Posts Tagged ‘National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’

Assadollah Assadi,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

NCRI-US introduction of the book "Iran double downs on terror and turmoil"

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)- US office, introduces the new book “Iran double downs on terror and turmoil” in a press briefing in Washington D.C. at NCRI-US office- November 2, 2018

On Friday, November 2nd, the deputy director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Alireza Jafarzedah, held a press conference in Washington DC ahead of the release of the new book entitled “Iran Doubles Down on Terror and Turmoil”. In the conference, he outlined the Iranian regime’s decision-making, planning, and execution of terror attacks abroad.

He also explored strategies for confronting the regime’s network of terror and detailed what the international community can do to prevent Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks occurring.

A Surge in State-Sponsored Terror Attacks

Jafarzedah drew attention to the increased volume of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks over the last 12 months. In 2017, the Iranian regime planned and executed two state-sponsored terror attacks

However, in the first 11 months of 2018, Tehran has planned and attempted to carry out no less than eight terror plots on US and European soil.

Several of the most high-profile attacks included an attack in March against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Albania. The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) planned to detonate a truck bomb during the MEK’s Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations.

Three months later, the regime’s MOIS coordinated an attack on the MEK’s annual grand gathering event in Paris. More than 100,000 members of the Iranian resistance and their supporters attended the event, including delegations of prominent politicians from the US and Europe.

The plan was foiled when two MOIS agents were arrested. The pair had entered Albania under the guise of reporters. The president-elect of the Iranian resistance,  Maryam Rajavi, was present at the event, as was the former mayor of New York and lawyer to President Trump, Rudy Giuliani.

Jafarzedah detailed the MEK’s findings that a regime diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosive matter. The couple was instructed to detonate a car laden with explosives at the annual event.

The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was the MOIS station-chief in Vienna and responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe. Assadi was arrested by German authorities, the couple was detained whilst traveling in a car to the event in Paris armed with the explosives. Disaster was narrowly averted.

In response to the failed attack, the French government froze MOIS assets and expelled an Iranian diplomat from Paris over their involvement in the attack’s planning.

Another plot was foiled in the US. Two Iranian regime agents were arrested in August. The pair had been monitoring the MEK with the intention of carrying out a “capture/kill” operation against MEK members.

Most recently, Danish authorities foiled a regime-orchestrated plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. The Danish authorities arrested one suspect in connection to the plot. It also recalled the Danish ambassador to Iran.

Jafarzedah concluded that these plots were not rogue operations. He cited evidence that indicates the highest levels of the Iranian leadership were involved in the plots. 4 diplomats were implicated, based in three different countries. It is unfathomable to think that the Iranian leadership, including Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader Khamenei, was not involved in the plots’ coordination.

The Web

Jafarzedah outlined the Iranian leadership’s decision-making web that coordinates these elaborate and damaging terror attacks.

Based on the MEK’s findings, Jafarzedah described how the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, coordinates terror attacks with the assistance of the heads of MOIS, IRGC Intelligence, Qods Forces and the Intelligence Coordination Council.

Why Now?

So, why is the regime ratcheting up its terror attacks now? Jafarzedah asserted that it is because of the increasing popularity and effectiveness of the MEK in Iran.

Over the past 10 months, MEK-organised protests have broken out across 142 Iranian cities and hit many of Iran’s major sectors. The protests have also taken a far stronger anti-regime tone. Protestors’ slogans have centered on a rejection of the regime and its authoritarian and repressive ideologies.

Jafarzedah said that the terror attacks were a sign of the regime’s “utter desperation” in the face of mounting pressures both internally and externally.

Confronting the Regime’s State-Sponsored Terrorism

Jafarzedah recommended several strategies for containing and limiting the Iranian regime’s terror activities.

First and foremost, Jafarzedah recommended that all the regime agents be prosecuted under the full weight of US and European law.

Secondly, the US and European governments must expel all Iranian terrorist diplomats and shut down Iranian embassies in Europe. The involvement of several diplomats in the planning and coordination indicate that Iranian diplomatic activities must be put under the microscope.

The MEK has repeatedly asserted that Iranian embassies make up a barely-concealed espionage web through which the regime can plot terror attacks. It is only through shutting down these embassies that the regime’s nefarious activities can be stymied.

Finally, Jafarzedah asserted that international sanctions must be levied against the Iranian regime. By constricting the flow of money to the regime, the international community can end the regime’s financing and training of international terror groups.

Is the International Community Warming to the Idea?

