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Violation of human rights in Iran

Iran HRM August Report Reveals Details Crackdown on Activists

Violation of human rights in Iran

Archive Photo: Human rights are severely being violated in Iran

Last week, Iran Human Rights Monitor released its monthly report, detailing the Iranian regime’s human rights violations. During the month of August, the regime imposed heavy sentences on participants in the country’s Labor Day protest, striking workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory, and civil rights activists. Last month, more than 31 activists, workers, and journalists were sentenced to prison and lashes for their participation in protests.

Labor Day Protesters

Researcher Atefeh Rangiz was sentenced to 11 years, six months in prison and 74 lashes.

Journalist Marzieh Amiri was sentenced to 10 years, six months of prison and 148 lashes. She will serve six years of her term.

Nasrin Javadi was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 74 lashes.

A bus driver and member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Rasoul Taleb Moghadam was sentenced to 74 lashes, two years of prison, two years of exile, and a two-year ban on using smartphones.

Vice-president of the Free Union of Iranian Workers Parvin Mohammadi was sentenced to one year in prison

Labor Activist Azarm Khezri (Nasrin Javadi), was sentenced to seven years of prison and 74 lashes. She will serve five years of her term.

Labor activist Farhad Sheikhi was sentenced to four months of prison and 5 lashes. His sentence was suspended for two years.

Haft Tappeh Protesters

On August 13, seven Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers were given eight-month suspended prison sentences and 30 lashes each for participating in last year’s workers’ strikes.

On August 14, nine more workers from the same factory were sentenced to eight months in prison and 30 lashes. Another worker was acquitted.

The MEK covered the Haft Tappeh worker strikes last year extensively.

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

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

Other Activists

Mohammad Taghi Falahi, head of the Tehran Teachers’ Association, was sentenced to eight months in prison and ten lashes for participating in a protest on Iran’s National Teachers’ Day. His sentence has been suspended for three years.

Women’s rights activist Saba Kord Afshari was sentenced to 24 years in prison for protesting the mandatory veiling laws and refusing to make a false confession.

Satirist Keyomars Marzban was sentenced to 23.3 years in prison for working for foreign media outlets.

Executions

At least 41 people were executed by the regime in August. Two of these executions took place in public. The actual number of executions is likely much higher, as the regime is known for carrying out its executions in secret.

Denial of Medical Treatment to Prisoners

Political prisoner Majid Assadi has been denied treatment for his Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and has not been provided access to a physician for the last year. In September 2018, doctors additionally diagnosed Assadi with ulcers and intestinal inflammation, but he is not receiving medical care for any of his conditions.

Political prisoner Arash Sadeghi is being denied critical care for cancer. He received surgery in September 2018 to remove cancer but developed a postoperative infection after being immediately returned to prison. Without proper care, his arm has become paralyzed and swollen. Prison officials have refused to allow Sadeghi to return to the hospital to seek further bone marrow tests to see if his cancer has spread or to have additional, life-saving chemotherapy treatments. Amnesty International condemned the regime’s treatment of Sadeghi as torture.

The NCRI and MEK condemn the regime’s human rights abuses and encourages all Iranians to support those who are protesting against the regime. The regime’s abuses will end when Iran is free.

Staff Writer

 

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Maryam Rajavi entering a conference hall in Ashraf 3 during the 5-day Free Iran rally-July 2019

Newsweek,”Iran’s opposition Groups are Preparing for the Regime’s Collapse. Is Anyone Ready?” is False and Propaganda

The Front Page photo on the hit piece by Newsweek Propaganda article titled: “Iran’s Opposition Groups are Preparing for the Regime’s Collapse. Is Anyone Ready?
The article is aimed at demonizing the MEK, the principal opposition to Iran’s dictatorship. Published in August 2019.

This summer’s highly-visible protests and rallies by the Iranian Opposition drew increased attention to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the imminent collapse of the mullahs’ regime. The rallies were overwhelmingly successful in achieving their aims and received widespread support from international leaders across the political spectrum, it was therefore anticipated that both the supporters of the policy of appeasement and those who have fallen prey to the regime’s anti-MEK propaganda will give lip-service to the Iranlobby and/or Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) .

Former MEP: “The Key Task of MOIS Is to Identify and Eliminate Opponents of The Regime, The MEK”

In their August 29th edition, Newsweek published an article entitled “Iran’s Opposition Groups are Preparing for the Regime’s Collapse. Is Anyone Ready?” The article noted that “something is different now” and that the prospect of the “collapse of the Tehran regime has raised the question of what kind of Iranian government might come next.” This is an excellent question, but Newsweek missed the mark in answering it, claiming that the mullahs’ regime should be preserved and appeased.

 

MEK demonstration in 1981 in Iran

500000 Iranian, supporters of MEK, took to street participating in a peaceful rally against suppression imposed by the Iranian regime on Jun 20, 1981, in Iran

The regime is indeed faltering and close to collapse, and the article correctly states that the MEK “is the oldest, best organized and best known of several Iranian opposition movements.” The author falls victim to regime propaganda on a number of counts, though, doubting the MEK’s base of popular support and using a number of discredited and unnamed sources to support an anti-MEK stance that largely arises from political opposition to current U.S. policy towards Iran.

 

It is important to note that inside Iran, it is deadly to speak in support of the MEK. The regime has murdered more than 120,000 MEK members and supporters since 1981, and those who continue to support the MEK do so at great personal risk. Despite this, regime leaders and state media express daily concerns about their fear of the MEK’s growing influence in the country. The measure of the MEK’s popular base of support can best be measured by the words of those who fear it.

