Posts Tagged ‘Iran Protests’

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Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3 Hosts International Panel on Iran Policy and MEK’s Role in Iran’s Democratic Future

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative – MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, hosted an international conference on Thursday, July 11th entitled “Policy on Iran and a Viable Alternative.” A panel of prominent politicians and dignitaries from the United States and Europe offered their perspectives on the best approach to dealing with the Iranian regime. They also discussed the need for the international community to support the MEK as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Moderator:

  • Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Lincoln Bloomfield

Panelists:

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • Former Commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps James Conway
  • University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan
  • Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ambassador Robert Joseph
  • Former Foreign Minister of Canada
  • Former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli

The following are some of the most notable moments from the day’s event. (Questions in bold type were asked by panel moderator Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield.)

What is the Achilles heel of the mullahs’ regime?

Sen. Torricelli “There’s a fundamental belief that things will work out. The future is not as bad as the past. Even a despotic regime will reform itself over time. That’s a handicap for us. The Iranian regime is not going to reform. It’s not going to change.”

“The second handicap is, those who would accommodate the regime take the high ground because they’re speaking out against war. Here’s the problem: first of all, there is a war. There’s no one fighting back. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by their own government. There’s been a war waged on the Iranian people since 1979. Those who would argue for patience and time have no moral high ground.”

Where can we have the maximum effect on pushing the regime back?

Amb. Joseph: “The right policy is whatever accelerates the end of this regime. The wrong policy is what prolongs the life of this regime. Appeasement has turned out to be not just a failure but also counter to American interests. We should start with maximum pressure, and the administration has been doing a good job. The sanctions are having a deep impact on the Iranian economy.

“If we show weakness, it’s provocative. When we show strength, the regime backs down. It’s important that we always keep in mind that the show of strength is key to success.”

“Land invasion is not what’s necessary. Change has to come from within [Iran]. A more effective policy would include calling out the regime on its gross human rights violations. We don’t do that often enough.”

“We should negotiate on nuclear affairs, but we have to keep in mind what our principles are. We should not be victim of the mindset that negotiations mean compromise and giving the other party concessions. That is what happened in the JCPOA.

“Our focus ought to be calling them out, and combining these tools, whether its sanctions or the military, that will facilitate the end of this regime.”

What’s the right strategy to impair the military of the Iranian regime? Is it something we should be looking at? What else could we be thinking of that would undermine the cohesion of this criminal enterprise?

Prof. Sheehan: “The contest is ultimately over the right to think freely. The regime fears the truth, they fear facts. We must hold panels like this and expand the truth. We must give the Iranian people a sense of what’s going on around them and the idea that there is this viable alternative.

“The Iranian opposition does not fear the truth, and they know ultimately that it is on their side. With time these ideas will lead to the revolution that we’d all like to see take place.”

Should we be more specific about the guilt of the Iranian regime?

Baird: “We can exploit the regime’s vulnerability, to support the people of Iran. The regime realizes that when it falls, they will have no place to go. The senior members of this regime know that they will have nowhere to go and they will be held to account for their crimes such as the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina.”

Sen. Torricelli: “No one can seriously believe this regime will last long. It’s an unsustainable situation. If you’re in the leadership today, there’s going to be a moment in your life when you’re going to be held accountable.”

What messages are the ones that really hurt the regime the most and isolate them among their people?

Amb. Joseph: “We must continue to push forward on exposing the regime’s brutality and its human rights violation. In the information space, we ought to focus on how this regime has failed the people. Just look at their inability to respond to the recent flooding. It is an incompetent regime. That is a vulnerability that would further deteriorate support for this regime in Iran, which is already decreasing day after day, month after month, year after year.”

Do the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) deserve to wear a uniform at all, given their unprofessional behavior?

General Conway, “Iran’s regime invariably gets greedy. Every one of the leaders of this regime have Swiss bank accounts that are growing while the people of Iran are living in poverty. We should expose that and let the people know who their leadership is.”

What will do the trick [to overthrow the mullahs]?

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan “The regime in Tehran fears internal pressure more than it fears external threats. The people of Iran don’t need the world to rescue them. The regime change will be led by you.”

Are we playing strong offense and defense?

Sen. Torricelli: “Not enough.”

“It happens all the time. In Tehran, they have carefully disseminated false information into the mainstream media. We’re fighting back, and it’s been a long climb. What the mullahs are doing with misinformation in Washington, London and Paris, you can do with the truth. “

Baird: “The fact that the European authorities uncovered a plot by the regime that tried to attack the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2018, the rashness just shows how fearful the regime is of you.”

