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Mohadessin addressing Free Iran Rally in Brussels

Mohaddessin to EU: “Do Not Tie Your Destiny to this Regime”

Mohadessin addressing Free Iran Rally in Brussels

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses the Iranian opposition rally in Belgium-June 15, 2019

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), spoke to MEK supporters and members of the Iranian diaspora at June 15, 2019, Free Iran rally and march in Brussels. He was one of more than a dozen prominent dignitaries who delivered remarks in support of the Iranian Resistance on Saturday. Mohaddessin touched on a number of topics, which are summarized below:

The Final Days of the Iranian Regime

“Today, the inhuman mullah regime ruling Iran is in its final phase, and the Iranian people and their Resistance are determined to topple this regime and establish a popular and democratic government in our shackled country,” Mohaddessin began.

Mohaddessin then praised the MEK’s Resistance Units, saying that they are on the “front lines of our battle with the regime” and calling them “the organizers of the Iranian people’s uprising.”

End the Era of Appeasement

Mohaddessin then turned his attention to the recent attacks in the Persian Gulf.

“The Iranian regime is engulfed by the escalating outrage of the people. Fearing the end of the appeasement era, the regime tries to regain its stability by increasing oppression, attacking ships and launching missiles and drones. But these actions will only expedite its downfall,” he said.

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“The recent attack on oil tankers while Khamenei met with the Japanese Prime Minister once again showed that negotiations and placating the regime will achieve nothing and will have opposite results,” Mohaddessin added.

 

Mohaddessin stressed that the “only solution is the overthrow of this regime; this is an absolute need for peace and security in the Middle East and across the world.”

“Let me remind the EU that the regime’s time is up. Do not tie your destiny to this regime. Put an end to appeasement. Do not fuel this regime’s terror and war machine,” he emphasized.

A Dead End for the Regime

FreeIran Rally Belgium-Supporters of the MEK-June 15, 2019

Thousands of supporters of the MEK attend Free Iran Rally, Brussels-June 15, 2019

Mohaddessin explained that the regime is in an unsustainable position.

“Every day the mullahs’ regime further sinks into the swamp of collapse; after 40 years of murder and crimes, it is now stuck in a dead-end,” he said.

 

“The regime doesn’t have the capacity to back down in its confrontation with the U.S., because if it does, the Iranian people, with the Resistance Units leading the way, will overthrow the regime. In addition, the regime has no power to confront the U.S. Therefore, this regime has to choose between ‘worse’ and ‘worst,’” he added.

Propaganda against the MEK

Mohaddessin concluded his speech by discussing the mullahs’ efforts to discredit the MEK through a demonization campaign.

“The regime sends forth its agents and mercenaries inside Iran to spread propaganda against the PMOI [MEK]. And it spends huge sums to hire well-known agents abroad to demonize the Iranian Resistance. The goal is to say that Iran has no alternative and the world must cope with the mullahs’ regime,” he said.

“The antidote to the demonization campaign is in your hands. Your active presence will prove to the world that the choice of the Iranian people is the PMOI [MEK] and the NCRI,” he concluded.

Staff Writer

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Free Iran Marches.

Marches in Brussels and Washington D.C. Call on the International Community to Acknowledge the Situation in Iran

Free Iran Marches.

Free Iran Rallies, call on the world community to say the people of Iran ask for regime change in Iran and that their desired democratic alternative is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

On June 15, thousands of members and supporters of the Iranian opposition movement will march in Brussels in support of their brothers and sisters in Iran.

The Iranian people are in the midst of a struggle against the repressive and tyrannical ruling regime. Since December 2017, Iranians from all walks of life have frequently protested in the streets to express their disgust and anger at the regime’s human rights abuses, warmongering, nuclear arms development and use of terrorism as a tool for statecraft.

Following the march in Brussels, similar protests will take place in Washington D.C. on June 21.

A Display of Solidarity

On June 15, protestors will gather opposite the European Union headquarters in Schuman Place. They will then march through central Brussels.

Former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and former Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt are among those that will address the crowd, shedding light on the regime’s crimes and atrocities.

The protests mark a gesture of solidarity with members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK / PMOI) and other opposition pro-democracy groups that are risking their lives to orchestrate anti-regime protests in Iran.

Shahin Gobadi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “This is the first time that a series of protests with such dimensions will continuously be organized by the Iranian Resistance and its supporters in the West.”

As the opposition movement within Iran gathers pace, the regime’s future in power looks increasingly unstable. The regime “faces an explosive society that wants its downfall,” Gobadi added.

