Posts Tagged ‘Maryam Rajavi’

Free Iran 2018,Free Iran Gathering,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Regime Change

FreeIran Gatheing in Paris.

#FreeIran2018 an Occasion for the World Leaders to Stand with the Iranian People for Freedom

FreeIran Gatheing in Paris.

A young man raise the flag of Iran’s opposition, during a rally in Brussels protesting Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister visit to Brussel.

On June 10th, the Kansas City Star published a commentary piece by Saeid Sajadi. The article, entitled “Real hope for democracy in Iran, but the U.S should help”, called on the Trump administration of offer a message of support to annual gathering of the Iranians in Paris, the Free Iran-2018.

Saeid Sajadi began by exploring the effect regime change in Iran would have on the wider Middle East. He called the Iranian regime, “the most destructive force affecting the stability, safety and security in the region and beyond”.

Regime Change is Within the People’s Grasp

The uprisings which took place at the tail end of 2017 “shook the foundation of the regime”, Sajadi said. Rather than isolated demographic groups protesting their individual grievances, the uprisings united people from all walks of Iranian society. The poor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the urban middle class and wealthy merchants.

This was a landmark moment for the regime. It had long relied on the unfettered support of the nation’s lower classes. Slogans like “death to the dictator”, and “the game is now over”, will have shaken the mullahs’ confidence.

The rapid spread of civil unrest, which reached 140 cities over the span of a few days, shows two things, according to Sajadi. Firstly, it demonstrates the extent that Iranian society has been harbouring a desire for regime change. The eagerness with which people took to the streets, risking both their lives and freedom, indicates that many held deep-rooted mistrust towards the regime.

The Effectiveness of the MEK

The second is the strength of the MEK’s networks. Sajadi said the scale of the revolts indicates how “deeply the hidden and effective network of the main Iranian opposition force- PMOI, or the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran [MEK]- is rooted throughout Iran”.

What is incredible, is that the group has survived a perpetual attack on its existence by the Iranian government. Sajadi cites the massacre of 1988 when the government executed 30,000 MEK members in a single summer. Yet the group is not only still active but thriving and threatening the mullahs’ grip on power.

As President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, predicted, 2018 has so far been a “year of uprising”. Nationwide-strikes have crippled the logistics sector. Other sectors like education, metalworks, taxi drivers, shop owners, and students have also organised protests and strikes against the regime.

The role of the US

Unable to avoid the will of the Iranian people, the US is beginning to change its stance towards the clerical regime in Iran. On May 21st, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, outlined 12 areas in which the regime needed to adjust its behaviour. The demands were explicitly designed to minimise Iran’s influence as a disrupting force in the Middle East.

These demands, although intended to limit Iranian power and influence, also provide support to the Iranian public. However, Sajadi argues the US should go further. With Iranians risking their lives in Iran to show the world that they want regime change, the U.S. has the opportunity to support real change in Iran. Lending its support to the Iranian people, in concrete terms, is in the interests of American people, Sajadi says.

He even provides an opportunity for the US to do so. On the 30th of June, there will be an international gathering of NCRI supporters in Paris. Many Iranians living in exile, and Iranian-Americans are set to attend. Sajadi calls on President Trump to offer a message of support at this, or another event organised by the Iranian opposition, to provide solidarity to the Iranian people on their quest for regime change.

 

 

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Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Quds Day Rally

Kazerun demonstration-May 2018

Yet more blows to the Iranian regime

Iran’s rising tide of protests continued into June. On June 9th, protests spread to the medical professions. Doctors and dentists walked out of their surgeries, staging a demonstration in front of the Iranian Ministry of Health Treatment and Medical Training. They were expressing their disgust at the regime’s allocation of residency applicants. The regime allocated 60% of residency positions to regime affiliates and supporters.

A Blow to the Regime

The medical strike was the latest blow to the regime, which is suffering humiliation at the rising dissent and growing protest movement across the country. Nowhere was this more evident than in the “Quds Day” rallies.

The regime attempted to drum up public support by holding rallies in Tehran and across Iran. However, public turnout was so low, even with significant editing, the state broadcasters were unable to broadcast footage showing crowds attending the rallies.

The clerical regime had advertised the rallies for several weeks, urging citizens to attend. State-operated shuttle and subway services were put on to drive people to the rallies free of charge, yet still, the people stayed away.