How do we amass the power of the many outrages about the regime and put it all into a powerful mixture?

Amb. Joseph: “The process that I’ve seen is that reporters tend to go to the same sources over and over again. If you look at who they’re going to in the world of think tanks, most of these people are doing the work of the regime.”

“This is where the MEK and NCRI can make a difference.”

Is the world taking notice of the regime’s terrorism in their countries? When did it become acceptable behavior? What should we do about it?

Prof. Sheehan: “There are some groups and individuals that you simply can’t negotiate with, and the regime is emblematic of that group.”

“In Washington, DC, we found a deeply entrenched pro-regime lobby, and that lobby exists in other places of the world. But the tools and power of ideas that we have at our disposal today are much stronger than the tools we had before.”

“We don’t have to wait for Washington to change its policy. Every citizen around the world can help contribute to this change.”

A lot of people in Washington fear that what happened in Syria and Libya will repeat in Iran.

Baird: “They need to understand who the Iranian people are and what their capacity is. We have to push back against the elite foreign policy view in the West. In the West, regimes start to do crazy stupid things and the type of behavior we’ve seen in this regime. They are not being rational in their final days, and the more we see this, the closer they are to their end.”

The Iranian people have had this aspiration from at least the beginning of the 20th century. How can we convince the West that we can trust them if this regime collapses?

Sen. Torricelli: “Tehran is desperately trying to keep the Europeans in a dialogue to keep an economic lifeline. They do not want military confrontation but they are attacking the U.S. drone. These are irrational acts. When the regime becomes this irrational, it means that the sanctions are working. Those irrational actions tell me that we’re reaching a point. If I were Trump or Merkel or Macron, I would press my foot on the pedal because they’re telegraphing that what we are doing is working.”

How do we direct western policy in the right direction? What could we do that we are not doing enough of?

Giuliani: “We had an opportunity a few years ago when the sanctions were working. There are strong indicators that the protests in Iran are becoming political.”

“People have said bad things about you because you support the MEK and Madam Rajavi. What does Washington need to know that this group is entirely misportrayed in Washington?” asked Amb. Bloomfield.

Giuliani: “We need a massive public relations campaign. When people find out what this group really stands for and they get past the allegations, it all starts to make sense. We’ve got the same goal that is a free democratic Iran.”

Is there a potential for Canada, the U.S. and Europe to find common ground on how the regime is gaming the west and escaping accountability?

Baird: “After Iraq, President Obama and other European leaders were so desperate to make diplomacy work rather than military force. What we need is leadership. The weakness in 2009 in not standing up for the Iranian people will go down in history as a lost opportunity. We must do all we can to stand up for what’s right. We need leadership. That is what Madam Rajavi is trying to provide.”

Sen. Torricelli: “The people are realizing that this regime will not moderate. The regime’s behavior is also deteriorating all the time.”

What can we do to show there’s a democratic alternative? How do we find that next gear in Washington?

Giuliani: “In the past year, the regime has become more frightened and irrational. Striking the drone and what they’re doing with the tankers, maybe they want us to attack them and they hope that it would rally the people behind them. We’re so reluctant to take military action, and the world would also react badly, that the mullahs could push us along if they engaged diplomatically. But their poking their finger in our eye.”

“I think the mullahs are going to fall, with these protests going on, the crazy things they are doing. I think they are desperate. What they are doing sounds like a regime that is not thinking in clever ways.”

Let’s assume the Iranians will continue to lash out desperately. What’s your advice in Washington for a legitimate response?

Amb. Joseph: “One of the things we need to do is recognize that revolutions are very messy. What is missing in those revolutions is a viable alternative that would be beneficial not only to the Iranian people but also to the U.S. and the world in general.”

“What we need to do is to think strategically and integrate our tools in an effective strategy. The only solution to the nuclear issue in Iran is regime change and the viable alternative is a key component to that.”

“I spoke to many people in Ashraf. The sacrifices that the members of MEK in Ashraf have endured are many. But they do not have a sense of revenge. That, I think, will deliver the people of Iran their freedom.”

Do we have the ability to select surgical targets as an acceptable response?

Prof. Sheehan: “What unifies us here in this panel and this room is that the mullahs are not irrational when it comes to one thing, which is their fear of the organized resistance. What I wish U.S. officials knew is the democratic aspirations and inclinations of the Iranian people, which run very, very deep. The Iranian people are not the slightest bit irrational. I have come to appreciate how sophisticated and educated they are. I have come to appreciate that the NCRI’s platform and Madam Rajavi’s plan is the future of Iran. That’s the viable alternative that we need Washington to realize.”

