Posts Tagged ‘Regime Change’

Ashraf 3,Free Iran 2018,Human Rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Regime Change

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Maryam Rajavi to Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3: “We Will Take Back Iran!”

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held its annual Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, for the first time this year.

Ashraf 3 was constructed in just one year and built from the ground up as a home for the displaced members of the MEK who suffered repeated attacks at their previous homes at Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. The choice to host the Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3 this year is significant.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote address to the tens of thousands of MEK members and international dignitaries gathered for the rally.

“Twenty months ago, this was an empty piece of land with nothing on it. At the hands of the Mojahedin, through their enormous efforts and hard work, Ashraf 3 was built and now stands tall. But our final destination is Tehran, freed from the occupation of the mullahs.”

The Goal of an Uprising

Mrs Rajavi quoted Massoud Rajavi’s words on the importance of regime change coming from within Iran: “For a nation to appreciate her own freedom, she must ultimately free herself on her own. “Everyone can only free himself on his own from the yoke of coercion and oppression, and it is precisely for this reason that we are responsible to advance the goal of a general uprising for the freedom of our people and our country,” she quoted.

Fueling Tensions

In reference to her opposition to the easing of sanctions against the Iranian regime in 2013, Mrs. Rajavi said, “The time has come for major powers to stop appeasing and giving concessions to the murderous religious tyranny, the Central Banker of terrorism, and the world’s record holder of executions, and to recognize the right of the people of Iran for resistance and freedom.”

Mrs. Rajavi listed the regime’s escalating terrorist activities and meddling in the Middle East since 2018. She specifically discussed the bombing plot against MEK members at Ashraf 3 last year. “Clearly, the regime is fueling tensions in a bid to push back against the international community. They foment turmoil and chaos to hide their fear of being overthrown. They want firmness to be replaced with a policy of appeasement, and they want to allay fears and anxiety of their Basij Forces and Revolutionary Guards and to preserve their internal balance and equilibrium,” she said. “However, the reality is that schism and instability are among the signs that the regime is in its final chapter. The clerical regime is not going to find a way out of its inevitable downfall.”

Mrs. Rajavi warned those who claim to hope to avoid war in the region that their sentiments are misguided. “Anyone who seeks freedom for Iran, anyone who wants to save Iran from destruction and chaos, anyone who wants global and regional peace and stability, must rise up to demand the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime,” she said.

The MEK Has Paid the Price

Mrs. Rajavi said that the policy of appeasement now carries heavy consequences. The MEK exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, forced a cease fire in the Iran-Iraq War, called attention to the regime’s human rights situation, and repeatedly blew the whistle on the mullahs’ malign activities. If they had not done so, “today, the situation would have been radically different, and the mullahs, equipped with nuclear weapons, would have created and solidified the empire and Caliphate they had long intended to establish,” she said.

“But the MEK has paid the price to break the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created by the velayat-e faqih and their criminal Revolutionary Guard Corps throughout its history by exposing the regime’s evil nature and its illicit activities, including the disclosure of the mullahs’ nuclear program, and by standing against this regime even at the price of their lives,” she continued.

“[MEK] thus has left no future for the mullahs’ evil caliphate,” she added.

Rise of the MEK

Mrs. Rajavi praised the MEK’s Resistance Units: “This Resistance has been able to expand and organize its network inside Iran despite the pervasive repression. This is how Ashraf has been replicated in society and among the people of Iran,” she said.

Despite the regime’s claims that the MEK has no influence within the country, Iranian authorities have arrested large numbers of MEK members and have created new patrols to round up Resistance Units and to suppress Resistance activities. “But the enemy can neither succeed in breaking the morale of Resistance forces in prisons nor is it able to thwart the resistance movement and the units of rebellion in cities. Yes, every young man or woman yearning for freedom and justice is a potential or de facto rebel,” she said.

Maryam Rajavi restated her plan to establish a free and democratic Iran and said that the NCRI would succeed in this goal.

“We will take back Iran and we will build a new homeland,” she concluded.

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120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

Day Two of Conference at Ashraf-3 Features Speeches from International Dignitaries

120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

120 Years of Struggle by Iran’s People for Freedom – MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

The MEK hosted the second day of an international conference on Friday at Ashraf-3, the home of the Iranian Resistance’s headquarters in Albania. The conference, entitled “120 years of struggle of the Iranian people for freedom,” was attended by thousands of MEK members and prominent politicians and dignitaries from around the world.

The conference’s focus was to condemn the Iranian regime for its suppressive and inhuman actions at home and its terrorist activities abroad and to call on the international community to end the policy of appeasement that allowed the regime to act without consequences.

Speakers at the conference also emphasized that the international community must recognize the MEK and NCRI as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in order to bring peace and stability to the region.

The following are some of the highlights from the speeches at Friday’s event:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

From Mrs. Rajavi’s keynote address:

“One of the missing links in previous movements of the Iranian people was a coherent organization and an organized struggle, coupled with a determined and battle-hardened force prepared to make any sacrifice necessary. As a result, the people’s previous struggles did not succeed despite all their sacrifices,” she said in reference to the failure of past uprisings.

Mrs. Rajavi also spoke about the many crimes perpetrated against the MEK by the mullahs’ regime.

“Despite all the crimes and massacres he committed, Khomeini failed to extinguish the flames of freedom. Over the past 40 years, 120,000 persons have given their lives for the cause of freedom. That includes the 30,000 people who were massacred in 1988 for insisting on their political identity as a member of the Mojahedin. Another half-a-million people were arrested and viciously tortured,” she said.

“The mullahs continued their crimes against Ashraf and Liberty by setting 22 deadlines in 10 years, through a medical blockade, through psychological torture using over 300 loudspeakers blaring into Ashraf for two years, and through 29 ground and aerial attacks, using armored vehicles and missile launchers, including the commission of seven bloodbaths and massacres,” she continued.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded on a hopeful note, saying, “But today, we have reached a historic turning point. An Ashraf which has once again risen up, proud and powerful, shining bright at the zenith of this Resistance. This Ashraf has been replicated 1000 times in the form of resistance units all over Iran. And a volatile society which is no longer willing to put up with the mullahs, yearning to overthrow them.”

