Posts Tagged ‘Free Iran 2018’

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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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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.”

Staff Writer

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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”

Staff Writer

 

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Students protest against the repressive Iranian regime forces.

Regime Officials Fearful of MEK

Students protest against the repressive Iranian regime forces.

Archive photo: University students retaliating as soon as the repressive IRGC and Basij forces attack them, during one of the protests in Tehran- December-2017

The Iranian regime has found itself in an unsustainable position. The economy is in a downward spiral, a rising tide of protests has swept the country, and the mullahs’ attempts to suppress the uprisings have backfired and drawn more Iranians out into the streets to protest against the corrupt and brutal regime.

Officials within the ruling government are now openly voicing their concerns that the regime will not be able to suppress dissent and re-establish control over the people of Iran. The MEK and its Resistance Units have been effective in organizing protests and sharing information among its expansive network, causing protests to spread quickly across the country. There has been a great deal of internal division within the regime within the past year, but regime leaders agree that the MEK poses the greatest threat to the theocratic dictatorship.

In a recent interview on state-run media, senior Revolutionary Guards member Hassan Abbasi discussed the recent outbreak of protests and their causes in grim terms. “The problem is, in the next few years, our currency will become so worthless that people will pour into the streets because of the hardships to their livelihoods,” Abbasi said. “Clashes will ensue, people will distance themselves from the government and confront the government. The government will confront the people. A few people will be killed, and then the people will rise in revenge.”

Abbasi, who is from the hardliner faction of the Iranian regime, predicted that the MEK would play a larger role in the protests as tensions between the people and the regime continue to grow. Although he espoused a number of conspiracy theories as part of his argument, he did admit that the Iranian people have real concerns that have not been addressed by the regime. “The people are protesting for their rights, their rights to water, their rights to the security of their financial assets, their unpaid wages,” he said.

In an interview with the same TV station, regime theorist Mohammad Reza Khatami, who is the brother of former “reformist” president Mohammad Khatami, admitted that most of the country is unhappy with the ruling regime and expressed his fear about the regime’s collapse. “Possibly the majority of the people have grievances and criticism,” he warned. “Ordinary people might say that we are fed up with this system and we want another system. But how? With whom?”

 

Khatami acknowledged that regime change would invariably involve the MEK. “Why am I opposed to regime change? We want the MEK to come and change our regime? Under the current circumstance, I see a very dark future,” he warned.

Khatami also made the long-overdue admission that the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution was a plot to gain support for the mullahs by making the regime appear to be anti-imperialist and to undermine the influence of revolutionary forces such as the MEK.

The regime is rapidly losing its grip on power, and its leaders are well aware that it is close to being toppled. The MEK is leading the Resistance movement and gains support, knowledge, and strength each day. It is not surprising that the regime has spent the past year planning failed terrorist attacks against the MEK, spying on its members, and using every measure of suppression available to punish protesters. These are acts of a terrified regime at the end of its reign of terror.

Staff Writer

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Human rights record in Iran

Nobody is Exempt from the Regime’s Violent Punishments

Human rights record in Iran

Archive Photo: The crude scene of a public hanging in Iran.

The clerical regime in Iran remains among the most and violent dictatorships on earth. Only China carries out more executions per year than Iran, and the country has a population 17 times larger than Iran’s.

The mullahs execute more people per capita than any other country in the planet and according to figures released by Amnesty International, more than half of all the executions that take place each year take place in Iran.

Nobody is exempt

The regime in Tehran is ruthless in its application of the death penalty. Nobody is spared including juvenile offenders and women.

Among the worst targeted are ethnic and religious minorities and political dissidents. Iran Human Rights Monitor recorded 3,602 executions carried out under current President Hassan Rouhani. Among them were 34 juvenile offenders, 84 women, and 86 political dissidents.

Iran is among a handful of countries on earth that executes young offenders. There are currently 85 individuals on death row for crimes they committed as a minor. The regime detains young offenders until they reach the age of 18. Then they execute them.