People have been in the streets since the late 2017. They are admitting that the MEK and NCRI are organizing the demonstrations. Are we making progress here?

Giuliani: “The fact that the protests continue is a very good sign even though the regime has tried to harm them. The biggest frustration is getting the European governments to do the right thing. Whatever their economic interests and fear, we should all be together in eliminating this regime. We have to keep up the pressure, try to put more sanctions. And the important point is, some of these revolutions have happened without an alternative. Here you do not have to let that happen. We must get Americans to understand that there is an alternative and let them see it.”

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A huge crowd of the supporters of MEK in Berlin

Free Iran Rally in Berlin Receives International Press Coverage

A huge crowd of the supporters of MEK in Berlin

Maryam Rajavi, addressing a large crowd of over 15,000 Iranians, supporters of MEK in Berlin, during the Free Iran rally- July 6, 2019

More than 15,000 MEK supporters gathered at the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday for the Berlin Free Iran Rally. The event included speeches by prominent European and American politicians and human rights activists, Iranian Resistance leaders, and featured a video address from National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

The Associated Press

The rally and subsequent march received widespread attention from media outlets across the world. The Associated Press reported on the rally and Mrs. Rajavi’s speech in support of the ongoing uprising in Iran and the organized resistance movement.

Al Arabiya

The Al Arabiya news network reported that Iranian demonstrators called for regime agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to be prosecuted and expelled from Germany and the rest of Europe. The thousands of MEK members in attendance also voiced their support for the anti-regime protests currently taking place in Iran.

European Pressphoto Agency

The European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) covered the rally as well, publishing 40 photographs of the event. According to EPA, NCRI supporters from across the world gathered in Berlin to call for regime change and the establishment of democracy in Iran.

Channel One

Germany’s Channel One website wrote that 15,000 Iranians rallied in support of human rights and against executions in Iran. The website added that the Iranian regime has been repeatedly condemned for its high rate of executions.

Die Welt

Germany’s Die Welt website wrote:

“Several thousand people demonstrated in Berlin against the political system in Iran and for human rights. Under the motto: ‘Solidarity with the Citizens’ Protests in Iran – Against the Death Penalty,’ they held a rally at the Brandenburg Gate in the evening. A large banner read: ‘Time for a free Iran’. Many people wore Iranian flags and held large balloons in the national colors green-white-red. The protest march was registered by the exiled Iranian society.

 

“In Iran, the death penalty is imposed for, among other things, murder, rape, armed robbery, and heavier drug trafficking. Iran has been the focus of international criticism for many years due to its numerous executions.”

Elaph

Free Iran rally in Berlin

Free Iran rally in Berlin- over 15000 MEK supporters attended a demonstration calling for freedom and democracy in Iran and an end to the policy of appeasement towards the mullahs ruling Iran

The London-based Elaph news outlet reported on speeches by Mrs. Rajavi and other notable dignitaries. Elaph wrote that Mrs. Rajavi warned Europe against providing incentives to the mullahs’, explaining that doing business with Tehran would only fuel the regime’s malign activities at home and abroad.

Elaph also reported on speeches by other dignitaries, who called on the international community to end Iran’s exportation of terrorism and sectarian violence in the Middle East.

Among the prominent politicians and human rights activists who gave speeches at the Free Iran Rally were former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Columbian-French politician Ingrid Betancourt, and German MP Thomas Nord.

Orient TV

Demonstrators expressed solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising and the MEK’s Resistance Units at the Free Iran Rally in Berlin, according to a report from the Syrian opposition-affiliated news network Orient TV.

Staff writer

 

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Mohammad Mohaddessin addressing Berlin Free Iran Rally

Mohammed Mohaddessin’s Speech at the Free Iran Rally in Berlin

Mohammad Mohaddessin addressing Berlin Free Iran Rally

Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, addressing the immense rally of MEK supporters in Berlin

Mohammed Mohaddessin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gave the closing remarks at Berlin’s Free Iran Rally on Saturday. In his fiery address, he saluted the MEK and Iranian Resistance for their determination, urged the European Union to expel agents of the MOIS, and challenged proponents of the policy of appeasement.

“Your presence in this weather shows your great determination for the downfall of this regime, for the overthrow of this regime. I salute all of you,” Mr. Mohaddessin said to the 15,000 MEK supporters gathered in the rain.

Mohaddessin vowed that the leaders of the Iranian Resistance would not give up or “give a single inch” until Iran was free.

“The world must hear our voice. This regime lacks any legitimacy. You are the true representatives of the Iranian people. The people of Iran cannot come to the streets and show their objections, but you are representing those people of Iran and their will for the downfall of the regime and the establishment of a free and democratic Iran under the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.”