Suda

MEK member and resident at Ashraf-3

“I grew up in Sweden and was about to travel to France to study, but a video that I’d seen couldn’t leave my mind; a video of someone being stoned to death in Iran. I saw myself at a crossroads. I could live my own life and fulfil my dreams or I could put everything aside and fulfil my people’s dreams. That’s why I joined the MEK, to live for others. I thank all of you for being with us,” she said.

Ingrid Betancourt

Former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate

“It’s just amazing what the MEK has done to transform this place since the last time I visited. I am proud to be your friend,” said Ms. Betancourt. “Your decision to confront the tyranny and pay the highest price. This sacrifice today is bearing its fruit. I see that here in Ashraf 3. It’s a miracle. I have been with you for a couple of years and I am amazed by your support and your political savviness. As a woman, I feel very proud and that in the world there is no organization like the MEK that gives women this power.”

“We are making history today,” she added. “Your victory is our victory and we will be very soon with you in Tehran!” Ms. Betancourt proclaimed.

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor

“There is an alternative to the theocracy and dictatorship in Iran. It is a government-in-exile, and it gives us the confidence that if we help overthrow the Iranian regime, there will be prosperity and democracy in Iran,” said the former mayor.

Giuliani referred to the numerous terrorist plots against the MEK by the Iranian regime in 2018, saying, “They tried to bomb us in the US. They tried to bomb us here in Tirana a year and a half ago. They tried to bomb us in Paris a year ago. They’re the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and we let them sit in the UN and talk to them like they’re decent people.”

“I thank Madam Maryam Rajavi for letting me be part of this, and this is something that I am proud of and probably my children will be proud of…I wish to have this meeting in Tehran before I die,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani encouraged the MEK to continue their struggle for freedom. “You keep trying and you fail, you keep trying and you fail, and then the Berlin Wall comes down. It will happen eventually, but let’s make it happen now before another 100,000 deaths,” he said.

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Former U.S. Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate

“You in the NCRI have given us the opportunity to be true to our national principles. When I’m here I feel that I’m representing the spirit of my great friend, the late Senator John McCain, who was warned by the establishment to stay away from this organization, but he spent time learning about it. He came to Ashraf 3, believing in this organization and its cause,” said Lieberman.

“Ashraf 3 has become something magnificent. Coming here and seeing this magnificent community that you’ve built is miraculous. It teaches us lessons,” he continued.

Lieberman praised the Ashrafis for their perseverance, saying, “The citizens of Ashraf never gave up despite the atrocities they faced imposed by the Iranian regime.”

He also talked about the exhibition of the history of MEK members who have been killed and persecuted by the Iranian regime that he and other speakers viewed before the conference began: “This exhibition, despite the mourning, is inspiring. And the whole story of the Ashrafis is inspiring,” he said.

“With the kind of leadership that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi are giving and will give in Iran; with the support of people from around the world who are represented here and with the resistance of the Iranian people inside of Iran, we will have a meeting some day in Iran and come together and have a great party,” Lieberman concluded.

Michèle Alliot-Marie

MEP; former French Foreign, Defense, Justice and Interior Minister

Alliot-Marie referenced the MEK memorial, saying, “I have to say that I’m very moved. What a contrast between the dramatic, horrifying images that we saw a few minutes ago. To be in contact with men and women who have given their lives for such a cause. To see what you have been able to achieve. You wish to give so much to the Iranian people.”

“You have people who have been tortured yet you still pave the path for freedom. This visit to Ashraf 3 was very moving for us,” she continued.

“I have the privilege of being able to speak and think freely. Yet I also know that today this liberty is not available everywhere across the globe,” Alliot-Marie said.

“We are also obliged to all people who are being subjugated to dictators around the world, and in Iran. We are here today, Mrs. Rajavi, to tell you that you are not alone,” she said.

“We have to give the Iranian people courage and the help they need so they can get their future back,” Alliot-Marie concluded.

Matthew Offord

MP (United Kingdom)

“You are the proof of a proud brave nation that will never succumb to the atrocities of the regime,” Offord said, addressing the MEK members at the conference.

“We have always argued that decoupling the regime’s human rights violations from the nuclear deal was a mistake,” he said.

“We have been proven right that there is no moderate faction inside the Iranian regime.” he added.

“There are two issues that we continue to raise in our debates,” Offord said:

  1. “We need to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its atrocities in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.”
  2. “The U.K. government needs to blacklist the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and all its subsidiary as a terrorist organization.”

“This measure will signal to the Iranian people that they are not forgotten and we stand with them,” he emphasized.

Offord added, “We want to recognize the right of the Iranian people and the resistance led by Madame Maryam Rajavi to establish a democratic and free republic in Iran.”

“Iran’s current regime is not just a threat to the Iranian people but to the peace around the world,” he concluded.

General James Conway

Former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

“I participated in a policy panel in Ashraf 3 and we were invited to dinner with the ladies of Ashraf 3. And some of them shared with me their stories of sacrifice and suffering. What I saw last night in terms of the ability to endure loss and yet move on was the sense of unit cohesion and dedication to each other that was the same as you see in the military. The sense of mission and dedication to accomplish it, said General Conway.

“I’m absolutely confident that with those ladies, you will make your country free someday,” he added.

Ms. Mojgan Parsaie

Former MEK Secretary General

“The story of the supporters of Ashraf who helped rescue the MEK members is the story of honorable people,” said Ms. Parsaie.

“Time has shown that you stand on the right side of history. The future will show more appreciation,” she added.

“Mayor Giuliani was correct that the solution to Iran is not appeasement but regime change. Throughout history there are always tyrants and for a period they seem invincible. However, they all fall at the end. Always.” Ms. Parsaie concluded.

