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MEK-Iran: 120 Years of Struggle for Freedom

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Historical leaders of 120 years of Iranian struggle for freedom

Iranians refer to the early part of the 20th century as the “Age of Awaking” from the bondage of the absolute monarchy under the Qajar Kings. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 marked the culmination of a broad movement of a quarter-century by the people of Iran to break free from monarchic despotism and propelled the nation’s popular movement for a modern democratic state.

Gradually, freedom fighters were suppressed and dictatorship returned and finally a British-backed coup installed an illiterate officer, Reza Pahlavi, to the throne in 1921. The wartime Allies forced Reza Shah to abdicate due to his Nazi sympathies in 1941. His son, Mohammad Reza assumed the reins of power. The Iranian people’s movement for democracy, forced the new Monarch into retreat, enabling Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq to become the Prime Minister in 1951. The popular Prime Minister nationalized Iran’s oil industry, which was until then controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company. The move drew the ire of the British, who along with the United States and the backing of the Royal Court and the reactionary clerics, engineered the August 1953 coup that toppled Mossadeq’s government.

The increasingly brutal dictatorship of the Shah, which had suppressed all forms of peaceful and reformist political opposition, led to the founding in 1965 of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) by three Muslim university graduates,  Mohammad Hanifnejad, a 26-year-old agricultural engineer, Saeed Mohsen, a civil engineer, and Ali-Asghar Badizadegan, an assistant professor in chemical engineering.

The MEK challenged both the Shah’s regime and the fundamentalist interpretation of Islam espoused by the clerical establishment, which by and large supported the status quo.

The founders’ advocacy of a tolerant and democratic Islam had tremendous appeal not only among Iranian intellectuals but also among the middle class and the bazaar, the pillar of Iran’s economy. Considering itself as the disciple of Dr. Mossadeq, the MEK founders’ active resistance to the Shah, inspired the Iranian people to join the anti-monarchic movement.

Despite the execution of its founders by the Shah’s secret police, SAVAK in 1972 and the clerical regime’s brutal onslaught on the MEK, resulting in the murder of 120,000 of its members and sympathizers, the organization has emerged as the largest and best-organized opposition movement. On September 6, 2019, it celebrated the start of its 55th year at an elaborate event at the organization’s new home in Albania, Ashraf 3.

Ms.Merrikhi, Seretary-General of the MEK

Ms. Zahra Merrikhi, Secretary-General of the MEK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In her remarks, MEK’s Secretary-General, Ms. Zahra Merrikhi, said,

“In the past half-century, throughout trials and tribulations, you supported your organization and movement. The 54th anniversary of this organization is the result of your toil and is your victory. On behalf the members and supporters of MEK, I would like to salute our great founders Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan. By sacrificing their lives, they made a breakthrough and started a new era in the history of Iran. And we salute our (MEK’s historical leader) Massoud Rajavi and (NCRI’s President-elect) Maryam Rajavi who have set an example of sacrifice and honesty in the history of struggles for freedom.”

https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/1169311090590801921

The Turning Point

Now, after so many years and so much hardship and suffering, the struggle of Iranian people has reached a turning point. Freedom and democracy are within reach as never before.

MEK’s Secretary-General underscored that the mortal conditions with which the regime is faced

“has a much deeper root than international sanctions and major loss of revenues. Owing especially to the impact of the protest movement and the organized resistance, the mullahs have reached a point where they lack the capacity to reproduce the source of their survival. Western government’s appeasement policy, fake reformers, and other parties assisting the regime have run out of steam. While facing the prospects of being overthrown, the velayat-e faqih regime, unlike previous periods, has no savior and is rapidly moving towards its demise.”

“At this juncture, the active resistance of the MEK, the Resistance Units and Councils as well as this movement’s unrelenting political campaign internationally aimed at defeating the conspiracies of the mullahs and their advocates and restoring the rights of the Iranian people and Resistance, has brightened the prospects of the regime’s overthrow,” Ms. Merrikhi added.

