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Maryam Rajavi at the French National Assembly on 29 October, 2019

Maryam Rajavi: Iranian Regime Is Never Going to Change Its behavior – Part II

Maryam Rajavi at the French National Assembly on 29 October, 2019

Maryam Rajavi at the French National Assembly on 29 October 2019

In a conference at the French National Assembly on 29 October, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), stressed that in absence of a firm policy, the regime gets further emboldened and tensions and crises aggravate.

Bellow is the second part of Mrs. Rajavi’s speech at the conference:

“• The Iranian regime is never going to change its behavior because it is too weak and isolated; any change in behavior would lead to regime change.

  • The regime cannot abandon warmongering or its nuclear and missile projects in return for economic and political concessions. This is why the regime refused the chance to do so despite being offered the best possible opportunity.

  • Absent a firm policy, the regime gets further emboldened and tensions and crises aggravate.

     


She then pointed to the solution saying: The solution is to support the people of Iran who call for the regime’s overthrow.

Mrs. Rajavi discussed the growing recent protests in Iran and said:

” Today, the people of Iran are protesting and holding strikes in factories, in the streets, in Isfahan, Lordegan, Arak and other cities, but they are suppressed. In their view, the only solution to their misery is the overthrow of the regime.

In their protests, they have time and again addressed the regime’s leaders, telling them to let go of Syria, but the mullahs keep spending the lion’s share of the nation’s revenues on war and terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. The country’s economy is paralyzed. The economic growth rate has shrunk by 9.5 percent, and the inflation rate is between 40 and 50 percent. In a nutshell, the mullahs’ regime is engulfed in one of the most critical periods of its rule.

The religious dictatorship ruling Iran does not represent the Iranian people nor their rich history and culture. “

 


Highlighting the expectation from France she said:

“As the leading country in Europe, France must take the initiative to open the path to democracy in Iran, and to support human rights, the Iranian people and the Resistance. This is the only way we can restore peace in the Middle East and bring about stability and democracy.”

In conclusion, Mrs. Rajavi said:

” There is a democratic alternative capable of establishing a democratic and pluralist republic based on the separation of religion and state, gender equality, the autonomy of ethnic groups, and a non-nuclear Iran.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran is capable of replacing this regime and peacefully transferring power to elected representatives of the people of Iran.

Our people, resistance and resistance units are prepared to achieve this, and we hope that Europe and France stand with the Iranian people and their legitimate demands and aspirations.”

An exhibition in this regard was on display all day close to the National Assembly.

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Amb. Adam Ereli

Welcoming Zarif: Opening the Ground for Terrorism

Amb. Adam Ereli

Ambassador Adam Ereli delivers a speech on the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, Washington, DC—February 11, 2019

In an article entitled, “Embrace of Iran’s Foreign Minister Creates an Opening for Propaganda and Terrorism” (Town Hall, September 6, 2019), former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain and the State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Adam Ereli discussed the recent G7 and Europian effort to facilitate U.S.- Iran dialogue.

“The Iranian regime was a major topic of discussion during the G-7 Summit in Biarritz last month. But neither France nor any other European country should be helping the murderous regime to acquire a larger presence on the international stage. Tehran’s support for terrorism goes beyond the Middle East and threatens both Europe and the U.S.,” wrote Amb. Ereli.

Referring to the recent terrorist activities of the Iranian regime, particularly, the bombing plot against the great gathering of the Iranian opposition (NCRI) in Paris last year, Amb. Ereli added,

“In the summer of 2018, two Iranian operatives were stopped in Belgium, as they attempted to carry high-explosives to a rally that had been organized outside Paris. Tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates from throughout the world had gathered there for a conference. Many of the hundreds of international dignitaries were prominent figures in politics, security, and academia from France, the US, and dozens of other countries.”

“The plot was neutralized, as were at least five other incidents stretching from Albania to America. The Paris bomb plot led immediately to the arrest of an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, who was found to be the mastermind. A French intelligence investigation determined that he had been acting on explicit orders directly from the highest levels of the regime. Moreover, he was using the cover provided by his diplomatic status and Iran’s embassies abroad to disguise the regime’s terrorism.  Germany extradited Assadi to Belgium, where he and three of his agents are now awaiting trial.” Mr. Ereli added

Amb. Ereli argues that Zarif’s invitation to G7 demonstrated the international community’s indifference toward Iranian regime’s terrorism and gave the regime’s globetrotting propagandist an opportunity to put a smiling face on intolerable actions and to whitewash a 40-year history of terrorist financing and human rights violations.

“The French attitude could be an undermining the US imposed sanctions on Zarif and the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)”, he noted.

The former State Department Spokesperson also highlighted the role of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in exposing the Iranian regime’s terrorism, which, in his words, explains the hostility of Iranian regime towards the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)

“This has always been the position of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which explains why the Iranian regime is determined to eliminate this group and its members.  In addition to the attempt to blow up the NCRI’s rally outside Paris and attacks against the MEK’s headquarters in Albania last year, the government of Iran executed an estimated 30,000 MEK political prisoners in the summer of 1988. The fact that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly acknowledged the role of the MEK in organizing the anti-regime protests that rocked all parts of Iran in 2018 is a telling admission of the group’s ability to rattle the regime.”

