Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

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Javad Zarif, Iranian regime's Minister of Foreign Affairs

Javad Zarif Draws Criticism from Iranians After More Inflammatory Comments

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime's Minister of Foreign Affairs

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

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

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

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

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

Enough is Enough

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

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

A Steady Stream of Lies and Misinformation

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

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

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

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The top mullah who rules Iran

The Regime is at “A Strategic Dead-End”: It is Time to End US Appeasement

The top mullah who rules Iran

Iranian Regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei

On Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, L. Todd Wood wrote a piece for the Washington Times criticizing the policy of appeasement towards the Iranian regime that has dominated US politics for the last four decades.

The piece, entitled ‘Iran Resistance: 40 Years of Perceived US Appeasement’, begins with the coverage of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) recent event held at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The NCRI or the parliament in exile of the Iranian opposition includes the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest and most organized Iranian opposition group.

“The event began with remarks by US Ambassador J. Adam Ereli, who reviewed the difficult history the MEK has had with the American government,” Wood wrote. Consecutive US administrations “threw the MEK under the bus,” in an effort to appease the Iranian regime. Despite being a legitimate pro-democracy group, US administrations included the MEK on its terrorist blacklists, a move that was later overturned by the courts and deemed illegal.

Ali Safavi of the NCRI said, “when we talk about the West’s 40-year policy in dealing with the Iranian regime, we can find a common thread throughout the past four decades: an attempt to work with the ruling theocracy… in the hopes of moderating its behavior.”

Far from moderating the mullahs’ behavior, this approach has emboldened them and allowed them to continue to abuse Iranian human rights with impunity and launch an international state-sponsored terrorist campaign. Safavi concludes, “appeasement has actually helped prolong the mullahs’ rule.”

An End of Appeasement?

However, under the Trump administration, there have been signs that the US government is finally willing to end its decades-old policy of appeasement. The US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and re-introduced economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.

In the face of US pressure, coupled with domestic pressure from a rapidly expanding MEK-led protest movement, the regime is under intense pressure. The NCRI’s US representative Soona Samsami said at the groups National Press Club event, “the Iranian regime is weak and vulnerable. It lacks internal legitimacy.”

She continued, “the regime’s internal policies, its human rights violations and economic mismanagement have depleted its strategic capital. It has no solutions to these massive crises and no way to curb the uprising.” She concluded, “put simply, the regime is at a strategic dead-end.”

What Is the Alternative?

In his piece, L. Todd Wood makes it abundantly clear that appeasement is not the only option. The NCRI and the MEK have a viable democratic alternative to regime rule in Iran. Their president-elect Maryam Rajavi has a ten-point plan for realizing a democratic Iran following the fall of the regime.

Woods asserts that the West has a “historic opportunity… to bring about regime change in Iran by helping the MEK.” It can only realize this opportunity by breaking with tradition, ending its policy of appeasement, and supporting the MEK in its pursuit of Iranian democracy.

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MEK rally in Warsaw-February 13, 2019

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw as International Conference on Iran and Middle Eastern Policy Begins

MEK rally in Warsaw-February 13, 2019

Simultaneous to Warsaw Summit, the MEK supporters held a rally to voice the Iranian people’s quest for regime change in Iran-February 13, 2019

On Wednesday, the MEK supporters held a rally in Warsaw condemning the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses towards its own people and standing in solidarity with the Iranian people by calling for the international community to recognize the people’s right to overthrow the oppressive theocratic regime currently in power.

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw to Mark Four Decades of Regime Atrocities Prior to Warsaw Summit

The rally was planned to coincide with the beginning of the Warsaw Conference, which is taking place February 13-14. The primary focus of the international gathering of political leaders is to discuss Iran’s role in the future of Middle Eastern policy. The Iranian Resistance would like to make it clear that the old policy of appeasement has not been effective in containing the Iranian regime’s threat and the mullahs’ regime is past reform. The NCRI, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, offers a 10-point plan for Iran’s future, including separation of religion and State, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.