Among those that did attend were plain clothed Revolutionary Guards and Basij forces to push the numbers up. Even those that depend on the regime for their livelihood avoided the rallies in a show of defiance and protest.

The rallies were the clerical regime’s response to protests organized by the Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

MEK-endorsed protests have sprung up across Iran

The MEK has called for the public to rise up in solidarity with many of the protests springing up across the country. The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, recently gave the striking truck drivers her full support and called on the Iranian public to stand in solidarity with them.

Other protests are sweeping across the country. Retired sugarcane workers at the Haft-tappeh sugar cane company were the latest to join the resistance movement. On June 9th, workers staged a protest over the non-payment of their salaries. They have not received payment for two months and have seen a cut and reduction of their employment benefits.

On the same day, steelworkers from the National Group Alloyed Steel Company staged protests of their own. They gathered in front of the Provincial governate, enraged by the non-payment of wages and future job uncertainty.

On June 8th, the people of the city of Mahshahr in Northern Iran gathered once more to protest the regime’s plans to divide their city. They gathered in the mosque with banners reading, “we give our blood but not our soil”.

In addition to these brave displays of defiance, the truck drivers also continued to vent their frustrations. In Babai freeway, truck drivers parked their trucks, blocking traffic and creating a long queue of stationary vehicles.

Each act of protest serves as another defeat to the Iranian regime.

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#FreeIran2018,10 point plan,Free Iran Gathering,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,PMOI

Italian Municipalities Support for #FreeIran2018 gathering

Italian Municipalities Voice Support for June 30th Free Iran Rally in Paris

Italian Municipalities Support for #FreeIran2018 gathering

Italian Municipalities, support Free Iran 2018 Gathering in Paris.

Twenty-two Italian municipalities from the Piedmont region signed a statement in support of the Free Iran rally that is scheduled for June 30th in Paris. The statement was written following a regional Mayors’ council meeting in Italy’s Vale De Susa on Friday, June 1, 2018, in which the statement was discussed and approved by those in attendance.

 

The statement is an expression of solidarity for the Iranian people and their widespread uprising against the repressive ruling regime. The uprising, which began in December 2017, took place in 140 cities across Iran for two weeks before being temporarily suppressed by the regime. The people staged their initial protests to express dissatisfaction with current economic conditions, but as the uprising spread, the people began to call for regime change and nothing less. Protests were widely publicized with the help of social media, and the international community became aware of the unrest.

 

The statement by Italian municipalities acknowledged the validity of the resistance movement, which includes the MEK, and declared support for Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for democratic change in Iran. Mrs. Rajavi is the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, of which the MEK is the largest member. The statement said:

 

“We support NCRI’s President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan, which is aimed at setting up a democratic republic based on separation of religion and government, gender, ethnic and religious equality, non-pursuing any nuclear program, abolition of death penalty, peaceful coexistence and commitment to international rules and conventions, to ensure democracy, development and progress in Iran and the world.

“It’s time for the international community to put itself on the right side of history.”

 

The statement went on to express support for the upcoming Free Iran Grand Gathering, which will take place in Paris on June 30th. The annual event is intended to promote the resistance movement in Iran and to support the people’s desire to overthrow the oppressive theocracy currently in power and replace it with a secular democracy.

 

The statement also referred to the Iranian regime’s massacre of 120,000 political prisoners, including 30,000 in the summer of 1988 alone, most of whom were MEK members. The following is from the statement:

 

“Amnesty International has regarded the massacre as a crime against humanity, calling for its perpetrators to be brought to justice. According to UN reports, the Iranian regime has the highest per capita execution rate in the world.

“The Iranian people showed the world that they’re more than willing to join their organized resistance and pay the price for democratically changing the ruling dictatorship in Iran and replacing it with a system that is based on separation of religion and politics.

“We hereby express our solidarity with Iranian people’s uprising for freedom and democracy and also declare our support for NCRI’s program for a democratic change in Iran.

“We ask the international community to make its relations with the Iranian regime conditional on the regime’s respect for human rights, and also ask with a loud voice for the release of all political prisoners in Iran.”

 

The municipalities who signed the statement were  Almese, Avigliana, Borgone Susa, Brozolo, Bussoleno, Caprie, Caselette, Cianocco, Chianocco, Cusa di San Michelle, Condove, Mattie, Mompantero, Novalesa, San Didero, San Giorio di Susa, Sant’Ambrogio di Torino, Sant’Antonio di Susa, Susa, Vaie, Venaus, Villar Dora and Villar Focchiardo.

