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  • Masoud Dalvand 9:18 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Why is Tehran terrified of US senators meeting with the Iranian opposition? 

    Maryam Rajavi

    Maryam Rajavi

    by Amir Basiri

    Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., met with National Council of Resistance of Iran President Maryam Rajavi and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. Rajavi thanked the senators for their firm position toward Iran, especially the adoption of new sanctions against the ruling regime and the Revolutionary Guards for their human rights abuses, Iran’s ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism.

    The Iranian regime has constantly tried to downplay the role and influence of the opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and its main constituent, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), by portraying them as marginal and insignificant. Yet, its mainstream media and top officials are constantly betraying the regime’s real feelings and fear of the group.

    The latest episode came after U.S. senators visited the organization’s headquarters in Tirana, Albania. Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., met with NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and members of the MEK, and discussed the latest developments in Iran and the Middle East as well as solutions to end the current crisis in that region.

    Rajavi thanked the senators for their firm position toward Iran, especially the adoption of new sanctions against the ruling regime and the Revolutionary Guards for their human rights abuses, Iran’s ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism.

    Less than a day later, dozens of mainstream media outlets representing all factions and branches of the Iranian regime expressed concern about the lawmakers’ visit, calling it a provocative move meant to cause instability in Iran.

    The visit comes as the Trump administration is reviewing its policy toward Iran’s nefarious activities, and cabinet officials have hinted at supporting regime change, a goal that the MEK and NCRI have been calling for since 1981.

    The Iranian regime and its backers in the West try to portray support for regime change as a path that will lead to another military invasion in the region, and a possible repeat of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. However, the NCRI believes that the Iranian people and their resistance movement are fully capable of achieving regime change without the need for a foreign intervention.

    In her meeting with the senators, Rajavi emphasized that contrary to the propaganda by the Iranian regime’s apologists, the ruling theocracy is rotten to the core and very fragile. Without foreign support, especially the policy of appeasement pursued in the U.S. and Europe, it would not have survived so long.

    She added that regime change in Iran is necessary and within reach because a viable and democratic alternative exists.

    The Iranian regime is increasingly extremely worried about the momentum that is building around the NCRI’s goal. In April, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., made a similar trip to Albania and met with the MEK and NCRI’s leadership. Other U.S. dignitaries and politicians attended the group’s annual rally in Paris last month, where they underlined the necessity for regime change in Iran.

    The regime is also having trouble containing MEK’s increased activism inside Iran. In the run-up to the May’s presidential elections, despite the numerous threats issued by regime officials and Iran’s security apparatus, the group’s supporters carried out widespread campaigns across Iran, denouncing the undemocratic nature of the elections and exposing the criminal history of the candidates.

    The trip of U.S. lawmakers to Tirana is one more problem the Iranian regime will have to deal with as it is faced with an opposition that is growing in influence and support, and it no longer has the advantage of a U.S. administration geared toward appeasement and concessions.

    Originally published in the   washingtonexaminer

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:08 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Wary as Opposition Meets With US Senators 

    Rajavi-US-Senators-Meet-Albania-1024-600

    Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi (L-center) meets with US senators in Albania (Photo: courtesy)

    BY SHAHRIAR KIA 

    How to deal with Iran has become a very controversial and complex matter for the Trump administration. Washington is currently weighing how to tackle Tehran’s belligerence through adopting a comprehensive Iran policy.

    Delivering a significant blow to Tehran, a delegation of prominent United States senators were in the Balkans last weekend, visiting leaders and members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), in Tirana, the capital of Albania.
    The delegation consisted of
    • Senators Roy Blunt vice president of the Republican Conference and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, Commerce, Science and Transportation committees
    • John Cornyn, the majority whip and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence and Finance committees
    • Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees
    Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — the political coalition consisting of the PMOI/MEK and a slate of other Iranian dissident groups and individuals — hosted the American senators for a meeting to discuss recent developments regarding Iran and the entire Middle East.
    “Led by Senator Blunt, the delegation congratulated the safe and secure relocation of all Camp Liberty residents outside of Iraq and wished them success in their struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran,” according to an NCRI statement.
    Rajavi took advantage of the occasion to extend her gratitude to the actions taken by the U.S. Senate, especially by Senator Blunt, to safeguard and protect thousands of MEK members during their stay at the camp in Iraq.
    The MEK also enjoyed senate support during their tumultuous campaign of relocating each and every member outside of Iraq to safety.
    This high-profile visit comes only three months after a similar visit by Senator John McCain, chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, back in April when McCain met with NCRI President Rajavi and briefly visited the MEK members.
    Especially since 2009 and onward, McCain has been a fierce critic of Tehran and strong supporter of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. He is especially known for his passionate tribute to the young Iranian woman Neda Agha Sultan who died “with her eyes open” on the streets of Tehran during the Green Revolution.
    This significant meeting between a delegation of American senators and the Iranian opposition adds to Tehran’s long list of concerns.
    New Congressional sanctions have placed Iran under extreme restrictions due to its ballistic missile drive, support for terrorism and proxy terror groups across the Middle East, and gross human rights abuses.
    Iran, however, will not be reining in its belligerence any time soon.
    “Iran’s parliament gave initial approval on Sunday to a bill to boost spending on Tehran’s missile program and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States,” according to Reuters.
    This move would provide over $260 million to both Iran’s ballistic missile program and the terrorist-designated IRGC Quds Force.
    Trump has signaled his intention of holding Iran in non-compliance with the pact aimed at curbing the regime’s nuclear program. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, has plans to meet with Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, prior to this organization’s set schedule to issue its September report on Iran’s nuclear program.
    With such a move looming, Tehran received an important message from the meeting in Tirana. Senior congressional members are taking the lead in establishing an increasing consensus to take action in line with regime change policy in the face of the mullahs in Iran.
    Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of Iranian opposition (PMOI/MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.Twitter

    Source: Iran Wary as Opposition Meets With US Senators | Clarion Project

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    New sanctions on Iran, now it’s time for a new US policy too 

