Posts Tagged ‘PMOI’

Human Rights,Iran human rights,Mahmoud Alavi,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK resistance units,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Mahmoud Alavi

Regime Intelligence Minister Cites MEK Arrests in Attempt to Boost Flagging Morale, Prompting Call to Release Political Prisoners

Mahmoud Alavi

Mahmoud Alavi, the Iranian regime’s Minister of Intelligence aside Hassan Rouhani the president of the dictatorship ruling Iran

On April 19th, Mullah Mahmoud Alavi, the regime’s Minister of Intelligence, made an appearance at Friday prayers in Tehran in which he attempted to raise morale of the country’s military forces in light of the recent designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States. The designation carries significant economic and political consequences for a regime that is already facing crises from all sides.

Arrests of MEK Members

Alavi focused his remarks on the regime’s suppression of the MEK during the last year in the Iranian calendar (March 21, 2018 to March 20, 2019), saying that during this time “116 teams related to the PMOI [MEK] have been dealt with.” He confusingly referred to these suppressive acts as “intelligence epic” and said that the ministry’s actions were due to “major national security reviews in light of Khamenei’s breakthrough guidelines.”

Alavi insisted that these achievements were carried out through Khamenei’s tailoring and said that the details of the suppressive acts should be shared with the public through “national media.” The regime’s state-run media have become widely distrusted by the Iranian people, who view the mullahs’ news agencies as propaganda. It is common for protesters to chant, “Our shame, our shame, our radio, and TV!” Regime leaders have expressed frustration at their inability to stop people from turning to the Internet and social media for unfiltered news.

The Minister of Intelligence has not officially released the true number of MEK members arrested during the last Iranian calendar year. He intentionally omitted arrests made by the regime’s other suppressive agencies, such as the

IRC Intelligence Organization, IRGC Intelligence Protection Organization, State Security Forces (SSF) and the Prosecutor’s Office.

 

Alavi’s choice to focus on the MEK is in keeping with the regime’s strategy of placing the blame for the FTO designation or IRGC on the resistance organization.

Maryam Rajavi’s Statement

After Alavi’s Remarks on Friday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released a statement calling for the immediate release of MEK political prisoners in Oran. She called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, and international human rights organizations to form delegations to visit the regime’s prisons and meet with the prisoners and to take immediate action to secure their release. She emphasized that the prisoners are subject to torture and execution. Mrs. Rajavi further demanded that the regime publish the names of all of those who have been arrested and honor their rights in accordance with the international conventions it has adopted.

The Iranian regime is notorious for its mistreatment of political prisoners. Dissidents are routinely tortured while in custody, sometimes to the point of death. During the uprisings of December 2017/January 2018, at least 14 people died after being tortured while in custody.

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Ali Khamenei,Iran Floods,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Khamenei Refuses to Withdraw from Development Fund to Finance Flood Relief Effort

A month after the flash-flood hit large areas of Iran, the regime did not do anything and still is leaving people on their own to deal with the destructive flood.

Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected the possibility of using the country’s development fund to finance flood recovery. He said that funds may be withdrawn only after all other sources have been exhausted. Khamenei has earmarked the development fund for financing the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and military conflict in the region.

The deadly sixteen-day floods are estimated to have caused over $2.2 billion in damages in 25 out of 31 Iranian provinces. Hundreds are believed to have died, thousands lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the destruction caused by the floods.

MEK-Iran: Floodwaters Spread through Khuzestan while Tens of Thousands of Iranians Still Wait for Disaster Aid

Regime President Hassan Rouhani inquired about using the development fund in a letter to Khamenei because of the regime’s growing alarm at the price of the disaster. The Supreme Leader replied, “You are aware that withdrawing from the development fund is only permitted when all other channels of raising fund are exhausted.”

The “other channels” referred to are components of the nation’s budget, including construction, bank reserves, and insurance. Those resources are intended to be used on services that are already sorely lacking. Iran is in the midst of an economic crisis, and robbing the budget would exacerbate a situation that was already unsustainable before the floods. It’s also uncertain that the budget could withstand a $2.2 billion hit, even if the regime was willing to bring the country to the brink of economic destruction.

