Posts Tagged ‘Iran Opposition’

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MEK supporters rally in Brussels

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

MEK supporters rally in Brussels

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Hamid Azimi

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NCRI Iran's democratic alternative

The End of the Mullahs’ Regime Is Imminent

NCRI Iran's democratic alternative

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) the viable alternative to the dictatorship in Iran

The Iranian regime is in chaos due to an escalating economic crisis, rising social unrest, and growing international isolation. Forty years of failed policies have brought the mullahs to the inevitable end of their rule.

A recent editorial published on ncr-iran.org cited three factors that will lead to the imminent demise of the Iranian regime.

Social Unrest

The first factor cited was the growing unrest in Iran, which regime First Vice-President has described as a gas house ready to explode with a single ignition. The clerical regime’s continued repression of human rights and basic freedoms has led to widespread protests and rebellion.

The Presence of a Democratic Alternative

The second factor responsible for the regime’s terminal crisis is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI). The NCRI with the MEK as its backbone has risen as a viable democratic alternative to the clerical regime over the past forty years, gaining popular support within Iran. The regime’s numerous attempts to destroy the MEK through mass executions, underhanded diplomatic dealings, propaganda attacks, and terrorist plots have all failed.

The most recent foiled terrorist attacks on the MEK led to severe diplomatic consequences for the regime and its agents. The regime’s demonization campaign against the MEK has failed, and the opposition stands ready to bring democracy to Iran.

An End of the Era of Appeasement

The final unsolvable issue for the regime is the end of the era of appeasement. The mullahs have survived for the past forty years because Western governments turned a blind eye to their human rights abuses, nuclear and missile programs, and regional aggression. The current United States administration has taken the right approach in dealing with the Iranian regime. Last year, the U.S. reimposed oil sanctions on the Iranian regime. Earlier this year, it ended waivers to countries still receiving oil imports from the regime, with the goal of bringing the Iranian regime’s oil imports to zero. The U.S. also designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

The mullahs must now decide between two courses of action, both of which will lead to the end of the regime.

End its Malign Activities

The regime could meet the demands of the U.S and end its nuclear and missile programs, as well as its regional warmongering and terrorism. This is functionally impossible because the regime has shown itself to be incapable of reform. Khamenei has repeatedly said that a change in behavior is tantamount to a change in regime.

Increase Hostilities

The regime could further isolate itself and refuse to make changes. This would lead to war or internal collapse due to economic failure or social rebellion.

Both courses of actions would lead to the end of the regime, so the mullahs have chosen a third path: they are stalling for time.

The mullahs hope that the 2020 U.S. elections will lead to a change in policy. Until then, they hope to delay taking any action that will further antagonize the U.S. without making any concessions or appearing weak. This is a next-to-impossible task. There is also no guarantee that the 2020 elections will lead to a change in U.S. leadership.

At home, the mullahs are appointing repressive officials and cracking down on dissent to prepare for an inevitable rebellion. It seems clear that the mullahs know that the end is near.

Staff writer

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MEK supporters rally in different countries

MEK Supporters Rally in Europe, North America in Protest of Regime Crackdown

MEK supporters rally in different countries

World wrestling champion Moslem Skandar Filabi, chairman of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s Sports Committee speaks at a rally in Canada, condemning the new wave of repression against the opposition- May 2019

On Wednesday, MEK supporters in Canada, Norway, Austria, Sweden, and the Netherlands held demonstrations in protest of the Iranian regime’s suppression of its own people and its support for terrorism abroad.

Demonstrations in Canada

Protesters in Toronto honored the day of the execution of MEK founders by the Shah’s monarchy in 1972. Moslem Eskandar Filabi, chair of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Sports Commission gave a speech in commemoration of the MEK founders and their sacrifice. He also thanked the MEK members who have worked since then to bring democracy to Iran.

MEK protesters at the Ottawa demonstration called on the Canadian government to follow the United States’ lead and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. They also challenged the Canadian government to go further and designate the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as a terrorist organization as well. The Iranian protesters at the rally declared the desire of the Iranian people to overthrow the clerical regime and replace it with a free democracy.