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Assembly of Experts Member: The People Dislike Us

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Scenes of the Iranian people protesting the mullahs’ rule

A member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts stated the obvious in recent remarks about the Iranian people. Hashem Hashemzadeh Herisi, a former member of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) and a current member of the Assembly of Experts, said, “The people dislike us and are discontent with us… not only our narrative but everything about us must change.”

Herisi, who also serves as the Friday prayers imam in Tabriz, Azerbaijan Province, added, “We talk the talk of Takfir, considering one side the servants of the regime and the other traitors.”

Friday prayers imams are Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s mouthpieces in Iran’s cities and towns. The Assembly of Experts is tasked with choosing the Supreme Leader. It is worth noting that Herisi speaks for the mullahs when he says that the people don’t like them.

In reference to the regime’s founder and first Supreme Leader, Herisi said: “Khomeini was afraid of the people and the people’s discontent, and when the time comes that they will put us all aside. [Khomeini] said you should be afraid of the day when the people understand your nature,” he added.

“In some of the Quran’s verses, it says that the most unfortunate of people are those who do something wrong and think that they’ve done something right,” Herisi concluded.

Economic Crisis

The poor economic situation in Iran

Archive Photo- Long ques for purchasing rationed meat in Iran- Tehran

In a recent interview with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)–affiliated Fars news agency, former Majlis (parliament) member Emad Afroogh discussed the growing despair among the Iranian people over the unbearable economic conditions in the country. “According to a survey, 78 percent of the people believe their most dire problems are economic,” he said.

“Today, the people, when they compare their living conditions with that of officials, they come to the conclusion that nobody is caring for them and they are sort of abandoned,” Emad Afroogh he continued. “People face increasing prices every day and authorities try to pacify them with empty promises.”

Economic conditions have grown so dire that many Iranians have resorted to digging through public garbage cans for food, according to previous MEK reports. Protests by defrauded investors, unpaid workers and pensioners, and workers demanding better pay and benefits are a daily occurrence in cities across Iran. The MEK has been active in helping to organize and spread information about protests and demonstrations, which has led to desperate attempts by the regime to stifle dissent and eliminate the MEK and the Iranian Resistance.

The Upcoming School Year

The summer break ends in a few weeks, and many Iranian parents worry that they will be unable to afford basic school supplies for their children. Stationery prices alone have risen by over 40 percent in just the past year, and families are struggling to make ends meet without added expenses.

To add insult to injury, notebooks are now printed with regime propaganda to reinforce the misinformation which has been sprinkled throughout students’ textbooks since the dawn of the mullahs’ rule.

Of course, people dislike the mullahs. Unfortunately, the regime is unwilling to change its ways. The Iranian people are responsible for changing the regime and this change will be achieved by the main Iranian opposition movement, PMOI/MEK.

Staff writer

 

 

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Iranian protest against Zarif's trip to northern Europe

MEK-Iran: Iranian Communities Protest Zarif in Sweden and Finland

Iranian protest against Zarif's trip to northern Europe

The Iranian diaspora, in Sweden, supporters of the MEK, protest against Zarif’s trip to Nordic countries, asking for an end to the policy of appeasement

Regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s visit to Scandinavian countries this week was met with outrage by the Iranian communities, who held demonstrations in Sweden and Finland to protest his arrival.

Protests in Sweden

On Tuesday, protesters in Stockholm held large banners reading “Stop appeasing the Mullahs’ regime. Expel their agents,” and “Kick Javad Zarif Out! Europe and Nordic countries are no Place for Criminals and Terrorists: World Peace, Stability, and Democracy Requires Regime Change in Iran.”

Others carried signs featuring Zarif’s face and the words “No to Despicable Shameful Diplomacy” and “Zarif Get Lost!”

The MEK and Iranian Resistance emphasized that meeting with the foreign minister of a country that has repeatedly committed terrorist acts against its opposition on European soil is disrespectful to the Iranian people who have spent 40 years fighting against the regime’s tyranny and oppression.

