Posts Tagged ‘Mujahedin-e Khalq’

General James Jones,Jeanne Sheehan,John Boozman,Lincoln Bloomfield,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Tom Ridge

Nowruz ceremony at the Senate building

US Senators Call for Increased MEK Support ahead of Nowruz 

Nowruz ceremony at the Senate building

Nowruz celebration held at the senate building in Washington D.C. Picture shows a few of the speakers at the ceremony, from left Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, General James Jones, Governor. Tom Ridge, and Senator Joe Lieberman, being welcomed by organizers of the gathering.

In an event ahead of the Persian New Year celebrations, US senators gathered in the John F. Kennedy Hall in Washington D.C. to participate in a discussion on Iranian human rights abuses and the future of democracy in Iran.

Senators from both sides of the political aisle came together with dignitaries to discuss the necessity of offering support for the Iranian pro-democracy opposition. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the leader of the Iranian opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, are the only viable democratic alternative to regime rule in the country. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for restoring democracy to the country following the fall of the clerical regime has drawn international support and attention.

The senators also discussed the regime’s ruthless demonization campaign and dissemination of misinformation in an attempt to turn public opinion against the influential opposition group.

Among those at the meeting calling for increased support for Ms Rajavi and the MEK were Senator Jeanne Sheehan of the Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces and Budget committees, John Boozman of the Subcommittee on Military Construction and the Veteran Affairs committee, Former National Security Advisor General James Jones, former Vice-Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, Governor Tom Ridge, and Lincoln Bloomfield, the former director of the State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Think tank fellows, Middle East experts and a slew of reporters from mainstream media outlets were also in attendance.

Promoting Normalised Regional Relations

Jeanne Sheehan made the case for supporting the MEK to normalise Iran’s relations with other states in the region. The Iranian regime has systematically funneled weapons and finances to militia groups and terror cells across the Middle East.

Its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Quds Forces have been involved in the civil wars in Syria, the Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. Its financial support for terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have undermined regional security. Sheehan called for the peaceful coexistence with other nations in the Middle East.

When Senator Boozman took the floor, he highlighted the growing support and popularity of the MEK and the Iranian resistance as a major reason why the US government should lend its support to Ms. Rajavi and her opposition to the clerical regime.

For General James Jones, the regimes continued terrorist plots against the Iranian opposition abroad were a major factor in his decision to call for increased MEK support. In 2018, the regime coordinated terror attacks against MEK members in Albania, France, and the US. In one of the highest-profile attacks, a Belgian Iranian couple was arrested en-route to the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris with a car laden with explosives. More than 100,000 supporters attended the event. Had the plot been carried out, the loss of life could have been catastrophic.

Senator Lieberman highlighted the importance of lending US support to the opposition at this moment. He described how the regime is in decline. Factional infighting, US sanctions, and a growing internal protest movement within Iran are putting the regime under immense pressure. The cracks are appearing and the MEK is ready to fill the void when the regime buckles.

All the events speakers were unambiguous in the need for US support of the MEK. With the regime’s future in power becoming more uncertain by the day.

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Ali Khamenei,Iran Economy,Iran Protests,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Ali Khamenei, regime's supreme leader

Khamenei’s “Hopeful” Nowruz Speech Paints Dismal Portrait of Iran

Ali Khamenei, regime's supreme leader

Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime.

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in his recent speech published in his website, on the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, in which he tried to portray the spectacular failures of the past year in a positive light and to deflect blame for the growing economic and political crises within the country on rival factions within his own government and unnamed “enemies.”

Despite his justifications and blame-passing, though, Khamenei was unable to deny that the past twelve months have been difficult for both the Iranian people and the regime. Once again, the Supreme Leader attempted to give a message of hope and inadvertently reaffirmed that the regime is close to collapse.

Growing Resistance

Khamenei mentioned the growing protest movement in the country, led by the MEK and the Iranian Resistance, when he said, “We surpassed a very adventurous year. Our enemies had plans for the Iranian people.” Khamenei often refers to the MEK as “the enemy” and has expressed his fear that the organization could overthrow the regime on a number of occasions.

 

Khamenei falsely claimed to have the support of the people, saying, “The people… showed a strong response in the political and economic perspectives.” He also said that the regime was popular with the people, noting that the regime had celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at a rally on February 11th. He failed to point out that the rally was widely boycotted by the Iranian people.

