Posts Tagged ‘Iran human rights’

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Spiegel is part of Iranian regime's propaganda against MEK

“The Cult-Like Group Fighting Iran” is Fake News by Der Spiegel

Spiegel is part of Iranian regime's propaganda against MEK

The Spiegel Magazine joins Iranian regime’s propaganda machine against Iran’s main democratic opposition the MEK. The Iranian communities expressed their outrage over the lies and fabrications reported by Der Spiegel-February 2019

Der Spiegel’s Hit Piece: Shoddy Journalism or Evidence of a Conflict of Interest?

As the dust settles on the Warsaw conference and the Iranian regime are forced to come to terms with the US’s concerted efforts to build a united international front against Iranian regime aggression, regime allies are intensifying attacks on the Iranian opposition.

Over 65 world leaders gathered in Warsaw to discuss ways of containing the Iranian threat and bring stability to the Middle East and the wider region. On the sidelines of the conference, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest and most influential Iranian pro-democracy group, organized rallies and protests against the regime and its four-decade hold on Iranian politics.

High-profile political figures from around the world turned out to support the MEK, including former New York Mayor and Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The size and scale of the rallies, as well as the support they drew, drew international attention to the MEK and the leader of Iran opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi.

While this was a major step forward for Iranian democracy and the opposition movement, the increased profile of the opposition group caused a ripple of concern among the Iranian regime.

A Fearful Regime

The more international recognition the MEK and the Iranian opposition get, the more fearful the regime becomes. The group represents the most viable alternative to regime rule. Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan outlines a clear plan of action for installing a democratic government in Iran following the fall of the regime. The group’s very existence is a threat to the regime’s future survival.

As shockwaves of concern spread across the regime in the aftermath of the Warsaw conference, the regime’s allies intensified its attempts to publicly demonize the MEK and the Iranian opposition.

Spiegel Online or a Mouthpiece for Iran’s Dictatorship

These attempts cumulated in an article published from Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine. Entitled “Gefangene der Rebellion”, the article was a hit-piece designed to sway public opinion against the MEK and curb its rising popularity.

The article’s claims are the same as those that have previously been touted by the Iranian regime, many of which have been publicly disproved on numerous occasions.

A German Delegation Visits the MEK Compound in Albania

However, the most concerning aspect of Der Spiegel’s article is not the mistruths and lies present in the text, but the complete lack of basic journalistic integrity and abandonment of journalistic principles. In the wake of the magazine’s recent Claas Relotius revelations (in which a prominent writer and journalist was found to have fabricated interviews with sources and experiences in his articles), the magazine has evidently not improved its fact-checking and information gathering practices.

This is all the more concerning considering that Der Spiegel publicly apologized following the Relotius scandal and maintained that the magazine was working to tighten its internal vetting and fact-checking processes.

A Flawed Fact-Gathering Process

An analysis of the magazine’s fact-finding process exposes a lack of journalistic integrity and the absence of even basic journalistic principles.

The writer interviewed regime affiliates, members of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), and ex-members of the MEK, all of whom have a clear anti-MEK agenda, yet did not confer with the MEK itself, Albanian authorities, or international politicians that have visited the MEK’s compounds to verify any of the MOIS and regime allies’ claims.

The MEK reached out to Der Spiegel and invited the magazine to the group’s compound in Albania to see how the group lives. The magazine declined the offer, preferring instead to rely on regime accounts.

Similarly, the reporter interviewed the father of 38-year old Somayeh Mohammadi, who claims his daughter is being held by the MEK against her will. Not only are the claims untrue (Mohammadi has his claims dismissed by an Albanian court following a full hearing) but Somayeh has often spoken to journalists and politicians, including former Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson, about how the claims are inaccurate and her father is a regime agent.

A Conflict of Interest?

