Posts Tagged ‘MEK Abania’

Dagens Næringsliv,Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,Eskil Engda,Iran Terrorism,MEK,MEK Abania,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Tulip square- Ashraf 3, Albania

The Regime Finds Another Willing Mouthpiece in Norway

Ashraf III, MEK's main residence in Albania

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

Several weeks ago, members of the Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), noticed an individual acting strangely near their compound. The stranger was Eskil Engdal a “journalist” working for Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

The journalist was in Albania with Gjergji Thanasi, a regime-affiliate with ties to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). The pair were lurking around the residential settlement, taking photos of the entrance gate and ignoring signs stating that photo and video recording on the premises was prohibited. When approached by the Albanian security team, the pair refused to stop taking photos.

A History of Terror

To understand the inherent danger and suspicion in the pairs’ activities, we have to look to 2018. Over the course of the 18 months, the regime has aggressively hunted MEK members, planning terror attacks and assassinations against their ranks.

Last year, during the Persian New Year celebrations, the Albanian authorities thwarted a regime-sponsored terror attack on the MEK compound. Just a few months later, the regime again sought to carry out a terror attack against the MEK, this time in Paris at the group’s annual Grand Gathering.

Albanian President Expresses Support for Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats

The Iranian regime has pursued and attacked the MEK at every turn. Its members have been the target of plots and assassinations in the US, and the EU.

Aiding and Abetting the Regime’s Terror Agenda

This suspicious behavior prompted the MEK’s legal team in Ashraf 3 (MEK’s residence in Albania) to write to the editor-in-chief of the paper. It read: “We would respectfully ask you not to allow your newspaper and journalist to become unwantedly tools of the Mullah’s regimes to enhance its objectives and prepare the grounds for assassinations of the Iranian refugees in Albania”.

Additionally, representatives from the MEK’s umbrella organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), penned a letter to the Norwegian Justice Minister on May 27th.

If the reporter had wanted to gain access to the compound and produce an impartial, unbiased story about the Iranian opposition group, why did Eskil Engdal not contact the organization? Why would he arrive in the country with an MOIS agent?

If he had contacted the MEK, he would have been able to gather source material that disproved the lies fed to him by MOIS agents. He would have been made aware of the relentless demonization campaigns against the MEK that the Iranian regime carries out each year. He would have been aware of the slaughter of MEK members that have taken place within Iran, including the summer of 1988 when the regime killed more than 30,000 MEK members across the country.

Even if he did not wish to reach out to the MEK, he could have spoken to impartial authorities in the UK or Europe. Instead, he spoke to known regime affiliates and lobbyists. He could have referred to the North Rhine Westfalen State office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany, which concluded in 2017: “These agents conduct espionage, disseminate false information, and recruit new spies. In the last four years, in particular, they have been spying on members of the Iranian opposition who have been transferred from Iraq to Europe as part of a humanitarian project.”

A Mouthpiece for Regime Lies

The fact that Eskil Engdal did none of these things suggests the work of a regime mouthpiece designed to spout the regime’s poisonous and violent ideology and promote its political objectives in the international media.

In publishing propaganda and lies, Eskil Engdal could become an active participant in the regime’s demonization campaign, paving the way for further terror attacks and legitimizing violence against MEK members.

The international media must learn that to publish the regime’s lies without scrutiny or due diligence is not only an affront to the principles of a free, independent media, but it emboldens the regime to continue to carry out terror attacks against an already persecuted Iranian opposition.

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Iranian regime's embassy in Albania

The Iranian Regime Is Planning to Send Spies and Terrorists to Albania

Iranian regime's embassy in Albania

The Embassy of the Iranian regime in Albania, last year Iranian regime’s ambassador and his deputy were expelled from Albania for their involvement in failed terrorist plots against MEK members in Albania

In December 2018, the Albanian government expelled Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, the Iranian ambassador, and Mostafa Roudaki, the head of the Iranian regime’s intelligence station in the country. At the time, the decision was applauded by governments across the globe, including the Trump administration in the US.