Protests in Finland

On Monday, yellow-jacketed MEK protesters and members of the Iranian communities in Helsinki greeted Zarif with banners and signs, demanding, “Zarif Get Lost!” in English and Finnish. Some carried signs shaped like hands proclaiming, “Stop appeasing mullahs in Iran.” Many of the protesters carried large Iranian flags.

Condemnation from the Iranian Resistance

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issued a statement on August 17th condemning Zarif’s trip to Scandinavia, writing, “The Iranian Resistance strongly condemns the visit by the head of the medieval theocracy’s diplomat-terrorists, as it will embolden the regime to continue and step up the flagrant and systematic violations of human right and the export of terrorism and warmongering. This trip only arouses the Iranian people’s anger and abhorrence and must be canceled.”

The MEK has called for Zarif’s blacklisting from the international community for years, citing his role in the regime’s terrorist activities. Zarif characterizes himself as a moderate, but his actions prove otherwise. As Foreign Minister of Iran, he represents and supports the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The United States recently issued sanctions against Zarif, citing his role as a spokesperson for the regime. These sanctions followed sanctions against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and terrorist designations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

In 2018, five Iranian regime diplomats, including an ambassador, were expelled from Europe for plotting terrorist attacks against the MEK and Iranian dissidents. Another four regime agents and a diplomat are currently in prison awaiting trial in Belgium for plotting a terrorist attack on the Free Iran Rally in Paris on June 2018.

The MEK urges the international community to blacklist Zarif and ends its appeasement of this terrorist regime. Diplomacy requires a good faith effort from both parties to reach an accord. Zarif and the mullahs have no intention of changing their behavior.

Zarif is scheduled to continue his tour with a stop in Norway this week. He is also set to meet in France with President Emmanuel Macron in the near future.

Staff writer

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Mayer Giuliani and Maryam Rajavi

Mayor Giuliani: “MEK is a vehicle for democracy in Iran and should have the support of our government”

Mayer Giuliani and Maryam Rajavi

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, during an interview with the Hill TV, discussing MEK and the Iranian opposition leader, President-elect Maryam Rajavi.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an interview with the Hill TV described the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as a vehicle for democracy in Iran that has proved capable of a functioning government-in-exile.

Rudy Giuliani who recently attended a 5-day conference in Ashraf 3, the main residence of the MEK in Tirana, was asked a question in the interview. If the Iranian regime were to fall and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, was to govern, would she be able to govern during a transition period and prevent chaos? He replied:

“Well, what they do, what they—these are the questions, of course, we ask them all the time, and I’ve seen evidence that they have a functioning government-in-exile. They evaluate the problems in Iran every day. They are enormously active in communicating within Iran. They remind me of the Voice of America in one aspect during the Cold War, which used to broadcast into the Soviet-dominated countries every single day. They broadcast; they try to 24 hours a day. And they have ministers, shadow ministers for each one of the agencies of the government. And they have a plan for transition. And the plan for transition would say they’d put up an interim government immediately and they would attempt to get to a full election within six months so that there’s—so it isn’t an imposed government, it’s a democracy. And her proposition is that she doesn’t want to dominate, she wants to be elected or not elected, or elected to something and they would share leadership with maybe 10, 12 other groups.”

 

Mayor Giuliani talks about MEK in an interview

Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an interview with the Hill TV described the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) as a vehicle for democracy in Iran that has proved capable of a functioning government-in-exile.

Addressing the American public, Mayor Giuliani describes President-elect Maryam Rajavi as a “true disciple of peace and democracy” and said:

“What they should know is that this is a true disciple of peace, democracy. Her whole life has been spent trying to obtain democracy for her country, first against the Shah who killed I think her sister. And then against the Ayatollah who killed another relative. I think another sister. Her family has been the victim of both the Shah’s oppression and murder and been the victim of the even more increased murder under the Ayatollah. And people should know that this is a regime that has more blood on its hands than any regime in the world, and that it is the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world.”

Mayor Giuliani called on European governments to stop the policy of appeasement and reiterated what he also mentioned during his speech at this year’s Free Iran gathering in Ashraf 3:

“Why do we want to negotiate or trust a regime that’s the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world? And I made that challenge to the European governments. Hasn’t Iran proven to us that they are too irresponsible, that they are too murderous to have nuclear weapons in their hands? It would be too dangerous for the world. And I think the European governments have to develop the kind of courage that President Trump has.”

