Posts Tagged ‘PMOI’

Iran Protests,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Khamenei, speaking among regime supporters in Qom.

Regime Leadership Express Concerns Over the Rising Popularity of the MEK on Social Media

Khamenei, speaking among regime supporters in Qom.

Khamenei’s speech in the religious city of Qom. Khamenei warned against MEK’s influence within the clergies in Qom

On Wednesday, January 9th, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered a speech in Qom. In his speech, he expressed concern over the rising influence of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the opposition group’s ability to mobilize the Iranian opposition and organize street protests across the country.

He said, “the arrogant are inviting the people to confront the system. It’s necessary that the people stand up in front of this publicly and move against it. The youth must transform cyberspace into a tool against the enemy.”

He went on to reference a recent speech by Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton when Bolton addressed the MEK in Albania during an event marked to celebrate Persian New Year.

Khamenei said, “a while ago, not far from here, an American politician said to a crowd of thugs and terrorists he hopes and wishes to celebrate Christmas in 2019 in Tehran.”

A Regime Under Pressure

Khamenei’s remarks illustrate the extent to which the regime finds itself under intense scrutiny at home. The MEK’s strength is growing as 2018 saw a wave of protests wash across Iran. Fearing for their future in power, the mullahs have lined up to attack the MEK and their supporters.

Iran State Media Acknowledges MEK Can Topple Regime

The clerical regime has increased its attempts to limit internet freedoms and counter the MEK’s influence in the digital sphere. Following protest over a contested election that broke out in 2009, the Iranian regime severely limited access to social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Then, following a fresh round of nationwide unrest at the beginning of 2018, the regime blocked Telegram, a popular instant messaging app with more than 40 million users in Iran.

There have also been recent plans to block Instagram and replace it with a regime-created Iranian replacement which allows regime agents to spy on users and control the content available.

On Wednesday, the Iranian regime’s general prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said, “if we don’t manage cyberspace in the country, our situation will grow worse every day.”

Other members of the regime have also expressed concerns. Abdollah Ganji, a director of the state-run Fars News Agency, said at the tail end of 2018, “the MEK members who were relocated from Iraq to Albania are creating content for social media networks.”

The MEK has published the results of several investigations on their social media channels, including in-depth investigative pieces on the lavish lifestyles of the mullahs and their misuse of public funds.

In exchange for their efforts, the MEK has had to face stinging barbs from regime leaders on an almost daily basis. On the same day, Khamenei addressed the people at Qom, Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts council, accused the MEK of undermining “the security of the people.”

Despite their repressive measures, the regime has been unable to quash domestic unrest and prevent the public from mobilizing in protest. Protests have spread across Iran like wildfire, and the mullahs are scrambling to avoid being caught up in the blaze.

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EU Sanctions against Iran for terrorism,expulsion of Iran diplomats,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

Europe’s Sanctions Are Welcome, Now A Change In Policies Is Required.

Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime’s top diplomat, whose staff have now been arrested or expelled from several European countries, attacks EU as a escape goat to justify acts of terrorism in EU soil.

Europe introduced its own set of sanctions against Iran in what represented a small shift in policy towards the Iranian regime. Not since before the Iran nuclear deal has Europe employed sanctions against the Iranian Regime. The move signifies that European leaders may finally be awakening to the fact that the Iran nuclear deal has not altered Iran’s behavior and the Iranian regime is still the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The sanctions are rooted in the terrorist threat Iranian regime poses

In 2018, the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorist machine increased its output dramatically. In March, a pair of Iranian regime agents were detained in Albania after it emerged the regime has orchestrated a bomb attack against the members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the principal opposition group living in exile outside the Albanian capital of Tirana.

Shortly afterward, in June, the regime launched its most ambitious plan of the year. An Iranian diplomat working out of the regime’s embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosives and sent them to Paris to detonate a bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

The event was attended by more than 100,000 people, including dignitaries from the UK, the US, France, Germany, and Italy, amongst other nations. Belgian authorities foiled the attack at the eleventh hour, preventing hundreds and thousands of potential deaths. Following the attack, the French government froze assets belonging to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and expelled two diplomats from the country.

In October, Denmark announced that it had discovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident living on Danish soil. The revelation prompted an outcry among the Danish public as protestors gathered in the capital to call for a firm response to Iranian aggression.

Protestors Gather in Copenhagen to Call for a Firm Response to Iranian Aggression

Most recently, the Dutch government revealed that it believes the Iranian government was behind the assassination of two Dutch citizens. The Dutch government said this week that it had evidence that the Iranian government had hired hitmen to carry out the assassinations.

