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  • Masoud Dalvand 6:59 pm on 11 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Senator Ted Cruz,   

    OIAC held a congressional briefing in the U.S. Senate, to discuss the rise of domestic suppression and regional aggression by Tehran. 

    On November 6, 2019, Organization of the Iranian American Communities (OIAC), held a congressional briefing in the U.S. Senate, to discuss the rise of domestic suppression and regional aggression by Tehran as anti-regime protests spread in Iran and intensify in Iraq and Lebanon. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Chairman of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, addressed the event. Other speakers included Soona Samsami, Ambassador Robert Joseph, Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, and Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan.

    In his keynote remarks, Senator Cruz applauded the struggle for democracy in Iran and said “The government of Iran has been under a shroud of darkness for decades now. The Ayatollah Khamenei and the mullahs enforce brutal repression on the people. And I will say to the Iranian people, to the men and women of Iran: America is with you. America is with you and your struggle against cruel, oppressive, torturing, murderous tyrants. Freedom matters. I believe we can one day again have a free Iran, not with the Ayatollah in power.”

    The Texas senator added that “Two things are happening. One, the regime is afraid of its people and this is the word of encouragement that I want to give the men and women here: Dictatorships can seem very, very strong until suddenly they’re not. The Ayatollah and the mullahs are terrified of the people. They’re terrified of truth. And as they lose the billions that have been funding their repressive regime, they are more and more vulnerable to the people demanding freedom. But secondly, in the process, we’ve seen them lashing out. We’ve seen them carry out acts of war attacking their neighbors, Saudi Arabia, attacking the oil facilities there and doing major damage to their production capability. Unequivocal act of war carried out by Iran, lashing out as the regime is becoming desperate to hold on to power… the Ayatollah and the mullahs are much, much weaker than many believe at the time.”

    “The Obama Iranian nuclear deal was the most profoundly fool-hearted foreign policy deal of the modern age, giving billions of dollars to an ayatollah who is laughing and proclaiming his intent to wage war with that money. The government of Iran is the world’s number one and leading state sponsor of terrorism. Those dollars under the Obama Iran nuclear deal went straight to murdering Americans, to murdering American servicemen and women, to murdering innocent civilians, and to murdering our friends and allies,” remarked Senator Cruz regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

    Senator John Boozman recognized the great work of the Iranian community in the state of Arkansas and their effort to raise public awareness on the situation in Iran adding how it is important to make the connection across the United States by sharing the personal stories of Iranian diaspora. He said, “I welcome you being here to talk about the importance on how to move forward and continue the pressure on the regime in Iran.”

    Ms. Soona Samsami, US representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), emphasized how “the mullahs have stepped up repression and executions in Iran, and export of terrorism and warmongering in the region. Unfortunately, decades of silence and inaction vis-à-vis the regime’s aggressions had emboldened the mullahs.” She added the “moment has now arrived for the elected representatives of the American people to declare their unequivocal support for the Iranian people’s demand to overthrow the clerical regime and to hold its officials accountable for their crimes and terrorism.”

    Ambassador Robert Joseph also acknowledged how the people of Iraq and Lebanon “are fed up with the endemic corruption, the repression, and the malfeasance of the Iran-backed political order.” He added, the “MEK’s presence at the center of the NCRI – the opposition’s parliament-in-exile, makes the NCRI a viable and formidable alternative to the mullah’s tyranny. The very existence of this alternative, and its platform of a free, democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Iran, represents an existential threat to the clerical dictatorship that controls the people of Iran through fear and brutality.”

    Ambassador Ginsberg noted that the Iranian people, just like the people of Iraq and Lebanon “want to see this regime gone.” He added the mullahs’ regime “has fed its terrorist activities on the backs of the Iranian people and we hope that when next year rolls around this regime will no longer be in a position to engage in the activities that it is engaging.”

    Ambassador Bloomfield stressed how the Iranian regime has been considered as the most active state sponsor of terrorism by the State Department since 1984. Detailing the regime’s tactics at home and abroad, he added in Iran “we have seen the nationwide protests calling for political change since December 2017. And now we see people taking to the streets in Lebanon and Iraq – in both cases, demanding that they have a constitutional government free from Iranian influence.”
    Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan noted the “Iranian people will be the architects of the next Iranian Revolution” adding his assessment of the MEK in their new home at Ashraf 3 in Albania as a “cohesive, organized political opposition movement, with a long history of struggle against fundamentalism and dictatorship, guided by gifted female leadership, with a well-defined political platform, and an intricate network of passionate supporters inside Iran and across the world eager to topple the regime from within.”

    The policy briefing was organized by the Iranian American communities of Texas in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso, and Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri, both members of the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC), the largest, most active and enduring grass root organization of Iranian-Americans in the United States.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:14 pm on 10 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Destruction of Forests in Iran, Environment of Iran,   

    Iran’s Forests Fall Victim to Government Mismanagement and Plundering 

    Iranian forests are being transformed into deserts as a consequence of nonstandard highway building, destroying the forests for the plundering of the ground resources,

    burying thousands of tons of rubbish and waste into the forests, unnecessary timber harvesting, wood smuggling and outbreaks of tree diseases. All are evidence of the destruction caused by the Iranian regime, which is destroying this national and global wealth.