Economic Crisis

The regime Supreme Leader referred to the economic crisis that has left 80% of the Iranian people living below the poverty line as an “issue.”  He said, “Economically, we have many issues. The lowering value of the national currency is an important matter. So is the people’s purchasing power. The problems facing our factories, unemployment, and in some cases, some of our factories closing down. These are issues,”

Khamenei, who has allowed Iran to sink further into economic crisis, said that he had a simple solution to all of the country’s problems. “I have studied these issues and listened to the experts. The key to all these issues is developing our national production.”

He elaborated on his plan, which is an extension of the same failed plan he tried last year. “We named last year, 1397, as the year of Supporting Iranian Products,’” he said. “I can’t say this motto was completely implemented. However, I can say that this slogan was acknowledged at a wide scale.” According to Khamenei, 1398 will be the year of “Production Growth.”

“If production is launched as it should, it can solve both our poor living standards and provide what we are in need of from foreigners, including countries that are our enemies. It can also resolve our unemployment and national currency issues to a significant extent,” he added.

Khamenei’s words illustrate the current state of the regime. The only piece of good news the Supreme Leader could share was that the regime had made it through a year of protests and economic upheaval without collapsing. Khamenei’s half-baked plan for economic recovery was a rehash of last year’s half-baked plan, which failed so completely that workers across the country have been forced to strike after working for months without wages. It is a New Day in Iran, and the mullahs are stuck in the past.

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Charshanbe Suri,Fire feast,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Fire festival in Iran

MEK-Iran: Fire Festival Becomes Act of Rebellion as Protesters Clash with Suppressive Forces

Fire festival in Iran

Fire Festival in Iran, turns in to a protest against the regime in entire Iran

On Tuesday, March 29th, people in cities across Iran, especially the youth, used the celebration of Chaharshanbe Suri (Fire Festival) as an opportunity to protest the mullahs’ oppressive regime. The protests took place despite the regime’s efforts to prevent celebrations of the national holiday.

 

Last year’s Fire Festival followed the December 2017 uprisings that spread to 142 cities in every province over a two-week period. The massive nationwide protests brought thousands of Iranians from all sectors of society into the streets to demand the overthrow of the clerical regime and sparked a protest movement that continues to this day.

Chaharshanbe Suri came on the heels of this massive uprising, and the MEK and Iranian Resistance organized celebrations of the event in cities and towns around the country as an act of rebellion. The regime, which was already shaken to its core by the uprisings and growing Iranian Resistance, reacted to the Fire Festival celebrations with suppressive actions.

Fatwa against Chaharshanbe Suri

This year the regime expressed its fear of protests by stepping up its attempts to prevent celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri. Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against the Fire Festival, saying that “Chaharshanbe Suri has no religious basis and it leads to damage or corruption or propagation of false beliefs, not permitted.” Members of the regime’s judiciary warned people in several cities that “those in violation” would be dealt with severely.

Protests and Clashes with Suppressive Forces

Despite these threats, youth in a number of cities, including Tehran, Mashad, Karaj, Masjed Soleiman, Khorramabad, Semnan, Ilam, and Mahshahr protested on Tuesday, burning pictures and effigies of Khamenei and Khomeini and chanting, “Death to Khamenei, death to the principle of Velayat-e-faqih, death to the dictator, with you, Dictator, we would fight fire with fire!

 

In other cities, people attacked official centers with sound grenades and fireworks. In the city of

Divandareh, youth clashed with repressive forces, who fired guns into the air to disperse protesters.

Attempts at Suppression

In Isfahan and several other cities, security forces unsuccessfully attempted to stop people from celebrating Chaharshanbe Suri, but their attacks were not enough to stop the Fire Festival.

 

The clerical regime slowed the Internet in some areas and cut off access to the Internet completely in others in attempts to prevent protesters from sharing photographs and videos of the protests on social media. These efforts were not entirely successful.