    Alireza Jafarzadeh Foxnews

    On the second anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, some argue that the agreement succeeded in slowing Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. However, the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program are only limited, as is the international inspectors’ access to the country’s illicit facilities.In addition, in areas unrelated to the nuclear agreement,
    the Iranian regime’s behavior has only gotten worse over the past two years. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has escalated its nefarious activities in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, has deliberately sought out close encounters with American warships, and has boasted of new Iranian military equipment.
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     The White House’s efforts to enforce a harder line on Iran policy is well justified and the president’s signing into law of H.R. 3364, which included a title, “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” is a step in the right direction.
    In June, the National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed details of the escalation of the Iranian missile program, proving the nuclear threat to be real. The opposition coalition identified more than 40 sites for missile development, manufacturing, and testing, all of which were under the control of the IRGC. What’s more, at least one of those sites was known to be collaborating with the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known by its Farsi acronym SPND, the institution tasked with weaponization activities related to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. SPND activities have continued since the JDPOA.
    Such revelations clarified what should already be common knowledge: Iran’s nuclear weapons activities have continued. Even worse, myopic focus on the nuclear issues has distracted attention from the Iranian regime’s terrorism sponsorship, regional intervention, and human rights abuses.
    If the IRGC continues to acquire more wealth through its large-scale control of the de-sanctioned Iranian economy, combined with continued lack of access to the nuclear sites of SPND, Iran will undoubtedly deliver a nuclear weapon.
    To its credit, the US. has taken steps toward addressing the underlying problem of the IRGC’s expanding control over Iranian affairs. Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump urged the administration to review designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization. With the new Iran sanctions bill now signed into law, the administration should expand all anti-terror sanctions to the whole of the IRGC, including its affiliate entities and associated financial and economic arms.
    This is a meaningful start to a new Iran policy that is comprehensive in its aims and in its enforcement. Toward that end, the US should work with the UN and EU to evict the IRCG from the combat zones in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This will help protect the West and its allies, as well as empower the Iranian people, who are seeking regime change and are more than capable of bringing it about on their own.
    Without serious sacrifice, Western powers must do their part. The Iranian regime must be more isolated and financially handicapped by the United States. It must also be subject to pressure not just over its nuclear program but also over a range of current and past crimes, including illicit missile testing, escalating regional and sectarian conflicts in the Middle East, and the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. The United States should subject all major human rights violators of the Iranian regime, including dozens involved in the horrific 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Many of the perpetrators of this crime currently hold key positions in the Iranian regime.
    These pressures will make a profound difference in the future of Iran, if coupled with reaching out to the people of Iran and their organized opposition. They will succeed in diminishing the power and influence of the IRGC; bolster the Iranian people and the prospect of the emergence of a truly democratic Iranian government.
    Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is credited with exposing Iranian nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002, triggering International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. He is the author of “The Iran Threat” (Palgrave MacMillan: 2008). His email is Jafarzadeh@ncrius.org , and is on twitter @A_Jafarzadeh.
    Originally published in the   foxnews
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:39 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , U.S. Senate Delegation   

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi Meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital 

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital

    Senators also met MEK members relocated from Iraq

     

    On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a senior delegation from the United States Senate meet with Maryam Rajavi, in the Albanian capital, Tirana, and discussed the situation of the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, the latest developments in Iran and the Middle East as well as solutions to end to current crisis in that region.

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    The Senate delegation was comprised of Senators Roy Blunt, Vice President of the Republican Conference, and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees; John Cornyn, the Majority Whip, and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence, and Finance committees; and Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

    The meeting, at one of the centers of the MEK in Albania, was initiated by Senator Roy Blunt, as the delegation was on a visit to Albania.

    Led by Senator Blunt, the delegation congratulated the safe and secure relocation of all Camp Liberty residents outside of Iraq and wished them success in their struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran. Having undertaken extensive efforts to ensure the security of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their transfer outside that country in previous years, Senator Blunt described the relocation as a major victory for the Iranian people and Resistance and lauded the efforts of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance for the success of this major mission.

    Maryam Rajavi thanked the Senators for their decisive position vis-à-vis the Iranian regime, especially the adoption of a new resolution which imposed sanctions on the clerical regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for human rights abuses, the ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism. She expressed gratitude for the efforts of the U.S. Senate, particularly Senator Blunt, regarding the protection of thousands of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their safe relocation to Albania.

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 3

    Maryam Rajavi emphasized that contrary to the propaganda by the Iranian regime’s apologists, the ruling theocracy was rotten to the core and very fragile. Without foreign support, especially the policy of appeasement pursued in the U.S. and Europe, it would not have survived so long. She added that regime change in Iran is necessary and within reach because a viable and democratic alternative exists. Maryam Rajavi said equating regime change by the Iranian people for democracy with war and instability in the region is a sheer lie, the source of which is the Iranian regime’s lobby in western capitals. They demagogically turn the truth on its head, she noted, adding that the overthrow of the Tehran regime was a prerequisite to ending crisis and war in the Middle East.

    Maryam Rajavi underscored the need for imposing comprehensive sanctions on the Iranian regime’s banking and oil sector, expelling the IRGC and its affiliated militias from Syria, Iraq, and other regional countries, taking urgent steps to punish the regime for widespread political executions, especially the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate this major crime against humanity with the aim of bringing to justice the perpetrators, and recognizing the aspirations of the Iranian people and Resistance to overthrow the ruling religious tyranny and to establish freedom and democracy, and a republic based on the separation of religion and state, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.

    The Senate delegation also met with a number of MEK members as well as witnesses to, and victims of, the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran and camps Ashraf and Liberty.

    Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
    August 12, 2017

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 4

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 5

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 6

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:16 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy? 

    A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Ira

    (FILES) A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran. Iranian forces have carried out what they called cyber warfare tactics for the first time as the Islamic republic’s naval units staged manoeuvres in the key Strait of Hormuz, media reports said on December 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    Following the recertification of Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal aimed at curbing its controversial nuclear program, there is quite a stir over the Trump administration possibly adopting a regime change policy in the face of Tehran’s belligerence.

    There are those who favor such a trajectory, while Iran lobbyists and apologists have promptly argued otherwise, saying war should not be an option and citing ongoing campaigns in countries across the region to back their opinions.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s strong position of supporting regime change in a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent shockwaves in Tehran and beyond.

    “Our policy towards Iran is to push back on (its regional) hegemony, contain their ability to develop, obviously, nuclear weapons and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government,” he said.

     Secretary of Defense James Mattis, known for his “Iran, Iran, Iran” description of the source of Middle East dilemmas, followed suit.

    “Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of. It’s going to be very, very difficult,” Mattis said in a special interview.