    Large parts of the forests of Hyrcani, Zagros, Arasbaran, and Iran’s southern forests have dried up.

    The forest area of ​​the country was estimated at about 18 million hectares, which was destroyed by the Iranian government during the rule of 40 years. Until today, some seven million hectares have been destroyed, and now only 11 million hectares are left.

    Land-use change, vilification, and deforestation are problems that threaten Iran’s forests; Iranian forests are endangered by a variety of dangers, directly from the plundering of the Iranian government.

    In a shocking confession, the Majlis News Agency reported: “About 100,000 hectares of forests are exposed to destruction and desertification annually.”

    Who is doing this? How can truckloads of cut trees pass through different areas and police stations and without anyone taking notice? In truth, many photographs were taken by people showing this theft of nature and the trafficking of trees.

    The mayor of Ghadamgah city in Khorasan Razavi province said: “We are paying the price for cutting the trees so that the Razavi’s monument should be seen from the crossroad. This was a mistake from the beginning.”

    The eradication of the trees prompted a public outcry: “Why did the municipality ruthlessly cut the trees from 7 pm to 1 o’clock after midnight? … These were trees which each had an age of 30 years; why did the Ministry of Environment allow the cutting of these trees.”

    The mayor of Ghadamgah went one step further in response to the concerns and protests of the people of the city, claiming, for fear of more protests, that “one of these trees crashed due to wind and a car impact last year, and last year again one of the trees fell down because berry beetle had destroyed it, and while one of the residents tried to pick berries, the tree broke and fell down.”

    A member of the Board of Agriculture of the Iranian Parliament admitted: “In many countries, the environment is considered a natural resource and long-term and short-term plans have been put in place for its protection. In our country, poor performance has resulted in the loss of at least six million hectares of natural land. If no action is taken to prevent the death of the country’s forests, the whole ecosystem of the forest will be lost, and the country will move towards desertification more rapidly.” (State-run news agency Khaneyeh Melat)

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:11 am on 10 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Garbage collector children: Iran’s modern slavery 

    Iranian children collect and sort garbage for a living

    Iran, November 9, 2019—In one of the corners of Shar-e Rey, south of Tehran, there’s a garbage lot that has become very important to a group of locals who make their living from sorting trash and—if lucky—find something valuable or edible. Sadly, most of these people are young children who are struggling to survive the deteriorating living conditions in Iran.

    But recently, the state-run ISNA news agency reported, “On October 16, a number of garbage lots in Ashraf Abad of Shar-e Rey were destroyed. The destruction took place without prior notice and no one officially assumed responsibility for it. After the destruction of the garbage lots, the garbage collectors were forced to spend several nights in the neighboring deserts.”

    The news outlet added, “The destruction of the lot took place while the municipality mafia was charging ever garbage collector child 35 million rials for access to the lot and 5-7 million rials for renting them small shacks to live in.”

    Trash children are not in Shar-e Rey alone. This is a phenomenon that has become all too common in every city and town in Iran.

    Without a doubt, the fate of the poor children of Iran is one of the most tragic results of the 40-year corrupt rule of the mullahs. These are children who have no bright future and, instead of spending their days in classrooms and their nights in the warm shelter of their families, are forced to go exhausting and humiliating work to make ends meet.

    After destroying the lives of porters and fuel porters, the Iranian regime is now trampling the lives of garbage collector children. While the regime lays waste to the lives and makeshift homes of poor Iranian children who live in trash pits, its authorities are making a lot of money from exploiting them.

    In one of the many confessions and disclosures Iranian regime officials and state-run media make in their rivalries, the Mehr news agency, tied to the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), reported about a mafia network that has taken shape around the garbage collector children, whose members “kill people, cut ears, and move around with bodyguards.” The publication further wrote, “In Tehran, there are more than 4,700 children searching in trash, and 40 percent of them are the only breadwinners of their families. These children are at risk of being infected with various diseases, including Hepatitis, AIDS, skin diseases, etc.”

    Modern slavery

    The extent of the disaster only becomes evident when we consider how this phenomenon is gradually expanding to every corner of the country. But even worse is how Iranian authorities abuse these children.

    On March 29, 2018, in an article titled, “Trash children are cheap labor,” the state-run ILNA news agency wrote, “The municipality is faced with a problem. If it stops the activities of trash children, it will be forced to pay higher wages to workers of legal age. These children can’t claim their rights through legal channels. And this is why they’re being abused. Trash children are considered cheap labor and contractors prefer to keep them at any cost.”

    On September 25, ISNA ran a piece in which it described the situation of garbage sorters as such: “One of the social organizations in Karaj examined 60 locations where these children gather trash and came to harrowing findings. The average age of garbage collectors is 12, but there are also 4-year-old children among them. They live in makeshift homes made of junk and have no bath or washroom. They are threatened by various diseases and hostile animals. The children work 10-20 hours a day, a situation that can only be described as ‘modern slavery.’”