Background

Chaharshanbe Suri is an Iranian tradition that predates the Islamic regime. The Fire Festival takes place on the last Tuesday before Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and includes a number of traditions, including jumping over a bonfire. The holiday has long been a target of the mullahs’ ire because of its association with pre-Islamic tradition, but it is deeply ingrained in Iranian culture and particularly popular among the nation’s youth. Attempts to suppress public celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri have proved to be fruitless, and over the past two years, the holiday has become a symbol of the growing Resistance Movement.

The MEK’s Social Headquarters issued a communique on March 1, 2019, inviting the youth of Iran and the Resistance Units to burn pictures and effigies of Khamenei, Khomeini, and other symbols of the regime in every street and corner during celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri.

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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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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi

Mass murderer Ebrahim Raisi is appointed as the chief of judiciary of the clerical regime

Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi, member of the 1988 Massacre’s “Death Commission” assigned as the highest judicial position within the regime.

In dictatorial regimes, people reach senior positions based on their lack of respect for justice or having special connections with those in power. For positions of power in repressive organs, these appointments are carefully considered and people who are appointed must be competent at wielding suppressive weapons, the survival of the regime depends on it.

 

The former and current “Justice Minister” for Rouhani’s cabinet, were involved in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners mainly from the MEK>

We can take a look at the so-called “moderate” cabinet of President Hassan Rouhani, formed in 2013. In addition to Rouhani himself, there were many overtly oppressive cabinet members like Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, the former regime Minister for Justice, who was a member of the “Death Squads” responsible for thousands of executions in 1988. The selection of Pour Mohammadi was a clear signal to the Iranian people that Rouhani’s administration is anything but moderate and that they should not expect any leniency in judicial matters of political dissent.

 

Rouhani’s moderate political slogans masked the hideous face of the clerical regime. Essentially in the culture of the clerical regime, the publicly announced policies bear no resemblance to the political reality of the regime. Repression and limiting civil liberties drive every policy decision. This is most apparent in the regime’s relationship with the main political opposition group, the PMOI. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran is the largest and most organized political force that has opposed this regime throughout its forty-years existence.

 

It is worth pointing out that in the Iranian political landscape, no force is more ideologically opposed to the clerical regime than the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK). The regime’s ideology is rooted in Khomeini’s interpretation of Islam. But the MEK’s view of Islam is radically different from that of the Khomeini’s regime. For the MEK’s, Islam is democratic and secular. Freedom and respect for human rights are at the core of the MEK’s beliefs, conversely, for the regime freedom has no place in society and is vehemently opposed. It is this fundamental ideological difference that has put the MEK in the regime’s crosshairs. This is apparent in the appointment of Raeisi. In these sensitive times, as public dissent increases and the MEK grows more popular, Rouhani is turning to ‘the hanging cleric’ to crack down on the pro-democracy group.

 

“By emphasizing the need for a change in the judiciary and the beginning of a powerful new era,” Khamenei indicated his priority remains self-preservation at the expense of Iranian human rights. Khamenei declared the year 2019 as the year of uprising and social explosion, appointing an executioner such as Raisi is a direct response to the economic and political demands of the people.

The fact that “reformers” and “moderates” within the regime welcomed Raisi’s appointment as the head of the regime’s judiciary speaks volumes about the magnitude of the crisis the clerical regime faces. It proves that when it comes to repression, the different factions within the religious dictatorship are united in the shared goal of regime preservation and maintaining their grip on power.

Hassan Rouhani touted Raisi’s ”proper management skills depicted in previous positions in the judiciary” when he announced the appointment. Jahangiri, Rouhani’s vice president, also expressed hope that Raisi, with his experience and management skills, will be able to open new horizons. Two hundred parliamentary representatives wrote in a letter to Khamenei and Raisi: “In order to implement the second-level declaration of the regime, we expect the new head of the judiciary to make a decisive effort to eradicate corruption completely.” Mahmoud Sadeghi, a “reformist” in the regime’s parliament, wrote in a tweet that “many judges are optimistic about the impending changes in the administration of the judiciary.”

Although appointing Raisi as the head of the judiciary shows a more repressive front against political dissent, at the same time, it has opened the regime up to scrutiny from the international community. Governments around the world are abandoning their policies of appeasement. Following Raisi’s appointment, the international community will be even more reluctant to grant concessions to Iran.

