Posts Tagged ‘Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike’

Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,People's Mojahedin organization of Iran,PMOI

Workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar cane complex in Shush, Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran (File Photo)

Social unrest: noose around mullahs’ neck

Workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar cane complex in Shush, Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran (File Photo)

Workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar cane complex in Shush, Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran (File Photo)

Social unrest is the Achilles Heel of the Iranian regime. Many of its officials, past and present, have warned about a social situation where there would be no escape from. It could end everything unexpectedly. In past few weeks protests gatherings have escalated in the country. Workers, teachers, municipal employees, investors of mostly banks linked to the Revolutionary Guards are just a few examples.

On Tuesday, Workers from various sectors of the Haft-Tapeh sugar cane factory located in a region of the same name in the Southwestern city of Shush went on strike for the second day in a row. They demanded that their 21 co-workers return to work after they were fired without prior notice by the factory’s management. The employer did not even bother to send the fired workers a letter of termination and they were kicked out with an internet post. The striking workers demanded the unconditional return of fellow workers and a “stop to all workers’ rights violations” by the factory management.

The striking workers have gone on strike in the past few months over their overdue wages. The workers believe that the management is unwilling and unable to manage the factory and they want a council of their choosing to run Haft-Tapeh.

Social unrest: noose around mullahs’ neck

Haft Tapeh workers holding a protest rally in Shush, Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran (File Photo)

Haft-Tapeh sugar mill factory, the oldest and once most prosperous of its kind in the Middle East, with thousands of workers is a bankrupt plant now. Last year it witnessed some of the most well-organized labor protests in the nation. The mullahs’ regime crackdown on the Haft-Tapeh’s lobar union and its leaders was exemplary. Mr. Esmail Bakhshi, spokesman for Workers Union of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane was first arrested for a month. He was brutally tortured for 30 days while in the custody of security forces. After his brief release, Bakhshi challenged Mahmoud Alavi, the mullahs’ minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to a public and televised debate. Alavi refused the offer and in returned Bakhshi is sitting in jail with a heavy sentence which includes “conspiracy to act against the nation’s security.” A cliché used to describe charges against Iranian dissidents and a warning send to others not to follow protesters’ footsteps or suffer the same consequences.

The catastrophic situation of the deprived workers of this massive industry is the direct result of the regime’s officials’ seizing control over the sugarcane industry. Government clerics have been importing sugar instead of improving this industry, which was once one of the major sources for the country’s revenues. Consequently, the sugarcane industry workers, including the Haft Tapeh sugarcane workers, have not received salaries for several months despite their hard work, and the overwhelming pressure imposed on them because of their inability to pay off heavy debts or fall into absolute poverty. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main partner, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) have supported the workers demands as a principle.

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Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Iran Economy,Iran Protests,Isfahan,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Pensioners & Teachers take it to the streets in Tehran and Isfahan

MEK-Iran: Protests inside Iran Increase despite Regime Suppression

Pensioners & Teachers take it to the streets in Tehran and Isfahan

Hundreds of pensioners and teachers gathered in Tehran and Isfahan asking for their pensions. The protesters also called for the release of their fellow activists that had been imprisoned during the previous protests. August 26, 2019

Based on reports from MEK sources, Iranians from all walks of life staged protests over the past few days as widespread dissatisfaction with the regime and its policies continues to mount among every sector of society. Protests were held by retirees, teachers, workers, defrauded investors, and people with disabilities.

Protests by Retirees

On Monday, August 26th, hundreds of retirees gathered outside of the Labor Ministry building in Tehran to protest low pensions, late payments, inflation, and high prices. Demonstrators carried signs that read: “They used Islam as ladder [to enrich themselves] and impoverish the people,”

“Workers, teachers must not be jailed,” “Jailed teachers must be freed,” and “Leave Syria alone, think of us.”

Protests by Retirees in Isfehan center of iran

A number of participants were detained during the demonstration


Protest by Teachers

A large group of teachers and retirees held a demonstration in the city of Isfahan in Central Iran on Monday. The protesters gathered near Enghelab (Revolution) Square to demand higher wages and pensions and better healthcare. They held signs that read: “Livelihood, dignity, and health are our inalienable rights,” “We will not rest until we obtain our rights,” “Raise teachers’ wages above the poverty line,” “Our enemy is right here, they lie when they say it’s America,” “Leave Syria alone, think of us,” and “No theft, no humiliation, these are the nation’s chants.”