    It is broadly assumed that the diplomatic pressure and sanctions initiative embarked upon by the White House and Congress are aimed at serving a regime change objective in Iran. The next necessary step would be to make this policy crystal clear to Tehran and all relevant parties

    Such strong statements made by Tillerson and Mattis dig deep into the Iran dossier and realize one stark, and very positive, difference between Iran and its neighbors. In contrast to others, the Iran regime change enterprise enjoys a long-term plan presented by a grass-rooted opposition movement, symbolized in the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    Unfortunately, the campaigns launched in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even Syria, after former US president Barack Obama said the dictator Bashar Assad must go, all lacked this very necessary element, and the world remains witness in horror of the drastic consequences. Millions left killed and injured, scores more displaced, trillions of dollars literally wasted and entire cities and countries leveled. And the only benefactor has been the mullahs’ regime…, being an entirely different topic of discussion.

    Tehran lobbyists stationed in Washington are heard saying Iran also lacks any such organized opposition capable of delivering anything different from what we have witnessed in other countries. For years they have been inaccurately mischaracterizing the NCRI as lacking adequate organization, support and resources.

    To spare time, one needs only refer to this coalition’s recent July 1stconvention in Paris, held annually, for a glimpse of its social base and international backing. Over 100,000 members of the Iranian Diaspora, joined by hundreds of international dignitaries from all walks of life representing a conglomerate of political trends, shows how the NCRI, and its President Maryam Rajavi, have garnered growing support both inside Iran and abroad to bring about regime change and establish freedom and democracy in their homeland.

    Advocates of the appeasement approach vis-à-vis Iran will further continue quarreling over how the West must continue its effort of seeking internal Iranian elements of moderation.

    Ever since the 1980s a slate of senior Iranian regime officials, including former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, former presidents Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and now Hassan Rouhanihave been naively dubbed as “moderates” or “reformists.”

    What deserves comprehension after 35 years of deception is the fact that Iran’s “moderate/reformist” pretext has long surpassed its expiration date. While the Iranian people are yearning for change, there is no such appetite, capacity or potential in Tehran’s ruling mullahs’ apparatus.

    • Mousavi supported the regime’s unnecessary continuation of the war against Iraq, devastating the lives of millions,
    • Rafsanjani supervised a domestic cleansing of dissident voices, and a string of assassinations and terrorist plots abroad,
    • Khatami presided over the 1999 student uprising crackdown and advanced Tehran’s clandestine nuclear weapons drive,
    • and Rouhani’s first term as president rendered the execution of over 3,000 individuals, and the trend continues as we speak with over 100 executions in July alone. Rouhani has also blessed a dangerous spike in ballistic missile advancements by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

    As a result, any form of moderation or reform is nothing but a hoax misused by Tehran to continue misleading and deceiving the international community, while threatening the rise of hardliners if the likes of Rouhani are deserted.

    Returning to the decidedly significant statements made by Tillerson and Mattis, it is high time such game-changing rhetoric receives deserved backing from President Donald Trump himself.

    Iran must feel the heat from Washington’s policies, especially as Tehran prolongs its Middle East belligerence plaguing Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and endures its harassing of the US Navy in Persian Gulf waters.

    America must take the lead in facing Iran over its fundamentalist nature both inside the country and abroad. The Trump administration should begin architecting an international coalition to back the NCRI’s drive for regime change and peaceful democratization of Iran.

    After four decades of utter atrocities, it is the Iranian people’s right to live in peace and prosperity.

    Heshmat AlaviI am a political/rights activist focusing on Iran & the Middle East. I also write in Al Arabiya English, and contributed to The Hill, Algemeiner and Raddington Report. I tweet @HeshmatAlavi

    Source: Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy?

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 3:47 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    MEK supporters in Iran step up campaigning for justice over 1988 massacre 

    Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) inside Iran have filmed themselves carrying out brave acts of openly demanding justice over the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.
    The scenes filmed in various Iranian cities in July 2017 show brave Iranians hoisting banners and distributing fliers about the massacre and calling on the United Nations to launch an independent inquiry and to prosecute the perpetrators of this great crime against humanity.
    On the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s Supreme Leader Khomeini in the summer of 1988, more than 30,000 political prisoners were mass executed for refusing to renounce their political beliefs. The overwhelming majority were member of the main Iranian opposition group, the PMOI (MEK).
    Young Iranian activists across the country have in recent weeks stepped up their defiant public campaigning for justice over the 1988 massacre.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 pm on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    A Look at Khomeini’s Fatwa for PMOI/MEK Massacre video & photos 

    Justice for Victims of Irans 1988 Massacre Demanded At Free Iran Rally

    Justice for Victims of Irans 1988 Massacre Demanded At Free Iran Rally

    By Jubin Katiraie

    IRAN FOCUS, 08 August 2017— 29 years ago these days, in Iran under the mullahs’ regime, the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members, and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) had engulfed all of Iran.

    Khomeini

    Khomeini’‘Death Decree’ for mass executions of Iranian political prisoners in 1988.
     
    The intensity and speed of this massacre were so severe that not only PMOI/MEK families, but all other families of prisoners sought information about their loved ones. No authorities would provide answers, however.
    The international community had turned its back on this horrible genocide, all under the pretext of Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini signing United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 ending the Iran-Iraq War. This signing was the result of Khomeini becoming terrified of his regime being toppled by the PMOI/MEK.
    Both Iran and Iraq had accepted Resolution 598 on 20 July 1988
        Both Iran and Iraq had accepted Resolution 598 on 20 July 1988
    Initially, groups opposing the PMOI/MEK, followed by the mullahs’ regime, portrayed these executions as the mullahs’ response to a massive combat operation staged by the National Liberation Army of Iran and the PMOI/MEK in the final days of July of that year.
    However, these claims were discredited shortly and other sources indicated that the massacre was carried out based on Khomeini’s inhumane and anti-Islamic fatwa against the PMOI/MEK issued far before. Khomeini and his regime have to this day considered the PMOI/MEK as the sole serious threat that remains steadfast on its non-negotiable position of “overthrowing” this regime.
     The 1988 massacre that continues to haunt Tehran
    The 1988 massacre that continues to haunt Tehran
    In a recent interview with state-TV Aparat, former Iranian intelligence minister Ali Fallahian said the order to massacre PMOI/MEK inmates in 1988 was issued previously by Khomeini.
    “In relations to the PMOI/MEK, and all groups considered ‘mohareb’ (enemy of God), their rulings are execution. He emphasized in saying don’t hesitate in this regard… they have always been sentenced to execution, before or after 1988,” he said. Based on this fatwa, over 30,000 political prisoners were hanged in less than three months.
    Last year in the PMOI/MEK convention in Paris the Iranian Resistance President-elect Maryam Rajavi launched a justice movement seeking accountability for those involved in the 1988 massacre of PMOI/MEK inmates and other political prisoners. This movement expanded throughout Iran at a rapid pace, caused major troubles for the Iranian regime and been welcomed across the globe. This movement is demanding that senior Iranian regime officials be brought to justice for their PMOI/MEK genocide.