 

Staff Writer

 

 

 

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Maryam Rajavi,MEK,National strike by lorry and truck drivers,NCRI

Truck driver's strike across Iran continues on its 11th day

Iran’s Truck Driver Protests Enter the Eleventh Day

Truck driver's strike across Iran continues on its 11th day

Despite heavy security measure, the nationwide strike continues

Iran’s truck drivers continued to demonstrate against the clerical regime as their strike entered its 11th day on Friday, June 1st. Cities such as Isfahan, Mahshahr, Kerman, and Golgohar, among others, have had their logistics sectors grind to a halt as drivers turned off their engines in a display of protest.

The strikes began on May 22nd, when truck drivers in seven of Iran’s provinces began demonstrating stagnant wages, rising insurance costs, and arbitrary tolls. The protests have since spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces and more than 249 cities.

The Regime’s Response

The mullahs have employed various repressive measures to break the will of the truck drivers and bring the strike to an end. Drivers have reported receiving threats and the use of intimidation to force them back to work. In Yazd, agents of the regime burnt trucks. Elsewhere they attempted to use army trucks to distribute fuel and goods, but the protestors blocked their path.

Despite the regime’s best efforts, the drivers’ determination has been unwavering. They have risked their freedom and their livelihood to vent their frustrations at their appalling treatment at the hands of the mullahs.

The Iranian state media has not reported the strike activity. The Roads and Urban Development Ministry reported the agreement of a 15% increase in driver’s fees, however, it is not clear whether this is another hollow promise from the regime to bring the protest to an end.

The Economic Effects

The strike is a major concern for the clerical regime. Over 90% of Iran’s goods are transported via the country’s extensive road network. The truck drivers’ strike has, therefore, had widespread effects across industrial and economic sectors.

Images of cars queuing up at petrol stations in Shiraz and Esfahan were shared on social media as the strike disrupted fuel supply lines. Despite the disruption, the Iranian public stands with their compatriots and support the truck drivers in their fight for fairer pay and better working conditions.

Domestic and International Support

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, has been instrumental in drumming up support for the protest movement. She saluted the truck driver’s efforts and called on the Iranian people to support the striking drivers.

The movement has also garnered international attention. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a major American and Canadian labor union which represents supply chain workers, tweeted a message of solidarity with the Iranian truckers. Its statement calls on Tehran to give in to the protestor’s demands. The tweet drew attention from many Iranians who expressed messages of support and gratitude.

Staff Writer

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Iran Protests,Isfahan,Kazerun,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,NCRI,PMOI,Truck drivers protests

Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

Europe Must Not Become the Jimmy Carter of 1977

Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

Iranians in Europe and America, will gather in Paris this June to show support for Iran Protests

In 1977, Iran was on the precipice of change. Yet on December 31st, US President Jimmy Carter described Iran as an “island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world”. Ironically, just a few months later, Iran would become engulfed in protests against the Shah’s regime and the country, which once appeared so stable, underwent drastic changes.

Today, Iran appears to be in a similar situation to 1978. Protests litter Iran. The people take to the streets at every given opportunity to display their displeasure towards the Iranian regime. On Sunday, May 27th, the Iranian public gathered to celebrate the life of film star, Naser Malek Motiei at a large public funeral service. It quickly transformed into a demonstration against the mullahs and their clerical regime, as protesters began chanting “death to the dictator, hail to Naser!”

Elsewhere, a truck driver strike has raged for more than a week. Truck drivers went on strike in hundreds of cities across all 31 Iranian provinces to vent their frustration at poor working conditions and unfair tariffs imposed by the regime. Despite petrol stations sitting empty, and long queues, the drivers have the support of the people. They know the difficulty Iran’s industries are facing without the existence of trade unions and the greedy mullahs imposing harsh taxes, fees, and tariffs at every opportunity.

In Kazerun, initial protests against the regime grew in intensity after the Iranian security forces opened fire on protestors. Four protestors were killed in the incident, leading to further public outcry and demonstrations at the martyr’s funerals.

In the last full week of May, there were more than 489 individual acts of defiance and protest against the regime. This amounted to some 69 protests every day. They were not limited by geography or demographic either, students, farmers, teachers, truck drivers, and shopkeepers were among those that took to the streets. In Tehran itself, strikes from local market stall owners left many shops and stalls closed.

