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Maryam Rajavi, speaks to MEK members in Ashraf 3, Albania

Maryam Rajavi: Expulsion of Regime Diplomats from Albania Is “Courageous Act”

Maryam Rajavi, speaks to MEK members in Ashraf 3, Albania

Maryam Rajavi, speaking at the International conference-Ashraf 3, Albania

Albania announced on Wednesday that it had expelled two Iranian regime diplomats from the country. On Thursday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released a statement in support of the expulsion.

Mrs. Rajavi said that the “courageous act” was a necessary response to terrorism and the Iranian regime and was “imperative for the security of European countries.”

Foiled Terrorist Attack on MEK Nowruz Gathering

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced in April of this year that Albania had foiled a terrorist plot by the Iranian regime against the MEK. The attack was scheduled to coincide with a Nowruz celebration. In his April 19th statement, Prime Minister Rama said: “We are on the right side of history. We are among European-Atlantic countries who are similarly under threat. I believe all these countries will act against terrorist threats.”

The identity of Expelled Diplomats

The two regime diplomats who were expelled were

Gholamhossein Mohammadnia and Mostafa Roudaki. Mohammadnia was the regime’s ambassador to Albania, and Roudaki was the Ministry of Intelligence and Security’s (MOIS) station chief in Albania. Both are senior MOIS agents who were uncovered by the MEK in 2016 and 2017.

 

Mohammadnia played a key role in the negotiations which led to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. He was the MOIS representative in the regime’s delegation, led by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Support from U.S. President

United States President Donald Trump penned a letter to Prime Minister Rama on Wednesday, thanking the Albanian government for its “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe.”

This is a significant departure from the policy of appeasement that Western leaders have taken in the past.

Statement from Maryam Rajavi

In her statement, Mrs. Rajavi said that the Iranian regime needed to know that its “terrorist activities in Europe and across the world will have serious consequences.”

She went on to say: “Since three decades ago, the Iranian Resistance has always emphasized that the Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry and its diplomats and embassies are part and parcel of its machinery of terrorism. Three major terror plots by the mullahs in Albania in March 2018, in France in June 2018, and in Denmark in September 2018 had been planned by these embassies and diplomats.

“The clerical regime has found the only way out of the irremediable internal and external crises and deadlocks in suppressing the people of Iran, warmongering in the region, missile threats, and disseminating fake news, demonization, and terrorism, particularly against the Iranian Resistance, which it views as an existential threat,” Mrs. Rajavi said, adding, “The regime in Tehran is the godfather and the epicenter of terrorism under the banner of Islam in the world today. As such, designating the Ministry of Intelligence as a terrorist entity and expelling the mullahs’ diplomat-terrorists from the U.S. and Europe is necessary for these countries’ security and is demanded by the Iranian people.”

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The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

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

The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

The photo symbolizes the December 2017 uprisings in Iran that has not stopped and has continued in forms of protests and strikes across the country.

December 28th marks the one year anniversary of the nationwide uprising that mobilized people from all walks of life to take to the streets in protest of Iran’s theocratic regime. The protests began in Mashhad on December 28, 2017, and spread to over 140 cities in every province in Iran over a two week period.

The initial protests were in response to the economic disaster facing the country. Poverty, corruption, inflation, and rising unemployment drove many Iranians into the streets to protests. But as the uprising grew in strength and numbers, the demonstrators began to protest the regime itself.

Protesters chanted, “Death to the dictator!”

“Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!”

“Khamenei shame on you, let go of your rule!”

One year later, Iran is still the scene of daily protests and demonstrations against the authoritarian regime. The protesters have made it clear that they will not be satisfied until the ruling regime is toppled and democracy is restored to Iran.

The MEK has played a leading role in the protests taking place across Iran. As the movement to topple the mullahs’ regime has grown, the people have sought a viable alternative to the corrupt dictatorship that has destroyed Iran’s economy and environment, and that has oppressed its people for the past four decades. The MEK offers a democratic alternative that will restore freedom to Iran.

