Posts Tagged ‘Isfahan’

Ahvaz,Iran Protests,Isfahan,Kazeroun,Maryam Rajavi,Massoud Rajavi,MEK

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship

Maryam Rajavi Reaps Praise on the Brave Iranians Turning out to Protest Across the Ruling Dictatorship-Credit to maryam-rajavi.com

 Maryam Rajavi, leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), praised the resolve of the Iranian people for the sustained protests and strikes in major cities across Iran. Strikes have continued to rage in Kazeroun for the last seven days. The farmer’s protests in Isfahan are also still going strong two months into their struggle. Protests in Ahvaz and Khuzistan have also sprung up in recent weeks.

Rajavi reaped praise from those protesting in Kazeroun, stating “hail to the people of Kazeroun who have a great history of supporting the great leader of Iran’s freedom movement, Dr. Mohammad Mossaddeq.” After Kazeroun citizens were arbitrarily butchered by the regime in 1988, many of the city’s citizens joined the MEK and the resistance movement to oppose the mullah’s tyrannical regime.

Maryam Rajavi hailed those exercising civil disobedience in Isfahan, Kazeroun, and Ahvaz, praising those who disrupted the mullah’s Friday prayers. Those in Baneh and Piranshahr who went on strike and closed their businesses also received Maryam Rajavi’s blessings.

She spoke of the plight of Iran’s Kurdish minority, forced into back-breaking work as porters for the regime. Rajavi described how they often face water shortages, are denied their rightful earnings, and endure routine discrimination at the hands of the oppressive regime. All those in Iran suffer at the hands of Rouhani, but the minorities of the Kurdish, Arab and Baluchi people face “double oppression”, according to Rajavi.

The message from the leader of the MEK was clear; keep up the good work and disrupt the mullah’s regime wherever possible. Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance had previously sent a message to the Iranian people. He said, “it is an urgent patriotic duty to keep alight the beacon of protests at any opportunity, any time and any place.”

The Iranian population must show their solidarity with those who are risking their freedom and lives to protest the oppressive regime. Only through continued civil disobedience and disruption will the full weight of the Iranian population be felt by the ruling mullahs.

The regime is creaking under the pressure of sustained civil protest. It is intensifying its reign of terror and violence, executing political prisoners at an alarming rate, and arresting brave Iranian protestors across Kazeroun in scores. Rouhani and the mullahs are scrambling to maintain their grip on the situation.

This will only add fuel to the fire. It will inspire the Iranian people to insist on the freedom of their compatriots. “Declare solidarity with the arisen people of the Iranian provinces” is Maryam Rajavi’s message to Iran. Keep the flame of protest alive.

Staff Writer

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Iran Protests,Iran Uprising,Isfahan,MEK,PMOI,water rights

MEK-IRAN:WESTERN GOVERNMENTS MUST READ THE SIGNS OF IMPENDING CHANGE IN IRAN

MEK-Iran:Western governments must read the signs of impending change in Iran

MEK-IRAN:WESTERN GOVERNMENTS MUST READ THE SIGNS OF IMPENDING CHANGE IN IRAN

MEK-IRAN:WESTERN GOVERNMENTS MUST READ THE SIGNS OF IMPENDING CHANGE IN IRAN

Recent protests in Iran will have unearthed distant memories for the Iranian population. In late December 2017, and early January 2018, protests tore across the Iranian nation. The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) had a major role in organising the protests. The nation’s men, women, and youth from all walks of life took to the streets to express their desire for regime change. The urban middle classes stood alongside rural farmers and agricultural workers, along with the rest of the population, and came together in chants of “down with Rouhani” and “down with Khamenei”.

A reminder of distant memories

Iran has heard similar chants before. Forty years ago, in 1978, after the annual Nowruz celebrations, similar chants rang out across Iran. Nasser Razil describes how protestors gathered in Tehran, shouting “down with the Shah”. Then, as now, the country was in the grip of autocratic power, with a heavily oppressed population calling out regime change.

The parallels between the climate of 1978 and that which we see today are not limited to Iran’s internal political struggle. In 1978, western governments were convinced that the Shah would emerge from the protests with his regime intact. Just weeks before Nowruz, Jimmy Carter had called Iran an “island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world”. The UK Foreign Office also maintained a blind faith that the Shah was in control of the situation.