A variety of highly-respected dignitaries, politicians, and representatives of the Iranian community gave speeches at the event, and then a large crowd of demonstrators marched on the streets of Warsaw, chanting, “Appeasement, no; regime change, yes!”

The Speakers

The following are some highlights from Wednesday’s speakers:

Rudy Giuliani, Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump and former New York City Mayor: “Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. We should not be doing business with a regime that supports terror. The Warsaw Summit should be focused on how we change Iran. How do we change their behavior against their people. The last two Free Iran conferences I attended, the regime tried to bomb them; the last one was in Paris.

“The Iranian people have a right to freedom and democracy. They have a right to be free. We will soon achieve the dream of seeing Maryam Rajavi in a free Iran. We have the answer to who will be the alternative to the regime. Maryam Rajavi has laid out a ten-point program which we should support.”

Zbigniew Cichoń, Polish Senator from the PIS party: “Thousands of Iranians are in jail for demanding their rights. Even the lawyers who defend them end up in jail. All Poles are in solidarity with you.”

Marcin Święcicki, Member of the Polish Parliament, former Mayor of Warsaw, and a former Minister for Foreign Economic Relations: “The NCRI movement has a ten-point plan which among other things calls for abolishing the death penalty. We want to see the establishment of peace and democracy in Iran.

Ryszard Majer, Polish Senator and Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee from the PIS party: “We respect freedom and solidarity. Are those values important to you? Yes, every nation needs freedom and solidarity, freedom to decide for themselves. Also in Iran freedom for Iranian people is necessary for the entire world.

“As a Pole, I understand this. For many years there was no freedom of assembly, no freedom of speech, for all of those who wished for change. Today I admire all of the efforts of Maryam Rajavi who works for solidarity and well-being in Iran.”

13:00: Robert Torricelli, former United States Senator (D): “We have tried to negotiate with Tehran. There have been negotiations with Tehran for 40 years. But they answered with terrorism. The lives of the thousands of martyrs laying in their graves are a testimony that this regime it not negotiable.”

“A government that murders its opponents, cannot be trusted to respect the nuclear agreement. a murderous regime cannot be a trustable regime.”

“Those nations who believe we have no other choice than to accommodate Iran, we say to them: We are the choice! The democratic alternative. The thousands and thousands of Iranians who have risked their lives in the streets of Iran, they are the choice. The NCRI is the choice, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is the choice.”

13:05: Zbigniew Cichoń, member of the Polish Senate from the PIS party: “As a nation, you have a right to fight. This is a dream that will soon become true. It will become true because our dream in Poland became true.”

“I believe very soon Iran will become a free state, a state of rule of law, not the rule of a few individuals against the people.”

13:10: Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria: “The MEK is the only force capable of freeing Iran. If we love peace and stability in this region, we need to eliminate the threat of Iran’s regime. And in order to do that, the only option is to support the Iranian Resistance led by Maryam Rajavi. I hope and pray to God that next year we can hold this meeting in Tehran.”

Javad Dabiran, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI): “Forty years after the downfall of the Shah’s dictatorship, it is time for the overthrow of the mullahs. This regime has brought nothing but misery and corruption and death and killings. So, it is time they go. They have only faced one strong opposition, that of the MEK (PMOI).”

Malieh Malek Mohammadi, a representative of the Iranian communities in Europe: “It’s the era of uprisings and of the overthrow of the mullahs. This opposition, the MEK, has more than forty years of experience. Time has come for payback for the dictators in Iran. Democracy and freedom will come to Iran.”

Matin Doustmohammadi, a representative of the Iranian youth associations in Europe: “We had 40 years of repression. But I am proud that in these 40 years, the MEK and their supporters continued their Resistance. I salute the MEK’s “Resistance Units” inside Iran that are leading all the protests.
“The regime is not paying any price for its crimes. If the Western government want to respect their own laws, they should arrest the regime’s agents and put the IRGC on the blacklist and expel the diplomat-terrorists of this regime.”