Iran News Wire summarized protest activity in Iran over the past year. The following is a summary of their report:

January

Recorded Protests: 643

Daily Average: 21

The uprising that began in December 2017 continued into January, and protests took an anti-regime turn in the month of January. Protesters set fire to Basij bases and tore down images of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

February

Recorded Protests: 596

Daily Average: 21

March

Recorded Protests: 422

Daily Average: 14

April

Recorded Protests: 452

Daily Average: 15

May

Recorded Protests: 1,093

Daily Average: 35

June

Recorded Protests: 475

Daily Protests: 16

 

In June, bazaar merchants in Tehran launched a large-scale strike in protest of the failing economy and rising prices. Protesters in Khoramshahr took to the streets to protest water scarcity.

Protests quickly turned to calls for regime change, with chants of “Death to the Dictator!”, “Death to Rouhani!”, “Death to Khamenei!”, and “Our enemy is right here, they lie when they say it’s the U.S.!”

Women played a key role during the protests in Khorramshahr and in Khuzestan in southwest Iran.

July

Recorded Protests and Strikes: 970 in cities and regions

Daily Average: 31

August

Recorded Protests: 133

Daily Average: 20

September

Recorded Protests: 1,367 in 293 cities, villages and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 46

Iran’s truck drivers began their nationwide organized strike in September.

October

Recorded Protests: 1,533 in 323 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 49

October saw the most protest activity in Iran in 2018. Truck drivers, teachers, and bazaar merchants all went on strike in October.

November

Recorded Protests: 911 in 171 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 30

Iranian truck drivers went on another round of strikes in November, as did Iran’s teachers.

The workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers in Shush and the Iran National Steel Group workers in Ahvaz also began striking in protest of months of unpaid wages. Their weeks-long strikes would attract international attention.

Head of Iranian Regime’s Judiciary Threatens Striking Workers

December

Recorded Protests: 273 as of December 21st

Daily Average: 9

Workers, credit union clients, retirees, students, and prisoners all protesters during the month of December.

The regime arrested a number of striking Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers in an escalation of their previous attempts to suppress the strikes. Regime agents carried out a series of midnight raids on the houses of striking workers and arrested dozens of workers. Reports indicate that labor activist Esmail Bakhshi was tortured in prison.

Iranian truck drivers started their fifth round of strikes this month as well. Those numbers are not included in the report, which will be updated by Iran News Wire in January.

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Pandeli Majko's speech at Ashraf 3 Conference

Former Albanian Prime Minister and “Friend” of the MEK Addresses Members in Tirana

Pandeli Majko's speech at Ashraf 3 Conference

Pandeli Majko, former PM of Albania and member of the current cabinet, speaks at MEK’s conference-Ashraf 3, Albania

Pandeli Majko, the former Prime Minister of Albania addressed the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in a gesture of solidarity with the Iranian resistance movement.

The former prime minister introduced himself as “a friend” of the cause. “[The] MEK represents the Iran of the future”, he said to thunderous applause.

Majko added that he was “so proud that together… we are in the hands of Madam Rajavi”, Mrs . Maryam Rajavi is the charismatic and influential president-elect of the Iranian opposition, whose ten-point plan has been championed across the world as the most viable roadmap to bring democracy to Iran. “One of the few women”, Majko continued, “that with her leadership [will] change not only the future of Iran but the future of [the] Middle East”.

Majko addressed the recent misinformation campaigns of the mullahs that have sought to delegitimize the MEK and their allies. “I know that [there] exists a lot of news that MEK [are] terrorists”, he said. “We don’t care”, Majko said, “because we know you because you have come here under the umbrella of the United Nations and UNHCR. [The] UN… and terrorism are two different things”.

Former Scottish MEP Describes His Visit to Ashraf 3 in Albania and the Regime’s Vicious Misinformation Campaign

The former prime minister also took a swipe at the Iranian regime’s own diplomatic operations within Albania. “[The] UN don’t have diplomats [and] use the status of diplomats [to] act like terrorists”, Majko said.

The Iranian regime has long-used diplomatic buildings and diplomats to coordinate terror attacks on foreign soil. In 2018 alone, a plot was foiled in March in Albania where two Iranian agents sought to attack the MEK compound outside the capital, Tirana.

In June, a diplomat from the regime’s embassy in Vienna was arrested over his involvement to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris.

