Posts Tagged ‘Free Iran Gathering’

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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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Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former US Ambassador to the UN Calls for a UN Response to Iranian Human Rights Abuses and Terrorism

Ambassador Ken Blackwell Speaking at Nowrouz ceremony in Washington D.C

Former U.S, Ambassador to the U.N, Mr. Ken Blackwell speaking at a conference in support of the Iranian opposition (NCRI), on the occasion of the Iranian New Year in Washington D.C-March 2018

On November 20th, 2018, Townhall published a piece from Kenneth Blackwell, the former US ambassador to the UN. In his piece, Blackwell called for an international response to Iranian aggression.

Blackwell began his article by drawing attention to the UN General Assembly’s resolution on November 15th which denounced the Iranian regime for its systematic widespread human rights abuses. The resolution means that the General Assembly will vote on a censure next month.

The “summer of blood”

The Iranian regime’s human rights abuses have been well-documented. The mullahs and their Supreme Leader Khamenei launched a vicious campaign to eliminate the regime’s political opposition.

First on their list of political opponents was the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its members. This cumulated in the “summer of blood” of 1988. In just one summer, a period of fewer than five months, the regime and its death squad systematically executed more than 30,000 MEK members in regime custody.

Today, the regime continues to run roughshod over the human rights of the Iranian population. Politically motivated arrests are common- and the conditions many prisoners are subject to in prison, which include routine torture sessions and beatings from guards, has prompted many prisoners to go on hunger strike in protest.

Executions are also commonplace in Iran, including in cases where the alleged perpetrator committed their crime as a minor, under the age of 18. Between January and June 2018, the regime executed 176 executions. Among them were prisoners held on drug charges, politically motivated charges, and juvenile offenders.

Blackwell went on to condemn the regime’s harsh treatment of protestors. He cited the regime’s arrests of truck drivers, teachers, merchants, students and nurses as particularly concerning examples where citizens found themselves imprisoned for exercising their right to protest.

A Terrorist Machine

In addition to the regime’s campaign of repression and violent suppression at home, the Iranian regime has launched an international terror campaign. In 2018, the MEK reported that the regime leadership was involved in the planning and execution of terrorist plots in Albania, France, and the US.

Iranian Embassies: A Tumour in the Heart of Europe

The most severe of these attacks was the regime’s attempt to detonate a car bomb at the annual gathering of the MEK and its supporters in Paris. An Iranian diplomat named Assadollah Assadi provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material to attack the gathering, where delegations of high-profile politicians gathered from around the world, including former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani.

The Demonization Campaign

Blackwell also condemned the regime’s systematic and deliberate demonization campaign against the MEK. Blackwell writes, “in lockstep with its terrorist plots, the regime has also stepped up its demonization campaign and vilification campaigns”.

Twitter closed 770 regime-affiliated accounts in September for deliberately attempting to manipulate public opinion against the MEK abroad. Many of the accounts posed as foreign journalists or American citizens in an attempt to appear more legitimate, however, they spewed regime-created propaganda attacking the MEK with lies and falsehoods.

Blackwell continues, “data released by Twitter shows that anti-MEK tweets by the regime’s intelligence agents in 2018 jumped to a total that was six times higher than the previous six years combined.”

He also pointed at the regime of employing “pseudo-journalists”, like Arron Merat who recently wrote a hit piece on the MEK for the Guardian. These are regime-affiliated agents who work as journalists for foreign media outlets, spreading lies and misinformation to further the regime’s interests.

The Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers Issue a Statement on the Guardian’s MEK Hit Piece

Despite the Regime’s Best Efforts, the MEK Grows Stronger

Despite these underhanded methods, Blackwell writes, “the movement’s [the Iranian opposition] organizational prowess is growing”. He describes the MEK’s resistance units of young men and women who coordinate protests across Iran and mobilize the Iranian population.

“Iran’s people are demanding democratic freedoms and an end to the extremism, corruption, and mismanagement that has devastated their living conditions”, Blackwell writes. “The international community cannot remain nonaligned. It is time to side with the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and a brighter future.”

Blackwell concludes by stating that the regime’s human rights abuses must be referred to the UN Security Council for urgent action because it “would be the clearest sign yet that the international community supports the Iranian people’s right to resist a tyrannical regime that systematically violates their human rights.”

