Posts Tagged ‘Free Iran 2018’

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Javad Zarif, Iranian regime's Minister of Foreign Affairs

Javad Zarif Draws Criticism from Iranians After More Inflammatory Comments

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime's Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mohammad Javad Zarif at the balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel during the Iran nuclear talks meetings in Vienna- July 10, 2015

Javad Zarif, the Iranian regime foreign minister, has drawn criticism from Iranians over comments he made about Iranian meddling in foreign conflicts across the Middle East.

Speaking at the regime’s Foreign Policy Meeting, while he referred to regime backed terrorism as “resistance”, he said: “We are proud of the resistance of Syria[Assad’s dictatorship], Lebanon [Hezbollah], Iraq [Quds force], etc.”

The comments prompted a backlash on social media. Voria Ghafouri, a soccer player at Esteghlal, in the Persian Gulf Pro League, responded with an Instagram post in which he criticized the regime’s foreign minister, “you are not the one who’s under pressure. The people are under pressure. The nation’s wealth is not your inheritance to give out as you please.” said Ghafouri’s post at Instagram.

He added, “if you’re man enough, speak your rubbish among the people so you get your answer!” The Iranian regime has been under intense domestic pressure in the form of national protests among Iranians. The protestors are expressing their fury over the mullahs’ economic mismanagement and financing of foreign militia and terror groups which has left the Iranian economy in turmoil.

Enough is Enough

The Iranian people have made their feeling clear. At recent protests, Iranians chanted “leave Syria alone, think of us”, etc.

The foreign minister is renowned for making inflammatory, controversial, and false statements. He recently compared Iranian democracy to that of France’s, asserted the regime did not want war and claimed that there were no political prisoners in regime custody, claims that if they weren’t so damaging would be laughable.

A Steady Stream of Lies and Misinformation

Zarif has also deliberately sewn confusion and muddied the waters surrounding who exactly is repressed and who are the oppressors. Following the Warsaw conference, which saw more than 60 countries agree to impose increased pressure on Iran, Zarif took to social media to paint the Iranian regime as a victim, not perpetrator, of international terrorism. It also referred to MEK’s rally in Warsaw in a bid to discredit the opposition:

“It is no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that Warsaw circus begins?” he wrote, “especially when cohorts of same terrorists cheer it from Warsaw streets & support it with Twitter bots?” Zarif’s tweet raised an immediate response from the Polish Minsitery of Foreign Affairs, rejecting his labeling against the main opposition:

In other posts, Zarif attempts to pass Iranian involvement in Syria off as aiding the peace process. “As Iran, Russia & Turkey ready a summit in Sochi to work for peace in Syria & UN Court rejects US excuses & readies to rule on US theft of Iranian people’s assets, flip-flopping Trump officials try to hide their perpetual lawlessness & global isolation behind a charade in Warsaw,” he Tweeted.

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Maryam Rajavi's message to Free Iran Rally-Feb8, 2019

Maryam Rajavi Adresses Paris Rally: “Now Is the Time for the Mullahs to Be Overthrown”

Maryam Rajavi's message to Free Iran Rally-Feb8, 2019

Maryam Rajavi’s message to the Free Iran Rally, the MEK supporter’s rally in Paris on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution-February 8, 2019

On Thursday, February 8th, the Iranian opposition, supporters of the MEK, held a rally in Paris to express solidarity for the protest movement taking place in Iran and to urge international policymakers to show their support for the Iranian opposition within Iran by adopting a firm policy toward the Iranian regime.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), addressed the rally’s attendees and participants, who included MEK members and other Iranian expatriates, international politicians, and human rights activists.

In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi discussed the hardships that the Iranian people have faced in their quest for freedom. She said, “Our people faced a whirlpool of horror and darkness which they had to go through in order to achieve freedom.”

The Iranian Uprising and Protest Movement

Mrs. Rajavi went on to speak about the regime’s response to the ongoing protests that have been taking place in Iran since last year. She cited reports from Amnesty International, which state that 7,000 protesters were arrested last year, noting that the actual number is even higher. She described how the regime killed some of these protesters after their arrests and claimed they had died of suicide. She further discussed the regime’s torture of detainees and its crackdown on ethnic and religious minorities, on workers, students, women, young people, and anyone who dared to defy the regime.

