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Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Former Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, Speaks at Human Rights Conference in Geneva

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Struan Stevenson, the former MEP, and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), speaking at the Geneva Conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

Former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Struan Stevenson, spoke at a conference in Geneva on the human rights situation in Iran calling on the International Community and particularly the European governments to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes in Iran. He began by describing how, “after 40 years of a brutal clerical dictatorship, today, 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

Iranians are making their voices heard at an unprecedented level. In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets to demonstrate the regime’s brutality and violence. “Men, women, students, teachers, truck drivers, sugar-cane workers, business owners, and pensioners,” have come together under the call for regime change and in opposition to the regime’s greed, repression, and warmongering.

The mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances has left vast swathes of the population living below the poverty line and struggling to put food on the table.

“Instead of trying to mend Iran’s broken economy, the mullahs have used their equivalent of the Gestapo, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), to crack down on the demonstrators, murdering dozens and arresting over ten thousand,” Stevenson told those gathered in Geneva. Despite the very real threat to their freedom and lives, Iran’s brave protestors have not been deterred, but continue to oppose regime oppression and violence wherever it occurs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group, work tirelessly to organize protests and raise international awareness to the Iranian cause.

Their effort is necessary. Stevenson said, “Iran is the most repressive country in the Middle East. It executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Here we have a regime that tortures, rapes, sodomizes, and executes political prisoners.” It uses flogging, amputations, and hanging as methods of punishment and has executed more than 4,000 people under the Rouhani administration.

One of the Worst Atrocities of the Twentieth Century

In 1988, the Iranian regime committed one of the worst human rights abuses of the twentieth century. In one summer, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, many of whom were members of the MEK.

Although Amnesty International recently released a landmark report on the atrocity and have petitioned the UN to investigate, the crimes went largely unrecognized by the international community and no formal international investigation took place.

“The perpetrators of that massacre are still in positions of power within the regime today,” Stevenson exclaimed. “Many have even boasted about their roles.” One of these has been Ebrahim Raisi, President Hassan Rouhani’s head of the Iranian judiciary.

Death Committee Member Appointed as Regime Judiciary Chief

The leader of Iran opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, has frequently criticized the move. In a recent Tweet, she wrote, “the Iranian regime has appointed Ebrahim Raisi, one of the most brutal agents of the 1988 massacre.” She continued, “in doing so, it has made a mockery of justice and trampled upon all legal and judicial standards.”

In Geneva, Stevenson continued, “despite this appalling record of human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, we still have EU governments that prefer to overlook these issues and seek to continue to sign trade deals as an act of craven appeasement of the vile Iranian regime.”

Many European heads of state have expressed a reluctance to follow the US’s lead in adopting strict economic sanctions against the regime. In what amounts to a gesture of placing profits ahead of human rights, France, Germany, and the UK are actively exploring ways to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

Stevenson concluded his address by saying, “appeasing and kowtowing to this brutal dictatorship is a historic mistake and a betrayal of the Iranian people. The mullahs must be held to account for their crimes. They cannot benefit from impunity.” He finished with a call to the UN. “The focus of the civilized world today is on the United Nations. Please heed the cries of the oppressed millions in Iran.”

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Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Families of Victims and International Experts Speak About Iranian Human Rights in Geneva

Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

The panel of speakers at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

On Thursday, March 7, the Iranian opposition gathered in Geneva for a conference on the Iranian regime’s human rights record throughout 2018. The Iranian people have endured four decades of regime rule. They have suffered barbaric and violent human rights abuses. But now they are making their voices heard and taking to the streets to say, ‘enough is enough’.

Ongoing Abuses

A recent Amnesty International report confirmed that the regime has arrested more than 7,000 members of the Iranian opposition over the past year, many being charged for their affiliation to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest of the Iranian opposition groups.

Remy Pagani, a Swiss politician, opened the conference by decrying these arrests. He told those gathered that “it is time that democracy moves forward, and human rights are respected in Iran.”

An Outraged Population

The Iranian people are doing all they can to move democracy forward. Protests break out across the country daily. Most recently, Iran’s teachers demonstrated over unpaid wages and the unlawful arrests of their peers. “After 40 years of clerical dictatorship, 80 million Iranians have had enough,” former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, Struan Stevenson said, “men and women, students, truck drivers… have taken to the streets in protest against [the] fascist mullahs’ regime.”

Aside from rampant human rights abuses, the economic decline caused by the mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances is galvanizing the population. Iran’s middle-class is shrinking. Inflation has skyrocketed. Iranian purchasing power has dropped dramatically, and many workers now struggle to make ends meet.

