Posts Tagged ‘Struan Stevenson’

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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”.

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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.”

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Disinformation by MOIS,Disinformation Campaign,MEK,MOIS,PMOI,Struan Stevenson

The Guardian news paper used by the Iranian regime to demonize its main democratic opposition

The Guardian Spreads the Iranian Regime’s Propaganda

The Guardian news paper used by the Iranian regime to demonize its main democratic opposition

The Iranian Communities and supporters of the MEK, express outrage over the demonization campaign by the Guardian in-favor of Iran’s dictatorship

Following the Guardian’s publication of Aaron Merat’s article attacking the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the Iranian resistance and its allies lined up to condemn the piece.

The British newspaper published the 3-page piece on Friday, November 9th. It targeted the MEK and its allies and spouted the regime’s lies and falsehoods to demonize Iran’s political opposition.

Aaron Merat is far from an impartial journalist. He has close ties to the Iranian regime and has an extensive history of publishing articles sympathetic to the Islamic Republic and attacking its political opponents.

The Backlash

Struan Stevenson, the Coordinator of Campaign for Iran Change and former member of the European Parliament (MEP), wrote an open letter to the Guardian expressing his concerns over the article’s publication. He challenged the assertions in Merat’s article and said they had been “lifted directly from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

Stevenson’s letter questioned Merat’s ability to perform objective journalism on the subject. “He lacks the minimum journalistic standards regarding the issue of the Iranian regime and its opposition. His interviews and opinions during the run-up to the “presidential election” of the clerical regime, as well as his articles and tweets against the PMOI [MEK] are available and well-publicized”, he wrote.

He also called the article’s allegations, “so wide of the mark that it brings to mind Voltaire’s statement: ‘those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities’”.

Regime Ties

Merat’s ties to the Iranian regime were evident in the manner in which he carried out research for his article. Merat visited the MEK’s residence in Albania in August. Two MOIS agents reported extensively on the visit, indicating that they had received a copy of Merat’s notes.

On the day Merat’s article was published on the Guardian site, the article was also translated within hours and posted across regime-controlled websites. This also indicates that Merat had provided the MOIS with a copy of his article prior to publication.

A Climate of Fear

The article, for all of its lies and falsehoods, does offer a glimpse into one aspect of Iran’s political climate. It demonstrates the mullahs’ fear of the MEK and its need to vilify and demonise the group internationally.

The MEK played a major role in the organisation and execution of the nationwide protests in December and January, a role that was acknowledged by the regime’s Supreme Leader.

https://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-resistance/25492-the-guardian-demonises-iran-s-democratic-opposition-to-the-benefit-of-the-ruling-regime

The MEK also enjoys extensive support across Europe and the United States. Its annual Grand Gathering event draws crowds of more than 100,000 people, including former politicians from France, the UK, the US, Germany, and Canada.

In an attempt to curb the rise of the MEK the mullahs have spent millions on demonization campaigns across the Middle East region and beyond. It has also orchestrated several terror plots against the MEK and its members. A recent plot to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering event with a car laden with explosives was foiled in the final stages by European law enforcement.

With the introduction of the latest round of sanction, the Iranian regime is in a panic. The Guardian article can be seen as a knee-jerk response to rising inflation, increasing public unrest, and the rising clamour for regime change inside Iran.

Iran Human Rights Monitor has documented an increase in executions and human rights abuses within Iran as the mullahs attempt to get a grip on the situation.

Aiding and Abetting the Iranian Terror Machine

In publishing an article like Aaron Merat’s on Friday, the Guardian is aiding and abetting the Iranian terror network by legitimizing its attacks on the MEK. It also discredits itself as a bastion of free and independent journalism.

The mullahs use of the international press to attack its opponents will not save them. The regime’s days are numbered. Strikes are spreading across the country as a result of the repressive and inhumane policies of the ruling elite, while the regime is engulfed by deadly crises, Iran’s key sectors are crippled, and the national economy is only set to further decline.

The Iranian people are ready for change. No amount of regime propaganda in the international media can change their minds.

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Struan Stevenson holds his book "Self Sacrifice"

The mullahs begin to panic in the face of a disintegrating nuclear deal

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, “Self Sacrifice”.

On June 6th, UPI published an article from Struan Stevenson entitled, “Iran’s mullahs press the panic button”. In the article, Struan Stevenson describes the anxiety and panic evident in the Iranian regime following the collapse of the nuclear deal.

Following the US withdrawal from the deal, European companies faced a decision: continue trading with Iran and risk the wrath of the US State Department or follow suit and cut ties. As it looks increasingly inevitable that European companies are going to follow the lead of the US, Stevenson suggests that the mullahs have “pressed the panic button”.

Mitigating Losses

In a desperate attempt to salvage the deal, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif pleaded with the EU to “make up for Iran’s losses”. His comments were echoed by the supreme leader Khamenei.

Khamenei initiated work on a new centrifuge-assembly center. The site at Natanz was one of the many top-secret nuclear sites exposed by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

The Flawed Deal

The nuclear deal that Khamenei and the mullahs are so desperately trying to save was flawed from the outset. It removed sanctions against the Iranian regime and unlocked more than US$150 billion in financing for the regime. Rather than spend this money investing in its people or economic future, instead the regime plowed the money into destabilizing the Middle East. The Iranian regime exported their Quds Force and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to carry out their brand of violence and terrorism in other conflicts in the region.

The violent, terror groups have been present in the Syrian and Iraq conflicts. According to Stevenson, the Iranian regime has also funneled funds to Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Violence at Home

The regime’s brand of violence and repression has not only been present abroad. At home, the mullahs used the money to crack down on dissidents and public protests. In his article, Stevenson described how recent months have seen vast uprisings taking place across Iran, involving truck drivers, civil servants, teachers, investors, and laborers.

The regime’s response has been brutal. Hundreds of dissidents have been killed and executed. More than 8,000 have been arrested and detained by the regime, several of which have been tortured while in custody.

Human rights organizations have condemned the Iranian clerical regime. Iran now leads the world in state executions per capita, with more than half of global state executions taking place on Iranian soil. The situation has deteriorated so much that seven Iranian prisoners wrote an open letter to the government, risking their lives by calling hanging “murder by the government, in all circumstances”.

European silence

Despite the appalling situation in Iran and destabilizing effect the regime is having on the wider Middle East region, European governments have been reluctant to cut ties with the Iranian regime. Stevenson says European companies “will secure new, rich business deals, while political prisoners dangle from the gallows.” The EU seems content to put financial gain above Iranian human rights, he emphasized.

Stevenson, as well as the MEK and the leader of Iran opposition, Maryam Rajavi, have urged the EU to acknowledge the severity of the situation in Iran. The Iranian regime brokers terrorism across the Middle East, causing thousands of deaths both in Iran and abroad.

The nuclear deal was inadequate. It gave concessions to the regime but failed to prevent them advancing their nuclear ambitions or curbing their missile programs. Stevenson finished his article by urging the European nations to back the Iranian people instead of the regime. He said, “we should back the Iranian people who want rid of this fascist dictatorship and who yearn for Iran to become a peaceful and prosperous partner in the global family of nations.”

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