In one recent case, the regime executed Mahboubeh Mofidi, a 20-year-old accused of murdering her abusive husband when she was 17. She had been forced to marry the man when she was just 13.

In 2018 alone, 223 people have met their end at the hands of the regime, including 6 individuals who were executed for crimes they committed under the age of 18.

Many of the executions were carried out in prisons or behind closed doors. However, 35 were carried out in front of the public.

The death penalty is a tool for the regime

The regime uses the death penalty as a political tool to cement its position in power. When anti-regime protests and strikes occur, the mullahs are quick to remind the public that they are not just risking their liberty in protesting, they are risking their lives.

Most recently, when truck driver protests erupted across Iran’s towns and cities, the regime threatened the striking drivers with the death penalty. According to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the regime’s Chief Prosecutor, General Montazeri, personally threatened the striking drivers.

Silencing the Opposition

The death penalty is widely employed against members of the political opposition. In 2018, 10 political prisoners have been executed, several of which were denied a fair trial.

Ramin Hossein Panahi was executed in early September over allegations he pulled a gun on Iranian security agents. He confessed to his crimes, but his family suggested that in court he showed signs of torture on his body. He subsequently went on hunger strike in Rahaei Shahr prison in protest at his circumstances.

Three Condemned for Corruption after Bloody Month of Executions

A similar story occurred in the case of Mohammad Salas. The 51-year-old was accused of killing three police officers. The only piece of evidence connecting him with the murder was a confession he allegedly made from his hospital bed. He was denied access to a lawyer throughout the proceedings and was sentenced to death last March.

Prisoner’s on death row also report horrifying and brutal conditions. Many report prolonged periods of solitary confinement and tortures akin to those used in Medieval Europe, including scalding with boiling water, pushing needles into their genitals, hanging prisoners by their wrists and ankles, pulling out prisoners’ fingernails, and floggings.

When prisoners are finally taken to the gallows, often their families are not informed, giving them any opportunity to say goodbye.

To add insult, the families are often billed for the noose used in the hanging, or the bullet used to shoot them. They are often prevented from retrieving the victim’s body until the debt has been paid in full.

Iran Human Rights Monitor, as well as the MEK and other Iranian opposition groups, call on human rights advocates around the world to use their position to pressure the Iranian regime to abandon this barbaric and outdated form of punishment.

Staff Writer

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Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attacks

 

Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

The foiled terror plot to bomb Free Iran gathering, attended by over 100,000 supporters of Iran’s main opposition movement, the MEK.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on October 31st, 2018, Matthew Dalton provided an in-depth look at the Iranian regime’s planned terror attack targetting MEK‘s annual gathering in Paris this summer.

The piece, entitled, “Bags of Cash and a Bomb Plot:  Inside a Covert Iranian Operation in Europe”, examines the events that led to the attack’s discovery and what regime mechanisms were involved in coordinating the attack.

A Meeting in Luxembourg

According to Dalton, a meeting took place on the terrace of a Luxembourg café in late June between Amir Saadouni and a gentleman known only to Mr. Saadouni as “Daniel”. Daniel had been Saadouni’s link to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for several years. Daniel had made regular payments to Saadouni for information on a French opposition group that vehemently opposed the clerical regime in Tehran.

From 2014, Saadouni and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, had been monitoring the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). They had attended meetings and reported back to Daniel.

Daniel told Saadouni that the time for gathering intelligence was over. He gave Mr. Saadouni and Nasimeh Naam, the explosive material with the instructions to detonate the device at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering at the end of June.

The event, which took place on June 30th, attracts more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian opposition every year. Nations from around the world also send delegations which often include senior politicians and human rights activist.

At the 2018 event, Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, were among those in the American delegation.

Foiling a Terror Attack Against MEK’s Gathering in Paris

However, Saadouni and Daniel were not alone on the terrace in Luxembourg. Acting on a tip by the Israeli intelligence agency, European secret security officials were watching the exchange.