Majlis Members Express Concern

The economic damage caused by the floods has caused some members of the regime’s Majlis (parliament) to express concern about the government’s ability to cover the costs of recovery without drawing from the development fund. On Sunday, one member of the Majlis Development Committee was quoted as saying, “The volume of the destruction from the floods is enormous and the government alone is incapable of covering it. So, it is necessary to withdraw from the development funds with the supreme leader’s signature.”

Khamenei Deflects Blame

Khamenei still refuses to consider drawing from the development fund until the country is completely bankrupt, ignoring his own government and the growing anger from the Iranian people, who have taken to the streets in flood-stricken areas to protest the regime’s failure to provide assistance to those whose lives and homes have been destroyed in the disaster.

In a recent meeting with some of his allies, Khamenei feigned sympathy for the flood victims, but he also took the opportunity to warn those in his faction about the threat that the aftermath of the deadly disaster poses to the regime. He made sure reference “enemies” in order to deflect blame from his government’s own actions, a common strategy employed by the regime in times of crisis.

In an April 15th report broadcast on the state-run IRIB news agency, Khamenei said, “We should be aware and walk carefully, like someone who is crossing a narrow road with deep cliffs around it. You must look at each step you take. You must know that the ‘enemies’ [the MEK and the U.S.] are increasingly plotting against us.”

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Protests in flood hit aread

Regime’s Suppression of Flood Protests Points to Fear of Widespread Rebellion

Protests in flood hit aread

Protests grows in flood-hit areas due to lack of aid and using mercenaries to disperse the people’s anger.

Protests have broken out in flood-stricken areas across Iran in response to the regime’s failure to provide assistance to its people during and after the deadly floods that affected 25 out of 31 of the nation’s provinces. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the MEK have reported on protests in Ahvaz and Poldokhtar.

No Help from the Regime

The catastrophic floods washed through Iran over a sixteen-day period ending earlier this month, leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake. After the first wave of floods, people were left stranded on rooftops waiting for help that never came. As the second wave of floods approached, the regime refused to issue evacuations or create flood barriers. Before the third round of floods, regime officials called for evacuations, but people in affected areas were not told where or how to evacuate. Many residents of areas hit in the final wave of flooding were forced to flee to neighboring hilltops. Regime officials later blamed them for not evacuating to non-existing “safe areas.”

The people of Iran did their best to survive the floods and their aftermath without the assistance of the government. Residents of hard-hit areas created flood barriers by filling bags with sand and rice and sleeping on top of them. Iranian Arab women baked bread for people in need of food, and Iranian children trekked for hours through the mountains to deliver food and supplies to residents in villages where roads were completely blocked by floodwaters.

 

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, reiterated that the regime must make the facilities and equipment of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) available to the Iranian people to assist them in their time of need.

 

The regime has ignored these requests and has done little to address the needs of the people in recovering from the floods. Officials who made appearances for photo ops in heavily damaged areas after the floods were met by angry protesters who demanded that they provide assistance or go home. Public outrage grew against the IRGC for its abandonment of flood victims.

The regime responded to these calls for help by sending security forces to prevent protests and demonstrations. People who lost their homes and are still waiting for tents to sleep in have been greeted with armed military forces instead of housing or food. Meanwhile, the regime has refused to allow citizens to provide assistance to each other and has arrested a number of aid workers for helping those in need.

Protests in Flood-Stricken Areas

The Iranian regime’s attempts to suppress protests in order to protect itself from rebellion have backfired. Anger over the regime’s callous disregard for the welfare of its own people has led to a swell of protests. Outside of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, residents were heard protesting the presence of IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Naghdi. They chanted, “Get out! Ahvaz will remain free!”

Last week, a protest took place in western Ahvaz. Residents in the flood-ravaged area criticized the regime for its failure to construct flood barriers and evacuate marshes before the floods.

The regime has expressed concern that the current protests will lead to a widespread rebellion. The mullahs have been unable to suppress anti-regime protests since the nationwide uprisings in late 2017, and the MEK has grown in influence inside Iran since then. Under the MEK’s leadership, the Iranian Resistance has become larger and more organized, and the threat of regime change has become very real to the mullahs. Decades of oppression and snowballing economic crises have led to growing dissatisfaction with the ruling regime. The government’s colossal failure to provide basic aid to its citizens or show a modicum of compassion after the recent catastrophic floods could easily be the final straw for the Iranian people.

