were in agreement that inaction over the regime’s human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre, only serves to embolden the regime and continue their crimes. Bumedra added,

“if the UN does not take action on the massacres that took place in Iran, that will encourage the regime to continue its behavior.”

Waiting for the regime to investigate itself is not an option. Many of those involved in the 1988 massacre now hold senior positions in Rouhani’s government, including the head of the judiciary, which only serves to compound the trauma the families of the 1988 victims carry with them.

Alfred de Zayas, a former UN independent expert on democracy and equitable international order, called for an investigation into the crimes. He said the “mullahs should not have impunity.”

Women Bear the Brunt of the Regime’s Crimes

Today, women are among those that suffer most under the regime. In Geneva, Simin Nouri, the President of the Association of Iranian Women in France, shed light on the plight of Iranian women. She said 30 million women across the country now live in poverty, many of which are forced to turn to prostitution to make money to survive.

Because of this, women are at the forefront of the protests against the regime. They are an integral part of the Iranian resistance. Nouri said, “regime authorities have confessed that the main triggers to protests have been women rejecting all powers in the regime and its corruption and expansionism.”

Despite routine harassment, arbitrary arrest, and torture, the brave men and women of Iran continue to take to the streets to protest this vile and abhorrent regime. Nouri called on the international community to “support morally and physically the protestors in Iran.”

Abandoning the Most Vulnerable

Among all the regime’s deplorable acts, few are as violent and merciless as its treatment of Iran’s children. Victims are executed for crimes they committed as children, under the age of 18 and public executions leave young Iranians traumatized. Sahar Sanaie drew attention to their situation. She said, “children experience daily humiliation of their mothers and other women of their family.” Schools teach young girls they are inferior.

Later in the conference, the families of those executed at the hands of the regime were given the floor. They told heart-wrenching details about how 16-year-old and 18-year-old family members were executed for nothing more than holding political beliefs that differed from those of the mullahs.

One family member, Sima Mirzaie, said, “it is 40 years that my and other families have [had] no rest. We ask the UN to bring the perpetrators to be tried. It is our legal right to know what transpired with our loved ones.”

This brutal regime cannot be permitted to carry out these crimes without consequence and punishment. It is up to all of us to be the voice of those who have been killed by the regime and add our calls to those calling on the UN to launch a full investigation into the crimes of 1988, and those more recently. Without it, Iranian families will continue to struggle, not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

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1988 Massacre,Ashraf III,Disinformation by MOIS,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson-News Conference in London

Struan Stevenson Presents New Report on Regime’s Demonization Campaign against the MEK in Albania

Struan Stevenson-News Conference in London

The Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), former MEP (1999-2014), at a news conference in London, introducing a new book, titled, ‘ASHRAF III – Rising from the Ashes’ about the recent visit by a delegation of European MEPs to Ashraf III, the main residence of the MEK in Albania-March 5, 2019

On Tuesday, Struan Stevenson presented his new report, “Ashraf III – Rising From The Ashes,” at a press conference in London. Stevenson is a former Member of European Parliament, the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, and a longtime supporter of the MEK and has written extensively about Iran and the Western policy of appeasement toward the mullahs. His latest report describes the regime’s latest efforts to demonize the MEK through propaganda and eliminate the resistance organization through terrorist plots.

Terrorist Plots

During his remarks at the press conference, Stevenson discussed the Iranian regime’s escalating terrorist plots and propaganda attacks against the MEK under the leadership of “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani.

“The regime plotted to bomb a rally in Paris. I was at that rally. Several other terror plots were perpetrated by Iranian regime agents in Europe,” Stevenson said, describing the regime’s foiled terrorist plot on last year’s Free Iran rally outside of Paris, which targeted tens of thousands of MEK members and supporters, as well as hundreds of high-ranking politicians and dignitaries from all over the world. Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat, was arrested by German law enforcement for masterminding the attempted bombing and now awaiting trial in Belgium on terrorist charges. “But despite all that, we still have Europeans trying to sign trade deals with Iran as part of an appeasement policy,” Stevenson continued. “These countries have shamefully set up INSTEXT to bypass U.S. sanctions in a somewhat barter system.”

Recent Developments in Iran

Stevenson also spoke about recent political developments in Iran. “Only two days ago, Iran appointed Ebrahim Raisi, the notorious executioner of thousands only for their support for the PMOI/MEK. How on Earth can we have dialogue with a regime that appoints a man with such atrocities to head of judiciary?”

Raisi was a senior member of the “Death Committee” who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death in kangaroo courts during the summer of 1988. Over 30,000 people, most of whom were MEK members or supporters, were executed in the 1988 Massacre. No one has ever been held accountable for this crime against humanity.

Stevenson also addressed regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s recent resignation and reinstatement, saying, “The sudden resignation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the uprising show the fragile status of the regime. The insistence of Revolutionary Guards Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani on Zarif’s reinstatement show how these two figures are working together on the regime’s foreign terrorist organization.”