At best, the article exposes a lack of integrity. However, many are speculating that there may be something more contrived afoot. The reporter allegedly lived in Iran for several months before writing the article. They also reportedly spent time with the Basij militia, a regime-affiliated militia organization. Given that the reporter declined to do the same with the MEK, it could be indicative of a severe conflict of interest.

More concerningly, on November 24, part of the article appeared on a website affiliated with the MOIS, with the addendum that the full article was published in Der Spiegel, although the full article had not yet been published. This indicates a deep level of collaboration between the Iranian regime and the reporter. It indicates that the regime itself had access to parts of the article long before it appeared in print.

As the MEK gathers momentum, both at home and abroad, and the Iranian regime finds itself confronted by a highly-mobilized and determined Iranian population, it feels its only chance of survival is to attack the Iranian opposition.

Der Spiegel’s latest article must be seen for what it is: the latest regime attempt to vilify and undermine its political opponents and silence dissent. It is nothing more than a political weapon to curb the rising popularity of the MEK. But the MEK is not the only victim. International journalism suffers when the Iranian regime uses it as a propaganda mouthpiece.

As long as international media outlets are unprepared to install rigorous fact-checking and editing standards, disinformation and lies will be allowed to propagate.

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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.

Staff Writer

 

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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.

Staff Writer

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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.”

Staff Writer

 

 

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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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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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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.”

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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.

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The time has come to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Lord Clarke: The time has come to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Lord Anthony Clarke, addresses the MEK Free Iran Rally by expressing his support for freedom and democracy to overcome the current dictatorship ruling Iran-July 2016

On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Daily Caller published a piece from the former chair of the UK Labour Party, Lord Anthony Clarke. In his piece, Clarke laments the lack of moderation among the Iranian regime leadership.

Clarke begins, “in February 1979, the people of Iran threw off the rule of one dictator, only to watch as religious extremists installed another.” The Iranian regime which secured power 40-years-ago this year has proven to be just as hard-line as their predecessors, pulling the Iranian population out of the metaphorical frying pan and into a fire.

“In recent years, there has been talk of a trend toward “moderation” among Iran’s leadership,” Clarke writes. However, to interpret current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderate is a misinterpretation of the Iranian political landscape.

Under Rouhani, Iran has continued to undermine stability across the Middle East. The regime has continued to funnel money to terrorist organizations in the region, and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Forces are active in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Clarke describes “the reality of the situation,” which is that while the nuclear deal held Iran’s nuclear activities “partially in check, [Iran’s] overall behaviors were emboldened by what the regime’s opponents tend to call “policies of appeasement.”

These behaviors that have undermined the stability in the Middle East will be the focal point of discussions at an upcoming international conference in Warsaw.

A Firmer Stance from the US

Following Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the Trump administration and the United States government have adopted a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime. The US president accused Tehran of violating the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231 which prohibited the development and testing of ballistic missiles.

Trump and his cabinet have also called out Iran’s role in regional conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

One common theme is the US government’s rhetoric against the Iranian regime has been the plight of Iranian citizens. Nobody has suffered more under the violent, repressive, hard-line policies of the mullahs. Trump has referred to the Iranian people as the “longest suffering victims” of the dictatorship.

A Firmer Stance from Europe?

Clarke draws attention to the recent incidents of state-sponsored terrorism directed against the regime’s opponents on European soil.

In March, two regime agents were arrested after a planned attack against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Albania was foiled. Then, in June, another plot against the MEK, this time targeting the pro-democracy group’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris was scuppered.

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

“The vast majority of these targets were affiliated with the NCRI,” Clarke writes, “whose members already comprise the vast majority of persons who have been murdered by the Iranian regime.”

In 1988, 30,000 MEK/NCRI members were executed in a single summer. No investigation or acknowledgment of wrongdoing has emerged from within the regime. “Quite to the contrary,” Clarke says, “numerous high-ranking officials have been explicitly advocating for greater levels of brutality in their repression of dissent.”