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FATF

Regime Factions Fight over Fate of FATF after Terrorist Designation

FATF

The IRGC blacklisting will carry major consequences for the Iranian dictatorship. FATF had previously blacklisted Iranian regime for funding terrorism, and their temporary waiver is believed not to be extended as a result of the recent IRGC terrorist designation.

On April 8th, the United States officially designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) after months of deliberations. The measure carries significant consequences for the Iranian regime, which is already facing severe economic pressure due to U.S. sanctions.

 

One of the most pressing issues for the Iranian regime in light of the FTO designation is the diminishing possibility of the country’s acceptance into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is an international coalition that works to prevent money laundering and funding of terrorism. The FTO designation puts the possibility of FATF approval in severe jeopardy. It would be difficult to argue that the regime should be part of an anti-terrorism task force after its military has been labeled as a terrorist organization.

Factional Infighting

The regime’s various factions have been fighting for months about whether or not to comply with the terms necessary to become members in good standing with the FATF. Hard-liners say that the FATF rules will prevent the regime from acting as it pleases, while “moderates” argue that FATF membership is essential to preventing further isolation from the international community. Bills to confirm membership in the FATF have stalled in the regime’s Majlis (parliament) for months.

Ahmad Tavakoli, a member of the Expediency Discernment Council, said that Iran is unlikely to gain approval for the FATF after the IRGC’s designation as a terrorist organization. He urged the regime to stop seeking FATF approval, claiming that it would be seen as a concession to the United States. He further recommended that the regime’s Majlis abandon the bill in its entirety, lest in emboldening the U.S.

 

Reza Ansari, who is close to Rouhani’s “moderate” faction, took the opposite side of the argument. He said that the FTO designation was “a trap” meant to “bait” Iran into making “harsh and angry decisions” like leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, in order to justify further actions against the regime. He argued that abandoning the FATF bills or making other rash decisions would be the worst thing the regime could do right now. “Currently, the best gift for the hardliners is unnecessary self-harm such as boycotting the FATF bills, losing one’s ‘strategic patience’, and embarking on ill-advised action that the thinkers and propaganda machine of the warmongering party can capitalize on,” he said.

 

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, Chair of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Relations Committee, argued a middle ground approach to the situation. He cautioned against making a decision about the FATF based on politics and said that the bill should be reviewed before an informed decision is made. He warned that a political decision would harm the country.

A Weak Position

The regime has responded to the IRGC designation with claims that it is united against the U.S. and that the terrorist label will have little effect. This is a common talking point from the mullahs when challenged, and it falls apart upon even the slightest scrutiny. The FTO designation carries significant consequences for the regime in both the short and long term, and despite the regime’s claims of unity, this most recent crisis has exposed more of the infighting between factions in the government.

Regime Reacts to Implications of IRGC Terrorist Listing with Growing Alarm and Confusion

The End of the Era of Appeasement

The MEK and the Iranian Resistance have called for the IRGC to be blacklisted by the international community for its terrorist activities for many years, and the recent action by the United States is a welcome step toward recognizing the regime’s role in domestic and international terrorism.

The FTO designation was an unprecedented action against a foreign government’s military and came as a shock to many who were not familiar with the IRGC. The Revolutionary Guards have met the criteria for a Foreign Terrorist Organization for many years though, and their inclusion on the terror list is a decisive step toward the end of the era of appeasement to the mullahs.

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Colonel Thomas Cantwell

Retired US Military Officer Urges the United States to Maintain Pressure on Tehran

Colonel Thomas Cantwell

Colonel Thomas Cantwell speaking at the Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition in Paris- June 2014

Colonel Thomas Cantwell, a retired military officer and employee of the United States Army who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote an op-ed for Real Clear Defense calling for sustained pressure towards the Iranian regime.

His comments came a week after the White House announced its decision to include the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on its terror blacklist. It is the first time a US Presidential administration has included the regime’s repressive organ on the list of foreign terror organizations (FTOs).

Cantwell describes how the decision was emblematic of Donald Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” towards the Iranian regime. In his speech announcing the decision, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested that the decision would be part of a wider effort to “ratchet up pressure” on the brutal regime.