     Justice for Victims of Iran
    Justice for Victims of Iran’s 1988 Massacre Demanded At ‘Free Iran’ Rally
    The PMOI/MEK genocide by the regime ruling Iran is the most important dossier challenging this regime after Tehran’s nuclear program controversy. This dossier has such deep roots in Iran’s society and enjoys the enormous global support that it prevented Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei from engineering the May presidential elections. He intended to have conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani as president.
    Raisi was a member of the notorious “Death Commission” involved in the PMOI/MEK genocide back in 1988. The PMOI/MEK justice movement and revelations by the PMOI/MEK regarding Raisi’s candidacy – blessed by Khamenei – shocked the very pillars of the mullahs’ regime.
    Iranian youths across the country, previously unaware of such crimes by the mullahs’ regime, are now in defense of the PMOI/MEK demanding the mullahs admit to their crimes against humanity. This has led the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to refer to the 1988 massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supports in this year’s annual report.
    From the very days when reports of this massacre leaked outside of Iran’s prisons, the PMOI/MEK placed a massive global effort to unveil these crimes. They published the names of a number of massacred PMOI/MEK members, along with their graves and information about members of the Death Commission in various provinces. Human rights organizations and other such bodies were provided with this data.
    Marking the anniversary of this justice movement, new measures are necessary to realize the goals set for this initiative:
    1) Inside Iran, gathering new information about massacred PMOI/MEK members, their burial sites, identifying the perpetrators and officials behind these crimes and…
    2) Abroad, further condemning the massacre of PMOI/MEK members by parliaments, political parties, human rights advocates, religious leaders and political figures to hinge political and economic relations with Iran on ending all executions and torture, launching an independent commission to investigate into the massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supporters in 1988 to have senior regime officials brought to justice for crimes against humanity and …
    Now is the time for the international community to open its eyes to the flagrant human rights violations, and specifically the massacre of PMOI/MEK members and supporters in 1988, and not permit this dossier to remain closed as it has for years.
    There is no doubt that that the solution for Middle East crises, now affecting all other countries, is through regime change in Iran. Realizing such an objective needs all of this regime’s senior figures to be tried for human rights violations and massacring PMOI members and supporters in 1988.
    This should be followed by the official recognition of the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The PMOI/MEK is the pivotal force of this coalition.
    This reminds us of how US President Donald Trump said the Iranian people are the main victims of the regime ruling Iran.

     

    *Some important issues about MEK:

    A Long Conflict between the Clerical Regime and the MEK

    The origins of the MEK date back to before the 1979 Iranian Revolution., the MEK helped to overthrow the dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlavi, but it quickly became a bitter enemy of the emerging the religious fascism under the pretext of Islamic Republic. To this day, the MEK and NCRI describe Ruhollah Khomenei and his associates as having co-opted a popular revolution in order to empower themselves while imposing a fundamentalist view of Islam onto the people of Iran.
    Under the Islamic Republic, the MEK was quickly marginalized and affiliation with it was criminalized. Much of the organization’s leadership went to neighboring Iraq and built an exile community called Camp Ashraf, from which the MEK organized activities aimed at ousting the clerical regime and bringing the Iranian Revolution back in line with its pro-democratic origins. But the persistence of these efforts also prompted the struggling regime to crack down on extreme violence on the MEK and other opponents of theocratic rule.
    The crackdowns culminated in the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, as the Iran-Iraq War was coming to a close. Thousands of political prisoners were held in Iranian jails at that time, many of them having already served out their assigned prison sentences. And with the MEK already serving as the main voice of opposition to the regime at that time, its members and supporters naturally made up the vast majority of the population of such prisoners.
    As the result of a fatwa handed down by Khomeini, the regime convened what came to be known as the Death Commission, assigning three judges the task of briefly interviewing prisoners to determine whether they retained any sympathy for the MEK or harbored any resentment toward the existing government. Those who were deemed to have shown any sign of continued opposition were sentenced to be hanged. After a period of about three months, an estimated 30,000 people had been put to death. Many other killings of MEK members preceded and followed that incident so that today the Free Iran rally includes an annual memorial for approximately 120,000 martyrs from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
     A site of a mass grave for some of the victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran
     A site of a mass grave for some of the victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran
    The obvious motive behind the 1988 massacre and other such killings was the destruction of the MEK. And yet it has not only survived but thrived, gaining allies to form the NCRI and acquiring the widespread support that is put on display at each year’s Free Iran rally. In the previous events, the keynote speech was delivered by Maryam Rajavi, who has been known to receive several minutes of applause from the massive crowd as she takes the stage. Her speeches provide concrete examples of the vulnerability of the clerical regime and emphasize the ever-improving prospects for the MEK to lead the way in bringing about regime change.
    The recipients of that message are diverse and they include more than just the assembled crowd of MEK members and supporters. The expectation is that the international dignitaries at each year’s event will carry the message of the MEK back to their own governments and help to encourage more policymakers to recognize the role of the Iranian Resistance in the potential creation of a free and democratic Iranian nation. It is also expected that the event will inspire millions of Iranians to plan for the eventual removal of the clerical regime. And indeed, the MEK broadcasts the event via its own satellite television network, to millions of Iranian households with illegal hookups.
      A Secret documents smuggled out of Iran, over 30,000 political prisoners as young as 13 were hanged from cranes or shot to death in groups of five or six at a time.
    A Secret document smuggled out of Iran, over 30,000 political prisoners as young as 13 were hanged from cranes or shot to death in groups of five or six at a time.
     