Foreign powers are not reading the signs

Fast forward to today, and the same attitude can be seen towards Iran from the western powers. There has been a prevailing school of thought in western governments that Rouhani’s oppressive regime has the support of the poorer classes and possesses the strength to whether the storm and put down the dissenting population.

This has clearly shown to be false. The recent protests indicate that the poorer communities have just as much desire for regime change as the urban middle classes. In Isfahan Province, it was the farmers that triggered mass public mobilisation in early April, disgusted at the regime’s inability to handle a water crisis. The recent protests raged for ten days, indicating that the regime could not quash the dissent. There were even reports of State Security Forces abandoning their posts and joining the protestors. The regime’s strength is evaporating, and there are clear signs that, like the Shah’s regime in 1978, it will not be able to maintain its grip on power for much longer.

Washington is currently re-examining its position on Iran. It will soon have to decide whether or not to adopt a firmer stance against the Iranian regime or continue with its policy of appeasement for the ayatollahs. The appointment of John Bolton as the new National Security Advisor to President Trump is a positive sign. He has long sympathised with the MEK and its leader Maryam Rajavi and will likely push for a harder stance towards the Iranian regime.

However, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In 1979, when the Shah regime fell, western governments were in shock and were left scrambling to formulate a policy towards the incoming government. The same signs that were present in 1978 are visible today. Foreign governments must read them and react.

The Rouhani regime is losing its grip on power. All segments of the public have turned away from it and are crying out for regime change. The economy is still declining, and farmers have begun to strike and protest. The winds of change are on the horizon. Washington, London, and the other western governments must change their attitudes towards the regime in Iran. It will not be in power for much longer.

Staff writer

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Iran Protests,Isfahan,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,ProfessorIvan Sascha Sheehan

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

The continuation of recent protests despite the Iranian regime’s repressive measures, including mass arrests, the killing of protesters, and torture, shows that these protests have taken on a different, more resolute tone. Rather than protesting individual incidents, like the 2009 protests, the nation-wide protests that have rocked Iran since December have been directed at the regime itself and its repressive reign of terror.

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the incoming Executive Director of the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, and an award-winning scholar and Iran expert. He has published a very comprehensive analysis of the recent uprisings in Iran, the reasons for their continuation and the differences between these protest with their predecessors like the 2009 uprisings in Iran. Given the continuation of the protests, a summary of this study has been reported below:

The spread of discontent

At the end of December 2017 and the beginning of January 2018, Iran experienced the largest national uprising since 2009. What started as localized and isolated protests in Mashhad, quickly spread to 142 cities and towns in all 31 of Iran’s provinces.

Although this initial wave of disruption has ended, since January 2018, a steady stream of protests has continued to erupt across the country. In February, another wave of protests broke out in the capital over the mandatory wearing of the hijab. Then, at the beginning of April, farmers took up their shovels to protest the mismanagement of water resources, leading a fresh round of protests which have since spread to five major cities.

Like the most recent farmer’s protest in Isfahan, the national uprisings in December were ignited by a triggering incident. In December, rising prices of staple food products ignited civil unrest. Also, like the most recent Isfahan protests, the triggering incident was soon marginalized, and the protests took on a more political tone, with anger and frustrations directed squarely at Rouhani’s repressive regime.

This regime-targeted anger sets these most recent protests apart from their predecessors. It indicates that public appetite has shifted from temporary protests directed at individual policies, to widespread anger with the entire regime.

This has been most apparent in the slogans adopted by the protestors. Protesters across the country engaged in chants of “down with Rouhani” and “down with Khamenei”, along with “Khamenei is a killer, his rule is illegitimate” and “we will fight to wrest back our country Iran.” These demonstrate the full extent of public dissatisfaction. The chants did not reflect the initial trigger of the protests; the rising price of eggs. They indicated a strong public desire for regime change, unlike anything Iran has seen before.

In his article, Professor Sheehan noted that the demographic that took part in the most recent rounds of protests were also of interest. He wrote, “the overwhelming majority of those who engaged in the uprising were from poor and underprivileged backgrounds”. This is particularly damaging for the mullahs. They have always maintained that they are “the defenders of the abased”. Previous protests, like those in 2009, featured a majority middle-class demographic. However, the most recent protests indicate that both the poor and middle-classes alike are angry at the regime and there is discontent across all segments of the Iranian population.

Sheehan describes how the recent protests have been effective at uniting people from all walks of life. Women, farmers, rich and poor all walked together. This also extended to ethnic unity. People from Iran’s multitude of ethnicities showed solidarity against the regime. The slogans adopted by protestors had no ethnic undertones. They showed a united Iranian population with one Iranian identity. From Kurds to Balochs, the entire spectrum of Iran’s rich population joined the protests.