    Confessions by government sources

    Why is the situation of garbage sorter children growing worse? The main reason is that the corrupt officials and institutions of the Iranian regime have turned them into a profitable business opportunity.

    On October 29, Tasnim, a website run by the terrorist Quds Force, wrote, “The lack of official oversight on the situation of garbage collector children has enabled some municipality contractors to abuse these children and make huge profits from their daylong work while giving them a very little reward. Most of these children spend the night in the garbage lots and live there, and we all know how vulnerable they are. Some of these children are infected with Hepatitis, AIDS, Typhoid, and Tetanus.”

    On June 13, the IRGC-owned Fars news agency wrote, “The municipality of Tehran has outsourced garbage gathering activities to contractors at 2 trillion rials. According to estimates, the contractors make 100-150 percent profit. The runners up are the managers. The final ring of this cycle is the children. In recent months, while conducting this research, we discovered that many Iranian children and families in Tehran are entering the cycle of garbage collection.”

    Even though the regime’s own media only reveal a fraction of the realities, these revelations prove that like other social crises such as addiction and body organ trafficking, the disturbing situation of garbage collectors is directly linked to government institutions and officials who are exploiting Iran’s children to line their pockets.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:11 pm on 8 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Lebanon Protests,   

    For Iran, the landscape is changing drastically in Iraq & Lebanon 

    The largest demonstrations in Iraq against Iran’s malign influence

    November 7, 2019—It goes without saying that for the past year the Iranian regime has been facing an escalation in crises both inside Iran, a conglomerate of sanctions and most recently, its “strategic depth” threatened significantly in Iraq and Lebanon.

    In addition to the United States exiting the highly flawed 2015 nuclear deal, sanctions have been suffocating the mullahs’ regime and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) that have taken full control of the Iranian economy, leaving millions living in poverty for decades now.

    It has become crystal clear that “public enemy number one” for the people of Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon is none other than the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran.

    In the Middle East, Iran is facing movements demanding an end to its influence and meddling in the region, especially in Iraq and Lebanon. The Iraqi people are expressing their utter hatred regarding Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini, current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani. These are the figures and the mullahs’ regime in Tehran that the Iraqi people are holding responsible for their miseries.

    The Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) as its cornerstone member, has constantly emphasized on the fact that the main enemy of all nations across the region is non other than the religious fascism ruling Iran.

    NCRI President Maryam Rajavi had warned back in 2003 that the threat of the mullahs’ meddling in Iraq is “100 times more dangerous than their nuclear threat.” We are now witnessing how the Iranian regime’s advances in Iraq and other countries across the region have nothing but misery for the local populations, while threatening the national security of Middle East nations and others across the globe.

    The premature departure of U.S. forces from Iraq back in late 2011 placed this important western neighbor of Iran defenseless before the onslaught of Tehran’s meddling. One can argue that the true occupation of Iraq went into full gear in early 2012 as the mullahs further established their control over this country without any concern of U.S. military presence.

    In Lebanon, the mullahs’ took this country hostage through their proxy group, Hezbollah, altering its destiny and pushed the country into civil war. Thus, the regime in Iran first and foremost seeks nuclear weapons to further hegemony in the Arab and Islamic world.

    In Syria, the mullahs’ regime specifically describe this country as their “35th province.” While Iran itself has 31 official provinces, the mullahs’ malign influence in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine pushes the mentality of viewing these countries as their province numbers 32, 33 and 34.

    Of course, Tehran is right. If Khamenei loses its influence in Syria, the impact will be felt on the streets of Tehran, as mentioned specifically and on numerous occasions during the past few years by senior Iranian regime officials.

    “If [the IRGC] had not carried out its measures in Syria, we would now be fighting in our own cities and streets,” said Khamenei back in June 2017.

    “If [the IRGC] had not stood their ground in Baghdad, Samarra, Falujah and Ramadiah, and if they had not supported the Syrian government in Damascus and Aleppo, we would not have any security to negotiate as good as we did in the nuclear talks,” said Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani back in February 2016.

    The war in Syria shed light on the true nature of Hezbollah and was a stark reminder that this is a terrorist group established in the early 1980s by Iran in Lebanon, and enjoying hundreds of millions of dollars in funding directly from Tehran through these years.

    Now, a vast majority of Arab nations consider Hezbollah a criminal organization and an offspring of Iran’s IRGC focused on maintaining the mullahs’ rule in Tehran and expanding their extremism abroad.

    The truth is that the mullahs’ regime has become the enemy of all nations, especially those in the Middle East. And more nations are realizing that any hope in establishing freedom and democracy in their country hinges on evicting the mullahs’ regime and its proxies from their soil.

    As we speak, the uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon should receive support. This is one of the best methods in confronting the mullahs’ regime and targeting their Achilles’ Heel in a very meaningful manner. This will prevent the ongoing crackdown and killings in Iraq, or else Tehran will most certainly seek to plunge this nation into the abyss of a bloody sectarian war.

    Despite the fact that the Iranian regime has been the force behind religious conflicts across the region, the very fact that Shiites have risen in Iraq and Lebanon against its rule shows its influence crumbling. Establishing a united front is vital to confront Iran’s malign measures across the Middle East.