The IRGC is Instrumental for the Regime’s Survival

“The president’s announcement correctly identified the powerful, hardline organization as the regime’s primary instrument of terrorism as a form of statecraft,” Cantwell wrote.

The IRGC is active across the Middle East. Its troops and resources have been discovered operating in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. There is not a single conflict in the Middle East in which the IRGC does not have a disruptive, destabilizing influence.

At home in Iran, the IRGC is one of the regime’s organs of repression through which it crushes political dissent. Its plainclothes agents arrest members of the Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) at their peaceful protests. They also carry out torture and kidnapping operations against MEK members.

Following the FTO designation, the Washington Post called the IRGC, the “single most effective guarantor of the regime’s survival.”

They Are Being Stretched to Their Limit

Cantwell describes how the IRGC is already under immense pressure within Iran. He writes, “the mass uprising last year stretched the repressive capabilities of the IRGC to their limit. Had the IRGC been weakened ahead of time by global economic isolation, the public protests might have forced the clerical regime further into domestic isolation, precipitating its collapse.”

The protest movement within Iran is gaining momentum under the leadership of the MEK. The new designation will severely weaken the IRGC at a time when the regime will need to rely on it to quell protests.

The regime’s “actions on the world stage have been indicative of its escalating desperation in the face of the dual pressures of its own people and the international community,” Cantwell writes. This desperation can be increased with sustained pressure from the US and its international allies.

For Cantwell, once the IRGC is stretched beyond its means and the protest movement intensifies, the regime will have nothing left to protect it. It will inevitably collapse.

The MEK Offers Iran a Positive Future

Filling the void left by the regime will fall on the MEK’s shoulders. The Iranian opposition President-elect Maryam Rajavi has a ten-point plan for restoring democracy in Iran. It promises Iranians a secular future with an independent judiciary, gender equality, and religious freedom, without nuclear weapons and the death penalty.

But to fully realize this dream, the US must tackle the other repressive organs within the regime. The first on the list, Cantwell argues, should be the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

The MOIS has been behind many of Iran’s terror plots abroad, including the one last June that intended to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in France.

“As Tehran watches the walls closing in, it will surely shift some of its resources from a newly isolated IRGC to an intelligence service that still enjoys a foothold,” Cantwell writes. “In this sense, the terror designation could represent a greater danger to the West,” he continues, “but only if the US and its European allies fail to follow up by keeping the pressure on Tehran.”

Cantwell finished with a message of hope. “On the other hand,” he writes, “if they do so,… they will critically impede the Iranian regime’s strategy for maintaining its grip on power.” This would signal support for the Iranian public and help usher in a new democratic dawn for the Iranian people.

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Ali Safavi's interview with FoxNews

Ali Safavi Tell Fox News: The Regime’s “Number One Target is its Organised Democratic Opposition”

Ali Safavi's interview with FoxNews

Ali Safavi, from NCRI’s office in Washington D.C. tells FoxNews on the recent blacklisting of the IRGC: “the next step would be to designate the Iranian military intelligence and security, the MOIS, for hatching terrorist plots”.

Ali Safavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) Foreign Affairs Committee took part in an interview with Fox New’s Eric Shawn on Sunday, April 14. Shawn quizzed Safavi on the State Department’s decision to place Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on its terror blacklist.

The move came after the Iranian regime was found to be behind foiled terror attacks in France, Albania, and the US in 2018. One such attack was due to take place at the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran’s (MEK’s) annual Grand Gathering event in Paris.

An Iranian diplomat provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with 500g of homemade explosives and instructed them to drive to Paris and detonate the car bomb at the event. They were stopped en-route Paris by Belgian authorities, averting disaster for the more than 100,000 attendees gathered in Paris.

“It’s only one other example of how the Iranian regime… are terrified of the organized opposition,” Safavi said. “If anything it indicates the need that now the IRGC is designated [as a foreign terrorist organization] I think the next step would be to designate the Iranian military intelligence and security, the MOIS, for hatching terrorist plots and carrying out assassinations against dissidents in Europe, in the Middle East and… here in the United States.”

In the Interest of National Security

When asked if he believed the IRGC would carry out a terror attack or assassination on US soil, Safavi responded, “I absolutely have no doubt.” He added, “you have to remember that this regime is on its last legs, it is facing an increasingly enraged population.” “Its number one target is its organized democratic opposition.”