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Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3 Hosts International Panel on Iran Policy and MEK’s Role in Iran’s Democratic Future

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative - MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Iran Policy AND a viable alternative – MEK Compound- Albania-July 11, 2019

Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, hosted an international conference on Thursday, July 11th entitled “Policy on Iran and a Viable Alternative.” A panel of prominent politicians and dignitaries from the United States and Europe offered their perspectives on the best approach to dealing with the Iranian regime. They also discussed the need for the international community to support the MEK as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Moderator:

  • Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Lincoln Bloomfield

Panelists:

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  • Former Commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps James Conway
  • University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan
  • Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ambassador Robert Joseph
  • Former Foreign Minister of Canada
  • Former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli

The following are some of the most notable moments from the day’s event. (Questions in bold type were asked by panel moderator Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield.)

What is the Achilles heel of the mullahs’ regime?

Sen. Torricelli “There’s a fundamental belief that things will work out. The future is not as bad as the past. Even a despotic regime will reform itself over time. That’s a handicap for us. The Iranian regime is not going to reform. It’s not going to change.”

“The second handicap is, those who would accommodate the regime take the high ground because they’re speaking out against war. Here’s the problem: first of all, there is a war. There’s no one fighting back. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by their own government. There’s been a war waged on the Iranian people since 1979. Those who would argue for patience and time have no moral high ground.”

Where can we have the maximum effect on pushing the regime back?

Amb. Joseph: “The right policy is whatever accelerates the end of this regime. The wrong policy is what prolongs the life of this regime. Appeasement has turned out to be not just a failure but also counter to American interests. We should start with maximum pressure, and the administration has been doing a good job. The sanctions are having a deep impact on the Iranian economy.

“If we show weakness, it’s provocative. When we show strength, the regime backs down. It’s important that we always keep in mind that the show of strength is key to success.”

“Land invasion is not what’s necessary. Change has to come from within [Iran]. A more effective policy would include calling out the regime on its gross human rights violations. We don’t do that often enough.”

“We should negotiate on nuclear affairs, but we have to keep in mind what our principles are. We should not be victim of the mindset that negotiations mean compromise and giving the other party concessions. That is what happened in the JCPOA.

“Our focus ought to be calling them out, and combining these tools, whether its sanctions or the military, that will facilitate the end of this regime.”

What’s the right strategy to impair the military of the Iranian regime? Is it something we should be looking at? What else could we be thinking of that would undermine the cohesion of this criminal enterprise?

Prof. Sheehan: “The contest is ultimately over the right to think freely. The regime fears the truth, they fear facts. We must hold panels like this and expand the truth. We must give the Iranian people a sense of what’s going on around them and the idea that there is this viable alternative.

“The Iranian opposition does not fear the truth, and they know ultimately that it is on their side. With time these ideas will lead to the revolution that we’d all like to see take place.”

Should we be more specific about the guilt of the Iranian regime?

Baird: “We can exploit the regime’s vulnerability, to support the people of Iran. The regime realizes that when it falls, they will have no place to go. The senior members of this regime know that they will have nowhere to go and they will be held to account for their crimes such as the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina.”

Sen. Torricelli: “No one can seriously believe this regime will last long. It’s an unsustainable situation. If you’re in the leadership today, there’s going to be a moment in your life when you’re going to be held accountable.”

What messages are the ones that really hurt the regime the most and isolate them among their people?

Amb. Joseph: “We must continue to push forward on exposing the regime’s brutality and its human rights violation. In the information space, we ought to focus on how this regime has failed the people. Just look at their inability to respond to the recent flooding. It is an incompetent regime. That is a vulnerability that would further deteriorate support for this regime in Iran, which is already decreasing day after day, month after month, year after year.”

Do the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) deserve to wear a uniform at all, given their unprofessional behavior?

General Conway, “Iran’s regime invariably gets greedy. Every one of the leaders of this regime have Swiss bank accounts that are growing while the people of Iran are living in poverty. We should expose that and let the people know who their leadership is.”

What will do the trick [to overthrow the mullahs]?

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan “The regime in Tehran fears internal pressure more than it fears external threats. The people of Iran don’t need the world to rescue them. The regime change will be led by you.”

Are we playing strong offense and defense?

Sen. Torricelli: “Not enough.”

“It happens all the time. In Tehran, they have carefully disseminated false information into the mainstream media. We’re fighting back, and it’s been a long climb. What the mullahs are doing with misinformation in Washington, London and Paris, you can do with the truth. “

Baird: “The fact that the European authorities uncovered a plot by the regime that tried to attack the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2018, the rashness just shows how fearful the regime is of you.”

How do we amass the power of the many outrages about the regime and put it all into a powerful mixture?

Amb. Joseph: “The process that I’ve seen is that reporters tend to go to the same sources over and over again. If you look at who they’re going to in the world of think tanks, most of these people are doing the work of the regime.”

“This is where the MEK and NCRI can make a difference.”

Is the world taking notice of the regime’s terrorism in their countries? When did it become acceptable behavior? What should we do about it?

Prof. Sheehan: “There are some groups and individuals that you simply can’t negotiate with, and the regime is emblematic of that group.”

“In Washington, DC, we found a deeply entrenched pro-regime lobby, and that lobby exists in other places of the world. But the tools and power of ideas that we have at our disposal today are much stronger than the tools we had before.”

“We don’t have to wait for Washington to change its policy. Every citizen around the world can help contribute to this change.”

A lot of people in Washington fear that what happened in Syria and Libya will repeat in Iran.

Baird: “They need to understand who the Iranian people are and what their capacity is. We have to push back against the elite foreign policy view in the West. In the West, regimes start to do crazy stupid things and the type of behavior we’ve seen in this regime. They are not being rational in their final days, and the more we see this, the closer they are to their end.”

The Iranian people have had this aspiration from at least the beginning of the 20th century. How can we convince the West that we can trust them if this regime collapses?

Sen. Torricelli: “Tehran is desperately trying to keep the Europeans in a dialogue to keep an economic lifeline. They do not want military confrontation but they are attacking the U.S. drone. These are irrational acts. When the regime becomes this irrational, it means that the sanctions are working. Those irrational actions tell me that we’re reaching a point. If I were Trump or Merkel or Macron, I would press my foot on the pedal because they’re telegraphing that what we are doing is working.”