When Parviz Khazai addressed the conference, he criticized the mullahs’ wasteful spending that brought about the economic collapse of Iran. “The regime is at war with its own people but also at war against [the] Lebanese… it supports dictators, spending Iranian assets in the war against [the] people of the region and elsewhere,” he said.

At War With Its Own People

Khazai’s words couldn’t be more accurate. The regime has conducted a war against its own population. It is one of the most repressive states on earth and routinely tortures, hangs, and gouges out the eyes of its own population.

In 1988, the regime executed 30,000 members of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. Death squads rounded up dissidents and marched them to the gallows. Amnesty International recently released a report on the massacre, but it has been overlooked by the international community and the UN in recent years. This has been an ongoing issue, one that the Iranian opposition and their allies are calling to amend.

Taher Bumedra of the MEK said on the subject, “we hope the new rapporteur will continue to work on this issue and his next report will include this crime against humanity perpetrated by the mullahs’ regime in 1988.”

Inaction Only Emboldens the Regime

All the speakers were in agreement that inaction over the regime’s human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre, only serves to embolden the regime and continue their crimes. Bumedra added,

“if the UN does not take action on the massacres that took place in Iran, that will encourage the regime to continue its behavior.”

Waiting for the regime to investigate itself is not an option. Many of those involved in the 1988 massacre now hold senior positions in Rouhani’s government, including the head of the judiciary, which only serves to compound the trauma the families of the 1988 victims carry with them.

Alfred de Zayas, a former UN independent expert on democracy and equitable international order, called for an investigation into the crimes. He said the “mullahs should not have impunity.”

Women Bear the Brunt of the Regime’s Crimes

Today, women are among those that suffer most under the regime. In Geneva, Simin Nouri, the President of the Association of Iranian Women in France, shed light on the plight of Iranian women. She said 30 million women across the country now live in poverty, many of which are forced to turn to prostitution to make money to survive.

Because of this, women are at the forefront of the protests against the regime. They are an integral part of the Iranian resistance. Nouri said, “regime authorities have confessed that the main triggers to protests have been women rejecting all powers in the regime and its corruption and expansionism.”

Despite routine harassment, arbitrary arrest, and torture, the brave men and women of Iran continue to take to the streets to protest this vile and abhorrent regime. Nouri called on the international community to “support morally and physically the protestors in Iran.”

Abandoning the Most Vulnerable

Among all the regime’s deplorable acts, few are as violent and merciless as its treatment of Iran’s children. Victims are executed for crimes they committed as children, under the age of 18 and public executions leave young Iranians traumatized. Sahar Sanaie drew attention to their situation. She said, “children experience daily humiliation of their mothers and other women of their family.” Schools teach young girls they are inferior.

Later in the conference, the families of those executed at the hands of the regime were given the floor. They told heart-wrenching details about how 16-year-old and 18-year-old family members were executed for nothing more than holding political beliefs that differed from those of the mullahs.

One family member, Sima Mirzaie, said, “it is 40 years that my and other families have [had] no rest. We ask the UN to bring the perpetrators to be tried. It is our legal right to know what transpired with our loved ones.”

This brutal regime cannot be permitted to carry out these crimes without consequence and punishment. It is up to all of us to be the voice of those who have been killed by the regime and add our calls to those calling on the UN to launch a full investigation into the crimes of 1988, and those more recently. Without it, Iranian families will continue to struggle, not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

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Ashraf III, MEK's main residence in Albania

Struan Stevenson Calls Out the Western Media for Its Lies and Hit Pieces Against the MEK

Ashraf III, MEK's main residence in Albania

Ashraf III, the main place of residence of MEK members in Albania. The book “Ashraf III – Rising From The Ashes” debunks Iranian regime’s attempts to demonize the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK)

Struan Stevenson’s new book, ‘Ashraf III— Rising from the Ashes’ charts the regime’s attempts to demonize the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Speaking at a press conference, the former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) told reporters, “they [the regime] are providing some of the most ludicrous lies and slanders to the press.”

He called out the Guardian and the Independent, two British newspapers, for publishing these lies and falsehoods, and called a recent hit piece in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine “astonishing”. “Der Spiegel last December, admitted that one of their most famous sub-editors and journalists, Claas Relotius, had been writing fake stories made up of absolute fiction.” Stevenson lamented that even though Relotius was fired, “suddenly we see Der Spiegel published a long, ludicrous article about Ashraf III… claiming that, amongst other things, that three times a week PMOI (MEK) are being trained how to cut throats, gouge out eyes with their fingers and tear people’s mouths open.”