Demonstration in Norway

NCRI representative Parvis Khazaei gave a speech at the demonstration in Oslo. Protesters at the rally called on the Norwegian government to blacklist the IRGC and MOIS and to issue sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Demonstration in Vienna

MEK supporters in Vienna held a rally in solidarity with the MEK’s growing network of Resistance Units in Iran and their fight to bring democracy to the country. The protesters held signs that read, “Uprising with Resistance Units.” They chanted, “[Iranian regime President Hassan] Rouhani is a terrorist!”

Demonstration in The Netherlands

MEK supporters in The Netherlands held a demonstration in Amsterdam in protest of the cruel and suppressive actions taken by the IRGC against the Iranian people. The protesters held signs describing the IRGC’s forty-year-history of torture, suppression, executions, and malign activities at home and abroad.

Demonstration in Switzerland

MEK Supporters in Genevee held a rally outside of the United Nations European Headquarters. One protester held a sign that read, “Effective sanctions targeting the mullahs’ regime is needed to stop the regime’s support for terrorism.”

The protesters chanted, “Plundering, crimes, Down with the mullahs’ regime!”

Demonstrations in Sweden

MEK members in Stockholm held a rally in support of NCRI President Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. The demonstrators reaffirmed their commitment to fighting for regime change in Iran.

MEK supporters in Gothenburg recognized the anniversary of the execution of MEK founders. They held signs saluting the MEK’s Resistance Units.

MEK supporters in Malmö focused on the Iranian regime’s human rights violations at their rally. One protester held a sign that read, “Teachers don’t belong in prison.”

 

The sign was in reference to the imprisonment of teacher activists by the Iranian regime. Teachers in Iran held numerous strikes and protests in 2018, including three nationwide strikes. The teachers were protesting substandard pay and benefits, a poor work environment, the inability to form labor unions, and the regime’s refusal to address their concerns. Because of the regime’s anti-labor laws banning trade unions and its aggressive crackdown on political dissent, a number of the teachers responsible for organizing the strikes and protests were arrested. Many of them are now serving long prison sentences.

 

 

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Only Free and Unfettered Access to Iranian Nuclear Sites Can Prevent the Mullahs Developing Nuclear Weapons

Chairman Mohaddessin, in charge of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-FAC), during an online conference call-June 2015

Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani announced that the regime will partially withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, a year after the United States exited the arrangement. He told the P5+1 nations that they had 60 days to renegotiate financial and oil deals. Failure to do so would result in the regime’s partial withdrawal.

International Condemnation

Several governments condemned the announcement, including France’s Defence Minister Florence Parly.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) stated in a tweet that “Stockpiling enriched uranium and heavy water are violations of JCPOA and the UNSC Resolution 2231. It shows the need to total shut down of enrichment, heavy water, and all nuclear sites, exposing military aspects of the nuclear project, and snap inspections of all sites more imperative.”

Referring to President-elect Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition’s message Subsequent to the temporary nuclear agreement with P5+1 on Nov. 2013 Mohaddessin reminded that “the full implementation of the Resolutions, in particular, complete stop of enrichment, and free access to the IAEA inspectors are necessary steps to prevent mullahs from obtaining the bomb.”

Free Access to Inspectors

Mohaddessin’s comments highlight concerns often cited by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The Iranian opposition has frequently expressed concerns over the nuclear deal and claimed that the Iranian regime continued to secretly enrich Uranium in pursuit of developing nuclear weapons.

During last December uprisings and on various other occasions, the Iranian public has expressed their quest for the regime to abandon its pursuit of atomic weapons. The relentless investment in missile capabilities and nuclear programs is a drain on Iranian resources and finances. At a time when the country is on the brink of economic collapse and more than 70% of Iranians live in poverty, it is an unnecessary and wasteful expense.

“It is a tool to survive religious fascism which is faced with popular outrage and is on the verge of the overthrow,” Mohaddessin said in a Tweet.