Mr. Broder was invited to the Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, to speak to members and ask questions before writing his article, but he declined. Dozens of other journalists have accepted this offer and painted a different picture of the MEK.

If Mr. Broder had visited Ashraf-3, he might have learned the following facts, which were incorrectly stated in his article and rebutted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI):

Regime Scientists Were Not Murdered

The MEK did not murder Iranian regime, nuclear scientists. In a September 28, 2012 background briefing, two senior State Department officials officially stated, “The United States Government has not claimed that the MEK was involved in the assassination of scientists in Iran.”

MEK Was Not Delisted as Act of Charity

Newsweek contradicted its own reporting on the blacklisting of the MEK. In September 2002, Newsweek reported that the terrorist listing was an act of political goodwill by the Clinton administration. The magazine printed a 1997 quote from Martin Indyk, the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, which said, “[There] was White House interest in opening up a dialogue with the Iranian government. At the time, President Khatami had recently been elected and was seen as a moderate. Top Administration officials saw cracking down on the [MEK], which the Iranians had made clear they saw as a menace, as one way to do so,”

The MEK’s delisting was not an act of charity, as claimed in the article. Secretary Clinton was forced to remove the MEK from the FTO list after being ordered to do so by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s second highest court. The unanimous ruling found no evidence that the MEK was involved in terrorism. 100 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle also urged the State Department to delist the MEK.

Court Rulings

MEK Was Not Involved in Embassy Takeover

The assertion that the MEK “support[ed] the takeover of the U.S. embassy” and broke “with Khomeini over his decision to release the American hostages” is patently false. The hostage crisis was an attempt by Khomeini to create anti-American sentiment in Iran in order to ensure the passage of the newly-drafted constitution, which was based on the principle of absolute clerical rule. The MEK strongly opposed the new constitution, and Khomeini sought to marginalize any opposition to his rule. On the sixth anniversary of the takeover, then-Chief Justice Abdol Karim Moussavi Ardabili admitted the motivation for the crime in a Friday Prayer sermon: “[The embassy takeover] brought about the fall of the Provisional Government, the isolation of the liberals and the confusion of left-wing groups and the Monafeqin (the MEK) and exposed their real faces. As Imam Khomeini said, this revolutionary move was greater than the first revolution.”

1988 Massacre Was Not Linked to War

The Iranian regime began executing MEK members and supporters after a peaceful demonstration in Tehran on June 20, 1981, during which the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) opened fire on the crowd of 500,000 protesters, killing thousands on the spot. The 30,000 political prisoners in Iran who were executed during the 1988 Massacre were not associated with the MEK’s incursion into western Iran, as has been explicitly stated by Amnesty International and the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s would-be successor, who was deposed for his opposition to the executions. The regime has long used the war as a justification for the massacre of 30,000 of its own citizens, including teenagers, pregnant women, and the elderly.

HRW Report Was Not Reliable

The author of the 14-year-old Human Rights Watch Report was paid by an Iranian regime lobbying group operating out of Washington, D.C. Retired Brigadier General David Phillips (then an active Colonel), the commander of the U.S. 89th MP Brigade that protected the MEK’s Camp Ashraf in 2004-2005, wrote a letter to HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth in response to the report, stating:

“I believe that your recent report was based on unsubstantiated information from individuals without firsthand knowledge or for reasons of person gain. I have spoken to large groups of MEK/PMOI members and have also had one on one private conversations with individual members. At no time did any member, ranging from young male and females to the very senior leadership, ever report any of the type of conduct outlined in your recent report.”

Staff writer

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Protests of teachers in Iran

MEK Network: At Least 177 Protests in Iran During August

Protests of teachers in Iran

Photo credit to Iran News Wire: Teachers protest against their poor economic condition in dozens of cities in Iran, 2019

At least 177 protests took place in 57 cities, villages, and industrial regions in Iran during the month of August, according to reports from the people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) sources inside Iran. More than 21 people were sentenced to prison or lashes due to their participation in protests in August.

The following is a summary of the protests that took place in Iran during August:

Workers

Total number of protests: 83

Locations: 29 cities, commercial areas, and industrial towns in 20 provinces

Protesters: Forest rangers at the Shafavard Forest Company, workers in the Sisakht municipality, HEPCO workers in the city of Arak, Fasa Sugar Cube factory workers, and RAMCO (Rehabilitation & Maintenance Petrochemical Co.) workers in the city of Ahvaz.

The workers protested low and delayed wages, lack of job security, the dismissal of workers, non-renewal of contracts, and privatization.

Defrauded Credit Customers

Total number of protests: 12

Locations: 4 cities

Protesters: Defrauded customers of the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Caspian Credit Institution, Ramak Auto, Avizco Auto, Shadi Gold Institute, Adineh Complex, Persian Pars Auto, and the Kimia project.

The protesters demanded the return of their stolen savings.

Retirees

Total number of protests: 6

Locations: 4 cities

Protesters: Retirees of the Fars Province Telecommunications Company, the Nilo Tile factory, the Isfahan Telecommunication Company, and the Tehran metro, and pensioners in the northwestern province of Eastern Azerbaijan.

pensioners protest in Iran

Archive photo: Retired Iranian bank employees from all over Iran came to Tehran to protest their low pension. The protesters gathered outside the Bank Pension Fund Office- October 2018

Teachers

Total number of protests:17

Locations: 8 cities in 8 provinces

Teachers protested low and unpaid wages, poor living conditions, the lack of official hiring status, and the arrest of their colleagues. Schools are currently on summer break, so these protests are noteworthy.