Immediately following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, European governments scrambled to salvage the deal. Even when the US announced its latest round of sanctions, European governments resisted them.

However, following the recent terror plots on European soil, including the Paris and Denmark attacks, the European community has warmed to the idea of possible sanctions.

Fox News reported that the Danish government is now calling for economic sanctions against Tehran. When the idea was floated at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, eight countries, including France and the UK expressed support for the idea.

The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, expressed his pleasure. “I appreciate the support from my colleague Theresa May today. In close collaboration with [the] UK and other countries, we will stand up to Iran”, he said after a meeting with his counterpart from the UK.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his government stands with the European heads of state to end the regime’s assassination attempts on European soil.

Pompeo said, “that kind of behavior needs to stop, and we have offered our support and effort to help the Europeans in preventing these kinds of assassination attempts from taking place”.

The MEK had suggested that in the face of increased regime terror attacks, the European community should begin to rethink its policy of “appeasement” with the Iranian regime. At the Friday press conference, Jafarzedeh said, “they [European governments] now have to look at these realities in a totally different light”.

The summer of 2018 could mark a turning point in international policy towards the Iranian regime. Should the European governments end their decades-long policy of appeasement towards the mullahs, they will find themselves under even more pressure.

Staff Writer

 

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Farmer's protest in Isfahan

Regime’s Incompetence Forces Once Prosperous Isfahan Farmers into Poverty

Farmer's protest in Isfahan

Archive Photo: Farmers in Isfahan are protesting, objecting the water shortages and violation of their rights by the regime-March 2018

The farmers of Isfahan are once again protesting water shortages and violations of their water rights. Sources from the MEK report that farmers in Varzaneh, Shatur, Ziar, and other cities in Isfahan Province gathered on Thursday to protest water shortages and lack of access to water.

The Drying of the Zayanderud River

The Zayanderud River used to flow through Isfahan, providing the wealthy farmers in cities such as Qahdarijan with water to irrigate their crops. Then the regime drained the river by  building factories upstream of Isfahan and diverting the water to other regions. These practices, combined with a drought, caused the river to dry up. Now the once prosperous Isfahan farmers have been forced into poverty.

The city of Qahdarijan is covered in agricultural land and depends upon farming. The drying of the

Zayanderud, the largest river in central Iran, has been disastrous for the area’s economy and environment.“The water cycle has been annihilated. The entire water of the river has been allocated to industry,” said an Isfahan environmental activist in July.

The representative from the city of Falavarjan on the Isfahan Islamic Council, Hesam Nazari, discussed the impact of the water shortage on the people of Qahdarijan in an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency.

“The city of Falavarjan has about 270 thousand inhabitants and has three districts and most of the people work in the agricultural sector,” he said. “I don’t exaggerate when I say that 90% of the people in Qahdarijan are engaged in all sorts of agricultural-related jobs.”

Before the Zayanderud dried, most farmers in the Isfahan region grew onions, but rice and other crops were grown as recently as a few years ago. Water shortages have forced farmers to stop growing these crops altogether.

“Some the people who were once wealthy, are currently so deprived and poverty-stricken that they are covered by relief foundations such as the Emdad Foundation,” Nazari said.

“Many of them are retired farmers who have large families and many children and relatives and have no other source of income. If this is not a catastrophe then what is it?” asked the Isfahan Council official on state-run TV.

Nazari affirmed the water rights of the Isfahan farmers. “If there is water in Zayanderud River, then all the people, especially those with water rights should have equal access to it. Of course, farmers are more entitled since their livelihood depends on it,” he said. “When a person has problems with his livelihood, he suffers very much. Unfortunately, at the moment, most people are unemployed and do not have an income in Qahdarijan.”

Protests Will Become Political

Nazari implicitly acknowledged the anti-regime protests that have taken place among Iran’s farmers, saying that protests would turn political. The MEK has helped to organize protest movements across Iran since nationwide anti-regime protests broke out last December amongst all sectors of society. Iran’s farmers are one of the many groups who have organized to repeatedly protest against the regime’s corruption and mismanagement of the country’s resources.

“The Ben-Brojen Plan, which incorporated providing a huge water supply to large industrial factories and using the water for other areas and many decisions that resulted from mismanagement has made the people angry,” Nazari said.

“The farmers say kill us or throw us out of Iran. Are we not as farmers part of the people of this country, they ask”, he said.