    It is quite obvious that Iran will not relinquish its foothold in Iraq and Lebanon without a fight. As a result, a strong will and firm stance is needed to end its malign meddling. The era of politicians, who according to the Iraqi people, entered Iraq upon U.S. tanks, or reached their current political posts with Iran-made road-side bombs, has come to an end.

    The Iranian regime’s bellicosity in Iraq and Lebanon won’t last forever. The answer lies in the establishment of a truly independent, democratic and national government in both countries. The time has come to bring an end to Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon and to evict Iran-backed extremist proxies in Iraq.

    Such a development will have drastic impacts running all the through Tehran.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:01 pm on 8 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The significance of sanctions against Khamenei’s inner circle 

    November 7, 2019—On Tuesday, the U.S. government declared new sanctions against high profile Iranian officials. The new measure, as declared by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), targets “Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff and nine individuals who are appointees of, or have acted for or on behalf of, Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime’s unelected Supreme Leader whose office is responsible for advancing Iran’s radical agenda.”

    The names include some of the closest confidants of Khamenei, including Ebrahim Raisi, a former presidential candidate and the current head of the judiciary, his son Mojtaba, and some of his top military brass.

    “This action further constricts the Supreme Leader’s ability to execute his agenda of terror and oppression,” the Treasury declared.

    Other news pertain that several U.S. senators are calling for more sanctions against the regime and the revoking of sanction waivers imposed by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    While in recent years, the U.S. has set many sanctions against the Iranian regime, there are several key factors that make the latest round significant.

    Attention to the 1988 massacre

    In 1988, the Iranian regime committed on of the most heinous crimes of modern history. Under the orders of Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the mullahs’ regime, Iranian authorities executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, most of them members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Until recently, the 1988 massacre, which many human rights experts and jurists classify as a genocide and crime against humanity, had received little attention from the international community.

    But the recent U.S. sanctions were specifically targeted at one of the key figures of the 1988 massacre: Ebrahim Raisi. Raisi was a member of one of several “Death Commissions” who decided the fate of prisoners in minutes-long trials. The commissions sentenced all prisoners who did not disown their ties to and support for the MEK to immediate execution.

    While iterating the many crimes of Raisi, the statement of the U.S. Treasury makes direct mention of the 1988 massacre. “Previously, as deputy prosecutor general of Tehran, Raisi participated in a so-called ‘death commission’ that ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988,” the Treasury says.

    This is the first time that the 1988 massacre becomes the direct subject of sanctions, and it shows that the efforts of the Iranian resistance and the Justice Movement for the victims of the 1988 massacre have paid off. In the past years, due to the dominance of the appeasement policy toward Iran, most states had opted to turn a blind eye on the human rights aggressions of the Iranian regime, especially the 1988 massacre.

    Key figures of terrorism targeted

    Also highlighted in the sanctions is the regime’s role in committing acts of terror across the globe. “These individuals are linked to a wide range of malign behaviors by the regime, including bombings of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, as well as torture, extrajudicial killings, and repression of civilians,” the Treasury’s statement reads.

    Gholam Ali Rashid, one of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commanders targeted in the new round of sanctions, was directly involved in the planning and implementation of a recent missile and drone attack against oil installations in Saudi Arabia.

    According to information obtained by the MEK and exposed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Rashid was present in a Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) meeting in which Khamenei ordered the attack on the Saudi oil giant.

    Rashid is also the commander of the Khatam al-Anbia garrison, the most important military headquarters of the IRGC and the core of its economic powerhouse.

    Iran’s meddling in Iraq

    In a briefing session after declaring the new sanctions, U.S. authorities also referred to the Iranian regime’s destructive interference in the affairs of the countries of the region, including Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. They raised concern about the regime’s continued meddling in these countries.

    In the past weeks, massive protests in Iraq and Lebanon have been calling for the ouster of the Iranian regime from their countries. For decades, the Iranian regime has used its terrorist agents and groups to carve up a niche for itself in these countries and gradually occupy them through its proxies.

    In response recent protests in Iraq and Lebanon, the regime ordered its affiliates to attack and slaughter the protesters to quell the demonstrations. But so far, Tehran’s efforts have had a reverse effect and resulted in more outrage by protesters. The cries of the people of Iraq, who were saying “Iran must leave, Baghdad must stay free,” are now resonating across the world.

    There is now no doubt for anyone inside or outside of these countries that the regime of Iran has no productive role or intentions in their countries.

    And as the new sanctions show, the world is slowly but surely starting to catch on that there is nothing about this regime that is acceptable.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:38 am on 6 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    110 US Lawmakers Support Iran’s Organized Opposition Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK 

    On Wednesday, 30 October 2019, a gathering was held in the US House of Representatives with the presence of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

    At the conference, Rep. Hakeem Jefferies delivered a speech in support of the Iranian people’s Resistance for a free, democratic and non-nuclear Iran. At the conference, delegates announced that supporters of House Resolution 374 condemning state-sponsored terrorism and supporting the Iranian people’s desire to establish a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic had reached 110 representatives from both parties.