Expel Agents of the MOIS

Mr. Mohaddessin also stressed that the European Union must take decisive action against the regime’s Ministry of Security and Intelligence (MOIS) agents, warning that not to do so would make them complicit in the regime’s misdeeds.

“The mercenaries of the Iranian regime and the agents of the MOIS must be put on trial and expelled from Europe,” Mohaddessin said. “They are the cause of instability and terror in Europe. They must be expelled,” he added.

 

No Justification for Appeasement

Mohaddessin concluded by addressing those who use their fear of war to justify appeasement of the mullahs. “The time of these games has ended,” he said. “The only true way is the overthrow of the regime for the Iranian people and the region.”

Staff writer

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Free Iran Rally Berlin

More Than 15000 Thousands of MEK Supporters In a Massive Demonstration in Berlin Called for Free Iran

Free Iran Rally Berlin

Over 15,000 supporters of MEK, take it to the streets of Berlin, voicing the Iranian people’s quest for freedom and democracy for Iran.-July 6, 2019

On Saturday, July 6, 2019, in continuation of “Free Iran rallies”, more than 15000 thousands supporters of the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI) held a massive and impressive demonstration in Berlin.

Berlin-Free Iran rally supported the uprising of the Iranian people and the struggle of MEK resistance units “to overthrow the clerical religious dictatorship and the establishment of democracy and people’s sovereignty, and expressed their support for the PMOI/MEK, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and her 10 point plan for future Iran.” reported the NCR-iran.org

Prominent politicians such as Patrick Kennedy, Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian presidential candidate, Thomas Nord, German Member of Parliament, Eduard Lintner, former German deputy Interior Minister, Senator Jerry Horgan of Ireland, Michał Kamiński Polish Member of Parliament, and Leo Dassenberg, chairman of the Free Iran’s Committee in Germany and a former member of the federal parliament, spoke at the rally.

Ingrid Betancourt – Former Senator-Colombian Presidential Candidate

Ms. Betancourt referenced the raining weather, saying,

“No shower will deter us from saying what we came here to say, which is to Khamenei: “We want to tell Khamenei, we’re coming for you. We want to hold you accountable for all the people you murdered because they were longing for freedom, justice, and democracy.”

https://twitter.com/4FreedominIran/status/1147565707099561987

Ms. Betancourt spoke against the policy of appeasement, saying, “We are here to say to our governments in Europe that we don’t want any more agreements and concessions with the corrupt and criminal government of the mullahs.”

She also reiterated the fact that support for the Iranian Resistance is not a political issue: “We are here to defend our values and principles, and it doesn’t matter where we stand, left or right. The fight of the Iranian Resistance is our fight,” she emphasized.

Betancourt discussed the regime’s demonization campaign against the MEK and encouraged Western media not to play into the mullahs’ hands by falling for their propaganda. She specifically condemned a recent attack on the MEK by Der Spiegel that a German tribunal found to be libelous.

“The mullahs kill physically, but they also kill morally through defamation,” she stressed. “We know the people we stand with. These are the people who are fighting with criminals. Don’t get it wrong. You can’t change the truth by writing articles.”

Betancourt concluded her speech with scathing criticism of the New York Times for its false portrayal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as having support from the Iranian people. The article also claimed the IRGC had renounced its hardline religious beliefs and had not suffered a loss of power due to U.S. sanctions.

“This is a lie! Not only is [the IRGC] criticized by the people, but they are also facing division in their ranks because they don’t have money to pay their ranks and to finance their war in the Middle East. This is the beginning of the end of the mullahs’ regime,” Ms. Betancourt said.

“The Iranian regime is a religious dictatorship. It is a threat to the world and is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. We must do whatever we can to prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear bomb to endanger world peace.”

Thomas Nord Member of German Bundestag

Mr. Norde said that he shared the concerns that have been voiced by others about war in Iran. He said that war is not the answer for Iran. He pointed to the solution provided by Mrs. Rajavi. Norde agreed with her that “the solution is in the hands of the Iranian people and the Resistance who are standing up and fighting against this regime. Democracy and freedom cannot be exported to Iran. The people have risen for freedom and democracy.”

Norde spoke of the anti-regime uprisings that took place last year. “Last year thousands of men and women took to the streets of Iran, demonstrating for the rights of women and for the freedom of thousands of political prisoners.”

“They take great risks to stand up against the regime. They risk their lives for the freedom of their country, and that is why they are worthy of attaining freedom. We support those who have been tortured in the regime’s prisons and we condemn the acts of the regime,” he added.