    MEK’s Domestic Activism and Intelligence Network

     What’s more, the MEK retains a solid base of activists inside its Iranian homeland. In the run-up to this year’s Free Iran rally, the role of those activists was particularly evident, since the event comes just a month and a half after the latest Iranian presidential elections, in which heavily stage-managed elections resulted in the supposedly moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani securing reelection. His initial election in 2013 was embraced by some Western policymakers as a possible sign of progress inside the Islamic Republic, but aside from the 2015 nuclear agreement with six world powers, none of his progressive-sounding campaign promises have seen the light of day.
    Rouhani’s poor record has provided additional fertile ground for the message of the MEK and Maryam Rajavi. The Iranian Resistance has long argued that change from within the regime is impossible, and this was strongly reiterated against the backdrop of the presidential elections when MEK activists used graffiti, banners, and other communications to describe the sitting president as an “imposter.” Many of those same communications decried Rouhani’s leading challenger, Ebrahim Raisi, as a “murderer,” owing to his leading role in the massacre of MEK supporters in 1988.
    Members of the death commission
     Members of the death commission
    That fact helped to underscore the domestic support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, insofar as many people who participated in the election said they recognized Raisi as the worst the regime had to offer, and that they were eager to prevent him from taking office. But this is not to say that voters saw Rouhani in a positive light, especially where the MEK is concerned. Under the Rouhani administration, the Justice Minister is headed by Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who also served on the Death Commission and declared as recently as last year that he was proud of himself for having carried out what he described as God’s command of death for MEK supporters.
    With this and other aspects of the Islamic Republic’s record, the MEK’s pre-election activism was mainly focused on encouraging Iranians to boycott the polls. The publicly displayed banners and posters urged a “vote for regime change,” and many of them included the likeness of Maryam Rajavi, suggesting that her return to Iran from France would signify a meaningful alternative to the hardline servants of the clerical regime who are currently the only option in any Iranian national election.
    Naturally, this direct impact on Iranian politics is the ultimate goal of MEK activism. But it performs other recognizable roles from its position in exile, not just limited to the motivational and organization role of the Free Iran rally and other, smaller gatherings. In fact, the MEK rose to particular international prominence in 2005 when it released information that had been kept secret by the Iranian regime about its nuclear program. These revelations included the locations of two secret nuclear sites: a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak, capable of producing enriched plutonium.
    As well as having a substantial impact on the status of international policy regarding the Iranian nuclear program, the revelations also highlighted the MEK’s popular support and strong network inside Iran. Although Maryam Rajavi and the rest of the leadership of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran reside outside of the country, MEK affiliates are scattered throughout Iranian society with some even holding positions within hardline government and military institutions, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
    Drawing upon the resources of that intelligence network, the MEK has continued to share crucial information with Western governments in recent years, some of it related to the nuclear program and some of it related to other matters including terrorist training, military development, and the misappropriation of financial resources. The MEK has variously pointed out that the Revolutionary Guard controls well over half of Iran’s gross domestic product, both directly and through a series of front companies and close affiliates in all manner of Iranian industries.
    In February of this year, the Washington, D.C. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran held press conferences to detail MEK intelligence regarding the expansion of terrorist training programs being carried out across Iran by the Revolutionary Guards. The growth of these programs reportedly followed upon direct orders from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and coincided with increased recruitment of foreign nationals to fight on Tehran’s behalf in regional conflicts including the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars.
    In the weeks following that press conference, the MEK’s parent organization also prepared documents and held other talks explaining the source of some of the Revolutionary Guards’ power and wealth. Notably, this series of revelations reflected upon trends in American policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. And other revelations continue to do so, even now.
    MEK Intelligence Bolstering US Policy Shifts
    Soon after taking office, and around the time the MEK identified a series of Revolutionary Guard training camps, US President Donald Trump directed the State Department to review the possibility of designating Iran’s hardline paramilitary as a foreign terrorist organization. Doing so would open the Revolutionary Guards up to dramatically increased sanctions – a strategy that the MEK prominently supports as a means of weakening the barriers to regime change within Iran.
     The tape-recording of Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Ruhollah Khomeini
    The tape-recording of Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Ruhollah Khomeini’s would-be successor, describing his objections to the systematic massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
    The recent revelations of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran have gone a long way toward illustrating both the reasons for giving this designation to the Revolutionary Guards and the potential impact of doing so. Since then, the MEK has also used its intelligence gathering to highlight the ways in which further sanctioning the Guards could result in improved regional security, regardless of the specific impact on terrorist financing.
    For example, in June the NCRI’s Washington, D.C. office held yet another press conference wherein it explained that MEK operatives had become aware of another order for escalation that had been given by Supreme Leader Khamenei, this one related to the Iranian ballistic missile program. This had also been a longstanding point of contention for the Trump administration and the rest of the US government, in light of several ballistic missile launches that have been carried out since the conclusion of nuclear negotiations, including an actual strike on eastern Syria.
    That strike was widely viewed as a threatening gesture toward the US. And the MEK has helped to clarify the extent of the threat by identifying 42 separate missile sites scattered throughout Iran, including one that was working closely with the Iranian institution that had previously been tasked with weaponizing aspects of the Iranian nuclear program.
    The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) led by Maryam Rajavi is thus going to great lengths to encourage the current trend in US policy, which is pointing to more assertiveness and possibly even to the ultimate goal of regime change. The MEK is also striving to move Europe in a similar direction, and the July 1 gathering is likely to show further progress toward that goal. This is because hundreds of American and European politicians and scholars have already declared support for the NCRI and MEK and the platform of Maryam Rajavi. The number grows every year, while the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran continues to collect intelligence that promises to clarify the need for regime change and the practicality of their strategy for achieving it.

    Source: A Look at Khomeini’s Fatwa for PMOI/MEK Massacre video & photos

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:06 am on August 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Trump sanctions set stage for necessary regime change in Iran 

    BY IVAN SASCHA SHEEHAN

    With the president’s signature on H.R. 3364, formally known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, the Trump administration — eager for legislative accomplishments in the wake of the GOP failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act — can take credit for turning the page on failed Obama-era policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    The bipartisan passage of the long-anticipated sanctions bill by both houses of Congress allows the administration to take aim at rogue regimes in Iran, Russia and North Korea. Disagreements over U.S. policy toward Russia notwithstanding, the White House can be confident that legislators overwhelmingly support confronting threats emanating from Iran and North Korea and are prepared for even stronger measures to curtail the influence of these dangerous regimes.

    The White House should now build on the successful passage of sanctions legislation to push for regime change in Tehran as an appropriate next step.

    Trump administration surrogates can remind the American people that the White House first put Tehran on notice for engaging in regional destabilization shortly after Trump took office, pursued comprehensive sanctions targeting Iranian ballistic missile programs and directed the State Department to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, thereby blacklisting it from the global economy.

    The latest sanctions legislation effectively accomplishes this latter goal by extending all terror-related sanctions to the entirety of the IRGC as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group. The question now is how far the Trump administration is willing to go to address the Iranian threat.