Clarke continues, “the Iranian Judiciary continues to defy the international community over matters like the execution of juvenile offenders and it continues to push for death sentences as punishment for those who have participated in the past year’s nationwide protests.”

Clarke concludes, “although the Trump administration has avoided the phrase regime change, it is sure to use the Warsaw conference to push for policies that trend in that direction. The time has come for what opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said was “imperative to rectifying” four decades of relative inaction in the face of ongoing abuses by the Iranian regime.”

Staff Writer

 

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Ashraf3,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI,The National

MEK members in Ashraf3

The National Publishes Report about MEK’s Cyber Warriors and Their Fight to Counter Regime Censorship

MEK members in Ashraf3

Photo credit to The National-Three #MEK members who live in Ashraf3 city in Albania posing for a photo for “The National”-January 2019

The Scottish Website The National recently published a report about the MEK’s cyber-warriors working inside Ashraf 3 in Tirana, Albania. The report explains the role of the MEK research team in spreading information about the people’s uprising currently taking place in Iran.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Ashraf 3 is a compound in Tirana for MEK members who were relocated from their previous camp in Iraq. According to The National, Ashraf 3 had only a few hundred residents when it was founded in 2013, but it now houses over 2,500 MEK members.

The uprising in Iran has been taking place in cities and towns across Iran for over a year, but the protests and strikes are largely unreported inside Iran by state media. According to The National, the MEK’s cyber warriors use encrypted social media channels to broadcast video clips of the protests recorded on mobile devices to their supporters in Iran.

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

The camp members are exiled from their home country, but according to resident Forough Moezzi, who works in the information unit, ““It’s not a refugee camp – we are a resistance movement so our lives and our work is part of the struggle against the Iranian regime. We live here together and plan the future. We want to go back to Iran – a free Iran – and I think it will be very soon because we see international sanctions and pressure on the regime. I believe freedom is very near.”

Moezzi and her sister joined the MEK when the camp was still located at Ashraf in Iraq. She has been at Ashraf 3 for two years. After she joined the MEK, her father returned to Iran. She said: “When he returned to Iran the regime attacked our home just because my sister and I were here, and he was tortured for more than 10 years. Although he had cancer they wanted to kill him just because his daughters supported PMOI. The regime executed my uncle when he was 23 for the same reason.”

Parvin Poureghbalie is another MEK member who is committed to helping Iranians still inside the country. Poureghbalie studied in Iran in 1980, a year after the 1979 Revolution, and said that violence against dissenters started around that time.

She said: “I was in one of the smaller cities in Iran – Kerman – we were about 180 young girls and we were arrested. From that 180 the majority were either killed or disappeared, some went to other countries and only a small number are still in Iran.

“I feel I have a heavy responsibility for them. The people are starving and searching the garbage for food in a very rich country.

“Workers have been asking why they haven’t had their salaries for months. Just to get their salaries they have to demonstrate.

“We have taken a long and hard path but now we are sure that our return is coming closer. The time we go back to a free Iran will be very soon.”

Mohammad Shafaei was orphaned at the age of eight when the regime killed most of his family. His father, a physician, was shot for treating wounded resistance members, and his brother was tortured to death in Evin Prison, according to The National.

Now Shafaei works on the MEK’s research team, which helps Iranian citizens circumvent regime censorship in order to access the Internet and messaging apps.

Shafaei also works to curb “malign Iranian activity” by identifying fake apps and spyware. The research team has a television channel that is broadcast on Telegram, a messaging app that is used by almost half of the Iranian population.

“Our focus is on Telegram and Instagram because other social media like Facebook and Twitter are banned,” says Shafaei. “What we do is provide proxies to let the people circumvent internet censorship so they can see the demonstrations and unrest in their own country. Iran uses fake applications or spyware, spreads them among users in the country to trace their connections – so we try to disclose all these activities in cyberspace.

“They have their own version of the Telegram client and they use it to collect user information and we investigate all these things and provide reports of what these apps do.”

Staff Writer

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