Security forces attacked the protesters, assaulting and arresting a number of participants.




A large group of teachers and retirees held a demonstration

Archive Photo: The retire teachers gathered despite threats from the regime.

Protest by Defrauded Investors

MEK sources inside Iran reported that a group of defrauded investors held a protest on Saturday in the city of Rasht in northern Iran. The protesters gathered in the city’s prayer center to demand the return of their stolen savings from the Adineh Complex. The complex was pre-sold to investors by its developers, but construction has still not been completed.

Other Protests

The MEK network reported at least six protests on Saturday in cities across Iran, including Tehran, Arak, Ahvaz and Rasht. Workers defrauded car buyers, and people with disabilities were among those who held protests and demonstrations.

A Call from the Iranian Resistance

The Iranian Resistance salutes the protesters across the country who are standing up for their rights, despite the suppressive tactics of the mullahs and their henchmen. It calls on the Iranian people, especially the youth, to support the teachers, retirees, and the many others who are protesting against the oppression of the religious fascist regime. It further calls upon international human rights groups and workers unions to condemn the Iranian regime’s ruthless suppression of the protesters and to take immediate action to secure the release of those who were detained.

The Iranian regime is notorious for its treatment of political prisoners. Protesters and others who are arrested for political dissent are frequently tortured, sometimes to the point of death. Political prisoners can be denied legal representation under the pretense of “security” crimes, and all prisoners in Iran are subjected to inhumane, unsanitary, and overcrowded conditions.

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Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Iran Economy,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Iran Regime Manipulates Poverty Figures to Avoid Paying Higher Wages

Disturbing view of children sleeping in streets in Iran

Poverty has hit Iranian families hard. Seeing poor families living rough in streets in Iran is very common.

The Iranian regime is intentionally deceiving the public by withholding government statistics on poverty levels and inflation across Iran.

Experts have indicated that the rising poverty level and inflation are not being fully recognized by the Iranian officials out of fear of repercussions. The Iranian public has taken to the streets almost daily across Iran to protest the rising cost of living, soaring inflation, and surging unemployment rate.

Part of the issue is that old yardstick used to measure poverty no longer applies. “Previously, the poverty line was below 3 million tomans, but this has changed with regard to the current economic situation in the country; the poverty line has now reached salaries of less than 6 million tomans,” Ruhollah Babaie Saleh, a lawmaker in Iran’s parliament from Buin Zahra, said.

Iran’s Parliament Research Center is still using 3 million tomans for a family of four as the criteria for being in poverty. This masks the true number of Iranians struggling to put food on the table each day.

“We have not seen any of the administrations officially announce the line of poverty,” Faramarz Tofighi, the head of the Salary Committee of the Supreme Center of Islamic Labor Councils, said.

“While relevant officials refuse to provide information on the poverty line, unofficial authorities provide different and sometimes contradictory statistics; we have so much of an information vacuum that data on the suitable food poverty pyramid for Iranian households has still not been specified,” the official said.

Like many other issues, the issue of food poverty has been neglected, Tofighi asserted.

Fear of the Consequences

Tofighi believes that the motives behind withholding the information are due to the inevitable consequences. “The reason is the fear of the consequences of statistical transparency, since announcing the poverty line can have a direct impact on many macroeconomic issues,” he asserted.

“If the poverty level is formally announced,” he continued, “in the next phase they have to work towards the eradication of poverty. They would have to consider the line of poverty while determining wages for employees and workers.”

By keeping the real poverty figures out of the public eye, the regime can get away with paying workers wages below the poverty line. One municipal worker from Nishapur told Iran News Wire that his salary has been cut to half while the prices have skyrocketed.

“Before this, I received 2.7 million tomans since I had two children but in the new contract, my salary was reduced to 1.5 million tomans,” the worker from Razavi Khorasan Province said.

2018 saw the Iranian regime racked by protests across all sectors of Iranian society. This is a better indicator of the dire economic situation most Iranians find themselves in than any official statistic. As has been continually reported by MEK, truck drivers, factory workers, teachers, investors, and farmers have turned out to protest rocking inflation, reduced Iranian purchasing power, and unpaid wages.