How do we direct western policy in the right direction? What could we do that we are not doing enough of?

Giuliani: “We had an opportunity a few years ago when the sanctions were working. There are strong indicators that the protests in Iran are becoming political.”

“People have said bad things about you because you support the MEK and Madam Rajavi. What does Washington need to know that this group is entirely misportrayed in Washington?” asked Amb. Bloomfield.

Giuliani: “We need a massive public relations campaign. When people find out what this group really stands for and they get past the allegations, it all starts to make sense. We’ve got the same goal that is a free democratic Iran.”

Is there a potential for Canada, the U.S. and Europe to find common ground on how the regime is gaming the west and escaping accountability?

Baird: “After Iraq, President Obama and other European leaders were so desperate to make diplomacy work rather than military force. What we need is leadership. The weakness in 2009 in not standing up for the Iranian people will go down in history as a lost opportunity. We must do all we can to stand up for what’s right. We need leadership. That is what Madam Rajavi is trying to provide.”

Sen. Torricelli: “The people are realizing that this regime will not moderate. The regime’s behavior is also deteriorating all the time.”

What can we do to show there’s a democratic alternative? How do we find that next gear in Washington?

Giuliani: “In the past year, the regime has become more frightened and irrational. Striking the drone and what they’re doing with the tankers, maybe they want us to attack them and they hope that it would rally the people behind them. We’re so reluctant to take military action, and the world would also react badly, that the mullahs could push us along if they engaged diplomatically. But their poking their finger in our eye.”

“I think the mullahs are going to fall, with these protests going on, the crazy things they are doing. I think they are desperate. What they are doing sounds like a regime that is not thinking in clever ways.”

Let’s assume the Iranians will continue to lash out desperately. What’s your advice in Washington for a legitimate response?

Amb. Joseph: “One of the things we need to do is recognize that revolutions are very messy. What is missing in those revolutions is a viable alternative that would be beneficial not only to the Iranian people but also to the U.S. and the world in general.”

“What we need to do is to think strategically and integrate our tools in an effective strategy. The only solution to the nuclear issue in Iran is regime change and the viable alternative is a key component to that.”

“I spoke to many people in Ashraf. The sacrifices that the members of MEK in Ashraf have endured are many. But they do not have a sense of revenge. That, I think, will deliver the people of Iran their freedom.”

Do we have the ability to select surgical targets as an acceptable response?

Prof. Sheehan: “What unifies us here in this panel and this room is that the mullahs are not irrational when it comes to one thing, which is their fear of the organized resistance. What I wish U.S. officials knew is the democratic aspirations and inclinations of the Iranian people, which run very, very deep. The Iranian people are not the slightest bit irrational. I have come to appreciate how sophisticated and educated they are. I have come to appreciate that the NCRI’s platform and Madam Rajavi’s plan is the future of Iran. That’s the viable alternative that we need Washington to realize.”

People have been in the streets since the late 2017. They are admitting that the MEK and NCRI are organizing the demonstrations. Are we making progress here?

Giuliani: “The fact that the protests continue is a very good sign even though the regime has tried to harm them. The biggest frustration is getting the European governments to do the right thing. Whatever their economic interests and fear, we should all be together in eliminating this regime. We have to keep up the pressure, try to put more sanctions. And the important point is, some of these revolutions have happened without an alternative. Here you do not have to let that happen. We must get Americans to understand that there is an alternative and let them see it.”

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The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

One Year Later: A Summary of Protests in Iran in 2018

The protester that raises her arm as a symbol of resistance, while stepping out of teargas

The photo symbolizes the December 2017 uprisings in Iran that has not stopped and has continued in forms of protests and strikes across the country.

December 28th marks the one year anniversary of the nationwide uprising that mobilized people from all walks of life to take to the streets in protest of Iran’s theocratic regime. The protests began in Mashhad on December 28, 2017, and spread to over 140 cities in every province in Iran over a two week period.

The initial protests were in response to the economic disaster facing the country. Poverty, corruption, inflation, and rising unemployment drove many Iranians into the streets to protests. But as the uprising grew in strength and numbers, the demonstrators began to protest the regime itself.

Protesters chanted, “Death to the dictator!”

“Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!”

“Khamenei shame on you, let go of your rule!”

One year later, Iran is still the scene of daily protests and demonstrations against the authoritarian regime. The protesters have made it clear that they will not be satisfied until the ruling regime is toppled and democracy is restored to Iran.

The MEK has played a leading role in the protests taking place across Iran. As the movement to topple the mullahs’ regime has grown, the people have sought a viable alternative to the corrupt dictatorship that has destroyed Iran’s economy and environment, and that has oppressed its people for the past four decades. The MEK offers a democratic alternative that will restore freedom to Iran.

Iran News Wire summarized protest activity in Iran over the past year. The following is a summary of their report:

January

Recorded Protests: 643

Daily Average: 21

The uprising that began in December 2017 continued into January, and protests took an anti-regime turn in the month of January. Protesters set fire to Basij bases and tore down images of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

February

Recorded Protests: 596

Daily Average: 21

March

Recorded Protests: 422

Daily Average: 14

April

Recorded Protests: 452

Daily Average: 15

May

Recorded Protests: 1,093

Daily Average: 35

June

Recorded Protests: 475

Daily Protests: 16

 

In June, bazaar merchants in Tehran launched a large-scale strike in protest of the failing economy and rising prices. Protesters in Khoramshahr took to the streets to protest water scarcity.

Protests quickly turned to calls for regime change, with chants of “Death to the Dictator!”, “Death to Rouhani!”, “Death to Khamenei!”, and “Our enemy is right here, they lie when they say it’s the U.S.!”

Women played a key role during the protests in Khorramshahr and in Khuzestan in southwest Iran.

July

Recorded Protests and Strikes: 970 in cities and regions

Daily Average: 31

August

Recorded Protests: 133

Daily Average: 20

September

Recorded Protests: 1,367 in 293 cities, villages and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 46

Iran’s truck drivers began their nationwide organized strike in September.