“We must support the will of the Iranian people and their struggle for freedom. We express our solidarity with the Iranian Resistance,” he concluded.

Staff writer

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Upcoming MEK Rally in Berlin Gains Media Attention

Berlin Free Iran rally

Iranians, supporters of MEK will rally in Berlin for a free Iran and in solidarity with the people’s uprisings -July 2019

Thousands of MEK supporters will gather in Berlin this weekend for the next Free Iran rally. The National Council is Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced the event earlier this year, and the rally has received attention from media outlets.

The Kuwaiti daily al-Siyassah mentioned the previous Free Iran rallies before writing about the upcoming Berlin event: “Following a June 15 rally in Brussels and a massive June 21 demonstration in Washington, supporters of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) will hold a large gathering in Berlin on July 6.” the article said.

The article went on to explain the goal of the Berlin rally. “More than 12,000 members of the Iranian community in Germany are predicted to be taking part in this demonstration. The participants will be voicing their support for the Iranian people’s widespread movement that is calling for an end to the ruling dictatorship and the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime. They are seeking to establish democracy, human rights, ending executions and the regime’s warmongering. Iranian communities in Germany will be calling on the international community to take action to stop the mullahs’ regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, Tehran’s terrorism drive and sectarian wars in Middle East countries. The participating Iranians in the Berlin rally will call on the European Union to bring an end to their appeasement policy and take a firm position against the mullahs’ regime.”

Message from Massoud Rajavi

In an April 8th message, NCRI founder Massoud Rajavi called on supporters of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance around the world to demonstrate for freedom at this year’s annual Free Iran rallies. He wrote: “I am calling on our compatriots, those yearning for freedom in Iran, the supporters of Ashraf in various countries across the globe: If you agree, I am asking you to turn this year’s annual rally into demonstrations in the streets of cities wherever possible. This will be parallel to our people’s protests inside Iran.”

2019 Free Iran Rallies

The Free Iran rally in Berlin is part of a series of events being held this summer by the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in world capitals in the United States and Europe. Rallies have already taken place in Brussels and Washington, D.C., and upcoming events are scheduled in Berlin, Stockholm, and London. An international conference took place at the MEK headquarters in Albania last weekend. Each rally has been attended by thousands of members of the Iranian Resistance and the MEK and has featured speeches by prominent politicians, dignitaries, and human rights activists from around the world.

The participants at the Berlin Free Iran rally hope to build on the success of the earlier events and to echo the calls for a free and democratic Iran. The Iranian Resistance is asking the international community to recognize the right of the Iranian people to rise up against their oppressors and to specifically recognize the NCRI as the democratic alternative to the theocratic regime in Iran.

Staff writer

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political prisoners in Iran

Regime Official Claims There Are No Political Prisoners in Iran

political prisoners in Iran

Some of the publicly known political prisoners, now serving in Iranian regime prisons.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the regime’s judiciary, denied that Iran had any political prisoners in custody in a recent televised interview. This is despite the thousands of political protesters, journalists, religious minorities, and human rights activists who are currently imprisoned in Iran for their political or religious beliefs.

Esmaili’s denial followed a question concerning the recent stabbing death of a political prisoner in Tehran’s Fashafuyeh Prison at the hands of two violent criminals. Esmaili was asked why political prisoners are not separated from ordinary criminals. His response was that “we don’t have any political prisoners.”

“Those who sometimes claim (to be political prisoners) are those who have committed crimes against security,” Esmaili added.

The judiciary spokesman also mentioned MEK members who have been imprisoned for their resistance activities, saying that they were working against “the system and the revolution” and therefore did not qualify as political prisoners.

Human Rights Watch Report

According to a 2018 Human Rights Watch report on Iran, there are about one thousand political prisoners currently incarcerated in the country. The list of prisoners includes those affiliated with political groups, as well as journalists and religious minorities such as Bahais, Dervishes, and recent converts to Christianity. The correct number is of course much higher than this.

Regime Official Admit The Arrest of 4,600 Young Iranians During 2018 Nationwide Uprising

Recent Deaths of Political Prisoners

Two recent deaths have brought attention to the plight of political prisoners under the Iranian regime. Both occurred under suspicious circumstances.

Amnesty International recently reported the suspicious death of Benyamin Alboghbiesh. The 28-year old Ahwazi Arab was arrested in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran, on May 26th. On June 26th, his family was informed by a man they believe to be affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards that he had died in detention. Authorities have still not returned his body for burial.

“Benyamin Alboghbiesh was a healthy young adult when he was arrested. His alarming death just over a month later raises serious concerns about his treatment and conditions of detention, including the possible use of torture. The Iranian authorities must immediately order an effective and impartial investigation into his death, including an independent autopsy,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Prior to this, another political prisoner died under suspicious circumstances in Fashafuyeh Prison.