 

With the dawn of the protest movement, Mrs. Rajavi stated that Iran had entered a “new era” in its “battle to bring down the mullahs’ theocratic rule.” Subsequently, said Mrs. Rajavi, “They expect the international community to respect their struggle and recognize their high goal of liberating Iran and the entire world from the evil and mischief of the mullahs’ religious fascism.”

An End to the Policy or Appeasement

According to Rajavi, Western governments must pay heed to this responsibility because of their history of preserving the mullahs’ rule for the past twenty years. The Western policy of appeasement toward the mullahs allowed the regime to flourish by “cracking down on the Iranian Resistance, blacklisting it, and restricting it.” Mrs. Rajavi said that the end of the regime’s threat would only come through the recognition of the Iranian people’s right to achieve freedom.

Gilbert Mitterrand
François Mitterrand’s son, one of the main speakers at MEK’s February 8, rally in Paris, posing for a photocall.
The sign reads: #DemocracyWithMaryamRajavi

Such recognition,” said Mrs. Rajavi, “lies in the heart of the solution to the Iranian problem. This is the path to freedom in Iran and the road to peace and tranquility in the region and the world.”

A Firm Policy Toward the Iranian Regime

Mrs. Rajavi stressed the need for the United States and European Union to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

She then posed a question to European and U.S. leaders: “Now, our question to those who are still persisting in their worn-out policy of appeasement of the mullahs is, ‘Why do you want to prolong the suffering of the people of Iran and other nations in the region? Is it not enough? Indeed, what does it take for you to learn your lessons from the mullahs’ savage terrorism in recent months in the heart of Europe and in the U.S.?’”

Mrs. Rajavi urged the international community to be firm with the Iranian regime. Stand up to the clerical regime and prevent their access to missile programs and any form of arms and equipment,” she said. “The Iranian people and Resistance do not want this regime to have any bullets, or sell any barrel of oil, or spend a single dollar of the Iranian nation’s wealth on suppression and terrorism.”

Mrs. Rajavi was very clear in the goals of the Iranian Resistance, including the MEK: “The objective of the Iranian people and their Resistance is to overthrow the regime in its entirety. The goal is freedom, democracy, and the sovereignty of our people’s republic.”

 

She emphasized, “Yes, now is the time for the mullahs to be overthrown.”

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Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

The Iranian Opposition Plan Large Rally Ahead of Poland Conference

Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

Free Iran Rally – February 8th, 2019

As a plague of poverty sweeps across Iran, all but wiping out the middle class in its wake, the Iranian regime continues to try and blame the international community for Iran’s economic woes.

Years of economic mismanagement and corruption have hollowed out Iranian industries, caused rampant unemployment, and prompted rocketing inflation. Rather than cause Iran’s economic decline, the international community is finally holding the Iranian regime to account.

A Turning Tide

In early January, the EU introduced its first sanctions against the Iranian regime since the landmark JCPOA agreement. The new sanctions targeted a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as well as two senior officials.

Despite the new sanctions, many in the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), believe that without a full terrorist blacklisting of the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the effect of any sanctions will be severely limited.

Although the sanctions are limited in scope, they do represent a changing tide in the mindset of European governments. For decades, the EU’s heads of state have stuck firmly to a policy of appeasement. But now, after a string of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks plotted on European soil, France and Britain are leading the charge for a firmer stance against Iran.

Amongst the possible actions up for discussion are economic sanctions, asset freezes, and travel bans for senior figures in the Iranian regime.

A senior EU diplomat said, “we’d prefer not to take these measures, but they [the mullahs] need to stop trying to kill people on our territory.”

In 2018, the Iranian regime plotted several terror attacks and assassinations against members of the MEK and other dissident groups living on European soil. Plots were unraveled in Albania, France, Denmark, and the US.