October

Recorded Protests: 1,533 in 323 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 49

October saw the most protest activity in Iran in 2018. Truck drivers, teachers, and bazaar merchants all went on strike in October.

November

Recorded Protests: 911 in 171 cities, villages, and business and industry regions

Daily Average: 30

Iranian truck drivers went on another round of strikes in November, as did Iran’s teachers.

The workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory workers in Shush and the Iran National Steel Group workers in Ahvaz also began striking in protest of months of unpaid wages. Their weeks-long strikes would attract international attention.

Head of Iranian Regime’s Judiciary Threatens Striking Workers

December

Recorded Protests: 273 as of December 21st

Daily Average: 9

Workers, credit union clients, retirees, students, and prisoners all protesters during the month of December.

The regime arrested a number of striking Ahvaz steelworkers and Haft Tappeh factory workers in an escalation of their previous attempts to suppress the strikes. Regime agents carried out a series of midnight raids on the houses of striking workers and arrested dozens of workers. Reports indicate that labor activist Esmail Bakhshi was tortured in prison.

Iranian truck drivers started their fifth round of strikes this month as well. Those numbers are not included in the report, which will be updated by Iran News Wire in January.

Staff Writer

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General James Jones, former U.S. National Security Adviser speaks at OIAC summit in New York

General James Jones Illustrates Bipartisan Support for a Tougher US Stance Against the Iranian Regime

General James Jones delivered a speech at the Iran Uprising Summit, held on September 22nd at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, calling for a tougher stance towards the clerical regime. The event, which took place at the end of September, was organized by the Iranian opposition and featured speakers from around the world.

Jones was President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser between 2009 and 2010 and helped form foreign policy under the Obama administration.

An “Existential Threat to Peace and Stability”

Jones began his speech with a damning assessment of the Iranian regime. He told the crowd that he believes the Iranian regime remains the globes biggest “existential threat to peace and stability”.

He described the regime’s behavior as “unrelenting” in its quest to “undermine our values, our freedom, and our prosperity”.

He criticized the regime’s human rights abuses and the manner in which it flaunts international law. Jones specifically referred to the regime’s attempts to undermine the Middle East peace process and its financing of terror and militia groups in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

The regime actively promotes Sharia-Sunni conflict in the Middle East, with the goal of “establishing a land bridge from Tehran to Beirut via Iraq and Syria”.

Jones asserted that the United States, along with its allies, “must do everything necessary to prevent these territorial ambitions from being realized”. He went on to warn of “grave” implications if the regime succeeds in its ambitions.

“The result will be more death and suffering, more destruction [of] the kind that the regime and its proxies have been inflicting across the region”, he said.

The MEK’s Sacrifices

Jones also referred to the heavy losses inflicted on the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). He mentioned the attacks on Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf which left 140 dead, 7 abducted, and more than 1300 wounded refugees.

“We must no longer accept passivity and weakness in the face of this tyrannical regime,” he said, adding that one of his greatest regrets was that the United States did not act faster or more decisively in the wake of the regime attacks on Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

“The outrageous delay in coming to their aid resulted in an innocent loss of life”, he said, “frankly I regard that chapter as a glaring, and I hope atypical, failure in America’s leadership of the international human rights movement.”

Today’s Challenges

Jones was adamant that the challenges he describes are not things of the past. 1,900 MEK members are living in exile in Albania, but the Iranian regime still pursues them.

Jones described the arrest of regime agents in Albania this summer, who had nefarious designs against the MEK. “We must do what’s necessary to ensure the dissidents… are not made to become the subjects of the Iranian regime’s plots in Albania.”

The General also drew attention to the foiled terror plot in June, where the regime orchestrated an explosive attack against the MEK in Paris. It was foiled by Belgian authorities in the late stages.

A Bipartisan Issue

General Jones also alluded to the fact that there was general bipartisan support for a tougher stance against the Iranian regime. He cited the current National Security Adviser under President Trump, John Bolton, who, Jones said, “has remained steadfast in his support” for the Iranian opposition.

Bolton later thanked the General over Twitter for his “kind words and leadership on Iran”. Bolton, a staunch Republican, and Jones, a Democrat, personify the bipartisan agreement on the Iran issue in the US.

Protests in the Street

As evidence for a tougher Iran policy in the US, Jones went on the describe the domestic situation within Iran. He echoed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments, who described the protests as “the most enduring and forceful protests since 1979”.

Jones told the audience that the regime has imprisoned thousands of its own citizens, but he celebrated the “courage and passions” of the people who continued to demand their right to liberty.

He described the economic climate of rising inflation and a collapsing rial. “Some will point to the sanctions, old and new, as the culprit. But ladies and gentlemen the true culprit is the regime that rejects the international norms of behavior on which orderly relations, global trade, and economic engagement are based,” he said.

Jones defended Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. “Could Tehran really have been surprised given the lack of trust produced by its relentless reception, history of non-compliance and deadly support of terrorism?”, Jones asked.

In another gesture of bipartisan cooperation on Iran, Jones also praised Mike Pompeo’s economic sanctions.

Ten Point Plan

Finally, Jones drew attention to the MEK and Maryam Rajavi’s Ten Point Plan, describing them as “Jeffersonian principles that every freedom-loving member of the human race can embrace and every form of tyranny fears”.

He acknowledged the role of the United States and its allies in bringing Maryam Rajavi’s ten principles to fruition. He suggested that the US monitor the regime’s nuclear development program and prevent it from realizing its nuclear goals.

He also urged the United States to make progress on bringing peace to Syria to prevent Iran from using it as a proxy.

But the first step, Jones acknowledged, is to “support the Iranian people who hunger for democracy and a government worthy of their hopes and dreams.”

 

Staff Writer

 

 

 

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Maryam Rajavi's speech in FreeIran Summit

Maryam Rajavi Urges European Leaders to Stop the Flow of Finances to the Iranian Regime

Maryam Rajavi's speech in FreeIran Summit

Maryam Rajavi addresses the Free Iran Summit in New York on September-2018

The leader of the Iranian opposition, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) urged European leaders to end their financial support for the Iranian regime.