Shortly after Saadouni and Naami set off for Paris with the explosives, the Belgian authorities moved in and detained the couple. The explosives Daniel had given them amounted to 500g of TATP, a powerful explosive that would have caused significant loss of life.

Simultaneously, German officials apprehended “Daniel” a few miles from the Austrian border. Daniel’s real name turned out to be Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, Austria.

The MEK has since discovered that Assadi is an explosives expert with ties to the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran (MOIS). He had a long history of planning and facilitating terrorist attacks in Iraq and was responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe from his position in Austria.

The plot was disrupted at an integral moment. If Assadi had crossed the Austrian border, he would have been protected by diplomatic immunity and would have escaped back to Iran.

The Political Fallout

In his article, Dalton discusses the political fallout of the foiled attack. The attack came just one month after US President Donal Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. The French President, along with other European heads of state, were frantically trying to save the deal from collapse.

The revelations about Assadi, and his connections to the upper leadership of the clerical regime in Iran, have undermined Macron and the other leader’s efforts to salvage the deal.

Although the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, denied the regime’s involvement, the strong ties linking Assadi to the regime leadership make it inconceivable that the upper echelons of the regime had not given the attack the green-light.

The MEK obtained information that suggested Assadi reported to Reza Amiri Moghadam, a senior official in the MOIS and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On November 5th, the latest round of US sanctions will take effect, aimed at crippling Iranian regime’s oil exports and adding further strain to an already crumbling economy. European companies will be forced to choose between keeping their ties to Iranian markets and forgoing their US business ties or severing their Iranian ties to save their US interests. Given the size of the US economy, it is unlikely many companies will elect to maintain their ties to Tehran.

Macron, as well as Merkel and May, are all under intense pressure from the Trump administration to fall in line and support US sanctions. Until now, they have remained reluctant to do so.

A Danish Affair

As Europe grapples with the decision of how to proceed regarding Iran, with the nuclear deal in tatters and ferocious economic sanctions just around the corner, the Iranian regime planned another attack on European soil.

On Tuesday, the Danish intelligence agency announced that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident on Danish soil.

The foiled assassination attempt represents the third foiled attack on European soil in less than 12 months (the first was a thwarted plot to attack the MEK’s Persian New Year celebrations in Albania).

This has prompted officials and analysts to raise concerns over Iran’s increasing willingness to engage in violent and clandestine operations in Europe. Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a US think tank, and former CIA official, told the Wall Street Journal “they feel the constraints on them have been removed”.

If Riedel is right, terror attacks like those Europe has thwarted over the summer are likely to become a regular fixture in the future.

The French and Danish governments have both criticized the Iranian regime for its involvement in the respective attacks. The governments of Europe should come together and coordinate a clear and powerful response to these dangerous attacks. The European heads of state must show the regime that violence and aggression on European soil will not be tolerated.

Without a tougher stance, the regime will continue to show contempt for international laws and hunt its political enemies across the European continent, much to the danger and peril of European citizens and the MEK alike. Now, in the immediate aftermath of the Danish plot, is the time to take a stand. Europe cannot afford to show weakness or vulnerability in the face of a regime as violent and aggressive as Khamenei and Rouhani’s.

Staff Writer

 

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College students protest in Iran

Multiple Groups Protest Regime in Cities across Iran

College students protest in Iran

Protests in Iran on the surge-College students protest across in Iran

Protests are spreading across Iran, with multiple groups taking to the streets to protest against the corrupt regime, based reports from the MEK network inside Iran. Iran’s economy is in free fall, due to the regime’s corruption and mismanagement, as well as crippling U.S. sanctions.

Students’ Protests

On Sunday, students from Tehran’s Teachers University marched in protest of the University’s privatization policies.