Albanian President Expresses Support for Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats

The Poland Conference

The United States has organized a conference in Poland on the 13th and 14th of February in which the international community will discuss the Iranian threat. The foreign ministries from 90 countries across the globe will attend. International cooperation and support for a firmer stance against the regime are essential for curbing their nuclear ambitions and ending their campaign of terror on European soil.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, said,

“we have always urged western governments to be firm against the mullahs’ terrorist dictatorship. So, today, we urge them to expel the mercenaries of the mullahs’ intelligence services and the terrorist Qods force from the US and Europe.”

The MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have worked relentlessly to draw attention to the human rights abuses taking place across Iran. Ahead of the conference in Warsaw, the Iranian opposition will hold a major demonstration against the Iranian regime’s widespread abuse of human rights and employment of terrorism as a technique of repression.

Rajavi is convinced. She has spoken on the international stage and asserted that the only way to free the Iranian people from the violent and repressive clerical regime is through regime change. Following four failed terror attacks in Europe, any measure short of listing the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist organizations will fall well short of what is needed to eliminate the Iranian threat and bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

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Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

The US Can Force Europe to Take a Tougher Stance Against Iran by Designating MOIS a Terror Organisation

Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

Assadollah Assadi, the mastermind behind the Iranian regime’s foiled terror plot to bomb MEK’s annual gathering in Paris-June 30th, 2018

Alarabiya published an opinion piece outlining the increasing international concern over Iran’s state-sponsored terrorist activities. 2018 has seen a surge in Iranian terrorism across the world as European authorities have foiled several terror plots and which were traced back to the Iranian regime leadership.

“If ISIS targeted people arbitrarily without any operation center in the EU, Iran’s regime uses its embassies to organize terrorist operations across Europe”, the piece said.

The most recent development was the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador to Albania and another high-level diplomat. Albania’s government cited increasing security threats as the reason for the expulsion.

In March, during the Persian New Year celebrations, two Iranian agents working for the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) were arrested for plotting a terror attack on Albanian soil. The attack’s target was members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) currently living in exile in a compound near the Albanian capital of Tirana.

The Iranian regime scrambles to distance itself from the foiled terror attack in Europe

Following the Albanian government’s decision to expel the diplomats, President Trump personally praised the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama. He thanked him for his “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe.”

A Growing Operation

Prior to the MEK’s arrival on Albanian soil, the country was on the regime’s periphery. It had a small embassy in Tirana through which it managed diplomatic operations. However, since the MEK arrived in 2016 after fleeing regime attacks on its compounds in Iraq, the regime has expanded the Albanian embassy’s operations, “almost doubling the size and the number of staff”, according to Alarabiya.

In addition to expanding the building and hiring more staff, the regime sent an MOIS agent to the country as its ambassador and created a special section of the embassy devoted to planning attacks against the MEK and the Iranian opposition.

The regime’s activities in Albania have been a microcosm of a growing surge in terror activities in Europe. 2018 saw the foiled terror plot in Albania, a foiled terror attack in Paris in June, an assassination attempt against a political dissident in Denmark, and the arrest of two MOIS agents in the United States on espionage charges.

Alongside their violent terror attacks, the regime has coordinated an extensive misinformation campaign against the MEK. Recent hit pieces against the MEK have appeared in the Guardian, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and Channel 4.

Channel 4 News Report Serves as Tool for Iran Lobby

The response has been somewhat muted. Following the attempted attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in June, the French government expelled diplomats and froze MOIS assets. However, few countries have followed suit, making Albania’s decision a landmark moment.

Many observers attribute this surge in state-sponsored violence against political dissidents to a decades-long policy of appeasement towards the Iranian regime from Western governments. “In their view, the current EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and her colleagues are responsible for this emerging threat to [the] EU’s security”, the Alarabiya piece states.

The Alarabiya piece asserts that the US government could force Europe’s governments to adopt a tougher stance by designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the MOIS as terrorist organizations. “This is what the Iranian people, dissidents and dozens of prominent Western politicians ask and call for”, the piece concludes.