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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Nowruz celebration in MEK's residence in Albania- March 20-2019

Rudy Giuliani: The World has “an Obligation to Listen to What the Iranian People Have Been Saying”

Nowruz celebration in MEK's residence in Albania- March 20-2019

Nowruz celebration in Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound in Albania-March 20- 2019

On Sunday, October 28th, former mayor of New York and lawyer within the Trump administration, Rudy Giuliani, published an op-ed piece on Townhall. The piece, titled ‘Tehran Recognises Iran Opposition as the Alternative; So Should We’, lent its support to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and highlighted their strong standing as a viable alternative to the clerical regime in Iran.

Giuliani started his piece by describing what an “honor” it was to address the Iranian opposition in the United States at a recent protest in New York. Giuliani reiterated that the international community has “an obligation to listen to what the Iranian people have been saying”.

What Is the Iranian Public Saying?

Over the last nine months, the Iranian people have made their feelings clear. A wave of protests has swept over Iran. People have marched in the streets across Iranian cities, many chanting anti-regime slogans like “death to Khamenei”, and “death to Rouhani”.

Giuliani expressed his solidarity with the protesting Iranian public. He described himself as “one of a large bipartisan group of former governors, mayors, military leaders, senior administration officials and members of Congress, who agree on one critical foreign policy, as the Iranian people do: Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy”.

As part of his desire to bring freedom and democracy to Iran, Giuliani has strongly supported the largest and best-organized opposition group; the MEK.

Bringing Change to Iran

Giuliani explained his support in terms of organization. He said, “fundamental change in Iran requires organization, leadership, a platform, endurance, competence, and sacrifice”. In Giuliani’s eyes, the only group that possesses all of these qualities is the MEK.

He said, “the one leader that Tehran fears the most is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the broader coalition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which includes the MEK as a member”.

The group’s effectiveness and the threat it poses to the regime is apparent in the regime’s attempts to attack its members. This year, two terror attacks against the group were foiled in the last stages of their execution. The second plot aimed to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris, an event Giuliani himself attended.

Iranian spies have been detected operating in Belgium, France, Germany, Albania, and the United States. Each time, the object of the covert espionage activities has been the MEK and its members.

Giuliani spoke about two regime agents detained in New York last year. They were arrested at a rally held by the Iranian opposition with a “target package” and detailed instructions on capture and kill operations.

“New York has seen enough terrorism for several lifetimes; this must not stand”, Giuliani said. “Moreover”, he continued, “we can only conclude from an operation so brash that the regime in Iran feels threatened by all that is going wrong. They consider the MEK to be an existential threat”.

Addressing MEK’s Detractors

Giuliani also addressed the MEK’s detractors and critics who say that the organization is not widely supported by Iranians and does not have sufficient popularity within Iran.

Giuliani asked, “why would the regime be so methodical in imprisoning, torturing and killing MEK supporters in Iran as well as targeting its senior officials in Paris and New York if it didn’t feel threatened by it?”

The Regime’s End is Near

The former mayor of New York concluded his op-ed on an optimistic note. He predicted that the Iranian regime “will be overthrown. It is a question of when not if”.

He cited the Iranian people’s determination and will to protest in the streets, coupled with economic sanctions, like those introduced by the Trump administration, as the factors that will bring about the mullahs’ downfall.

“Iranians are demanding a democratic republic. Under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi and the movement of dedicated dissidents that she has established inside Iran and across the Western World, there is a strong and viable alternative that can make that happen”, Giuliani concluded.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Free Iran Rally in Villepint Paris.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

Free Iran Rally in Villepint Paris.

The Free Iran rally, where over 100,000 supporters of MEK gathered on June 30, 2018, to pledge support for the democratic alternative to the Iranian regime (the National Council of Resistance of Iran-NCRI). The Iranian regime had planned to bomb the gathering, but several of the Iranian regime operatives were arrested including one of its diplomats, Assadollah Assadi.

In a retaliatory gesture, the French authorities seized assets owned by the Iranian regime on French soil. On Tuesday, October 3rd, the French government confirmed that it had frozen accounts and funds owned by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, along with two other Iranian citizens.

The seizure was an act of retaliation. The Iranian regime attempted to carry out a terror attack in Paris in June 2018, at the Iranian opposition’s annual Grand Gathering. The event brings together members of the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

“Intolerable Activities”

A joint statement from the French government reinforced France’s commitment to fighting terrorism. It called the seizures, “preventative, targeted and proportionate”, asserting that the foiled terror attack, “could not go without a response”.