These protests also challenged the very heart of the clerical regime. The December protests began in Mashhad and quickly spread to Qom within a matter of hours. These two cities have traditionally been regime strongholds. With discontent spreading to these “bastions of the clerical rule”, the regime must know it’s very survival is under threat.

The violent response

The extent of the threat to the Iranian regime from this new generation of protests is apparent in its aggressive response. The government officially states 22 protestors were killed in response to the protests. However, opposition groups, like the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), assert the figure is closer to 50.

The head of the Iranian Prisons Organisation said the government arrested 4,972 protestors. Again, opposition groups have claimed that this figure is a vast understatement, putting the true number of arrested protestors at around 8,000.

Although the government arrested a significant number of protestors, Sheehan suggests there were indications that the December protests stretched the regime’s military force to its limits. In 2009, the government was able to restore order through the deployment of one IRGC division to each province and two divisions to Tehran. However, the 2017/2018 protests spread too fast and were too geographically dispersed for the IRGC to immediately bring them under control. The protests raged for ten days and, according to Professor Sheehan, after the first day had “no element of surprise and all the details of the protests including locations and times were announced in advance on social media”.

This indicates the IRGC was stretched beyond its capabilities. It could not prevent or stop well-advertised protests from occurring, and once they had sprung up, could not bring the situation under control for ten days. There was also chaos within the IRGC and the Basij militia. Reports of soldiers burning their membership cards and joining the protestors have emerged.

This will have far-reaching consequences moving forward. The protests showed the Iranian people that the regime and its IRGC are not invincible and cannot establish control when all segments of the population protest in unison.

Why are the protests gaining momentum now?

The timing of the protests is also significant. The protests have evolved and become more threatening now because of the regime’s own failings. The extension of Khamenei’s control over the Iranian economy has left many individuals in conditions of financial hardship. The nuclear agreement with the US unfroze tens of billions of dollars, but the average Iranian is no better off.

This is because more than 50% of Iran’s GDP is now under state control. The private sector has been marginalized, inflation is still high, and unemployment remains in double digits, particularly among Iran’s youth, which has unemployment levels of up to 50% in some areas.

Nepotism and corruption are strangling social mobility. Graduates from the country’s top universities are performing manual labor and washing dishes, while the children of the country’s elite secure the top jobs.

The regime’s spending has also left many communities deprived of basic social needs. Iran’s healthcare spending is approximately a third of its military spending. Tehran has prioritized spending on foreign military and extremist groups overspending on the basic social needs of its population. The regime has created the discontent that has fuelled these anti-government protests by neglecting its population.

Beyond neglecting its population, the regime has extorted money from them through manipulation and deceit. The regime lured middle and lower-income Iranian people into investing in government institutions under the promise of high investment returns. These investments were embezzled into Rouhani’s regime, leaving the institutions bankrupt and many Iranian’s without their life savings. The regime’s deceit impacted a large segment of the population and has contributed to the discontent of a large segment of the Iranian population.

The economy shows no sign of improving, and in many parts, could get a lot worse. The regime’s looting of Iran’s financial institutions means that several principal banks face imminent bankruptcy. Should these banks bottom out, more of the Iranian population will find themselves without their savings, looking to vent their frustrations at the regime that left them penniless.

Increased connectivity and mobile penetration have also contributed to the evolution of the Iranian protest movement and the emergence of a new breed of protest. The movement is more organized and efficient. Half of the Iranian population now uses the instant messaging service, Telegram. It was essential in facilitating the mobilization of the population in the December and January protests and in the coordination and spread of civil unrest.

The role of MEK in Protests

In his report, Prof. Sheehan discusses another reason for the increased momentum and success of the public protests in Iran, which is the presence of an organized and structured opposition movement. He emphasized that leaderless movements are easier to curb and eradicate through the use of government intimidation and oppression. “The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), lead by Maryam Rajavi, has been a lightning rod for opponents to the Iranian regime”. The MEK’s continued presence in Iran helps mobilize and inspire the population into organized resistance.

The MEK has also played an integral role in bringing the full extent of the regime’s atrocities to light. It has worked tirelessly to shed light on the regime’s massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 and the officials involved. It also exposed the location of nuclear weapons research facilities and the progress of the regimes nuclear weapon development program.