Ashraf III

The bulk of Stevenson’s remarks were devoted to the Ashraf III, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, and the regime’s attempts to demonize and destroy Ashraf through propaganda and outright terrorism.

“Following the airlift of over 2,000 Iranian dissidents [from Iraq to Albania], the mullahs couldn’t tolerate it and sent dozens of agents to Albania. The mullahs’ regime began planning bomb plots and assassinations in response,” Stevenson said. “Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and her people built a whole city in a matter of months. Ashraf. That is why I call it ‘rising from the ashes.’”

Stevenson described the role of British citizen Anne Singleton, who was recruited along with her husband, Masoud Khodabandeh, by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to spread false propaganda about the MEK in Albania. “Anne Singleton actually held a press conference in Albania, claiming to work for the UK government as an anti-terrorism expert. Two Londoners, Masoud Khodabandeh and his wife, Singleton, who have sinister records and have been seen outside Ashraf in Iraq planning rocket attacks on the residents, are now regularly visiting in Albania,” Stevenson explained.

Stevenson concluded his remarks by stating the mission of the MEK members living in Albania and their goals for helping the people of Iran to establish a free Iran. “The people of Iran now look to the organized opposition [the PMOI and the NCRI] as the harbingers of a future of democracy, justice, and peace. The fortitude and stamina of PMOI [MEK] members in Albania has acted as a beacon of hope for the 80 million beleaguered citizens of Iran who hope and pray for freedom from oppression,” he emphasized. He went on to say, “The Iranian people have lost their fear and are demanding regime change. We have a regime that has executed 4,000 only during the so-called moderate Rouhani’s tenure. After 40 years of dictatorship, today 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

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1988 Massacre,Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Spiegel is part of Iranian regime's propaganda against MEK

Former Vice-President of the European Parliament: The Regime Spouts “a Laundry List of Baseless Accusations” Against the MEK

Spiegel is part of Iranian regime's propaganda against MEK

The Spiegel Magazine joins the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine against Iran’s main democratic opposition the MEK. The Iranian communities expressed their outrage over the lies and fabrications reported by Der Spiegel-February 2019

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics and a former vice-president of the European Parliament, published an op-ed for the Eurasia Review. His op-ed highlights the Iranian regime’s obsession with the democratic opposition and the extraordinary lengths it will go to discredit and vilify them in the international media.

His op-ed comes just weeks after German magazine, Der Spiegel, published a hit piece against the largest democratic opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Vidal-Quadras described how the magazine “repeated a laundry list of lies and baseless accusations against the group’s “war footing” and its treatment of more than 2,000 members now living in Albania.”

A Demonization Campaign Across International Media

Vidal-Quadras expressed concern that those reading Der Spiegel’s article who are not familiar with the Iranian regime and its blatant attempts to discredit pro-democracy groups in Iran and abroad would fall victim to believing the regime’s lies. “They do not realize that every item on the list can be traced back to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and other purveyors of Iranian propaganda,” he said. Since the regime’s inception, the mullahs have devoted time and resources to spreading falsehoods and lies about the MEK and its members.

The regime has systematically rounded up and killed members of the MEK. In 1988 alone, the regime killed around 30,000 MEK members, burying them in unmarked mass graves. But according to Vidal-Quadras, events like the 1988 massacre “only scratch the surface of the Iranian regime’s violence against political dissenters.” In total, more than 100,000 members of the Iranian opposition have met their end at the hands of the regime. Many were tortured in custody, then hanged. In many cases, they were assassinated by agents while living in exile abroad.

The regime has also coordinated terrorist attacks against the MEK. Last year, a Belgian-Iranian couple was arrested while traveling to the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris with homemade explosives. The regime also coordinated terror plots against the MEK in Albania and the US.

The MEK: A Threat to the Regime’s Future in Power

Vidal-Quadras explains the regime’s obsession with the democratic opposition as the result of a deep concern over the capabilities of the MEK. The group has drawn a great deal of international support. At its annual Grand Gathering event, it draws crowds of more than 100,000 supporters and high-profile political figures from across the globe, including Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.

Within Iran, the MEK has a vast network of resistance cells across Iran’s towns and cities. The group was responsible for coordinating many of the protests that quickly spread across Iran in 2018. Its groups counter the regime’s lies, oppression, violence, and human rights abuses wherever they occur and enjoy widespread popularity across the Iranian population, especially among young Iranians.

Vidal-Quadras concludes, “in contrast to the picture that Tehran has tried to paint of the Iranian democratic opposition, the NCRI (and MEK) President Maryam Rajavi has outlined a 10-point plan for the country’s future.” In her plan, Maryam Rajavi provides a detailed roadmap for the country’s transition to democracy, including the holding of free elections, respect for human rights, the separation of religion and state, and a commitment to gender and ethnic equality.

Finally, Vidal-Quadras calls on governments across the world to lend their support. “It is time for our governments to recognize the NCRI as the democratic alternative to the ruling religious dictatorship in Iran.”

Staff Writer

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