This Time is Different

The regime has faced internal opposition before. But this time, it is different. The regime can no longer rely on a policy of appeasement from international governments. The United States, among others, is adopting a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime.

The crippling economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, coupled with increasing domestic unrest and a highly-motivated opposition movement, has left the regime at a critical juncture.

“All these indicate the regime is in its final phase. The series of marches by Iranians in different countries is a crucial answer to this situation,” said Gobadi.

A Fatal Flaw in the Regime’s Narrative

The regime has responded to domestic resistance in the past by cracking down on dissidents, while actively pushing a narrative to Iranians and international government that without the regime, Iran would descend into chaos. Its grip on power depends on convincing the world that there is no viable alternative to the regime’s rule.

However, there is now a flaw in this narrative. The MEK has put forward a ten-point plan for the restoration of democracy in Iran. The plan acts as a roadmap to democracy and the installation of a secular, non-nuclear Iran where gender equality and religious tolerance prospers.

The expansion of the MEKs resistance units and resistance councils in the last few months demonstrate that there is extensive support within the country for the MEK’s political platform. There is now a viable alternative to the mullahs’ tyranny.

Call on the International Community

The Iranian people are making their opinions known by protesting in the streets, chanting anti-regime slogans and bearing photos of the MEK’s president-elect, Maryam Rajavi.

However, elements in the international community are still unwilling to accept the MEK as a viable democratic alternative to the Iranian regime. At the marches in Brussels and Washington, members of the Iranian diaspora and their allies will call on the heads of international governments to abandon their policies of appeasement and acknowledge the MEK as a viable democratic alternative.

The protestors will demand that the EU and the international community at large hold the mullahs to account for their human rights abuses, weapons proliferation, support of Islamic extremism and state-sponsored terror campaign.

The protests will also call on the EU to follow the US’s lead and designate the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as an international terror organization. The designation would disrupt the flow of international funds to the organization, limiting the regime’s ability to use the group as a central pillar of repression and violence.

Fearing the end is near, the regime is lashing out at its international opponents. Iranian attacks on civilian airports in Saudi Arabia and the destruction of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman show that the regime will go to desperate lengths to preserve its grip on power.

For this reason, a unified global response to Iranian aggression is vital. “The mullahs feel the earth shifting beneath their feet,” Gobadi said. “The failure of the policy of appeasement which is nearing its end is a nightmare for the mullahs,” he concluded. The regime can no longer ignore the calls for regime change in Iran. It is increasingly isolated on the world stage. The Iranian opposition is gathering in Tehran, Brussels, Paris, Washington D.C., New York, London and beyond. It is only a matter of time before the opposition will realize its dream of a democratic Iran.

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Maryam Rajavi Brussels

Highlights from the Free Iran Rally in Brussels

Maryam Rajavi BrusselsMEK supporters convened in Brussels on Saturday to protest the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses towards its own people and its terrorist activities abroad and to ask for the international community’s support as the Iranian people struggle for a free Iran.
The rally was attended by MEK supporters and members of the Iranian diaspora and included speeches from prominent European dignitaries, representatives from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and human rights activists. NCRI President Maryam Rajavi gave the keynote address, Iranian singer Gisoo Shakeri performed, and the rally concluded with a march in Central Brussels.

The following are some highlights from Saturday’s event:

Struan Stevenson, former Member of European Parliament from Scotland and Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change:

Struan Stevenson welcomed those attending the rally and expressed his support for the Iranian Resistance, saying, “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the MEK because our objectives are the same.”

Mark Demesmaeker, Member of European Parliament from Belgium:

Mark Demesmaeker spoke strongly in support of the Iranian Resistance, noting that there was support for the movement among Belgian lawmakers across the political spectrum. He said, “Despite our differences, we all support a free and democratic Iran.”

Demesmaeker also listed the steps that the European Union must take to deal with the Iranian regime: “We call for the expulsion of all Iranian terrorist diplomats from European soil. We also demand that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as well as the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, be put on European terrorist blacklist. This is a minimum requirement for our safety and the security of Europe.”

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former Vice-President of European Parliament:

Alejo Vidal-Quadras called on the EU to condemn the Iranian regime for its human rights violations.
He also spoke about his visit to MEK members in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, saying, “Eleven years ago, I had the honor and privilege of visiting the MEK residents in Ashraf 1 [Camp Ashraf], who were then transferred to Ashraf 2 [Camp Liberty] and are now in Ashraf 3, Albania. I will never forget this visit. They are examples for all of us, and by sacrificing everything they had, they gave meaning to our lives.”

