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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.

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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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Spiegel hit piece against MEK

Why Der Spiegel is Little More than a Regime Mouthpiece

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

Der Spiegel, a German magazine, published a hit piece against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The piece, entitled “Prisoners of the Rebellion”, went to press on February 16 and contained a host of mistruths and lies about the Iranian opposition groups.

The article spouted the regime’s propaganda without meeting even the basic principles of journalistic integrity. The authors declined to visit the MEK’s compound in Albania and ignored correspondences with the NCRI in which the pro-democracy group sent documents disproving the regime’s allegations. Instead, the writers spent time with the regime’s Basij agents in Iran, interviewed members of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) disguised as former MEK members without dealing with the group itself directly.

Waiting for the Perfect Time

Nothing demonstrates that the piece was little more than a poorly-informed hatched job against the MEK more than the timing of the piece.

In a statement released following the article’s publication, the NCRI revealed that it had been in communication with Der Spiegel’s deputy foreign editor, Mr Mathieu von Rohr, who had confirmed that the article was due to be published on November 24, 2018.

The article’s publication was delayed until “a time that the Iranian regime needed such “support,” the NCRI’s statement read. The recent conference in Warsaw which saw more than 60 governments from nations around the world come together to explore ways of dealing with the Iranian threat clearly prompted Der Spiegel to believe that this was the time the regime needed the “support” the article could lend.

The article was immediately picked up by all the Iranian state-run media outlets, which centered their coverage on the baseless allegations that the MEK carried out massacres and brutal acts of torture at its base in Albania.

Snubbed Invitations

The NCRI’s statement shows that the MEK and the NCRI had been in contact with von Rohr in the run-up to the article’s publication and were aware of the allegations about to be levied against them.

In a gesture of transparency, the MEK invited Der Spiegel to visit the group’s residence in Albania. The group frequently invites politicians and dignitaries to the compound, most recently former Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson and former Bundestag President Rita Sussmuth both visited the compound. However, Der Spiegel did not reply to the group’s invitation. The magazine clearly had no inclination of getting to the truth of the matter and instead preferred to accept the regime’s lies at face value.

The regime sent a letter instead. The NCRI’s statement claims that Mathieu von Rohr sent a letter with ten questions for the MEK and gave a deadline of one week for the group to answer said questions.

The NCRI’s statement reports that the questions included several regime-originated mistruths and propaganda statements. For example, the first question asked if MEK members were not permitted to use cell phones, clocks, and calendars, an often-touted regime lie.

The NCRI and MEK replied to the ten questions in a 6,600-word reply just four days later. In this letter, they once again extended an invitation to Der Spiegel and implored them to visit the MEK compound. Given that this letter was sent on November 18, and the final article was not published until February 16, there was ample time for Der Spiegel to dispatch reporters to the compound to conduct journalistic due diligence and investigate the regime’s lies.

A Close Relationship

Although Der Spiegel did not publish the article on the intended date of November 24, it did share the article with the Iranian regime. On November 24, the Nejat Association, an offshoot of the regime’s MOIS published a Der Spiegel interview with former MEK member, Gholamreza Shekari. The interview was eventually included in the final Der Spiegel piece.

The fact that the Iranian regime was able to publish segments of the article several months before Der Spiegel published the piece, demonstrates close ties and deep cooperation between the German magazine and the Iranian regime.

Following the publication of the interview, in which Gholamreza, a close regime affiliate, repeated the regime’s usual lies, the NCRI reached out to Der Spiegel once more. The letter read, “what the Iranian people will not forget and will not forgive are the war crimes and the crimes committed by this regime against humanity.” The letter reiterated that these crimes had gone unnoticed and unreported by Der Spiegel.

“The appeasement of the mullahs at the expense of the Iranian people and their suffering and the blood of hundreds of thousands of tortured and executed political prisoners are truly disgusting,” it added.

Finally, the letter concluded, “the regime may reiterate its vile defamation of the PMOI (MEK) with labels such as personality cult, domination, anti-democratic structure and sect as often as it wishes: this will not stop the fall of this regime, a process in which the PMOI (MEK) is at the forefront. The process that will lead to the demise of the mullahs has begun and is irreversible.”