Stevenson describes how Der Spiegel’s unsupported and blatantly false claims were made all the worse as the magazine had been invited to visit Ashraf III, but editors rejected the invitation. Any print journalist would know that to carry out due diligence as a reporter and publish a piece with journalistic integrity, Der Spiegel had the responsibility to accept the MEK’s invitation and send reporters to Ashraf III. If they had, they would have immediately seen the claims for the lies and propaganda that they are.

Stevenson visited Ashraf III in 2018 and knows first hand what goes on in the camp.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Reporting in This Way Glosses Over the Mullahs’ Atrocities

“This kind of horrible fake news and attempts to blacken and demonize the PMOI (MEK) simply plays into the hands of the mullahs,” Stevenson continued. “Not a mention in that article about the human rights atrocities that go on, on a daily basis, not a mention of the 30,000 political prisoners summarily executed in 1988,” he added.

When it publishes hit pieces against the pro-democratic opposition, the international media ignores these atrocities and becomes little more than a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime, attacking the opposition and glossing over the regime’s own violent deeds.

A Muted Response from European Governments and Institutions

Stevenson doesn’t lay the blame squarely at the foot of the media, although it has a lot to answer for. His book is also heavily critical of Europe’s institutions. He criticizes Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, for what he calls, “her continued attempts to appease the mullahs” and ignore their blatant human rights abuses in Iran.

For Stevenson, her inaction has been inexcusable. “They [the mullahs] have used their own so-called diplomats in Europe to perpetrate acts of terrors, trying to commit atrocities on European soil!” he exclaimed.

“A Pivotal Moment in World History”

Europe’s inaction is particularly damning because Stevenson asserts, we are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Iranian regime. “We are witnessing the final collapse of the theocratic dictatorship in Iran,” he said, “I think it is a pivotal moment in world history.”

Stevenson asserts that Europe and international governments are faced with a choice; they can choose to back the violent dictatorship in their repression and human rights violations, or they can back the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and democracy.

Stevenson was clear about which side he would back. He concluded, “I know which side I am on, thank you very much.”

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Struan Stevenson-News Conference in London

Struan Stevenson Presents New Report on Regime’s Demonization Campaign against the MEK in Albania

Struan Stevenson-News Conference in London

The Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), former MEP (1999-2014), at a news conference in London, introducing a new book, titled, ‘ASHRAF III – Rising from the Ashes’ about the recent visit by a delegation of European MEPs to Ashraf III, the main residence of the MEK in Albania-March 5, 2019

On Tuesday, Struan Stevenson presented his new report, “Ashraf III – Rising From The Ashes,” at a press conference in London. Stevenson is a former Member of European Parliament, the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, and a longtime supporter of the MEK and has written extensively about Iran and the Western policy of appeasement toward the mullahs. His latest report describes the regime’s latest efforts to demonize the MEK through propaganda and eliminate the resistance organization through terrorist plots.

Terrorist Plots

During his remarks at the press conference, Stevenson discussed the Iranian regime’s escalating terrorist plots and propaganda attacks against the MEK under the leadership of “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani.

“The regime plotted to bomb a rally in Paris. I was at that rally. Several other terror plots were perpetrated by Iranian regime agents in Europe,” Stevenson said, describing the regime’s foiled terrorist plot on last year’s Free Iran rally outside of Paris, which targeted tens of thousands of MEK members and supporters, as well as hundreds of high-ranking politicians and dignitaries from all over the world. Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat, was arrested by German law enforcement for masterminding the attempted bombing and now awaiting trial in Belgium on terrorist charges. “But despite all that, we still have Europeans trying to sign trade deals with Iran as part of an appeasement policy,” Stevenson continued. “These countries have shamefully set up INSTEXT to bypass U.S. sanctions in a somewhat barter system.”

Recent Developments in Iran

Stevenson also spoke about recent political developments in Iran. “Only two days ago, Iran appointed Ebrahim Raisi, the notorious executioner of thousands only for their support for the PMOI/MEK. How on Earth can we have dialogue with a regime that appoints a man with such atrocities to head of judiciary?”

Raisi was a senior member of the “Death Committee” who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death in kangaroo courts during the summer of 1988. Over 30,000 people, most of whom were MEK members or supporters, were executed in the 1988 Massacre. No one has ever been held accountable for this crime against humanity.

Stevenson also addressed regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s recent resignation and reinstatement, saying, “The sudden resignation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the uprising show the fragile status of the regime. The insistence of Revolutionary Guards Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani on Zarif’s reinstatement show how these two figures are working together on the regime’s foreign terrorist organization.”