Other Protests

Total number of protests: 38

Locations: 28 cities in 19 provinces

Protesters: Employees of rural telecommunications; disabled Iranians; villagers in Hani Garmaleh, Kermanshah Province; and landowners in Mahmoud Abad, Mazandaran Province.

Hunger Strikes by Iranian Prisoners

Total number of hunger strikes: 13

Locations: 8 prisons in 7 cities

Prisoners who embarked on hunger strikes included :

  • Akbar Gavili, a civil rights activist and former member of the Kurdistan Green Association, in protest of his arrest;
  • female prisoners in Section 5 of Tehran’s Qarchak Prison, in protest of prison conditions;
  • Mohammad Najafi, a lawyer, and activist currently detained in Arak Prison, in protest of being held in quarantine;
  • Kamran Darvish, a political prisoner in Orumieh Central Prison in protest of not being released on bail;
  • Akbar Bagheri, a political prisoner currently detained in Greater Tehran Penitentiary in protest of his prison sentence, not receiving an appeal in the Supreme Court, not receiving medical attention, and being sent to Greater Tehran Prison;
  • Ali Ashraf Parvaneh in protest of not being allowed to leave after 18 years in prison.
  • Environmentalists Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Taher Ghadirian, Sepideh Kashani, Homan Jukar, and Nilofar Bayani in protest of their continued illegal temporary detention;
  • Hamzeh Darvish, a Sunni prisoner currently being held in Rajaie Shahr Prison in protest of not being allowed to choose his lawyer and issues related to his legal case;
  • Amir Nourzehi, an Afghan national currently held in Zahedan Prison in protest of prison officials’ refusal to tell him who filed charges against him.

The MEK salutes the brave protesters who continue to stand up to the mullahs despite the regime’s attempts to intimidate and suppress them.

Staff Writer

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Protest in Iran 2018

MEK-Iran: Is the Iranian regime able to retreat?

Protest in Iran 2018

Archive photo: Iranian protests against the then economic situation in January 2018 turned to nationwide protests calling for overthrowing the Iranian regime

The recent European initiative to explore options for enticing the Iranian regime back into full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to facilitate a possible US-Iran rapprochement, has provoked many questions. Does the Iranian regime have the capacity to act like a normal state, something the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked? And, what are the associated challenges that the mullahs face? This is the central question confronting the mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei because it is tied to the regime’s survival.

The current state of the Iranian regime

The current state of the regime is completely different than in 2015 when the JCPOA was signed between Tehran and the P5+1. This is because, first, the clerical regime is encircled by existential internal and external crises, and its strategic reserves are rapidly depleting. As these crises compound, the situation becomes increasingly more irreversible and fatal. Second, the policy of appeasement has failed, despite the shocking concessions doled out to the regime by the western powers. And third, the current US administration’s position toward the regime stands in stark contrast relative to its predecessor.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the mullahs’ president Hassan Rouhani dismissed a proposal presented by Europeans to save the 2015 nuclear deal and said the regime “will announce the third step, which is of incredible significance and will accelerate the activities of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.” This was in reference to a plan proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, that aimed at providing a $15 billion line of credit to Tehran in return for the mullahs’ acceptance to refrain from adopting additional measures that violate the nuclear deal.

The regime’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said with respect to the so-called ‘third step’ that “it will be stronger than the first and second steps. … If we do not witness the necessary will from the European parties to return to their JCPOA commitments, we will take our third step.”

Regime officials know full well that when they implement further JCPOA violations, their circumstances will become much more precarious. However, they do not have many other options. Their remarks reveal their intentions to carry out nuclear blackmail with the aim of continuing their nuclear ambitions seeing this their only way out of the deepening internal crisis.

Iran-US relations

There is no concrete evidence of a forthcoming thaw in US-Iran relations. This week, the US blacklisted what it called an “oil for terror” shipping network directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The US Treasury Department said in a statement on September 4, 2019: “The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against a large shipping network that is directed by and financially supports the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its terrorist proxy Hizballah.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “Iran continues to take provocative actions to destabilize the region and the world. Treasury’s action against this sprawling petroleum network makes it explicitly clear that those purchasing Iranian oil are directly supporting Iran’s militant and terrorist arm, the IRGC-Qods Force. … Our actions over the last two weeks should serve as a strong warning to anyone considering facilitating the Qods Force’s oil sales that there will be swift consequences.”

In truth, the Iranian regime desperately needs a deal. However, it is too fragile and unstable to endure its consequences. Owing to ongoing domestic protests and dire economic conditions, the regime is at the weakest point in its history, putting Khamenei at a significant impasse. Any conceivable retreat would encourage more popular demands and social protests, something that terrifies the unpopular and illegitimate clerical rulers the most.

Khamenei’s fears

Khamenei has repeatedly said that neither the US nor the regime seeks war. The only major source of panic for the Iranian regime is the homegrown opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), as well as the formidable political coalition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the most viable democratic alternative to the theocracy. With the MEK’s capabilities to lead and organize national protests (as Khamenei himself publicly warned in January 2018) that is why over the past four decades, the top priority for the regime’s security policy has been to annihilate the MEK.

Staff Writer

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Tens of thousands of MEK supporters in Berlin Free Iran Rally

MEK-Iran: Iranian regime’s hollow shows of force burst every day

Tens of thousands of MEK supporters in Berlin Free Iran Rally

Free Iran Rally in Berlin- Over ten thousands supporters of MEK, took to the streets in Berlin to show solidarity with the uprisings in Iran.