In the face of mounting domestic protests, the regime has resorted to increasing military spending and missile development to expand the tools of repression in its arsenal. It relies on violent organs like the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and Quds forces to maintain its grip on power. Abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons would be a major blow to the regime’s hegemonic ambitions in the region.

Staff writer

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

MEK Celebrates Nowruz 1398 in Tirana

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

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

On Wednesday, March 20th, members of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance gathered in Tirana, Albania, to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which begins on the March 21st at the moment of the vernal equinox. The celebration included speeches from the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Maryam Rajavi, former Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, and Deputy Director of the Albanian Democratic Party Edmond Spaho, along with a fireworks display and entertainment.

Maryam Rajavi’s Speech

Maryam Rajavi’s speech highlighted the successes of the MEK and the Iranian opposition over the past year and the progress that has been made in leading the country toward freedom. She described the mullahs’ failed efforts to suppress the Iranian opposition and discredit the MEK, and she provided a roadmap for the upcoming year.

“In these moments just after the turn of the year, we stand with Iran’s workers whose dinner tables are without food,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

“We stand alongside our farmers whose farms are dry and without water. We stand with the honorable teachers of Iran who are discriminated against and humiliated, who are forced to live under the poverty line, and who are imprisoned for their legitimate protests. And we are in alliance with and fighting alongside the army of millions of unemployed youth and graduates whose numbers grow by the year,” she continued.

Rajavi praised the MEK Resistance Units for their work in 1397, the previous Iranian calendar year. “1397 was the year of the expansion of Resistance Units when the strategy of 1,000 Ashrafs and the army of freedom shined brighter than ever in our occupied homeland. In 1397, the uprisings and protests shook the ground under the mullahs’ regime. Last year, the National Liberation Army culminated in 1,000 Ashrafs and Resistance Units, which sprouted in cities across the country. The policy of appeasement was defeated and the mullahs lost one of the main pillars propping up their rule,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi discussed Iran’s failing economy and described the measures the regime has taken to sell off the country’s resources in order to postpone its inevitable downfall. She emphasized the futility of these efforts. The people have already begun to rise up.

“Still, this regime,” Mrs. Rajavi stressed, “which is close to its downfall, will not be able to save itself with the aid of such treacherous acts. In short, the mullahs have no way out in the face of nationwide uprisings and protests that are encircling them. This results from an understanding of the essence of the uprisings and offers a summary of the past year’s events. The regime’s death knell and internal tensions have left no more openings for it to display hollow shows of moderation.”

Mrs. Rajavi pointed to the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as the new Judiciary Chief as a sign of desperation by the regime, meant to heal rifts between factions in the government

“Moderation was put to death by the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as Chief Justice. He is a hated mass murderer who ran against Rouhani in the regime’s presidential elections. Raisi’s appointment was a coup de grace to the elusive myth of moderation. This while Rouhani’s government is half-paralyzed as their showcase foreign minister keeps sitting at home every other day or resigns,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi pointed out that the problems in Iran go further than any specific crisis within the regime. “Now, the strategy and stances of the Iranian Resistance are echoed by the words and demands of workers, truckers, teachers, students, farmers and all protesters throughout the country: The overthrow of the clerical regime is the desire and demand of all the people of Iran. The problem is not whether this regime is engulfed in this or that crisis; the problem is that the mullahs’ rule is in crisis altogether. Yes, the crisis is the crisis of overthrow,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded her speech with a description of a free Iran: “We want an Iran replete with freedoms, where children and youths are happy, where talents and potentials are realized, and where women play their role in the leadership of society; a country that lives in peace, friendship, and coexistence with its neighbors. The people of Iran deserve such a country and they will write and create such a destiny with their own hands.”

Pandeli Majko’s Speech

Former Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko followed Mrs. Rajavi’s speech with his own warm wishes for the new year, referring to Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Tirana, as the Iranian embassy.

“Everything that is coming is new and hope. Albania and Albanians have one of the best embassies for Iran. It is Ashraf. We are proud to have friends like you and Madame Rajavi. No doubt, she will lead the future of Iran. Happy New Year!” he said.