Maryam Rajavi, the charismatic and influential leader of the Iranian opposition movement, addressed the Iran Uprising Summit in New York via a video link. The summit attracted more than 1,700 activists and MEK-supporters, eager to hear Maryam Rajavi and other prominent speakers including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“testing Western governments”

Ms. Rajavi took the opportunity to condemn recent human rights abuses from the Iranian regime. She said, “in committing these crimes, the mullahs are testing Western governments”. She went on to assert that should Western leaders respond to these tests with inaction, it will embolden the regime and “intensify the regime’s terrorist actions”.

She then urged governments in Europe to close their Iranian embassies. The failed terror attack in Paris this summer exposed an elaborate network of Iranian embassies secretly involved in the planning and execution of terror plots.

She also had a message for the United Nations Security Council, which will meet on September 26th to discuss the Iranian regime. Rajavi said, “I must recall the demands of the Iranian Resistance underscored many years ago. It is an urgent imperative that the Security Council addresses the flagrant violations of human rights in Iran, especially the torture and massacre of political prisoners, and the regime’s export of terrorism and warmongering in the Middle East region”.

Ending the Financial Flow

For Maryam Rajavi, the best way to end the regime’s torture and massacre is by cutting its financial lifelines.

The regular financial assistance from the West is funneled into the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Quds Forces. It enables these military groups to play an active role in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, fuelling unrest and violence in the Middle East.

A Message of Hope

The event opened with a tribute to John McCain. McCain was actively involved in rescuing the MEK members during the time they were in Camp Liberty in Iraq. Rudy Giuliani, in a heartfelt message, recounted a time when McCain admitted that he would not live to see a free Iran, but urged Giuliani to continue the fight and take his place.

In his speech, Giuliani also challenged the regime’s assertion that the MEK was an ineffective and feeble force in Iran. He asked the audience gathered in New York, “if you are so weak and ineffective, why are they constantly trying to kill you?”

The event brought Iranians and MEK supporters together from across the US and beyond. There were uplifting messages of hope, particularly from the young people in attendance.

A highlight of the summit was a 15-year-old girl who told the crowd, “I have never been to Iran, where my parents met. But one day I will visit a free Iran.” But first, Europe must cut the regime off.

Staff Writer

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MEK's congress in Albania - September 2017

American Reporter Visits MEK Camp in Albania

MEK's congress in Albania - September 2017

MEK members during September Congress during which they elected their secretary general.

A report published in the Washington Times on September 19th sheds light on the lives of MEK members living in Albania. Reporter L.Todd Wood researched the article while traveling in Albania. Wood was invited to visit the new MEK camp that is being built outside of Tirana while in Albania and learned about the MEK and its members. His report separates fact from fiction and explores the kinds of people who join the MEK and their reasons for doing so.

The new MEK camp, named Ashraf 3, houses around 3,200 members of the Iranian opposition movement. The group built the camp after being forced out of their old home in Iraq by a series of attacks by the Iranian-backed government.

The Iranian government is extremely fearful of the MEK, as it sees the group as an existential threat. As a result of this fear, the regime has repeatedly carried out brutal and reckless acts against the MEK in a series of failed attempts to destroy the organization and all opposition to the mullahs’ rule. In June, an Iranian diplomat was arrested for planning a foiled terrorist attack on the Iranian resistance’s Free Iran gathering in Paris. In August, two Iranian intelligence agents were arrested in the United States and charged with spying on the MEK on behalf of the Iranian regime.

According to Wood, the Iranian regime has taken its demonization campaign against the MEK all the way to Albania, employing its intelligence agents to recruit former MEK members to spread propaganda against the group in an attempt to ruin the organization’s reputation within Albania.

Wood’s visit to Ashraf 3 took place against the backdrop of the regime’s hostile attacks against the MEK, as well as the popular uprising currently taking place in Iran, which is being organized by MEK resistance units; the reinstatement of U.S. sanctions, which are exacerbating Iran’s escalating social and economic crises; and a regime that is teetering on the verge of collapse through its own corruption, incompetence, and mistreatment of its people.

Wood described his entrance to Ashraf 3 in terms of the security measures that were required to ensure the safety of camp residents. Any time he left the camp during his visit, two cars had to travel together. Local security services were employed to provide perimeter defense and to inspect all cars who entered the camp gates.

According to Wood, Ashraf 3 resembles a small city in various stages of construction. It has lodging, robust cooking facilities, assembly halls, a medical facility, and an administrative building. He said that the MEK has done a remarkable job in recreating their home in Iraq in such a short time, noting that the facilities were already very functional, if still somewhat barren.

Wood met the leaders of the camp and was immediately struck by their openness. The MEK has been the subject of a number of recent journalistic attacks by BBC Channel 4 and Al Jazeera, ending in a flyover of the camp by a drone owned by Channel 4. The false reports have left the MEK eager to set the record straight. Wood indicated that he would be willing to keep an open mind, and he received full and detailed answers to all of his questions. In some cases, additional members were brought in to provide more detail on a response. No subject was taboo during the two-day visit, and Wood left with positive feelings about the MEK and a commitment to come back and learn more about the organization.

Wood was interested in the members of Ashraf 3. He wanted to know who joined the MEK, who chose to live at Ashraf 3, and why they joined the organization. He found that most of the camp residents were older, as the children of MEK members were moved out of Iraq and sent to Europe and the U.S. over the last decade when Camp Ashraf and Liberty became the targets of missile attacks. There were, however, quite a few younger members, some of whom were part of the group of children who were evacuated from Iraq in 2009. These children grew up and joined the MEK as adults, following in their parents’ footsteps.

Wood interviewed approximately 50 MEK members during his stay at the camp, speaking to people both young and old about their experiences and what led them to join the organization. Some of the people he interviewed joined because their loved ones suffered violence at the hands of the regime. Others joined because the regime executed a loved one. Many became members because they couldn’t envision a future in Iran and chose to commit themselves to bring regime change for the generations to come.