Vidal-Qadras stressed the importance of confronting the regime’s demonization campaign against the MEK. He said, “The regime’s agents are running a campaign of demonization against the MEK. We have to confront this, and this is a part of our campaign for human rights.”

Maryam Rajavi, NCRI President-elect:

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi gave the keynote address. She emphasized that the Iranian people desire the overthrow of the Iranian regime.
“For the people of Iran, however, there is no difference between black turbans [Supreme Leader Khamenei] and white turbans [regime President Hassan Rouhani and his faction]. They want the overthrow of the entire regime and they cry out, ‘Our enemy is right here,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi stated that the regime demonizes the MEK to preserve its power, saying, “By demonizing the Mojahedin, the regime seeks to arrange the scene such that everyone concludes that the clerical regime is better and is what the Iranian people deserve. So, they would be better off to give up resistance and continue their life in misery.”
Finally, Mrs. Rajavi urged the EU to take action against the Iranian regime: “We call on the European Union to impose comprehensive sanctions on the theocratic regime ruling Iran and to designate the mullahs’ Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] and their Ministry of Intelligence [MOIS] as terrorist entities. The regime’s mercenaries must be tried, punished and expelled,” she said.

Françoise Schepmans, Member of Parliament from Belgium:

Françoise Schepmans discussed the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses against women and the importance of women in the Iranian Resistance movement. She said that Belgian Parliament recently passed a bill in support of the rights of Iranian women.
Schepmans concluded: “I am waiting for the day when we can see a free Iran, and I would like to thank you for your tenacity, for your actions, and for your presence here today.”

Giulio Terzi, Former Italian Foreign Minister:

Giulio Terzi described current political conditions in Iran and the growing protest movement.

“Political conditions in Iran, especially in the past year, since the great uprising of the end of 2017, have changed profoundly. The regime is approaching its final end. The people are suffering greatly from economic conditions and lack of freedom. But their protests and demonstrations continue every day with enormous courage and sacrifice. They are  growing larger every day,” he said.
Terzi explained that the NCRI and the MEK offer a viable democratic alternative to the Iranian regime. He said: “The PMOI [MEK] and NCRI, the main force of opposition against this regime, are advancing every day. Yet still some in Europe pretend there’s no alternative to the regime. That is absolutely wrong. There is a viable alternative. It is the National Council of Resistance of Iran.”
“All the criteria needed for an alternative are in the NCRI and in Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan,” he added.
Terzi discussed the ways that the regime uses propaganda to demonize the NCRI and MEK. “To counter the alternative represented by Mrs. Rajavi, the regime tries to fill cyberspace with fake news which sells a totally false idea about the wishes of the Iranian population,” he said.
Terzi emphasized that the regime’s narrative was false and that the EU must not fall for their misinformation. “The European Union must blacklist Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as a terrorist organization and expel all the Iranian regime’s diplomats,” he said.

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate:

Ingrid Betancourt referred to the attempted bombing of last year’s Free Iran rally by a regime diplomat in her speech. “What is dangerous is not confronting the regime, it is dangerous for the EU to continue to be on its knees in front of the Iranian regime. What is dangerous is that the EU is terrified to bring to justice and condemn the Iranian regime’s diplomat-terrorist who was trying to kill thousands of people at the MEK’s Free Iran rally in Paris last June.”

Prof. Eric David, Professor Emeritus of International Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles:

Prof. David used his speech to talk about the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members, and the tens of thousands of executions of MEK members that have been carried out by the regime without consequence before and since then.
“Some 120,000 activists of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) have been executed by Iran’s regime since 1981 for political and religious reasons. The perpetrators of this crime should be tried, and I hope that this will happen soon,” he said.

Sarvnaz Chitsaz, NCRI Women’s Committee Chair:

Sarvnaz Chitsaz enumerated the demands of the Iranian Resistance to the international community. She stated:
“The EU must denounce the regime’s human rights violations..and it must form an international delegation to visit Iran’s prisons,” she began.
“We demand the expulsion of the Iranian regime’s..embassies as centers of espionage against Iranian refugees and opponents,” she went on.
“We have repeatedly called for the international community to designate the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on the blacklist..especially in light of recent attacks in Gulf waters,” Chitsaz added.