The decision came on the back of a string of foiled Iranian state-sponsored terror plots on European soil. The Iranian regime had been using its web of European embassies to coordinate terror attacks against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest Iranian opposition group.

One such attack, planned during the Persian New Year celebrations in 2018, was due to be carried on in Albania. The regime had planned to detonate a bomb at the MEK’s compound in the country. The plot was foiled by Albanian authorities in the late stages of execution.

Renewed Attempts to Infiltrate Albania

Now, just six months later, there have been reports of renewed regime attempts to infiltrate Albania. The regime is once again trying to send spies and assassins to the country to target MEK members.

Based on reports obtained by MEK sources inside the Iranian regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have prepared a delegation of spies and terrorists that will attempt to enter the country under the guise of businesspeople and journalists. Gholam Hossein Kazemi, a senior figure in the IRGC and director of Asia-Kar Bakhtar, a contracting company, will likely head the delegation. The regime will secure visas and residence permits for IRGC agents under the name of Kazemi’s company.

A Tried and Tested Technique

Senior officials in the regime have publicly revealed that this is a favorite tried and tested strategy for regime agents. They apply for visas and residence permits under the name of state-affiliated companies or as foreign journalists. Once inside the country, they connect with other agents and coordinate terror attacks and assassinations.

Ali Fallahian, the former head of intelligence for the Iranian regime, said: “The Ministry of Intelligence needs cover to gather information, whether inside or outside of the country.” He added, “we do not send an intelligence officer to Germany or the United States saying I am from the Ministry of Intelligence. It is necessary to have [a] business or journalism cover.”

An Albanian TV network named Report TV revealed that Albanian counterintelligence agencies had been actively monitoring 10 persons of interest in the country. “Law enforcement agencies in Albania are particularly concerned about Iranians who may be employed by Tehran’s secret services to take steps to compromise the protection of 3000 Iranian PMOI refugees in Albania,” it said.

Now Is the Time

In a statement, the Iranian opposition reminded governments around the world that the Iranian regime’s terror activities across Europe have deadly consequences. In light of recent planned terror attacks in the US, Albania, France, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands, the MEK urged European and US government to include both the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and the IRGC on their international terror blacklists.

Only through the IRGC and MOIS’s complete exclusion from the international financial system and collapse of their donor base will the international community be able to mitigate the threat of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism. To eliminate the threat in its entirety, nothing short of regime change in Iran will succeed.

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Tulip square- Ashraf 3, Albania

NCRI Publishes Letter from MEK Legal Counsel to Dagens Næringsliv Newspaper

Tulip square- Ashraf 3, Albania

The entrance to Ashraf 3, MEK’s place of residence in Albania

On Friday, May 24th, the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) released a letter written by Behzad Saffari, legal advisor for the MEK in Albania, to Amund Djuve, the Editor-in-Chief of the Dagens Næringsliv newspaper on April 1, 2019.

The letter referred to an incident on March 27, 2019 in which a journalist from the newspaper, later identified as Eskil Engdal, accompanied by a regime Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agent from the Iranian regime’s Embassy in Albania, Gjergji Thanasi, photographed the MEK compound in Albania. The compound, which houses MEK members who have been repeatedly targeted by terrorist attacks from the Iranian regime, explicitly prohibits photography at its entrances because of security concerns. The photographer and MOIS agent ignored the clearly posted signs and continued to aggressively take photographs even after they were asked to stop by Albanian security guards.

Continuous Terrorist Threats

 

The letter explained that the MEK has been subject to continuous terrorist threats by the Iranian regime, who see the opposition movement as an existential threat to their rule. In March 2018, Albanian authorities foiled a terrorist plot to bomb a Nowruz celebration at the MEK compound. An investigation resulted in the expulsion of two Iranian regime terrorists, the Iranian ambassador, and a high-ranking regime diplomat from Albania.