The Regime’s Repressive Measures Will Not Work This Time

The regime has responded to the widespread protests with violent reprisals and repressive measures. They arrested protestors, fired on them with live ammunition, resorted to threats and blackmail, and carried out torture on suspects in prison. But the people will not be deterred.

Fury drives the Iranian public. Fury at their economic circumstances, poverty is rife across Iran, as is unemployment and drought. They know that without regime change, they have no chance of escaping a life of poverty. The mullahs’ and Rouhani’s regime divert the flow of money into their own pockets. Corruption is widespread. Until these issues are addressed, the people will not be silenced. This is why the regime’s violence and barbaric suppression tactics will not work.

The more protests erupt, the more the people can see regime change on the horizon. Each act of protest inspires the next. This momentum in Iran’s opposition movement is loosening the mullahs’ grip on power.

The most recent spate of protests has also been far better organized and coordinated than anything in Iran’s history. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has played a central role in the organization of the protests. With a strong organizational network and widespread public support, the protest movement can only get stronger.

Europe’s Role

Europe is in danger of echoing Jimmy Carter’s position in 1977. The Iranian public has demonstrated their hunger for regime change. The protest movement within Iran is gathering steam, and the position of the mullahs looks untenable.

Europe would be well-placed to avoid financial investment in Iran. Iran has no future with Rouhani and his cronies. The sooner Europe realizes that, the better.

Staff writer

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Iran MEK,Maryam Rajavi,Naser Malek Motiei,NCRI,PMOI,Zahedan Protests

Nasser Malek Moteie's funeral

Anti-regime sentiment is present in public spaces everywhere across Iran

Nasser Malek Moteie's funeral

Nasser Malek Moteie’s funeral turns in to a protest against the regime – May 27, 2018

The students at Zahedan Azad University used their voices to stand up against the public humiliation of Iran’s Baluchi citizens. Many of Iran’s Sunni and minority communities suffer from state-endorsed discrimination. Prominent Baluchi religious leaders have been killed in recent years under suspicious circumstances. This has prompted many to question the regime’s involvement in their deaths.

On Saturday, May 25th the students joined other members of the public in expressing their frustration and dismay at the regime’s abhorrent discriminatory measures. They chanted “do not be afraid, we are all together,” and carried banners against the degradation of ethnic minorities. Agents of the regime arrested a number of students involved in the demonstrations.

Maryam Rajavi’s support

Leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, offered words of encouragement and support to the students and their compatriots. She denounced the regime, expressing “shame and hatred” for the clerical regime which “is the main source of discrimination and disunity in Iran today”. The President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) also called on the youth of the Baluchi and Sistan communities, as well as those in other communities across Iran, to stand in solidarity with the brave protestors of Zahedan.

Public Discontent

The protests in Zahedan, as well as recent truck driver protests, farmers protests, and student movements across the country, demonstrate the public’s desire to express their anger at the regime at every public opportunity. On Sunday, May 27th those gathered in attendance at the funeral of Naser Malek Motiei also used their voices to show their displeasure with the regime.

Naser Malek Motiei was a prominent Iranian cinema star who was isolated and attacked by the regime for refusing to concede to its unpopular policies. He used his art to show his displeasure with the regime, and it cost him four decades of his career.

It was entirely fitting then for those gathered at his funeral to use the opportunity to draw attention to the regime’s ill-treatment of Naser and the Iranian people. Out of respect for the deceased 88-year-old, the people chanted “death to the dictator, hail to Naser,” and “our disgrace is our (state) radio and TV”, referring to the state controlled

In an attempt to curb the protests, the regime dispatched anti-riot forces who tried to intimidate those in attendance with tear gas and shots fired into the air. The people were undeterred and continued the ceremony, adding chants of “shameless, shameless,” into their chorus.

Until the Iranian regime falls, the public will continue to vent their frustrations at every opportunity presented. The protests will only intensify until the current status quo is brought to an end.

Staff Writer

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Iran Protests,Iran Uprising,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,PMOI,Ramesh Sepehrrad

MEK Rally in support of IranProtests

New Study Suggests Revolution on Horizon in Iran

MEK Rally in support of IranProtests

MEK Rally in Paris, in support of Iran Protests-2018

A new study was written by Dr. Ramesh Sepehrrad, a scholar-practitioner at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University, published in the journal E-International Relations on May 21st draws attention to the growing unrest in Iran. The uprising that began last December gave voice to a growing number of Iranians who are tired of the regime’s shallow claims of reform and are demanding regime change. Sepehrrad’s paper discusses the roots of the uprising, the reason for its widespread impact, and its potential to start a revolution in Iran.