Haitham Maleh, Syrian human rights activist and former judge:

Haitham Maleh spoke strongly about the Iranian regime’s involvement in the bloody war in Syria and its role in regional instability.
“The Syrian regime is imprisoning and torturing prisoners with the blessing of the Iranian regime.
“They want to burn the whole region to the ground. They think no one can stop them. The revolutionary forces of the region must come together against the regime. We in Syria are in favor of the Resistance and against the regime which is using religion as a facade. We need to see the downfall of the Iranian regime if we want stability in the region.
Prior to this regime, there was stability in the region. Since the arrival of the Iranian regime, there has been chaos..Iran created terrorism.”

Pierre Galand, former President of the European Branch of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT):

Pierre Galand expressed support for the Iranian Resistance and their goal of establishing a free and democratic Iran.
“We’re here to tell the EU that it must respect its principles and support the resistance in Iran against the mullahs’ tyranny,” he said.
“We’ll stand hand in hand with the Iranian people in order to liberate Iran and free Iran from the dictatorship and move toward democracy. We are at your side. We also believe that the solution that needs to see the light of day is the complete downfall of the regime.”

Gisoo Shakeri, Iranian singer:

Gisoo Shakeri delivered a performance for attendees at the rally. Women are forbidden from singing in public in Iran and can face severe penalties for performances like Shakeri’s.
Staff writer

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MEK supporters rally in Brussels

MEK-Iran: Free Iran Rallies, A March For Freedom

MEK supporters rally in Brussels

Supporters of the MEK and NCRI will be marching in various cities around the world in June and July 2019 to show solidarity for the Iranian people’s quest for freedom and democracy in Iran and to show support for the only viable alternative to the ruling regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Ever since the eruption of protests in more than 140 Iranian cities in late December 2017, it has become obvious that winds of change inside Iran are in motion and that the Ayatollah’s rule is coming to an end. Slogans like “Death to Khamenei” and  “reformers, hardliners, the game is now over”, are appearing, scrawled on walls or shouted in crowds at public protests, sending a clear message to Iran’s rulers, and the West.

 

In early January 2017, just two weeks after protests broke out across the country, the Iranian regime’s leader, Khamenei, identified Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, aka, Mojahedin-e-Khalq or MEK) as a major force behind the uprising. As always, he blamed the US and “foreign enemies” as external influences in an attempt to downplay the MEK’s role in the uprising.  

 

These external factors would come into play in the weeks and months that followed. In May 2018, the US exited the “Nuclear Deal” with Iran. Shortly afterward, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined 12 preconditions for any possible renegotiation of the agreement with the Iranian regime. The conditions included the immediate cessation of the mullahs’ missile development programs and the regime’s exit from regional conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

 

During the second half of 2018, the Iranian regime, faced with ongoing protests and renewed economic sanctions from the West, had to take action to survive.

 

It launched a terror campaign in Europe and the US. The regime plotted at least four major acts of terror in Albania, France, the U.S. and Denmark. In each case, the primary target of the attacks was the MEK.

 

On April 19, 2018, the Albanian Prime Minister revealed authorities had foiled a plot to bomb the MEK’s New Year celebrations in March of that year. Ghomahossein Mohammadnia, the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Albania, and Mostafa Roodaki, the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS) station chief in Albania, were subsequently expelled from the country in December of the same year.

 

Inside Iran, the internal crisis was escalating. Corruption within the system had become a common topic of discussion and the ruling regime had lost any shred of credibility it had maintained among its base.

 

The regime’s strategy for survival became “waiting out the Trump era”. There were talks about how they could buy time until President Trump’s term in office came to an end in the hope that the next administration would adopt a softer stance towards Iran.  

State-run Media Worries that IRGC Terrorist Designation Will Lead to More Protests

That dream, however, was shattered when theTrump administration listed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in April 2019. The IRGC is a central pillar of the regime’s repressive organ. It keeps the Ayatollahs in power and plays a vital role in the suppression of protests and uprisings.

 

The regime’s survival is the top priority for the rulers in Iran. They know that the people’s uprising, ignited by the MEK’s activities inside Iran, is their main threat.

To confront this internal threat Khamenei appointed hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi as the new head of the judiciary in May 2019. Raisi was one of three people in charge of the 1988 massacre, where the regime rounded up and executed more than 30,000 political prisons in Iran, most of which were members and affiliates of the MEK.

 

The designation of Raisi indicates that Khameni has no intention of relinquishing power voluntarily. His regime will confront the opposition with violence and intimidation wherever necessary.