 

Saffari also referred to the foiled terrorist attack on the annual gathering of the MEK in June 2018 and the arrest of two MOIS agents in the United States in August 2018 for spying on MEK members.

Prior Espionage Activities

 

Saffari’s letter described Gjergji Thanasi’s prior espionage activities against MEK members in Albania, noting that he has posed as a journalist, chauffeur, and interpreter in order to get close to the MEK compound to film and collect information about security systems that have been put in place to protect residents from attack from regime terrorists.

 

Saffari questioned the newspaper journalist’s association with an Iranian regime agent, calling it “an increasing disturbing matter.” He also noted that the MEK had become aware that Engdal had met with MOIS agents claiming to be former members of the MEK who are on the payroll of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Albania.

False Claims against the MEK

Saffari contradicted false claims that the MEK compound is isolated and closed to outsiders, stating that since the group moved to Albania in 2018, “dozens of Albanian and International reporters and US and European personalities including Albanian Ministers have freely visited the compound.” He went on to add that “Albanian citizens in large and small groups come to the compound to visit their friends.”

A German Delegation Visits the MEK Compound in Albania

Saffari included documentation regarding the false and inflammatory article published by Der Spiegel magazine about the MEK. In March 2019, a German court ordered the magazine to remove false allegations against the MEK or pay a fine of up to €250,000 or face a six month prison sentence if the fine was not paid.

Saffari concluded his letter by respectfully asking

Dagens Næringsliv and Eskil Engdal not to unknowingly become tools of the mullahs’ regime used to “enhance its objectives and prepare the grounds for assassinations of the Iranian refugees in Albania.”

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Mario Baldasaro releases new report on the Iranian regime funding terrorism.

Italian Politicians Hold Conference on Iranian Regime Terrorism

Mario Baldasaro releases new report on the Iranian regime funding terrorism.

Conference at the Headquarter of Italy’s Radical Party, introducing a report by the former Deputy Finance Minister of Italy, Mario Baldasaro entitled “What if Iran spent its terror group budget on domestic issues?”

On Friday, Mario Baldasaro, former Deputy Finance Minister of Italy, released a report entitled “What if Iran spent its terror group budget on domestic issues?” at a conference held at the headquarters of Italy’s Radical Party and hosted by former Italian MP Elisabetta Zamparutti. Former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, Senator Lucio Malan, Senator Roberto Rampi, former Italian MP Nicola Chirachi, Hands Off Cain Secretary Sergio Dalia, and Iranian community spokesman Behzad Bahrebar also spoke at the conference.

Elisabetta Zamparutti

Former MP Zamparutti opened the conference by reminding attendees of the lengths that the Iranian regime has gone to in its attempts to eliminate the MEK and continue its rule. She noted that the regime’s ambassador and one of its diplomats were expelled from Albania because of their roles in an attempted terrorist attack on the MEK headquarters in Tirana (Asraf 3). She added that Iran executes more of its citizens per capita than any other country in the world.

Mario Baldasaro

Baldasaro presented his report on the Iranian regime’s financial support of terrorist groups, which found that the mullahs budget at least $1 billion per year to its proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Latin America. Baldasaro stated that over the past four years, this money could have created 2.4 million jobs and reconstructed the country’s infrastructure if it had not been spent on terrorism.

Lucio Malan

Senator Malan’s speech concerned financial corruption and human rights violations under the regime’s rule. He stressed that the mullahs stay in power through their use of executions, torture, lashing, and crackdowns against religious and ethnic minorities. He emphasized that Western countries should not ignore these acts and should stop doing business with the Iranian regime.

Roberto Rampi

Senator Rampi, who sits on the Italian Senate Human Rights Committee condemned the regime for its oppression of its own people and its aggression toward neighboring countries. He pointed out that the Iranian regime is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world and that global stability cannot be achieved without taking a firm stance against the mullahs.