The Associated Press announced the appointment of Raisi as follows: “On Thursday, a hard-line cleric, who was once thought to be a possible viable successor to Iran’s absolute ruler, was appointed as head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This appointment raised the concern of human rights activists for his involvement in the execution of thousands in the 1980s. “

Referring to Amnesty International’s report in 1990, the Associated Press wrote that “Those who described themselves as ‘Mujahedin’ were sent to their deaths, according to reports Raisi, was part of the panel that was involved in the condemnation of prisoners.”

 

The regime has made some feeble gestures in an attempt to quell international fears of further human rights abuses. It released some political prisoners and removed some radical elements of the judiciary. However, these are nothing but deceptive moves and should be viewed as such.

To call Ebrahim Raisi a “righteous cleric”, as the regime has, is a tasteless joke. Regarding Raeisi’s righteousness, please refer to Ayatollah Montazeri’s remarks in addressing the Death Committee. The former Ayatollah turned to Raeisi and said, “you will be regarded as one of the criminals in history.” It is noteworthy to mention that Raeisi is one of the least experienced of all the criminal judges in the system. At the age of twenty, he began his career, as the prosecutor in Karaj, and shortly afterward, for his “abilities,” he served as Hamedan prosecutor at the same time. In 1985 he was recalled to Tehran for his high “capabilities” and in 1988, at the age of 28, he was placed in a senior position in the Death Squad and oversaw the massacre of thousands of MEK political prisoners.

This criminal cleric is so brazen that he speaks about the massacre of the MEK members with pride. In a ceremony on December 7, 2018, at Beheshti University, in response to a question about the 1988 massacres, he said, “the real hero in fighting the hypocrites, (meaning the MEK), is Khomeini himself although everyone who had a role in this fight against the hypocrites and helped save our country must be awarded.”

A monument made in memory of 30,000 political prisoners, who were brutally executed in summer of 1988, mainly supporters of the MEK

According to Rouhani, the clerical dictatorship is at war. He called on Khamenei. “as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolution,” to “take command, leading this war.”

 

If we take this statement by the President of the clerical regime seriously, in a war against the people, and foreign governments, the appointment of Ebrahim Raeisi is part of a coordinated strategy. In this war, Rouhani may be one of their own victims. When you treat your own people as your enemy, it only speeds up the formation and proliferation of the resistance. 

Referring to Amnesty International’s report in 1990, the Associated Press wrote that “Those who described themselves as ‘Mojahedin’ were sent to their deaths, according to reports Raeisi, was part of the panel that was involved in the condemnation of prisoners.”

The regime has made some feeble gestures in an attempt to quell international fears of further human rights abuses. It released some political prisoners and removed some radical elements of the judiciary. However, these are nothing but deceptive moves and should be viewed as such.

To call Ebrahim Raisi a “righteous cleric”, as the regime has, is a tasteless joke. Regarding Raisi’s righteousness, please refer to Ayatollah Montazeri’s remarks in addressing the Death Committee. The former Ayatollah turned to Raisi and said, “you will be regarded as one of the criminals in history.” It is noteworthy to mention that Raeisi is one of the least experienced among all the criminal judges in the system. At the age of twenty, he began his career, as the prosecutor in Karaj, and shortly afterward, for his “abilities,” he served as Hamedan prosecutor at the same time. In 1985 he was recalled to Tehran for his high “capabilities” and in 1988, at the age of 28, he was placed in a senior position in the “Death Committee” and oversaw the massacre of thousands of MEK political prisoners.

This criminal cleric is so brazen that he speaks about the massacre of the MEK members with pride. In a ceremony on December 7, 2018, at Beheshti University, in response to a question about the 1988 massacres, he said, “the real hero in fighting the hypocrites, (the derogatory name regime uses for the MEK), is Khomeini himself although everyone who had a role in this fight against the hypocrites and helped save our country must be awarded.”

According to Rouhani, the clerical dictatorship is at war. He called on Khamenei. “as the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolution,” to “take command, leading this war.”

If we take this statement by the President of the clerical regime seriously, in a war against the people, and foreign governments, the appointment of Ebrahim Raeisi is part of a coordinated strategy. In this war, Rouhani may be one of its own victims. When you treat your own people as your enemy, it only speeds up the formation and proliferation of the resistance.