 Homayoun Sim-Laqaee, a representative of the Iranian communities in Europe: “The fake ‘alternatives’ to the regime that have been formed by the Iranian intelligence ministry only aim to discredit the MEK, but they will not lead anywhere.

“The time has come for the downfall of the mullahs with the leadership of Mr. Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance.”

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MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw to Mark Four Decades of Regime Atrocities Prior to Warsaw Summit

MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

Simultaneous to Warsaw Summit, the MEK supporters gathered near where the conference will be held to express the Iranian people’s devotion to freedom and democracy and demand an end to the policy of appeasement-February 13, 2019

On February 13, 2019, the Iranian opposition came together with communities in Europe and held a rally in Warsaw in solidarity with the Iranian people of Iran.

The event marked four decades since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 that ousted the Shah and brought Khomeini to power. Under the mullahs and Khomeini, the Iranian state derided religious plurality, shunned secularism, and abandoned any commitment to upholding human rights.

Instead, the Iranian state embraced repression, violence, torture, capital punishment, terrorism and war.

A Regime on the Brink of Collapse

Now, forty years later, the regime is creaking under the same weight that ousted the Iranian monarchy; the will and determination of the Iranian people.

In 2018, a wave of popular protests swept across Iran, igniting unrest in all 31 of Iran’s provinces and 142 cities, and towns. Like in 1979, these protests drew support from all walks of Iranian life, including the working classes that the clerical regime has relied on for support.

Teachers, farmers, factory workers, students, investors, pensioners, and bazaar merchants have all turned out to vent their frustrations and participate in anti-regime protests.

The driving force behind these protests has been the unrelenting determination of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Led by president-elect Maryam Rajavi, MEK members have risked their freedom and their lives to coordinate protests, counter the mullahs’ propaganda and disinformation, and stand up for Iranian human rights both within Iran and abroad.

In a statement ahead of the Warsaw rally, Iranian Communities in Europe called the MEK a “pivotal force of the political alternative for future Iran”.

A Rally to Recognize the Iranian People’s Right to Resist

The Warsaw rally takes place ahead of the anticipated Warsaw conference, in which governments from around the globe will meet in Warsaw to discuss strategies to deal with the Iranian threat.

For Iranian Communities in Europe and the MEK, the rally in Warsaw ahead of the conference was necessary to demonstrate to the international community the importance of recognizing the Iranian people’s right to resist and overthrow the regime’s tyrannical brand of religious fascism.

The statement from rally organizers read, “it is time to put an end to four decades of political and social repression, massacres, plunder of Iran’s wealth by the regime’s cronies, and misery and war forced upon the region by this regime.”

“We call on the West to impose sanctions on the regime and include the Iranian regime’s IRGC and MOIS and perpetrators of crimes against the Iranian people on the EU terror list.”

The statement concluded, “It’s time for European countries to align their voices with the voice of the Iranian people and resistance, and to end the nightmare of four decades of the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran, the region and the world.”

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Middle East Expert Breaks Down the Iranian Regime’s Use of Terror as a Political Tool

“The Recent Iranian Terrorist Plots in Europe”

A white paper by Claude Moniquet on the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities on European soil published on February 2019

Middle East analyst and counter security expert, Claude Moniquet released an in-depth report examining the Iranian regime’s terror plots on European soil. Entitled, “The Recent Iranian Terrorist Plots in Europe”, the 35-page document charts the recent developments in the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism and places them in the context of the domestic political and social landscape within Iran.

Claude Moniquet, posing for a photo call, outside Brussels’ conference on the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Europe-February 4, 2019

“In 2018, the Iranian regime, facing a domestic uprising, collapsing economy, and international sanctions, took the decision to step up terrorism on European and US soil against the Iranian opposition movement,” Moniquet writes.