Iran Human Rights Monitor Reports Two Months of Human Rights Violations under Ebrahim Raisi

The regime is employing a similar strategy on the international stage. Terrorism and hostage taking will remain the regime’s primary tools to deal with external issues. This was on show when Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, repeatedly pointed out on his recent visit to the US that the Iranian regime has several US hostages in Iranian prisons.

 

The US’s policy of “maximum pressure” is working. The Iranian regime is feeling the pressure. It can no longer fund Hezbollah and other terrorist forces in the region.

In order to ensure peace and to prevent the Iranian regime from igniting the flames of war in the Middle East, the West must empower the people of Iran and the Iranian opposition to foster democratic change. Lending support to the exiled Iranians planning rallies and demonstrations across the globe against the regime is a vital part of this empowerment.

Look for marches and rallies in Europe (Brussels, June 15, Berlin, July 6, Stockholm, July 20, London, July 27) and the US (Washington, June 21) and lend your support.

Hamid Azimi

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Zanganeh, Iranian regime's Oil Minister

Regime Oil Minister Warns Various Factions Within Regime From the MEK

Zanganeh, Iranian regime's Oil Minister

Regime Oil Minister warns various factions within the regime from the main opposition, the MEK.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh acknowledged the failure of the regime to bypass U.S. smart sanctions in a June 8th interview with the Islamic Consultancy Assembly News Agency. Zanganeh said that the MEK’s influence in the White House was to blame for the success of the sanctions.

Evolving Sanctions

“The smart sanctions imposed by the U.S. have reached a point where all paths countering sanctions are blocked. In this recent round [of sanctions], the U.S. has made it more difficult to circumvent the sanctions and we are struggling hard to surpass this period,” Zanganeh said.

Zanganeh explained how the U.S. had evolved in its implementation of sanctions, making it impossible for the regime to counter them.

“The ports of other countries are put under sanctions. In the previous period, United Nations sanctions were persistent. This time around, however, the U.S. personally is persisting and its resolve to implement these sanctions is increased many times in comparison to the past and it has created a sophisticated organization for it. Over the past five or six years, the Americans have reached an evil maturity regarding the so-called smart sanctions. It means they’ve reached a point where they want to prevent all our paths of countering sanctions,” Zanganeh complained.

 

“The difference now with the [1980s Iran-Iraq] war era is that back then we could sell any amount of oil we wanted. We did not have a problem procuring ships and, of course, we could receive the oil money from any bank in the world and buy any goods with it. Now, selling oil, getting ships, and moving money and even buying many types of goods have become difficult. This round of sanctions is even very different from the last one. In fact, the harshest organized sanctions in history have been implemented and applied against the [Iranian] regime. Therefore, we need to know what an extreme war we are facing. If we don’t understand this extremity and difficulty, there will be wrong analysis,” he added.

No Waivers for Iranian Oil

Zanganeh noted that the U.S. is no longer issuing waivers to any countries for Iranian oil imports.

 

“Right now, there isn’t even a single country that has waivers to buy oil from Iran, and even natural gas condensates are added to the sanctioned items. The shipping and banking sanctions are harsher than the previous time,” he said.

Covert Intelligence

Zanganeh claimed that covert U.S. agents contacted the regime under the pretense of buying oil in order to collect intelligence about Iran’s mechanism for bypassing sanctions.

 

“There were maybe about ten individuals who contacted us every day to buy oil. However, 70 percent of them were not real customers. Chances are they were seeking our intelligence about how we sell oil and how we want to receive our money. They want to find out everything about our system,” he said.

Factions United against the MEK

The Oil Minister concluded his interview with a call for unity within the regime’s leadership. Zanganeh encouraged opposing factions to treat each other with kindness and to blame the MEK for their problems.

 

“I say we should get along and be kind to each other. Right now, we are very rude to each other. Why are we like that? We are a group and need to be kind to each other. The [MEK] has now infiltrated the White House. Have we forgotten that? Mr. Bolton is now the representative of the [MEK] in the White House! They are working there against us! Why aren’t we kind to each other?” he asked.

Staff writer

 

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Plundering the Iranian people's wealth by the current regime

Rouhani’s Energy Minister Blames “Consumerist Society” for U.S. Sanctions, Saying “Iranians Eat a Lot”

Plundering the Iranian people's wealth by the current regime

Forty years of corruption and repression, has left the Iranian people in terrible economic condition.

The Iranian regime was sanctioned by the United States because of the Iranian people’s “bad habits in consumption,” said Iranian regime Ministry of Energy Reza Ardakanian in a recent interview with the state-run ILNA News Agency.