He described how the Iranian regime has proven on several occasions that it has no scruples regarding the murder of Iranian opposition members on foreign soil. “They have done it in the 1990s, assassinating the NCRI’s representative in Switzerland… and its representative in Rome in 1993,” he said.

Stopping the Regime’s Export of Terror

Eric Shawn described how the NCRI’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi has called on the US and other western governments to expel Iranian diplomats and close embassies to deny the regime a footing from which they can coordinate terror attacks. He went on to ask Safavi if he agreed with this approach.

“I think that’s an absolute necessity,” he replied. “As Mrs. Rajavi has said numerous times, the ultimate solution to all of this mayhem, instability, terrorism, and chaos… is for the Iranian people and the organized opposition to overthrow it [the regime].” “I think it is time now for the international community, for the United States to recognize the right of the Iranian people to bring down this regime and of course, recognize the NCRI as the democratic alternative to the mullahs of Iran.”

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Human Rights,Iran Floods,MEK,MEK Network,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Ahvaz under flood

Regime Arrests 28 People for Reporting News about Floods

Ahvaz under flood

Khuzestan has been under flooding, since last week, while reports indicate that no aid has been provided by the regime and they have been sending security forces to suppress any voice of protest.

According to regime officials, a total of 28 people have been arrested for reporting news about the recent deadly floods that have devastated Iran.

Arrests in Khuzestan Province

 

24 Internet activists were arrested in Khuzestan Province for their role in publishing news of the floods in the province, according to the head of provincial cyber police, Shahin Hassanvand. Khuzestan was one of the provinces hit hardest by the disaster, and regime officials have withheld vital information about casualties and damage to the region. The news that has been provided has been patently false.

 

A report aired on the state-run ISNA news agency claimed that the activists were arrested for disturbing “public opinion by spreading news and rumors on the floods.”

 

Hassanvand described the process through which the police hunted down the publishers. “Due to the publication of rumors and fake news on the internet which has led to insecurity in the community’s psychological climate, experts of the police forces monitored social platforms and identified 24 internet users who published deviating news and rumors about the flood and disturbed public opinion.” He also noted that the publishers have been referred to the regime’s Judiciary for prosecution.

Arrests in Tehran

The previous week, four people were arrested in Tehran for “spreading rumors” about the regime’s incompetence in its response to the flood, according to the Capital city’s Chief of Police.

A Threat to Security

The Iranian regime has done everything in its power to prevent its people from seeing the full extent of the destruction from the floods and witnessing the colossal failure of the regime’s response in its aftermath. This has proved to be impossible. At least 25 out of Iran’s 31 provinces sustained heavy damage due to the floods, and survivors of the disaster shared videos and pictures on social media of the flood. Public confidence in official reports about the flood eroded quickly as anger mounted over the regime’s failure to provide emergency aid.

 

In late March, as floods raged across the country, regime Attorney General Jafar Montazeri announced that publishing “fake” news (information contrary to official regime reports) about the floods was a violation of national security and that those found in violation would be dealt with for “disrupting the security of the country.”

Human rights groups report that another 11 relief workers were arrested in Khuzestan by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Another 22 rescue workers were arrested in Khuzestan by MOIS agents. The regime has banned all non state-sanctioned aid to flood victims.

Growing Protests

 

Residents of flood-stricken areas have greeted regime officials and IRGC forces who have attempted to visit with angry protests. The regime has responded to these protests with suppressive actions.

 

According to reports from MEK sources inside Iran and videos shared on social media, the regime sent security forces to suppress dissent in Khuzestan in response to protests in the Eyn-e Do and Shelang Abad regions in Ahvaz. Other reports indicate that troops from the Fatemiyoun Division, which is comprised of Afghan nationals, were dispatched to Poldokhtar, which was destroyed in the floods.

90 Flood Deaths in One Western Iranian City, According to Internal Police Report

During the floods, Iranians in some areas were stranded on rooftops for days waiting for a rescue that never came. Entire villages were left without food or drinking water. People in Shiraz were left to pull bodies out of the flooded streets. During the final wave of flooding, the regime called for evacuations, but it didn’t tell people where or how to evacuate.