 

The scope of the Protests

 

According to Sepehrrad, the recent uprising in Iran began with a protest in the northeastern holy city of Mashad over rising food prices and quickly spread into a massive uprising that took place in 140 cities across Iran. During the two weeks before the regime temporarily suppressed the uprising, the scope of the protests grew from economic conditions to inequality, to corruption, and finally to calls for regime change.

 

The people protesting came from all walks of life, but the first protests were led by Iranians from the lower middle-class whose standard of living has decreased dramatically in recent years. They were joined by large numbers of women and youths who rose up in solidarity with those struggling through poor economic conditions. As the uprising grew, more people joined the ranks of protesters, including members of Iran’s many ethnic groups, including Turks, Kurds, Turkmen, Arab, Taleshi, Baluch, Lor, Bakhtiari, and Ghashghai, and the uprising began to look more like a coordinated effort and less like scattered protests. The regime attempted to paint the protesters as looters and criminals, but, as Sepehrrad wrote in her paper, this argument was invalidated by the fact that no looting occurred. The uprising was well-organized and goal-oriented, not a few protests by the poor and desperate.

 

Sepehrrad pointed out that Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei later acknowledged the role of the MEK in the uprising in an attempt to frighten people and prevent further protests. The regime’s record of brutality to the MEK is well-documented. In the summer of 1988 alone the regime executed 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK members. By acknowledging the MEK’s role in the uprising, the regime hoped to discourage protesters who did not want to meet the same fate as the tens of thousands of MEK members who have been targeted by the mullahs, but instead, they inadvertently lent credibility to the resistance organization and its goal of regime change.

 

According to Sepehrrad, the December 2017/January 2018 uprisings were unique in several respects. For one thing, the protests were widespread, occurring in 140 cities over the course of two weeks. Protests occurred both in cities and in more rural areas. This was partially due to the use of social media, specifically Telegram, to spread the word of the uprisings. Government censorship efforts tend to cluster in the larger cities in Iran, so protesters in smaller cities were able to bypass state censors to get their message out in a way that would not have been possible in Tehran. The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is also more densely clustered in larger cities, meaning that protests in small cities were not quickly or easily suppressed before word could spread. In addition, the protests began because of frustrations with economic conditions. The poor are disproportionately located in smaller cities, so the places where protests could spread more easily were also the places where more people felt compelled to protest.

 

Sepehrrad found that protesters also utilized social media to collect data about the uprising. This information is an invaluable resource for predicting future acts of resistance by the people. Sepehrrad claims that the data gathered during the uprising shows a new model of protest in Iran that encompasses diverse groups and locations.

 

Sepehrrad also wrote about the unity shown by the protesters. People protested for many reasons, but all of the protesters were united by their desire for regime change. According to Sepehrrad’s research, 65% of protest signs seem during the uprising called for regime change. This was extraordinary for such a diverse group of people. The poor, women, young people, legitimate political groups, the labor movement, various ethnic groups, and representatives from every social class banded together to demand change. This sort of unity in protest has been seen historically in revolutionary settings.

 

The data collected during the uprising provided a picture of the protesters and their goals. Sepehrrad found four major themes in her analysis of the data.

 

  1. Unlike previous uprisings, the protesters in the recent uprising had no desire to negotiate with the regime for concessions. They demanded nothing less than regime change.
  2. The uprising was an organized nationwide movement, with protests occurring all over Iran, not just in the cities.
  3. Social media played a huge role in the uprising, in part because the protesters were able to flip the script and transfer the fear of retaliation from the protesters to the regime by documenting protests and communicating in a medium that could bypass the regime’s attempts at censorship.
  4. The unity displayed by a diverse group of protesters has unleashed sentiments of revolution across Iran.

 

Goals and Tactics of Protesters

 

Protesters shared the common goal of regime change, but Sepehrrad found that there were a number of different issues that led people to rise up. Economic conditions caused many people to rise up. The lower middle class made up a large percentage of protesters because this group has been forced into poverty by the regime’s policies. Under the ruling regime, economic disparities between regime officials and their families and the rest of the country have disillusioned many Iranians. The regime has been accused of financial corruption, leading to unequal access to wealth that has caused widespread poverty amongst Iranians. Numerous allegations of corruption by the members of the regime have been made, and these claims have been substantiated by a report by Transparency International, which ranked Iran 131 among 178 countries.