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1988 Massacre,Alejo Vidal-Quadras,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Dr. Vidal Quadras writes to the Guardian objecting its article in bashing the MEK, Iran's main opposition

Former vice-President of the EP: EU Must ‘Rethink the Way We Deal With Iran’s Inhumane Theocracy’

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former vice president of the European Parliament and the president of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former vice-President of the European Parliament and a prominent Spanish professor of atomic and nuclear physics, penned an op-ed for Fair Observer criticizing the EU’s approach to the Iranian regime.

The professor cited the regime’s latest appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the Iranian judiciary as yet further evidence that the regime remains committed to stifling political dissent at home and abroad. A recent Amnesty International report into the 1988 massacre, in which the Iranian regime killed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), asserts that Raisi was directly involved in the roundup and execution of the political prisoners. He was part of a “death committee” in Iran that sent tens of thousands of Iranians to the gallows.

The case, which Vidal-Quadras denounces as a “crime against humanity”, went too far even for several regime insiders. In 2016, a recording of the successor to the Supreme Leader in 1988 was released in which Hossein Ali Montazeri can be heard denouncing the executions as “the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic.”

He told the regime leadership that “history will condemn us,” and added, “they’ll write your names as criminals in history.”

A Source of Pride

For Vidal-Quadras, the evil deeds of 1988 have been compounded by the reluctance to bring those accountable to justice in the subsequent years. “This crime against humanity is not only an insufficient cause for investigation and punishment of the perpetrators but a source of pride for its instigators,” he lamented.

Raisi has previously boasted of his role in the massacre. In 2015, he spoke of his atrocities against the MEK with glee. Vidal-Quadras asks, “weren’t the European Union’s efforts to appease Iran and all these years of dialogue and concessions supposed to empower moderate figures and isolate the hardliners?”

For Vidal-Quadras, the EU has been duped. It has fallen into Tehran’s trap of believing that there are two warring factions; one made up of religious hardliners and one of more placid moderates. As Europe rushed to appease the Iranian “moderates”, the regime received financial aid it could use to repress its people and carry out human rights abuses.

The appointment of Raisi, a “mass murderer”, to the head of the judiciary shows that there is no such division. There are only hardliners. Vidal-Quadras calls on the European Union and its foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to add Raisi and other senior figures of the regime leadership to the EU’s sanctions list. “Europe must work forcefully for the right of Iran’s people to live in freedom and democracy,” he said.

Vidal-Quadras concluded, “the EU was founded on the principle of human rights. It is high time for the EU to understand its failure and to rethink the way we deal with this inhumane theocracy.”

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Impoverished Nowruz due to bankrupt economy in Iran

Iranians Struggle to Celebrate Nowruz in Grim Economic Climate

Impoverished Nowruz due to bankrupt economy in Iran

The bankrupt economy under the rule of the religious dictatorship in Iran has lowered people’s ability to do the traditional shopping at Nowruz

On March 21st, Iranians will welcome in the Persian New Year. Nowruz, which takes place on the first day of spring, is a celebration of freshness and renewal that predates the clerical regime by well over a thousand years. Nowruz is deeply ingrained in the cultural history of Iran and has persisted despite the mullahs’ attempts to limit public celebrations of the holiday.

Iranians celebrate Nowruz by buying new clothes and shoes, preparing Haft-sin tables, doing spring cleaning and decluttering, and hosting out-of-town family members. Large meals are prepared, and older family members give gifts of cash to children.

Economic Crisis

This year’s Nowruz comes in the midst of an economic crisis that has left 80% of the population under the poverty line. Many workers go months without receiving their wages if they are lucky enough to have jobs at all. With the majority of Iranians struggling to make ends meet, families are struggling to find ways to celebrate Nowruz traditions.

Some breadwinners have taken three jobs already just to pay the bills and feed their families. People are now taking additional work hours and cutting out extra expenses, such as eating at restaurants and going on vacations, to pay for Nowruz.

In Nowruz 2018, one U.S. dollar was equal to 3,500 tomans, exported tea cost 30,000-40,000 tomans per kilo, red meat cost 40,000 tomans per kilo, and sugar cost 2,800 tomans per kilo.

As of last week, one U.S. dollar is equal to 13,000 tomans, tea costs 140,000-160,000 tomans, red meat costs 120,000 tomans, and sugar costs 8,000-10,000 tomans per kilo.