Instead of embracing Zarif, the mouthpiece of the terrorist regime of Iran, the international community must hold him and other terrorist officials of mullahs accountable for their crimes and as Mr. Ereli noted

“If Mr. Zarif must appear at international gatherings, he should be challenged aggressively over his government’s ongoing record of criminal activity. Anything less will encourage Iran to act with increasing impunity, with devastating consequences.”

Staff writer

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1988 massacre in Iran

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and Iran’s 1988 Massacre

1988 massacre in Iran

30000 political prisoners mainly MEK members massacred in 1988 in Iran

August 30th marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Amnesty International issued a statement in regard to this day.

“The Iranian authorities’ continued failure to disclose the fate and whereabouts of thousands of political dissidents who were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret during Iran’s 1988 prison massacres has sparked a crisis that for decades has been largely overlooked by the international community,”

The statement refers to the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members, and supporters of the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK.

On July 15, 2019, a number of survivors of the massacre testified in a conference held in Ashraf 3 in Albania.

Majid Sahebjam, a MEK member, who was in prison for 17 years for supporting the MEK was one of the witnesses.

“My crime was supporting the MEK. I witnessed many human rights violations. The 1988 massacre was a premeditated and well-planned crime. Some of the people who were directly involved in this crime still hold high positions of power. The regime has done everything in its power to hide its crime. In the short trials, which lasted only a few minutes, the judges only asked one question: They asked about the political association of the defendant. Uttering the word “Mojahed, MEK member” was enough to seal the fate of the prisoner and send him to the gallows…I know at least 20 families who lost two of their children to the regime’s executioners. Many of the executed prisoners were aged 14, 15, and 16 when they were arrested. During the 1988 massacre, dozens of MEK supporters had served their sentences. However, they were kept in prison because they would not repent their support for the MEK. They were executed in 1988 because of their dedication to freedom and human values,” Sahebjam addressed the conference.

Mahmoud Royaie another MEK member who spent 10 years in regime’s prisons also addressed the conference.

“Many of my friends were teenagers when they were arrested. They spent many years in prison and were finally executed. People had served their sentences, and their families were waiting for them. However, they never got to see them. One of my friends was executed five years after his sentence was finished. He was taken to the gallows only because he defended the name of the MEK,” Royaie said. “Some of these families are still staring at the pictures of their loved ones and crying after 30 years. Some lost their sanity when their children were executed. The regime even executed the disabled and handicapped. Yet they stood tall when they went to the gallows. One of my friends had lost his mind due to tortures. However, when they took him to the judge, he stood tall and said, “I’m a Mojahed, MEK member.” He was executed.”

Kobra Jokar, a MEK member also addressed the conference. She managed to escape from prison before the massacre.

“I was in the regime’s prisons for six years. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him,” She said.  “A few days later, they executed him with 75 others…The regime executed 50 pregnant women, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi…I managed to escape prison in 1987. One year later, all of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre.”

Mostafa Naderi, a MEK member shared his story and said:

“I spent 11 years in prison, five of those years in solitary confinement. During the 1988 massacre, I was hospitalized because of torture. I was unconscious when they called my name for execution, and this is how I survived. In the beginning, they said nothing of the executions, claiming the prisoners were going for family visits. In many smaller cities, not even a single person survived to tell the story of the massacre. In prison, I was severely tortured. After eight months of torture, I and five other prisoners were taken to a mullah who said we would be executed that night. They took us to the place for execution. They tied our hands and we heard the guns being loaded. They fired, but they aimed a bit higher than our heads. We suffered a traumatic experience. One of the prisoners fainted and another lost his eyesight. The 1988 massacre was planned from two years before. However, the massacre continues to this day. We must stop this.

The time has come for the United Nations to launch an international independent fact-finding mission to determine the fate of victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran.

Staff writer

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Hill TV: Iran, The Untold Story; Maryam Rajavi, and the MEK

Hill TV broadcasts series of documentaries about MEK and Maryam Rajavi

On August 15, 2019, the Hill TV broadcast its ninth segment of “Iran: The Untold Story”. The segment focused on Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and also the main opposition organization, Mujahedin-e-Khaleq (MEK).

Introducing the biography of the leader of the main Iranian opposition, the president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, The Hill TV said:

“Born into an educated, middle-class family in Tehran, Maryam Rajavi began her activism in college. She called for freedom, justice, and the end of the Shah’s dictatorship. The Shah’s regime imprisoned her brother, a MEK member, in the ‘70s. The secret police, or SAVAK, killed her sister in 1975. After the 1979 revolution, Maryam Rajavi became one of the MEK’s most effective organizers. She ran for Parliament in 1980 and received 250,000 votes despite bans and ballot fraud. As the mullahs cracked down on dissent, many friends were killed. Her younger sister, pregnant at the time, was executed in 1982. She advanced in the MEK and Maryam embraced the role of women even in the military who are shut out of political power by the mullahs.