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Colombian-French politician, Ingrid Betancourt, and the former presidential candidate in Colombia addresses MEK members in Ashraf 3

Ingrid Betancourt to MEK Members: “We are going to win this”

Colombian-French politician, Ingrid Betancourt, and the former presidential candidate in Colombia addresses MEK members in Ashraf 3

Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian-French politician, and the former presidential candidate in Colombia speaks at the International Conference of the Iranian Communities, held in Ashraf 3, MEK’s residence in Albania- December 2018

Colombian-French politician, Ingrid Betancourt and the former Colombian presidential candidate, addressed members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and their allies in Albania, emphasizing that “Time has changed. You [the MEK] are the hope, Maryam [Rajavi] is the leader and we are with you and we are going to win this” referring to MEK’s struggle to free Iran.

Betancourt expressed her gratitude towards the Albanian government and delight at what she said was a “very special moment” for her.

“Many years ago we were fighting for your lives when you were in Camp Liberty and we were feeling the despair and the rage of being caught in that horrible situation where we were surrounded by lies and… the only thing we could do was [cry] for help and [denounce] what was happening”, she said, adding, “to see you here in this land that has welcomed you with open arms… thank you, Albania. Thank you”.

She expressed her warmth towards the country. “I feel at home because I see that this is a country that has decided to take the good side of the choices of options in life”, she said.

“What Albania has done… has gained the respect of all the international community”, she proclaimed.

The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

Betancourt described how she had insisted that on this visit to Albania, she would not stay in a hotel, but she wanted to be with the MEK members at their Ashraf 3 compound outside Tirana.

She described how she had “been walking the streets of this new city”, adding, “I’m so proud to be here with you.”

Following the Iranian regime’s mortar attacks and liquidation of the Camps of Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, in which many MEK members lost their lives or were badly wounded, the MEK fled to Albania.

In just 12 months, the group has built a sprawling compound, aptly named Ashraf 3. The compound has its own water purification facilities, dormitories, dental center, pharmacies, bakeries, a sports complex, library, meeting hall, and learning centers.

Betancourt marveled, “You are like the phoenix that rises from the ashes and this Ashraf is telling me the power that is in you”.

“You have built a community of people”, she continued, “that are committed to fighting for a free Iran.” Betancourt expressed her delight at the “city” under construction at Ashraf 3, where MEK members and supporters from around the world are united in their passion and desire for a free Iran.

A Direct Threat to the Mullahs’ Future in Power

The resilience and determination on display across the MEK is a direct threat to the mullahs’ future in power in Iran.

“Can you imagine”, Betancourt asked, “what it is for the government of Iran, the regime of the mullahs, every day looking at the newspapers and finding out that there is a riot somewhere in some place in Iran?” “Every day you are reminding them that they have no right to be at the head of the state in Iran”, she added, “every day, you are reminding them that it’s going to come to an end”.

Without the MEK, the protest movement in Iran would not be possible. “It’s because you are here, organized, with the plan… with a strategy, with a leader like Maryam Rajavi”, that the people of Iran feel empowered to take to the streets.

Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian opposition leader, takes a photo up with distinguished speakers at the International Conference against Iranian regime’s terrorism and violations of human rights, in Ashraf 3, Albania-December 15, 2018

Betancourt described how Maryam Rajavi disarms the regime’s terrorism and violence with love. “Love is the one that will bring Iran to freedom”, Betancourt asserted.

The Tables Have Turned

Betancourt described how just five years ago, the MEK was fighting to get its name removed from international terror lists in the West after Western government included the pro-democracy group on the lists to appease the mullahs.

“Now it is them who have to explain”, Betancourt clamored. After several foiled terror attacks in Europe, the French and Albanian governments have expelled diplomats. The French President Emmanuel Macron ordered for the freezing of assets owned by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS)

Betancourt continued, “now it’s them who fear”. “They are fearing that they will be brought to justice. And this is our commitment. We are going to make sure that we free Iran and that we bring them to international justice”.

Finally, Betancourt concluded, “We want them to be in jail for all the crimes they have committed”.

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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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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!”