Europe’s sanctions target the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS)

Europe’s latest sanctions target the MOIS, including the director general of the Iranian intelligence agency, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. The targets have had their European assets frozen and have been added to Europe’s terror list.

In response to the announcement, Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while admitting the regime’s role in terrorist attempts attacked the EU as regime’s usual way, to avoid responding to the crimes it has committed. Wall Street Journal Editorial, on its Wednesday Jauary 9 edition, writes:

“The new sanctions target an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its agents, including deputy minister and director general of intelligence Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. They have been added to Europe’s terror list and their assets will be frozen. Iranian Foregin Minister Javad Zarif on Twitter tried to justiry the attacks: “Accusing Iran won’t absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorist”- his preferred word for anyone who opposes the regime.”

What is the next step?

While the sanctions against the MOIS unit and senior officials in the department are welcome, they will not stop the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities.

To protect its citizens and national security interests, Europe must follow up with firmer action. Continuing to do business with the Iranian regime, whose economy is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and other repressive organizations, any trade in Iranian markets will indirectly fund terrorist activities, including similar attempts trying to target the opposition.

The regime has demonstrated that it has little or no regard for foreign sovereignty or the safety of European citizens. It will use terrorism as a weapon against its enemies, regardless of who is hurt or killed in the process.

The Iranian opposition has recommended blacklisting the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, closing Iran’s embassies on European soil, refraining from issuing visas to the regime leadership, expelling Iranian agents and mercenaries, and ending ministerial meetings between European and Iranian officials.

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

Expelling Iranian diplomats and closing Iranian diplomatic offices and buildings must become a priority. Investigations in the wake of the 2018 terror attacks demonstrated that Iranian embassies on foreign soil were hotbeds of terror activities and were instrumental in the planning and execution of terror attacks.

Europe should follow their sanctions against the MOIS with tough economic sanctions, restricting Iranian trade and preventing companies from doing business with the ruthless and repressive regime.

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Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Iran's security forces suppressing the peaceful protests in Iran

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

IRGC Basij forces cracking down on Iran protesters

Archive Photo- The Iranian regime security forces attack protesters during a demonstration – January 2018

Our Iran released their annual report on the Iranian opposition movement in Iran. The report chronicled the 9,596 protests that took place in Iran’s 31 provinces between December 2017 to December 2018, mainly reported by the MEK sources inside Iran.

Common Themes

The Our Iran report noted that in the time period, the protests followed similar patterns that characterized the nature of the movement. Each time, people’s protests began “with guild claims [then] quickly turned into political demands and slogans against the entire sovereignty.”

Iran Protests Continue

Secondly, in each instance, the solidarity the Iranian public expressed with the protestors of each strike, protest, and the march was astounding. No matter whether it was striking truck drivers, merchants, steelworkers, teachers, students, sugar cane workers, pensioners, or investors, the Iranian public, particularly Iran’s youth, and women, turned out in support of the protesting workers.

They shouted slogans like “don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together”, showing their support for the striking population.

The internet also played a vital role in the 2018 protest movement. The Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) used the web and social media to coordinate protests and mobilize the Iranian public.

Through these tools, the MEK was able to get all demographics and classes of Iranian society to join their cause, from urban elites and middle classes to working-class factory workers, and rural farmers. The 2018 protests saw every strand of Iranian society represented in the faces of those in the streets carrying signs and shouting slogans.

A Timeline of Iran’s 2018 Protest Movement

The protest movement was ignited by a nationwide protest movement at the end of December 2017 and the beginning of January 2018.

Infographic on Iran protests during 2018

Credit to Iran News Wire: 2018 Iran protests at a glance

Very quickly, protests erupted across 142 cities and towns in all 31 of Iran’s provinces. In Mashhad, 10,000 people turned out in front of the city’s municipal building. Similar sights were suddenly commonplace across Iran.

As a result, January saw 643 protests, and this momentum was carried into February, which saw 596 protests.

However, the movement peaked later in the year. In October, Our Iran recorded 1,533 distinct protests that broke out in Iran, up from 1,367 in September.

This was largely due to Iran’s striking truck drivers, who turned out for their third round of strikes in September. The logistics sector and Iranian truck drivers went on strike once more, spread across 323 cities.

In 2018, striking truck drivers were behind the most protests. In total, truck drivers held 3,868 protests, slightly more than the country’s workers which held 1,933 protests. Teachers and retirees were next, holding 683 protests.