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Mostafa Tajzadeh,

Regime Faction Representative Reveals Coverup of Crime Blamed on MEK

Mostafa Tajzadeh,

Mostafa Tajzadeh, former deputy of the Iranian regime’s interior ministery during Mohammad Khatami’s Presidency, revealing the crimes of the regime during the so called moderate President.

A debate between representatives of Iranian regime factions about the history of the regime and matters of state unexpectedly turned into an admission of guilt for past crimes covered up by the Iranian regime in a recent broadcast on state-run media.

The debate took place between Mostafa Tajzadeh, former Deputy of the Interior Minister during Mohammad Khatami’s presidency (so-called moderate president), and a rival, former MP Alierza Zakani. The debate quickly turned to a discussion of the Iranian regime’s role in two horrific criminal scandals that the regime has previously attempted to conceal and in an attempt to demonize its main opposition had blamed MEK for.

The Chain Murders

The first series of crimes referred to during the debate was a string of more than 80 assassinations of Iranian dissident intellectuals that took place from 1989 to 1998. Khamenei initially claimed that the assassinations, known as the chain murders, were planned and carried out by “foreign enemies,” but subsequent investigations proved that the murders were orchestrated by the Iranian regime and carried out by Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents.

Bombing of the Shrine of Imam Reza

The second crime the two faction members referred to was the 1994 bombing of the Shrine of Imam Reza, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, in Mashhad. The bombing, which was timed to coincide with the holy day of Ashura, killed at least 25 people and injured dozens more. The regime blamed the MEK for the bombing, despite a lack of evidence, and rounded up a number of people who claimed to be part of the Resistance and coerced them into confessing that they had been ordered by the MEK to carry out the attack. These false confessions, which were most likely

The International Committee “In Search of Justice” (ISJ) in a statement dated March 1, 2012, wrote: “Iranian regime has a long history of criticizing the victim instead of the murderer. This regime carried out the murder of Christian priests, the explosion of Imam Reza‘s sacred shrine in 1994 and killings in Mecca in 1988. Later the Iranian officials admitted that they put the responsibility on the opposition to defame them.”the result of torture, were broadcast on state television.

The Debate-Historical confession

During the debate Tajzadeh confessed: “Regarding the chain murders, Mr. Zakani, who has to be exposed? Who was opposed to keeping the issue silent and solving the issue in another way? They suggested to Mr. Khatami to carry out a scheme just like in Mashhad, find two so-called [MEK members] and say they did it. They wanted to extract confessions in ways that they know, and we would execute them.”

The Guardian Spreads the Iranian Regime’s Propaganda

Tajzadeh’s admission is a perfect example of the regime’s technique of committing crimes against its own people and then blaming the MEK for those same crimes. This is a strategy the regime has employed a number of times in its relentless campaign of demonization against the MEK. The goal is to delegitimize the opposition so that it cannot gain support in toppling the ruling regime.

When the MEK had a camp located in Iraq, regime officials claimed that the MEK was responsible for the series of deadly missile attacks carried out by Iraqi proxies of the Iranian regime to dismantle the main opposition to the regime, which eventually forced the residents to flee to Albania. Once the MEK settled into its new home in Albania, the regime tried to bomb its camp there and again claimed that the group had staged the attack itself. After an Iranian regime diplomat was arrested for masterminding a foiled terrorist attack on the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance last summer in Paris, the regime claimed that the MEK was responsible for the attempted attack on tens of thousands of its own supporters. The European Union disagreed and issued sanctions against the MOIS and two of its agents earlier this month. The regime diplomat accused of masterminding the attack is currently standing trial in Belgium.

Iranian Diplomat-Terrorist and Accomplices Arraigned in Belgian Court on Terrorism Charges

The Iranian regime has a long history of perpetrating crimes and then blaming the MEK for those crimes. The recent televised debate is the latest illustration that this strategy is an open secret in Iran.