Speaking of Maryam Rajavi’s initiatives on Women’s rights, The Hill TV added:

Her advocacy for women and 10-point plan for Iran today enjoys wide support among the Iranian people and hundreds of world leaders. Her efforts transformed the group into one of the most progressive political parties in the world, in which women play the leadership role. For her and her movement, gender equality is a plan of action and at the heart of the Free Iran movement…In 1993, Rajavi resigned from the MEK when the NCRI coalition elected her its president-elect. As she has made clear in dozens of interviews, she’s planning now to help run Iran after the fall of the mullahs and to prepare her country for free and fair national elections. Today, Rajavi leads an opposition movement that is considered Tehran’s number one enemy.

“Today, the ruling mullahs fear the role of the Mujahedeen e-Khalq, MEK, and resistance units in leading and continuing the uprisings. At the same time, the regime is surrounded politically and internationally and in economic terms, it is on the verge of collapse.” The HIll TV quoted Maryam Rajavi.

The Hill TV also reported about the annual gathering of the MEK in Albania and said: “In a display of bipartisan global support for her movement, some 350 dignitaries and lawmakers from 47 countries joined thousands of MEK members in their new home in Albania, called Ashraf 3, in July of this year.”

The program continued with an interview with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former prosecutor and mayor of New York and attorney to President Trump, about the MEK and his participation in the MEK gathering in Albania.

Concerning a question about his participation in the MEK gathering in Albania and a short background of the MEK, Giuliani said: “I was there for the four-day conference called Free Iran 2019… the conference was about basically how can we replace the regime of Iran with a democratic government, which the MEK has been attempting to do for 20 years…what they are is basically the National Council of Resistance in Iran is headed by Madame Rajavi. She’s the president-elect. And it’s made up of a group of organizations including the MEK that are resistance groups, like the French Resistance, against the Ayatollah. They’ve been active since the revolution. A hundred and twenty thousand of their people have been killed but they still are going strong. And both the ayatollah and Rouhani have announced within the last year that they are the biggest threat to the regime. In the years past, it was always doubted that was created about how strong are they in Iran, how much support do they have. I think that all this has been put to rest now with basically Rouhani’s statement and the Ayatollah’s saying that the MEK, and sometimes they’ll call them the PMOI, is our most dangerous threat, the only one capable of putting a government together, and therefore we’ve got to wipe them out, which is what they do.

Staff writer

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Mayer Giuliani and Maryam Rajavi

Mayor Giuliani: “MEK is a vehicle for democracy in Iran and should have the support of our government”

Mayer Giuliani and Maryam Rajavi

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, during an interview with the Hill TV, discussing MEK and the Iranian opposition leader, President-elect Maryam Rajavi.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an interview with the Hill TV described the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as a vehicle for democracy in Iran that has proved capable of a functioning government-in-exile.

Rudy Giuliani who recently attended a 5-day conference in Ashraf 3, the main residence of the MEK in Tirana, was asked a question in the interview. If the Iranian regime were to fall and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, was to govern, would she be able to govern during a transition period and prevent chaos? He replied:

“Well, what they do, what they—these are the questions, of course, we ask them all the time, and I’ve seen evidence that they have a functioning government-in-exile. They evaluate the problems in Iran every day. They are enormously active in communicating within Iran. They remind me of the Voice of America in one aspect during the Cold War, which used to broadcast into the Soviet-dominated countries every single day. They broadcast; they try to 24 hours a day. And they have ministers, shadow ministers for each one of the agencies of the government. And they have a plan for transition. And the plan for transition would say they’d put up an interim government immediately and they would attempt to get to a full election within six months so that there’s—so it isn’t an imposed government, it’s a democracy. And her proposition is that she doesn’t want to dominate, she wants to be elected or not elected, or elected to something and they would share leadership with maybe 10, 12 other groups.”

 

Mayor Giuliani talks about MEK in an interview

Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an interview with the Hill TV described the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as a vehicle for democracy in Iran that has proved capable of a functioning government-in-exile.

Addressing the American public, Mayor Giuliani describes President-elect Maryam Rajavi as a “true disciple of peace and democracy” and said:

“What they should know is that this is a true disciple of peace, democracy. Her whole life has been spent trying to obtain democracy for her country, first against the Shah who killed I think her sister. And then against the Ayatollah who killed another relative. I think another sister. Her family has been the victim of both the Shah’s oppression and murder and been the victim of the even more increased murder under the Ayatollah. And people should know that this is a regime that has more blood on its hands than any regime in the world, and that it is the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world.”