Nazari pointed out that the protesting farmers were only asking for fair distribution of water. “Unfortunately, the Ministry of Energy does not take into consideration the approved decisions of the Supreme Water Council and ignores farmers,” he said.

Nazari warned, “If officials cannot handle the demands of the protesters, they should know that these protests and demands may be exploited by the enemies of the Islamic Republic.”

The farmers of Isfahan protested water shortages at the beginning of the year. The protests and demonstrations focused on the regime’s corruption and lasted for more than two months. Sporadic protests have broken out in the region over the past eleven months as the uprising has continued throughout the country.

Staff Writer

 

 

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Iran rial is plunging due to economic crisis

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Iranian Economy in Crisis and Getting Worse

Rial continues to plunge in the exchange market, an indication of the surging economic crisis in Iran

Iran’s economy is starting to see the effects of U.S. sanctions, which began their first phase in August and are due to be fully reimposed next Monday, November 5th. An article published on ncr-iran.org on Thursday explains how the Iranian economy has been weakened by decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs and why the regime is ill-equipped to address the snowballing economic crises now facing the country.

The economic climate in Iran was already unstable when the nationwide uprising, led by the MEK, began last December. The widespread protests and strikes, which continue today on a daily basis in cities across the country, have further weakened the economy. The addition of the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May was catastrophic. By every metric, the Iranian economy is failing. The NCRI article broke down Iran’s financial crisis in terms of numbers. Below is a summary of the data.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The regime’s Parliament’s Research Center predicts a 0.8% drop in Iran’s GDP this fiscal year and a 2.5% drop next year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a steeper decline, estimating a drop of 1.5% this year and 3.6% next.

Inflation

According to the Statistical Center of Iran, the inflation rate for the month of September alone was 5.4%. According to the Central Bank, the rate was 6.1%.

Exchange Rate

The regime artificially set the exchange rate at 42,000 rials per U.S. dollar in April, but the global exchange rate reached 200,000 rials per U.S. dollar in October. It is widely speculated that the volatile risk will plunge again, driving up prices for the already struggling Iranian people.

Unemployment

Iran has a double-digit unemployment rate, which is troubling, but the employment situation is much worse for those with college degrees, particularly young people. According to estimates, one-third of Iranian men and one-half of Iranian women under 30 with college degrees are jobless.

Housing Market

People are hesitant to buy property in an unstable economy. Prices are high, and home values could plummet at any time.

Exports

Exports are up immediately preceding the U.S. deadline for the reimposition of oil sanctions, but these are expected to fall dramatically next week.

The Iranian regime has not proposed a plan to address the economic cataclysm facing the nation. Its solutions are either patently ridiculous (banning the export of tomatoes) or actively harmful. Artificially setting the exchange rate did nothing to help the economy, but it did allow the IRGC to exploit the difference in the artificial rate and the global rate to profit off imports and exports.

While the people of Iran suffer from the consequences of the mullahs’ corruption and mismanagement, the regime continues to bungle every attempt at handling their self-made crisis and profits from their own incompetence.

The economy will not recover as long as the mullahs are in charge.

Staff Writer

 

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Truck Drivers on Strike again.

Iranian Truckers Launch Fourth Round of Strikes This Year

Truck Drivers on Strike again.

The truck drivers are on a nationwide strike again, this time demanding the release of their fellow colleagues arrested for the past rounds of strikes

Iran’s truckers have launched a new round of strikes in cities across the country. The latest round of strikes is the fourth to take place this year. The drivers hope to secure the release of colleagues who were arrested in previous strikes and to compel the regime to respond to their demands.

Truckers in cities across Iran are participating in the strikes. Reports from the MEK network indicate that strikes and rallies have taken place in Najaf Abad, Shahroud, Asaloyeh and Shadgan, among other cities.

Truckers in Najaf Abad in central Iran parked their trucks and went on strike after receiving a call to launch a nationwide protest that was posted on social media.

Drivers on the road to Isfahan report that the road is empty of heavy trucks, which means it is likely that truckers are heading the call to strike and joining the protest movement, a report from MEK network inside Iran indicates.

The state-run ILNA news agency reported that Iran’s poultry farms have already been affected by the strike. Because truck drivers refuse to carry goods, the farms have no chicken feed.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egg Laying Hens Union of Tehran said that the strike has led to severe shortages. “There are lots of goods in the ports but not enough trucks to transfer them to factories,” he said.

Iranian’s truckers start fourth round of strike

The last round of truck drivers’ strikes went on for 21 consecutive days and ended just last month. Security forces arrested more than 200 truck drivers for participating in the strikes and threatened to execute 17 of the arrested drivers.