21-year-old Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was stabbed to death in his cell by two prisoners on June 10th. His cellmate wrote a letter saying that he believed that Shir Mohammad Ali was killed on the orders of prison guards in exchange for privileges. The MEK covered this story and provided details of the letter from Shir Mohammad Ali’s cellmate last month.

The Iranian regime has used violent criminals to murder political prisoners in the past.

Shir Mohammad Ali was imprisoned for blasphemy,” “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic,” “insulting the leader,” and “spreading propaganda” against the regime.” These are all considered security violations, which the regime does not consider political crimes. These charges are typical of those faced by other political prisoners in Iran.

Staff writer

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Free Iran rally in Washington in the media

MEK Supporters, U.S. Politicians, and Iranian Youth Call for Regime Change in Washington, D.C. Rally

Maryam Rajavi Delivers Keynote Address

Free Iran rally in Washington in the media

MEK supporters “March for Regime Change by Iranians” was widely reflected in the U.S. media and on a global level.

Thousands of supporters of the MEK and members of the Iranian-American communities gathered outside of the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. last Friday for the second in a series of Free Iran rallies that are being held this summer.

Participants in the rallies are asking the international community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the ruling regime and to hold the regime accountable for its terrorist activities and its human rights violations.

Numerous well-known current and former U.S. politicians from both sides of the aisle delivered speeches and sent messages of support in a bipartisan show of solidarity for the Iranian people and their fight for a free and democratic Iran.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), delivered a speech via satellite link. In her address, Mrs. Rajavi urged the U.S. to avoid the temptation to succumb to the policy of appeasement to the mullahs that allows the regime to act without consequences.

“When the mullahs pay no price for their conduct, they become more emboldened and go even further. Firing of rockets in Mosul and Basra and the missile attack on the U.S. drone are clear examples,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi stressed that the regime’s regional warmongering created instability in the Middle East and plundered the wealth of the Iranian people. “The people of Iran who have been inundated with floods, destitution, and various calamities are crying out, ‘Let go of Syria, think of us instead!’” she said.

“But the regime’s crimes in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan have so far brought them no serious consequences,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi reiterated what she and many others have said countless times: “The experience of the past forty years has shown that the theocratic regime is incapable of any reform or change in behavior.”

“We do not want anything more than freedom and human rights, which will open the way for development and justice. This will ensure peace and security in Iran and the Middle East, an Iran free of religious fascism, a non-nuclear Iran, an Iran without terrorism and belligerence,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded.

The “March for regime change in Iran” was reflected in a wide number of U.S. media, including Fox News, Eric Shawn TV program. Fox News report said:

“Back home Iranians took to the streets of the nation’s capital, including right in front of the White House. They shouted free Iran, calling for tighter sanctions and democracy in their country. The protesters are followers of the largest Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). And that march is part of the series of global public demonstrations held against the regime. They started at Brussels last week , urging the European Union leaders urging them to follow steps of the U.S. in taking a tougher policy towards the regime such as designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization.”

Iranian Youth

A large number of Iranian youth also attended the rally and spoke in support of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance. Sadaf Mirza spoke on behalf of the Iranian youth who are unable to do so in Iran. She said: “We are the voices of the Iranian youth being silenced by the Iranian regime. We will not be silenced. The Iranian regime is the only country in the world that continues to execute children. We stand with the leader of the Iranian Resistance Massoud Rajavi, who has inspired my generation.”

Breitbart News interviewed one of the young  Iranians at the Free Iran rally to gain insight into the motivation behind young people’s involvement in the Resistance movement. Delaram Ahmady told Breitbart that her father was imprisoned by the Iranian regime for seven years because of his support for the MEK. After his release, he moved his family to the U.S. because of “constant harassment.”

Ahmady said that she feels lucky to have escaped from Iran, where several of her father’s cellmates were recently executed, and that she has a responsibility to “show solidarity with the people of Iran.”

“The chances of regime change, I think, are definitely growing as the years go on,” Ahmady said. “The youth are becoming more empowered, they’re becoming more organized.”

March to the White House

The rally was followed by a march from the State Department to the White House. Demonstrators chanted, “Down with terrorist regime in Iran!” and “Rajavi yes, mullahs no; they are terrorists, they must go!”

Protesters carried signs reading, “STOP Executions in Iran,” “Designate Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” and “Down with Terrorist Regime in Iran.”