The Iranian dictatorship needs to demonstrate a hollow show of force in order to preserve its shaky balance. All dictatorships follow the same logic. Without it, their house of cards would crumble. The Shah’s regime was a good example. His tyranny did not stand a chance against the unwavering resolve of the Iranian people for change when time came for him to stop torture and executions in prisons.

Sanctions and economic chaos are driving the clerical regime to the edge but it is trying hard to give a false impression to its foreign interlocutors. Its presence in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq is an active part of this strategy. Attacking vessels and adventurism in the Strait of Hormuz is but a hollow show of force by the Iranian regime.

As another component of the regime’s same strategy at home, Ebrahim Raisi has been appointed as the Judiciary Chief. Its intention is to remind everyone that the regime is still capable of using torture and execution as initiatives for putting down any opposition to its rule.

Back in the day, the mullahs’ regime deceived European countries and some in the U.S. with its show of “moderation” and “reform.” Those days are long gone and the regime has no power to sit at the negotiation table. Hassan Rouhani said: “When you are negotiating from a weak position, you have to give up something,” and he added that it would start a downward spiral.

Soon after the bubbles begin to burst, a new round of protests and demonstration will follow. The ruling clerics know full well that they are not able to put down new uprisings in cities since the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) units are ready to act. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in an interview with Fox News:

“Today, the ruling mullahs fear the role of the Mujahedeen e-Khalq, (MEK), and resistance units in leading and continuing the uprisings. At the same time, the regime is surrounded politically and internationally and in economic terms, it is on the verge of collapse.”

There are those in the U.S. and Europe that for economic gains have buried their heads in the sand and do not admit to the regime’s weakness. They also do not admit that the ruling regime is on its final leg. According to the Wall Street Journal: “European officials say conditions could now be coalescing around a preliminary agreement aimed at allowing Iran to be able to sell at least 700,000 barrels of oil a day—more than double its current exports. It also envisions a credit line of some $15 billion so Iran could draw on hard currency, getting around U.S. sanctions that freeze Iran’s export revenues in foreign bank accounts.”

 

The mullahs’ problems begin with lack of legitimacy among Iranian citizens.  The suppressive policies which have been around for 40 years have lost their effect. Iran is boiling with dissent and the people no longer fear the regime. Under MEK’s leadership as a catalyst, organized resistance will culminate in the regime’s downfall. MEK has a plan and popular backing as well as international support to face the regime anytime and anywhere.

The MEK is present among different strata of society and has been a whistleblower for the mullahs’ regime’s nuclear and missile proliferation programs. It has exposed its terrorist activities in the region and its meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.

The MEK introduces the right policy for peace and stability in the region. Therefore, the mullahs’ suppressive measure is always directed at MEK and its supporters in Iran. The theocratic regime is constantly busy planning terrorist plots, spreading lies and conducting disinformation campaigns against the main opposition, MEK.

It would be wise for Western countries and Iran’s neighbors to stop a shortsighted policy based on economic gains. They are better off standing on the right side of the history and support the Iranian people and their Resistance for democracy and freedom for Iran. A strong and well-organized MEK with its plan for a peaceful transition will realize the Iranian people’s dreams and stability in the region and beyond.

Staff writer

 

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Former MP from Ireland, speaking at MEK's Free Iran rally in Stockholm

Europe Should Support MEK, Says Irish Lawmaker

Former MP from Ireland, speaking at MEK's Free Iran rally in Stockholm

Former Irish Minister and member of the parliament, Mr. John Perry, speaking at MEK’s rally in Stockholm- Demonstrators, hold a banner, with Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi’s photo in the front row, calling for solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising for a free Iran-July 21, 2019

The Iranian regime poses a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and across the world, and Europe should support the main Iranian Opposition as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ clerical dictatorship, writes former Irish Member of Parliament John Perry in an op-ed for the Eurasia Review.

 

In his August 29th opinion piece, the former lawmaker and Minister of State for Small Business wrote that the Iranian regime is “extremely unpopular among both Iranians and regional countries, and is today the greatest threat to a prosperous Iran and to stability and peace in the Middle East and the world.”

According to Mr. Perry, the regime and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have persecuted, tortured, and killed countless Iranians over their 40-year rule. He cited the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members, as his prime example.

 

“The IRGC’s destabilizing interventions in the region have resulted in hundreds of thousands of innocent people being killed and have displaced millions,” he wrote.

A Key Component

“A key component that has been overlooked for too long is the organized Iranian opposition,” Mr. Perry continued. “Thousands of Iranians recently rallied in London to remind participants in that debate, particularly in Europe, of the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people and their coalition of opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).”

Perry explained that the MEK “played a major role in organizing and promoting a nationwide uprising at the beginning of 2018,” forcing even Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to acknowledge their role in popularizing the message of regime change.

“More and more Iranian officials have been speaking publicly about the MEK in a way that it is evident Tehran recognizes the challenge it poses to the theocratic system. Such trends leave Western policymakers with no excuse for ignoring the resistance or denying the potential for domestically-driven regime change,” Perry emphasized.

Mr. Perry stressed that the Iranian Resistance has not asked for either financial or military support. “They have simply called on the EU to adopt a firm policy on Iran and to designate the regime’s Supreme Leader, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and Ministry of Intelligence as terrorist entities,” he wrote.

“No Iran expert or Western diplomat can seriously dispute the fact that these entities are involved in terrorism abroad and have been responsible for domestic repression since the 1979 revolution,” he added.