Moniquet outlines the regime’s involvement in two plots against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), one in France and one in Albania. He also highlights regime involvement in a plot to kill an Iranian dissident in Denmark and a plot in the US that was foiled during the surveillance stages of planning.

A Limited Fallout

In the wake of the increase in terrorist plots, the Netherlands, France, and Albania expelled diplomats. The French government also levied sanctions against the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and two Iranian officials.

In January 2019, the European Union (EU) also made the decision to include a branch of the MOIS on the EU terror list for the first time. This is a welcome step, however, Moniquet acknowledges that the EU and the US’s “conciliatory policy” has been “counterproductive, emboldening the regime to pursue its objectives through terrorism.”

The Use of Terrorism as a “Political Tool”

The regime has been embroiled in a dozen terror attacks since it seized power four decades ago. In 1979, it was involved in the Iran Hostage Crisis and the assassination of the Shah’s nephew in Paris. Throughout the decades since, it has been involved in the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, the Lebanon Hostage Crisis in 1982, a string of bomb attacks in Paris, the murder of Kazem Rajavi (the founder and leader of the MEK), attacked the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994, and attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington DC.

“Terrorism is used to support Iran’s political agenda in the Middle East and extend its influence on the “Shiite crescent” (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon), to fuel tensions in the Gulf Area…, to provoke the Israeli “arch enemy” … and to eradicate opponents living in exile,” Moniquet writes.

These four objectives underpin the Iranian terrorist machine. The regime uses its terror cells in Europe and around the world to further these objectives. The mullahs have employed terrorism to further these aims since the regime’s inception.

Why Now?

With these objectives in mind, it becomes clear why the regime is now intensifying its terror activities across the world.

The plots against the MEK were a deliberate attempt to damage the group and reduce its influence both abroad and within Iran. Since 2017, protests within Iran have spiraled. The MEK has been instrumental in organizing protests within the country. “Thus, to eradicate the opposition inside and outside Iran is a strategic goal for the regime for its survival,” Moniquet asserts.

Moniquet also suggests that the West’s inaction to previous terror attacks has contributed to a feeling of complacency within the regime that it can get away with terror attacks with relative impunity. “Tehran understood that it was possible to threaten and even attack Europe without having any price to pay,” he says.

“Those attacks benefitted Iran,” he added. Following attacks and bombings in Lebanon Western forces from the country, giving the Iranian regime what it craved. “Appeasement was the only European answer to the mullahs violence,” Moniquet writes.

Orders from the Top

Moniquet examines the regime’s mechanisms for planning terror attacks. He describes how the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), presided over by President Hassan Rouhani makes the regime’s decisions regarding terrorist operations and matters of national security.

The council has 12 permanent members including senior members of the regime leadership like Hassan Rouhani, Mohammad Ali Jafari (the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Cops), Mohammad Javad Zarif (the Minister of Foreign Affairs), and Mahmoud Alavi (the Minister of Intelligence).

Eight of the twelve members of the SNSC are under the direct control of the Supreme Leader, indicating that the Supreme Leader himself is implicit in the terror network of the Iranian regime.

What Next?

“So, the only question, today, is the following: what the European should do?”, Moniquet writes. Moniquet suggests an answer,

“European Union States must expel all the identified Iranian intelligence officers,” adding, “they must close all the Iranian sponsored institutions involved in terrorism or hate propaganda, they must blacklist all the officials linked to the MOIS and the IRGC  and all the institutions, companies and individuals linked to Iranian intelligence activities.”

“Last but not least,” Moniquet concludes, “they must condition political relations with Iran to a strict observance of human rights inside its borders and end of terrorist activities, support and funding outside its borders and they must support democratic opposition forces seeking fundamental and democratic change in Iran.”

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Ministerial conference in Poland

The Warsaw Ministerial Conference Must voice support for the Iranian People’s Protests

Ministerial conference in Poland

The Iranian diaspora in the United States, supporters of the MEK, call on the upcoming Ministerial conference in Warsaw to support the Iranian people’s uprising in Iran for regime change.