Outlining his view of this year’s gathering, he added:

“So the conference was about basically how can we replace the regime of Iran with a democratic government, which the MEK has been attempting to do for 20 years. I have about 11 years of involvement with them. But they have a tremendous amount of support in the United States, bipartisan, about 200 members of Congress, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. I was there with former Senator Lieberman, Democrat, former Senator Torricelli, who’s actually one of their principal people. He’s been involved with them longer than I have. And what they are is basically the National Council of Resistance in Iran is headed by Madame Rajavi. She’s the president-elect. And it’s made up of a group of organizations including the MEK that are resistance groups, like the French Resistance, against the Ayatollah. They’ve been active since the revolution. A hundred and twenty thousand of their people have been killed but they still are going strong.”

Rejecting speculations about the MEK’s popularity in Iran and the disinformation Iranian regime lobbyists try to spread in this regard, he vowed:

“Both the ayatollah and Rouhani have announced within the last year that they are the biggest threat to the regime. In the years past, it was always doubted that was created about how strong are they in Iran? How much support do they have? I think that all has been put to rest now with basically Rouhani’s statement and the Ayatollah[Khamenei]’s saying that the MEK, and sometimes they’ll call PMOI, is our most dangerous threat, the only one capable of putting a government together, and therefore we’ve got to wipe them out, which is what they do.”

“If they find that you’re a member of this organization, or suspect that you’re a member of this organization, by and large, you don’t get a trial. You’re either imprisoned or you’re shot depending on the circumstances. And so 120,000 since the beginning of the revolution. Probably another thousand in the last couple of years. And they have a government-in-exile. They have tremendous support. They have tremendous support in what’s called the Iranian diaspora. And they have a charter, 10 points, which largely looks like our Bill of Rights. Significant thing is, they’re headed by a woman. This is, this is the Middle East. This is right next to the Arab world. Not only are they headed by a woman, but roughly half their leadership are also women”, Mr. Giuliani added.

Regarding the prospect of regime change in Iran and the role of the Iranian opposition, Mayor Giuliani relied on his insight into the matter and reply to the question, “does she [Maryam Rajavi] have a chance to lead Iran into a democratic state?” said:

“She does. I mean, she does have a chance. I mean, I don’t think people realize how much turmoil there is inside of Iran. Since January of 2018, I think I have my facts correct here, there have been over 250 major protests all throughout the country, not just in Tehran. And now they have spread into the economic sectors. So there have been taxi drivers that have gone out on strike and protest. There are teachers, all the teachers of the country went on strike. There are farmers, professors have joined the political activists. And you can see it. Videos that I saw when I was in Albania because they have probably the MEK people, the PMOI [MEK] people have the best window into Iran”.

As a respected lawyer and an expert in the field, Mr. Giuliani also addressed the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners in Iran and said, “Back in 1988, within a two-month period, the regime killed 30,000 members of MEK. Thirty-thousand people! We are talking about a crime against humanity. Crimes for which they should be prosecuted in the World Court.”

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Ali Khamenei, the top mullah responsible for the crimes against humanity in Iran

Regime Calls for Unity to Counter Fear of The Uprisings

Ali Khamenei, the top mullah responsible for the crimes against humanity in Iran

Ali Khamenei, expressing concern about the infighting among regime fractions in light of the growing protests against the regime.

Regime authorities are once again stressing the importance of unity between opposing factions as the clerical regime teeters dangerously close to being overthrown. Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and officials of all levels have emphasized that regime leaders must put aside their differences, at least publicly, in order to weather the “current dangers” facing the clerical dictatorship.

 

The “current dangers” are of course the regime’s growing fear of the people’s uprisings particularly with the role the MEK, has been playing in mobilizing the, which pose a threat to the mullahs’ continued claim to power. Officials call for unity time and time again, but they have repeatedly failed to address the fundamental problem facing Iran: the Iranian people are unified against the mullahs, and no amount of solidarity amongst officials can change their desire for regime change.