Giulio Terzi

Giulio Terzi cited several studies which describe Iran as a global threat. He condemned the mullahs for plundering the wealth of the Iranian people to maintain its rule and reminded conference attendees of the Iranian regime’s role in propping up Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. He called for a firm policy toward the mullahs and an end to the policy of appeasement.

Nicola Chirachi

Chirachi praised the tough stance by the United States against the Iranian regime and encouraged Europe to take a stand against the mullahs as well. He emphasized that the regime has been forced to its knees politically, socially, and economically, and it is necessary to take a firm approach in confronting its policies.

Behzad Bahrebar

Behzad Bahrebar thanked Mr. Baldasaro for his research, saying that the report about the economic crisis caused by the mullahs’ corruption and plundering of the people’s wealth paints a sobering picture of the catastrophic effects of the regime’s rule. Bahrebar pointed out that the Iranian Resistance has said for forty years that the regime cannot be reformed.

Sergio Dalia

Hands Off Cain Secretary Sergio Dalia wrapped up the conference with a speech about the regime’s human rights record, which includes more than 3,800 executions during regime Hassan Rouhani’s tenure as President. He also described the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners over the course of a single summer, a crime against humanity for which no one has ever been held accountable. Many of the perpetrators of this atrocity have risen to high-ranking offices within the regime, including the current judiciary chief. Dalia concluded that Europe’s policy of appeasement jeopardizes regional and global security.

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Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson: “Eighty Million Iranians Have Lost Their Fear”

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson, the former MEP, considers the #IRGC FTO designation by the U.S. a further nail in the coffin for the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran.

The former member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson published an op-ed in the Scotsman. In the piece, entitled ‘Donald Trump is intent on Downfall of This Fascist Regime’, Stevenson welcomes the US governments recent pressure on the Iranian regime and describes how ordinary Iranians are increasingly turning away from the regime and protesting its mismanagement of Iranian resources and rampant human rights abuses.

“Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the temporary waivers that had enabled countries like Iraq, Turkey, India, Japan, and China to continue purchasing Iranian oil without breaching US sanctions has hammered the final nail into the mullahs’ coffin,” Stevenson writes.

The decision constricts the flow of finances into the mullahs’ coffers and prevents them from increasing their spending on repressive mechanisms and efforts to destabilize other Middle Eastern nations.

The Iranian regime, through its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), has funneled money to the militia and terrorist groups across the Middle East and beyond. Its proxies have been active in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. The abrupt end of its oil exports will reduce its ability to provide these financial resources to groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Tightening the Pressure

Stevenson describes how President Trumps decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement signed under Obama and reintroduction of economic sanctions against the Iranian dictatorship is putting increased economic strain on the regime. “the Iranian economy was already in freefall,” he writes, “with the rial collapsing and inflation soaring against a background of nationwide protests.”

The US government’s most recent move to isolate the Iranian regime and cut off the resources at its disposal was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week. Pompeo revealed that the US would add the IRGC to its international terror blacklist.

The listing will effectively make it a crime for any US citizen or organization to provide advice, services, assistance, money, or resources to the IRGC. Given the IRGC controls around 90% of the Iranian economy, “it will be virtually impossible for anyone to trade with Iran without breaching US sanctions or facing severe penalties for dealing with a listed terrorist organization,” Stevenson predicted.

The Next Step

For Stevenson and the Iranian opposition including the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), the US must go further and add the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to the same foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist.

The MOIS coordinates Iran’s elaborate global network of spies and terrorists. Last year it was behind a number of failed attacks in the US, France, and Albania, the most severe of which was thwarted when a Belgian-Iranian couple was found carrying 500g of homemade explosives destined for the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris. An Iranian diplomat had provided the couple with the explosive device along with precise instructions of where and how to coordinate the attack on the Iranian opposition group and its allies.

While disaster was narrowly averted, for the more than 100,000 attendees, including President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, it was undoubtedly a traumatizing ordeal.