All in all, there were a total of 26 different protests a day across the country. The mullahs and the Supreme Leader Khamenei are under intense pressure.

The Regime Response

These protests have showed made one thing abundantly clear; the Iranian regime is weaker than it has ever been. It has exposed itself as utterly unequipped to deal with the scale of the Iranian opposition movement.

They have not succeeded in ending the uprisings. If anything, their heavy-handed, repressive response have only made the public angrier and more determined to overthrow their oppressors.

https://mek-iran.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/A-political-scientists-view-on-the-Iran-protests-750-e1536427588296.jpg

The clerical regime has threatened the strikers, brought in plainclothes security agents to control protestors, made false promises, attempted to play protestors off against each other, then alluded to execution for those involved.

They abducted protestors in the middle of the night, tortured people in regime custody, and others were killed by anti-insurgency forces at the scene of the protests.

These brave protestors will not have died in vain. 2019 will be pivotal to the protest movement and the fight to usher in a new era of Iranian democracy. If 2018 is anything to go by, it will be a monumental victory for the MEK and the Iranian public.

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EU Sanctions against Iran for terrorism,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Iranian Regime Paid Hitmen to Assassinate Dissidents, Dutch Government Says

Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Stef Blok, the Netherlands Foreign Minister, revealed the role of the Iranian regime in two assassination that took place in 2015 and 2017 in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, the 8th of January, the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent published an article on the company’s website revealing the Iranian regime’s nefarious dealings with criminal gangs in a plot to assassinate political dissidents living in the Netherlands.

According to the Dutch government’s findings, the Iranian clerical regime hired two gangs to kill a pair of dissidents living in the Netherlands. The findings come just several months after the EU introduced sanctions on regime officials over their involvement in the attempted assassination on a political dissident in Denmark.

The Dutch government revealed that during an investigation into the murder of two Dutch citizens, it found links between the assassins and the Iranian regime.

The pair were both gunned down by hitmen who fled in stolen BMWs. The families of the victims involved had long-suspected that the Iranian regime was involved in the killings, but until now the Dutch government had refused to speculate.

The Dutch government explained its decision to withhold the information in a statement. The Foreign Ministry said it had “strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations” but that it kept the matter hidden “in the interests of facilitating this common EU action against Iran.”

Last year, the Dutch government expelled two Iranian diplomats from the country, although it refused to say whether or not the decision was linked to the assassinations.

Iran’s History of Violence

This is not the first time the regime has hired international gangsters to carry out the murder of its political opponents.

In 2011, the United States government accused the regime of hiring a Mexican cartel to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C.

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) welcomed the EU’s introduction of sanctions against players in the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). In a statement, the MEK called them a “positive but important step in the face of the regime’s state terrorism.”

However, the episode that played out on Dutch soil further demonstrates that any nations which have an Iranian embassy operating on their soil, cannot guarantee the safety of their citizens.

Embassies have been implicated in various state-sponsored assassination attempts and terror attacks, including a planned attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris.

The only way for a nation to truly ensure the safety of its citizens is to follow Albania’s lead and expel diplomats. Only through a complete cessation of Iranian diplomatic activities in Europe can EU nations protect their citizens from the ever-present threat of terrorism and murder.

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Esmail Bakhshi,Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Sepideh Qolian,Workers' Protest

Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

MEK-Iran: Regime to Press Charges against Labor Activist after Rejecting Torture Claims

Esmail Bakhashi, the worker who was arrested and tortured for protesting against the regime

Esmail Bakhshi, one of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers who was arrested and tortured for leading the protest against the regime demanding their unpaid wages.

On Wednesday, Mahmoud Vaezi, regime President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff, announced that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence had rejected claims of torture by labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and planned to press charges against him.

The Regime’s Decision to Press Charges

The state-run ISNA news agency broadcast his announcement: “Today, the Minister of Intelligence provided a report on his investigations into Esmail Bakhshi’s claims (of torture), and it became clear that Bakhshi’s claims are in no way true,” he said.

Vaezi did not provide any details of the MOIS report or describe how Bakhshi’s claims were refuted. A medical examiner did not participate in the investigation.

The Chief of Staff went on: “Last week on the President’s orders, the Minister of Intelligence sent a delegation to Khuzestan province which examined all the relevant areas. Today the Intelligence Minister presented his report to the government. In these investigations, they even talked to Esmail Bakhshi.”

Vaezi characterized Bakhshi’s claims of torture as “propaganda.”