The drivers garnered worldwide support from labor unions, including the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the Teamsters, including others, who condemned the regime’s treatment of the drivers and their threats of execution.

According to reports, officials from the regime’s

Ministry of Road & Construction eventually agreed to concede to one of the truckers’ demands. The regime promised that transfer fees on loads within Iran will now be based on the ton/kilometers standard. It remains to be seen whether or not this promise will be honored. The regime has made concessions after previous strikes that have gone unfulfilled or partially fulfilled.

Iran’s truck drivers have lost weeks of pay due to the strikes. The truckers have been intimidated by the regime, arrested, and threatened with execution. Truck drivers make up an integral part of Iran’s infrastructure, but they struggle to pay their bills and to do their jobs safely. When they park their trucks, they do so because they have no other choice. The MEK supports the striking drivers in fighting for a fair labor system and a democratic country in which no worker must work in unfair conditions for poverty-level wages.

Staff Writer

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Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attacks

 

Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

The foiled terror plot to bomb Free Iran gathering, attended by over 100,000 supporters of Iran’s main opposition movement, the MEK.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on October 31st, 2018, Matthew Dalton provided an in-depth look at the Iranian regime’s planned terror attack targetting MEK‘s annual gathering in Paris this summer.

The piece, entitled, “Bags of Cash and a Bomb Plot:  Inside a Covert Iranian Operation in Europe”, examines the events that led to the attack’s discovery and what regime mechanisms were involved in coordinating the attack.

A Meeting in Luxembourg

According to Dalton, a meeting took place on the terrace of a Luxembourg café in late June between Amir Saadouni and a gentleman known only to Mr. Saadouni as “Daniel”. Daniel had been Saadouni’s link to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for several years. Daniel had made regular payments to Saadouni for information on a French opposition group that vehemently opposed the clerical regime in Tehran.

From 2014, Saadouni and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, had been monitoring the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). They had attended meetings and reported back to Daniel.

Daniel told Saadouni that the time for gathering intelligence was over. He gave Mr. Saadouni and Nasimeh Naam, the explosive material with the instructions to detonate the device at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering at the end of June.

The event, which took place on June 30th, attracts more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian opposition every year. Nations from around the world also send delegations which often include senior politicians and human rights activist.

At the 2018 event, Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, were among those in the American delegation.

Foiling a Terror Attack Against MEK’s Gathering in Paris

However, Saadouni and Daniel were not alone on the terrace in Luxembourg. Acting on a tip by the Israeli intelligence agency, European secret security officials were watching the exchange.

Shortly after Saadouni and Naami set off for Paris with the explosives, the Belgian authorities moved in and detained the couple. The explosives Daniel had given them amounted to 500g of TATP, a powerful explosive that would have caused significant loss of life.

Simultaneously, German officials apprehended “Daniel” a few miles from the Austrian border. Daniel’s real name turned out to be Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, Austria.

The MEK has since discovered that Assadi is an explosives expert with ties to the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran (MOIS). He had a long history of planning and facilitating terrorist attacks in Iraq and was responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe from his position in Austria.

The plot was disrupted at an integral moment. If Assadi had crossed the Austrian border, he would have been protected by diplomatic immunity and would have escaped back to Iran.

The Political Fallout

In his article, Dalton discusses the political fallout of the foiled attack. The attack came just one month after US President Donal Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. The French President, along with other European heads of state, were frantically trying to save the deal from collapse.

The revelations about Assadi, and his connections to the upper leadership of the clerical regime in Iran, have undermined Macron and the other leader’s efforts to salvage the deal.

Although the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, denied the regime’s involvement, the strong ties linking Assadi to the regime leadership make it inconceivable that the upper echelons of the regime had not given the attack the green-light.

The MEK obtained information that suggested Assadi reported to Reza Amiri Moghadam, a senior official in the MOIS and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On November 5th, the latest round of US sanctions will take effect, aimed at crippling Iranian regime’s oil exports and adding further strain to an already crumbling economy. European companies will be forced to choose between keeping their ties to Iranian markets and forgoing their US business ties or severing their Iranian ties to save their US interests. Given the size of the US economy, it is unlikely many companies will elect to maintain their ties to Tehran.

Macron, as well as Merkel and May, are all under intense pressure from the Trump administration to fall in line and support US sanctions. Until now, they have remained reluctant to do so.