Ashraf III

The bulk of Stevenson’s remarks were devoted to the Ashraf III, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, and the regime’s attempts to demonize and destroy Ashraf through propaganda and outright terrorism.

“Following the airlift of over 2,000 Iranian dissidents [from Iraq to Albania], the mullahs couldn’t tolerate it and sent dozens of agents to Albania. The mullahs’ regime began planning bomb plots and assassinations in response,” Stevenson said. “Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and her people built a whole city in a matter of months. Ashraf. That is why I call it ‘rising from the ashes.’”

Stevenson described the role of British citizen Anne Singleton, who was recruited along with her husband, Masoud Khodabandeh, by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to spread false propaganda about the MEK in Albania. “Anne Singleton actually held a press conference in Albania, claiming to work for the UK government as an anti-terrorism expert. Two Londoners, Masoud Khodabandeh and his wife, Singleton, who have sinister records and have been seen outside Ashraf in Iraq planning rocket attacks on the residents, are now regularly visiting in Albania,” Stevenson explained.

Stevenson concluded his remarks by stating the mission of the MEK members living in Albania and their goals for helping the people of Iran to establish a free Iran. “The people of Iran now look to the organized opposition [the PMOI and the NCRI] as the harbingers of a future of democracy, justice, and peace. The fortitude and stamina of PMOI [MEK] members in Albania has acted as a beacon of hope for the 80 million beleaguered citizens of Iran who hope and pray for freedom from oppression,” he emphasized. He went on to say, “The Iranian people have lost their fear and are demanding regime change. We have a regime that has executed 4,000 only during the so-called moderate Rouhani’s tenure. After 40 years of dictatorship, today 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

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Struan Stevenson holds his book "Self Sacrifice"

Struan Stevenson:Good news, The Opposition is Headed By a Charismatic Female Leader Maryam Rajavi

Struan Stevenson holds his book "Self Sacrifice"

Struan Stevenson, Former MEP and the Coordinator of Campaign for Iran Change, holds his book on his experience with MEK.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Struan Stevenson, a former member of the European Parliament (MEP) and frequent Iran commentator wrote his latest piece for UPI. His op-ed called on women in the West to lend their support to Iranian women in their fight to break free from the repressive policies of the Iranian regime.

Stevenson calls Iranian women, “among the most repressed in the world, ruled by a regime dominated by elderly, bearded misogynists.”

For this reason, Iranian women have played a central role in the Iranian opposition movement. They have been central figures in the protest movement that has swept across all 31 of Iran’s provinces. “Female teachers, medical staff, students, factory workers, and pensioners have taken to the streets to demand an end to corruption, and an end to discrimination and repression and an end to the clerical regime’s aggressive military adventurism across the Missile East,” Stevenson writes.

Leading Figures in the Calls for Regime Change

The largest voices in the calls for Iranian regime change come from the most influential and popular opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Within the MEK, many of the senior leadership is made up of women. Its leader, the president-elect Maryam Rajavi, is also female and is held in high esteem by political figures from around the world.

Women, in particular, have been mobilized by the regime’s repressive policies and discriminatory practices towards women. Stevenson describes some of these laws, “in Iran, women are considered the property of their closest male relative and have no legal rights. Girls of 9 can be married off by their parents.”

In the Iranian legal system, evidence provided by a woman is worth half that provided by a man. As a result, women cannot charge a man with rape unless they have four credible witnesses, a near impossibly high standard.

A Violent and Aggressive Brand of Fundamentalism

Prior to the 1979 revolution that brought the mullahs and their regime to power, Khomeini criticized the Shah’s permissive attitude towards women voting. He cited an extremist interpretation of Islamic teaching and called gender equality a “defiance of some of the explicit commandments of the Qoran.”

Following the revolution, as expected, Khomeini retracted many women’s rights. The regime prevents females riding bicycles, forces them to wear the hijab, and scrutinized the way they dress.

Under the clerical regime, gender violence has drastically increased. Stevenson says, “girls who were deemed to be improperly dressed in the street have suffered horrific acid attacks and stabbings, in assaults openly condoned by the mullahs.” Even something as innocuous as dancing or singing on social media can be enough to get a girl flogged or fined.

Women Around the World Should Stand with Iran’s Women

In a public statement, the former first lady of Algeria, Anissa Boumediene pledged her support to Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. The statement read, “yes, we stand with you Maryam, as we stand with all our Iranian sisters in your fierce fight seeking to free Iranian women from what enchains and imprisons them.”