Ahead of the Warsaw Ministerial Conference, when governments will meet in the Polish capital on the 13th and 14th of this month to discuss the Iranian threat, the Iranian diaspora in the United States took out an ad in the Washington Times.

Fourteen Iranian-American groups, including the Association of Iranian Americans in New York, the California Society for Democracy in Iran, the Members of the Organization of Iranian American Communities, and the Iranian American Community of Massachusetts, took out the whole-page ad to demonstrate the need to hold the Iranian regime to account.

The Iranian People Deserve to Have Their Voices Heard

The Iranian diaspora in the United States call on the upcoming Ministerial Conference in Warsaw to support the Iranian people’s uprising.

The Iranian regime is the world’s leader in executions per capita. Its people suffer gross human rights abuses on a daily basis. In 2018, the regime detained more than 10,000 protestors in Iran. Their crime was merely taking to the streets to demonstrate their political opposition to the regime.

The political opposition living abroad have been the target of the world’s largest state-sponsored terror campaign. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) have been persecuted. In March, an Iranian plot was uncovered to attack their compound in Albania where more than 2,000 live in exile.

Then, in June, at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event where more than 100,000 international politicians and supporters meet in Paris, the Iranian regime orchestrated a plot to detonate a car bomb. The plan was foiled by Belgian authorities when they arrested a Belgian-Iranian couple en-route on the event in a car laden with explosives.

Beyond planning terror attacks, the Iranian regime is also financing terrorist and militia groups across the Middle East. Their finances flow to the coffers of Hezbollah, the Taliban, Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, and militia groups in Iraq.

The People Are Showing Their Anger

The regime’s heinous crimes and destabilizing activities have not gone unnoticed. The Iranian people launched a nationwide uprising at the beginning of 2018. The movement led to protests spreading across 160 cities and towns in the nation in all 31 of Iran’s provinces.

The MEK played a central role in these protests, facilitating communication through resistance units that distributed pamphlets and organized protests.

These protests represented a decisive moment in the opposition movement. The ranks of the protestors swelled to include teachers, students, merchants, farmers, nurses, retirees, investors, factory workers, and truck drivers. Demographics that the regime typically relied on for support have turned against the mullahs and are joining the opposition movement in larger numbers than ever before.

The statement by the Iranian diaspora, published in the Washington Times, expresses two points in bold. “Must voice support for the Iranian people’s uprising for a #FreeIran,” and “must hold Iran’s ruling theocracy accountable for its record.” The regime’s heinous and violent behavior and the momentum the Iranian opposition is building demonstrate the need for both. The mullahs’ current position is untenable. The international community would be well-placed to acknowledge that.

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Tom Ridge

Former US Homeland Security Secretary: The EU “Must Take Steps to Underscore the Existing Regime’s Illegitimacy

 

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge, Rudy Guiliani and Representative Robert Pittenger greet Maryam Rajavi – leader of Iran opposition as she joins them at the annual gathering of the MEK in Paris-June 2015

Tom Ridge, the former US Homeland Security Secretary (2001-2003) reiterated the threat the Iranian regime poses to democracies and called for a coordinated strategy from the European Union (EU) in addressing the Iranian threat. In an article published in the National Interest on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019, Ridge said:

“In January German authorities arrested an Afghan-German dual national for spying on behalf of the Iranian intelligence agency. The incident was far from the first, and only underscored the potential threat lurking behind each new revelation.”

There has been a surge in Iranian state-sponsored terrorism and intelligence operations over the last 13 months. In June, in what surmounted to one of the most high-profile plots, an Iranian diplomat was arrested in connection with a plot to bomb the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering event in Paris.

In March, two regime agents were arrested in Albania after targeting the Iranian opposition group once again. The agents had been monitoring the MEK’s compound outside the Albanian capital of Tirana with the intention of carrying out a terror attack during the Persian New Year celebrations.