Wood acknowledges that the MEK has been described as a cult, but he pushes back against this idea, saying instead that it is a “fanatically committed group of individuals who have given their lives for an idea: a free Iran.” He describes the members of the MEK as individuals who want a better life for their brothers and sisters in Iran. He said that this was especially prevalent amongst the young people at the camp, many of whom carried physical scars from their time at Camp Ashraf or Iran. Many of the MEK members Wood spoke to “had a deep sense of loss and pain from their dealings with the regime-murder, assault, deceit, torture. Their overriding principle was to prevent future generations of Iran from having to go through the same horrific experiences.”

Wood pointed out that the camp residents are mostly intellectuals and were very successful before joining the MEK. These are people who could have settled anywhere in the West and done well for themselves, but they chose to sacrifice everything to work toward a free Iran. Wood emphasized that everyone in the camp is singularly focused on freedom, that the idea of freedom permeates the camp itself. He spoke of the focus and determination of every member of the camp in completing their tasks. The members of Ashraf 3 have one goal—freedom—and they are determined to achieve it. Wood said that everyone he spoke to knew why they were fighting and why it was important that they do so.

Wood also referred to recent propaganda pieces published by the Iranian regime lobbies or paid agents saying: “Albania has nothing to fear from this group. I did not see any weapons or military training. They want to become good citizens of Albania and to build a life in the former communist country. In fact, it is the MEKwho has to be worried about violence. The regime has shown it will stop at nothing to destroy them. Iranian Ministry of Intelligence agents are active in Albania. They are the ones the Albanian public has to fear, not the people in the camp.”

Staff Writer

 

 

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Infighting at Iranian regime's parliament

Shake Ups in Parliament Won’t Fix Corrupt Regime

Infighting at Iranian regime's parliament

The Iranian regime’s parliament infighting as a result of the growing discontent against the regime and its corrupt leaders.

A wave of impeachments is overtaking the Iranian regime’s parliament, as tensions among the regime leadership have reached a boiling point.

Minister of Work Ali Rabi-ee was dismissed three weeks ago. The Ministers of Industry and Education are set to be impeached on September 11th. Cabinet Minister Masoud Karbasian is going to be sacked by next month.

On August 28th, President Hassan Rouhani was summoned to Parliament to answer questions about Iran’s economy. Rouhani admitting the Iranian people’s discontent towards the regime said: “Economic issues are of determinative nature. However, what’s more important now is that many people have lost their faith in the future of our Islamic Republic and are doubting its power.” Rouhani’s visit to Parliament came after months of squabbling and power plays between parties.

Government officials in trying to put the blame on others have become increasingly willing to acknowledge that Iran’s problems stem from decades of corruption and mismanagement by the mullahs and not from the sanctions by the United States.

Member of Parliament Qasem Mirzaei Nikou said: “The fraudulent ways of money-making runs in all branches of the government. Their corruption is endless, much like a seven-headed dragon.”

The reality is that the impeachments will not solve Iran’s economic problems because the system is rotten to its core. Iranian regime’s economic policy is not based on the rule of law; it is based on greed and corruption. Even MPs agree that replacing the cabinet will not solve these problems.

On August 26th, Elias Hazrati another regime MP, commented on this issue: “We are in the month of August now. Sanctions won’t start until November, and its consequences won’t be revealed any earlier than the next 6 to 12 months. So, the current inflation of 19%, which is expected to go up to 40% by the end of the year, has clearly nothing to do with the United States”.”

Henchman, Mohammad Reza Badamchi another member of regime’s parliament, added: “In today’s society, one out of every six people is unemployed. In other words, close to 20 million of our youth, aged between 15 to 29 years old, have no jobs now.”

The cabinet, of course, only controls 50% of Iran’s economy. The other half is held by the Supreme Leader and the organizations under his power, primary the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliates.

Mahmoud Bahmani, another regime MP and the former head of the Central Bank, revealed last month: “A 2-year-worth of currency, accumulated from our exports, haven’t been returned to our country just yet. The bank accounts of the officials’ families are worth more than our currency held overseas. In March 2013, the liquidity rate was 435 thousand billion Toman, whereas today, it is more than 700 thousand billion Toman.”

Given the dire economic situation in Iran and the failure of regime officials to find effective solutions to address it, the Iranian people have grown more and more angry at the entire regime. Economic issues were the initial spark that led to the massive uprising that began in December of last year and continues today. People from all walks to life have taken to the streets, chanting, “Death to Khamenei!”

Khamenei you should be ashamed of yourself!”

Reformists, Hardliners, Game is Over!”

It has become clear that the people of Iran are tired of claims of reform. They are ready for regime change. Increasingly, protesters have looked toward the Iranian Resistance and the MEK for a viable alternative to the mullahs’ regime.

The regime faces many obstacles right now, but the largest and most insurmountable is the ongoing uprising taking place in the streets of Iran. The regime has been unable to suppress the protests, and it has been unable to kill off the opposition movement, despite attempted multiple terrorist attacks on the MEK this year.

Rouhani himself acknowledged the power of the protesters in a statement this year: “How did our country’s atmosphere suddenly change? It changed from December 26th, 2017; anyone who claims otherwise is only misleading people, in my opinion.”

The regime is fearful of its people because it knows the end is near. Overthrow is inevitable because the problems within the regime cannot be fixed. The people are angry, and the protesters cannot be suppressed. The regime should be afraid.

Staff Writer

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MEK- Iran: Rouhani’s Answers Leave MPs Unsatisfied

Archive-Rouhani was called to the regime’s parliament to answer questions about the dire economic condition, the plunge of Rial, etc. As Iran protests grow across the country, the infighting among regime rivals expands

There have been signs that the Iranian regime has been dealing with instability within the leadership for some time. The Minister for Labour and the Economic Minister were both removed from their positions in recent weeks, and Rouhani appeared before MPs on August 28th to explain the country’s woeful economic situation.

Rouhani answered five questions on the economy. Four of the responses were unsatisfactory. Among the 82 MPs that witnessed the session, approximately 75% felt that his answers to questions on unemployment and inflation were not acceptable.