Edmond Spaho’s Speech

Edmond Spaho, Deputy Director of the Albanian Democratic Party, also praised the Iranian Resistance in a speech and noted his support for expelling Iranian regime diplomats from Albania for their involvement in terrorist activities.

“With your efforts and the struggles of the Iranian people, next year, God willing, we’ll celebrate New Year in Iran. The future belongs to the people of Iran. Without a doubt, Iran will be free and produce prosperity for its people and stability in the region,” Spaho said.

“Despite the fact that my party is currently the opposition, we are unified to support you and we even support the actions of the government to expel Tehran’s diplomats who were involved in terrorist activities,” he added.

Staff writer

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Hon. Bob Blackman MP

British MP Describes Climate of Fear in the Regime’s Leadership

Hon. Bob Blackman MP

MP Bob Blackman, during a video message in support of MEK’s Free Iran gathering-June 2018

A Member of the UK Parliament (MP) penned an op-ed for Politics Home on March 4th, 2019. The piece was a response to the Warsaw Conference which took place the previous month. Bob Blackman, who represents the Harrow East constituency and is a member of the UK’s Conservative Party, describes the precarious situation in which the Iranian regime now finds itself. With shrinking international support, rampant infighting, and an opposition movement grows stronger by the day, the MP concludes that the regime is in a crisis.

Sounding Alarm Bells

Following the Warsaw Conference and the emergence of an international coalition united against Iranian expansionism and state-sponsored terrorism, Blackman describes how Iranian government officials are “sounding alarm bells”.

The conference represented a landmark moment in the history of Iranian policy. There has been nothing like it in the last 30 years, and the threat to the regime was only enhanced by the scores of Iranian opposition protestors that gathered alongside the Warsaw Conference to vent their frustrations.

MEK Supporters Rally for Second Day Outside of Warsaw Conference

The US is Leading the Charge

There have been signs that the US will not tolerate a violent and murderous regime in the Middle East undermining regional security and running roughshod over human rights with impunity. Vice-President Mike Pence told Europe in no uncertain terms that the US expected the union to adopt a firmer stance against the violent Iranian regime. He said, “the time has come for our European partners to stop undermining US sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime.”

His comments prompted a response from Khamenei which was significant for several reasons. The Iranian Supreme Leader told his colleagues that they “should not fear the enemy,” a comment that was revealing for Blackman.

Fear is Taking Hold

Blackman wrote that this comment “clarifies two issues.” Firstly, “the panic and fear of the regime’s followers have now spread to decision-makers at the top of the regime.” Secondly, that “the growing fear in officials is not an isolated case and has overtaken the entire theocracy.”

This fear, Blackman asserts, is the result of escalating domestic and international crises. At home, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has been relentless in its pursuit for Iranian democracy and regime change. It has mobilized large swathes of the population against the mullahs and used its political influence abroad to draw international attention to the regime’s glaring human rights abuses.

The MEK represents a “viable democratic alternative to the current theocratic regime,” Blackman wrote, and that makes them an existential threat to the clerical regime. Its resistance units, consistently praised by the Iranian opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, are active across Iranian towns and cities and are busy encouraging protest against the regime’s repressive and violent policies.

Blackman concludes, “it is clear that February was a very tumultuous month for Iran’s regime.” In the words of senior Iranian cleric Makarem Shirazi, “there is no going back.”

Staff Writer

 

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Ashraf III, MEK's main residence in Albania

Struan Stevenson Calls Out the Western Media for Its Lies and Hit Pieces Against the MEK

Ashraf III, MEK's main residence in Albania

Ashraf III, the main place of residence of MEK members in Albania. The book “Ashraf III – Rising From The Ashes” debunks Iranian regime’s attempts to demonize the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK)

Struan Stevenson’s new book, ‘Ashraf III— Rising from the Ashes’ charts the regime’s attempts to demonize the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Speaking at a press conference, the former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) told reporters, “they [the regime] are providing some of the most ludicrous lies and slanders to the press.”