He added, without irony, “The government’s position is to protect citizens’ rights, and the Ministry of Intelligence is also trying very hard to take the path of the rule of law.”

“It has been decided that the Ministry of Intelligence and the system have the right to sue Esmail Bakhshi and for the Judiciary to follow through,” Vaezi continued.

Finally, in reference to Bakshi’s claims of torture, Vaezi said, “A person cannot make some claims and undermine the whole system.”

Torture at the Hands of the Regime

In a January 4th Instagram post, Esmail Bakhshi asked regime Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi why he was tortured “to the brink of death.”

He went on to say that “[i]n the 25 days that I was unjustly detained by the Ministry of Intelligence, I went through such immense pain that I’m still suffering and I have turned to neurological drugs to ease the pain.”

Bakhshi, who was arrested for his participation in the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane factory workers’ strikes, described psychological torture at the hands of his captors against himself, a female civil rights activist, and a photographer who was arrested for documenting the strikes. He said that the psychological abuse, which included abusive sexual language, was worse than the physical torture.

Bakshi was pressured by the regime to recant his torture claims. He refused.

Regime Chief Justice Larijani claimed that any torture suffered by Bakshi was due to “one interrogator’s alleged misconduct” and “should not be blamed on the whole system.”

Psychological Torture

Civil rights activist Sepideh Qolian was detained along with Bakhshi and has corroborated his claims. In a tweet on Wednesday, she described the Ministry of Intelligence investigation:

“On Monday I was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence again. Two people who called themselves “investigative” agents asked me about what happened during my 30 days of detention and after my explanations said that what Esmail Bakhshi and I were saying about tortures were just delusions,” she wrote, in the first of several tweets.

“They have ended their investigations. I have decided to present my explanations not to the agents but to the people. Speaking of torture is not just a description of a personal pain but rather an account of the systematic violence that security institutions use against prisoners. Denying or reducing it to the mistake of one interrogator is ludicrous and of course very painful,” she continued.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

Qolian also corroborated Bakhshi’s claims of torture: “Just thinking about the 30 days of the violent and inhumane treatment still brings tears to my eyes and makes me tremble. During our arrest, Esmail Bakhshi tried to shield me from the agents’ beatings but he was beaten so badly himself, that he passed out.”

Qolian said that she was also a victim of sexual verbal abuse during her imprisonment: “I wish that the only method of torture was the beatings,” she said. “The most painful part was the sexual accusations that they bombarded me within a place where I knew no one would hear even if I cried out.

“On the last day, the interrogator told me that if I say anything when I leave prison they would broadcast the forced confessions that me and Esmail Bakhshi made on the news and that they will turn us into dust,” Qolian wrote. She added that her interrogators shamed her for her clothing and the color of her hair.

After her release, wrote Qolian, a person claiming to be a representative of the Shush Intelligence Agency accused her of “immoral” deeds and made the same false claims to her family.

“Imagine what I’ve been through after my so-called release in a small town with a traditional culture trying to invalidate those claims,” she wrote.

Qolian expressed her support of Bakshi, writing, “I’m willing to testify to the tortures against myself and my brother Esmail Bakhshi in a fair trial.”

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Claas Relotius,Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Reza Aaron Merat,Spiegel,The Guardian

Claas Relotius, Spiegel's recently sacked writer

The Western Media Is in the Midst of an Integrity Crisis

Claas Relotius, Spiegel's recently sacked writer

Claas Relotius, an editor of Der Spiegel Magazine in Germany that had been providing false and fabricated news in his articles in the Spiegel

In what has been called the “biggest fraud scandal in journalism since the Hitler diaries”, Claas Relotius, an editor of Der Spiegel Magazine in Germany, has been stripped of his journalism awards by CNN and other outlets.

During his seven-year career at Der Spiegel, Relotius published lies in his stories, often not bothering to visit and interview the places and subjects he wrote about. His features were at times, pure fabrication, and the case has rocked European journalism to its foundations.

A Systematic Campaign of Lies

Responding to this scandal, the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) published its own statement. While it unequivocally and forcefully condemned Relotius’ behavior, it posed the striking question: how does his conduct differ from other deliberate international misinformation campaigns?

Relotius pedaled falsehoods and invented feature stories, but he is far from the only international journalist doing so at this moment. In recent months and years, The Guardian, The Independent, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera have also published pieces based on information and sources from within the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), which is viciously hostile to opposition groups like the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Each article has spouted the same falsehoods and lies that originated through the Iranian propaganda and state-run media networks. These “journalists”, like Relotius, publish this information as though it is fact, without fact-checking or investigating the merit of their sources.