Mayor Giuliani called on European governments to stop the policy of appeasement and reiterated what he also mentioned during his speech at this year’s Free Iran gathering in Ashraf 3:

“Why do we want to negotiate or trust a regime that’s the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world? And I made that challenge to the European governments. Hasn’t Iran proven to us that they are too irresponsible, that they are too murderous to have nuclear weapons in their hands? It would be too dangerous for the world. And I think the European governments have to develop the kind of courage that President Trump has.”

Outlining his view of this year’s gathering, he added:

“So the conference was about basically how can we replace the regime of Iran with a democratic government, which the MEK has been attempting to do for 20 years. I have about 11 years of involvement with them. But they have a tremendous amount of support in the United States, bipartisan, about 200 members of Congress, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. I was there with former Senator Lieberman, Democrat, former Senator Torricelli, who’s actually one of their principal people. He’s been involved with them longer than I have. And what they are is basically the National Council of Resistance in Iran is headed by Madame Rajavi. She’s the president-elect. And it’s made up of a group of organizations including the MEK that are resistance groups, like the French Resistance, against the Ayatollah. They’ve been active since the revolution. A hundred and twenty thousand of their people have been killed but they still are going strong.”

Rejecting speculations about the MEK’s popularity in Iran and the disinformation Iranian regime lobbyists try to spread in this regard, he vowed:

“Both the ayatollah and Rouhani have announced within the last year that they are the biggest threat to the regime. In the years past, it was always doubted that was created about how strong are they in Iran? How much support do they have? I think that all has been put to rest now with basically Rouhani’s statement and the Ayatollah[Khamenei]’s saying that the MEK, and sometimes they’ll call PMOI, is our most dangerous threat, the only one capable of putting a government together, and therefore we’ve got to wipe them out, which is what they do.”

“If they find that you’re a member of this organization, or suspect that you’re a member of this organization, by and large, you don’t get a trial. You’re either imprisoned or you’re shot depending on the circumstances. And so 120,000 since the beginning of the revolution. Probably another thousand in the last couple of years. And they have a government-in-exile. They have tremendous support. They have tremendous support in what’s called the Iranian diaspora. And they have a charter, 10 points, which largely looks like our Bill of Rights. Significant thing is, they’re headed by a woman. This is, this is the Middle East. This is right next to the Arab world. Not only are they headed by a woman, but roughly half their leadership are also women”, Mr. Giuliani added.

Regarding the prospect of regime change in Iran and the role of the Iranian opposition, Mayor Giuliani relied on his insight into the matter and reply to the question, “does she [Maryam Rajavi] have a chance to lead Iran into a democratic state?” said:

“She does. I mean, she does have a chance. I mean, I don’t think people realize how much turmoil there is inside of Iran. Since January of 2018, I think I have my facts correct here, there have been over 250 major protests all throughout the country, not just in Tehran. And now they have spread into the economic sectors. So there have been taxi drivers that have gone out on strike and protest. There are teachers, all the teachers of the country went on strike. There are farmers, professors have joined the political activists. And you can see it. Videos that I saw when I was in Albania because they have probably the MEK people, the PMOI [MEK] people have the best window into Iran”.

As a respected lawyer and an expert in the field, Mr. Giuliani also addressed the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners in Iran and said, “Back in 1988, within a two-month period, the regime killed 30,000 members of MEK. Thirty-thousand people! We are talking about a crime against humanity. Crimes for which they should be prosecuted in the World Court.”

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120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

Day Two of Conference at Ashraf-3 Features Speeches from International Dignitaries

120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

120 Years of Struggle by Iran’s People for Freedom – MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

The MEK hosted the second day of an international conference on Friday at Ashraf-3, the home of the Iranian Resistance’s headquarters in Albania. The conference, entitled “120 years of struggle of the Iranian people for freedom,” was attended by thousands of MEK members and prominent politicians and dignitaries from around the world.

The conference’s focus was to condemn the Iranian regime for its suppressive and inhuman actions at home and its terrorist activities abroad and to call on the international community to end the policy of appeasement that allowed the regime to act without consequences.

Speakers at the conference also emphasized that the international community must recognize the MEK and NCRI as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in order to bring peace and stability to the region.

The following are some of the highlights from the speeches at Friday’s event:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

From Mrs. Rajavi’s keynote address:

“One of the missing links in previous movements of the Iranian people was a coherent organization and an organized struggle, coupled with a determined and battle-hardened force prepared to make any sacrifice necessary. As a result, the people’s previous struggles did not succeed despite all their sacrifices,” she said in reference to the failure of past uprisings.

Mrs. Rajavi also spoke about the many crimes perpetrated against the MEK by the mullahs’ regime.

“Despite all the crimes and massacres he committed, Khomeini failed to extinguish the flames of freedom. Over the past 40 years, 120,000 persons have given their lives for the cause of freedom. That includes the 30,000 people who were massacred in 1988 for insisting on their political identity as a member of the Mojahedin. Another half-a-million people were arrested and viciously tortured,” she said.