 

Finally, the Iranian government is sending troops to the areas that were destroyed by floods. The regime clearly has the resources to send people and equipment quickly when it feels it is necessary. But even now, with the country in ruins, the mullahs aren’t providing aid. The troops haven’t arrived with boats and supplies. They have come with tanks and guns. And the people are angry.

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IRGC blacklisting

Former US Ambassador Urges Government to Extend FTO Blacklisting to Include Iran’s MOIS

IRGC blacklisting

IRGC blacklisted for its terrorist activities.

US Ambassador Ken Blackwell wrote an op-ed for Townhall urging the United States government to increase its pressure on the Iranian regime in the wake of its inclusion of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on its terror blacklist.

Blackwell warned that “Iran’s malign influence is growing,” and urged Western leaders to confront the regime’s “imperialism.”

The Emergence of IRGC-Funded Militia Groups

President Donald Trump’s designation of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) was a welcome move that Blackwell argued had “grown more imperative” in recent years. The IRGC is a vital organ of repression for the regime in Iran. It also uses it to export its state-sponsored terrorism across the globe.

However, Blackwell asserts, it was the “proliferation of IRGC-funded and facilitated extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere,” that meant the US administration had no choice but to take firm action against the group.

“Serious critics of the Iranian regime were quick to embrace the FTO designation,” Blackwell writes. Among them was Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and NCRI’s main component, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The MEK is the largest and most popular opposition group and has been behind many of the protests that have taken place in Iran over the last 18 months.

In a statement, Mrs. Rajavi called the US government’s designation “long overdue.” For the MEK, Blackwell writes, “western pressure on the IRGC is not only a means of promoting international peace and stability but also a sign of support for the Iranian people in their conflict with the theocratic dictatorship.”

For the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the designation was vital for cutting off financial assistance and resources to the IRGC from American entities. He made it clear that until the Iranian regime ends its “malign activities” and ends its use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft, it would continue to face economic pressure and restrictions.

Every Cent That Goes to the IRGC Goes Towards Death and Repression

The IRGC has been instrumental to the regime’s Middle East objectives. Its militia and proxies are active in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Every cent that flows into IRGC coffers in a cent available to use in devising terror plots, assembling militia and murdering opposition members.

But for Blackwell, the designation does not go far enough. The IRGC, for example, was not behind the regime’s international terror plots on European soil. In June 2018, for example, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) orchestrated a plot to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event. The plot was foiled by Belgian authorities, averting countless deaths and immeasurable tragedy.

“President Trump and Secretary Pompeo have frequently promised that pressure on the Islamic Republic will continue to intensify until American goals are realized,” Blackwell wrote. He then urged President Trump and Secretary Pompeo to “recognize that the logical next step in exerting such pressure is to extend the newfound terrorist designation from the IRGC to its accomplice, MOIS.”

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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh,Iran Floods,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Flooding in Ahvaz

Leading Iran Expert Accuses the Regime of Downplaying Casualty Figures and Contributing to the Loss of Life in Recent Flooding

Flooding in Ahvaz

The locals in Ahvaz, rushing to block the flash flooding from damaging their farms, as the government seems not to care about them.

Arab News published an op-ed from Dr. Majid Rafizadeh on Sunday, April 14. Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated political scientist and one of the world’s leading experts on Iran and US foreign policy.

The piece, entitled “after the deluge: Iran’s paramilitary looting takes a deadly toll”, criticized the Iranian regime over its response to recent floods and accused it of putting its own interests ahead those of the Iranian people.

Downplaying Casualty Figures

Rafizadeh highlighted the discrepancy between the information being released by the regime and reports coming from the Iranian opposition. “The official death toll from recent massive flooding in Iran stands at 77, but it is more likely that well over 250 people have been killed by the disaster and as a result of bungled relief efforts,” he writes.

In the wake of the flooding, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) revealed that the regime was deliberately withholding accurate reports on the scale of the flood’s damage, including the loss of human life.

The Iranian judiciary, under regime control, was reportedly threatening Iranians with prosecution if they spoke publicly on the full extent of the flood damage.

“Iranian security forces, the military, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are all on the ground in flood-ravaged areas, but are generally more focused on suppressing dissent and preserving the theocratic regime’s reputation than contributing to relief efforts,” Rafizadeh writes.