Targeting the heart of the Iranian opposition

The MEK has always been the target of the regime’s ire but this has surged since the nationwide protests that broke out in Iran in January 2018. The protests quickly spread to more than 140 towns and cities in all 31 of Iran’s provinces.

The regime holds the MEK, a pro-democracy group, responsible. The MEK was instrumental in the protest’s organisation and communicated the plans with pro-democracy elements across Iran.

The MEK’s effectiveness and its central role in the Iranian opposition movement have made it a target for regime terror attacks. In addition to the Paris and Albania attacks, there have been assassination attempts, and murders carried out against MEK members.

A slow political response

Despite the Iranian regime’s numerous plots to kill and main MEK officials on European soil, the political backlash has been muted. France and Albania both expelled diplomats in the wake of the foiled plots, however, the EU has been reluctant to follow the US in adopting sanctions against the regime, rights Tom Ridge in his article.

The EU announced last month that it would introduce new sanctions targeting a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), but critics “do not believe they go nearly far enough,” Ridges writes.

“We know for a fact that there are ongoing conspiracies to spy on European entities and set the stage for further terrorist attacks,” Ridges asserts, “making it absolutely imperative for the EU and broader international community to address the issue.”

“Any solution must confront the Islamic Republic on multiple fronts,” he continued. The regime is forging closer bonds with extremist groups like the Taliban, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen. If it is sharing the information it has collected through spies in Europe and the US with these groups, the consequences could be catastrophic.

Desperate measures at home and abroad

In addition to the regime’s violent and aggressive activities abroad, it is intensifying its repressive and bloody policies at home.

Following nationwide protests, the regime has launched a crackdown against the political opposition within Iran. The regime has arrested thousands of protestors and executed political prisoners, but the protest movement shows no sign of losing its momentum.

Ridges argues that a coordinated strategy from the international community that attempts to modify the regime’s behavior both at home and abroad is the best way to reduce conflict and increase global stability.

When world leaders meet on February 13th and 14th in Warsaw, Ridges argues, they have the opportunity to construct a coordinated response to Iranian aggression. “The Warsaw summit could go a long way towards developing a coordinated strategy to contain Iran,” he says, “but no strategy would be complete unless it also reaches out to, and coordinates with, Iran’s organized domestic opposition;” the MEK.

Ridges concludes that the EU, “must take steps to underscore the existing regime’s illegitimacy. There is no better way to do that than standing behind the regime’s most active domestic opponents.”

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Prisoners in notorious Evin Prison suffer from harsh conditions

Prisoner Shares Details of Current Conditions at Iran’s Evin Prison

Prisoners in notorious Evin Prison suffer from harsh conditions

Conditions in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison worsen by the day.

Iran’s Evin Prison is notorious across the world for its squalid conditions and the brutal treatment of the inmates incarcerated there. The prison has been described as a “dungeon” and a “hellhole” that fails to meet even the low standards expected of Iranian prisons by the regime itself. MEK members and other political dissidents are held in Evin Prison along with regular criminals and have described shocking instances of torture and neglect while incarcerated in the infamous prison.

Recently an inmate at Evin Prison wrote about conditions at the prison, providing new details about daily life at the overcrowded and inhumane institution.

Food Meant for Livestock

The prisoner described basic eating and sleeping arrangements in terms that would be cruel if they were applied to animals: “The wards of Evin Prison are packed with inmates, far higher than the capacity,” he wrote. “Twenty to twenty-five inmates are held in one room, most of whom sleep on the floor. The food is very poor in quality. They use soya in the food that is specially made for livestock. The food literally cannot be eaten. There is no sign of vegetables or any protein-rich foods. The inmates are served half-cooked rice and soya on a daily basis.”

According to prison rules, inmates are entitled to a loaf of bread with each meal, but rations have been cut across the prison, and currently, prisoners only receive approximately half of that.