In just the last three months, 10 cities have seen protests form their workers over unpaid wages. In some cases, workers hadn’t been paid in 8 months. This is not a sign of economic stability or a low poverty rate.


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Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

MEK-Iran: Regime to Press Charges against Labor Activist after Rejecting Torture Claims

Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

Esmail Bakhshi, one of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers who was arrested and tortured for leading the protest against the regime demanding their unpaid wages.

On Wednesday, Mahmoud Vaezi, regime President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff, announced that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence had rejected claims of torture by labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and planned to press charges against him.

The Regime’s Decision to Press Charges

The state-run ISNA news agency broadcast his announcement: “Today, the Minister of Intelligence provided a report on his investigations into Esmail Bakhshi’s claims (of torture), and it became clear that Bakhshi’s claims are in no way true,” he said.

Vaezi did not provide any details of the MOIS report or describe how Bakhshi’s claims were refuted. A medical examiner did not participate in the investigation.

The Chief of Staff went on: “Last week on the President’s orders, the Minister of Intelligence sent a delegation to Khuzestan province which examined all the relevant areas. Today the Intelligence Minister presented his report to the government. In these investigations, they even talked to Esmail Bakhshi.”

Vaezi characterized Bakhshi’s claims of torture as “propaganda.”

He added, without irony, “The government’s position is to protect citizens’ rights, and the Ministry of Intelligence is also trying very hard to take the path of the rule of law.”

“It has been decided that the Ministry of Intelligence and the system have the right to sue Esmail Bakhshi and for the Judiciary to follow through,” Vaezi continued.

Finally, in reference to Bakshi’s claims of torture, Vaezi said, “A person cannot make some claims and undermine the whole system.”

Torture at the Hands of the Regime

In a January 4th Instagram post, Esmail Bakhshi asked regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi why he was tortured “to the brink of death.”

He went on to say that “[i]n the 25 days that I was unjustly detained by the Ministry of Intelligence, I went through such immense pain that I’m still suffering and I have turned to neurological drugs to ease the pain.”

Bakhshi, who was arrested for his participation in the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers’ strikes, described psychological torture at the hands of his captors against himself, a female civil rights activist, and a photographer who was arrested for documenting the strikes. He said that the psychological abuse, which included abusive sexual language, was worse than the physical torture.

Bakshi was pressured by the regime to recant his torture claims. He refused.

Regime Chief Justice Larijani claimed that any torture suffered by Bakshi was due to “one interrogator’s alleged misconduct” and “should not be blamed on the whole system.”

Psychological Torture

Civil rights activist Sepideh Qolian was detained along with Bakhshi and has corroborated his claims. In a tweet on Wednesday, she described the Ministry of Intelligence investigation:

“On Monday I was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence again. Two people who called themselves “investigative” agents asked me about what happened during my 30 days of detention and after my explanations said that what Esmail Bakhshi and I were saying about tortures were just delusions,” she wrote, in the first of several tweets.

“They have ended their investigations. I have decided to present my explanations not to the agents but to the people. Speaking of torture is not just a description of a personal pain but rather an account of the systematic violence that security institutions use against prisoners. Denying or reducing it to the mistake of one interrogator is ludicrous and of course very painful,” she continued.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

Qolian also corroborated Bakhshi’s claims of torture: “Just thinking about the 30 days of the violent and inhumane treatment still brings tears to my eyes and makes me tremble. During our arrest, Esmail Bakhshi tried to shield me from the agents’ beatings but he was beaten so badly himself, that he passed out.”

Qolian said that she was also a victim of sexual verbal abuse during her imprisonment: “I wish that the only method of torture was the beatings,” she said. “The most painful part was the sexual accusations that they bombarded me within a place where I knew no one would hear even if I cried out.

“On the last day, the interrogator told me that if I say anything when I leave prison they would broadcast the forced confessions that me and Esmail Bakhshi made on the news and that they will turn us into dust,” Qolian wrote. She added that her interrogators shamed her for her clothing and the color of her hair.

After her release, wrote Qolian, a person claiming to be a representative of the Shush Intelligence Agency accused her of “immoral” deeds and made the same false claims to her family.

“Imagine what I’ve been through after my so-called release in a small town with a traditional culture trying to invalidate those claims,” she wrote.

Qolian expressed her support of Bakshi, writing, “I’m willing to testify to the tortures against myself and my brother Esmail Bakhshi in a fair trial.”