“The mullahs continued their crimes against Ashraf and Liberty by setting 22 deadlines in 10 years, through a medical blockade, through psychological torture using over 300 loudspeakers blaring into Ashraf for two years, and through 29 ground and aerial attacks, using armored vehicles and missile launchers, including the commission of seven bloodbaths and massacres,” she continued.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded on a hopeful note, saying, “But today, we have reached a historic turning point. An Ashraf which has once again risen up, proud and powerful, shining bright at the zenith of this Resistance. This Ashraf has been replicated 1000 times in the form of resistance units all over Iran. And a volatile society which is no longer willing to put up with the mullahs, yearning to overthrow them.”

Suda

MEK member and resident at Ashraf-3

“I grew up in Sweden and was about to travel to France to study, but a video that I’d seen couldn’t leave my mind; a video of someone being stoned to death in Iran. I saw myself at a crossroads. I could live my own life and fulfil my dreams or I could put everything aside and fulfil my people’s dreams. That’s why I joined the MEK, to live for others. I thank all of you for being with us,” she said.

Ingrid Betancourt

Former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate

“It’s just amazing what the MEK has done to transform this place since the last time I visited. I am proud to be your friend,” said Ms. Betancourt. “Your decision to confront the tyranny and pay the highest price. This sacrifice today is bearing its fruit. I see that here in Ashraf 3. It’s a miracle. I have been with you for a couple of years and I am amazed by your support and your political savviness. As a woman, I feel very proud and that in the world there is no organization like the MEK that gives women this power.”

“We are making history today,” she added. “Your victory is our victory and we will be very soon with you in Tehran!” Ms. Betancourt proclaimed.

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor

“There is an alternative to the theocracy and dictatorship in Iran. It is a government-in-exile, and it gives us the confidence that if we help overthrow the Iranian regime, there will be prosperity and democracy in Iran,” said the former mayor.

Giuliani referred to the numerous terrorist plots against the MEK by the Iranian regime in 2018, saying, “They tried to bomb us in the US. They tried to bomb us here in Tirana a year and a half ago. They tried to bomb us in Paris a year ago. They’re the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and we let them sit in the UN and talk to them like they’re decent people.”

“I thank Madam Maryam Rajavi for letting me be part of this, and this is something that I am proud of and probably my children will be proud of…I wish to have this meeting in Tehran before I die,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani encouraged the MEK to continue their struggle for freedom. “You keep trying and you fail, you keep trying and you fail, and then the Berlin Wall comes down. It will happen eventually, but let’s make it happen now before another 100,000 deaths,” he said.

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Former U.S. Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate

“You in the NCRI have given us the opportunity to be true to our national principles. When I’m here I feel that I’m representing the spirit of my great friend, the late Senator John McCain, who was warned by the establishment to stay away from this organization, but he spent time learning about it. He came to Ashraf 3, believing in this organization and its cause,” said Lieberman.

“Ashraf 3 has become something magnificent. Coming here and seeing this magnificent community that you’ve built is miraculous. It teaches us lessons,” he continued.

Lieberman praised the Ashrafis for their perseverance, saying, “The citizens of Ashraf never gave up despite the atrocities they faced imposed by the Iranian regime.”

He also talked about the exhibition of the history of MEK members who have been killed and persecuted by the Iranian regime that he and other speakers viewed before the conference began: “This exhibition, despite the mourning, is inspiring. And the whole story of the Ashrafis is inspiring,” he said.

“With the kind of leadership that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi are giving and will give in Iran; with the support of people from around the world who are represented here and with the resistance of the Iranian people inside of Iran, we will have a meeting some day in Iran and come together and have a great party,” Lieberman concluded.

Michèle Alliot-Marie

MEP; former French Foreign, Defense, Justice and Interior Minister

Alliot-Marie referenced the MEK memorial, saying, “I have to say that I’m very moved. What a contrast between the dramatic, horrifying images that we saw a few minutes ago. To be in contact with men and women who have given their lives for such a cause. To see what you have been able to achieve. You wish to give so much to the Iranian people.”

“You have people who have been tortured yet you still pave the path for freedom. This visit to Ashraf 3 was very moving for us,” she continued.

“I have the privilege of being able to speak and think freely. Yet I also know that today this liberty is not available everywhere across the globe,” Alliot-Marie said.

“We are also obliged to all people who are being subjugated to dictators around the world, and in Iran. We are here today, Mrs. Rajavi, to tell you that you are not alone,” she said.

“We have to give the Iranian people courage and the help they need so they can get their future back,” Alliot-Marie concluded.

Matthew Offord

MP (United Kingdom)

“You are the proof of a proud brave nation that will never succumb to the atrocities of the regime,” Offord said, addressing the MEK members at the conference.

“We have always argued that decoupling the regime’s human rights violations from the nuclear deal was a mistake,” he said.

“We have been proven right that there is no moderate faction inside the Iranian regime.” he added.

“There are two issues that we continue to raise in our debates,” Offord said:

  1. “We need to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its atrocities in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.”
  2. “The U.K. government needs to blacklist the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and all its subsidiary as a terrorist organization.”