    The resolution condemned the clerical regime’s terrorism in Europe and the US, in particular against the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK-Iran) at the Free Iran Rally in Villepinte, near Paris in 2018, and the terrorist plot against the MEK members based in Albania. The resolution also called on governments to stop the destructive policy of diplomatic engagement with the mullahs and to close the regime’s embassies, including in Albania, and support the ten-point plan of Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi. Representatives who signed the bipartisan House Resolution 374 denounced the totality of the mullahs’ regime and the Shah’s dictatorship and stood with the Iranian people, stressing the Iranian people’s right to establish a democratic and secular republic.

    The event was organized by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC).

    House Resolution 374 “condemns past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials, as well as Iranian dissidents, including the Iranian regime’s terror plot against the “Free Iran 2018 – the Alternative” gathering in Paris.”

    It “calls on relevant United States Government agencies to work with European allies, including those in the Balkans, where Iran has expanded its presence, to hold Iran accountable for breaching diplomatic privileges, and to call on nations to prevent the malign activities of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic missions, with the goal of closing them down, including the Iranian embassy in Albania.”

    The lawmakers stand “with the people of Iran who are continuing to hold legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive and corrupt regime.”

    The resolution “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.”

    Speakers at the conference at the US Congress included:

    · Hakeem Jeffries, member of the Democratic party

    · Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic vice-chancellor of Congress

    · Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona

    · William Lacy Clay, a Democrat from Missouri

    · Blaine Luetkemeyer, Republican from Missouri

    · Danny K. Davis, a Democrat from Illinois

    Babak Dadvand, Member of the Board of Directors of Iranian Society in America, pointed out that Americans are focusing on terrorism and human rights issues over the past few years, which is why bipartisan support for House Resolution 374 has been on the rise in the US Congress. The US Congress has always been at the forefront of defending the rights of the Iranian people, he pointed out.

    the issue that has occupied everyone’s minds is terrorism and brutality in Iran and around the world, which is governed and controlled by this regime, he added.

     Rep. Hakeem Jeffreys, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus

    It’s an honor and a privilege to be here, and I want to thank every one of you for your presence here today and certainly the work that you are undertaking. I represent the 8th Congressional District of New York. We certainly appreciate what you mean to a gorgeous mosaic of the city of New York as well as the country. And I certainly appreciate your fight for freedom and justice and equality. We stand with you as it relates to making sure that democracy is brought to Iran. We stand with you as it relates to the promotion of the rule of law. And freedom for all people. They should be allowed to be able to pursue their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. We stand with you as it relates to ensuring a nuclear-free Iran. And we stand with you as part of the effort to make sure that we can bring Iran back into the community of nations, consistent with the proud history of the Persian people. So, thank you for your presence. Thank you for your effort. Thank you for the fight. We’ll be with you every step of the way. God bless you.

     Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee

    It is my privilege to be here and to really congratulate all the members that have come to stand with you. So many of you know that we have traveled this journey together as we fought for those who were suffering in camps in Iraq. We are still standing together, as we stood with mothers who could not find their children, could not hear from their family. And we stood with families whose family members were in camps and were suffering from cancer and couldn’t get treatment. But we all did this because we want a free and democratic Iran. And I want to thank you so very much for standing and continuing to stand.

    I call her my sister and her ten points, the 10-points of liberation to finally arrive at the point where the people of Iran welcome democracy, freedom, and empowerment and the fair treatment of women. Persian history is history that would never be wiped out. It is a history with the tradition, I believe, of understanding the value of culture but also, as we move into the twentieth and twenty-first century, the value of embracing and welcoming all people. So, as you well know, I am an original co-sponsor of H.Res. 374 and we are well aware of the work that we still need to do.

    I am saddened by where we are as a nation, the United States, and where we are in terms of engagement. But I want to see the people of Iran empowered. I want to see those who are fighting for democracy in power. And I would make the point that members of congress should be able to travel to Iran and meet with those who are fighting for democracy. And, as you well know, we have removed the unfair terrorist tag. All those years we fought so that we don’t have the terrorist label anymore for those who are fighting for democracy. We should be able to join you and go back to Iran, to meet up with those who are seeking the return of their brothers and sisters for a free and democratic Iran.

    Let me thank you so very much as we are amid hearings and the midst of different fights here in the United States Congress. But I rushed past some of my friends. I going to give them a high five when I go back out. But it is because we are rushing around and I did not want to miss the opportunity to encourage you and to let you know my passion for visiting and being with a free and democratic Iran with my sisters and my sister, a great leader who now lives in France but is espousing democracy around the world.

    Rep. Paul Gosar

    Thank you for your attendance. Your support, your perseverance are all noted. You’re on the right side of history. It’s just gonna take perseverance. No questions can be asked about that. So I think it is a very important particularly at this time in history that we concentrate those efforts; one of those efforts being House Resolution 374 that calls out and condemns this application. We need to join with this administration. We need further to denounce and put additional actions against the Iranian regime so that the Iranian people can be returned to power to a free Iran. That is what we need to do. We need to be persevering. You have been that. You have followed the course of history. And I think history

    will be kind to you as well. It is a movement that is just. It is right. And we need to see Iran return. Imagine what it would look like when regime change happens. Imagine. That should be our goal: Free Iran. thank you very much.