    This question arose in June when the sanctions bill encountered delays, and it arose again in July when the White House, for a second time, certified Iranian compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The move surprised many seasoned Iran experts familiar with Tehran’s belligerence, particularly given the president’s campaign pledges to scrap the porous agreement altogether.

    In fairness to the White House, the day after certifying Iranian compliance with the Obama nuclear deal, the administration announced that it planned a thorough review of U.S. Iran policy. Some critics of the nuclear agreement believed that simply tearing it up on day one was not the best way to proceed.

    But virtually all analysts agree that steps must now be taken to address the significant shortcomings of the JCPOA. The agreement’s weaknesses and omissions — the result of Obama-era eagerness to secure a deal at any cost — are well known on both sides of the aisle.

    Trump’s embrace of the sanctions legislation may be an indication that he intends to adopt a more strategic policy toward Iran that would force concessions from the Islamic Republic or even encourage the transition to a new, democratic system of government.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previewed this possibility in June and some Iran analysts have suggested that the Trump administration’s assertive posture toward Tehran points in this direction. But Trump, Tillerson and others must now pay attention to how they plan to facilitate regime change via “elements inside Iran” to ensure a permanent solution to the nuclear issue and other matters.

    The July 1 gathering in Paris of tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates committed to democratic change, supported by senior members of the president’s own party, was sufficient to remove any doubts about the likelihood of regime change being successful. It was clear to all in attendance that there is a democratic alternative to the ayatollahs and regime change is within reach.

    At the Free Iran rally, Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), characterized the then-pending blacklisting of the IRGC as necessary to facilitate a domestic uprising against a weakened Iranian regime. Recent protests suggest that ordinary Iranians have tired of the regime’s civil and political repression, human rights abuses and adversarial relationship with global powers, leaving them vulnerable to a “Persian Spring.”

    But Rajavi emphasized that it will take more than a single package of sanctions to ensure success for the resistance movement. Now that obstacles to the IRGC’s terrorist designation have been overcome, it is time to discuss how the U.S. and its allies can further undermine Iran’s hardline paramilitary and curtail its foreign influence.

    With provocative ballistic missile tests and harassment of American naval vessels in the Persian Gulf becoming a near routine occurrence, the Trump administration hardly needs a reminder of the importance of confronting the IRGC. Now the White House must decide whether it is prepared to bring an end to the regime that created the hardline paramilitary organization.

    By taking assertive actions and supporting the Iranian opposition, Trump can signal not only his displeasure with JCPOA but also write the next chapter in U.S. policy toward Iran by building on the successful passage of congressional sanctions legislation.

    Tehran’s rogue status and lack of legitimacy presents the White House with a unique opportunity to further isolate the Iranian regime and deny it the resources to suppress its own people the next time they rise up and demand change. The question is whether the administration is willing to seize the opportunity and push for regime change in Tehran.

    Source: The Hill http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/345329-trump-sanctions-set-stage-for-necessary-regime-change-in

    Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Ph.D., is director of the graduate programs in Global Affairs & Human Security and Negotiations & Conflict Management in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan.

    via #BlacklistIRGC: Trump sanctions set stage for necessary regime change in Iran  iranarabspring

     

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:30 pm on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Sanctions Bill,   

    Trump Signs Iran Sanctions Bill 

    Donald-Trump

    August 2, 2017. President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill imposing sanctions on Iran, after the legislation overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate. The firm financial sanctions were supported by lawmakers in both parties, The bill itself targets Iran and North Korea as well as Russia.
    The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto proof numbers, upping stress on Trump to sign the legislation.
    The measure targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism and human rights violations, and yet it would still comply with the Iranian nuclear deal. Specifically, it imposes sanctions on any foreign person or foreign entity that does business with an entity already designated by the administration that has a connection to Iran’s ballistic missile program. These sanctions, for example, could apply to any financial institution or any foreign company that provides key parts or components to Iran’s missile program.
    In recent days, The United States and three Western allies Called Iran’s latest launch of a satellite-carrying rocket “a threatening and provocative step” that is “inconsistent” with a U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 agreement to rein in its nuclear program.
    In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, obtained Wednesday by the media, they complained that Iran’s Simorgh space launch vehicle, if configured as a ballistic missile, would have the range and “payload capacity to carry a nuclear warhead.”
    The U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom said this is “inconsistent” with a provision in the 2015 resolution adopted by the Security Council calling on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:50 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Iranian Youth, , ,   

    MEK’s popularity among Iranian youth, regime’s nightmare 

    Free Iran Rally in Paris 1 July 2017

    By: Jubin Katiraie

    For many associated with the Iranian lobby and appeasers of the clerical regime in Tehran, the best way to prop up the regime is to discredit any alternative options presented to the international community. In addition, the lobby and appeasers continue to stress that regime change will lead to war. As an example, they point to the struggles of the Iraq government since the removal of Saddam by the U.S. and its allies.

    However, history teaches us that any regime’s existence is limited when it begins with a violent upheaval. The current Iranian regime was born out of a revolution to end the rule of the Shah, but that revolution’s goal was to create a secular, pluralistic, and democratic Iran. However, the mullahs hijacked the revolution, creating a theocracy and suppressing any alternative political voices, including the MEK/PMOI.

    Instead, to consolidate their power, the Iranian regime has relied on the typical tools of oppression, including the creation of a paramilitary and judiciary system that touches every section of Iranian society. The regime, using its lobby and appeasers, have been quick in attacking any publication or personalities that dare to speak up about the quest of the Iranian people to achieve their original dream of a democratic Iran.

    Anyone who dares to talk about “regime change” is targeted for repressive measures. The MEK/PMOI have been high on the regime’s list, since the MEK/PMOI are the most dedicated and organized opposition with extensive routes and support at home, with the ability to materialize regime change.

    The people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been the subject of propaganda campaigns by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) at home and by regime lobbies and appeasers throughout the international community. This campaign is focused on discrediting the MEK/PMOI, by saying there is no democratic alternative to the Iranian regime and that regime change will result in war and increased instability within the region.

    But why is the MEK/PMOI being targeted so directly? The MEK/PMOI is the oldest, largest, and most popular resistance movement within Iran. They form the core of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is a coalition of opposition groups from all sectors of Iran. The PMOI/MEK was founded in September 1965 by three Iranian engineers who wanted to replace the Shah’s dictatorship with a democracy.