“This measure will signal to the Iranian people that they are not forgotten and we stand with them,” he emphasized.

Offord added, “We want to recognize the right of the Iranian people and the resistance led by Madame Maryam Rajavi to establish a democratic and free republic in Iran.”

“Iran’s current regime is not just a threat to the Iranian people but to the peace around the world,” he concluded.

General James Conway

Former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

“I participated in a policy panel in Ashraf 3 and we were invited to dinner with the ladies of Ashraf 3. And some of them shared with me their stories of sacrifice and suffering. What I saw last night in terms of the ability to endure loss and yet move on was the sense of unit cohesion and dedication to each other that was the same as you see in the military. The sense of mission and dedication to accomplish it, said General Conway.

“I’m absolutely confident that with those ladies, you will make your country free someday,” he added.

Ms. Mojgan Parsaie

Former MEK Secretary General

“The story of the supporters of Ashraf who helped rescue the MEK members is the story of honorable people,” said Ms. Parsaie.

“Time has shown that you stand on the right side of history. The future will show more appreciation,” she added.

“Mayor Giuliani was correct that the solution to Iran is not appeasement but regime change. Throughout history there are always tyrants and for a period they seem invincible. However, they all fall at the end. Always.” Ms. Parsaie concluded.

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Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3 Hosts International Panel on Iran Policy and MEK’s Role in Iran’s Democratic Future

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative – MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, hosted an international conference on Thursday, July 11th entitled “Policy on Iran and a Viable Alternative.” A panel of prominent politicians and dignitaries from the United States and Europe offered their perspectives on the best approach to dealing with the Iranian regime. They also discussed the need for the international community to support the MEK as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Moderator:

  • Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Lincoln Bloomfield

Panelists:

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • Former Commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps James Conway
  • University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan
  • Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ambassador Robert Joseph
  • Former Foreign Minister of Canada
  • Former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli

The following are some of the most notable moments from the day’s event. (Questions in bold type were asked by panel moderator Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield.)

What is the Achilles heel of the mullahs’ regime?

Sen. Torricelli “There’s a fundamental belief that things will work out. The future is not as bad as the past. Even a despotic regime will reform itself over time. That’s a handicap for us. The Iranian regime is not going to reform. It’s not going to change.”

“The second handicap is, those who would accommodate the regime take the high ground because they’re speaking out against war. Here’s the problem: first of all, there is a war. There’s no one fighting back. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by their own government. There’s been a war waged on the Iranian people since 1979. Those who would argue for patience and time have no moral high ground.”

Where can we have the maximum effect on pushing the regime back?

Amb. Joseph: “The right policy is whatever accelerates the end of this regime. The wrong policy is what prolongs the life of this regime. Appeasement has turned out to be not just a failure but also counter to American interests. We should start with maximum pressure, and the administration has been doing a good job. The sanctions are having a deep impact on the Iranian economy.

“If we show weakness, it’s provocative. When we show strength, the regime backs down. It’s important that we always keep in mind that the show of strength is key to success.”

“Land invasion is not what’s necessary. Change has to come from within [Iran]. A more effective policy would include calling out the regime on its gross human rights violations. We don’t do that often enough.”

“We should negotiate on nuclear affairs, but we have to keep in mind what our principles are. We should not be victim of the mindset that negotiations mean compromise and giving the other party concessions. That is what happened in the JCPOA.

“Our focus ought to be calling them out, and combining these tools, whether its sanctions or the military, that will facilitate the end of this regime.”

What’s the right strategy to impair the military of the Iranian regime? Is it something we should be looking at? What else could we be thinking of that would undermine the cohesion of this criminal enterprise?

Prof. Sheehan: “The contest is ultimately over the right to think freely. The regime fears the truth, they fear facts. We must hold panels like this and expand the truth. We must give the Iranian people a sense of what’s going on around them and the idea that there is this viable alternative.

“The Iranian opposition does not fear the truth, and they know ultimately that it is on their side. With time these ideas will lead to the revolution that we’d all like to see take place.”

Should we be more specific about the guilt of the Iranian regime?

Baird: “We can exploit the regime’s vulnerability, to support the people of Iran. The regime realizes that when it falls, they will have no place to go. The senior members of this regime know that they will have nowhere to go and they will be held to account for their crimes such as the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina.”

Sen. Torricelli: “No one can seriously believe this regime will last long. It’s an unsustainable situation. If you’re in the leadership today, there’s going to be a moment in your life when you’re going to be held accountable.”

What messages are the ones that really hurt the regime the most and isolate them among their people?

Amb. Joseph: “We must continue to push forward on exposing the regime’s brutality and its human rights violation. In the information space, we ought to focus on how this regime has failed the people. Just look at their inability to respond to the recent flooding. It is an incompetent regime. That is a vulnerability that would further deteriorate support for this regime in Iran, which is already decreasing day after day, month after month, year after year.”

Do the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) deserve to wear a uniform at all, given their unprofessional behavior?