 

 

 

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Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

The Iranian Opposition Plan Large Rally Ahead of Poland Conference

Free Iran Rally in Paris-February 2019

Free Iran Rally – February 8th, 2019

As a plague of poverty sweeps across Iran, all but wiping out the middle class in its wake, the Iranian regime continues to try and blame the international community for Iran’s economic woes.

Years of economic mismanagement and corruption have hollowed out Iranian industries, caused rampant unemployment, and prompted rocketing inflation. Rather than cause Iran’s economic decline, the international community is finally holding the Iranian regime to account.

A Turning Tide

In early January, the EU introduced its first sanctions against the Iranian regime since the landmark JCPOA agreement. The new sanctions targeted a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as well as two senior officials.

Despite the new sanctions, many in the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), believe that without a full terrorist blacklisting of the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the effect of any sanctions will be severely limited.

Although the sanctions are limited in scope, they do represent a changing tide in the mindset of European governments. For decades, the EU’s heads of state have stuck firmly to a policy of appeasement. But now, after a string of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks plotted on European soil, France and Britain are leading the charge for a firmer stance against Iran.

Amongst the possible actions up for discussion are economic sanctions, asset freezes, and travel bans for senior figures in the Iranian regime.

A senior EU diplomat said, “we’d prefer not to take these measures, but they [the mullahs] need to stop trying to kill people on our territory.”

In 2018, the Iranian regime plotted several terror attacks and assassinations against members of the MEK and other dissident groups living on European soil. Plots were unraveled in Albania, France, Denmark, and the US.

Albanian President Expresses Support for Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats

The Poland Conference

The United States has organized a conference in Poland on the 13th and 14th of February in which the international community will discuss the Iranian threat. The foreign ministries from 90 countries across the globe will attend. International cooperation and support for a firmer stance against the regime are essential for curbing their nuclear ambitions and ending their campaign of terror on European soil.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, said,

“we have always urged western governments to be firm against the mullahs’ terrorist dictatorship. So, today, we urge them to expel the mercenaries of the mullahs’ intelligence services and the terrorist Qods force from the US and Europe.”

The MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have worked relentlessly to draw attention to the human rights abuses taking place across Iran. Ahead of the conference in Warsaw, the Iranian opposition will hold a major demonstration against the Iranian regime’s widespread abuse of human rights and employment of terrorism as a technique of repression.

Rajavi is convinced. She has spoken on the international stage and asserted that the only way to free the Iranian people from the violent and repressive clerical regime is through regime change. Following four failed terror attacks in Europe, any measure short of listing the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist organizations will fall well short of what is needed to eliminate the Iranian threat and bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

Staff Writer

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BCFIF conference in support of Iran Freedom

British MPs Issue Letter Supporting Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats from Albania

BCFIF conference in support of Iran Freedom

The British Committee For Iran Freedom (BCFIF), consist of dignitaries and Parliamentarians in UK, that support a free and democratic Iran during a conference on the occasion of the Human Rights Day in London-December 10, 2018

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom recently added its name to the list of those supporting the decision by the Albanian government to expel two Iranian diplomats from its borders.

The group of MPs released a letter applauding the unprecedented move to expel the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Albania and another regime diplomat and further calling upon the British government to “publicly extend support to the Government of Albania and to work with other EU member states to thoroughly investigate and expose the danger of Iran’s diplomatic missions supporting and engaging in terrorism in Europe, in particular against Iranian dissidents and pro-democracy activists. Those found involved in such act of state-sponsored terrorism by the regime in Iran must be prosecuted and expelled from European territories.”

Threat to National Security

In December, the Albanian government announced that they had expelled Iranian regime Ambassador

Gholamhossein Mohammadnia and another Iranian diplomat because of their “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security” and “violating their diplomatic status.”

Reaction from U.S. Officials

U.S. officials were quick to support the measure by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is a longtime supporter of the MEK, issued the first public words of support for the expulsion of the regime’s diplomats. He tweeted: “Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”

Albania’s Decision to Expel Regime Diplomats is Welcomed by the Trump Administration

His tweet was soon followed by another message of support by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who tweeted: “European nations have thwarted three Iranian plots this year alone. The world must stand together to sanction Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behavior.”