Pandeli Majko speaking at a conference in Ashraf 3, MEK’s residence in Albania

“This time that is coming, a melody of a piano here in Tirana can sing like a song in all of Iran… like a song of freedom”, Majko proclaimed.

However, he was adamant that in the meantime, Albania would be a welcoming host. “I am sure that… you and your families everywhere understand now that you are not only refugees… you are in your land here. Here you have a land”, he said.

“We Albanians have an old expression”, Majko concluded, “my home is my castle. Albania is your castle”.

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The U.S. President's letter to Edi Ram, Albania's PM in support of expelling Iranian regime's diplomat terrorists

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

The U.S. President's letter to Edi Ram, Albania's PM in support of expelling Iranian regime's diplomat terrorists

Donald Trump’s letter to Albania’s Prime Minister, supporting his firm decision against the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Albania.

On Wednesday, Albania announced that it had expelled two Iranian regime diplomats from the country, citing a threat to national security.

A spokesperson for Albania’s Foreign Ministry told the Associated Press that the diplomats were expelled for “violating their diplomatic status.” According to the spokesperson, the decision was made after meeting with a number of other countries, including Israel.

John Bolton’s Response

The first public words of support for the expulsion of the regime’s diplomats from Albania came from John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor. Bolton, who is a longtime supporter of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance, tweeted in support of the decision on Wednesday afternoon, writing:

“Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”

Mike Pompeo’s Response

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also tweeted in support of Albania’s decision to expel the Iranian diplomats. He wrote:

“I commend PM Edi Rama’s expulsion of two Iranian agents who plotted terrorist attacks in #Albania. European nations have thwarted three Iranian plots this year alone. The world must stand together to sanction #Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behavior.”

Donald Trump’s Response

U.S. President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, thanking him for “standing up to Iran.” He wrote:

“Thank you for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe. The leadership you have shown by expelling Iran’s Ambassador to your country exemplifies our joint efforts to show the Iranian government that its terrorist activities in Europe and around the world will have severe consequences.

“Albania has always been a great friend to the United States, and I look forward to growing our partnership as we confront the many important issues facing our two countries.”

This vocal support from the leaders of the United States marks a dramatic departure from the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs of past administrations. It sends a strong message to European leaders that the time has come to stand up to the Iranian regime and to stand beside the Iranian people.

Suspected Involvement in Foiled Terrorist Plot

On March 22nd of this year, Albanian law enforcement arrested two Iranian operatives suspected of terrorist activities in Albania. These agents claimed to be journalists. The Albanian news reported:

“These two Iranian citizens were arrested for further investigation by anti-terrorism agencies after information was received from Albania’s international partners stating that they were planning to carry out a terrorist operation.”

Terrorist Plots by Iranian Regime Threaten MEK and NCRI Groups Abroad

This is not the first time an Iranian diplomat has been implicated in a foiled terrorist plot. Former regime diplomat Asadollah Assadi is currently awaiting trial in Belgium for masterminding the foiled terrorist plot against the Iranian Resistance gathering in Paris in June of this year. The regime and its diplomats have unsuccessfully tried to carry out several attacks against MEK members in Europe over the past year alone.

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More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

More arrests of Ahvaz steelworkers by the Iranian regime’s repressive forces, in a bid to intimidate the workers to end their strike.

Iranian agents carried out raids on the homes of steelworkers in Ahvaz for the second consecutive night. Dozens of workers that were arrested on Sunday night over their involvement in recent protests remain in custody. Reports from MEK sources indicate that following the raids on Monday night, several more employees of the Iranian National Steel Industries Group (INSIG) are have been detained.

The raids were part of a coordinated regime response to the Ahvaz steelworkers strike which has raged unabated for the last 39 days. What began as a strike over poor working conditions and regime corruption, has evolved into a stand-off as protestors refuse to disperse until the last steelworker has been freed from regime custody.

Instead of negotiation, the regime has adopted an increasingly repressive and violent approach to the strikes.

Public Support

In recent weeks, the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz have received the support of the Iranian people. In a student protest ahead of Iran’s national student day earlier this month, the demonstrators chanted slogans in solidarity with the striking steelworkers in Ahvaz.