General Conway, “Iran’s regime invariably gets greedy. Every one of the leaders of this regime have Swiss bank accounts that are growing while the people of Iran are living in poverty. We should expose that and let the people know who their leadership is.”

What will do the trick [to overthrow the mullahs]?

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan “The regime in Tehran fears internal pressure more than it fears external threats. The people of Iran don’t need the world to rescue them. The regime change will be led by you.”

Are we playing strong offense and defense?

Sen. Torricelli: “Not enough.”

“It happens all the time. In Tehran, they have carefully disseminated false information into the mainstream media. We’re fighting back, and it’s been a long climb. What the mullahs are doing with misinformation in Washington, London and Paris, you can do with the truth. “

Baird: “The fact that the European authorities uncovered a plot by the regime that tried to attack the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2018, the rashness just shows how fearful the regime is of you.”

How do we amass the power of the many outrages about the regime and put it all into a powerful mixture?

Amb. Joseph: “The process that I’ve seen is that reporters tend to go to the same sources over and over again. If you look at who they’re going to in the world of think tanks, most of these people are doing the work of the regime.”

“This is where the MEK and NCRI can make a difference.”

Is the world taking notice of the regime’s terrorism in their countries? When did it become acceptable behavior? What should we do about it?

Prof. Sheehan: “There are some groups and individuals that you simply can’t negotiate with, and the regime is emblematic of that group.”

“In Washington, DC, we found a deeply entrenched pro-regime lobby, and that lobby exists in other places of the world. But the tools and power of ideas that we have at our disposal today are much stronger than the tools we had before.”

“We don’t have to wait for Washington to change its policy. Every citizen around the world can help contribute to this change.”

A lot of people in Washington fear that what happened in Syria and Libya will repeat in Iran.

Baird: “They need to understand who the Iranian people are and what their capacity is. We have to push back against the elite foreign policy view in the West. In the West, regimes start to do crazy stupid things and the type of behavior we’ve seen in this regime. They are not being rational in their final days, and the more we see this, the closer they are to their end.”

The Iranian people have had this aspiration from at least the beginning of the 20th century. How can we convince the West that we can trust them if this regime collapses?

Sen. Torricelli: “Tehran is desperately trying to keep the Europeans in a dialogue to keep an economic lifeline. They do not want military confrontation but they are attacking the U.S. drone. These are irrational acts. When the regime becomes this irrational, it means that the sanctions are working. Those irrational actions tell me that we’re reaching a point. If I were Trump or Merkel or Macron, I would press my foot on the pedal because they’re telegraphing that what we are doing is working.”

How do we direct western policy in the right direction? What could we do that we are not doing enough of?

Giuliani: “We had an opportunity a few years ago when the sanctions were working. There are strong indicators that the protests in Iran are becoming political.”

“People have said bad things about you because you support the MEK and Madam Rajavi. What does Washington need to know that this group is entirely misportrayed in Washington?” asked Amb. Bloomfield.

Giuliani: “We need a massive public relations campaign. When people find out what this group really stands for and they get past the allegations, it all starts to make sense. We’ve got the same goal that is a free democratic Iran.”

Is there a potential for Canada, the U.S. and Europe to find common ground on how the regime is gaming the west and escaping accountability?

Baird: “After Iraq, President Obama and other European leaders were so desperate to make diplomacy work rather than military force. What we need is leadership. The weakness in 2009 in not standing up for the Iranian people will go down in history as a lost opportunity. We must do all we can to stand up for what’s right. We need leadership. That is what Madam Rajavi is trying to provide.”

Sen. Torricelli: “The people are realizing that this regime will not moderate. The regime’s behavior is also deteriorating all the time.”

What can we do to show there’s a democratic alternative? How do we find that next gear in Washington?

Giuliani: “In the past year, the regime has become more frightened and irrational. Striking the drone and what they’re doing with the tankers, maybe they want us to attack them and they hope that it would rally the people behind them. We’re so reluctant to take military action, and the world would also react badly, that the mullahs could push us along if they engaged diplomatically. But their poking their finger in our eye.”

“I think the mullahs are going to fall, with these protests going on, the crazy things they are doing. I think they are desperate. What they are doing sounds like a regime that is not thinking in clever ways.”

Let’s assume the Iranians will continue to lash out desperately. What’s your advice in Washington for a legitimate response?

Amb. Joseph: “One of the things we need to do is recognize that revolutions are very messy. What is missing in those revolutions is a viable alternative that would be beneficial not only to the Iranian people but also to the U.S. and the world in general.”

“What we need to do is to think strategically and integrate our tools in an effective strategy. The only solution to the nuclear issue in Iran is regime change and the viable alternative is a key component to that.”

“I spoke to many people in Ashraf. The sacrifices that the members of MEK in Ashraf have endured are many. But they do not have a sense of revenge. That, I think, will deliver the people of Iran their freedom.”

Do we have the ability to select surgical targets as an acceptable response?