Increasing Rifts

Khamenei appoints Friday prayer Imams to act as his mouthpieces to the public. He recently met with Friday prayer Imams to discuss messaging in Friday prayers and voiced his concern about criticizing officials and regime institutions in Friday prayer sermons.

“We shouldn’t raise an issue immediately in Friday prayers when we see it in governmental, judicial, or other institutions,” he said, emphasizing that this “would increase the rifts and differences and agitate the population.”

 

Massih Mohajeri, a mullah close to Rouhani’s faction and the editor-in-chief of the Islamic Republic newspaper, claimed that Friday prayer Imams are doing the very thing Khamenei warned against. While admitting the hatred and illegitimacy even within the ranks of the regime supporters, he blamed the problem on poorly-qualified Imams in an article in the newspaper he edits.

“The reason why participants of Friday prayers are decreasing over the past recent years is that there has been negligence in the necessary qualities for choosing Friday prayer imams,” he explained.

“There are Friday prayer imams who lack the necessary qualities and don’t have the ability to attract the people and unite them,” he continued. “In recent decades, a large amount of money and energy have been spent on building prayer sites in different cities. However, there hasn’t been much spent to significantly improve the quality of Friday prayer imams. The result is that we have praying sites but no worshippers and the number of individuals who participate in Friday prayers all over the country is a fraction of the population that actually prays. More importantly, the number of young people present is very small. This means that the Friday prayer imams lack connection to the current generation,” he added.

No Difference between Factions

In a July 13th interview, Mohebbian, a conservative Iranian regime strategist, admitted what the MEK has said for years: “Due to the disappointment about the management of [Iranian] political movements, the population has concluded that one political movement is like the other and there is no difference,” Mohebbian said.

“The internal and external difficulties of the conservative movement is serious as is that of the moderates. The most important problem of conservatives is their weakness in political marketing for their opinions among the population. Eventually, the people will move beyond both [factions],” he added. A very clear admission of the fear the entire corrupt and repressive regime has from the people’s uprising.

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Maryam Rajavi joins dignitaries at the opening of a 5-day conference at MEK's compound

Highlights from the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3: Saturday’s Conference Kicks Off with Speeches from Maryam Rajavi and Giuliani

Maryam Rajavi joins dignitaries at the opening of a 5-day conference at MEK's compound

Maryam Rajavi, leader of Iran opposition during the photo-op on the opening day of a 5-day conference in solidarity with the Iranian uprising – Ashraf 3 (MEK’s compound)- July 2019

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI) hosted the third day of the annual Free Iran conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania on Saturday. This is the first year the annual event has been held at Ashraf 3, which was built in just over a year on farmland outside of Tirana.

Saturday’s event attracted hundreds of prominent dignitaries, politicians, and human rights activists from around the world and included dozens of speeches in support of the Iranian Resistance, as well as video of supporters from inside Iran and stories of the MEK’s fight for freedom. Thousands of MEK residents of Ashraf 3 greeted the conference attendees, holding Persian flags and cheering their arrival.

 

The following are some highlights from the first portion of the day’s speeches.

Fahimeh Arvani

Former MEK Secretary-General, Ms. Arvani delivered the opening remarks on Saturday to the packed convention hall.

“Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi has led this movement and today we are witnessing the regime in Iran on the brink of the overthrow,” she said.

“The [MEK’s] Resistance Units have spread across Iran and have accomplished their role in the best of forms. They are directing protests and demonstrations. We are now in an extraordinary period, especially today, in Ashraf 3. This gathering with your presence has a very strong message for the Iranian people. On behalf of PMOI/MEK members I am honored to thank every single one of you, and I send my salutations to the Resistance Units,” Ms. Arvani added.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, started her speech by saying:

“Twenty months ago, this (Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound in Albania) 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,”

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Rudolph Giuliani

Former New York Mayor

Massoud Rajavi began the Resistance movement in a very brave act by not swearing allegiance to [regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini. Aren’t we now at a point in history where we all can stand up and say no more oppression and murder? You have to go,” said Mayor Giuliani.