The French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire echoed his colleagues’ comments. He said, “we must dry up the channels of financing of terrorists to end their intolerable activities”.

The Iranian Leadership Were Involved

A senior official within the French government told reporters that Paris was certain that the Iranian regime orchestrated the terror attack. The official hinted that it may have come from religious hardliners in an attempt to undermine Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

A report revealed by the MEK and NCRI earlier this year indicated that senior members of the regime leadership were involved in the attack’s planning and execution.

One of the two Iranians whose assets have been frozen is Assadollah Assadi. Assadi was an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna. He was arrested in Germany for his involvement in the planned Paris attack. Assadi allegedly provided the explosives to be used in the attack.

According to the MEK, Assadi provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with an explosive matter, as well as detailed plans of how the attack was to be carried out. The couple was late apprehended by Belgian authorities. Assadi has been extradited to Belgium where he is expected to face trial.

The other Iranian affected by the asset seizures was Saeid Hashemi Moghdam. His involvement in the plot is still unclear.

Strained Paris-Tehran Relations

The timing is significant for French-Iranian relations. Hassan Rouhani, Iranian regime’s President, recently made a trip to Europe in an attempt to persuade the European heads of state to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

At last week’s UN General Assembly in New York, French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held talks with their counterparts in the Iranian regime. They reportedly sought answers over the thwarted Paris attack.

Aside from the asset seizures, Paris has suspended its nomination of a new ambassador to Iran. It has also refused to respond to Tehran’s nomination for diplomats in France.

These moves could be an indication of a changing tide in Europe.

Staff Writer

 

 

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The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Regime FM Says MEK Gathering is Hostile Measure

The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Over a 100,000 supporters of MEK, gathered in Paris, during the Iranian opposition annual gathering in Paris- June 30, 2018

On Sunday, regime Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was once again summoned to Majlis (Parliament) to answer questions about his visit to France in June, which coincided with the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) annual gathering in Paris. Zarif was called to Majlis two months ago to answer similar questions, but members of parliament were not satisfied with his answers, so he was called back for further questioning, amidst rising internal tensions within the Iranian regime.

 

Zarif struggled to justify his visit to Europe during the questioning, using the regime’s old tactic of blaming the MEK for daring to hold a rally in Paris in the first place. Zarif even called the gathering an act of terrorism, which is an astounding feat of illogic, considering that an Iranian regime diplomat was arrested and charged with plotting a terrorist attack on the very same gathering in Paris that Zarif decried. In fact, Zarif would not be in trouble with parliament were it not for the ensuing public outcry.

 

Najafi Khoshrudi, the spokesman of the Majlis (regime’s Parliament) National Security & Foreign Policy Committee, asked Zarif:

“Why do you visit France, without an intelligence and security analysis, coinciding with the annual session held by the [PMOI/MEK] and enemies of the Islamic republic? They don’t allow [the Iranian regime’s state-run TV/radio] IRIB network and you fail to protest?”

Zarif responded to this question by saying “ we cannot stop our diplomatic efforts,” and that “we made it clear in public and private sessions with French officials.” He also claimed that the MEK is not important enough for the Foreign Ministry to consider it when scheduling its activities.

 

Karimi Ghodusi pressed Zarif on his answers, saying that the question is of national interest. Zarif while unwillingly admitting the regime’s fear from its main opposition, revealed the continuous attempts to prevent the activities of the MEK, and responded:

“Unfortunately, the [PMOI/MEK] have been holding their session each year in Paris ever since they were delisted from the terrorist organization list. We consider this event as a hostile measure by Western countries against the Islamic republic and we consider this as an unacceptable measure in support of terrorism. We have always made this position clear with the French government, including in a phone call that I had yesterday with the French Foreign Minister.”

 

Ghodusi pressed further, illuminating the discord currently unfolding within the regime as regime leaders struggle to deal with both foreign and domestic crises. Ghodusi said:
“The Islamic republic allocates a budget and we have an embassy in France. The ambassador should provide you an analysis to come two days later, two days earlier, or even return, to not coincide with this session held by the ‘hooligans’ with assistance provided by France. You didn’t even issue a formal complaint. When did I say stop your diplomatic efforts? Why do you raise such allegations against me? I never believe in such things. The coinciding nature of your visit raises questions. It happened yet again and the French government had their Foreign Minister give an interview yesterday, saying Iran cannot expect to engage with us without accepting negotiations over its missiles and its role in the region. This is not acceptable.”