Prof. Sheehan: “What unifies us here in this panel and this room is that the mullahs are not irrational when it comes to one thing, which is their fear of the organized resistance. What I wish U.S. officials knew is the democratic aspirations and inclinations of the Iranian people, which run very, very deep. The Iranian people are not the slightest bit irrational. I have come to appreciate how sophisticated and educated they are. I have come to appreciate that the NCRI’s platform and Madam Rajavi’s plan is the future of Iran. That’s the viable alternative that we need Washington to realize.”

People have been in the streets since the late 2017. They are admitting that the MEK and NCRI are organizing the demonstrations. Are we making progress here?

Giuliani: “The fact that the protests continue is a very good sign even though the regime has tried to harm them. The biggest frustration is getting the European governments to do the right thing. Whatever their economic interests and fear, we should all be together in eliminating this regime. We have to keep up the pressure, try to put more sanctions. And the important point is, some of these revolutions have happened without an alternative. Here you do not have to let that happen. We must get Americans to understand that there is an alternative and let them see it.”

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Maryam Rajavi Brussels

Highlights from the Free Iran Rally in Brussels

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

The following are some highlights from Saturday’s event:

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

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

Mark Demesmaeker, Member of European Parliament from Belgium:

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

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

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

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

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

Maryam Rajavi, NCRI President-elect:

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

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

Françoise Schepmans, Member of Parliament from Belgium:

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

Giulio Terzi, Former Italian Foreign Minister:

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

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

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate:

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

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

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

Sarvnaz Chitsaz, NCRI Women’s Committee Chair:

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

Haitham Maleh, Syrian human rights activist and former judge:

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

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

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

Gisoo Shakeri, Iranian singer:

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

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

MEK supporters rally in Brussels

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Hamid Azimi

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Ashraf 3 Conference interconnected to 41 other locations around the world-December 15, 2018

MEP Calls on Western Politicians to Recognise the Influence of the Iranian Opposition

Ashraf 3 Conference interconnected to 41 other locations around the world-December 15, 2018

The international conference of the Iranian communities, in Ashraf 3 (MEK’s residence in Albania)-December 15, 2018

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and the former European Minister of Poland, Ryszard Czarnecki, had a piece published on Modern Diplomacy on December 15th. Titled, ‘The Success of Iranian Activism Shows the Way to Correct European Politics’, the piece calls on Western politicians to recognize the influence of the Iranian opposition within the Iranian political landscape and adjust their Iran policies accordingly.

Calls to Action

Czarnecki began his article by praising the increasing number of Western governments making a serious push for firm collective action against the Iranian regime. He cites the foiled terror attacks in Albania and Paris that took place this summer, as well as the arrest of two Iranian agents in the US on espionage charges, and the attempted assassination of a political dissident in Denmark as flashpoints that have led to a gradually hardening attitude towards the mullahs.

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

Following the failed bomb attack in Paris, the French authorities mounted an investigation and “concluded there was no doubt about Tehran’s responsibility for the Paris plot”. Czarnecki writes, “the stage was seemingly set for the entire EU to adopt economic sanctions that France had already imposed on the [Iranian] Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and its agents”.

But the collective response and application of economic sanctions from the EU never came. “The desire for continued access to Iranian markets is surely part of the reason for this”, Czarnecki explains.

Another reason is that, unlike the US, Czarnecki asserts that European policymakers may not be as familiar with the pro-democratic forces already operating within the Iranian landscape. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and the leader of Iran’s opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, have a host of allies inside the Trump administration. As a result, American policymakers are aware of the organizational capabilities and popularity of the Iranian opposition within Iran.

Czarnecki wrote:

“It might also be said that the US administration is much more aware of the existence of powerful allies inside Iranian society and the expatriate population. After all, some White House officials and close confidants of the US president have been regular attendees at NCRI rallies, including the one that was nearly bombed in June.”

Czarnecki believes that Europe’s reluctance to adopt the US’s approach and administer economic sanctions “might evaporate altogether if more European policymakers were made aware of the organizational capabilities of the MEK”.

Even among the Iranian clerical regime’s leadership, there is an increasing willingness to acknowledge the MEK’s role in mobilizing the Iranian public. The Supreme Leader Khamenei blamed the MEK for the rapid spread of anti-government protests in December and January last year.

Iranian communities around the world have also been working tirelessly to demonstrate their support of the MEK and its leader. On December 15th, Iranian communities in 42 locations across the globe, including countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, hosted simultaneous conferences calling for a collective response from Western governments to the increased Iranian terror threat.

The global teleconference drew attention to the many strikes and protests raging across Iran’s key sectors. “The persistence of those demonstrations is a clear sign of the activist community’s strength and the very real prospects for the popular overthrow of the world’s most foremost state sponsor of terrorism”, Czarnecki writes.

Czarnecki concludes, “proper recognition of the Iranian democratic opposition will prove once and for all that a firm alternative is not only justified but imperative for a triumph of democracy in the Middle East”.

Staff Writer

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