“Iranians eat a lot and dress in extravagance,” asserted Ardakanian. In fact, state-run news agencies reported that Iranians are now eating 70% less than they were before the current economic crisis, and many have resorted to digging through public garbage bins to find food.

Ardakanian claimed that Iranians had more food, clothing, and higher housing budgets than people in developed countries but have satisfaction and happiness levels at “one-hundredth” of that of people from developed and industrialized countries. The Energy Minister did not name any specific countries, but he may have been referring to the 2019 Gallup Global Emotions Report, which ranked Iran as one of the five unhappiest countries in the world.

According to Ardakanian, the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran was due to a “consumerist society.”

“The reason we were sanctioned was our bad habits in consumption,” he said. “The (U.S.) realized that our weakness is consumption. We are a consumerist society. Why is China not being sanctioned like this? Because they are satisfied with one meal a day.”

Ardakanian’s statements contradict the regime’s own reports, which show that the economy is in crisis. Iran’s economic condition has become so dire that some economists have begun to draw class distinctions in Iran based on levels of poverty. There is no longer a middle class; there are only the elite and the poor, and the poor can be divided into subgroups.

The Poverty Line

The poverty line is the minimum level of income that is considered adequate. 80% of Iranians live below the poverty line.

The Absolute Poverty Line

The absolute poverty line is the level at which a family cannot provide for their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and hygiene. Absolute poverty is a life-threatening condition.

Hossein Raghfar, an economist associated with the regime, puts the absolute poverty line in Iran at 1.5 million tomans per month (approximately 120 USD).

According to Raghfar, 40% of Iranians live under the absolute poverty line, based on 2012 statistics.

The Extreme Poverty Line

Raghfar also discussed the extreme poverty line, which has also been called the “line of hunger” or the “line of death.” Families living in extreme poverty cannot meet their basic food needs even with their combined salaries. Raghfar said that more than 14% of rural Iranians currently live in extreme poverty.

The economic catastrophe in Iran is the result of forty years of corruption and incompetence at the hands of the mullahs. There is no free market in Iran, only a system in which half of the economy is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. While 80% of the Iranian people live in poverty, the mullahs and their friends plunder the country’s wealth and resources on terrorism, warmongering, and oppression.

The MEK believes that true democracy depends on a market economy that is accessible to every Iranian. No free country can function when its wealth is distributed only to those in power, particularly when those in power are incompetent and their rule is absolute.

Staff writer

 

 

 

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Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of NCRI-FAC

NCRIS Mohaddessin Calls on Iranians in Europe to Stand with their Compatriots in Brussels

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of NCRI-FAC

Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), during a live talk show on Iran NTV, calls on all Iranians to join Free Iran rallies-June 9, 2019

Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on “freedom-loving Iranians” to take part in rallies planned in Europe to express support for the Iranian public’s calls for democracy.

 

Brussels Free Iran rally-June 2019

Free Iran rally in Brussels on June 15, 2019

The #FreeIran rallies, including the one planned for June 15 in Brussels, along with others in other European capitals and Washington D.C., are championing support for the Iranian opposition movement and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

A Regime on the Brink of Collapse

In a television interview, Mohaddessin described how the Iranian regime is buckling under the pressure of the resistance movement.

As the MEK and its resistance units garner support from the Iranian people, the regime is going to even more extreme lengths to counter their influence. 2018 saw the regime mount a series of terror attacks in Europe against the MEK. Foiled terror plots in Albania, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. The MEK has become such a threat to the regime’s future in power, “they’re [the mullahs] willing to take the risk of worsening diplomatic ties with EU,” Mohaddessin said.

Of particular concern to the regime is the MEK’s presence in Albania. Following the regime’s persecution and violence, the group’s members fled Iraq and established a compound outside the Albanian capital of Tirana. This compound has been a target of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks and espionage campaigns.

The “regime doesn’t have many choices ahead,” Mohaddessin said. It is facing increasing economic turmoil, rising domestic pressure, and isolation on the international stage.

Join the Resistance

Mohammad Mohaddessin then urged members of the Iranian diaspora and their allies across the West to join the #FreeIran rally on June 15 in Brussels. “Say ‘we oppose the policy of appeasement’”, he said.

He went on to describe how Iranians would be present at the rally to shed light on the regime’s false narrative that there is no viable alternative to its rule. He described how the regime promotes this fictitious narrative to extend its life in power. In reality, the NCRI and the MEK’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, has produced a ten-point plan for restoring democracy to Iran.