Stevenson concludes, “her words should resonate in the West, where female politicians and activists must show solidarity with their oppressed and brutalized Iranian sisters.” They can do this by pledging support to Maryam Rajavi and the MEK, who are fighting tirelessly for freedom, gender equality, and democratic secularism for Iran to give the nation’s daughters a brighter future.

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Book on Ashraf III-MEK residence in Albania

New Book on the MEK and Ashraf III

Book on Ashraf III-MEK residence in Albania

Struan Stevenson Publishes New Book on the MEK and the new residence of the MEK in Albania, Ashraf III .

Struan Stevenson, a former Member of European Parliament representing Scotland and longtime supporter of the MEK, has written a new book, Ashraf III, Rising from the Ashes: Iranian Opposition Terrifies Tehran Rulers. The book, which describes the widespread protest movement currently taking place in Iran that threatens to topple the theocratic regime, also details the regime’s efforts to demonize the MEK over the past forty years and its numerous attempts to destroy the organization through missile strikes, smear campaigns, and terrorist plots.

The book’s main focus is the MEK’s struggle to find a safe haven, first at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, then at Camp Liberty in Iraq, and finally at Ashraf 3 in Albania. Thousands of members of the MEK lived in exile at Camp Ashraf and Liberty from 1986 until 2017. After the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, the MEK camp was targeted by repeated deadly missile strikes. These strikes were ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the behest of the Iranian regime. After years of negotiations and deteriorating conditions, the Albanian government agreed to allow the MEK to move its headquarters to Tirana.

Ashraf 3: A New Beginning

The new MEK camp, Ashraf 3, is home to 3,000 MEK members, all of whom have a personal stake in working toward the goal of a free Iran. These “Ashrafis” have worked tirelessly to a home for the Iranian Resistance.

Struan Stevenson visited Ashraf 3 last year, along with two other MEPs, Tunne Kelam & Jaromir Stetina. The delegation toured the camp and spoke to the residents there about their stories and motivations for working for the Resistance.

MEP Describes Visit to MEK’s Residence -Ashraf 3

Stevenson described Ashraf 3 after his visit last year in a piece for UPI. He wrote: “These hard-working and resilient freedom fighters have constructed a small city with shops, clinics, sports facilities, kitchens, bakeries, dormitory blocks, meeting halls, offices, and studios.”

In his book, Stevenson writes about the efforts the Ashrafis have made to forge relationships with the Albanian community. He emphasizes the resilience of the MEK members in rebuilding their home after decades of attacks by the Iranian regime. Ashraf 3, says Stevenson, serves as a beacon of hope to the 80 million Iranian citizens who pray for freedom from oppression. The people of Iran see the MEK as the only viable democratic alternative to the theocratic regime, and the Ashrafis take this responsibility seriously.

Chaos in Iran

Stevenson’s report describes the current unrest in Iran that has arisen since the widespread uprising by the Iranian people in late 2017. The book details the regime’s response to the protests, which has included a massive crackdown on any political activity. Stevenson discusses the arrests, executions, imprisonment, and intimidation of the Iranian people and the failure of the regime to respond to the concerns of the protesters. He also shows how the regime has increased its efforts to censor social media and access to the Internet, as well as its demonization campaign against the MEK.

Stevenson also criticizes Federica Mogherini, the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs, for her failure to address the regime’s human rights abuses.

Struan Stevenson’s book may be purchased from Amazon.com.
ASHRAF III, RISING FROM THE ASHES: Iranian Opposition Terrifies Tehran Rulers; A European Delegation Report Paperback – February 2019

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Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson: The Iranian People Have Lost Their Fear

Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson, former MEP from Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change

Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC), published a piece in the Riyadh Daily news outlet on the shifting global attitudes towards the Iranian regime.

The former MEP outlined how recent state-sponsored terror attacks on European soil have garnered the Iranian regime opponents in the international community. He also traces the development of the protest movement within Iran over the past twelve months and illustrates the increasing uncertainty surrounding the mullahs’ future in power.

A Growing Protest Movement

“The uprising, involving hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens, has raged for more than 13 months in towns and cities across Iran,” he begins. All walks of Iranian life have risked their lives and their freedom to exercise their right to protest the regime’s corruption, pillaging, and brutal use of violence.

 

Struan Stevenson describes how the Iranian regime has “stolen Iran’s wealth, oppressed its 80 million people, over half of whom are under thirty, and waged proxy wars across the Middle East.” “Poverty is widespread,” he says, and “people now struggle to feed their families against a backdrop of power cuts, water shortages, and soaring food prices.”

Protests have racked Iran’s key industries as truck drivers, pensioners, teachers, factory workers, farmers, and investors have taken to the streets to protest the regime’s abuse of power and economic mismanagement.