Staff Writer



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Ahvaz Protests,Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

The University of Azad Bus incident that resulted in ten university students getting killed, and sparked large protests by students against the regime’s mismanagement and carelessness

On Monday, Iran Human Rights Monitor released its December report on human rights conditions in Iran. December was a brutal month in Iran due to the regime’s crackdown on political protests and strikes. In addition, the regime’s crumbling economy manifested on the deaths of several students this month.

Student Deaths

According to state-run media, four young girls died in a fire at an all-girls preschool and elementary school in Zahedan on December 18th. A fourth girl died later in a hospital from her injuries.

Several days later, a bus accident killed ten students from Azad University’s Science and Research Center in Tehran and injured 28 more. The bus swerved off of a mountainous road, crashing into a cement barrier. University students blame the accident on the school’s aging fleet of buses.

Tehran Students Demand Accountability for Bus Crash in Third Day of Protests

Regime officials have been faulted for allowing the unsafe conditions which led to both deadly incidents.


The Human Rights Monitor Report lists 23 executions during the month of December. Those executions include:

  • 3 public executions in Shiraz;
  • a mass execution of 12 prisoners in Kerman;
  • the hanging execution of a 25-year-old woman. She is the 86th woman to be executed during Rouhani’s presidency.

The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the sentence of a juvenile offender who was sentenced to death at the age of 14.

Freedom of Speech and Assembly

An increase in protest activity in the month of December led to a crackdown on political activism by the Iranian regime. The MEK reported on a number of arrests of protesting steelworkers and factory workers in the province of Ahvaz in December. The workers were striking in protest of months of unpaid wages.

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

Security forces arrested at least 41 striking workers from the Ahvaz National Steel Group in a series of midnight raids on the workers’ houses. Workers were violently dragged from their homes, according to Iran’s Free Labor Union (FLU).

35 of the workers were later released, but seven remain in custody in Sheyban prison in Ahvaz.

Ali Nejati, a labor activist for the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers, was violently arrested and beaten for “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian government after participating in the sugarcane factory workers’ strikes. Nejati suffers from a heart condition.

Torture, Inhumane, and Degrading Punishment

The Human Rights Monitor Report listed several instances of cruel punishments by the Iranian regime. Fifteen workers from the Ilam Petrochemical Plant were sentenced to prison terms and lashes for “disrupting public order and peace” after participating in a sit-in outside of the factory. The workers were protesting the factory’s refusal to hire local workers and the layoffs of eleven experienced workers from the plant.

Poet, satirist and Telegram channel administrator Mohammad Hossein Sodagar was publicly flogged after being convicted of “dissemination of false information.” He received 74 lashes.

According to the state-run IRIB news agency, another unnamed man was publicly flogged in Zeberkhan District after being convicted of drug charges.

Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners

According to the Human Rights Monitor report, political activist Vahid Sayadi Nasiri died in prison after a 60-day hunger strike. Nasiri had been imprisoned repeatedly due to his social media posts and charged with “insulting the supreme leader” and “propaganda against the state.”

He began his hunger strike in October in protest of the conditions at the prison and his lack of access to a lawyer. He also said that he was being held along with ordinary criminals, which is a violation of his rights as a political prisoner. Nasiri was taken to the hospital before his death, according to reports.

Denial of Medical Treatment

Political prisoner Saeed Shirzad is being denied needed medical care, according to the Human Rights Monitor Report, and may lose a kidney as a result. Doctors at Rajaee Shahr Prison, where he has been held for the past three years, say that one of his kidneys has shrunk and the other has developed a cyst. His requests for hospitalization have thus far been denied.

Lack of Due Process

The regime’s Appeals Court upheld the conviction against Mohammad Habibi, a member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) for “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disturbing public order,” according to the Human Rights Monitor.

Habibi will have to serve at least 7.5 years of his 10.5-year sentence. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes and two years’ abstinence from political and social activities and was prohibited from leaving the country for two years.
Gonabadi Dervish lawyer Mostafa Daneshjoo was sentenced to eight years in prison for “assembly and collusion to act against national security, disturbing public opinion, and spreading propaganda against the system.”

Indefinite solitary confinement

Iran Human Rights Monitor received information that guards at Zahedan Central Prison in Iran’s Baluchistan Province broke the legs of political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi. The guards reportedly threw him down a staircase while torturing him, breaking his legs.