Mohaddessin asserted that the rallies and protests across Iran demonstrate that the solution to Iranians problems is not war and chaos, but peace and resistance to the mullahs’ tyranny.

He concluded: “In Iran, people are fed up with the regime.” “As the Iranian regime enters its final phase, Iranians have a clear message,” he said: “we want regime change.”

Staff writer

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Iran's petrochemical

NCRI Foreign Affairs Chair: Petrochemical Sanctions Have Been “Long Called for” by the Iranian Opposition

Iran’s petrochemical industry

On Friday, June 7th, the United States announced the imposition of new sanctions on Iran’s largest petrochemical company due to its financial support for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) previously condemned international funding of Iran’s petrochemical industry, so the action was welcomed by the Iranian Resistance.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, commented on the sanctions.

“Sanctions hitting the mullahs’ petrochemical industry has been one of the measures long called for by the Iranian opposition. The revenue from this industry and the currency it produces has essentially been filling the pockets the terrorist-designated Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and the Supreme Leader’s bank account,” Mr. Mohaddesin said. “News conferences and briefings held in Washington DC by the National Council of Resistance of Iran have time and again reiterated the need to implement these sanctions.”

2018 NCRI Statement

In 2018, the NCRI released a statement reading: “We are facing a system of ‘political distribution’ of Iran’s oil income and income from other sources of wealth. This is the effect of a system of economic surplus and interest that would pay the regime’s officials and authorities according to their position and hierarchy. Those sources that would create the surplus payable only to the elite include the oil and petrochemical industries, imported consumer goods, the exchange market, job market, and the environment.

 

“Part of the income from petrochemical products are channeled through a series of deceptive and fraud measures, and eventually lead to the supreme leader’s bank account,” the statement concluded.

PGPIC’s Connection to the IRGC

The U.S. Treasury issued sanctions against the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) and its 39 subsidiaries after finding that PGPIC had awarded major contracts to Khatam al-Anbiya, the IRGC’s engineering arm. The profits generated from these contracts are spent on “domestic repression, and foreign terrorism and warmongering in the region resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, and destruction,” according to Mr. Mohaddessin.

Next Steps

Mohaddessin said that the next step is to sanction Iran’s gas and steel company.

“Following sanctions targeting the mullahs’ oil and petrochemical industry, the next lucrative commerce is the gas and steel industry, which are of the greatest importance to the theocratic regime,” he said. “The petrochemical industry is now sanctioned. A few weeks ago, the U.S. hit Iran’s steel industry. Now we call for Iran’s regime gas industry to be sanctioned. The entire revenue that stems from these industries is funneled straight toward the IRGC for its internal repression and extraterritorial meddling.”

Mohaddessin stressed that the Iranian regime has gone to great lengths to avoid U.S. oil sanctions, but those efforts have been in vain.

“There was a paramount effort by the regime to stop the U.S. administration from going ahead with the petrochemical sanctions against Iran using foreign mediators, lobbyists, and other means. Even some in the United States attempted to block the petrochemical sanctions. They all failed and fortunately the regime’s petrochemical industry was also hit by sanctions,” Mr. Mohaddesin said.

Sanctions Welcomed by Iranian People

Mohaddessin said that the Iranian people welcome the new sanctions on the corrupt petrochemical companies that are looting the country’s wealth and resources. The people do not see any of the profits from the PGPIC or its subsidiaries, he explained.

The MEK and the Iranian opposition calls on Europe to join the United States in designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization. The wealth of the Iranian people must not be spent any longer on terrorism and warmongering.

Staff writer

 

 

 

 

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Iran infighting,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

Chaos and Confusion among Regime Factions over Negotiations with U.S.

Infighting between regime parliamentarians.

The infighting between various members of the regime’s parliament, a daily scene during Majlis sessions.

The prospect of negotiations with the United States has generated controversy, infighting, and confusion among regime factions. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his faction refuse to consider talks with the U.S., while regime President Hassan Rouhani expressed willingness to meet with U.S. officials until two weeks ago when he did an abrupt and unexplained about-face.

Recent comments by members of different regime factions illustrate the chaos in Tehran.

Negotiation Equals Surrender

In recent comments, Ahmad Khatami, a high-ranking mullah from Khamenei’s faction, explained his faction’s reasoning for not negotiating with the U.S.:

“The important issue is combating and hating [the U.S.]. The reason is clear: The triangle of [U.S. President] Trump, [Secretary of State] Pompeo and [National Security Advisor] Bolton continuously talk these days about negotiating with the U.S. as if they intend to bring the state to the negotiating table with the [U.S.] as soon as possible. What the [U.S.] suggests today under the pretext of negotiations, is nothing more than surrender,” he said.