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom’s Statement

The British MP’s statement detailed the numerous attempted terrorist attacks by the regime and its operatives against the MEK and the Iranian Opposition that have been thwarted over the past year. Since March 2018, regime agents have been arrested for espionage or attempted terrorism in Albania, Belgium, the United States, and Norway.

Iranian Diplomat-Terrorist and Accomplices Arraigned in Belgian Court on Terrorism Charges

According to the statement: “The surge of terrorist activities and espionage by Iran’s regime against dissidents and the NCRI in 2018 comes amidst growing popular dissent and anti-regime protests in Iran, which senior Iranian officials blame on the opposition movement, the NCRI, and the PMOI.”

The statement goes on: “These foiled plots show that the Iranian government has taken a decision to use its embassies and diplomats to plan and carry out terrorist activities and espionage on European soil, especially against those who oppose the theocratic regime, in clear breach of international law.”

The British MPs conclude: “The Albanian decision to expel Iranian diplomats sends the right message to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, that European countries will not accept such unacceptable and illegal behavior by the regime”.

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German delegation visits Ashraf3- MEK's residence in Albania

Martin Patzelt Praises Albania and Urges EU Leaders to End Policy of Appeasement

German delegation visits Ashraf3- MEK's residence in Albania

The German delegation consist of present and former members of the Germany’s Bundestag (Parliament) visit Ashraf3, the residence of Iran’s principal opposition, the MEK-October 2018

Martin Patzelt, a member of the German Bundestag for the Christian Democratic Union Party, wrote an op-ed piece in Online Focus. The politician praised the Albanian government for their role in the fight against the Iranian regime and called on Europe to do more to oppose Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism.

He began by describing the important role Albania has played in welcoming persecuted communities. They housed Jews persecuted by the Nazis, and today, the country hosts the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), an Iranian pro-democracy group living in exile.

Patzelt praised Albania for its “contribution to peace and humanity”, remarking that “after decades of dictatorship, the Albanian people know… the value of freedom”.

However, Patzelt lamented, the European Union has not shared Albania’s enthusiasm for upholding Iranian human rights and protecting democracy.

Intensified Terror Activities

Following Albania’s admission of the MEK, the Iranian regime intensified its terror activities on Albanian soil. The Iranian embassy in the Albanian capital of Tirana nearly doubled its personnel numbers and devoted a section of the embassies activities to planning attacks against the MEK and its members.

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

But the MEK was not deterred and channeled its efforts into the construction of a compound outside the capital. In just twelve months, a compound complete with dormitories, dentists, meeting rooms, a sports center, stores, and hairdressers has been constructed. The MEK and its members live in the compound in relative safety behind its walls.

However, the Iranian regime has attempted to violate this haven. In March, two regime agents were arrested in connection with a plot to bomb the MEK compound during the Persian New Year celebrations.

In response to this attempted terror attack on Albanian soil, the Albanian government expelled the regime ambassador to Iran, as well as other high-profile diplomats in a stern message of defiance to the Iranian regime.

A Muted EU Response

Despite Albania’s strong stance, few other European governments are willing to follow suit. Many would prefer to maintain a policy of appeasement to the Iranian regime. Patzelt lamented, “this is all the more inconceivable since just this year, in France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark assassination plans or dangerous intelligence activities were conducted by the Iranian regime”.

Patzelt asserts that the regime’s surge in terror activities is due to the mounting domestic pressure it is facing at home. 2018 has seen a wave of protests break out across Iran, affecting many of its key sectors including logistics, education, and manufacturing.

Patzelt concludes that “Iranian expansionist policy” and its “chaos in the Middle East and unbridled expansion of fundamentalist ideas and ideologies” should be countered wherever it occurs.

A German Delegation Visits the MEK Compound in Albania

“This includes the support of people who risked their lives for freedom” who “now need to be protected themselves”. The heads of state in Europe should adopt a tougher stance against the Iranian regime, not just to protect dissidents and Iranian human rights, but to protect their own national security interests from Iranian terrorism.

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