 

According to Sepehrrad‘s research, 40% of Iranian citizens in large cities live below the poverty line, and 60-70% of people in smaller cities and towns live in poverty. Young people, educated women, and college graduates are chronically unemployed or underemployed, with the regime acknowledging a 35% unemployment rate among the nation’s youth and a 52% unemployment rate among women.

 

In addition to the epidemic of poverty, Iran’s housing crisis has been unaddressed by the regime, leaving many living in dire conditions. Sepehrrad estimated that 25% of the population has been affected by this crisis. The environmental crisis caused by the regime has compounded the inhumane living conditions faced by the people. According to Sepehrrad, the regime’s mismanagement has led to the drying of 90% of the country’s wetlands, leaving many without access to water.

 

 

The Role of Social Media

 

 

The increased access to the Internet and social media drove many to demand change. Despite the regime’s efforts to censor online material, Iranians have found ways to connect with each other and the larger world. These people, particularly women and educated youth, see the disparity between the rights enjoyed by people in other countries and the oppression and inequality experienced within Iran. They protested for greater individual freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of association.

 

According to Sepehrrad, the increase in access to online information has also given the Iranian people access to unbiased news, and not just the propaganda published by the state. This has drawn attention to the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, a majority of whom were MEK members. Some of the biggest sites of protests were in cities where mass graves of the executed 1988 political prisoners were located.

 

Sepehrrad added that increased access to social media has also led to greater awareness of the plight of political prisoners. Word travels fast on the Internet, and now when someone is detained for the crime of speaking their mind, the rest of Iran knows about it. Iran’s abysmal human rights record (17 out of 100 points, according to Amnesty International) has led many to feel that Iran is unreformable. For many, the only solution to Iran’s problems is regime change. This sentiment, expressed by a large and diverse group of Iranians spread across the country, is the main ingredient of a revolution.

 

Protests did not end when the uprising was suppressed and continue each day in cities across Iran. In late January of 2018, protesters began using a secure crowdsourcing tool to communicate with each other about upcoming protests, resistance efforts, and the current locations of security forces. They also take videos of events in Iran to share with the rest of the world.

 

Sepehrrad noted that the use of purposeful collective action has been a factor in the uprising and continuing protests. Protesters have unified to act against the state in a coordinated fashion. Sepehrrad wrote that targets of these actions include “local religious leaders and centers, security forces and personnel, government-controlled financial institutions and banks, judicial branches, and government offices.” Protesters have taken down and burned images of the Supreme Leader in numerous cities. This action, in particular, has energized the resistance movement. Collective action is still occurring in Iran as part of ongoing protest efforts.

 

The MEK’s Role in the Uprising

 

According to Sepehrrad and the regime itself, Tehran has placed responsibility for the uprising on the MEK, who did indeed play a large role in organizing protests. But the seeds of dissent have been present among the people of Iran for decades. The MEK is simply an expression of the dissatisfaction of the people with the current regime.

 

The usual practice of the regime is to violently suppress any dissent. But Sepehrrad noted that those calling themselves “reformers” have been more hesitant to violently act against their own people. The uprising has given these reformers pause, and they have had to backtrack on many of their “reformist” views because it is clear that the people are serious about regime change. Sepehrrad wrote that on January 24, 2018, one of the senior pundits of the so-called “reformist” faction admitted that these protests will come in waves and as they recede, “they will come back stronger.”

 

The MEK has long been a target of the regime’s wrath, wrote Sepehrrad, as they are the largest and oldest resistance movement in Iran and have had success in opposing the mullahs’ rule. The regime has spent significant time and political capital in an attempt to delegitimize the movement and have claimed repeatedly that the MEK has been diminished and has little influence or support from the Iranian people. But the recent acknowledgment by the regime of the MEK’s role in the growing unrest runs counter to their argument that the MEK does not speak for the people. The large and widespread uprising that took place clearly shows the will of the people, and their goals align with the MEK and its longstanding position that meaningful change can only happen with the end of the mullahs’ rule.