The students held signs with a list of their demands:

  • Changing the current administrative norms.
  • Eliminate temporary extensions;
  • Present full and free courses for fifth term students based on orders issued by the Ministry of Sciences.
  • Cancel all plans aimed at forcing students to evacuate the dormitory and provide necessities.
  • Close all disciplinary dossiers launched against students.
    Guarantee the implementation of Ministry of Sciences’ orders.
  • Station inspectors on campus to guarantee adequate dormitory conditions.
  • Sack the Student Department officials.
  • Create transparent measures to provide adequate food at the campus’ self-service branch.
  • Launch Q&A sessions with students for college officials to respond to their demands and issues raised.

Students at Tehran’s Open University protested the “Guidance Police” on their campus. The protesting students blocked the units from their patrols. Four students were arrested and many others had their cameras confiscated for recording the protest. According to reports, one unit almost ran over a female student during the protest.

Retired Bank Employees’ Protests

On Saturday, retired bank employees from across Iran gathered outside of the Banks Retiree Fund office in Tehran to protest against their low pensions. The retired employees chanted: “Our pensions are far below the poverty line!”

One protester said, “We retired bank employees, in our senior ages, are facing many difficulties. Seeking answers to our demands of having our pensions increased is now added to that.”

The bank retirees say that they do not make enough money to cover their basic needs and that their pensions place them below the poverty line.

Credit Firm Clients’ Protests

On Thursday, clients of the Padideh credit firm protested outside of the provincial office in Mashhad to demand the return of their stolen savings. The authorities feared that the protest would spread and attempted to suppress the rally. They attacked the protesters and arrested a number of them. People at the scene protested these repressive measures.

On Saturday, clients of the Talaye Thamen credit company protested in Tehran for the return of their stolen savings. One banner demanded the prosecution of figures in the Gold Union and Ministry of Industry.

Farmers’ Protest

On Friday, farmers in Jozdan, near Najaf Abad, central Iran, protested authorities not responding to their earlier demands by parking their tractors and blocking the town’s main road.

Street Vendors’ Protest

On Thursday, street vendors in Karaj marched in protest of police brutality and confiscation of their goods by authorities. The vendors chanted, “Death to IRGC Basij members!”

Security forces attacked anyone who recorded the march, arrested them, and confiscated some of their phones in order to erase photos and videos.

With Iran’s economy in free fall, the people have become restless and angry. The mullahs have no viable plan to address the many problems facing the country and are struggling to hold onto their power with acts of intimidation and suppression. The Iranian people will no longer be intimidated.

Staff Writer

 

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Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Regime Officials Predict Riots and Revolt on State Media

 

Iranian regime officials express fear about upcoming protests in Iran

Photo Credit: The Media Express- Iranian-Americans gathered in New York protest against the Iranian regime president invitation to the United Nations, calling for regime change in Iran-September 2018

A recent analysis published at the official website of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that regime officials fear that the people will revolt and overthrow the regime. Iran’s economy has taken a nose-dive, while the Iranian Resistance movement, led by the MEK, has gained momentum. Regime officials are terrified that these two factors will lead to the end of the mullahs’ regime.

The MEK came to this conclusion through close scrutiny of recent comments by regime officials in state media. A large number of the comments made contained dire warnings about the future of the regime, using words such as “enemy,” “mistrust,” “dangerous times,” and “current conditions.”

Regime Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi openly discussed the ramifications of the “social gap” and the “trust gap” caused by his own regime. In an October 12th interview on state-run TV, he said:

“What will become even more transparent these days is the social gap between various classes. We are facing a reality that there is a trust gap, with people knowing officials will not live up to their pledges. We shouldn’t deny this. Why should we? The reason is that they see our actions differ from our words, and this is seen in different fields of work.”

Regime economic expert Hossein Raghfar spoke of his concern that the economic crisis in Iran will lead to food shortages, further uprisings, and an eventual revolt by the people.

Raghfar said:

“Those who are living on subsidies, they have nothing. We are heading towards riots. These riots are due to economic insecurity. Workers who haven’t been paid, how are they supposed to provide for themselves…and this leads to riots. All these riots will be taking shape.”