In a similar incident, Albanian President Edi Rama expelled the Iranian Ambassador and his First Secretary. The president cited national security concerns, suggesting that the pair posed a risk to Albanian security and the country’s inhabitants.

“Once again, these ‘so-called’ diplomats were revealed as trained MOIS agents who had been plotting bomb attacks and assassinations of regime opponents in Albania,” Stevenson writes.” There are growing demands for Iran’s embassies, which are clearly being used as bomb factories and terrorist cells, to be closed down throughout the EU.”

An Increasingly Angry Public

At home, the international isolation of the regime is becoming a source of frustration for the Iranian public. Protests rack Iran’s cities on a near daily basis, with the Iranian population calling explicitly for regime change.

The public is demonstrating. They will no longer tolerate the regime’s violence, economic mismanagement, and lies. They chant, “the enemy is here, not in America!”

“They have watched as the elderly, bearded, misogynistic mullahs have corruptly enriched themselves while also sponsoring international terrorism and proxy wars,” Stevenson writes. They will no longer stand by while Iranian finances are funneled to despots and terrorists abroad.

In response to the growing protest movement, the mullahs have sent the IRGC, its main repressive organ, to silence and arrest protestors. Several of those arrested have been tortured to death in regime custody. Many more languish in squalid conditions in Iranian prisons and are subject to show trials and routine beatings.

In the wake of recent flooding, the mullahs even resorted to contracting foreign mercenaries to silence protestors and quell public dissent. Rather than make the IRGC’s helicopters, boats, and shelters available to the Iranian public, they withheld them, leaving the public to organize relief and rescue efforts themselves.

A Tipping Point?

“Eighty million Iranians have lost their fear,” Stevenson writes, “they have watched as the appeasement policy of the Obama administration and his EU allies has been consigned to the dustbins of history. They long for the freedom, justice, human rights, women’s rights, an end to the death penalty, an end to the nuclear threat and the restoration of a secular democracy that is being offered by the main and best-organized opposition movement, the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK).”

With the US president taking a firmer approach against the brutal dictatorship in Iran, the Iranian public feel empowered to protest and defy the regime’s tyranny. MEK resistance units are active across Iran offering hope and opposing the regime’s crimes wherever they occur.

Stevenson concludes: “The Iranian population now recognizes that they have support in the West. They know that the US administration will continue to turn the screw until this evil regime is replaced and peace and stability in the Middle East and worldwide can be restored.”

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Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Der Spiegel to Pull Unsupported Claims Against the MEK

Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Spiegel published a full of lies story about MEK, Iran’s main opposition force, raising outrage among the Iranian communities-February 2019

On Tuesday, March 26, the New York Times reported on the decision from a German court ordering German magazine Der Spiegel to pull passages of an article for unsupported allegations. Der Spiegel published a feature on the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) last month. In it, the magazine made brazenly false allegations that the group engages in activities that amount to torture.

In a statement, the group categorically denied the allegations. The MEK accused the publication of promoting the Iranian regime’s international objectives and deliberately participating in the mullahs’ disinformation campaign against the political opposition.

Published at NYT on March 26, 2019

Analyzing the Claims

In the piece, Der Spiegel accused the MEK of practicing massacres and torture at its compound in Albania. It also accused the group of holding members against their will.

Both are claims often repeated by the Iranian regime. The regime wants to sway international opinion against the political opposition. The MEK is a pro-democracy group that stands opposed to the mullahs’ brand of religious fascism. By painting MEK members as bloodthirsty savages, the regime attempts to legitimize its violent terror campaign and assassination attempts against the MEK membership both within Iran and abroad.

The MEK, upon hearing of the article’s impending publication and its contents, invited Der Spiegel’s journalists to visit its compound in Albania and witness the conditions there for themselves. They refused. Had they have taken the MEK up on its offer, they would have seen that they do not engage in the activities they stand accused of.