An Economy in Crisis

In the last six months, the rial has plummeted in value against the dollar. Its value is around half of that at the beginning of 2018. Poverty is creeping up, with many Iranians struggling for economic survival.

One-third of the population now live below the international poverty line based on regime sources, with one in ten living in conditions that amount to “absolute poverty” (the reality is a lot worse). Mohsen Hashemi, Chairman of Tehran’s Council, puts the blame squarely at the regime’s doorstep. He said the mullah’s “quick and careless formation of policies” has destroyed the economy.

A Web of Deceit

During the hearing with MPs, Rouhani spouted fabricated figures and statistics as he attempted to put a positive spin on his government’s five-year tenure. Rather than acknowledge his government’s failings, he instead blamed the economic crisis on the perceptions of the Iranian people.

“All of a sudden, people’s perception of Iran’s future changed, and this is a major problem”, he said. “Banking irregularities and the economic boom and the currency prices are all important issues, but they all pale in relation to the issue of public trust and hope”, he added.

Rouhani pinpointed the uprisings in December and January, as the moment that the current economic crisis began. “Suddenly the circumstances in the country changed”, he said.

President Rouhani also blamed his counterpart in the United States, Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA on the 2017/2018 uprisings. He said that the “domestic turbulence and international threats frightened the people”.

Playing Down Reports of Factional Infighting

Finally, Rouhani attempted to dispel rumors of infighting within the regime leadership. Previously he had criticised the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of extensive smuggling, accusing the organization of smuggling billions of dollars across international borders. However, during questioning, Rouhani praised the IRGC for its role in preventing smuggling.

In refusing to give an accurate representation of his government’s role in creating the economic crisis and performing a U-turn on smuggling accusations within the IRGC, Rouhani demonstrated to the people of Iran that he has no interest in offering solutions to the country’s worsening economic situation. His answers demonstrate a leader burying his head in the sand to avoid the harsh realities of the situation, more concerned with smoothing over factionalism within his own government than improving the lives of the population.

The economic crisis ravaging the Iranian population looks set to worsen before it gets better. But one thing is certain: As seen in slogans of protesters in recent protests across Iran, shouting “Death to the Dictator” they well know that it is the entirety of the regime that is responsible for the corruption and mismanagement of the economy and that the only solution to the problem is regime change in Iran.

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Iran Protests in Kazerun

An Interview with Hanif Jazayeri: The Iranian People Have Spoken Loud and Clear

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

Recent Protests Mark a New Era for Iran’s Opposition

On the 6th of August, as US sanctions affecting the purchase of dollars, metals, and car and plane parts were re-imposed on Iran, an interview with Hanif Jazayeri was broadcast across major American cities. Listeners in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Raleigh, and Pittsburgh could tune in to hear the Iranian news editor discuss the latest wave of economic sanctions and their effect on the already unstable clerical regime.

The United States announced its latest wave of sanctions, which will target the Iranian oil industry, the backbone of the Iranian economy; however, the EU and Russia have already voiced their opposition to the sanctions. They announced they would prefer to salvage the crumbling JCPOA agreement.

A New Breed of Protest

Hanif opened the interview by fielding a question on the changing nature of the Iranian protest movement. He said, “the Iranian people have spoken loud and clear”, “they are blaming the regime for their economic hardship”. In the wake of the JCPOA, the Iranian regime unlocked billions of dollars in aid packages, but the people saw none of the benefits.

“They have noticed this,” said Hanif, “and that is actually because all the money has been spent in Syria, to prop up the dictator there, to fund terrorist groups in the region, for the domestic suppression apparatus of the regime, and the rest of it has lined the pockets of the mullahs and their families.”

Following this blatant abuse of power and mismanagement of resources, the Iranian people have taken to the streets in their thousands to express their frustration at the mullahs’ regime. The people want an end to the regime.

The International Community

Hanif went on to mention the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi’s appeal to the international community to impose sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and exclude the current regime from the international banking system. Only the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is benefitting from oil exports at present.

Hanif Jazayeri has played an active role himself in drumming up international support for the Iranian protest movement. He has been collecting footage from protestors in Iran and publishing them across social media to raise international awareness for the struggle of the Iranian people.

However, many within the international community have expressed reluctance and hesitation at the idea of reintroducing sanctions. A common argument against Maryam Rajavi’s proposal of sanctioning the Iranian oil industry is that it would further hurt the already struggling Iranian population.

Hanif attempted to dispel this common misconception. He cited the slogans adopted among the protestors which state, “our enemy is right here, they are lying when they say it is America”.

The people of Iran have suffered under the Iranian regime both when economic sanctions have been imposed, and after the sanctions were lifted. They saw no benefit from the lifting of the sanctions, their standard of living did not improve. Therefore, the lifting of the sanctions empowered the regime. It gave the Iranian regime more money to spend on suppressing the people.

Will Sanctions Empower Hardliners?

In response to Hanif’s argument, the interviewer countered that economic sanctions could empower the hardliners within Iran. They could be interpreted as “economic bullying” and allow the more extreme elements in Rouhani’s regime to portray Iran as a victim and being unfairly punished by the American government.

In reality, there are not hardliners and moderates within the Iranian regime. They are all hardliners. Rouhani himself has threatened to disrupt passage through the Strait of Hormuz if oil sanctions are imposed on Iran. His regime continues to arrest and execute political dissidents. There are no “hardliners” and “moderates”, only the regime in all its brutality.

Again, Hanif pointed to the slogans of the protestors to illustrate the point. The demonstrations across Iran have featured slogans stating, “no to hardliners, no to moderates”.

More than half of the country is in poverty and has been so for nearly forty years. For Iranians, the situation deteriorated after the sanctions were lifted. The regime received a financial windfall, which only gave them more resources to use in their routine abuse and repression of the Iranian people. “In the last two years, for example, the economic situation has spiraled downwards”, said Hanif.

Finally, Hanif Jazayeri saluted the brave protestors turning out across Iran, risking imprisonment and death in their determination to make their voices heard.

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