Inmates who can afford to do so can buy additional food through the prison store, but the quality is poor, fresh fruit only arrives every three weeks, and the prison marks up prices by at least 20% over retail, forcing many inmates to do without because of the high cost.

Lack of Basic Necessities

Inmates are also not provided with basic hygiene items and necessities that are required for daily living. The prisoner reported that inmates are required to purchase trash bags to clean their cells. Those who cannot afford to do so must instead perform chores, such as cleaning or picking up garbage.

Other items that used to be provided are no longer given to inmates. The prisoner wrote: “Each inmate must receive one razor, some tide, shampoo and a small towel, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. In the past four months, they have no longer provided toothpaste, toothbrushes or towels. Other hygiene necessities have been cut in half and shampoo is only provided once every two months.”

Lack of Access to Medical Care

Close quarters, lack of basic hygiene items, and scarcity of nutritious food lead to frequent illness among the prison population. Inmates who do get sick are rarely treated though. The prison’s medical clinic is understaffed, and the prison has no medicine.

“In regards to those who become ill, there is literally no medical care,” the prisoner wrote. “There is not even any medicine or medical care for simple cases of colds. Doctors only visit a very limited number of inmates each day. Each section with 200 inmates is only allowed to send five people for such visits. Even if you are able to be visited there is literally no medicine. Prison authorities say, ‘A noble individual must be found to purchase medicine because the prison has no responsibility in this regard.’”

The Iranian regime has been condemned 65 times by the U.N. for its human rights abuses. Evin Prison is the rule in Iran, not the exception. The MEK has repeatedly condemned the regime for its widespread human rights abuses and brutality.

 

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Remembering the Victims of 1988 on February 8th

A call for stopping executions in Iran

A demonstration by supporters of MEK in Paris, calling for an end to executions in Iran-February 2018

Elham Zajani of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published a piece for the Scoop calling for the mullahs’ crimes of 1988 to be thoroughly investigated and those responsible held to account.

The member of the NCRI’s Woman’s Committee quoted Anne Frank, “what is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it from happening again.” For Zajani, these lauded words from one of the Holocausts best-known victims evoke memories of atrocities carried out in Iran in the four decades of regime rule.

“In the summer of 1988,” she says, “the Iranian regime launched a nationwide massacre in its prisons throughout the country against political prisoners.” Ignited by Khomeini’s fatwa against the Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), regime agents rounded up and executed more than 30,000 members of the political opposition.

The operation was so brutal and vicious that Geoffrey Robinson, a human rights barrister who oversaw the appeal at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, called the atrocity the worst crime against humanity the globe has witnessed in the post-world war era.

Words Carved on Prison Walls

The mullahs have worked tirelessly to cover up their involvement in the executions. Most within the regime have avoided speaking on the subject and much of what is known about the massacre has been pieced together through witness testimonies and family members who were called to collect the bodies of their loved ones.

The victims themselves were unaware of what was about to happen. They were not offered the chance to say goodbye to their families. In many cases, their last words were hastily carved on prison walls. Their families were only notified once they had been executed.

Even young girls and pregnant women were not exempt, many of whom were raped before being dragged to the gallows.

Voices of Resistance from Within

Alireza Avaei, the current “Justice” Minister of Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, and a member of the “Death Committee” responsible for the 1988 Massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in Iran

The crimes were so abhorrent that some elements within the clerical regime spoke out against Khomeini. Hossein Ali Montazeri, the highest successor to the Supreme Leader and second in command of the regime warned those taking part in the executions that they were committing “the biggest crime under the Islamic Republic for which we will be condemned by history.”

However, his voice was alone, and his opposition to the massacre would ultimately lead to his removal from positions of power.

An Ongoing Crime

 

The fact that more than 30 years later, the regime still refuses to acknowledge the crimes it committed or provide any further information on how many victims’ lives it claimed makes the nature of the human rights abuses ongoing.