International court cases brought against the MEK by regime stooges for allegedly holding members against their will have been dismissed. This information is widely available online. Even a rudimentary observance of basic journalistic fact-checking principles would have revealed many of the allegations laid out in the article to be categorically false. But Der Spiegel published it anyway.

Deep Ties with the Iranian Regime

There were also indications that the magazine conspired with the Iranian regime in the publication of the hit piece against the Iranian opposition group. Before the article was published, sections appeared on an Iranian state-affiliated website.

A journalist working on the piece was also hosted in Iran and granted access to the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Justice

A court in Hamburg ordered Der Spiegel to remove the unsupported allegations from its website. The magazine will have to pay a 250,000 euro fine (US$282,000) if it fails to adhere to journalistic standards, and repeats the claims on any of its publications.

The MEK celebrated the ruling. The group released a statement accusing the magazine of “spreading a wealth of lies and false allegations.”

In the age of fake news and rampant disinformation online, the ruling represents a victory for truth and justice. Western media outlets must be held accountable for journalistic standards. Their reporting can have very dangerous implications for political groups like the MEK, who are a constant target of Iranian state-sponsored violence and terrorism. The media must remain a guardian of truth, not a political mouthpiece. Der Spiegel has demonstrated that its lack of commitment to truth, instead choosing to become a political tool to a violent and repressive foreign dictatorship.

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Hamburg court rules against misinformation targeting the MEK

A Hamburg Court Rules Against Der Spiegel in Blow to Regime’s Misinformation Campaign

Hamburg court rules against misinformation targeting the MEK

The court in Hamburg rules against the spread of false information against MEK, Iran’s main opposition.

A Hamburg court struck a blow to the Iranian regime’s misinformation and demonization campaign against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). On Thursday, March 21, a Hamburg court ruled that German Magazine Der Spiegel acted illegally by spreading false accusations against the MEK. It determined that the magazine had failed to adhere to the basic principles of journalism and adequately fact check information it received from the clerical regime in Iran.

Vile Lies and Falsehoods

In an article published in the magazine on February 19, Der Spiegel printed a host of lies and falsehoods about the Iranian pro-democracy organization. In particular, it repeated regime lies that accuse the MEK of engaging in brutal violence and torture, which were proved to be incorrect, the court order says.

The MEK pointed out that Der Spiegel’s “journalist” who researched the piece, worked closely with the Iranian regime and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The magazine also ignored the MEK’s requests to visit its compound in Albania, Camp Ashraf, the alleged site of torture and violence. Der Spiegel’s unwillingness to visit the MEK’s site at the invitation of the group demonstrated a lack of interest in uncovering the truth and reality of the situation in Albania. It showed the magazine preferred to spout fabrications at the behest of the Iranian regime.

Part of the article was even published before its release on a website controlled by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). This illustrates the deep cooperation between Der Spiegel and the clerical regime.

Legal Ramifications

Following the article’s publication, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella organization which includes the MEK, applied for an injunction in the Hamburg courts against the magazine.

The court ruled that Der Spiegel is now prohibited from publishing allegations of torture against the MEK at its settlement in Albania. The court decided that the NCRI had “substantiated the false nature” of the allegations. It also prevented the magazine from publishing any further allegations that accuse the group of practicing “cutting throats with knives, breaking hands, piercing eyes with fingers” and, “tearing corners of the mouth.”

The court determined that Der Spiegel’s investigation methods did not meet national journalistic standards, making the information unlawfully reported.

The court threatened Der Spiegel with a €250,000 fine. In the event that the magazine cannot, or will not, pay the fine, the court invoked a custodial sentence of up to six months.

Der Spiegel removed the illegal statements from its article online.

Emboldening the Iranian Regime

The original article repeated regime mistruths and lies. It was welcomed by the regime’s state-run media. The Mehr and Fars news agencies both ran pieces echoing Der Spiegel’s claims to much fanfare and many other Iranian media outlets published translations of the article.