On Tuesday morning, pensioners protesting outside the Parliament building in Tehran also voiced their support for the striking steelworkers. They engaged in chants of, “free the steelworkers” and “imprisoned workers must be freed”.

Out of Ideas

The most recent crackdown and midnight raids carried out at protestors’ homes speak volumes about the regime’s inability to deal with the rising tide of discontent that is sweeping across Iran.

The clerical regime has carved out a position at the top through violence and oppression. As a result, it lacks mechanisms to engage with the population and meet their demands. Its only response is further violence and further suppression.

While this may buy some time, it is not tenable in the long-term. The Iranian resistance and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) is growing more popular and stronger by the day. The Iranian public and its international allies increasingly view it as the only democratic alternative to the mullahs’ rule of terror.

The MEK and the Iranian resistance have called on international organizations, NGOs, labor groups and trade unions from around the world to stand with the workers of Ahvaz, as the Iranian public is. They have also urged Iranian citizens, in particular, the country’s youth and students to do what they can to support the striking workers and call on the regime to free those detained in regime custody.

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Ahvaz steel workers strike.

Iran: Protests Gain Momentum as Anniversary of Uprising Grows Near

Ahvaz steel workers strike.

Steel Workers of Ahvaz protesting the lack of payment and harsh working conditions

It has been almost one year since the massive uprising took place in Iran, which spread to over 140 cities in every province in the country over a two week period. Since that uprising, protests have taken place on a daily basis. Now, as the first anniversary of the uprising nears, more strikes and popular protests are taking place across Iran.

Bus Drivers’ Protest

On Wednesday, city bus drivers in Zanjan, northwest Iran, went on strike to protest poor living conditions and the lack of availability of spare parts.

Students’ Protest

Also on Wednesday, dental school students from Bandar Abbas Science University in southern Iran gathered to protest the poor quality of education at the university and subpar recreational facilities on campus.

Car Customers’ Protests

MEK sources spotted a rally in Tehran by people who placed down payments on Iran Khodro vehicles and have yet to receive them. The customers gathered outside of the company’s administrative offices to demand the delivery of their vehicles.

Meanwhile, customers who registered to buy Citroen C3 cars gathered outside of the regime’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade in Tehran for the third consecutive day on Wednesday to protest the sharp increase in the price of the car after customers reserved their vehicles. Authorities said that the cost of the car rose by one billion rials, or approximately 24,000 U.S. dollars, according to the regime’s exchange rate).

The protesters chanted:
“Our Industry Ministry has lobbied with Saipa!”
“We consider Saipa as thieves; we’ll get what is rightfully ours!”

Citizens’ Protest

People in the city of Masjid Suleiman, southwest Iran, protested city officials’ failure to follow through on their promises to citizens, including putting asphalt on the city roads. Citizens shouted anti-regime slogans during their protest.

Steelworkers Supporters’ Protest

On Wednesday, employees of the Arian Foolad (Steel) Buin Zahra company, west of Tehran, gathered outside of the mayor’s office to show their support for the striking National Steel Group workers in Ahvaz, southwest Iran.

Retirees’ Protests

On Tuesday, retirees from cities across Iran gathered in front of the regime’s Parliament in Tehran to protest poor economic conditions for retirees. Retirees live below the poverty line in Iran.

The retirees also expressed their support of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) workers who were recently arrested and demanded the immediate release of those workers, as well as the teachers who were arrested during their recent strikes.

The retirees chanted:

“The government is committing treason and the parliament is supporting it!”
“INSIG workers must be freed!”
“Detained teachers must be freed!”

The protesters pointed to the Parliament and chanted, “Our enemies are here, not the U.S. as the government claims!”

In Mashhad, northeast Iran, retirees rallied in front of the regime’s Planning and Budget Organization building to protest their low wages and poor economic situation. The protesters held signs reading, “Our wages are based on the rial, but expenses are based on the dollar!”

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Some of the steelworkers who were arrested by the Iranian regime repressive forces in an over night raid to their houses.

Regime Conducts Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

Some of the steelworkers who were arrested by the Iranian regime repressive forces in an over night raid to their houses.

The photos published on the Social Media outlets show the pictures of some of the leading steelworkers’ activists who have been arrested and imprisoned by the regime in order to intimidate the workers and stop their protests.