Members of Khomeini’s death squads who undertook the executions are still in positions of power in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet today.

Additionally, the regime has not learned its lesson. Human rights abuses and executions continue abated today. It is because of this that in a few weeks’ time, on Friday, February 8th, the Iranian opposition across Europe and their supporters will gather in Paris to protest the 40-years of regime rule. They will be calling for an end to executions and human rights abuses and support new democratic dawn for Iran.

Zanjani concludes, “it is finally time to hear their call.”

 Staff Writer

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Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Islamic revolution,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Iranian regime's 40 years of suppression,

Senior Member of the Assembly of Experts: The Islamic Republic is a “Blessing” for Iranians

Iranian regime's 40 years of suppression,

Credit to Iran News Wire- Infography- 40 years of terror and executions is the souvenir of the mullahs’ regime for the people of Iran

In an interview to mark the 40th anniversary of the clerical regime, Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of the Assembly of Experts, claimed that the Islamic Republic is a blessing for Iranians!

Khatami is known for his controversial statements and firebrand views. In 2009, he called on the regime to execute protestors that took to the streets following the disputed general election. He has also used Quranic verses to argue for the Iranian regime to continue the development of ballistic missiles.

The Islamic Republic: a “Blessing”

Under the clerical regime, corruption and economic mismanagement have put the Iranian economy in turmoil. “No sector has been left untouched by the regime’s elites,” Iran News Wire reports.

This did not seem to be on Khatami’s mind when he told an Iranian state-run broadcaster, “during these 40 years, more than 400 years of service has been provided to the people.”

Khatami also attempted to use the bloody torture and executions under the Shah as evidence of how far Iran has come under the Iranian regime. He told journalists, “the SAVAK carried out medieval torture methods. I recently read that there was someone who openly insulted the Shah, directly to the Shah’s face. The Shah ordered that he be thrown in the cage of hungry lions.”

He added, “I want to ask those who say there is no freedom in Iran whether they have seen or read about this? Thank God that there is freedom today and no one gets arrested for their opinion.”

His comments appear in direct contrast to Amnesty International’s latest report which asserts that more than 7,000 political prisoners were arrested by the Iranian regime in 2018, in what it called Iran’s “year of shame.”

He also failed to mention the many thousands of political prisoners that have been executed in regime custody. In the summer of 1988 alone, the Iranian regime executed more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The State “Deals with Subversionists”

Khatami acknowledged that the regime “deals with subversionists” but added that, “it’s not exclusive to our state. All the so-called democratic states do this.”

“Those who oppose the Islamic Republic have not experienced the rule of the Taghut (Shah) and if they did, they would understand what a blessing the Islamic Republic is,” Khatami asserted.

He also argued that the state was right to limit internet access and actually advocated for tighter controls. “I believe that those committed to the Islamic revolution and our Hezbollah (regime supporters) youth should enter these platforms, write documentaries and educate people,” he said.

“The command of the internet should be in the hands of the state,” he concluded.

A clear indication of the regime’s fear of Iran Protests

Khatami, who often head’s Tehran’s Friday prayers, hinted at the regime’s fears of what is to come in 2019. He claimed that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had suggested: “the enemy was looking to create mischief for subversion.”

“The signs of mischief are Trump’s remarks which he has made both publicly and privately that they want to overthrow the Iranian state,” Khatami continued. He also accused the US of seeking to destroy the regime in its organization of the Warsaw conference in February.

“The enemy is seeking to create a crisis,” he concluded.

The Supreme Leaders Health

Khatami also made comments in response to speculations that the Supreme Leader Khamenei’s health is in decline. “Thank God that our leader is in his best condition and is keen on exercising and taking walks,” he said. Sources close to the Supreme Leader have revealed that the Ayatollah is suffering from prostate cancer.

“It’s natural that we should also think about the future of the state,” he added. But he affirmed that the Assembly of Experts “had solutions” in the event that Khamenei was to die.

Staff Writer

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