Former Vice-President of the European Parliament: The Guardian has Stabbed the Free Press in the Back

Most recently, Arron Reza Merat published a hit piece against the MEK in the British newspaper, The Guardian. He repeated regime accusations of murder and kidnap, often levied at the group, all of which have been extensively disproved in the public sphere.

The Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers Issue a Statement on the Guardian’s MEK Hit Piece

Merat’s sources were MOIS affiliates who introduced themselves as former MEK members.

In Contrast to the International Community

One sign that Merat’s piece failed to paint an accurate picture of the situation in Albania is that a month after the piece was published, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian diplomats working out of the regime’s embassy in Tirana for conspiring against the MEK.

Following their expulsion, US president Donal Trump expressed his gratitude to the Albanian government for its “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe”.

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

Given the increasing pressure the clerical regime faces in Iran through MEK-organised protests and resistance group activities, the regime is particularly eager to find international journalists willing to publish hit pieces against the opposition group.

The ISJ statement, penned by Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, concluded that “it’s time to break the silence vis-à-vis the Iranian regime’s malign influence in the Western press”. He added, “the media outlets responsible for disseminating the Iran articles based on distorted facts and dishonest sources seem unwilling to do so. Shame on them.”

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Iran Terrorism,MEK,MOIS,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's Foreign Minister

Denmark’s Sanctions of Iranian Regime Diplomats Is Another Sign of the End of Policy of Appeasement

Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's Foreign Minister

The Denish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, speaks to the press after the meeting of the EU Ministers, unanimously agreeing in sanctioning, part of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) for its involvement in terrorist activities in European soil.

On Tuesday, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced the imposition of sanctions against two Iranian regime diplomats. The two diplomats were sanctioned for their roles in orchestrating terrorist plots in Europe.

Samuelson named the regime diplomats as Deputy Minister and Director General of Intelligence Saeid Hashemi Moghadam and Vienna-based diplomat Asadollah Assadi. Assadi is currently jailed in Belgium awaiting trial for masterminding a foiled terrorist attack on the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris last year. Assadi was targeting the tens of thousands of MEK members who attended the event.

The sanctions by the Danish government follow the recent expulsion of three regime diplomats from Albania. On December 19, 2018, Albania’s Foreign Ministry announced that it had made the decision to expel the diplomats for “violating their diplomatic status” and posing a threat to national security.

A Necessary Response

The sanctions by the Danish government are a welcome and long-overdue response to the regime’s continued terrorist acts on European soil. The mullahs have acted without consequences for the entirety of their reign, and it is time that they are held to account for their actions. Imposing sanctions on and expelling regime diplomats is a good way to start this process, but it must be followed by blacklisting the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), trying the regime’s intelligence agents and mercenaries in courts of law, and expelling them from their host countries.

A Terrorist Regime

The MEK has spent the last three decades emphasizing that the regime’s embassies and its foreign ministry are a part of its terrorist mechanism. Finally, the international community is beginning to abandon the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs and accept the reality that the Iranian regime is a terrorist theocracy that must be dealt with in a firm manner.

In its July 2017 report, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) wrote: “The official headquarters of the Ministry of Intelligence at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin has an important role in the secret service’s reconnaissance. In addition to conducting independent intelligence operations, these headquarters support activities conducted by the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. These operations are mainly against targets in Germany and, in some cases, against individuals or facilities in other European countries.”

The MEK’s Recommendations

The MEK recommends that the European Union implement the following measures to prevent the Iranian regime from engaging in terrorist acts in Europe:

  • Blacklist the MOIS and the IRGC;
  • shut down the Iranian regime’s embassies, and expel its diplomats; and
  • in accordance with the European Union’s declaration of April 29, 1997
    • refrain from issuing visas to regime intelligence agents,
    • expel agents and mercenaries currently on European soil, and
    • stop meetings between European officials and the Iranian regime at the ministerial level.

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Ahvaz Protests,Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory workers strike,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

December’s Human Rights Report: Escalating Brutality and Crackdowns

The University of Azad Bus crash that resulted in ten students getting killed.

The University of Azad Bus incident that resulted in ten university students getting killed, and sparked large protests by students against the regime’s mismanagement and carelessness

On Monday, Iran Human Rights Monitor released its December report on human rights conditions in Iran. December was a brutal month in Iran due to the regime’s crackdown on political protests and strikes. In addition, the regime’s crumbling economy manifested on the deaths of several students this month.