A Danish Affair

As Europe grapples with the decision of how to proceed regarding Iran, with the nuclear deal in tatters and ferocious economic sanctions just around the corner, the Iranian regime planned another attack on European soil.

On Tuesday, the Danish intelligence agency announced that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident on Danish soil.

The foiled assassination attempt represents the third foiled attack on European soil in less than 12 months (the first was a thwarted plot to attack the MEK’s Persian New Year celebrations in Albania).

This has prompted officials and analysts to raise concerns over Iran’s increasing willingness to engage in violent and clandestine operations in Europe. Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a US think tank, and former CIA official, told the Wall Street Journal “they feel the constraints on them have been removed”.

If Riedel is right, terror attacks like those Europe has thwarted over the summer are likely to become a regular fixture in the future.

The French and Danish governments have both criticized the Iranian regime for its involvement in the respective attacks. The governments of Europe should come together and coordinate a clear and powerful response to these dangerous attacks. The European heads of state must show the regime that violence and aggression on European soil will not be tolerated.

Without a tougher stance, the regime will continue to show contempt for international laws and hunt its political enemies across the European continent, much to the danger and peril of European citizens and the MEK alike. Now, in the immediate aftermath of the Danish plot, is the time to take a stand. Europe cannot afford to show weakness or vulnerability in the face of a regime as violent and aggressive as Khamenei and Rouhani’s.

Staff Writer

 

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Iran Terrorism,Iranian terrorist arrested in Denmark,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Denmark arrests another agent of the Iranian regime for terrorism

The Danish Government Brands the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attack “Completely Unacceptable”

Denmark arrests another agent of the Iranian regime for terrorism

Danish intelligence service arrests another Iranian regime terrorist for plotting attack in Denish soil.

On September 28th, 2018, much of Denmark came to a standstill over national security issues. The day was the cumulation of a nation-wide police operation dedicated to unraveling a terror plot coordinated and orchestrated by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

On Tuesday, October 30th, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service revealed that the Iranian government intelligence agency had planned to carry out an assassination on Danish soil. It also revealed that is had made an arrest in connection to the case and that a Norwegian-Iranian citizen was currently in custody.

Preparation for a Larger Attack

The Danish government suggested that the assassination was likely to be carried out as part of preparation measures for a larger terror attack on Danish soil.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in which it condemned the Iranian government. The statement called the attack “completely unacceptable” and said, “the gravity of the matter is difficult to describe”.

The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelson, revealed in the same statement that the opinion of the Danish government “has been made crystal clear to the Iranian ambassador in Copenhagen”. He also suggested that Denmark would consider further action over the matter.

“We are in close contact with several like-minded countries regarding the issue of an Iranian intelligence agency’s illegal activities in Europe”, Samuelson said.

An Increasingly Aggressive Regime

Samuelson does not have to look far to find other governments affected by the regime’s nefarious terror activities.

Most recently, 10 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) issued a statement calling for the regime’s inclusion on the European terrorism blacklist. Their statement followed several high-profile incidents this summer which exposed an intricate web of the regime’s state-sponsored terror activities on European soil.

Ten MEPs Issue a Statement Calling for the Iranian Regime to be Added to an EU Blacklist

In June, an Iranian diplomat was arrested in connection with a foiled terror attack in Paris. Assadollah Assadi, based at the Iranian regime in Vienna, had provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material and detailed instructions of how to carry out the attack, which was to take place at the annual Grand Gathering of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Following the failed attack, the French government froze all assets in France which belonged to the MOIS and a further two high-profile Iranians. It also expelled an Iranian diplomat from the Iranian embassy in Paris over the incident.

Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) Holds Conference on Iranian State-Sponsored Terrorism

The Danish government will likely find a “like-minded” country in France. Macron’s government has grown impatient with Tehran following irrefutable evidence that the June 30th attack was coordinated and planned by the regime’s leadership.

In the US, two regime agents were also detained on espionage charges. The pair were gathering information on the MEK in preparation for another terror attack.

Earlier in the year, another Iranian plot was uncovered. Once again, the MEK were the targets. The Albanian authorities discovered a violent plot to attack the MEK’s compound near the Albanian capital. The plan was to execute the plan during the Persian New Year Celebrations.

The Iranian regime has shown time and time again that it is willing to commit acts of extreme violence to further its agenda. It has no respect for the sovereignty or government of other countries, nor does it respect international law.