    Rep. Danny Davis

    You know our world right now is experiencing a tremendous amount of turmoil. Over the years, we’ve made tremendous progress in the movement towards freedom. Equal opportunity. Justice. And yet there seem to be many in our world that want to take us back. Want to take us back to yesteryear. Take us back to yesterday; and rather than moving forward, want to maintain the status quo. I believe that the only way that freedom ever exists is from a continuous struggle. That those who would profess our love for freedom, as Frederick Douglas once said, they want to be free but don’t necessarily want to do what’s necessary. So, I would just simply say to you: Often your tasks will be many. More than you think you can do. But set out every day that you wake up with faith in your heart. Inclined to your dreams come true. Often the roads would be rugged, and the heels unsurmountable too. But faith is a mover of mountains. There’s nothing that people cannot do. So start every day with faith in your heart and keep struggling, climbing, working, hoping and being unified. And I do believe that your dreams of freedom will ring true. Thank you so very much.

    Rep. William Lacy Clay

    As we gather in solidarity to support the Iranian people who still suffer oppression, intimidation, and violence under the boot of the corrupt terrorist regime in Tehran, I’m honored to co-sponsor House Resolution 374 which condemns Iranian state-sponsored terrorism and expresses strong support for the Iranian people’s desire for a free, democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic of Iran. We demand that refugees in the Iranian diaspora be free from the threat of violence and intimidation directed from Tehran and elsewhere. And that host countries make a maximum effort to protect them. We also urge free people around the world, stand up and oppose this criminal government which brutalizes opposition, oppresses women, criminalizes religious minorities and exists only because of fear and militarized corruption by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other terrorist enablers of the current regime. Let me say that I fully support Mrs. Rajavi’s 10-point plan for a free, democratic Iran that once again returns to the family of nations, not as a terrorist state but as a bastion of culture, trade and higher achievement that is worthy of a proud history of the Persian people. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is the beating heart of freedom for the Iranian people. And I’m proud to support you here in Washington and back in Saint Louis as well. May it be God’s will that freedom, peace, and justice come soon. Thank you so very much.

    Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer

    Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer said that he supports the activities of the Iranian democratic opposition. He pointed out that Iran has potential, but unfortunately those in power are not the right people to run the country.

    The global press must report on the Iranian regime’s repression of its people and its nuclear program, he added.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:52 pm on 5 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Khamenei confesses to the strategic deadlock of his regime 

    Khamenei

    November 4, 2019—On Sunday, at a meeting with a group of students, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime, made remarks on the current state of the regime and made policy recommendations for his officials. Interestingly, what Khamenei say—and didn’t say—tell much about the strategic deadlock that is closing in on his regime and the unsolvable crises he’s faced with.

    Iraq was off the agenda

    Remarkably, missing from Khamenei’s remarks were the ongoing uprisings in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of protesters have been calling for the ouster of the Iranian regime. Last week, as protests raged in Iraq and Lebanon, Khamenei hastily called on the nations to “remedy the insecurity” and said, “The people of Iraq and Lebanon should know that their priority should be security. The peoples of these countries should know that their demands can only be met in the context of legal structures.”

    Predictably, Khamenei’s remarks only further enraged the people of Iraq, who have revolted against the meddling of his regime in their country. In response to Khamenei’s “recommendations,” the Iraqi youth and people set fire to his posters and pictures of Qassem Soleimani, the notorious commander of the terrorist Quds Force. Videos of protesters spitting and throwing shoes at pictures of Khamenei were widely distributed on social media.

    On Sunday, Iraqi protested stormed the Iranian regime’s consulate in Karbala, a Shiite-majority city that has been under the negative influence and meddling of the regime in the past years.

    Khamenei’s silence on Iraq in his Sunday speech speak volumes on the lesson the Iraqi people taught him in the past week.

    The Iranian regime’s deadlock

    What Khamenei did discuss only underlined his desperation about the current situation his regime has found itself in. A considerable part of Khamenei’s remarks was about negotiations with the U.S., which has now become a serious issue for his regime.

    Khamenei confessed that in the current situation, if the Iranian regime enters negotiations and gives in to the demands of its international counterparts, the establishment will receive a serious blow. But in the same breath he admitted that not entering negotiations will mean that there will be no change in the current situation, and his regime will remain on the path of slow and painful suffocation under international sanctions.

    Regarding the U.S., Khamenei said, “They won’t give you any concessions. They will just force you to back down and claim that we forced Iran to kneel and the maximum pressure policy was successful.”

    Reflecting on the results of possible negotiations, Khamenei eloquently articulated the current deadlock of his regime: “If we entered negotiations, the Americans would push for the issue of our missiles… If our officials accepted this, the country would receive a serious blow, and if they didn’t, the current situation would continue.”

    The lack of solution

    But the supreme leader of the mullahs’ regime didn’t finally say what his decision would be, and whether he wants to enter negotiations or not. For the sake of having said something, Khamenei repeated his old mantra: “The key to solve the country’s economic problems is the prosperity of national production.”