Instead of taking steps to remedy the dire economic situation, the regime has deployed agents and used its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to quell the protests. Struan asserts that the regime has murdered dozens of protestors and arrested “over twelve thousand,” “but the Iranian people have lost their fear. They are openly demanding regime change,” he added.

Economic Decline

Iran’s economy has been in freefall as the Iranian regime and its Supreme Leader Khamenei has funneled millions of dollars abroad to foreign militias and terrorist groups across the Middle East. The IRGC and Quds Forces are active in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza. In Lebanon alone, the regime pours some $750 million annually, much of it flowing into Hezbollah’s coiffures.

The Iranian people have made it clear that they will no longer foot the bill for these foreign ventures.

The Regime Lashes Out

As its grip on power weakens, the regime has responded by lashing out. In 2018, the mullahs orchestrated a string of terror attacks on European soil against the Iranian opposition. In June, Belgian authorities detained a Belgian-Iranian couple travelling to Paris in a car laden with homemade explosives. An Iranian diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was found to have provided the couple with the explosive material.

There were similar plots planned against the opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), in the US, Albania, Denmark, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

The moves left Iran further isolated on the international stage. In December, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador to the country on the grounds that they posed a significant security risk to the country. “They had been openly plotting assassination and terror activities targeting the 2,500 MEK opposition members” living in the country, Stevenson writes.

The move earnt the Albanian president, Edi Rama, praise from President Trump, who hailed his bravery in the face of Iranian aggression.

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

 

In a display of Iranian isolation, the US government has scheduled a conference to take place in Warsaw in February. More than 90 world leaders will meet in Poland to discuss the Iranian terror campaign and the best way to deal with the Iranian threat.

The Opposition Grows Stronger

Meanwhile, the Iranian opposition is growing stronger. The MEK is present in “virtually every town and city in Iran,” Stevenson writes. These members coordinate protests, distribute leaflets, and world tirelessly opposing the mullahs’ cruelty and corruption in an effort to secure a free Iran.

“It is clear that in the MEK there is a credible opposition movement ready and prepared to restore peace, freedom and justice to Iran’s 80 million citizens,” Stevenson concludes. “The West must recognize this fact and provide their full support to the new revolution.”

 

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Struan Stevenson speaking at a seminar on situation of human rights in Iran after the recent uprisings.

Struan Stevenson: “The Time is Right For the EU to Follow America’s Example”

Struan Stevenson speaking at a seminar on situation of human rights in Iran after the recent uprisings.

Archive Photo-Struan Stevenson, addressing a symposium at the European headquarter of the United Nations, on the situation of human rights in Iran after the uprising in last December-March 2018

In Mr. Stevenson’s most recent op-ed, he calls time on appeasement and advocates a tougher stance towards the Iranian regime. Writing for UPI, Stevenson says, “it is time for the EU to pull out of the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

As a former Scottish Member of the European Parliament and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, Struan Stevenson is well-versed in the decades-old policy of appeasement Western governments have long adopted towards the Iranian government.

Pro-democratic campaigners have often criticized the deal, which led to the release of $150 billion in frozen assets and saw the lifting of economic sanctions against the clerical regime.

This money, Stevenson argues, enabled the theocratic state to redouble its funding of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the brutal Shi’ia militants in Iraq, etc.

Under president Trump, the US government has recognized the deep flaws in the agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it, “a failed strategic bet that fell short of protecting the American people or our allies from the potential of an Iranian nuclear weapon.” He described how “Iran’s destabilizing behavior has grown bolder under the deal” and asked, “every nation who is sick and tired of the Islamic Republic’s destructive behavior to join our pressure campaign.”

The United State’s “pressure campaign” has seen the withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear deal and the reintroduction of economic sanctions against the Iranian regime. However, Europe has as of yet been reluctant to follow suit.

A Campaign of Terror on European Soil

Europe’s inaction has occurred despite a bloody and ruthless campaign of state-sponsored terror that the Iranian regime has launched on European soil. 2018 saw a string of terror incidents plotted by Iranian regime agents on European soil, the most serious of which saw a Belgian-Iranian couple carry 500 grams of improvised explosives and a detonator to Paris in an attempt to attack members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), and their allies.

“Similar terror plots were uncovered in Albania, where Iran’s newly appointed ambassador and first secretary were found to be leading Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents,” Stevenson writes.

MEK members in Europe have been subject to a spate of regime-orchestrated planned terror attacks, indicating a complete lack of respect for the sovereign rights of European nations and total disregard for the safety of European citizens.