An increasing number of MEPs and European governments are beginning to see the merit in adding the regime to international terrorist lists. But to fully neutralize the regime’s threat, Europe would be better-placed to lend its backing to the Iranian people in their quest for regime change.

Only with the mullahs gone and the fall of the clerical regime will the threat be gone.

Staff Writer

 

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protest in Pasargad

Despite Regime Aggression and Restricted Travel, Iranians Travel to Pasargad to Honour Cyrus the Great

protest in Pasargad

Archive- In 2016, on the anniversary of Cyrus the Great, thousands gathered at his tomb in Pasargad

On Monday, October 29th, people from across Iran flocked to Pasargad in Fars Province to honor Cyrus the Great, the ancient Persian king. The regime attempted to deter citizens from traveling to the capital of the ancient Persian empire, but many felt compelled to make the journey regardless.

Cyrus the Great commissioned the instruction of Pasargad in 559BC and once a year, on the 7th of Aban (usually around October 29th), the date Cyrus reportedly entered the ancient city of Babylon, thousands of Iranians gather at his tomb.

The regime fears a repeat of 2016

The regime often attempts to prevent Iranians from gathering on a historic day. They fear that such a concentration of people could spark a protest. Reports from the MEK network indicate that this year, numerous secret police agents have been deployed around Fars province and in nearby cities.

Not to be deterred, many Iranians are finding alternate routes to the burial site over nearby hilltops. The MEK reported that a number of people are bypassing the authorities by traveling on foot through the town of Surmeq and the surrounding mountain passes.

The regime fears a repeat of 2016 when thousands of Iranians descended on Pasargad and many in attendance began expressing their anger at the clerical regime. Chants of “clerical rule is synonymous with only tyranny and only war” could be heard among those gathered.

Closing Historical Sites

The MEK received reports from eyewitnesses on the ground that the regime is going to extreme lengths to prevent a repeat of the events of 2016.

The regime’s agents have closed the Persepolis historical site near the city of Shiraz, to prevent the public gathering and a protest taking shape.

Starting on Sunday afternoon, many of the roads around Pasargad were closed. There were reports of cars being turned away by regime agents as they approached the city.

Locals have received passes and anybody not traveling with a pass are finding their travel restricted in the region. There have even been reports of arrests taking place and vehicles being impounded.

In a more ominous sign, the regime also warned the local hospitals that the military would be “conducting drills” in the region and urged them to be prepared to receive people with injuries.

The news suggests that the regime is prepared to deploy excessive force to prevent the public from coming together for Cyrus Day celebrations. However, rather than cement the mullahs’ power, it only further mobilizes an already determined population and increases the public appetite for regime change.

 

Staff Writer

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

MEK Iran-Rudy Giuliani: The World has “an Obligation to Listen to What the Iranian People Have Been Saying”

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 Sunday, October 28th, former mayor of New York and lawyer within the Trump administration, Rudy Giuliani, published an op-ed piece on Townhall. The piece, titled ‘Tehran Recognises Iran Opposition as the Alternative; So Should We’, lent its support to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and highlighted their strong standing as a viable alternative to the clerical regime in Iran.

Giuliani started his piece by describing what an “honor” it was to address the Iranian opposition in the United States at a recent protest in New York. Giuliani reiterated that the international community has “an obligation to listen to what the Iranian people have been saying”.

What Is the Iranian Public Saying?

Over the last nine months, the Iranian people have made their feelings clear. A wave of protests has swept over Iran. People have marched in the streets across Iranian cities, many chanting anti-regime slogans like “death to Khamenei”, and “death to Rouhani”.

Giuliani expressed his solidarity with the protesting Iranian public. He described himself as “one of a large bipartisan group of former governors, mayors, military leaders, senior administration officials and members of Congress, who agree on one critical foreign policy, as the Iranian people do: Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy”.

As part of his desire to bring freedom and democracy to Iran, Giuliani has strongly supported the largest and best-organized opposition group; the MEK.

Bringing Change to Iran

Giuliani explained his support in terms of organization. He said, “fundamental change in Iran requires organization, leadership, a platform, endurance, competence, and sacrifice”. In Giuliani’s eyes, the only group that possesses all of these qualities is the MEK.

He said, “the one leader that Tehran fears the most is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the broader coalition of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which includes the MEK as a member”.

The group’s effectiveness and the threat it poses to the regime is apparent in the regime’s attempts to attack its members. This year, two terror attacks against the group were foiled in the last stages of their execution. The second plot aimed to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris, an event Giuliani himself attended.