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Maryam Rajavi's Speech during June 15, Free Iran rally in Brussels

Maryam Rajavi Free Iran Rally Speech in Brussels

Maryam Rajavi's Speech during June 15, Free Iran rally in Brussels

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, addressing thousands of MEK supporters in Brussels via video, during the Free Iran Rally-June 15, 2019

Thousands of members of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance gathered in Brussels on June 15, 2019, for the first in a series of Free Iran rallies. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi urged the European Union to impose comprehensive sanctions on the Iranian regime and reaffirmed the strong desire of the Iranian people for a free and democratic Iran in her keynote address at the rally.

The Overthrow of the Regime

Mrs. Rajavi spoke strongly about the rising anger in Iran toward the mullahs’ corrupt regime, noting the parallels between the current situation and the chaos leading up to the overthrow of the Shah.

“The decadent regime of the mullahs is surrounded by infuriated people fed up with the status quo, to the extent that just like the final days of the Shah’s regime, Majlis deputies openly express their alarm during the parliamentary sessions, one after the other warn against the regime’s calamitous destiny,” she said. “They openly challenge the regime’s president and dare him to eat like the rest of the people for just one month to see if he can tolerate such conditions.”

 

Mrs. Rajavi pointed out that regime President Hassan Rouhani and his ministers say that the current crisis is the worst the regime has faced in forty years of the mullahs’ rule. Rouhani blames Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the country’s problems, and Khamenei faults Rouhani, but Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that there is little difference between the two leaders.

 

“At the helm, the white turbaned mullah [Rouhani] blames the black turbaned mullah [Khamenei] for the faults, demanding more authority. But Khamenei’s response was that they should prepare to convene a solid Hezbollahi government,” Mrs. Rajavi explained.

“For the people of Iran, however, there is no difference between black turbans and white turbans. They want the overthrow of the entire regime and they cry out, ‘Our enemy is right here,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi went on to state that the Iranian Resistance would happily welcome anyone who claimed to have an option that could “change the behavior of the mullahs’ religious fascist regime by offering economic and political incentives without budging on the human rights of the people of Iran and their right to sovereignty.”

Recognition of the Iranian Resistance

In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi said that polarization between pro- and anti-regime groups is increasing as the regime nears its final days. She stated that those who wish to preserve the regime or appease the mullahs express concern that any decisive measure will lead to war. Mrs. Rajavi answered these concerns with words from Massoud Rajavi.

“As Massoud Rajavi says, those concerned about the fate of the Iranian regime keep warning against the outbreak of war at any decisive juncture. ‘While the worst likely mistake for the U.S. and the international community to make with regard to the clerical regime is trying to avoid a war,’” Mrs. Rajavi quoted.

She continued: “He adds, “Four decades of experience show that the worst mistake is budging and hesitating to hit the head of the serpent with a rock. Without this, i.e. overthrowing this regime, Iran could not be freed. And this is a duty solely on the shoulders of the Iranian people and their Resistance. Therefore, it is imperative to recognize the right of the people of Iran to resist against and overthrow the mullahs’ regime.’”

Mrs. Rajavi stressed that the regime has attempted to preserve their rule by demonizing the MEK, whom they see as an existential threat.

“By demonizing the Mojahedin, the regime seeks to arrange the scene such that everyone concludes that the clerical regime is better and is what the Iranian people deserve,” she said. “So, they would be better off to give up resistance and continue their life in misery.”

A Call to Action

Mrs. Rajavi listed some of the regime’s terrorist activities in Europe in 2018, including attempted bombings in Albania and France, the arrests of regime mercenaries and regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi, and the expulsion of four regime diplomats from Europe. She pointed out that the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly warned that the Iranian regime’s embassies were used to carry out terrorist plots.

She then called on the European Union to take action in light of these terrorist plots and the regime’s past crimes against humanity.

“We demand that the regime’s terrorist diplomat arrested in Belgium be prosecuted as soon as possible. This is the right of Iranian refugees to learn the details of the mullahs’ terrorist plots in foreign countries. And this is requisite to any effort to prevent similar incidents in future,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

 

“We call on the European Union to impose comprehensive sanctions on the theocratic regime ruling Iran, and to designate the mullahs’ Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as terrorist entities. The regime’s mercenaries must be tried, punished and expelled,” she added.

Mrs. Rajavi also demanded that the regime be held accountable for the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. “The regime’s leaders must face justice in an international tribunal and account for their crimes against the people of Iran and particularly the massacre of political prisoners in 1988,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded her speech by emphasizing that as the regime becomes weaker, the resistance must grow stronger.