On Monday, regime security forces conducted the second consecutive night of raids in Ahvaz. 41 workers and representatives of the Iran National Steel Group were arrested in the late night raids on Sunday, and reports from the MEK network inside Iran indicate that more workers were arrested on Monday night.

Residents reported that security forces violently attacked their houses in the middle of the night. Many Ahvaz steelworkers have opted to sleep on the streets rather than face arrest at the hands of the regime.

The 41 workers who were arrested on Sunday night have been transferred to Sheiban Prison in Ahvaz, according to Iran Workers Free Union.

The Free Union held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their plan of action. The union decided not to engage in further negotiations with officials until all of the workers were released from custody.

The Ahvaz steelworkers are on the 40th day of their strike, which has continued despite threats and intimidation from the regime. The Steelworkers say that they will strike until all of their colleagues have been released from prison.

Support for the Ahvaz Steelworkers

The detained steelworkers have gained support from people across Iran. In Tehran, hundreds of pensioners rallied outside of the regime’s Parliament on Tuesday. The protesters expressed their support for the striking workers by chanting: “From Ahvaz to Tehran, workers are in jails!”

“Free the steelworkers!”

“Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

“The enemy is here, they lie to us that it’s America!”

The Tehran Vahed Bus Syndicate also wrote a statement condemning the arrests.

The arrested workers also received words of support from the U.S. Department of State. Robert J. Palladino, the Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department, tweeted in support of the steelworkers on the Department’s Farsi Twitter page. The same tweet was also translated into English and posted on Twitter.

“Yesterday, Iran’s regime arrested steelworkers who simply asked to get paid for their work. Sadly, this is how the regime has always mistreated the Iranian people. The U.S. supports their rightful demands. Iranians deserve to live in peace and dignity.”

A Call to Action

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance call upon the Iranian people, particularly workers, young people, and students, to stand in solidarity with the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz and to protest their unjust arrest. It further calls upon international human rights groups and labor unions to call for the immediate release of the arrested workers

Detained Haft Tappeh Workers

Meanwhile, MEK sources in Khuzestan report that

Esmail Bakhshi, the labor representative of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory who was recently released from custody, has been placed under house arrest.

Ali Nejati, the former head of the Haft Tappeh Union, is still in detention. Nejati suffers from a heart condition. He was violently arrested in a raid on his home on November 29th.

Despite its ratification of the UN’s International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and membership in the International Labor Organization, Iran does not allow its citizens to form labor unions. Citizens can receive harsh prison sentences or flog for organizing labor.

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UNGA condemns Iranian regimes gross violations of human rights in Iran

Iranian Opposition Groups Celebrate UN Resolution to Condemning Iranian Human Rights Abuses

UNGA condemns Iranian regimes gross violations of human rights in Iran

The UN General Assembly condemned the gross violations of human rights in Iran for the 65th time in the row- December 17, 2018

In a landmark moment for Iran, the UN Security Council voted to adopt a resolution condemning human rights abuses carried out by the Iranian regime. The pivotal vote saw 84 votes in favor of the motion, while 30 voted against it. There were 67 abstentions.  \

Of particular concern to the UN Security Council, was the Iranian regime’s high number of executions, including its application in cases where the alleged perpetrator committed the crime as a juvenile, before the age of 18.

The UN also cited, “the widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention”, appalling prison conditions, and “cases of suspicious deaths in custody”.

Discriminatory Practices

The UN also called on Iran to end its discrimination of women, and its “severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”.

The resolution highlights the persecution and violence carried out against Sufi Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sunni Muslims, and members of the Baha’I faith within Iran.

A Victory for the Iranian Opposition

Iranian opposition and the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) welcomed the resolution.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi said in a statement that the resolution, “once again confirmed that the regime blatantly tramples upon the Iranian people’s most fundamental rights in all political, social and economic spheres”. She added that the regime is “in no way congruous with the 21st century and must be isolated by the world community”.

The resolution is not all-encompassing, and it fails to address several aspects of the regime’s brutal oppression and persecution campaigns, however, it may suggest a departure with the international community’s decades-long position of inaction which has emboldened the mullahs and allowed human rights abuses to continue unchallenged.