Doctors have said the 65-year-old prisoner will not be able to walk again.

Freedom of Religion and Belief


Yekta Fahandej Sa’di was given an 11 year 9-month sentence for practicing her Baha’i religious beliefs by a preliminary court in the city of Shiraz. She was convicted on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”

Baha’i faith member Ali Ahmadi was arrested for the third time. Ahmadi was charged with “propaganda against the state” for having a holy book in his home. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Kachouie Detention Center in Sari.


According to the Human Rights Monitor, Christians in Iran faced a severe crackdown around the Christmas holiday. 114 Christians were arrested in December, many of whom had converted from Islam.

According to Open Doors UK, those who were arrested had to report a history of their Christian activities and cut ties with Christian groups.

Persecution of Ethnic Minorities


According to the Human Rights Monitor, regime authorities arrested at least twelve Ahwazi Arabs in Khuzestan Province in December. Most of the detainees were not allowed legal representation or allowed to contact their families.


At least three Baluchis were killed while smuggling gas and oil in Sistan-Baluchistan Province. High unemployment in the province has forced many people to smuggle gas in order to get by.


According to the Human Rights Monitor report, more than 20 Kurds were arrested in Kurdistan in December. Kurdish human rights activists report that some of those who were arrested for cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties were taken to the Revolutionary Guard’s al-Mahdi barracks detention center.


Security forces killed at least five porters through direct fire and wounded another 13.

Gender Discrimination

A bill to increase the marriage age in Iran was rejected in Parliament. The bill would have banned marriages for girls under the age of 13 and for boys under the age of 16. Girls between the ages of 13 and 16 would need parental and judicial consent to marry. The bill fail due to “religious and social deficiencies,” according to Allahyar Malekshahi, Chair of the Judicial and Legal Committee of the regime’s parliament.

Human Rights Attorneys

The Human Rights Monitor report listed a number of arrests and convictions of human rights lawyers in Iran during the month of December.

Human rights lawyers Qasem Sholehsadi and Arash Keykhosravi were sentenced to six years in prison after being arrested at a gathering in front of the regime’s parliament in August, according to the ISNA news agency.

Human rights lawyer Mohammad Najafi, who is currently serving a three-year sentence for exposing torture in Iran’s prisons, was sentenced to an additional 13 years for an additional two charges.

Human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoudi has been detained by regime authorities since November 20th in Evin Prison and denied access to his attorney. His attorney believes that the charges against him are “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.” He may also be charged with “assembly and collusion to act against national security.”

The MEK and Iranian Opposition have made repeated calls for the international community to take action against the theocratic regime to end its brutal human rights violations. It is clear that these atrocities will not stop until the regime is toppled and Iran is free.

Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protesters chanted, “Death to the dictator!”

“Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!”

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

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

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

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


Recorded Protests: 643

Daily Average: 21

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


Recorded Protests: 596

Daily Average: 21


Recorded Protests: 422

Daily Average: 14


Recorded Protests: 452

Daily Average: 15


Recorded Protests: 1,093

Daily Average: 35


Recorded Protests: 475

Daily Protests: 16


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

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

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


Recorded Protests and Strikes: 970 in cities and regions

Daily Average: 31


Recorded Protests: 133

Daily Average: 20


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

Daily Average: 46

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


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

Daily Average: 49

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


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

Daily Average: 30

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

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

Head of Iranian Regime’s Judiciary Threatens Striking Workers


Recorded Protests: 273 as of December 21st

Daily Average: 9

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

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

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

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More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

More arrest of the protesting Ahvaz steel workers

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

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

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

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

Public Support

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

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

Out of Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

Regime Conducts Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support for the Ahvaz Steelworkers

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

“Free the steelworkers!”

“Imprisoned workers must be freed!”

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

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

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

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

A Call to Action

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

Detained Haft Tappeh Workers

Meanwhile, MEK sources in Khuzestan report that

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

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

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

Staff Writer

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

Iran protests across Iran

Iranian Workers, Credit Clients, Prisoners Protest

Iran protests across Iran

Iran Protests spreading across Iran, people from all sectors of the society are fed up of the repressive regime and its lack of capability to resolve economic crisis.