He called out the Guardian and the Independent, two British newspapers, for publishing these lies and falsehoods, and called a recent hit piece in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine “astonishing”. “Der Spiegel last December, admitted that one of their most famous sub-editors and journalists, Claas Relotius, had been writing fake stories made up of absolute fiction.” Stevenson lamented that even though Relotius was fired, “suddenly we see Der Spiegel published a long, ludicrous article about Ashraf III… claiming that, amongst other things, that three times a week PMOI (MEK) are being trained how to cut throats, gouge out eyes with their fingers and tear people’s mouths open.”

Stevenson describes how Der Spiegel’s unsupported and blatantly false claims were made all the worse as the magazine had been invited to visit Ashraf III, but editors rejected the invitation. Any print journalist would know that to carry out due diligence as a reporter and publish a piece with journalistic integrity, Der Spiegel had the responsibility to accept the MEK’s invitation and send reporters to Ashraf III. If they had, they would have immediately seen the claims for the lies and propaganda that they are.

Stevenson visited Ashraf III in 2018 and knows first hand what goes on in the camp.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Reporting in This Way Glosses Over the Mullahs’ Atrocities

“This kind of horrible fake news and attempts to blacken and demonize the PMOI (MEK) simply plays into the hands of the mullahs,” Stevenson continued. “Not a mention in that article about the human rights atrocities that go on, on a daily basis, not a mention of the 30,000 political prisoners summarily executed in 1988,” he added.

When it publishes hit pieces against the pro-democratic opposition, the international media ignores these atrocities and becomes little more than a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime, attacking the opposition and glossing over the regime’s own violent deeds.

A Muted Response from European Governments and Institutions

Stevenson doesn’t lay the blame squarely at the foot of the media, although it has a lot to answer for. His book is also heavily critical of Europe’s institutions. He criticizes Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, for what he calls, “her continued attempts to appease the mullahs” and ignore their blatant human rights abuses in Iran.

For Stevenson, her inaction has been inexcusable. “They [the mullahs] have used their own so-called diplomats in Europe to perpetrate acts of terrors, trying to commit atrocities on European soil!” he exclaimed.

“A Pivotal Moment in World History”

Europe’s inaction is particularly damning because Stevenson asserts, we are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Iranian regime. “We are witnessing the final collapse of the theocratic dictatorship in Iran,” he said, “I think it is a pivotal moment in world history.”

Stevenson asserts that Europe and international governments are faced with a choice; they can choose to back the violent dictatorship in their repression and human rights violations, or they can back the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and democracy.

Stevenson was clear about which side he would back. He concluded, “I know which side I am on, thank you very much.”

Staff Writer

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Struan Stevenson holds his book "Self Sacrifice"

Struan Stevenson:Good news, The Opposition is Headed By a Charismatic Female Leader Maryam Rajavi

Struan Stevenson holds his book "Self Sacrifice"

Struan Stevenson, Former MEP and the Coordinator of Campaign for Iran Change, holds his book on his experience with MEK.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Struan Stevenson, a former member of the European Parliament (MEP) and frequent Iran commentator wrote his latest piece for UPI. His op-ed called on women in the West to lend their support to Iranian women in their fight to break free from the repressive policies of the Iranian regime.

Stevenson calls Iranian women, “among the most repressed in the world, ruled by a regime dominated by elderly, bearded misogynists.”

For this reason, Iranian women have played a central role in the Iranian opposition movement. They have been central figures in the protest movement that has swept across all 31 of Iran’s provinces. “Female teachers, medical staff, students, factory workers, and pensioners have taken to the streets to demand an end to corruption, and an end to discrimination and repression and an end to the clerical regime’s aggressive military adventurism across the Missile East,” Stevenson writes.

Leading Figures in the Calls for Regime Change

The largest voices in the calls for Iranian regime change come from the most influential and popular opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Within the MEK, many of the senior leadership is made up of women. Its leader, the president-elect Maryam Rajavi, is also female and is held in high esteem by political figures from around the world.