Student Deaths

According to state-run media, four young girls died in a fire at an all-girls preschool and elementary school in Zahedan on December 18th. A fourth girl died later in a hospital from her injuries.

Several days later, a bus accident killed ten students from Azad University’s Science and Research Center in Tehran and injured 28 more. The bus swerved off of a mountainous road, crashing into a cement barrier. University students blame the accident on the school’s aging fleet of buses.

Tehran Students Demand Accountability for Bus Crash in Third Day of Protests

Regime officials have been faulted for allowing the unsafe conditions which led to both deadly incidents.

Executions

The Human Rights Monitor Report lists 23 executions during the month of December. Those executions include:

  • 3 public executions in Shiraz;
  • a mass execution of 12 prisoners in Kerman;
  • the hanging execution of a 25-year-old woman. She is the 86th woman to be executed during Rouhani’s presidency.

The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the sentence of a juvenile offender who was sentenced to death at the age of 14.

Freedom of Speech and Assembly

An increase in protest activity in the month of December led to a crackdown on political activism by the Iranian regime. The MEK reported on a number of arrests of protesting steelworkers and factory workers in the province of Ahvaz in December. The workers were striking in protest of months of unpaid wages.

Further Arrests Follow the Second Night of Raids in Ahvaz

Security forces arrested at least 41 striking workers from the Ahvaz National Steel Group in a series of midnight raids on the workers’ houses. Workers were violently dragged from their homes, according to Iran’s Free Labor Union (FLU).

35 of the workers were later released, but seven remain in custody in Sheyban prison in Ahvaz.

Ali Nejati, a labor activist for the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers, was violently arrested and beaten for “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian government after participating in the sugarcane factory workers’ strikes. Nejati suffers from a heart condition.

Torture, Inhumane, and Degrading Punishment

The Human Rights Monitor Report listed several instances of cruel punishments by the Iranian regime. Fifteen workers from the Ilam Petrochemical Plant were sentenced to prison terms and lashes for “disrupting public order and peace” after participating in a sit-in outside of the factory. The workers were protesting the factory’s refusal to hire local workers and the layoffs of eleven experienced workers from the plant.

Poet, satirist and Telegram channel administrator Mohammad Hossein Sodagar was publicly flogged after being convicted of “dissemination of false information.” He received 74 lashes.

According to the state-run IRIB news agency, another unnamed man was publicly flogged in Zeberkhan District after being convicted of drug charges.

Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners

According to the Human Rights Monitor report, political activist Vahid Sayadi Nasiri died in prison after a 60-day hunger strike. Nasiri had been imprisoned repeatedly due to his social media posts and charged with “insulting the supreme leader” and “propaganda against the state.”

He began his hunger strike in October in protest of the conditions at the prison and his lack of access to a lawyer. He also said that he was being held along with ordinary criminals, which is a violation of his rights as a political prisoner. Nasiri was taken to the hospital before his death, according to reports.

Denial of Medical Treatment

Political prisoner Saeed Shirzad is being denied needed medical care, according to the Human Rights Monitor Report, and may lose a kidney as a result. Doctors at Rajaee Shahr Prison, where he has been held for the past three years, say that one of his kidneys has shrunk and the other has developed a cyst. His requests for hospitalization have thus far been denied.

Lack of Due Process

The regime’s Appeals Court upheld the conviction against Mohammad Habibi, a member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA) for “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state” and “disturbing public order,” according to the Human Rights Monitor.

Habibi will have to serve at least 7.5 years of his 10.5-year sentence. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes and two years’ abstinence from political and social activities and was prohibited from leaving the country for two years.
Gonabadi Dervish lawyer Mostafa Daneshjoo was sentenced to eight years in prison for “assembly and collusion to act against national security, disturbing public opinion, and spreading propaganda against the system.”

Indefinite solitary confinement

Iran Human Rights Monitor received information that guards at Zahedan Central Prison in Iran’s Baluchistan Province broke the legs of political prisoner Arzhang Davoudi. The guards reportedly threw him down a staircase while torturing him, breaking his legs.

Doctors have said the 65-year-old prisoner will not be able to walk again.

Freedom of Religion and Belief

Baha’is

Yekta Fahandej Sa’di was given an 11 year 9-month sentence for practicing her Baha’i religious beliefs by a preliminary court in the city of Shiraz. She was convicted on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”

Baha’i faith member Ali Ahmadi was arrested for the third time. Ahmadi was charged with “propaganda against the state” for having a holy book in his home. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Kachouie Detention Center in Sari.