    It is this continued support of democracy that has kept the MEK/PMOI so popular among Iranians. The MEK/PMOI believes that Islam is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. This vision is the cure to the current spread of extremism, which can be traced back to Iran and its mullahs. Yet, during the time of upheaval after the revolution, the MEK/PMOI leaders witnessed Ayatollah Khomeini’s hijacking of the revolution to create his theocracy.

    Khomeini’s response to the efforts of the MEK/PMOI to stop the rise of this theocracy was brutal repression throughout the 1980s, including the massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners who were primarily members or supporters of the MEK/PMOI. Despite the escalation of attacks by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) throughout the years, the MEK/PMOI has never stopped promoting a pro-democracy vision of Iran. These actions demonstrated that the regime would only hold power by using brutality and repression to keep the Iranian people under their control.

    Despite this, the MEK/PMOI has continued to receive support and demonstrations held throughout Iran show that the Iranian people are not cowed by the regime, but still believe in a free Iran.

    In the recent 2017 election, hundreds of video clips and photos of banners and placards hanging from pathways and auto routes on billboards, were published on Telegram and YouTube channels, showcasing the vast magnitude of the activities of those who support the MEK/PMOI. The slogan, “My vote is regime change”, echoed throughout the country.

    The regime’s election was therefore quickly ended in the first round to avoid further opportunities for protest. Yet, internally, the regime is suffering from deep divisions about how to ensure its survival, as the domestic unrest continues to grow.

    Dr. Rafizadeh, a leading Iranian-American political scientist, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, and best-selling author in an opinion piece in Huffington post publishing 8 video clips of MEK activities inside Iran, wrote: “The activists of the network of the Iranian opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its group the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), inside Iran have been engaged in an extensive campaign nationwide, calling on Iranians to boycott the elections. Finally, from my perspective, it is critical to point out that Iranian leaders fear the soft power of oppositional groups more than the military and hard power of foreign governments. That is why Iranian leaders and media outlets normally react forcefully and anxiously to activities by the opposition such as the recent critical move, where Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Tirana, Albania. Iran’s oppositional groups can be a very powerful tool to counterbalance the Islamic Republic.”

    This support has not gone unnoticed by the regime, whose leadership has continued to try to clamp down on the MEK/PMOI by blocking access to the internet and monitoring social media posts and clips. They have also tried to block the MEK/PMOI Telegram website and associated channels, only to be rejected each time.

    In addition to using blunt force on people, the regime invests heavily in the massive propaganda effort it mobilizes through state-controlled media and via its lobbies and paid agents abroad, in order to discourage more support for the MEK, which is the main drive for regime change in Iran. The extent of the anti MEK propaganda has increased particularly after the July 1, 2017 gathering in Paris, which had a clear message, “Regime change in Iran is within reach.” Some 100,000 Iranian diaspora and supporters of MEK gave energy to it.

    This is why it serves the regime’s purposes to continually dangle the threat of war over the heads of its people. It also helps the Iran lobby’s PR efforts to cast Iran like some poor, defenseless nation under threat by the big bad U.S. and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia or the Iranian resistance movement, the MEK/PMOI.

    Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian American Council and staunch advocate for the Iranian regime, appeared on Bloomberg to beat the war drum again, as well as attacking the Trump administration for not living up to the Iran nuclear deal, even though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the renewal of the compliance certification for another 90 days.

    But the Trump administration also is asserting that Iranian regime’s development of ballistic missiles; support of terrorism and militancy; complicity in atrocities by the government of Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad; cyberattacks on the U.S.; and other actions “severely undermine the intent” of the nuclear accord and support additional sanctions as a response to these actions.

    The real threat to the Iranian regime though lies not within sanctions, but in the simple acts of defiance that the Iranian people undertake themselves such as the hanging of banners on Tehran’s overpasses bearing the image of MEK/PMOI leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi; an act punishable by death if the perpetrators were caught.

    The regime is also threatened by every protest over low wages or unsafe working conditions. In many ways large and small, the process of regime change can happen slowly, methodically, and inexorably.

    Mrs. Rajavi, in a recent speech at the annual gathering of the Iranian resistance movement and supporters of MEK/PMOI, opined that the movement did not require outside assistance from governments, such as the U.S., to succeed. It only needed the recognition by such governments to be empowered to bring about peaceful regime change and give birth to a democratic Iran.

    More about the People’s Mojahdin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK)

    The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Also known as MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq / Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), was founded on September 6, 1965, by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Ali-Asghar Badizadgan. All engineers, they had earlier been members of the Freedom Movement (also known as the Liberation Movement), created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961.1

    The MEK’s quest culminated in a true interpretation of Islam, which is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. It took six years for the MEK to formulate its view of Islam and develop a strategy to replace Iran’s dictatorial monarchy with a democratic government.

    MEK’s interpretation of Islam

    The theocratic mullah regime in Iran believe interpreting Islam is their exclusive domain. The MEK reject this view and the cleric’s reactionary vision of Islam. The MEK’s comprehensive interpretation of Islam proved to be more persuasive and appealing to the Iranian youth.

    MEK’s founders and new members studied the various schools of thought, the Iranian history and those of other countries, enabling them to analyze other philosophies and ideologies with considerable knowledge and to present their own ideology, based on Islam, as the answer to Iran’s problems.

    MEK’s leadership’s arrest during the 70s.

    The Shah’s notorious secret police, SAVAK, arrested all MEK leaders and most of its member’s in1971. On May 1972, the founders of the MEK, Mohammad Hanifnejad , Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, along with two members of the MEK leadership, Mahmoud Askarizadeh and Rasoul Meshkinfam, were put before death squads and were executed after long months of imprisonment and torture. They were the true vanguards, who stood against the dictatorial regime of Shah. However, they are also recognized for their opposition to what is today known as Islamic fundamentalism.

    The death sentence of Massoud Rajavi, a member of MEK’s central committee, was commuted to life imprisonment as a result of an international campaign by his Geneva based brother, Dr. Kazem Rajavi (assassinated in April 1990 in Geneva by mullahs’ agents) and the personal intervention of the French President Georges Pompidou and Francois Mitterrand. He was the only survivor of the MEK original leadership.

    Massoud Rajavi’s critical role in characterizing religious extremism

    From 1975 to 1979, while incarcerated in different prisons, Massoud Rajavi led the MEK’s struggle while constantly under torture for his leading position.