 

Conclusion

 

Sepehrrad’s paper demonstrates that the uprising and continuing protests in Iran are not scattered acts of resistance. The large-scale nature of the protests, their continuance despite attempts by the regime at suppression, their diverse makeup, and the unity displayed by the protesters point to revolution. The use of social media has made Iranians more aware of their shared concerns and has enabled them to organize more effectively. The people have no desire to negotiate with the regime. Their message is clear. Revolution is the only way to bring true reform to Iran. Sepehrrad’s paper may be read in its entirety on the E-International Relations website.

 

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Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National strike by lorry and truck drivers,NCRI

Truck driver's strike on its 5th day.

MEK Network: The Truck Driver Protest Movement Swells as it Enters its Fourth Day

Truck driver's strike on its 5th day.

The nationwide truck drivers strike enters its fifth day.

The truck driver protests escalated on their fourth day to include 177 cities, spread across 29 of the country’s provinces. The protests began on Tuesday, the 22nd of May when drivers in 70 of Iran’s cities turned off their engines in protest. By Friday the 25th of May, the demonstration had swelled as truck drivers, minicab drivers, and taxi drivers from other cities around the country joined the protests in earnest.

The protestors have been explicit in their demands. They want their wages to increase, retirement after 25-years of work, lower tariffs, and no competition from drivers working for the State Security Force.

Rising tariffs and freight charges have been a significant economic burden for Iran’s truck drivers. Iran’s economy is in turmoil and arbitrary charges from regime officials at terminals are strangling the logistics and shipping industry.

The Regime’s Efforts to Circumvent the Protests

As the protests swelled to 177 cities, the clerical regime tried to diminish the impact of the strike by using tankers owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). However, their plans failed when protestors in several cities successfully blocked the tanker’s movements.

The regime also used threats in an attempt to break the strike. Workers from the National Oil Products Distribution Company in the province of Isfahan were told they would lose their jobs if they joined the strike. The drivers ignored the warnings and proceeded to join the strike.

Conflict erupted between fuel tank drivers and the regime’s agents. In Isfahan clashes occurred between the two sides, exacerbated by the regime’s threats against those involved in the strike.

The intimidation tactics are an indicator that the strikes have caused the regime concern. There are even signs of concessions. Tasnim, the state-run news agency, quoted Dariush Armani of Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization. He said it was “reasonable” for the drivers to demand a pay increase, as the costs associated with transportation rose.

Iran Stands Behind the Strikers

Early in the protest, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, extended her support to the country’s brave truck drivers. The leader of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK) gave the drivers her blessing and urged the people of Iran to stand with them in their struggle against the regime.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) also saluted the drivers, praising their resolve in the face of adversity and urging the Iranian public to support the protestors.

Staff Writer

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Secretary Pompeo describes new Iran Strategy

Why the Iranian People Support the Resumption of Sanctions Against the Iranian Regime

Secretary Pompeo describes new Iran Strategy

Secretary Pompeo’s speech on Iran-May 2018

The first of Donald Trump’s sanctions against the Iranian regime has been revealed following the withdrawal of the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo described the coming wave of sanctions against the clerical regime as “the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete.”

Secretary Pompeo explained the US government’s Iran policy as a three-pronged approach. The first strategy would be to apply financial pressure on the regime. The second would address the regime’s contributions to instability in the Middle East, particularly its financing of international terrorism. The third prong would see the US supporting the Iranian public and championing their cause.

A Clear Set of Criteria

The US Secretary of State was explicit in the requirements the Iranian regime would have to meet before the US would consider lifting the sanctions. He produced a set of 12 criteria that would have to be met. Among the criteria is the termination of the nuclear and ballistic missile programs, a cessation of meddling in the affairs of its neighbor states and an end to the financing of terrorism.

Many of the demands Secretary Pompeo laid out have been among the demands of the Iranian opposition since decades ago to end the policy of appeasement to the mullahs in Iran, however while secretary Pompeo spoke extensively about the Iranian people and their uprising against the mullahs, the end of human rights abuses and suppression of the Iranian population was not among the 12 demands.

Will the Sanctions Harm the Iranian People?

When economic sanctions are employed against a rogue government, there is often a concern among the international community that rather than affect those in power, the people bear the economic burden, and are forced further into poverty and financial hardship. This is actually the narrative that the Iran lobby had long been pursuing in a bid to prevent more crippling sanctions on the regime.

However, the people of Iran are in favor of the proposed sanctions. Iranian trade has not benefitted the Iranian population. The economy is under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) and the only beneficiaries of Iranian international trade are the IRCG and their affiliated companies.