Raghfar is right to worry about a revolt. The economic crisis is due to decades of corruption and mismanagement by the regime. U.S. sanctions have aggravated a problem that was ongoing when the current uprising began last December. The people are angry, and they are ready to overthrow the mullahs.

Raghfar expressed concern that the pressure from the economic crisis might manifest as mental health issues, such as depression. This has been true for many years under the repressive Iranian regime. He also worried that petty crime would increase as a result of economic insecurity.

“A worker that doesn’t get paid has no solution but to revolt,” he commented.

Raghfar also fretted about the so-called “brain drain,” which is a process in which the country’s most talented citizens leave Iran to find better opportunities elsewhere, leaving the already-struggling regime with few people with the ability to address its problems.

He went on: “There will be other riots, seen in the country’s brain drain. There will also be riots against themselves, such as suicides. Other people will be suffering from psychological damage, such as depression. This is another kind of riot in and of itself. And yet another riot is the rise in crime.”

Finally, Raghfar predicted that Iran’s inflation rate could rise to 80-90% by the end of the year, which would likely signal the end of the regime.

Staff Writer

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Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

Five Young Women Receive Prison Sentences for Publicly Protesting in Iran

Long sentences for young protesters in Iran

The Iranian youth participating in protests receive long sentences.

This week, the Iranian regime sentenced several protestors arrested in August protests. Iran Human Rights Monitor (HRM) reported on October 22nd reported that five young women arrested during the protests had received prison sentences of between 6 and 12 months.

Yasamin Ariani, aged 23, and 19-year-old Saba Kordafshani, will both serve one year behind bars at Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Azer Heydari will also serve one year in prison. The other two, Mozhdeh Rajabi and Niloufar Homafar, both received six-month sentences from the Iranian regime Judiciary.

The circumstances under which Yasamin Ariani was arrested prompted outrage from the Iranian public and drew condemnation from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian opposition groups.

Yasamin was arrested and taken to Quarchak Prison after helping an elderly woman who was pushed to the ground by the regime’s anti-riot police.

Harsh Sentences

The sentences appear to be part of a coordinated effort from the clerical regime to administer particularly harsh sentences on those involved in protests. Last week, the regime sentenced six supporters of MEK to between 8 and 18 years in prison. They were charged for burning the images of the regime Supreme Leader Khamenei during last year’s protests.

Iran Human Rights Monitor released a list of 18 protestors that had been arrested and sentenced for participating in the December and January protests. The protestors, all of whom are serving their prison sentences at the Great Tehran Penitentiary, were administered exceptionally harsh sentences and subject to cruel and immoral punishments.

Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was charged with three “crimes”, “spreading propaganda against the establishment”, “insulting Ali Khamenei” and “disrupting public opinion”. He received a five-year sentence and 200 lashes.

Barzan Mohammadi, a Kurdish prisoner, is serving a six-year sentence for similar crimes. He was also lashed a total of 100 times.

The full extent of the regime’s crimes against its population becomes clear when confronted with the figures of those arrested. Agents of the clerical regime arrested more than 8,000 protestors during the December and January uprisings.

Of these 8,000, at least 14 have died in custody, likely due to extensive torture and beatings at the hands of guards. Further reports emerged this month of guards using electric cattle prods, sticks, and batons to beat inmates into submission.

Several inmates have reported fractured bones and concussion.

Condemnation from International Human Rights Organisations

Amnesty International called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested during the protests. They also urged the international community to call for an “impartial and independent” investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 26-year-old Reza Otadi, who died during a protest in Karaj.

So far, the international community has remained silent and Amnesty International’s pleas have not been heard. These young women, as well as the thousands of more Iranians sitting behind bars, and their families in Iran need the international community to be their voice. How many more innocent people have to be flogged, beaten and imprisoned before Europe and the West say enough is enough?

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Second round of strikes by truck drivers in Iran

The Regime’s End is Near but What Comes After?

Truck Drivers' strike in Iran Continues

Archive Photo: Truck Drivers continue on strike on their 10th day, due to high prices and Iranian regime’s extensive corruption.