Without the MEK, the full extent of the regime’s atrocities and crimes may never have been exposed to the Iranian public. It provides a constant voice for the opposition and a beacon for the nation’s youth who are dissatisfied with the status quo and eager to be a part of the opposition.

Prof. Sheehan reiterates that the MEK has played a key role and been a driving force behind the spread of recent protest movements. It is one of the few organizations that provides comprehensive coverage of the protests, broadcasting video clips and giving interviews to international media outlets. Its coverage of the protests undoubtedly contributed to the spread of the protests and will be a driving force in the re-emergence of protests in the near future.

 Changing international attitudes

Not only did the December and January protests represent a new dawn for Iranian opposition, but they also represented a new dawn in international attitudes towards the Iranian regime. Before the protests, Prof. Sheehan describes how the prevailing thought in the west and among international leaders was that the Iranian poor supported the regime. They believed Tehran had effectively suppressed the opposition and enjoyed unrivalled dominance and control over the population. The west also believed the easing of economic sanctions would provide a cash windfall for the Iranian people and reduce their appetite for dissent.

The 2017/2018 protests challenged these assertions. They showed that the population was harboring ill sentiment towards the regime and crying out for an opportunity to express its discontent. Sheehan alluded to a new school of thought that is reinterpreting Iran’s support for foreign militias not as a sign of strength, but as a sign of weakness. He said it is “maintained to cover up the shortcomings and failures at home.”

In the international community, the effectiveness and magnitude of the December and January protests have led to a reinterpretation of the situation in Iran. Maryam Rajavi, leader of the MEK, offered some insight into the situation. She said, “Iranian society is simmering with discontent and the international community is finally getting closer to the reality that appeasing the ruling theocracy is misguided.”

The future

In the wake of these ground-breaking developments, Sheehan asserts that we may see an increasingly firmer stance taken by the international community, particularly from the Trump administration.

The MEK in opposition will continue to work tirelessly to organize outlets for the disheartened population to vent their frustrations. The MEK has supported the establishment of secret centers of resistance which will connect like-minded protestors and attempt to orchestrate the downfall of the repressive regime.

This platform of an organized opposition taking practical steps towards regime change provides the Iranian population with the best possible chance of success. It puts the mullahs and Rouhani in the difficult position where they have no option but carry out widespread reforms or face the collapse of their regime under the weight of public discontent. Given Rouhani’s reluctance to reform, we can conclude that protests will continue and intensify.

Prof. Sheehan’s article vividly depicts the changing Iranian political landscape. It demonstrates that is has been irreversibly altered by the December and January protests. The regime cannot afford to continue with its repressive ways without acknowledging public frustrations. The next wave of protests will be louder, larger and more powerful and the regime will soon be unable to maintain a grip on power.

Last year, Maryam Rajavi summed it up. She told a crowd gathered in Paris that “the light of change is shining on Iran.” These protests have shown the world that light and demonstrated that the Iranian regime is staring down the barrel of collapse.

Staff Writer

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Isfahan,MEK,water rights

Mass Arrests in Isfahan as Protests Continue across Iran

Mass Arrests in Isfahan as Protests Continue across Iran

Mass Arrests in Isfahan as Protests Continue across Iran

Mass Arrests in Isfahan as Protests Continue across Iran

Demonstrators continue to take to the streets across Iran to protest its oppressive regime. Economic issues have powered many of the recent demonstrations, as citizens of all walks of life protest the corruption of the ruling regime.

 

The regime has attempted to quell the protests with mass arrests and suppressive forces rather than address the concerns of the Iranian people. On April 15th, the Khorasgan people in Isfahan  saw their houses attacked in the dead of night by suppressive forces hoping to prevent the protests from spreading. Farmers and youths in the city were arrested as part of this suppressive action.

 

Repressive forces maintained a presence of fear and intimidation in the city in a failed attempt to prevent further demonstrations. Anti-riot mercenaries traveling in twenty cars and four buses were dispatched to the city to stop the protests by the people of Varzaneh, MEK network inside Iran reported.

 

Despite these intimidation tactics, farmers in Isfahan met at Khourasgan Square and Abazar Avenue on Saturday to protest, with chants of: “Imprisoned farmers should be freed! Farmer dies, but does not accept humiliation! We are the women and men of battle, we get back our right to water!”

 

Demonstrators are raising their voices to protest a number of issues. In Khuzestan province, villagers from Jofair in Hoveizeh protested for the right to use water from Jofair Project.