Strong Support

Perry noted that the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has strong support both within Iran and well as among politicians across the world.

“Its progressive leader Maryam Rajavi has presented a 10-point plan for the future of Iran, which envisions and guarantees a free, democratic, secular, non-nuclear and peaceful Iran, with an independent judiciary system that respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he stated.

“Maryam Rajavi’s vision for Iran’s future will surely be beneficial to the interests of the entire international community and I am convinced that the Iranian people and their resistance movement are our best allies for bringing that future about,” Perry continued.

Support from the International Community

Mr. Perry wrote that the regime is currently at the weakest point in its 40-year history, and the NCRI believes that regime change is now within reach by the Iranian people. “Thus, the EU does not need to directly engage in the process, but must only put pressure on the Iranian regime and hold its leaders to account for their atrocities and terrorism at home and abroad,” he explained.

“This does not equate to encouraging conflict or war but rather signals to the Iranian people and their Resistance movement that it has the support of an international community that recognizes the people’s aspirations for freedom and democracy,” Perry added.

Economic Protests Spread

Meanwhile in Iran, workers and defrauded investors held at least eight protests over the course of two days to demand basic economic rights. The protests are emblematic of the growing unrest among the Iranian people as the regime continues to weaken.

Widespread corruption among Iran’s businesses, approximately half of which are controlled by the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), has led to constant protests by defrauded credit customers and investors. Protests this week were held by defrauded creditors of the Shadi Gold Institution, defrauded buyers of Ramak Khodro cars, and defrauded members of the Tehran Electrical Workers’ Housing Cooperatives.

MEK-Iran: Protests inside Iran Increase despite Regime Suppression

Workers and pensioners also held a number of protests demanding their unpaid wages and pensions and striking for basic rights as workers. Protests were held by workers at HEPCO and  Farabi Petrochemical Company and pensioners at Western Azerbaijan Telecommunications company.

Staff writer

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

MEK-Iran: Protests inside Iran Increase despite Regime Suppression

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

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

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

Protests by Retirees

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

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

Protests by Retirees in Isfehan center of iran

A number of participants were detained during the demonstration

 

Protest by Teachers

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

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

 

 

 

A large group of teachers and retirees held a demonstration

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

Protest by Defrauded Investors

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

Other Protests

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

A Call from the Iranian Resistance

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

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

Staff writer

 

 

 

 

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MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

MEK’s Critical Role According to Iranian Regime

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

The “Mothers” demonstration, on May 2, 1981, when over 200,000 supporters of the MEK, took it to the streets of Tehran to protest the killing of 2 teenage girls (MEK supporters), who were shot dead for distributing information behind a stand in one of the streets in Mazandaran. Young MEK supporters have formed a chain in front and side rows to provide protections for the mothers (in the middle).

In state-run media and in official statements, senior Iranian officials have recently made unprecedented remarks about the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), its impact on society, and its role in international policymaking.

A Change in Regime’s Strategy on MEK

For years, it has been the state policy to keep silent about the MEK and its impact, both domestic and global. The recent salvo of remarks and statements reflect a change in the regime’s strategy in this regards. The new approach stems from an unprecedented MEK presence in domestic affairs. Popular support and the public awareness of MEK’s activities have left the regime incapable of continuing its practice of denial.

Official remarks have defended brutal suppression against the MEK and have also expressed anxiety about the MEK’s progress and its role in organizing and galvanizing protests against the regime. Senior officials warn about “major events” that could still be forthcoming.

Acknowledging MEK Role in Mobilizing Protests Inevitable

The officials are fully cognizant of the fact that after years of a massive demonizing campaign against the principal Iranian opposition and systematic repetition of the claim that the MEK has no serious presence or role in Iran, acknowledging the real presence of the MEK in Iran is politically costly. However, it is evident to them that in light of the political state of affairs in Iran, they are bound to pay a price for inspiring their forces and to boosting loyalist morale.

A creator of three state TV serials targeting the MEK said in an interview on July 28: “The current strategy vis-a-vis the MEK is not one of silence. A lot of people are interested in making movies and serials about this organization and its members. And a number of other people have also made serials about them… Prior to Armaghan Tariki (i.e. one of the TV serials), no TV serial was made in this regard. But after that, the managers of state TV showed a lot of interest. In reality, this organization has exposed our nuclear issues on 18 occasions in recent years and a lot of the sanctions are consequent of their activities. All of these resulted in the fact that the authorities and managers concluded that it is necessary to make movies and serials about the Monafeghin.” [Monafegin, meaning hypocrites, is the pejorative term that the regime uses to describe the MEK.]

The following are some of the authorities’ recent remarks on the MEK:

1988 massacre

Photos of the MEK activists who were massacred during the 1988 massacre. Pourmohammadi was one of the members of the death committee responsible for the massacre.

Mustafa Pourmohammadi, Interior Minister in Ahamdinejad administration, Minister of Justice in first Rouhani administration, a key figure in 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) in Iran

Mosallas (State-run media), July 24, 2019

“MEK has destroyed our image all over the world. During the past 40 years, there hasn’t been any calamity against the Iranian regime that the MEK hasn’t played a key role in. We haven’t evened out our accounts with the MEK yet. We will make our points and statements [about 1988 executions] subsequent to making our accounts even. It is a serious matter…. Many of our missions in the Iran-Iraq War failed due to the MEK. They found out about our operations, exposed them and as a result, we failed…. Now, should I answer for why I fired a mortar by mistake or did something wrong? All the MEK members are criminals and must be put on trial. According to all international laws they must be punished and face the maximum penalty. We have not even our accounts. It is not the time for these words. Now it is time to exterminate them.  The MEK is the worst enemy of this nation [Read the religious extremism ruling Iran]. Today, they must be held to account and be brought to justice. We must uproot every one of them. Unfortunately, due to the current atmosphere of the society and foolishness of some, it is us who have become accused. Rather, the criminals must answer. What are these remarks that some are making in our country?   Some repeatedly talk about history. This is the context of history.” Referring to the exposure of the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners that the regime had tried to hide for decades and now is coming to light as a result of the organization’s popular support.