Justice for the 1988 Massacre

One area which the MEK and the Iranian public has been calling for acknowledgment and an investigation into the regime’s conduct is in the 1988 massacres.

In the summer of 1988, the regime executed more than 30,000 political dissidents, burying them in secret mass graves. Many of the perpetrators and murderers still hold senior positions in the Iranian regime.

The UN Must Investigate the 1988 Massacre

Following a recent report from Amnesty International which condemned the regime for its deplorable and despicable actions in 1988, and the persistence coverup since, many Iranians are calling for a UN investigation into the crimes and for those responsible to be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity.

Maryam Rajavi mentioned the 1988 massacre in her statement. She called it, “one of the most obvious examples of crimes against humanity after the Second World War”.

She asserted that the international silence following the atrocities has allowed the regime to carry out “more brutal violations of human rights”, and “assured them [the mullahs] that their crimes in other parts of the world will go unanswered”.

The president-elect concluded, “the international community should investigate the crimes of this regime, especially the 1988 massacre, and refer the dossier of these crimes to the UN Security Council”, adding, “this is not only the right of the Iranian people but also a prerequisite for peace and the fight against terrorism”.

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The 38th day of protest by SteelWorkers in Ahvaz

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers Continue Their Strike Despite Arrests of Dozens of Workers

The 38th day of protest by SteelWorkers in Ahvaz

The Iranian regime has cracked down on SteelWorkers by raiding the workers’ houses at night and arresting the leaders, despite, the protest continues into its 38th day.

Dozens of workers, protesters, and representatives of the Ahvaz Steel Factory have been arrested since midnight on Sunday, and arrests were ongoing as of Monday. So far, the names of 31 detainees have been published.

The arrests are part of an effort to suppress the steelworkers’ protests, which reached its 39th day on Tuesday. Repressive forces—including Ministry of Intelligence agents, riot police, and Revolutionary Guards—were positioned in strategic locations in Ahvaz in an attempt to prevent the steelworkers from continuing their protests.

The protesters persisted despite these measures, even though they were surrounded by suppressive forces in some areas. The workers vowed to continue to protest until their demands were met and their colleagues were freed. The workers chanted, “Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

The workers of the Ahvaz steel factory went on strike 39 days ago because they had not received their wages for several months. They have continued their strikes and protests despite continuous threats and acts of intimidation from the regime.

Workers from cities across Iran expressed solidarity with the striking steelworkers of Ahvaz, calling for the immediate release of the arrested workers. Among the workers expressing support were the Tehran Bus Company workers’ syndicate and truck drivers in various parts of Iran. Iran’s truck drivers have gone on strike four times this year because of low pay, rising fees, and hazardous conditions.

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance applauds the workers of Ahvaz for their persistence and strength and calls upon the workers, young people, and students of Iran, particularly those in Ahvaz and Khuzestan, to support the steelworkers of Ahvaz in their strike.

The MEK further calls upon international human rights organizations and workers’ rights advocates, unions, and syndicates to call for the release of the arrested workers, protesters, and representatives and to support the steelworkers in their protests.

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance say that the regime’s arrests of the protesting steelworkers are another sign of the mullahs’ frustration with the ongoing nationwide workers’ strikes.

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Maryam Rajavi receives a warm welcome from MEK members in Tirana

Maryam Rajavi to Iranian Communities: “Wall of Repression Will Fall Apart with the Force of Sacrifice and Unity”

Maryam Rajavi receives a warm welcome from MEK members in Tirana

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) enters the conference hall – December 15, 2018

On December 15th, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), addressed an International simultaneous conference organized by the Iranian Communities, which took place simultaneously in 42 cities across North America, Europe, and Australia. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the ongoing popular protests taking place in Iran, the need for a firm approach when dealing with the Iranian regime, and the goals of the NCRI, MEK, and Iranian Resistance in restoring democracy to Iran.

In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi referenced regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s recent remarks that the U.S. planned to sow discord in 2019 by assisting the MEK in their activities. She questioned why the regime was so afraid of discord in the New Year. “Because,” she said, “In the year that is ending soon, not a single day went by without protests against the theocratic regime, and without cries for freedom. So, I would tell Khamenei and the rest of the mullahs:

‘Yes, you (Ali Khamenei) should fear, and you should tremble, because your overthrow is imminent at the hands of the Iranian people and their Resistance. They are passionately going for it and they will definitely make it come true.’”