Putting its “moderate” musk aside, Zarif responded by stating that he was following orders from Khamenei – regime’s Supreme Leader. “I emphasize that we all act based on orders provided by the Supreme Leader and the framework specified by the Supreme Leader. It is my honor that the Supreme Leader in his speech on Wednesday, aired completely by the IRIB, kindly described me as a small soldier, which is far more than what I deserve, and I will always be in debt to his kindness,” said Zarif.

 

The regime’s attempts to pass the blame over its foiled terrorist plot continue and infighting caused by the scandal has revealed the growing cracks in the facade of the regime’s leadership.

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Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich addressing Free Iran Rally-2018

Giuliani Issues Statement in Wake of Failed Terrorist Attack on NCRI Gathering

Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich addressing Free Iran Rally-2018

Mayer Giuliani and House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaking at Free Iran Rally- june 30, 2018

On Saturday, the day of the rally, a couple was arrested by Belgian authorities with explosives and a detonator, which they were planning to use to bomb the NCRI gathering in Villepinte, outside of Paris. The couple had Belgian citizenship and claimed to be supporters of the MEK. According to the Belgian VTM news, as cited on the NCRI’s website, those explosives, if combined with a nail bomb, could have caused hundreds of casualties.

An Iranian diplomat from the regime’s Austrian Embassy in Vienna was also arrested in connection with the planned terrorist attack. According to the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office, he was arrested in Germany as a contact person to the terrorists.

On July 2nd, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a statement about the attempted terrorist attack and the subsequent arrests. His statement read:

“All the participants at the “Free Iran 2018 – The Alternative” rally in Paris on June 30, appreciate and admire the fine work of law enforcement particularly in Belgium and France in arresting the terrorists who, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s office, were planning an attack on the gathering supporting freedom from the theocratic oppressive regime in Iran.

“This accentuates the growing sense that the regime that is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world is increasingly weakened by constant large demonstrations in over 140 cities. It is also becoming apparent that Madam Maryam Rajavi and the NCRI pose a realistic alternative to this homicidal regime. Nothing could be worse for these misogynists than a movement seen as replacing them headed by a heroic woman.”

Giuliani was also present and spoke at the annual Grand Gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on June 30th, where he gave an impassioned speech in support of the Iranian Resistance movement, which includes the MEK. In his speech, Giuliani said, “Freedom is around the corner” for the Iranian people.

Rudolph Giuliani has been one of the biggest supporters of the Iranian Resistance Movement and the NCRI and MEK, and has spoken at several past Grand Gatherings. His statement underlies the growing acknowledgment of the international community that the Iranian regime has weakened under the pressure of the Resistance Movement, as well as the reinstatement of sanctions due to the decision by the United States to withdraw from the JCPOA.

 

Newt Gingrich who was one of the key speakers at the NCRI gathering also expressed his concerns in a tweet, emphasizing on the fact that the cowardish plot “shows how frightened the dictatorship is of the free Iran movement”.

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, voiced similar sentiments, in his speech at the gathering, acknowledging the regime’s weakness and calling for an end to the policy of appeasement. In his speech, he also urged the resistance, which includes the MEK, to strike now to bring down the regime, and encouraged the international community to support the Iranian people by writing their elected leader and tweeting support of the ongoing protests in Iran.

With regard to encouraging European countries to reimpose sanctions on the regime, he said:

“We need to make clear that whatever money they are making out of the dictatorship is a terrible price to pay for the people for their betraying in every single town in Iran. We need to insist that they join the sanctions once again.”

Staff Writer

 

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The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Youth Vow to Make a Free Iran Possible At NCRI Gathering

The grand gathering of Iran opposition-June 30, 2018

Over a 100,000 supporters of MEK, gathered in Villepinte-Paris, to voice support for Iran’s main opposition, and a free Iran- June 30, 2018

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, tens of thousands of supporters of MEK, the Iranian opposition gathered in Paris for the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) annual gathering, this year entitled “Free Iran: The Alternative.

The three-day event was marked by panel discussions about the weakness of the regime and the growing opposition movement, speeches by political figures, government officials, and dignitaries from all over the world, and a keynote address from Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI.

The unifying message from all of these speakers, who ranged from across the political spectrum, was one of hope for a free Iran and support for the NCRI and the MEK.