“I accuse [Khamenei] and [Iranian regime President Hassan] Rouhani and all their followers, I accuse them of murder. Not just murder but mass murder. How can we tolerate this? Four decades of mass murder and crimes against humanity,” he exclaimed.

Giuliani said that the international community needed to do three things to secure peace and stability in Iran. First on his list was “getting the governments of Europe to stand up and reclaim their dignity and honor.”

Giuliani encouraged the leaders of Europe to “stand up.”

“I’m proud of my government for tearing up that nuclear deal. We don’t put nuclear weapons in the hands of murderers. When you put money in the hands of murderers, you are supporting murderers,” he added.

Giuliani said that the second thing the international community must do is to recognize that “there is an alternative to this horrible regime of terror.

“This isn’t one of those situations when we have to dispose of a regime and we know that a more horrible regime will come. That was the case in Libya. But here we don’t have that problem. We have the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world and then we have the NCRI, led by the President-elect Maryam Rajavi,” he said.

“We have a government in exile that has written down its principles. Free elections in six months. Gender equality. System of law. Fair trial. And they oppose capital punishment. This is a good organization. And if you have built this place in three months, you can do that in six months,” Giuliani added.

“This is a group we can support and a group that makes us comfortable to have a regime change,” he said.

Giuliani said that the final action the world could take to support a free Iran is to “be a witness in the Biblical sense.”

Giuliani explained, “You can be a part of it. You can write, you can speak out. We don’t walk away when we see someone is oppressed.”

Joseph Lieberman

Former Senator and U.S. Vice Presidential candidate

Senator Lieberman spoke about the MEK’s treatment in Camp Liberty in Iraq and their subsequent relocation to Albania. “We were hurt and heartbroken and angry when you were terrorized and murdered in Camp Liberty by the Iranian regime’s mercenaries. Iran is ready for a new dawn and day, you are ready, we are ready,” he said.

“Now that you are here [in safety in Albania], the NCRI and MEK can focus its efforts on the fight inside Iran,” he added.

“History is on your side. Freedom and justice will always prevail. And that is what the MEK and NCRI represent,” said Lieberman.

“I thank you for being an example to the whole world that those who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of freedom will always prevail,” said the former Senator. “Let me quote the late Senator John McCain: ‘The battle to liberate Iran is not a battle that has great significance for the people to Iran but for the great cause of freedom around the world.’”

“Maryam Rajavi is a principled, visionary, selfless leader and cares for every one of you,” Lieberman said, praising Mrs. Rajavi and the MEK. “Ashraf 3 is the best proof that this movement is a viable alternative to the ruling mullahs in Iran,” he added.

“To those who advocate appeasement, it’s time to stand for the people’s freedom. It’s time to bring a government to Iran that is accountable to the Iranians. A government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he concluded.

Robert Torricelli

Former U.S. Senator

“For thousands of years, when people met at street corners they said: ‘I’m a citizen of Rome.’ But today, wherever men stand tall, they will say that I was a resident of Ashraf. I never gave up, I never gave in, I’m a proud Iranian,” Senator Torricelli said.

“What began with a single woman is a chorus around the world…To those of you that are risking your lives in Iran, I say, It is your time. To the students, if you haven’t joined the brigades of resistance, join today, join tomorrow. Take your lives in your hands,” encouraged the former Senator.

“To the workers who hear my voice, break down your chains and rise up to your freedom and the right to feed your families,” urged Torricelli.

“To the Iranian community in foreign countries, the past is forgiven, the future is now, we have a common cause to restore the dignity of the Iranian people. There is only one organization that promises to overthrow the dictatorship in Iran and restore the nation and that organization is the PMOI and their leader is Maryam Rajavi,” he said.

 

“Gathered here today is what the regime could not buy: the respect of other nations. Democrats and Republicans, are committed to one common cause: the destruction of this regime now,” concluded Torricelli.

 

Staff writer

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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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