Interviewer: Was this also the issue of criticism by Mr. Montazeri?

(Hosseinali Montazeri was the heir to Khomeini in 1980s. He was dismissed by Khomeini in early 1989 and sentenced to house arrest due to his protest against the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. An audio file was revealed three years ago about a meeting between Montazeri and key figures implicated in the massacre in Tehran, including Pourmihammadi. In this tape, Montazeri stated explicitly that this massacre will be recorded in history as the worst crime of the Islamic Republic.)

Pourmohammadi: “It was unfortunate, but the tape was released anyway. Many of the individuals who purport transparency, in reality, they are doing it on behalf of the enemy of course! Otherwise, what was the reason for revealing that audio file?  The context of the discussion was already written and was available. What was the reason for the audio file to be revealed after all these many years? …I believe the MEK case is clear. We have no doubt, no question, and no ambiguity in the case of MEK. Now is a time of war with the MEK.  It is not the time to talk. This is an important point for us. It is the time to uproot hem. It is time to paralyze, exterminate and try them…It is time to do this sort of work. It is not the time to answer these criticisms or to provide legal responses or things of this nature[the 1988 massacre of MEK supporters].”

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

Abdolreza Rahmanifazli, Interior Minister

State TV, July 29, 2019

“The current situation should not make us negligent so as to ignore the protests, not see the disenchantment or prevent it, not provide a proper response and assume that these do not exist. Any incident can lead to a major development. We have to be vigilant.”

Mahmoud Shaeri, commander of 71st Division (aka as Ruhollah Division) during Iran- Iraq War

South-e- Qazvin (state-run site), July 28, 2019

“The MEK is still potential and current threat for the Islamic Republic. Their movement is alive. The MEK has been the basis for all of the sanctions against us. If the MEK was not around, the West still would have imposed sanctions on us; however, the MEK provides them with first-rate and accurate information”, referring to MEK’s numerous revelations of regime’s nuclear weaponry and Ballistic Missiles program, and their terrorist activities in the region, as well as the violations of human rights at home

While underscoring that the MEK is still the most active and the most powerful opposition group against the regime, Shaeri stressed that the reason for the continuation of MEK activity is its deep, calculated and judicious actions.

He pointed out that the measures exposing the MEK have not been appropriate for two reasons:  “First, we portray them as a cowardly enemy and as a result we discount them. We must consider the enemy serious because they are still motivated and work against the Islamic Republic with proper organization and structure. Second is the danger of MEK infiltration inside the regime, which is the main obstacle in confronting them.”

MEK – Iran Protests Rise by %233 During The Month of May

Assadollah Nasseh, the Deputy Commander of Najaf- Ashraf IRGC base in the Iran- Iraq War (responsible for the central and northwest front), Deputy Commander of IRGC counterintelligence, Commander of the IRGC 10th Division, Deputy to the Inspector General of the regime Armed Forces after the Iran-Iraq War

Ofoq (state-run TV), July 29, 2019

“We must be vigilant and should realize that the enmity of the MEK is so profound that it will never give up on us…Everything that takes place in the world against us, we must know that it is the result of their lobbying effort somewhere, or a price that they have paid, or is the result of intelligence that the MEK has provided. On the issue of missiles, we witness that it was based on the information that they provided to Americans. Regarding human rights, they makeup dossiers and files and provide them to Europeans and they put pressure on us in this way. They use all the leverages against us. We should be aware of this and should be vigilant.”

MEK Role in Street Protests and Strikes

Esmail Kousary, Deputy Commander of IRGC Sarollah Garrison (the main IRGC unit responsible for the suppression of the 2009 uprisings in Tehran) and Mehdi Hasheminejad, a senior official of Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)

State TV, July 29, 2019

Head of Habilian Association, Hasheminejad, head of the MOIS division responsible for emanating negative propaganda and lies against MEK:  “The presence of 1500 people round the clock in three shifts indicates that they had planned the protests and this was done in service of the global arrogance. As our officials pointed out, planning of the enemy played a key role in the unrest that took place in our country in 2018.  So, our attitude must recognize the enemy and its targets, so that we will be able to counter them.”

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

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Day-3 of Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3

MEK-Iran: European Panel Calls For End to Europe’s Appeasement Policy Towards Iran

Day-3 of Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3

On day 3 of Free Iran convention at the MEK’s compound in Albania, a conference hosted very distinguished European politicians that discussed EU’s ongoing positions on Iran. The conference was titled, “Iran: Support People’s uprisings and Resistance
No to Mullahs’ terrorism, Nuclear, and Missile program”-July 13, 2019- Ashraf 3

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, the fourth day of the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania called for an end to Europe’s policy of appeasement to the mullahs ruling Iran. The conference began with a panel of distinguished speakers from Europe. The topic of the panel was “Iran: Support People’s Uprising and Resistance. No to Mullahs’ Terrorism, Nuclear, and Missile Program.”