Rent prices have more than doubled in the past year, and all goods except for bread and gas have more than doubled or tripled.

Wages have remained stagnant over the past year and are only expected to increase by 10-20% over the next year.

The state-run media has also acknowledged the troubling lack of purchases leading up to Nowruz. According to a recent article published by the ILNA news agency, “Neither vendors are happy with the market situation nor customers have a tendency to buy anything. It seems that this year, we start the year unlike any other year with high prices. There is little commotion in the bazaar… Even fruit prices have increased.”

Regime’s Denial

Meanwhile, regime First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri recently claimed that Iran’s economic problems were in the past.

The Iranian people are not fooled by the regime’s false claims. They know that the economic crisis is not over. That is plain. And they know that the responsibility for the problem lies at the feet of the regime. Anti-regime protests take place on a daily basis in Iran, and the MEK’s Resistance Units grow stronger each day. The people know that there is an alternative to the corruption and mismanagement of the mullahs’ regime.

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Khamenei's speech among regime's followers

MEK-Iran:Khamenei Tries to Stifle Infighting and Steady the Ship in an Address to the Assembly of Experts

Khamenei's speech among regime's followers

Iranian regime’s supreme leader sending a warning to the regime’s forces, to stay alert against the enemy’s plots. A speech that clearly shows his fear of the regime’s downfall.

Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, attempted to stifle factional infighting in his Assembly of Experts on Thursday, March 14. The ailing leader of Iran’s clerical regime told his Assembly to “not be at each other’s throats over this or that convention or agreement.”

His comments come after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international agency committed to fighting money-laundering and corruption, asked the regime to improve its legislation to meet international financial standards. The request has divided the regime’s leadership, with one faction pushing for the regime to implement the FATF’s recommendations and the other pushing to leave financial laws unchanged.

In his address, Khamenei said the two sides, “should not accuse each other of accompaniment with the enemy.”

A Regime Tearing at the Seams

The debacle over the FATF’s recommendations has come in the wake of more public infighting amongst the upper-echelons of the regime. Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, offered up his resignation last month over deep divisions and infighting over foreign policy. Although Regime President Hassan Rouhani did not accept the resignation and Zarif remains in his position, the incident showed a regime battling internal division and tearing at the seams of leadership.

Those That Oppose You are not Your Enemy

In his remarks, Khamenei reminded his Assembly of Experts on several occasions to bear in mind that just because some in the regime do not share your opinion, does not mean they support your enemies. He warned of labeling people of “supporting the enemies.”

However contradicting himself, he reiterated that anyone questioning Iran’s role in the Middle East and its foreign policy objectives were, in fact, “helping the enemy,” adding that, “the enemy” fears Iran in the region.

In her speech addressing members of the British Parliamentary group for Iran freedom, Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition said:

“The mullahs ruling Iran are currently more fragile and weaker than any other time in the past three decades. The deepening economic crisis, mounting infightings, the crisis in the region, growing popular discontent and increasing resistance by people has brought the regime closer to its downfall.”

Staff Writer

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Human Rights,Iran human rights,Javaid Rehman,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Regime Ambassador to U.N. Criticizes MEK for Exposing Human Rights Abuses

Javaid Rehman UN's Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Iran

Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, delivering his report to the UN

On Monday, March 11th, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman presented his first report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. In his report to the council, Rehman expressed concern about the increasing number of executions in Iran and the regime’s practice of sentencing minors to the death penalty.

In responding to Rehman’s report, the Iranian regime’s Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh focused on the MEK’s role in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses, saying, “It is very unfortunate that one of the main sources for the Special Rapporteur’s documents is the [MEK] who have been recognized by their supporters as the opposition and human rights advocates.”

Hamaneh’s words are reflective of the regime’s attitude toward the MEK, which it sees as an existential threat and often attempts to delegitimize when it feels threatened.

Despite Hamaneh’s assertions, Rehman’s report is consistent with the U.N. ’s previous research, which has found Iran to be the world’s leader in executions per capita for years. The Iranian regime has refused a number of requests by Rehman to visit the country to independently assess the situation.

Children Sentenced to Death

Rehman was particularly concerned about the fact that the Iranian regime regularly sentences children to death. Under Iranian law, the death penalty may be imposed on girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15. This is a clear violation of both international law and U.N. conventions. As a member of the United Nations, this practice is a violation.