Under the Iran deal, the Iranian regime received a $100-$150 billion financial windfalls. This had no effect on the Iranian people, who live in worse economic circumstances than they had prior to the lifting of the sanctions. In fact, the lifting of the sanctions and extra financial revenue allowed the regime to ramp up its domestic oppression and further interfere with conflicts in the region.

The people hope that with the resumption and intensification of international sanctions, it will limit the regime’s budget for repressive bodies and limit its campaign of tyranny against the Iranian population.

Maryam Rajavi’s Comments on Pompeo’s Speech

Responding to Mike Pompeo’s speech, leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, called his recognition of the Iranian people’s struggle “a major step”. She added, “democratic change in Iran is the only solution to the problem in Iran and the crisis in the region. Forming an international front against the religious and terrorist dictatorship in Iran is a requisite for the establishment of peace, security and coexistence in the region and world over”.

In the wake of the announcement from the US, Europe now has a choice; persevere with their short-term strategy of maintaining lucrative economic ties with Iran, or stand with the democratic movement in Iran, end its appeasement of the Iranian regime, and stand on the people’s side in their quest for a free, democratic Iran.

Staff Writer

 

 

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MEK rally in London

America’s JCPOA Withdrawal Offers Fresh Opportunities

MEK rally in London

Iran opposition activists rally in support of MEK

On May 22nd, townhall.com published a piece by Soona Samsami on Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. The article published under the title “After Nuclear Deal, the West Should Focus on Real Change”, highlighted the rise of the pro-democracy movement in Iran and urged the international community to reassess its stance towards the Iranian regime.

Samsami, the U.S. representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, argued that with the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there is an opportunity for the international community to broaden the discussion. The JCPOA was negotiated to curb the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, first and foremost. With the deal’s looming failure, there is an opportunity to reach international consensus on a course of action which promotes democracy, peace, and security, not just denuclearisation.

A more comprehensive approach

The leader of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, was quoted in the article. She has often expressed concerns with the Iran deal. She believes that regime change is a prerequisite for “peace, democracy, security and stability”.

The recent wave of protests that began in December 2017, and continues to rage across the country, has shown that creating stability and security in the Middle East, depends on more than just an effective denuclearisation deal. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has organized highly-effective national protests which have mobilized Iranians from all walks of life.

These outbursts of dissatisfaction from the Iranian public demonstrate the unpopularity of the regime in Iran. It presents an opportunity for the international community to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions once and for all; by helping the people, and the MEK, secure regime change and restores Iranian democracy.

A regime under threat

There have been recent indicators that the position of Rouhani and his mullahs is under threat. He phoned French President Emmanuel Macron and urged him to crack down on the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) activities in France. A week later, Ali Khamenei conceded publicly that the MEK had planned protests across the country.

The regime has also attempted to repress dissent across the country by coming down violently on those that protest. In clear breach of international human rights laws, the regime has executed and imprisoned those that dare to protest in the streets.

Denuclearisation and human rights can go hand in hand

The American withdrawal from the Iran deal allows the international community to consider an alternative that would promote both denuclearisation and human rights in the region. Maryam Rajavi urged the international community to modify their stance towards the regime in consideration of the human rights abuses carried out by the mullahs. She said the Iranian people “are calling on the international community, in particular, the West, to support their uprising for the overthrow of the Iranian regime.”

The plight of the Iranian people has attracted support from prominent figures in the Trump administration, including Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton. Public events organized by the Iranian opposition across the globe also draw in large numbers in support of the cause. The annual rally in support of the Iranian opposition near Paris, which is held on June 30th at Villepinte this year, usually draws numbers of over 100,000.

The conditions in 2015, when the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated, were drastically different from those in the country today. The deal at a time when the survival of the clerical regime appeared much more concrete. International heads of state believed they would be dealing with the regime for the foreseeable future and had little margin for negotiation beyond curbing its nuclear program, which has now proved to be a mistake.

Today, the survival of the regime looks in doubt. Protests are intensifying and the well-organized opposition of the MEK are pushing for the regime’s overthrow. This is an opportunity for the Western world to support the Iranian people in their quest for democracy and regime change. Only then can they be sure that Iran will be free from nuclear weapons, and the stability of the Middle East will be improved. Allowing the regime to remain in power and pushing forward with an ineffective deal will only lead to more chaos, routine human rights abuses, and instability throughout the Middle East.

Staff Writer

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