The mullahs are staring down the barrel of a revolution, a similar barrel the Shah faced in 1979. A wave of protests, which began with a nationwide uprising in December 2017 and January 2018, has shown no sign of abating.

The most recent truck driver’s protest has run for more than 18 consecutive days, despite vicious threats against the strikers from the regime.

The strike demonstrated the full extent of the regime’s weakened position in power. Not only did the mullahs’ repressive and violent strategies for dealing with the protests fail to curb the dissent, but the truck drivers drew support from the Iranian people, both at home and abroad.

Even Regime Insiders Acknowledge Their Position is Weakening

“The severe downfall in the national currency value and skyrocketing prices for basic necessities indicate that the country is not being governed properly”, said Golamreza Heydari a member of the Iranian regime’s parliament.

Heydari added, “the way the country is running is that all the power is in one place and others are held accountable”.

The international press is reporting water shortages, corruption, a media crackdown, executions, the arrest of political opponents and extensive economic mismanagement from the clerical regime.

Concern from within the regime, a breakdown of effective governance and rising determination to change the status quo from the Iranian people all suggest that the regime’s end is near.

What Comes Next?

The answer to the question of what comes after the fall of the regime lies in the viable alternative to the mullahs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi, have a cohesive ten-point plan to bring democracy and tolerance to Iran.

The MEK grew out of the Iranian people’s resistance to the regime’s human rights violations. It refused to legitimize a ruthless dictatorship shrouded in religious rule.

This steadfast refusal to live under a religious dictatorship made the MEK a beacon for Iran’s youth. The group rapidly expanded and has drawn support from politicians and journalists from across the globe.

For nearly 40 years, the MEK has worked to establish itself as a viable and organized alternative to the arbitrary rule of the clerical regime. It has embraced democratic values of religious tolerance and an independent judiciary, drawing support from human rights groups and supporters of freedom.

One of the strongest indicators that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi represent a very real alternative to the regime is that the regime itself feels threatened by the opposition group.

Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani recently asked, “Who has the best conditions of seeking to overthrow [the regime] and the ability to turn this potential into a reality?” The answer, he said, is “the MEK and this is something that the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has stressed upon repeatedly. So, it is necessary that we identify them, raise awareness about them”.

Furthering the MEK’s Political Goals

The regime perpetuates the idea that in Iran there are only two possible choices. One is to accept their clerical regime at face value, acknowledging its existence and tolerating its violence and dangerous behavior.

The other option, it argues, is a full-scale military conflict (likely involving the assistance or presence of a foreign military in Iran), whereby if the opposition groups win, they can usher in a new period of democracy.

But this is not the reality. The MEK and Maryam Rajavi do not stand for a war with the regime. They do not want to see a further conflict in Iran.

Instead, the MEK has worked tirelessly to explore other ways to further their political goals. Over the last 20 years, Maryam Rajavi and the MEK have spread their message across the world, drawing support from the international community including MPs, former ministers, and military commanders.

Initially, the group worked on reversing the unjustified labeling of the MEK as terrorists, a regime-concocted lie disseminated through its official mouthpieces and backchannels.

The MEK secured its removal from several countries’ blacklists between 2008 and 2012. It is now working with the international community to fight the regime’s support of international terrorism.

It is also one of the loudest voices calling for justice for the families of victims who were executed in the 1988 massacre. In the summer of 1988, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists. Those responsible have never been brought to justice, and several hold senior positions in the regime leadership today.

Despite what the regime touts, there are not merely two options for Iran. A third option exists and is increasingly looking like the most likely outcome.

The third option sees the Iranian people rise up against their oppressors in a wave of protests. This wave of discontent combined with international economic and political sanctions erodes the mullahs’ positions of power and sees their ultimate overthrow.

Then Iran can be free. The MEK will oversee the implementation of democracy and free and fair elections. Only then, when a democratically elected government sits in the office in Tehran, can Iran make strides towards its brighter, better future.

Staff Writer

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