    Massoud Rajavi stressed the need to continue the struggle against the shah’s dictatorship. At the same time, he characterized religious fanaticism as the primary internal threat to the popular opposition, and warned against the emergence and growth of religious fanaticism and autocracy. He also played a crucial role when some splinter used the vacuum in the MEK leadership who were all executed or imprisoned at the time, to claim a change of ideology and policy. Massoud Rajavi as the MEK leader condemn these individual’s misuse of MEK’s name while continuing to stress the struggle against dictatorship. His efforts while still in prison forced these individuals to no longer operating under the name of MEK and adopting a different name for their group. These positions remained the MEK’s manifesto until the overthrow of the shah’s regime.

    Release of Political Prisoners on the last days of the Shah

    A month before the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Shah was forced to flee Iran, never to return. All democratic opposition leaders had by then either been executed by the Shah’s SAVAK or imprisoned, and could exert little influence on the trend of events. Khomeini and his network of mullahs across the country, who had by and large been spared the wrath of SAVAK, were the only force that remained unharmed and could take advantage of the political vacuum. In France, Khomeini received maximum exposure to the world media. With the aid of his clerical followers, he hijacked a revolution that began with calls for democracy and freedom and diverted it towards his fundamentalist goals. Through an exceptional combination of historical events, Shiite clerics assumed power in Iran.

    Khomeini’s gradual crackdown on MEK in fear of their popular support

    In internal discourses, Rajavi the remaining leader of the MEK, argued that Khomeini represented the reactionary sector of society and preached religious fascism. Later, in the early days after the 1979 revolution, the mullahs, specifically Rafsanjani, pointed to these statements in inciting the hezbollahi club-wielders to attack the MEK.

    Following the revolution, the MEK became Iran’s largest organized political party. It had hundreds of thousands of members who operated from MEK offices all over the country. MEK publication, ‘Mojahed’ was circulated in 500,000 copies.

    Khomeini set up an Assembly of Experts comprised of sixty of his closest mullahs and loyalists to ratify the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute supremacy of clerical rule) as a pillar of the Constitution. The MEK launched a nationwide campaign in opposition to this move, which enjoyed enormous popular support. Subsequently, the MEK refused to approve the new constitution based on the concept of velayat-e faqih, while stressing its observance of the law of the country to deny the mullahs any excuse for further suppression of MEK supporters who were regularly targeted by the regime’s official and unofficial thugs.

    Khomeini sanctioned the occupation of the United States embassy in 1979 in order to create an anti-American frenzy, which facilitated the holding of a referendum to approve his Constitution, which the MEK rejected.

    MEK’s endeavors to participate in the political process avoiding an unwanted conflict with government repressive forces

    The MEK actively participated in the political process, fielding candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections. The MEK also entered avidly into the national debate on the structure of the new Islamic regime, though was unsuccessful in seeking an elected constituent assembly to draft a constitution.

    The MEK similarly made an attempt at political participation when [then] Massoud Rajavi ran for the presidency in January 1980. MEK’s leader was forced to withdraw when Khomeini ruled that only candidates who had supported the constitution in the December referendum — which the MEK had boycotted- were eligible. Rajavi’s withdrawal statement emphasized the MEK’s efforts to conform to election regulations and reiterated the MEK’s intention to advance its political aims within the new legal system”. (Unclassified report on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI/ MEK) by the Department of State to the United States House of Representatives, December 1984.)

    However, the MEK soon found itself in a direct struggle against the forces of the regime’s Supreme leader. The MEK’s differences with Khomeini dated back to the 1970s, and stem from its opposition to what is known today as Islamic extremism. Angry at the position taken by the MEK against his regime and worried about the MEK’s growing popularity, Khomeini ordered a brutal crackdown against the MEK and its supporters. Between 1979 and 1981, some 70 MEK members and sympathizers were killed and several thousand more were imprisoned by the Iranian regime.

    June 20, 1981- Khomeini’s order to open fire on peaceful demonstration of half-a-million supporters of MEK

    The turning point came on 20th June 1981, when the MEK called a demonstration to protest at the regime’s crackdown, and to call for political freedom which half-a-million supporters participated at. Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the swelling crowd, fearing that without absolute repression the democratic opposition (MEK) would force him to engage in serious reforms — an anathema as far as he was concerned; he ordered the mass and summary executions of those arrested.

    Since then, MEK activists have been the prime victims of human rights violations in Iran. Over 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime, 30,000 of which, were executed in a few months in the summer of 1988, on a direct fatwa by Khomeini, which stated any prisoners who remain loyal to the MEK must be executed.

    Having been denied its fundamental rights and having come under extensive attack at the time that millions of its members, supporters and sympathizers had no protection against the brutal onslaught of the Iranian regime, the MEK had no choice but to resist against the mullahs’ reign of terror.

    “Towards the end of 1981, many of the members of the MEK and supporters went into exile. Their principal refuge was in France. But in 1986, after negotiations between the French and the Iranian authorities, the French government effectively treated them as undesirable aliens, and the leadership of the MEK with several thousand followers relocated to Iraq.” (Judgment of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, November 30, 2007.)

    MEK Today

    The MEK today is the oldest and largest anti-fundamentalist Muslim group in the Middle East. It has been active for more than a half century, battling two dictatorships and a wide range of issues. The MEK supports:

    • Universal suffrage as the sole criterion for legitimacy

    • Pluralistic system of governance

    • Respect for individual freedoms

    • Ban on the death penalty

    • Separation of religion and state

    • Full gender equality

    • Equal participation of women in political leadership. MEK is actually led by its central committee consist of 1000 women.

    • Modern judicial system that emphasizes the principle of innocence, a right to a defense, and due process

    • Free markets

    • Relations with all countries in the world

    • Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran

    The MEK remains a strong and cohesive organization, with a broad reach both worldwide and deep within Iran. MEK is the leading voice for democracy in Iran, supported by its interpretation of Islam that discredits the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime.

    Source: http://irannewsupdate.com/blog/4038-mek-pmoi-s-popularity-among-iranian-youth-regime-s-nightmare-contrary-to-iran-lobby-claims-regime-change-does-not-end-in-war.html

    Originally published at iranarabspring.wordpress.com on July 30, 2017.

     
    • nathalierobisco 8:28 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink

      Thanks for your post. Very interesting: in Western countries, people are not fully aware of the Revolution of 1979 and is consequences.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 10:05 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you dear Nathalie for your comment, yes indeed, your support is valuable for me, you are a great friend and supporter for me, thanks again and good luck my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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