In a statement from the NCRI, its representative office in Germany explained the danger of allowing regime misinformation to propagate. “By spreading false information, the regime justifies its domestic massacres of the PMOI/MEK and prepares the ground for its terrorist operations on European and foreign soil,”. Referring to the reasons for a rise in the misinformation campaigns against the MEK, the statement says:

“After the safe and organized relocation of the PMOI/MEK from Iraq to abroad, and after popular uprisings in Iran in January 2018 and the end of US appeasement of this regime, the Iranian regime has resorted to intense terrorism and disinformation campaigns against the PMOI/MEK and Iranian Resistance, believing this to be a remedy to its existential crisis. By spreading false information, the regime justifies its domestic massacres of the PMOI/MEK and prepares the ground for its terrorist operations on European and foreign soil. Additionally, it messages a lie to Western circles that there is no alternative to this regime and that if it were overthrown, conditions in Iran would worsen.”

As a result, the ruling in Hamburg must be viewed as a victory. Not just for the MEK, but for truth, democracy, and stability both in Iran and in the West. The regime must not be permitted to hijack Western media outlets to advance its own objectives and undermine regional security. It is our collective responsibility to challenge regime lies, wherever they occur.

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President-elect Maryam Rajavi speaking at Nowruz celebration at Ashraf 3, MEK place of residence.

Maryam Rajavi Delivers Nowruz Speech

President-elect Maryam Rajavi speaking at Nowruz celebration at Ashraf 3, MEK place of residence.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, joins MEK members in Albania during Nowruz celebration -March 20, 2019

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, delivered a speech to mark the Iranian new year celebrations. Her Nowruz speech was filled with optimism, as she called on the Iranian diaspora around the world, as well as those living under the repressive regime in Iran, to remain steadfast in their opposition to the regime’s brutality.

She offered particular congratulations to those in Albania, where the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK) have built a compound complete with shops, meeting halls, dormitories, sports facilities, bakeries, medical buildings, and administrative buildings in just a year. “Let me congratulate you,” Rajavi said.

She spoke with pride about what the Iranian resistance had achieved in 2018, “the year of protests”, “the year in which appeasement failed and the mullahs lost one of their bases for retaining their power.”

Empty Tables

However, Mrs Rajavi also used the Nowruz celebrations to draw attention to the difficulties many face in Iran. “We know that their tables are empty,” she said, “we know that their farms are dry.”

Economic mismanagement and the misuse of public funds has left Iranians struggling to put food on the table. Inflation has skyrocketed. Iranian purchasing power has dropped. Many public workers have not received their wages in several months.

For the farmers, the situation is just as bad. As Rajavi pointed out, their farms have run dry. The mullahs have diverted natural water sources to wealthier areas, leaving farms decimated and agricultural workers in rural parts of the country without the opportunity to earn a basic income.

Maryam Rajavi expressed her solidarity and support for these downtrodden communities. “We are with honest teachers who have been discriminated against and humiliated, sentenced to life below the poverty line and imprisoned,” she said, adding, “we are fighting for the women and children who are burning in poverty and strangulation, especially in the margins of big cities.”

A Regime of Terrorists

Mrs. Rajavi went on to call on the Western powers to add the Iranian regime to their terror lists. “Now it’s time for the devilish force of the Corps (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) to be on the list of terrorist groups in the State Department,” she said.

“The mullahs have no chance of survival,” she concluded. She described how the regime channeled its efforts to damage the MEK in 2018, “they focused their efforts on terrorism and demonization.” “But [they] failed.”

She echoed Massoud Rajavi’s speech in Rasht, “life is continuous in the future, and everyone who is in the future is alive.”

She concluded, “the Iranian people want freedom and justice. [They] want equality and independence, trust sympathy and coexistence. They want economic and social progress, [an] Iran in which everyone has a right to work.”

“So, rise!”