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi shared this sentiment. She released a statement accusing the mullahs of doing “nothing but preserving their shameless rule and plundering the people.” For Mrs Rajavi, “national solidarity and cooperation is the only way to confront the flash floods.”

Mismanaging Natural Resources

Rafizadeh was not only enraged by the regime’s flood response, but he also accused the regime of contributing to the flood’s damage by mismanaging Iranian natural resources, engaging in unsafe construction practices and neglecting ecological assessments.

The regime and its IRGC constructed on land alongside waterways, failed to maintain dams and failed to dredge rivers and lakes to allow for an uninterrupted flow of water. These practices, Rafizadeh argues, exacerbated the flooding and led to unnecessary damage and death.

Environmentalists who have tried to raise concerns in recent years have been subject to arrest and tortured. One Iranian-Canadian professor named Kavous Seyed-Emami died in regime custody under suspicious circumstances. Another four environmental activists remain in prison on charges of “spreading corruption on earth.” The charge carries a maximum penalty of death.

Exploiting the Flooding to Tighten Suppressive Measures

“Reports indicate hard-liners are presently jostling to exploit the flood damage and further tighten their grip on Iranian commerce and society,” Rafizadeh writes. There have already been reports of the regime moving Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani mercenaries into flood-stricken areas to quash dissent.

Rafizadeh concluded, “the pain being experienced by the Iranian people is likely to get much worse unless the international community sanctions the IRGC and isolates its activities to such an extent that it becomes impossible to put more Iranian wealth into its hands.”

 

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Ali Khamenei,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,Omar Hassan al-Bashir,PMOI,Sudan

Two dictators meet up

MEK-Iran: Former Regime Ally and War Criminal Removed from Power in Sudan

Two dictators meet up

The Supreme Leader of Iran’s theocratic regime, Ali Khamenei (R) meets with Sudanese Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Tehran, August 31, 2012.

On Thursday, April 11th, Sudanese dictator and war criminal Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power and arrested in what Iranian regime state media are calling a military coup. Bashir’s arrest comes after months of protests in Sudan calling for his removal.

 

Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf announced that the army will remain in power for two years. He also closed Sudan’s borders and airspace and called for an end to the protests. Security officials in Sudan reported that all political prisoners have been freed.

 

Iranian regime officials have so far remained silent on the protests in Sudan and the ouster of  their former ally, but the situation is cause for concern in Tehran.

The Regime’s History with Sudan

The Iranian regime’s support for Sudan dates back to at least the 1990s, when the two countries were believed to be supporting each other’s military programs. The Iranian regime provided weapons to Sudan and sent in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to support their military. In exchange, Sudan provided naval facilities to the Iranian regime.

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Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei considered Bashir to be a strong ally and showed support for him, which Bashir reciprocated. Bashir visited Iran a number of times and was treated as an honored guest.

 

In 2008, Bashir was convicted of crimes against humanity in an international tribunal. Iranian regime Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani responded to the news by traveling to Sudan personally to tell Bashir that “the Islamic Republic’s wholeheartedly supported” him.” The regime’s Foreign Minister at the time, Manouchehr Mottaki, also expressed support for Bashir and the ruling regime in Sudan.

 

Sudan then fought a bloody civil war with South Sudan, which ended in 2011. South Sudan won its independence from Bashir and his dictatorship, leaving Sudan without the financial benefit of South Sudan’s oil wells.

The Iranian regime was facing its own financial struggles. The country was facing economic sanctions and spending enormous sums of money to support Bashar al-Assad in the war in Syria. Iran could not give money to two dictators at once.

Bashir’s loyalty to the Iranian regime ended at approximately the same time that his regime’s money ran out. Once he realized that the Iranian regime could not help Sudan, Bashir joined forces with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s biggest regional enemy. In 2015, Sudan expelled all Iranian entities from the country and joined the Saudi campaign in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

One journalist wrote that Bashir flipped his loyalty from Iran to Saudi Arabia because his “hopes of receiving petrodollars” were dashed. In any case, the alliance between these dictatorships did not end well. The Iranian regime has made a habit of befriending dictators, which leads to further destabilization of the entire region. This is only the latest example.

 

The end of Bashir’s dictatorship means that change is possible. Dictators can be overthrown. Protests work. Incompetent rulers cannot last forever if people are willing to stand up and make their voices be heard.

Staff writer

 

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