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) addressing the International Conference of Iranian Communities gathered in 42 different locations around the world-Tirana-December 15, 2018

Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that “the clerical regime has no way and no solution to thwart it’s being overthrown. Since 40 years ago, we have sincerely wished to see the clerical regime change its behavior. But as they say, they will not commit suicide in fear of death.”

She further noted that the regime’s strategy “to survive and break out of the crisis, is further crackdown and suppression inside Iran, and more export of terrorism, war and crises to other countries.”

Mrs. Rajavi described the regime’s numerous attempted terrorist attacks on the MEK in Europe and detailed how each plot was foiled by European governments. “Indeed,” Mrs. Rajavi said, “Isn’t it regrettable that despite disclosure of the mullahs’ terrorism on European soil, the regime’s appeasers are still trying to find a way to deal with the regime and seeking to aid the murderers of the Iranian people?

“We tell them: ‘Gentlemen, if you don’t want to stand by the people of Iran, at least do not victimize the security of your own citizens. Why do you aid a regime that poses threats to European capitals?

“This is our word: Respect the Iranian people’s desire to overthrow the regime and establish freedom and democracy.’”

Mrs. Rajavi stressed that buying Iranian oil comes at the expense of the Iranian people, saying:

“Let the hands of this criminal regime be cut off from Iran’s oil revenues which is our national asset. Every barrel of oil the regime sells is a lash on the back of the people of Iran and a bullet piercing the heart of the people of the region.”

She also questioned the regime’s missile program: “Furthermore, what are the regime’s successive missile tests about? What is their aim? Anything but blackmailing and threatening regional and global peace?” she asked.

Rajavi then listed actions that must be taken against the regime: [T]he IRGC, the MOIS, and the regime’s state propaganda machine must be placed on the U.S. List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the terror list of the European Union.”

She added, “The regime’s financial lifelines which fund Khamenei’s apparatus, the IRGC, the terrorist Quds Force, and the religious Gestapo must be blocked.”

Finally, she said, “The dossier of the regime’s continuing crimes against humanity must be referred to the UN Security Council, and Khamenei, Rouhani and other regime leaders must face justice.”

Mrs. Rajavi noted that the most important task ahead is the overthrow of the regime and the restoration of democratic rule, which is in the hands of the Iranian people. “Of course,” she said “As I have repeatedly declared, the regime’s overthrow, democratic change, and the establishment of a free Iran, task already undertaken by the Iranian people and Resistance. They are impatient in fulfilling this duty and will most definitely make it come true.”

To the supporters of the MEK, Mrs. Rajavi said: “The secret to your tirelessness, hopefulness, livelihood, and firm resolve is your power to give and sacrifice for the freedom of the people of Iran. And I am confident that you are going to bring about a beautiful and glorious future for your people and your country.”

Mrs. Rajavi also saluted the protesters inside Iran, who continue to rebel against the oppressive regime.  She said: “And hail to our compatriots in various provinces who continue their protests and uprisings and have kept the flames of uprisings alight.

“The demonstrations of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers and the start of the second month of strikes and protests by the brave steel workers of Ahvaz have incited more resistance and protests all across the country.

“Those who addressed the mullahs, calling them monkeys who are sitting on the Prophet’s pulpit.
Steelworkers wore shrouds and took to the street, chanting, ‘Down with the oppressor, hail to the worker,’ and ‘we will never surrender!’

“We also hail the honorable truck drivers and truck owners who tirelessly continue their strikes and recently held the fourth round of their nationwide protests. And hail to the poor but steadfast farmers of Isfahan who rose up again. We hail the conscious students of Iran who staged sit-ins and protests on the Student Day on December 7th.”

Mrs. Rajavi concluded her speech with words of hope. “The truth is that today, the regime’s existence is in danger more than any other time in its history,” she said. “Iran’s society is also more prepared than any other time and simmering.”

“The wall of repression will fall apart with the force of sacrifice and unity,” she vowed. “So, onwards to a free and democratic Iran!”

Staff Writer

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