“The sensitivity of the present juncture and the increasing weakening of the clerical regime place the burden of responsibility on the shoulders of each and every one of us,” she said. “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the ruling regime cannot withstand our nation’s resistance and uprisings and their great Army of Freedom.”

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March for regime change in Iran-Washington D.C.

The Associated Press Covers the Anti-Regime Protests in Washington D.C.

March for regime change in Iran-Washington D.C.

Thousands of Supporter of the MEK rally for regime change in Iran, Saturday, June 21, 2019

The Associated Press journalist Matthew Lee covered the Iranian opposition’s March for regime change in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 21. In a report featured on the AP’s website, Lee described the scale and fervor of the event which saw thousands of Iranians from across North America, as well as Republican and Democrat leaders,  gather at the State Department in protest at regime aggression.

“Clad in yellow vests emblazoned with the words “Free Iran,” more than 1,000 members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq [MEK] gathered outside the State Department to demand an end to Iran’s theocratic government,” Lee wrote.

Maryam Rajavi Addresses the Crowd

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi addressed the crowd via video link. “We have and will continue to declare that what we seek is the regime’s overthrow, overthrow, overthrow,” she said.

Credit to AP photo: Activists gather at the State Department and watch a message on the screen from Maryam Rajavi before a march to the White House to call for regime change in Iran, Friday, June 21, 2019, in Washington.

In the Regime’s Crosshairs

With their allies holding senior positions in the US government, the MEK has seen its popularity and influence steadily increase. The increasing numbers of Iranians lining Iran’s streets at MEK-organised protests and rallies, and the regime’s further isolation on the international stage has prompted the mullahs to renew efforts to disrupt and undermine the MEK.

In 2018, the regime launched a string of terror attacks against the opposition group. During the Persian New Year celebrations, the regime attempted to detonate a bomb at the group’s compound in Albania. The Albanian authorities foiled the plot before the bombing could be carried out.

A similar attack was planned for the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris. The Iranian regime through its embassy in the Austrian capital of Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with an explosive ordinance and instructed the pair to travel to the event and detonate a car bomb. Once again, Belgian authorities were able to thwart the plot in its late stages.

UPI, in a report dated June 21, 2019 wrote: “Thousands of Iranian Americans rallied outside the U.S. State Department and White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday to push for a regime change and increased sanctions on Tehran.”

The UPI said: “In addition for increased sanctions on the Iranian regime, demonstrators called for the United States to designate the Ministry of Intelligence and Security as a foreign terrorist organization.”

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FreeIran Rally Belgium-Supporters of the MEK-June 15, 2019

Washington Times Op-Ed: “The Iranian resistance is raising the profile of their movement against the regime”

FreeIran Rally Belgium-Supporters of the MEK-June 15, 2019

Thousands of supporters of the MEK attend Free Iran Rally, Brussels-June 15, 2019

Todd Wood of The Washington Times published an op-ed on Wednesday, June 19, detailing the large international protests taking place across the globe against the Iranian regime.

In solidarity with the growing protests in Iran for freedom and democracy, the Iranian opposition has organized a string of protests in cities across Europe and the US. On Saturday, thousands of supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its allies met in Brussels and marched through the streets in protest at Iranian human rights abuses and aggression.

The next protest will take place in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 21.

Confronting Iranian Aggression

At the Iranian opposition rally in Brussels, several prominent academics and politicians addressed the crowd. The Iranian opposition’s president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, also addressed the supporters via video link. In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi reminded the leaders of the EU and international governments that the Iranian regime was twice caught plotting to detonate bombs in the heart of Europe in 2018.

“The terrorist operations in Europe, the attempted bombings in Albania and France, the arrests of the Iranian regime’s mercenaries and its terrorist diplomat, and the expulsions of another four of the regime’s terrorist diplomats over the past year, all verified the Iranian Resistance’s repeated disclosures that the Iranian regime’s embassies in Europe are all centers for planning and carrying out the regime’s criminal plots,” she emphatically declared.

She went on to request that the European governments follow the US’s lead and designate the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards as an international terror group.

Unprecedented International Protests

The string of protests planned is the largest series of demonstrations ever organized by the MEK and the Iranian resistance.

Shahin Gobadi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella organization of the MEK, was quoted in L. Todd Wood’s article. He said:

“These protests are being held while the Iranian regime faces an explosive society that wants its downfall, and while the regime grapples with a nationwide resistance led by the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), inside Iran. And unlike the past, there are no signs of the appeasement policy in the U.S. to help the regime at this critical juncture. These crises have brought the regime’s internal conflicts to their highest levels, between Rouhani and Khamenei. All these indicate the regime is in its final phase. The series of marches by Iranians in different countries is a crucial answer to this situation.”

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