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Maryam Rajavi joins the panel of speakers in Tirana Conference

Iranian Communities Simultaneous Conference Demand Hault on Iran’s Terrorism

Maryam Rajavi joins the panel of speakers in Tirana Conference

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, arrives at the main conference hall in Tirana, Albania. Rajavi greets distinguished speakers of the conference before joining them on the panel.

On Saturday, December 15th, the Iranian Communities, supporters of the MEK, held a joint video conference in 42 cities across Europe, North America, and Australia. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the ongoing popular protests in Iran and the regime’s terrorist actions against the MEK and the Iranian opposition.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi gave the keynote address. Speaking to the Iranian communities, she said:

“The regime’s recourse to terrorism is not a transient or tactical reaction, but a strategic outlet for it to confront the uprisings and its overthrow. Today, the regime makes use of terrorism to confronting the Iranian people’s uprisings. The arrests and expulsions of the regime’s diplomat-terrorists and terrorists with ties to their embassies show that the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the terrorist Quds Force, the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), the Foreign Ministry, and the regime’s embassies are all parts of the clerical regime’s terrorist network.”

https://twitter.com/AlArabiya_Eng/status/1074046440949862401

Mrs. Rajavi called for the international community to adopt a firm approach toward the Iranian regime. She said:

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

https://twitter.com/iran_policy/status/1074225349062475776

Rajavi then urged the international community to end the policy of appeasement toward the Iranian regime.

“If you don’t want to stand by the people of Iran, at least do not victimize your own citizens’ security. 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. 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. The regime’s successive missile tests aim at nothing but blackmailing and threatening regional and global peace,”.

Mrs. Rajavi directly addressed the MEK resistance units who have organized and led the protest movement in her speech, saying:

“Today, the regime’s existence is more than ever in danger. Iran’s society is also more prepared than any other time and simmering. The establishment of a free Iran is on the shoulders of the Iranian people and Resistance. It is your willpower that is going to determine how the present volatile conditions will evolve into the overthrow of the mullahs’ dictatorship. The secret to victory is the united struggle of the people of Iran and the evolution of uprisings pioneered by resistance units and councils.”

Mr. Patrick Kennedy has been a longtime supporter of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance. In his speech, he spoke about the bipartisan support for the Iranian Resistance within the United States. He said:

“Contrary to the Iranian regime’s propaganda, both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. are united in supporting a firm policy on Iran and to stand with the Iranian people in their desire for change and to have a republic based on free election, separation of religion and state and gender equality. It is within this context that we support Maryam Rajavi and her ten-point declaration for a free Iran. The regime’s propaganda against the MEK, echoed sometimes in the Western media, is the best sign of regime’s fear of the MEK’s popularity in Iran and its role in the anti-regime protests. It is time for Europe to also stand up to regime’s growing terrorism in Europe and its malign activities in the region.”

Former Colombian Presidential Candidate, Ingrid Betancourt spoke about the need for European governments to adopt a firm approach toward the Iranian regime in light of its terrorist activities, saying: “Over the past year the Iranian regime has increased its terrorist activities in Europe and simultaneously, intensified its propaganda against the MEK. This clearly shows the fear of the regime from the MEK and its decisive role in the continued anti-regime protests in Iran and their desire for regime change.  It is time the European governments adopt a firm policy against the regime and side with no ambiguity with the Iranian people. Finally, free Western media has to be alert in order to avoid spreading the dictator’s propaganda against democratic opposition.”

Representatives from over 300 Iranian associations across the world also spoke at the conference in order to reaffirm their support for the NCRI, the MEK, and Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-point Plan for re-establishing democracy in Iran after the fall of the mullahs’ regime.

In declaring their support for the MEK and its goal of restoring democratic rule to Iran, they said: “The Iranian Resistance, led by Mr. Massoud Rajavi, enjoys a broad social base of support in Iran, has a strong organization, offers a clear platform and has adopted progressive and democratic plans for future Iran. It is able to bring about regime change and is capable of transferring the sovereignty to people. They have unique capacities and potentials for rebuilding future Iran, offer social justice, and returning hope and trust to a nation which has suffered numerous treasons over the past 100 years and has been viciously suppressed and discriminated against under the dictatorships of the shahs and the mullahs.”