“There is only one voice coming from Iran and that voice says we will not negotiate about our missile power… Therefore we won’t negotiate!” Khatami added.

Negotiation Equals Ignoring Domestic Potential

Fuad Izadi, a political pundit aligned with Khamenei’s faction, argued that attempts by Rouhani’s faction to negotiate with the U.S. come at the expense of Iran’s domestic potential.

“Our problem is with our own domestic, West-aligned figures who look to the West,” he said. “This look to the inside and the domestic potentials are ignored. How many years has the country been waiting for the Americans to do this or that? To remove this or that sanction? Or Europe to do this or that, and we are still in the middle of it?” he added.

Negotiations with Japan Will Decrease Tensions

 

Abbas Araghchi, First Deputy to the regime’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, had a different point-of-view. He expressed optimism about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned visit to Tehran next week, saying, “Japan will probably be able to make the Americans understand the current circumstances.”

 

“We hope that Abe’s visit to Tehran will help decrease regional tensions,” Araghchi added.

Negotiations with other Countries Will Not Decrease Tensions

 

Fereydoun Majlesi, a retired Iranian diplomat close to Rouhani’s faction, expressed the opposite view, saying:

 

“It would be far from the truth if we thought that the diplomatic mediation campaigns launched by various countries would lead to a dramatic decrease in tensions. These tensions have reached a critical and sensitive point on both sides.. There is no doubt that in order to decrease tensions of such levels of confrontation, we need a complex, detailed and of course, long lasting process. Therefore, you can’t do serious work in the short-term to decrease tensions,” he explained.

 

“When Tehran and Washington are in an ideological and strategic tension against each other, and tensions have reached a point where Iran’s victory practically means America’s defeat, and America’s victory means Iran’s defeat, it appears that tensions have reached a point where mediation is not possible,” he added.

The MEK has stated repeatedly that the mullahs are incapable of reform. Their position on various issues, like essential freedoms, repression of dissents at home, meddling in the region and support for terrorism, development of WMD weapons are the same, and their infighting is to have more share of the power. The controversy within the regime proves this. The only way to change Iran is through regime change.

Staff writer

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Iran Women rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Statement by Women's Committee of the NCRI

Women Under Threat as Regime Intensifies Crackdown

Statement by Women's Committee of the NCRI

The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), issues a statement on the increasing repression on women in Iran- June 7, 2019

As the regime finds itself the subject of increasing public ire, it is ramping up its repressive measures to prevent the outbreak of social unrest.

At the forefront of the mullahs’ minds will be the nationwide uprisings of 2018 which saw protests spread rapidly across all 31 Iranian provinces. Those protests marked a watershed for the regime. It was the first time that Iranians from all sectors of society had risen up in such an overt rejection of regime rule.

The Role of Women

Women played a central role in the 2018 uprisings. As a result, women have been targeted by the regime’s repressive mechanisms.

Mohammad Abdullah-Poor, a senior member of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), revealed that the regime had assembled more than “2,000 groups in charge of giving verbal and practical warnings” to women.”

These extrajudicial groups charged with thuggishly enforcing regime laws and arbitrarily harassing members of the public and opposition have issued more than 28,000 warnings to women for improper veiling on their patrols, Abdullah-Poor claimed.

In a statement made to the state-run Tasnim news agency, he said: “The issue of chastity and veil is not an ordinary issue, but an issue of political significance and security for the country.”

His comments echo those of Mohammad Reza Es’haqi, the head of the State Security Force of Gilan Province. He claimed that 28,238 women had been “dealt with” for improperly veiling. For 64 of these women, the incident resulted in the case being referred to the Justice Department.

A Climate of Fear is Permeating into the Regime’s Leadership

The crackdown on Iranian women only serves to demonstrate the fear present in the regime. The mullahs know that they are on borrowed time. They know that their days in power are numbers and they know that women will be at the forefront of the opposition protests that will ultimately bring about their demise.

The Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has urged the United Nations (UN) to protect Iranian women from this arbitrary harassment and detention. The pro-democracy group headed by President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi called on the UN Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “and all advocates of women’s rights,” to condemn the regime’s behavior towards Iranian women.

The MEK urged the UN to support the calls of Iran’s women for freedom and the realization of a free and democratic Iranian state, committed to gender equality and religious tolerance.

Staff writer

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