Stevenson writes,

“despite clear evidence that Iranian embassies in Europe were being used as terrorist bomb factories, EU lawmakers on July 5… approved plans for the European Investment Bank to do business with the ruling theocracy in Iran.”

No gesture better encapsulates Europe’s dedication to appeasement than this. However, there are signs of cooling attitudes towards the Iranian regime.

Shifting Attitudes

Diplomats from France, the UK, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands held a meeting in Tehran in early January. They reportedly informed senior members of the Iranian leadership that the EU could not tolerate sustained ballistic missile testing and assassination attempts on European soil.

The meeting did not go well. According to Stevenson, Iranian officials stormed out of the room and slammed the door.

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

Stevenson concludes, “clearly the mullahs are deeply perplexed. A state of total confusion has persisted ever since Trump tore up the nuclear deal and re-imposed tough sanctions.” He added, “the time is right for the EU to follow America’s example and pull the plug on the nuclear deal.”

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Eueropean delegation participate at a conference in Tirana, Albania, discussing the Iranian regime's rise in terrorist activities in Europe.

Former Scottish MEP Describes His Visit to Ashraf 3 in Albania and the Regime’s Vicious Misinformation Campaign

Eueropean delegation participate at a conference in Tirana, Albania, discussing the Iranian regime's rise in terrorist activities in Europe.

Conference held in Ashraf3, the residence of MEK in Albania. A delegation from the European Parliament give their accounts on the Iranian regime’s terrorism in Europe and their campaign of disinformation, after visiting Ashraf3

The former Scottish member of the European Parliament (MEP), Struan Stevenson recently wrote a piece for UPI exposing the full extent of the Iranian regime’s misinformation campaign to vilify and demonize the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK).

Leaving Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty

Stevenson traces the MEK’s exodus from Iraq in 2013 when the first Iranian dissidents arrived in Albania. They were “plucked to safety from the hell they endured in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty”, he writes.

The Iranian regime had launched a campaign to liquify the camps and slaughter the MEK. In deadly attacks on Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, the regime killed 168, injuring more than 1,700.

Around 3,000 MEK members escaped the ordeal and were airlifted to Albania. Once there, the UN High Commission for Refugees granted them special accommodation in the Albanian capital, Tirana, where they found respite and safety.

“The Iranian mullahs were appalled”, Stevenson writes, “their attempts to liquidate the MEK… had been thwarted”. Now the mullahs became obsessed with preventing the Iranian opposition from establishing another Camp like Camp Ashraf on foreign soil.

A Campaign of Demonization

Almost immediately the mullahs embarked on a campaign designed to demonize the MEK. Their intention was to attack the MEK in the Western media, thereby legitimizing its frequent use of violence against the resistance group and hoping Western governments would believe their lies and deny MEK members sanctuary on their soil.

The regime has orchestrated extensive social media campaigns aimed at spreading misinformation. In its most recent campaign, Twitter was forced to close 770 regime-linked accounts. Many accounts pretended to be foreign journalists and citizens, publishing regime-affiliated, anti-MEK content.

Alongside this vicious demonization campaign were violent attacks against the MEK and its members. In June, a regime plot to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering even in Paris was exposed. Similar attacks were also planned against MEK members in Albania and the US.

Taking Measures into their own Hands

Before long, the MEK members living in Albania realized that to protect themselves, they had to take matters into their own hands.

Stevenson writes, “the MEK refugees had purchased some farmland near Manez and began the hurried construction of living accommodation.” They accommodation became Ashraf 3, a fortified compound where MEK members could live in peace, protected by security, and come and go as they pleased.

Stevenson had the opportunity to spend three days at this new facility. He writes, “these hard-working and resilient freedom fighters have constructed a small city with shops, clinics, sports facilities, kitchens, bakeries, dormitory blocks, meeting halls, offices and studios”.

His description stands in stark contrast to the picture the mullahs paint of the compound. They suggest it is like a prison where members are forced to remain against their will and even basic human rights are violated.

“They claim that defectors are tortured and even murdered”, Stevenson writes, “it is an absurdity”.

The Story of Somayeh Mohammadi

One of the most deceitful stories promoted and disseminated by the Iranian regime is that of Somayeh Mohammadi. The regime leadership asserts that the 38-year-old is being detained in the camp against her will.

“I met Somayeh on my visit on my visit to Ashraf 3”, Stevenson describes. “She was alone and unaccompanied by the “minders” that her father claims always accompany her”.

Stevenson went on to describe how Somayeh told him that she had disavowed her father many years ago when it became apparent he had become an agent of the regime. She told Stevenson that she is free to leave the compound whenever she so desires, adding that she is a “proud and committed member of the MEK”.