“The practice, illustrated in numerous cases reviewed, of waiting until the child offender reaches the age of 18 before execution, repeated postponements, and the inherent vulnerability of the child given his or her age, amounts to a pattern of torture and other ill-treatment,” said Rehman.

He further stated that at least six people convicted of crimes that occurred when they were under the age of 18 were executed in 2018. Another 85 child offenders currently await execution.

Rehman called on the Iranian regime to comply with international law by abolishing the death penalty for juvenile offenders. He also asked that all current death sentences against children be commuted.

Release of Imprisoned Protesters

Rehman also expressed concern about the regime’s treatment of protesters who have taken to the streets in increasing numbers since the nationwide popular uprisings in December 2017. He noted that the country is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has led to massive protests over unpaid or delayed wages, water and food shortages, lack of healthcare, high unemployment, and substandard living conditions.

The Iranian regime has responded to protests by arresting the participants in large numbers. Rehman called for their release.

In his report, Rehman said, “Today, the people of Iran face a myriad of challenges. Many have voiced their concern through protests, demonstrations, and strikes. People from diverse sections of society—from truck drivers to teachers to factory workers—across the country have protested. It is in this context of increased challenges that concerns are mounting about human rights, including the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and to association in Iran.”

 

Staff Writer

 

 

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Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Sigal Mandelker

Sigal Mandelker

US Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence: “Iran is the World’s Leading State-Sponsor of Terrorism”

Sigal Mandelker

On March 12, Sigal Mandelker, U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial in a hearing before the Intelligence,House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee-March 12, 2019

On Tuesday, March 12, the US House Representative’s Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee heard comments as part of its hearing on Financial Services and General Government. In the hearing, the US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, broached the subject of the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorism.

She told the committee, “Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism,” adding, “we are continuing to maximize economic pressure on the regime to combat its weapons proliferation, terrorism, and regionally destabilizing activities.”

She cited her department’s efforts to establish Strategic Impact Units (SIUs) dedicated to fighting the greatest threats to US stability as a central strategy of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). The six impact units pertain to human rights and corruption, virtual currency, Iran, ISIS, Russia, and the North Korean threat.

These units work with experts to manage and tackle the individual threats in line with broader strategic and national interests.

Mandelker also outlined another TFI mechanism to combat the Iran threat. She said the TFI had established a fusion cell that would operate across all the other agencies to explore “new ways to take action against Iran and Iranian-backed illicit actors.”

The TFI has also made strides in its counterterrorism efforts. Its Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) is working with other players in the Gulf, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to combat the financing of terror.

A Coordinated US Response to the Iranian Threat

Mandelker’s remarks are part of a wider crackdown on the Iranian threat since Donald Trump entered the White House. Last November, economic sanctions were reintroduced against the Iranian regime, including regime-linked financial institutions and firms.

Its subsequent investigations have proven that the Iranian Central Bank has helped finance Assad’s regime in Syria, and the Hizballah and other terror groups. A US investigation also found that the Iranian regime has facilitated the transfer of millions of dollars to Russia in exchange for oil deliveries to Syria.

Mandelker offered some insight into where US sanctions would go next. “We are also targeting Iran’s use of its commercial aviation sector for illicit purposes,” she said. She singled out Mahan Air as one such provider.

Mahan Air has been accused of transporting Iranian IRGC and Quds forces weapons across the Middle East. “We are urging countries to deny landing rights to the airline,” Mandelker added.

Her comments come at an important time. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its international allies have been calling on the European heads of state to sever economic ties with the Iranian regime. Mandelker echoed  What MEK has been warning about and described the risk associated with sustained business ties with the Iranian dictatorship.

“we have engaged extensively with European countries on the significant risks of launching a special purpose vehicle for a country that has repeatedly failed to adopt international AML/CFT safeguards,” she said.

She concluded, “We have made clear that those who engage in activities that run afoul of U.S. sanctions risk severe consequences, including losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the United States.” Europe would be well-placed to take note.

Read related stories about the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Europe:

Berlin Conference: New Information Revealed on Assadi’s Role Within the Iranian Regime’s Network of Terror in Europe

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