Last December, a series of protests began in Iran that rapidly spread across the country. Within two weeks, the widespread uprising had spread to more than 140 cities and every province in Iran. Almost a year later, the popular protest movement continues, mobilized by the MEK and its resistance units. In addition to the ongoing strikes by the workers of the Ahvaz Steel factory and the Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill, protests have broken out in Tehran and other cities in Iran.

Ahvaz Steel Workers Gain Support in Their Protests

Protests in Tehran

On Tuesday, contract workers gathered outside of the city council building at South City Park Avenue in Tehran to demand the demand of their savings. The workers say that state officials embezzled their savings and that their concerns have not been addressed by the regime. They chanted:

“One less embezzlement, our problems will be resolved!”
“We deserve to have our money returned!”
“You lying officials, shame on your disgrace!”
“This incompetent council should be ashamed!”
“We don’t want a list of hopes, we want our money!”
“We don’t want promises, we want our money!”

Credit clients of the Bahman Khodro Company rallied in Tehran on Tuesday to protest rising prices. They also protested the company’s failure to deliver vehicles to customers who had already purchased them.

Looted clients of the Caspian Credit Firm protested outside of the regime’s public prosecutor’s office in Tehran on Tuesday. The protesters demanded the return of their savings by the credit firm, which is known to be associated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Protest in Shahr-e Kord

Taxi drivers in Shahr-e Kord in central Iran gathered outside of the Isfahan Province governorate in Shahr-e Kord in protest of regime officials’ refusal to answer their demands.

Hunger Strike in Ardabil Central Prison

Political prisoners in Ward 7 of Ardabil Central Prison began a hunger strike on Sunday. The prisoners are protesting the transfer of a prisoner with Hepatitis to their ward. Authorities moved the contagious prisoner to the ward where political prisoners are held without informing other inmates.

Prison authorities responded to the prisoners’ protest by taking away their telephone privileges. Prison officials have so far ignored requests for information from the inmates’ families.

Inmates at Ardabil Central Prison are housed in warehouse-like facilities without access to adequate hygiene supplies. Conditions in the prison make diseases such as Hepatitis A highly likely to spread amongst the inmate population.

Staff Writer


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Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers Protest for 24th Day

Day 24 of Ahvaz protest by workers

The protest in Ahvaz continues, despite the repressive measures the government has taken.

Saturday marked the 22nd day of protests by the Iran National Steel Industrial Group. The workers rallied in front of the Khuzestan governorate in Ahvaz with signs reading, “The workers of Ahvaz are awake and fed up with being exploited!” and “Don’t make the workers the victims of mafia scheme!”


The Ahvaz steelworkers went on strike in November in protest of not receiving their wages for several months. The workers were protesting for several months prior to the strike for basic rights, but the regime has yet to respond to any of their demands. Reports from the MEK sources inside Iran indicate that the protests have continued.

The workers blame the regime for their situation, saying that the government’s corruption is responsible for the factors leading to their protests and strikes. At Saturday’s protest, the workers chanted, “You’re taking advantage of Islam and have made the lives of the people a misery!” and “They speak of Hossein but they pride in their thievery!” The chants were in reference to the regime’s perversion of religious edicts and principles in order to rob the Iranian people of their wealth. Imam Hossein refers to the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, a revered symbol for Shiite Muslims.

Iranian Merchants, Steel Workers, and Factory Workers Strike as Part of Growing Nationwide Movement

The protests by the Ahvaz steelworkers are occurring simultaneously to strikes by the workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar factory in Shush. Both sets of striking workers are in Khuzestan Province, and they have been supportive of each other throughout the protests.

The Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers have gained support from people across Iran, including students, teachers, truck drivers, merchants, and youth. Each of these groups have expressed solidarity with the striking workers. The MEK and the Iranian Opposition have also expressed their support for the workers’ strikes, and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged others to join the workers in solidarity with their protests.

As the strikes and protests have gained international attention, the striking workers have also received messages of support from workers’ unions and syndicates from around the world.

The Ahvaz steelworkers have vowed to continue their protests until their demands are met. On Saturday, the workers chanted, “Shame on the government that deceives the people!”


Strikes and protests have become common in Iran over the past year. The economy is in free fall, and the regime’s corrupt policies have left Iranian workers no recourse other than to take to the streets to protest. Regime officials have warned that a crisis is brewing due to workers losing their trust in their employers and the government.

Staff Writer


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