Countering the Mullahs Disinformation

Stevenson called on Western media outlets to be more discerning in their publishing of reports attacking the MEK. He described how a recent national newspaper in the UK published a three-page article attacking the group and furthering the mullah’s vile objectives.

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

The same article appeared on a pro-regime website weeks before it appeared in print, demonstrating that the source of the article was not the Guardian itself, but a pro-mullah group.

Stevenson writes, “it is for me a great sadness that there are journalists today who ignore… the truth, preferring instead to abuse and traduce men and women who have given up their professional careers and family life to devote themselves to the cause of ending oppression and tyranny in Iran”.

Stevenson concluded with messages of hope and optimism. “But no one will be fooled”, he proclaimed. “When this evil dictatorship is toppled, history will record the names of those journalists who played this dishonest game in a roll call of shame”.

Staff Writer

 

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The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

Delegation from European Parliament Meets with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana

The European Parliament delegation meets with Maryam Rajavi

A delegation consists of 2 MEPs and the former chair of European Parliament’s official Delegation for Relations with Iraq meet with Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition

On Sunday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), met with a delegation of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Tirana to discuss Ashraf 3, the MEK camp in Albania. They also discussed the ongoing protests in Iran.

Members of the delegation included Tunne Kelam, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of Friends of a Free Iran inter-parliamentary group, Jaromir Stetina, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense, and Struan Stevenson, Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change.

The meeting with the delegation from European Parliament followed a statement of support for the Iranian Resistance from 150 MEPs written earlier this month. The statement described the widespread protests that have taken place in Iran since December of last year, saying, “The social atmosphere is volatile, and people demand fundamental change. The regime’s officials have acknowledged the role of “resistance units” of the opposition PMOI [MEK] in organizing protests and nationwide strikes.”

The statement went on to describe the regime’s efforts to defeat the MEK and the Iranian Resistance through terrorist acts: “Unable to defeat the protesters at home, the regime launched a new wave of terrorism against the democratic opposition activists in Europe and in the United States.”

The MEPs concluded their statement with a call to action: “We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its terror plots and expel Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives from Europe. We must also condition our relations with Iran to an improvement of human rights and women’s rights, and a halt to executions.”

The EP delegation noted the statement from earlier this month and affirmed their support of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance.

Mr. Tunne Kelam expressed his admiration for the MEK members at Ashraf 3 during the meeting, noting their “wonderful advances in building this place in such a short period of time and on the other hand, their livelihood and joy.” He added, “To me, this is a promise that the people of Iran will achieve their freedom.”

Kelam also congratulated Mrs. Rajavi on the MEK’s progress, saying, “Your movement has set a new moral, political and democratic standard, something that gives you the power to confront the medieval, fundamentalist regime ruling Iran.
At the same time, Mrs. Rajavi and the PMOI [MEK] have provided moral and political inspiration for hundreds of European political leaders in supporting PMOI’s [MEK’s] struggle for freedom in Iran. European politicians have been encouraged to take a strong and principled political stand versus the appeasement policy.”

Mr. Stetina pointed out that the MEK and the NCRI enjoys broad support from MEPs from different political groups, saying that these groups “are confident that Iran’s future is tied to this Resistance and to you, personally.” He went on to say, “This is why the Iranian regime has once again resorted to terrorism. Their ill-fated terrorist attempts in Albania, France, and the U.S. clearly show that the Iranian regime views this movement as its main existential threat. When it cannot defeat the PMOI and the NCRI by suppression and terror, it moves full force to deploy the mercenaries and “reporters” it has trained to demonize the Resistance and carry out smear campaigns. This is something that we have very well experienced in the European Parliament.

Mr. Stevenson pointed out that the regime is faltering and cannot continue to rule. “The emphases by the leader, president and other officials of the regime leave no doubts on the role of the PMOI in advancing the popular uprisings. Therefore, there is nothing strange for us that their slander machine has been put to work at its highest speed. These efforts are in vain and will not deceive anyone,” he said.

Mrs. Rajavi thanked the MEPs for their support of the Iranian Resistance and explained the current situation in Iran. “Despite massive repression, widespread arrests and murders in detention projected as suicides,” she said, “the Iranian people’s uprisings have continued ever since they started in the final days of last year, becoming ever more organized. The growing trend of strikes, protests, and demonstrations by workers, farmers, and other toiling sectors have sounded the alarm bells for the regime, bringing closer the prospects of victory of freedom and democracy over the dark religious tyranny that has invaded our homeland for four decades.”

Staff Writer

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