They went on to say: “It is because of these capacities that the clerical regime considers this Resistance as its only existential threat, and in addition to brutal suppression inside Iran it is resorting to terrorism and carrying out extensive demonization and misinformation campaigns against the Iranian Resistance to justify and prepare the grounds for domestic suppression and terrorism abroad.”

Speakers and participants at the conference included President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Mrs. Maryam Rajavi; former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Patrick Kennedy; Minister of State for Diaspora and former Prime Minister of Albania Pandeli Majko; Republican Party Leader and former Albanian Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu; former Algerian Prime Minister Syed Ahmad Ghozali,; former Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt; Deputy Leader of the U.K. Liberal Democratic Party Lord Navnit Dholakia; French Governor and former Director of DST Yves Bonnet; Chair of the Committee on Equality of Men and Women in the Parliament of Romania Christina Luristina; Deputy Chair of the Financial Committee in the Senate of South Ireland Gerry Horkan; Member of Italian Parliament Antonio Tasso; and Member of the Norwegian Parliamentary Judiciary Committee Peter Eide. A number of other politicians, legal, and religious figures also attended the conference, as well as members of the Iranian communities.

The conference was held in 42 cities including Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania; Brussels, Belgium; Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, Canada; Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark;  London, Liverpool, Bristol, Sheffield and Birmingham, U.K.; Helsinki and Turku, Finland; Paris, France, Berlin, Cologne, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt, Germany; Rome, Italy; Luxembourg, Luxembourg; The Hague, Zwolle, and Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway; Bucharest, Romania, Zurich, Switzerland; Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Boras, and Solleftea, Sweden; Washington, D.C., Berkeley, Orange County, Atlanta, and Dallas, U.S.; Vienna, Austria; and Sydney, Australia.

Staff Writer

 

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Delegation from European Parliament,Free Iran 2018,Jaromir Stetina,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,Struan Stevenson,Tunne Kelam

The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

Delegation from European Parliament Meets with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana

The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

A delegation consists of 2 MEPs and the former chair of European Parliament’s official Delegation for Relations with Iraq meet with Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition

On Sunday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), met with a delegation of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Tirana to discuss Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania. They also discussed the ongoing protests in Iran.

Members of the delegation included Tunne Kelam, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of Friends of a Free Iran inter-parliamentary group, Jaromir Stetina, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense, and Struan Stevenson, Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change.

The meeting with the delegation from European Parliament followed a statement of support for the Iranian Resistance from 150 MEPs written earlier this month. The statement described the widespread protests that have taken place in Iran since December of last year, saying, “The social atmosphere is volatile, and people demand fundamental change. The regime’s officials have acknowledged the role of “resistance units” of the opposition PMOI [MEK] in organizing protests and nationwide strikes.”

The statement went on to describe the regime’s efforts to defeat the MEK and the Iranian Resistance through terrorist acts: “Unable to defeat the protesters at home, the regime launched a new wave of terrorism against the democratic opposition activists in Europe and in the United States.”

The MEPs concluded their statement with a call to action: “We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its terror plots and expel Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives from Europe. We must also condition our relations with Iran to an improvement of human rights and women’s rights, and a halt to executions.”

The EP delegation noted the statement from earlier this month and affirmed their support of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance.

Mr. Tunne Kelam expressed his admiration for the MEK members at Ashraf 3 during the meeting, noting their “wonderful advances in building this place in such a short period of time and on the other hand, their livelihood and joy.” He added, “To me, this is a promise that the people of Iran will achieve their freedom.”

Kelam also congratulated Mrs. Rajavi on the MEK’s progress, saying, “Your movement has set a new moral, political and democratic standard, something that gives you the power to confront the medieval, fundamentalist regime ruling Iran.
At the same time, Mrs. Rajavi and the PMOI [MEK] have provided moral and political inspiration for hundreds of European political leaders in supporting PMOI’s [MEK’s] struggle for freedom in Iran. European politicians have been encouraged to take a strong and principled political stand versus the appeasement policy.”