The panelists touched on a number of issues during the two-hour event. Some of the most notable moments from the panel are summarized below.

Paolo Corsini

Italian Politician and Academic

“The West should end appeasement of Iran’s regime. We should support the Iranian people and the organized Resistance, the MEK, to bring about regime change. A viable alternative to the regime exists in Iran. It is the National Council of Resistance of Iran,” said Corsini.

 

Dr. Matthew Offord

British MP

The Iranian regime is making a mistake in thinking that we in Britain will be scared of its provocations. It should be assured that the UK is not scared. The UK has made it very clear we will protect ourselves, Dr. Offord said.

 

“I genuinely believe change is coming to Iran,” said Offord. The members of the MEK have re-emerged from the destruction of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. They have launched Ashraf 3 and have been embraced by the people of Albania,” he added.

Brian Binley

Former British MP

“We first came to Albania back in 2014 with a task to the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, and we asked him to accept more Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents,” said Binley.

“We pleaded with the Prime Minister and it wasn’t hard. He asked us shouldn’t you be making this request to other European countries? We told him we were working hard on this issue and the Prime Minister said he would accept more Ashraf/Liberty residents. I pay massive tribute to Mr. Edi Rama for convincing the people of Albania to accept more of the Iranian opposition members in their country,” Binley continued.

“Having revisited Albania now, this country has made great progress in the past five years,” he added.

“This great city of Ashraf 3 showed Mr. Rama kept his process. There has been astounding progress in Ashraf 3. All this work in just a year and a half is incredible. I always knew that those of people who had gone through the hell of Camp Liberty would get things moving for themselves. You have built yourself a city and I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Binley said warmly.

“There’s more work to do and that is our task. There is much we can do in our country for the ten-point plan of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” he stressed.

Sergio D’Elia

Former Member of Italian Parliament, Activist

“Ashraf 3 is not only a symbol; you are a sample for the future of Iran. You are no longer just resistance against the regime; you are now a freedom movement,” said Mr. D’Elia.

“You can be free and also build up Iran. You are reliable, trustworthy, symbols of law and justice. By seeing Ashraf and you, I am convinced the MEK have created a sample of Iran in this city.

I hope we are in Tehran next year. We can see Tehran here because Ashraf 3 exists and future free Iran will also become a reality. The MEK is now part of my family, and that is why I call you my brothers and sisters,” he concluded.

John Perry

Former Irish Minister and Politician

“It is very important to see the encouraging work of the PMOI/MEK. Especially when 56 million people are under the age of 25 in Iran. The new force of technology will certainly spread the word,” said Perry.

“It is now time for Europe to stand with Iran, and say enough is enough, to support Iranians remove the Khamenei regime and the mullahs from power. The future generation of Iran deserves an opportunity to live a free Iran,” he stressed.

Gerry Horkan

Irish Senator

Senator Horkan referred to the speed at which Ashraf 3 had been constructed, saying, “We never think things will change so quickly, but they will. Hopefully, very soon we will see free, fair and democratic elections in Iran and Iranians will be voting for President Maryam Rajavi at the first election for a free and democratic Iran where freedom of religion is allowed. That is part of the Ten-point plan that we support.”

“There is huge global support for the NCRI and MEK in Ashraf 3. Hopefully, soon we will see action and deliver results, including a free and fair government in Iran,” he concluded.

Leo Dautzenberg

Former Member of German Bundestag

“The people in Iran and their struggle is the best sign of change to come to Iran. We can see that the mullahs are using Iranian wealth for their private interests. They are using the Iranian people’s money for terrorism and accelerating war in the Middle East. We do have a great responsibility and a duty towards the Middle East, and we should conduct this together,” said Dautzenberg.

“With the protests in Iran, we can also see that toppling the Iranian regime has to happen from within the country, and we have to support it from the outside. The change must come from within and from Ashraf 3,” he added.

“You have a president who, with her Ten-point Plan, which is very convincing, has created an alternative which represents freedom and democracy. This is also our choice for the future. From a European and German angle, we need to step forward and support this ten-point plan,” he concluded.

Kenneth Lewis

Swedish Lawyer

“There are still a lot of people in Europe who have not understood that appeasement is not the way forward, and don’t care about human rights. Huge support is growing for this movement and we have work to do,” said Mr. Lewis.

“Human rights should be the most important aspect in dealing with the regime in Iran,” he stressed.

“Ashraf 3 is a wonderful achievement. This is an important part of the resistance. The fight to overthrow the mullahs is taking place on the streets of Tehran. Your program will be an essential contribution to that,” Lewis concluded.

Linda Lee

Former President of Law Society of England and Wales

“We in the U.K. Law Society have and will support your cause for a free Iran. We want freedom for you. I couldn’t believe what a wonderful community and spirit is in Ashraf 3. This is not a town, it lives and breathes. The mothers and daughters who have suffered so much are so positive in spirit. This is a wonderful community of people,” said Ms. Lee.

“I believe that we are now so close. I want for all the men and women of Iran to have freedom. Next year we will be in Tehran,” she concluded.

Brian Medway

Australian Pastor

“We support the MEK. Your integrity and commitment to serve the best interests of Iran, without any idea of how long this may take, this draws our affection. We will make your voice known in Australia,” said Medway.

Lars Rise

Former Norwegian MP

“In 2005 my wife and I visited the MEK in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. After the first two days in Ashraf, my wife said I have never experienced such love. Ashrafis are people of integrity and love. It is the complete opposite of the regime in Iran,” said Mr. Rise of his experiences with MEK members.