Iranian spies have been detected operating in Belgium, France, Germany, Albania, and the United States. Each time, the object of the covert espionage activities has been the MEK and its members.

Giuliani spoke about two regime agents detained in New York last year. They were arrested at a rally held by the Iranian opposition with a “target package” and detailed instructions on capture and kill operations.

“New York has seen enough terrorism for several lifetimes; this must not stand”, Giuliani said. “Moreover”, he continued, “we can only conclude from an operation so brash that the regime in Iran feels threatened by all that is going wrong. They consider the MEK to be an existential threat”.

Addressing MEK’s Detractors

Giuliani also addressed the MEK’s detractors and critics who say that the organization is not widely supported by Iranians and does not have sufficient popularity within Iran.

Giuliani asked, “why would the regime be so methodical in imprisoning, torturing and killing MEK supporters in Iran as well as targeting its senior officials in Paris and New York if it didn’t feel threatened by it?”

The Regime’s End is Near

The former mayor of New York concluded his op-ed on an optimistic note. He predicted that the Iranian regime “will be overthrown. It is a question of when not if”.

He cited the Iranian people’s determination and will to protest in the streets, coupled with economic sanctions, like those introduced by the Trump administration, as the factors that will bring about the mullahs’ downfall.

“Iranians are demanding a democratic republic. Under the leadership of Maryam Rajavi and the movement of dedicated dissidents that she has established inside Iran and across the Western World, there is a strong and viable alternative that can make that happen”, Giuliani concluded.

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German delegation visit MEK residence in Albania

German Delegation Visits MEK Camp in Albania

German delegation visit MEK residence in Albania

The high profile German delegation headed by Rita Süssmuth, former president of the Bundestag visits Camp Ashraf 3, the new residence of the MEK in Albania.

Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania, received a visit from a six-member delegation from Germany last week. Rita Süssmuth, former president of the Bundestag, German parliamentarians Martin Patzelt, Thomas Nord, and Otto Bernhardt, and human rights activists, Hille Gosejacob-Rolf, and Christian Zimmermann made up the members of the delegation.

During their trip to Tirana from October 21-23, the visitors spent time with MEK residents at Ashraf met with Albanian government officials and political figures and attended a conference with Albanian parliamentarians and NGOs.

Conference in Ashraf-3

German delegation speaking at a conference held in Ashraf-3, the place of residence of the MEK- October 2018

On the first day of their visit, the delegation was greeted by MEK members, who briefed the visitors on the camp’s relocation from Iraq to Albania and their efforts to rebuild on a new site. The camp representatives emphasized that all costs of deployment, daily life, and medical care at Ashraf 3 are paid for by the MEK.

Rita Süssmuth expressed her surprise at the resilience and vitality of the camp residents. She was also impressed at how much the MEK members have been able to build over the course of a year. “Your vitality indicates a culture and a new way of life, which is not well known to others.” She said, “I constantly admire you for always starting from scratch and building again,” she said.

During their visit, the delegation toured Ashraf 3’s carpenter’s workshop, sports halls, and volleyball and basketball courts. They were introduced to the camp’s younger members, who shared their interests in music, art, video, history, and comedy. The delegation also toured the camp medical facilities, where they met dozens of MEK doctors and dentists who provide care for camp residents.

After touring Ashraf 3, the delegation sat down with a group of MEK members and discussed the MEK’s goals in Albania. The MEK’s representative from the camp expressed their appreciation to the German Friendship Group for its assistance during the MEK’s relocation from Iraq to Albania and other European countries.

Members of the delegation responded with words of support to the members of Ashraf 3.

Otto Bernhard said, “You have come a long way, but the remaining path to the goal should be short. The goal is to liberate Iran and we must reach this goal together.”

“The power of your eyes and your vitality is motivating to me, and it reflects your belief in the purpose you have,” said Rita Süssmuth. “You are even livelier than when you were in Ashraf and Liberty. Keep Fighting.”

Representative Thomas Nord spoke of the resilience of the MEK members and their willingness to continue fighting the regime. “Always one of my questions was how people can keep fighting decades for freedom and democracy and still be motivated, he said. “I got the answers to my questions today in Ashraf 3. Each of you could have had a good life in a corner of the world while being opposed to the regime, but you have chosen another way and that you are fighting collectively which is important. I wish you and all of us victory on this path.”

Christian Zimmermann was clear in his support of Ashraf 3: “I consider myself an Ashrafi,” he said. “It is now a matter of discussion in Germany and Europe that who is the alternative against Mullahs. I say, whoever wants to know the alternative should come to Ashraf 3.”