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

MEK Celebrates Nowruz 1398 in Tirana

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

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

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

Maryam Rajavi’s Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pandeli Majko’s Speech

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

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

Edmond Spaho’s Speech

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

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

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

Staff writer

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Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Statement by Members of MEK Denounce DER Spiegel Hit Piece Against Iran’s Main Opposition

Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Spiegel published a full of lies story about MEK, Iran’s main opposition force, raising an outrage among the Iranian communities-February 2019

The ruling regime in Iran uses social media networks and international newspapers and magazines to spread mistruths and lies concerning the Iranian opposition movement. Along with state-sponsored terror, the clerical regime uses it as a weapon to undermine and discredit the opposition and sway public opinion against the principal opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

In a statement published recently, a group of members of the MEK based in Albania emphasize that the defamatory accusations made by Der Spiegel will only prepare the ground for terrorism against MEK, Iran’s principal opposition, especially in Albania. Members of MEK ask all supporters of democracy and those who combat against terrorism to protest against Der Spiegel that has fallen to “the most disgraceful mouthpieces of the Iranian regime.”

The latest hit piece, an article published in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine entitled “Prisoners of Their Own Rebellion”, spouted a list of usual regime talking points and falsehoods. The allegations cited in the piece have been publicly discrediting numerous times, including by international courts, political figures, and legislative bodies.

Shoddy Journalism

The statement of the members of the MEK says, Der Spiegel recently suffered a journalism scandal when an editor, Claas Relotius, was caught fabricating stories. Now, just weeks later, further questions have been asked of the publication’s journalistic integrity.

The magazine published its hit piece against the MEK after interviewing sources within the regime and affiliates of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). A trainee correspondent spent time in Iran with the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij forces.

The MEK extended an invitation to the magazine’s editor, offering to permit its journalists to visit the MEK’s compound in Albania. Despite persistent invitations, Der Spiegel declined, preferring instead to write its piece on the opposition group without speaking to anyone from the organization itself.           

The end result was a piece lacking fundamental accuracy. It demonized the MEK and ignored the regime’s widespread and rampant human rights abuses. There was no mention of the 12,000 political executions, 500 plotted terror attacks abroad, and massacres of MEK members carried out by the regime.

Laying the Groundwork for a New Massacre

The hit piece is more than just an example of shoddy and inaccurate journalism. By demonizing the MEK, the Iranian regime is able to lay the groundwork for a new massacre, much like those that took place in 1988 when the regime killed 30,000 MEK members, and those that happened at Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf in Iraq, states the MEK members in their statement.

If it can rob the MEK of its support through slanderous hit pieces like those that have appeared in Der Spiegel and The Guardian, the regime believes it will be able to kill and maim MEK members across the globe with impunity.

Iranian Incentives Inspire Der Spiegel Writers

The only explanation behind Der Spiegel’s deliberate and contrived rejection of even basic journalistic fact-checking principles is that the regime offered tantalizing incentives in exchange for Der Spiegel turning a blind-eye to the facts.

For example, in the piece, Der Spiegel alleges that former MEK members have described how the group regular practices slitting throats and jabbing out eyeballs. However, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has repeatedly warned that the MOIS recruits former MEK members and coerced them into publicly criticizing the group. The MEK sent Der Spiegel’s editor the BfV’s findings, however, these falsehoods still appeared in the final article.

Why Der Spiegel is Little More than a Regime Mouthpiece

The testimonies of the so-called “defectors” also expose glaring holes in their narrative. For example, Gholamreza Shekari, one of the “defectors” interviewed in the article, claimed the MEK tortured him in 1994. However, he remained with the MEK until 2016, despite meeting regularly with officials from the US, Iraq, the UN and the UNHCR. If we wanted to leave and the group’s members had “tortured” him, as he claims, why would he not leave sooner?

The statement of the member of MEK stationed at Ashraf III in Albania, calls on the international community to stand against the promulgation of lies and inaccuracies wherever they occur. Der Spiegel must be called out for publishing such an inflammatory and damaging piece, and it should be warned that in publishing a piece of this nature, it is complicit in the regime’s human rights abuses and international terrorism.

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