“The leadership of this movement through Madame Maryam Rajavi is realizing amazing results. I always say I am a member of this movement and always will be,” he concluded.

Frederick Azzopardi

Member of Maltese Parliament

“The Iranian people are being denied their universal rights. The Iranian regime funds terrorism and threatens the world with nuclear proliferation. This regime is responsible of crimes against humanity that are punishable under international law,” stated Mr. Azzopardi.

“As Madame President Rajavi has said, regime change is the task of the Iranian people. We should support the Iranian people at all times.

Our message to the people is: We will never abandon you until your justified cause is fulfilled. You are, indeed, our heroes. Our common mission is a free Iran,” he concluded.

Paul Forseth

Former Canadian MP

“In solidarity, we will continue to support the Iranian people. The MEK members in Ashraf 3 should be known as the ‘overcomers.’ For the Iranian people, the future is much brighter than the past,” said the former Canadian MP.

Professor Alfred de Zayas

Former U.N. Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order

“The mullahs are not just going to roll over. Change, however, must come from within. I wish you success, perseverance, peace, and happiness in Iran,” said Professor de Zayas.

Roger Lyons

Former President of Britain’s Trades Union Congress TUC

Mr. Lyons spoke about the ongoing efforts by the TUC to support Iran’s workers. “We have been showing solidarity with the workers in Iran who face brutal repression. We have been educating various industries in order to support Iran’s workers,” he said.

Lyons also called attention to the plight of British-Iranian dual national citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. “She was arrested as a spy in Iran by the regime and separated from her baby,” Lyons explained. “The mullahs didn’t even give her decent medical attention. This is an outrageous example of the mullahs’ treachery. The mullahs’ attitude is making people understand far more about the need to support the Iranian Resistance and regime change in Iran. The evidence is here. Public opinion is strong and we will continue to campaign until we win,” he concluded.

Sir David Amess

British MP

“This Free Iran conference and gathering in Albania is all about democracy,” said Sir Amess.

“What an example of the MEK to build such a wonderful camp in such a short period. It is absolutely magnificent. It is wonderful being with people who seek to establish freedom and justice for the Iranian people,” he added.

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Free Iran rally - London - Supporters of MEK

London Rally Gains Widespread Media Attention

Free Iran rally - London - Supporters of MEK

The Free Iran rally in LONDON, where over 3000 supporters of MEK gathered to show solidarity with the Iranian uprisings-July 27, 2019

The London Free Iran Rally last Saturday attracted media attention from news outlets throughout the world. More than 3,000 MEK supporters turned out to ask the international community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the clerical regime and to end the policy of appeasement that has emboldened the mullahs to take increasingly hostile and aggressive actions both at home and abroad.

The following are excerpts from reports about the event:

Elaph Website

“British speakers called on their government to change its current policies of appeasement vis-à-vis Iran and adopt a firm stance, and recognize the Iranian people’s democratic demands. They also called for an initiative to force the Iranian regime to provide democracy; respect human rights; end all executions; stop all warmongering activities, exportation of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism; and halt its nuclear program.”

Sunday Express

“On July 27, some 3,000 Iranians living in the UK demonstrated on the streets of central London, demanding comprehensive sanctions against the mullahs’ regime.

 

“Along with deteriorating international relations, the regime in Iran is accused of severe human rights violations and barbaric treatment—especially of prisoners, such as that of Britain’s own Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

 

Matthew James Offord the Member of Parliament for Hendon, addressing some 3000 MEK supporters at Free Iran rally in London, July 27, 2019

“Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon in north London, demanded action be taken now.

 

He told the chanting crowds: “The decision by world powers to decouple human rights and terrorism from the nuclear deal was a mistake and a missed opportunity.

 

“‘I believe the UK Government must now act to proscribe the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence as terrorist organizations in their entirety in response to Teheran’s aggression.’

 

“Thousands of people descended on Trafalgar Square, many of whom were exiles who were forced to flee from their homes under the brutal and oppressive regime.

 

“NCRI’s president-elect Maryam Rajavi called on Britain and Europe to stop “paying ransom to the mullahs” in a speech projected onto a screen at Trafalgar Square.

 

“‘Do not help them decrease the sanctions. Stand up to them. Place the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the mullahs’ Gestapo [Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)], Khamenei’s office and [Iranian regime President] Hassan Rouhani on the terror list.

 

“‘I specifically urge the new UK government to support human rights, namely the suppressed human rights of the people of Iran.

 

“‘I urge them to take action to send an international fact-finding mission to Iran to visit the regime’s prisons and the political prisoners particularly, the women.’”

Okkaz Daily of Saudi Arabia

“Demonstrators in downtown London rallied against the mullahs’ regime in Iran, calling on the United Kingdom to designate the IRGC, the MOIS and the office of Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as terrorist entities.”

Al Arabiya

“Titled ‘Supporting the Iranian people’s protests,’ the demonstration was held following a series of rallies and gatherings by Iranian dissidents during the past few weeks covering the capitals of various countries, including the United States and Western Europe.

Arab News

“Thousands of exiled Iranian dissidents rallied in Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday to demand regime change in Tehran, urging new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to get behind their campaign.

Struan Stevenson, the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, said: ‘We want regime change, we want to get rid of this evil regime. We’re here underneath the statue of Admiral Nelson. What would Nelson make of a British ship being seized by pirates? He would be turning in his grave.

 

“‘So our message today to Boris Johnson is to be tough on this regime as they are spreading terrorism and war across the Middle East and the world.’”

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