Women, in particular, have been mobilized by the regime’s repressive policies and discriminatory practices towards women. Stevenson describes some of these laws, “in Iran, women are considered the property of their closest male relative and have no legal rights. Girls of 9 can be married off by their parents.”

In the Iranian legal system, evidence provided by a woman is worth half that provided by a man. As a result, women cannot charge a man with rape unless they have four credible witnesses, a near impossibly high standard.

A Violent and Aggressive Brand of Fundamentalism

Prior to the 1979 revolution that brought the mullahs and their regime to power, Khomeini criticized the Shah’s permissive attitude towards women voting. He cited an extremist interpretation of Islamic teaching and called gender equality a “defiance of some of the explicit commandments of the Qoran.”

Following the revolution, as expected, Khomeini retracted many women’s rights. The regime prevents females riding bicycles, forces them to wear the hijab, and scrutinized the way they dress.

Under the clerical regime, gender violence has drastically increased. Stevenson says, “girls who were deemed to be improperly dressed in the street have suffered horrific acid attacks and stabbings, in assaults openly condoned by the mullahs.” Even something as innocuous as dancing or singing on social media can be enough to get a girl flogged or fined.

Women Around the World Should Stand with Iran’s Women

In a public statement, the former first lady of Algeria, Anissa Boumediene pledged her support to Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. The statement read, “yes, we stand with you Maryam, as we stand with all our Iranian sisters in your fierce fight seeking to free Iranian women from what enchains and imprisons them.”

Stevenson concludes, “her words should resonate in the West, where female politicians and activists must show solidarity with their oppressed and brutalized Iranian sisters.” They can do this by pledging support to Maryam Rajavi and the MEK, who are fighting tirelessly for freedom, gender equality, and democratic secularism for Iran to give the nation’s daughters a brighter future.

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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Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Iran’s Regime is “a Lot Weaker Than You Would Expect”

Maryam Rajavi's quote on Fox News

Fox news quoting Maryam Rajavi, leader of Iran opposition in response to recent remarks by Secretary Pompeo emphasizing an end to the U.S. policy of appeasement towards the mullahs in Iran.

During coverage of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s nine-nation tour of the Middle East, Fox News aired Pompeo’s speech he made on Friday, January 11th.

In the speech, the Secretary of State denounced the Iranian regime’s “malign activity” as “creating enormous instability here in the region”. Pompeo announced that the US would arrange a world summit on Iran, to be held in Poland in February 2019, where the international community would explore avenues of curbing the regime’s influence in the region.

Fox News interviewed Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who spoke about his recent visit to the Middle East and meetings he had with top leaders in the region.

Dubowitz described leaders’ concerns about the Iranian regime and its “destructive and malign activities.”

He said, “dozens of countries, including the Europeans, understand, the Iranian regime is engaged in assassinations, support for terrorism, and building ballistic missiles,” he continued, “not to mention brutal human rights abuses within Iran.”

MEK, The Largest Opposition Group

Fox News then aired footage of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering, held outside Paris. Eric Shawn, the Fox News host, described how the Iranian regime had plotted to bomb the event, attended by more than 100,000 MEK supporters and allies from across the world.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

Shawn pointed out that among those in attendance were several former US officials, including Trump’s lawyer and former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who, Shawn said, “speak every year,” at the event.

Fox News aired comments from the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi, in response to Pompeo’s speech in Cairo. Mrs. Rajavi said,

“the US Secretary of State reiterated that when America partners with enemies such as the mullahs, ‘they advance’ gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights, export of fundamentalism, and terrorism,” which Ms. Rajavi says, “are the four pillars holding up the theocratic regime ruling Iran.”

Maryam Rajavi President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), emphasized, “the ultimate solution for discarding the mullahs’ religious fascism is changing this illegitimate regime at the hands of the Iranian people and Resistance.”

Shawn put the question to Dubowitz, asking “can that ever be done?”

“These regimes are actually a lot weaker than you would expect,” Dubowitz asserted. “Hopefully within our lifetime, we will see the end of the Islamic Republic, which is the best guarantee for global security.”

 

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