Christians

According to the Human Rights Monitor, Christians in Iran faced a severe crackdown around the Christmas holiday. 114 Christians were arrested in December, many of whom had converted from Islam.

According to Open Doors UK, those who were arrested had to report a history of their Christian activities and cut ties with Christian groups.

Persecution of Ethnic Minorities

Arabs

According to the Human Rights Monitor, regime authorities arrested at least twelve Ahwazi Arabs in Khuzestan Province in December. Most of the detainees were not allowed legal representation or allowed to contact their families.

Baluchis

At least three Baluchis were killed while smuggling gas and oil in Sistan-Baluchistan Province. High unemployment in the province has forced many people to smuggle gas in order to get by.

Kurds

According to the Human Rights Monitor report, more than 20 Kurds were arrested in Kurdistan in December. Kurdish human rights activists report that some of those who were arrested for cooperating with Kurdish opposition parties were taken to the Revolutionary Guard’s al-Mahdi barracks detention center.

 

Security forces killed at least five porters through direct fire and wounded another 13.

Gender Discrimination

A bill to increase the marriage age in Iran was rejected in Parliament. The bill would have banned marriages for girls under the age of 13 and for boys under the age of 16. Girls between the ages of 13 and 16 would need parental and judicial consent to marry. The bill fail due to “religious and social deficiencies,” according to Allahyar Malekshahi, Chair of the Judicial and Legal Committee of the regime’s parliament.

Human Rights Attorneys

The Human Rights Monitor report listed a number of arrests and convictions of human rights lawyers in Iran during the month of December.

Human rights lawyers Qasem Sholehsadi and Arash Keykhosravi were sentenced to six years in prison after being arrested at a gathering in front of the regime’s parliament in August, according to the ISNA news agency.

Human rights lawyer Mohammad Najafi, who is currently serving a three-year sentence for exposing torture in Iran’s prisons, was sentenced to an additional 13 years for an additional two charges.

Human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoudi has been detained by regime authorities since November 20th in Evin Prison and denied access to his attorney. His attorney believes that the charges against him are “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.” He may also be charged with “assembly and collusion to act against national security.”

The MEK and Iranian Opposition have made repeated calls for the international community to take action against the theocratic regime to end its brutal human rights violations. It is clear that these atrocities will not stop until the regime is toppled and Iran is free.

Staff Writer

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Ahvaz Steel Workers continue their protests in the its 2nd month

The MEK’s Resistance Units are Breathing New Life into Iran’s Opposition Movement

Ahvaz Steel Workers continue their protests in the its 2nd month

Archive Photo-The second week of protest by Ahvaz Steelworkers against the repressive regime.

On Sunday, January 6th, Hassan Mahmoudi penned a piece for tsarism exploring the leaders of the Iranian protest movement. The piece, entitled ‘Who is Leading and Organizing the Iranian Strikes’, looked at the escalating protest movement in Iran and the driving forces behind the expanding opposition movement.

Mahmoudi began, “over the past 12 months, a single week hasn’t passed where some sort of protest and demonstration has not taken place somewhere in the country.”

He describes how dissent and public fury has seeped across Iranian industries, bringing truckers, market stall owners, teachers, sugar workers, steelworkers, and farmers into the streets in protest. “Virtually every Iranian group and community has expressed its discontent with the current political structure,” Mahmoudi says.

Their grievances have been wide-ranging, but several themes have reared their heads in the Iranian workforce time and time again; corruption, economic mismanagement, unpaid wages, inflation, and reduced Iranian purchasing power.

In typical regime fashion, the mullahs have responded to the growing protests with violence and repression. Most recently, Esmail Bakshi, one of the labor activists arrested in Shush during the strikes carried out by the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workforce, endured extensive physical and psychological torture in regime custody. His injuries were so severe he had to be transferred to hospital.

At a protest among farmers in Isfahan on January 2nd, regime agents used tear gas and fired live rounds in the air in an attempt to disperse the crowds, and earlier in the year, when Iran’s truck drivers were striking, the regime threatened them with imprisonment and even execution.

The Organizing Force Behind Iran’s Protest Movement

While many regime officials still dismiss the protest organizers as “opportunists and anti-revolutionaries who want to take advantage of political turmoil inside the country,” there has been an increasing acceptance among the regime’s leadership of the reality that the Iranian opposition is a well-organized political force.

Members of Parliament like Naser Mousavi Larijani are beginning to point the finger at the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI / MEK), and the group is increasingly receiving coverage from the Iranian state-run media outlets.