Maryam Rajavi addressing Free Iran 2018 grand gathering in Paris-June 2018

The Iranian opposition President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, addresses over 100,000 supporters during the annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris-2018

The event also featured videos, celebrations of the cultural history and heritage of the Iranian people, examples of how the resistance is working inside Iran, and delegations of supporters of the resistance movement. Many members of the MEK were in attendance.

Early in the day, a video was shown from the perspective of a political prisoner facing execution during the 1988 massacre of political dissidents in Iran. In the summer of 1988, 30,000 Iranians, most of them members of the MEK, were executed by the regime. The video, shot from the perspective of one of these prisoners, counted down the minutes until execution.

The Iranian flag played a large role in the day’s events as well, with delegates waving the true Iranian flag, which features the lion and the sun. The regime changed the flag’s center when it took power, but the resistance continues to recognize the traditional flag as the legitimate flag of Iran.

Among the most inspiring of Saturday’s events was the delegation of youth who have recently fled Iran. These youth were represented by a young woman who spoke passionately of the commitment of the youth of Iran to the cause of freedom. Her words were stirring:

“We promise that we will continue our fight to make a free Iran possible,” she vowed.

“We are the centers of the resistance in Iran.” She continued, “The light of freedom will soon shine in the sun of Iran.”

As she spoke, the rest of the delegation solemnly stood behind her holding signs. A small child stood with the youth holding a red flower.

The young speaker took a moment to adjust her veil, but when she continued, her voice was strong.

“I will now ask everyone to stand up, close your fists, say that you are the voices of our friends in Iran. You are the voices of our political prisoners, and hold our flag, and be part of this international campaign, and to condemn the suffering of those in the land of the sun and the lion. To say that we will continue to fight, that we will sacrifice, that we will reclaim Iran and free Iran.”

Mrs. Rajavi has praised the young people who are currently protesting in Iran and urged them to continue their fight.

Delegations from France, Albania, Yemen, Canada, the United States, San Marino, and Arabs opposed to the regime were among those who took the stage during the convention.

The delegation from the United Kingdom was large and comprised MPs from both houses and several political parties.

A number of notable political figures from the United States from both parties gave speeches as well, including Bill Richardson, Rudolph Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Louis Freeh.

Staff Writer

 

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MEPs support for Iran Freedom.

More MEPs Voice Support for Free Iran Rally

MEPs support for Iran Freedom.

MEPs express support for the #FreeIran2018 gathering in support of Iran’s main democratic opposition.

As the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition grows near, a growing number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and other governmental entities have expressed their support for the event and the opposition movement, of which the MEK is the largest and most well-organized group.

 

The two most recent MEPs to express solidarity with the Free Iran rally and the Iranian opposition movement are Emma McClarkin and Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea.

Emma McClarkin is from the U.K. and was first elected to European Parliament in 2009. In 2014, she was re-elected to represent the East Midlands as one of its two Conservative MEPs. In her statement of support for the gathering she said:

 

“The people of Iran want real change from the protests in January. We have seen that you want an end to oppression, that you want freedom and democracy to come to Iran and an end of the oppression by the regime and their security forces.

 

“On the 30th of June, I’m delighted that the Iranian community will be meeting in Paris. The freedom of expression that you experienced there hopefully will inspire you to express those very real wishes that you have for real change in Iran. We in the European Parliament will be participating. We’ll be watching. We will be listening and we will always be supporting a free Iran.”

Spanish MEP Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea also recently expressed her support for the Free Iran rally. Ms. Basterrechea is a liberal-democratic writer and politician from Madrid. She is the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and is a member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

 

In her statement of solidarity for the Free Iran event, she said the following:

 

“I am particularly encouraged by the role women play in leading many of these protests. I think Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of NCRI, whom I have met several times, is a role model for many women who want to stand up for their rights in Iran.

 

“From all indications, we can see that after four decades of brutal and anti-women rule of the mullahs, change is about to come to Iran. The people of Iran have said it clearly: We don’t want to be ruled by these fanatics who have ruined the country in all these years!

“I, therefore, believe that the Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition that will be held in Paris on 30 June can be a turning point towards a democratic change in Iran. So, I urge everyone to come to the rally to join voices in support of a free Iran.”

This year’s gathering is titled “Free Iran: The Alternative” and will he held on June 30th in Paris. The MEK will help lead the discussion on the future of Iran and the need for regime change. More information about the Free Iran rally may be found here.

Staff Writer

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