    But how will Iran achieve prosperity in national production? Hassan Rouhani, the president of the regime, answered this question for Khamenei in October during a speech at Tehran University.

    “They say that, economically, we should stand on our own feet… Without any relations with the world, and while our banks and exports are locked down, we will have no development,” Rouhani said, implicitly mocking Khamenei.

    In Sunday’s speech, Khamenei, who has a talent in speaking vaguely, tried to distance himself from the failure and consequences of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal the regime reached with world powers in 2015 and committed to setting caps on its nuclear program.

    “Recently, although I knew it wouldn’t work, but to try it out and make everything clear to everyone, I said that although the Americans have erred in withdrawing from the JCPOA, if they remove all sanctions, they can take part in the JCPOA. But I knew they wouldn’t accept, and this is what happened,” Khamenei said, implicitly admitting that his influence within his own ranks is waning.

    The U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 on grounds that it doesn’t do enough to prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear bombs and curbing its destructive policies in the Middle East region. The withdrawal happened as the past few years have shown that the Iranian regime has used the economic benefits of the nuclear deal to fund its ballistic missile program and ratchet up its terrorist intervention in the countries of the Middle East. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on the Iranian regime’s terror and weapons development apparatus and is calling for an agreement that will ensure peace and security.

    Zarif’s laments in parliament

    On the same day that Khamenei was discussing his regime’s crises, Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the regime was busy giving his own account of the unsolvable problems of the regime in the Majlis (parliament).

    Responding to MPs about the lack of progress on the JCPOA and negotiations, Zarif said, “What I said was nothing less than what [Khamenei] said. If he wants, we will negotiate. I do not speak of my own will.”

    Zarif also reiterated his devotion to the regime and its leader, saying, “Look at what the U.S. Secretary of State has said. I’m renowned for being a defender of the establishment. You have heard what the U.S. State Secretary has said about me, which is my honor… After years of living in the west, I’m not enamored of negotiating with the westerners. “

    Meanwhile, Zarif warned that not negotiating will result in the return of pre-JCPOA UN Security Council resolutions, and he implicitly blamed Khamenei for anything that happens to the regime, saying, “If you have any concerns, you should criticize the policies that have been defined. I only carry out the policies of the establishment.”

    The supreme leader and foreign minister incriminating each other and issuing contradictory remarks on the same day is just the latest manifestation of a regime that is in the throes of collapse.

    A reality check on Khamenei’s role in negotiations

    While Khamenei tried to dissociate himself with any failure pertaining to negotiations, his record paints a totally different picture. In 2015, while Zarif and Rouhani were in the midst of hammering the final details of the JCPOA, Khamenei tried to take credit for the entire process and presented himself as the initiator of the negotiations through “one of the respected members of the region.”

    He also described the nuclear negotiations as “heroic flexibility” and claimed to have managed every single detail of the entire process. But now that the JCPOA and the idea of negotiating with the west is falling apart, he’s trying to lay the blame on the president and his foreign minister. This effort will only drive a wedge through the widening rifts in his regime.

    The other reality is the regime’s collapsing hegemony in the region, especially in Iraq and Lebanon, countries that Iranian officials have described as the “strategic depth” of the regime. As the avalanche of protests continue to bear down, Khamenei and his regime find themselves increasingly cornered and without a way out.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:15 pm on 3 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    “Crime Against Humanity” New Book on Iran Regime’s Massacre of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) 

    A new book “Crime Against Humanity” by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), unveiled at the European Parliament on Wednesday, lists the names of more than 5,000 people out of 30,000 political prisoners who were executed in Iran during the 1988 massacre.

    The book also details the findings of 35 commissions looking into the atrocities and lists the locations of three dozen mass graves in Iran, The Washington Times reported on October 24, 2019.

    “Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday used a book presentation to heap praise on the head of a leading Iranian dissident group while urging European Union member states to do more to confront Iran over human rights abuses,” The Washington Times wrote.

    The Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, has emerged as a leading expatriate dissident group battling the Iranian regime, it wrote.

    “The majority of those killed in 1988 were members of the MEK. MEK leader Maryam Rajavi was the event’s keynote speaker, where she called for a ‘firm European policy which necessarily requires lending support to the Iranian people’s resistance [in order] to establish democracy and popular sovereignty” in Iran.”

    Mrs. Rajavi said that recent events, which include confrontation with tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz and an attack on a major petroleum refinery in Saudi Arabia, are proof that her warning to the European Parliament two years ago was coming true: “I warned then that ‘if the ruling religious fascism in Iran is not dealt with decisively, they will impose a fatal war on the region and the world.’”

    Several dozen EU parliamentarians attended the event for the release of the book, which was held in a committee meeting room at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, The Washington Times wrote.

    Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the legislature and a former minister of foreign affairs who chaired Wednesday’s proceedings, called on the European Union to “focus on human rights abuses when it comes to relations with Iran.”

    Patrizia Toia, a Member of the European Parliament from Italy, told Mrs. Rajavi, “You have our full support in your struggle to achieve freedom and democracy for your people.”