 

In Ahvaz and Shushtar, protesters demanded the return of their looted deposits from the Arman Vahdat governmental institution. In Mashhad, a rally was held by the people looted by Caspian institute outside the Pamchal branch in Sajjad Boulevard.

 

In Tehran, Tarbiat Modarres University students protested corruption at their school, including looting the University’s budget, the illegal evacuation of dormitories, and renting university facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, for profit.

 

In Yazd, health center workers protested months of having their salaries unpaid. They also protested their lack of job security.

 

In Yasuj, families of the victims of the fatal Asman airlines crash last year met at the Red Crescent building to protest the ruling government’s failure to recover the bodies of crash victims. They called on Tehran to find and return their families’ bodies.

 

In Tabriz, fans of the Tractor-Sazi team protested the team’s executive manager, Ajorlu, and suppressive acts against the team and its fans.

 

In several cities, including Qazvin, Kerman and Yazd, educational services purchase plan teachers demonstrated in front of Ministry of Education offices for the second time, asking for payment of their salaries and full insurance. They also demanded to be paid the same as official employees.

 

Protesters employed a variety of strategies to express their anger at the ruling regime. Protesters in Ahvaz blocked the doors of Arman Vahdat, the governmental institution that stole their deposits, with mud. In Shushtar, victims of Arman Vahdat forced employees out of the building and closed it. Other demonstrators carried signs condemning the actions of the regime and chanted slogans.

 

The uprising, which began in December of last year, continues in the form of widespread protests. The Iranian regime has yet to silence the voices of its people.

Laura Carnahan

 

 

 

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Iran Protests,Isfahan,Maryam Rajavi,MEK

Protests Continue to Rage Across Isfahan and Beyond

Protests Continue to Rage Across Isfahan and Beyond

Protests Continue to Rage Across Isfahan and Beyond

Protests Continue to Rage Across Isfahan and Beyond

Last week’s protests continue to rage in Isfahan province. Protestors from all walks of life took to the streets and demonstrated from Khorasgan Square, Jay Street and Ahmadabad Square in Isfahan.

The protestors gathered in overwhelming numbers, women vented their frustrations with the crowd, the nation’s youth protested for a brighter future, and farmers took up their shovels and chanted with their fellow compatriots.

The noise was rousing. Chants of “Rouhani the liar” and “shameless authorities, they are thirsty for the blood of the nation,” rang out across the province in a chorus of defiance against the repressive Iranian regime.

What ignited the protests?

Hundreds of farmers have complained about the lack of water available. Their livelihoods are under threat as drought racks the Iranian agricultural sector. What water is available, is denied to the farmers. The corruption and mismanagement of water resources from the Iranian regime have exacerbated the problem and left many rural communities without water for their crops.

Government officials are taking bribes in exchange for diverting water sources to neighboring regions. In Isfahan province, its main river has seen its flow diverted to neighboring Yazd province, leaving the region dry and the citizens unable to grow their crops.

The regime is trying to curb the spread of dissent

As the protests spread and more citizens took to the streets, inspired by the farmer’s courage and relishing the opportunity to vent their frustrations with the Iranian regime, the authorities attempted to block their path to the farmers. They erected barriers and parked cars to stop the magnitude of protestors from swelling.

However, there is little the regime can do to delay the inevitable. The determination of the brave farmers in Isfahan quickly inspired others to mount their own protests. In Tehran, Rasht, Ahvaz, Mashhad, Kerman and Ardebil, members of the cities institutions that have seen their finances looted by the regime joined the civil unrest sweeping across the country.

Maryam Rajavi praised the brave farmers and other citizens that defy the regime

The leader of Iran’s opposition (MEK), Maryam Rajavi, praised the farmers of Isfahan for their perseverance and determination. She also expressed solidarity with the urban population’s dissent.

Maryam Rajavi said, “hail to my fellow Iranians in Tehran, Mashhad, Rasht, Ahwaz, Kerman, Koohdasht, and Pars Abad Moghan, who staged demonstrations in protest against their assets being looted by institutions affiliated with the Iranian regime.”

The only way to bring an end to the Iranian regime’s tyranny is to show Rouhani and the world that the Iranian people stand in opposition to the regime. Maryam Rajavi and all those in opposition must stand together in the face of adversity. Like the farmers in Isfahan province, we must demonstrate that our determination is unwavering, and our perseverance to regime change is limitless.

Staff Writer

 

 

 

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