The MEK has been relentless in their organization of protests. They publish details of protests through their social media outlets and have been putting up posters across the country.

MEK Resistance Units Are Organizing a Revolution

The group has an abundance of resistance units, from Tehran to Mashhad, Kermanshah, and Ahvaz. Many draw attention to the opulence that the regime leadership enjoys while much of the Iranian population struggles to put food on the table.

Mahmoudi quoted the prominent Iranian political scientist Dr. Behrouz Puyan in his article. Puyan said, “with conditions inside Iran and abroad changing dramatically, the MEK implemented its new strategy of launching resistance units,” he added, “by organizing and leading the Iranian uprising in an effective manner, resistance units are injecting a new life in the society and protestors on the streets.”

Staff Writer

 

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Iran Protest in various cities continued through the year

2019 Can Be the Year Western Governments Come Out in Support of the Iranian Resistance

Iran Protest in various cities continued through the year

The year 2018 a year of protests in various Iranian cities from its north to its east

Writing for Arab News on Sunday, January 6th, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran and Harvard-educated Iranian political scientist, outlined the case for international support for the Iranian opposition in 2019.

In his piece, Rafizadeh charted 2018’s year of protests. He described the nationwide uprisings in January 2018, that engulfed 142 Iranian towns and cities, and how they were “met by the regime with brutality and a harsh crackdown”.

Following the uprising, strikes and protests across the country were maintained by the opposition. “In July, a major five-day anti-government protest spread across dozens of cities”, he writes. Then again in August, Tehran and 26 other cities were racked with protests once more.

As the year came to a close, in October, a nationwide teachers’ strike saw schools close in over 100 cities, and then again in December. In the logistics and transport sector, the nation’s truck drivers have launched strikes and protests of their own throughout the year.

A Growing Protest Movement

Rafizadeh pointed out that the protest movement expanded in 2018. Protests became more frequent and more explicitly anti-regime in nature. In response, the regime has blamed the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and launched a vicious smear campaign against the group, in conjunction with a violent campaign of terror and intimidation, in an attempt to curb the MEK’s influence.

Regime Experts Admit MEK’s Major Role in Recent Protests

Its “crucial organizational role has made the opposition a primary target for a spate of attempted terror attacks,” Rafizadeh writes. He cites the foiled terror attack in Paris, as just one example of this coordinated campaign of terror against the group.

“That attack and others have thankfully been foiled, but the message from Tehran is clear— as the is the extent to which the mullahs feel threatened by the opposition,” Rafizadeh states. Nothing demonstrates the existential threat the MEK poses to the mullahs’ regime more than the regime’s willingness to risk political isolation on the international stage for the sake of attacking an opposition, pro-democracy group.

The MEK is an increasingly large threat to the mullahs’ future in power. It has successfully mobilized all parts of Iranian society and engaged the Iranian people in the protest movement.

From the urban middle class to the rural working class, all stratum of Iranian society is represented in the MEK’s ranks, even poorer sectors that have traditionally been the regime’s power base.

“Every protest is an act of defiance,” Rafizadeh writes.

A Population Buckling Under Economic Mismanagement

The MEK has found plenty of allies among the cash-strapped Iranian public. Years of regime economic mismanagement has crippled the Iranian economy and reduced the purchasing power of ordinary Iranians.

The mullahs’ have funneled Iran’s public finances into their own pockets through corrupt practices, or abroad to military groups in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere in the region. “In addition, the Iranian regime intensified its ballistic missile activities,” Rafizadeh claims, “which includes the illicit transfer of such weapons to Shiite proxies in other countries in the region.”

“Almost all major businesses in the country, including those presently dealing with European nations, are directly or indirectly controlled by elements within the political and military apparatus,” Rafizadeh writes. So, “when European countries help increase the regime’s revenues, they are indirectly funding terror attacks on their own soil.”

The New Year Will Be A Vital Year in The Struggle for Freedom and Human Rights in Iran

Rafizadeh asserts that the Iranian opposition has much to celebrate. 2018 “was the most significant to date for the Iranian resistance”, he writes, but “this year promises to be even more vital in the struggle for freedom and human rights in Iran”.

Rafizadeh concludes by encouraging Iranians to “make this the year that Western governments come out in support of the Iranian resistance”.

“These changes aren’t just the right thing to do, they are good policies”, he writes, “and this year, they are possible as long as advocates for a free and democratic Iran continue to make their voices heard.”

Staff Writer

 

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