Ms. Hille Gosejacob-Rolf praised the women of the MEK for their leadership and gave gifts of table tops featuring the Iranian flag.

Rita Süssmuth led the delegation in presenting a gift of a painting of Reichstag, the German Parliament building, to the MEK representative.

On Monday, the delegation hosted a meeting at the Tirana International Hotel. Entitled “Solidarity with the Iranian Resistance: Disclosure of Islamic Fundamentalism and the Iranian Regime’s State Sponsorship of Terrorism in Europe and the Balkans,” the meeting was attended by political and human rights activists and Albanian supporters of the Iranian Resistance. The event received wide coverage by the Albanian press.

The members of the German delegation spoke about their visit to Ashraf 3 at the conference.

Rita Süssmuth said, “We were surprised by the progress made by MEK, and that could not be possible without the constructive cooperation of the government and civil society in Albania.”

Süssmuth added: They (the MEK) have relied on their financial autonomy and have provided funds for all their expenses and construction costs themselves. They are democrats, volunteers, lively and active, profoundly against dictatorship and committed to the cause of freedom.”

Martin Patzelt spoke of the need to stop supporting Iran: “The situation in Iran is quickly evolving, and we are witnessing that the policy towards the regime is changing,” he said. “Although Europe has been a supporter of a nuclear deal with the regime, the Iranian Regime’s domestic and international crises, as well as its destructive policies and its support of terrorism, has made it difficult for Europe to continue supporting it. A serious crisis in relations between Europe and the Iranian regime is about the terrorist acts of the regime in Europe.”

Otto Bernhard called for the expulsion of all regime intelligence agents. He discussed the case of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat who was arrested by German police for a foiled terrorist attack on the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris on June 30th and recently extradited to Belgium to await trial on terrorism charges. The Iranian regime attempted to prevent Assadi’s extradition. Because of the Assadi case, France has expelled another regime diplomat and sanctioned the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The Netherlands has expelled two regime diplomats as a result of the case.

 

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Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

The Iranian Regime Targets Environmental Activists in a String of Arrests and Suspicious Deaths

Iranian regime court will be charging 5 arrested environmentalists for "heavy charges:

Five environmental activists arrested nine months ago will be facing charges of “corruption on earth”. This is while Farshid Hakki another environmentalist was murdered outside his home last week.

The clerical regime in Iran has brought charges against five environmental activists arrested nine months ago. The five will appear in court on charges of “corruption on earth”, although the regime previously charged them with espionage charges.

Environmental activists have been the target of the clerical regime in recent months. On October 17th, environmental activist Farshid Hakki died in suspicious circumstances near his home in Tehran.

The state-run news networks and IRGC media outlets reported that the cause of Hakki’s death was self-immolation. However, the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) remains skeptical.

Suspicious Deaths of Activists

Environmental activists have been subject to extreme violence and physical abuse at the hands of the regime. In January, IRGC intelligence officers arrested several activists, among them was Dr. Kavous Seyyed Emami, a former director of the Wildlife Agency.

Iran says prominent environmentalist committed suicide in a Tehran prison

Emami died shortly after his arrest while he was in regime custody in Evin Prison. The regime absolved itself of responsibility and claimed that the Emami had committed suicide.

In the wake of the national uprising at the start of the year, the regime claimed that at least 14 prisoners that died in custody committed suicide or died due to drug use. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) asserts that in reality, the prisoners died due to the regime’s violent and brutal use of torture.

Mohammad Reza, the head of the parliamentary environmental faction voiced his concerns. “The arrest of a number of environmental activists… is suspicious”, he said, “and the death of Dr. Seyyed Emami in prison is unfortunate and increases the ambiguity regarding the charges against the detainees”.

The MEK has previously reported the dangers of arbitrary arrests and fabricated charges. The regime’s increased weaponization of the judicial system to silence critics is an indication of its vulnerability.

In an attempt to preserve its weakening grip on power, the regime is locking up activists and political opponents.

The Iranian resistance movement and the MEK remains vehemently opposed to the regime’s misuse of justice and crimes against humanity. The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, have repeatedly called on the international community to stand with the abused Iranian people and condemn the regime’s actions.

The MEK and NCRI have urged international NGOs and governments to establish a delegation tasked with investigating the abuse of political and environmental activists in Iranian prisons and the 14 suspicious deaths that occurred in custody.

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