    Background to Iran’s 1988 massacre:

    • More than 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in Iran in the summer of 1988.
    • The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by Khomeini.
    • The vast majority of ofthe victims were activists of the opposition PMOI (MEK).
    • Death Commissions approved all the death sentences.
    • Ebrahim Raisi, a member of the Death Commissions, is today Iran’s Judiciary Chief.
    • Alireza Avaei, a member of the Death Commissions, is today Hassan Rouhani’s Justice Minister.
    • The perpetrators of the 1988 massacre have never been brought to justice.
    • On August 9, 2016, an audiotape was published for the first time of Khomeini’s former heir acknowledging that the 1988 massacre took place and had been ordered at the highest levels.
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:26 am on 2 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Deprivation of Iranian Women From Employment 

    Deprivation of Iranian women from employment is not a new issue in the mullahs’ misogynist rule; even official statistics and data provided by government organizations point to the corners of the disaster. They show increasing unemployment of Iranian women and their double oppression in employment, while women’s employment is one of the factors of economic development in other countries.

    The state-run ILNA news agency wrote on 6 October 2019: “The latest labor market data show that the situation of women in the spring of 2019 has deteriorated compared to the spring of 2018, and 170,000 of the active female population has declined. Even worse, this spring the number of female workers also fell by 32,000.”

    The unemployment rate among graduated women is also higher than the unemployment rate among graduated men.

    “Unemployment of educated women in the majority of the country, including in rural areas, is three to four times higher than unemployed men,” said Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President for women’s and family affairs.

    Ebtekar also noted that due to the lack of jobs and the need for women to earn a monthly income, some women have turned to informal work with very little pay, and statistics show that women’s informal employment is on the rise. (ILNA, 18 October 2019)

    Women in this outdated system are among the cheapest labor force in Iran. According to the Iranian parliamentary research center, “The unemployed are discouraged from seeking work and are out of the job market, and the large share of women with 50% of the working-age population is reflective and noticeable.” (State-run Fars news agency, 24 July 2019)

    Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was accused by Iran watchers of lying about the rise in the number of female workers in an attempt to cover the reality. He told state television: “In the eleventh government, the presence of women in employment was with a strong presence.” (Channel 1, 28 November 2017)

    A review by the Statistics and Strategic Information Center of the Ministry of Cooperation, Labor and Social Welfare showed that the population of unemployed women from 2011 to 2017 has increased from 830,996 to more than 1.37 million – an increase of over 200,000 in this period.

    Ali Rabeii, former Labor Minister, confessed: “Over the past 20 years, the rate of women’s unemployment has increased five times.” (ILNA news agency, 2 September 2017)

    The income of women in Iran is nothing staggeringly low, while their situation is disastrous. The state-run daily Shahrvand wrote on 28 June 2017, about women with an income of 1.50 million rials while working in jobs lower than their specialty. This report referred to the unfortunate life of a working girl and wrote:

    I have been working in this sandwich-stand for about six months from 3 pm to 12 midnight. I have a bachelor’s degree in political science from Payam Noor University and earn 1.5 million rials per month.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 3:13 pm on 1 Nov 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Judo, Sport   

    World Judo Body Bans Iran From All International Tournaments 

    The International Judo Federation’s Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday, October 22, announced that Iran’s Government has been banned from all international judo competitions.

    The deprivation was considered for Iran last month and was finally recognized by the Disciplinary Committee of the IJF. The website of the IJF confirmed with the release of a statement the exclusion of the Iranian Judo Federation from all competitions related to this sport.

    The disciplinary Committee of the IJF will only lift the ban on the condition that Iran’s authorities guaranty that they would comply with the statutes of the IJF.

    These guarantees must be confirmed by the IJF. Iran has 21 days from the time of notification to object to the ban by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    Earlier, the IJF disciplinary committee announced in a statement, that it had imposed the ban due to events that occurred on August 28, 2019, in the last Tokyo competition for the 81 kg Iranian Judoka (Sa’id Mola’i) in the competition with the Israeli Judoka. The Iranian judo competitor was forced by the Iranian authorities to forfeit his match in order to avoid a match with an Israeli competitor.

    According to the site of the IJF, “Reza Salehi Amiri, head of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, and Arash Mir Esmaili, head of Iran’s judo federation”, had a hand in the forced defeat.

    Recently Iran’s regime has stepped up pressure on athletes. Saeed Molaei, a member of the national judo team of Iran, who had been in the competitions of Tokyo’s 2019 World Cup, announced to the IJF, that he was pressured by Government officials to lose his last two games, in order to avoid an encounter with an Israeli opponent. After the end of the competition, he refused to return to Iran and is currently in Germany.

    The head of the Sport Commission of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mr. Moslem Eskandar Filabi, previously condemned the anti-sport and cultural rules of the clerical Government, that did not even allow women to participate in sports stadiums and destroyed the national sport, and declared that the Iranian sport was and remains a place for chivalrous people. But for the past forty years, Khomeini’s uncultured and stateless Government, which does not respect the Iranian people and nationality, has destroyed Iranian culture, including Iranian sports, whose reputation was renowned in the world.

     
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