Mr. Stetina pointed out that the MEK and the NCRI enjoys broad support from MEPs from different political groups, saying that these groups “are confident that Iran’s future is tied to this Resistance and to you, personally.” He went on to say, “This is why the Iranian regime has once again resorted to terrorism. Their ill-fated terrorist attempts in Albania, France, and the U.S. clearly show that the Iranian regime views this movement as its main existential threat. When it cannot defeat the PMOI and the NCRI by suppression and terror, it moves full force to deploy the mercenaries and “reporters” it has trained to demonize the Resistance and carry out smear campaigns. This is something that we have very well experienced in the European Parliament.

Mr. Stevenson pointed out that the regime is faltering and cannot continue to rule. “The emphases by the leader, president and other officials of the regime leave no doubts on the role of the PMOI in advancing the popular uprisings. Therefore, there is nothing strange for us that their slander machine has been put to work at its highest speed. These efforts are in vain and will not deceive anyone,” he said.

Mrs. Rajavi thanked the MEPs for their support of the Iranian Resistance and explained the current situation in Iran. “Despite massive repression, widespread arrests and murders in detention projected as suicides,” she said, “the Iranian people’s uprisings have continued ever since they started in the final days of last year, becoming ever more organized. The growing trend of strikes, protests, and demonstrations by workers, farmers, and other toiling sectors have sounded the alarm bells for the regime, bringing closer the prospects of victory of freedom and democracy over the dark religious tyranny that has invaded our homeland for four decades.”

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Free Iran 2018,Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Haft Tapeh Sugercane Factory worker's strike

Iran: Sugarcane Factory Workers Strike for Tenth Day

Haft Tapeh Sugercane Factory worker's strike

Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory Workers have been on Strike for ten days. demanding their delayed paychecks and protesting poor living conditions.

Wednesday marked the tenth consecutive day of strikes for workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company. The workers have been on strike since November 5th to protest not receiving their wages for the past four months. They are also protesting the privatization of the company.

The striking workers rallied outside of the Shush Governor’s Office for the second day to protest. The MEK network shared videos and images of the strike on social media. In videos, workers chanted, “Down with tyrants, long live workers!” and “People of Shush, support us!”

The workers’ chants also referenced the ongoing strike by Ahvaz Steel Company workers, which has been in progress since November 10th. The workers chanted, “Thank you steel workers!” in solidarity with their fellow striking workers.

According to the state-run ILNA news agency, almost 1,000 workers took part in the protest. 2,700 workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company have gone without wages for four months, according to one protester who was interviewed by ILNA. “Unfortunately, the employer has no reaction to the workers’ unpaid wages and we are waiting to see whether they will take any real measures,” the protester said.

ILNA published a picture of workers with a banner reading, “Please order the city bakeries to lend bread to Haft Tappeh workers. Workers of Haft Tappeh are hungry.”

The Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory, the oldest sugar factory in Iran, was privatized in 2015. Since then, debts at the company have risen, and workers have become progressively poorer. According to official reports, factory workers have lost 80% of their purchasing power over the past few months, and the company is considering laying off workers.

Jafar Azimzadeh, head of the Free Union of Workers in Iran, characterized the condition of the factory workers as “slavery.”

“The families of some workers have to buy bread on credit, because of unpaid salaries and if this situation continues, even bakeries will refuse to sell bread to the workers on credit,” he said.

 

Factory workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company have gone on strike several times this year, due to unpaid wages and unfulfilled promises by their employer. The most recent strike took place in August and involved 500 striking workers who had not been paid for three months. According to reports from the MEK network, riot police beat protesters and used tear gas. Five striking workers were arrested and charged with “disrupting order.”  They were later released.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, commended the striking workers, tweeting: “Hail to the deprived workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory and Steel Factory of #Ahvaz who have risen up to demand their rights, calling for expansion of the protests by the slogan of “Workers of Khuzestan, unite, unite.”
#IranProtests”

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