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  • Masoud Dalvand 5:42 pm on August 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Free Iran, , ,   

    Iran: Protesters Demand Their Deposits from IRGC-affiliated Credit Institution
    Hundreds of people who have not been able to withdraw their deposits from Caspian credit institution staged a protest gathering outside the regime’s judiciary office in the capital, Tehran, chanting angry slogans, on Sunday, August 20.
    The protesters were shouting “Death to Seif”, referring to the Central Bank governor, Valiollah Seif.
    During recent months, there have been many similar protests against Caspian credit institution in other cities, as well.
    On Sunday, protestors also gathered outside a branch of the institution in city of Neyshabur in northeastern Iran.
    Similar protest also held on Saturday, 19 August, in city of Rasht.
    The defunct IRGC backed Caspian Credit Institute, founded in 1990s claiming to be a local low-interest-rate loan fund, attracted thousands of investors by paying higher interest rates but later failed to fulfil its promises.
    There are hundreds of similar funds are active across Iran but the regime has failed to regulate them.
    The foremost demand of the protesters is to take back their money siphoned off by the IRGC-aligned institution.
    Many people across the country had trusted Caspian credit institution enough to decide to invest there, as its name had been listed in Central Bank’s official website as an authorized institution. Therefore, investors say that they can no longer trust the Central Bank.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:08 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Free Iran, , , , , , ,   

    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 4:16 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Free Iran, , , , , , ,   

    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
    Tags: , Free Iran, , , ,   

    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 10:23 am on August 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Free Iran, , , , , , ,   

    Selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, from 2015 to 2017 

    No to Compulsory Veil: No to Compulsory Religion, No to Compulsory Government

    Amazon website: https://www.amazon.com/No-Compulsory-Veil-Religion-Government/dp/2955429554

    This is a selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran from 2015 to 2017 in various conferences on the topic of Islam, compulsory veil, compulsory religion and compulsory government and why anything that is forced under any pretexts is contrary to the teachings of Islam.

    71v5z+tzdoLMaryam Rajavi argues that mysogeny is the core of Islamic fundamentalism. In the case of iran, she argues that misogyny under the cloak of religion has become systematic and persistent because it is a lever to maintain the monopolistic domination of the velayat-e faqih. Misogyny is the purpose  for dozens of the regime’s suppressive agencies. It justifies the permanent surveillance operations in the streets, the actions of street patrols and the conduct of such agencies as the “Office to Combat Vice,” or the “Morality Police Force” and 20 other police entities.

    https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/887203950407159809

     

    Maryam Rajavi in the grand gathering of Free Iran- paris, July 1,2017

    Also read A glimpse at the life of Maryam Rajavi:  http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/maryam-rajavi

     

    via Selection of six speeches by Maryam Rajavi, from 2015 to 2017 #FreeIran — iranarabspring

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:53 am on August 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Free Iran, , , , ,   

    A campaign to prosecute those involved in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran 

    The activities of the supporters of the People's Mojahedin in Iran

    The activities of the supporters of the People’s Mojahedin in Iran

    IRAN: 06 August 2017– Activities of the supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) have shaken the murderous regime of Iranian mullahs after Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the NCRI sent a message on the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, known as the Justice Seeking Movement. MEK activists in different cities in Iran distributed posters and written slogans in the Greater Tehran and other cities including; Hamedan, Mashhad, Yazd, Shahsavar, Shahr-e Ray, Ilam, Shiraz, Maragheh and Arak.

    The above video has been shot in the suburbs of Hamedan. The activists have covered their faces to protect their identity fearing arrest and torture by the Iranian regime.

    The video also contains activities of other supporters of the MEK in other Iranian cities.

    Tehran - The movement of the prosecution in the Sheikh Fazlallah Expressway

        Tehran – The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Sheikh Fazlallah Highway

    The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the

       Tehran – The Justice Seeking Movement activities on Simorgh Avenue

    The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Jihad Park

    Tehran – The Justice Seeking Movement activities in  Jihad Park

    Tehran-The movement of the prosecution- The Nahjul Balaghe Park

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in Nahjul Balaghe Park

    The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Hakim Highway

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Hakim Highway

    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Shahrara

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Shahrara

    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Alley Ferdusi

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Ferdusi Rd.

    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Khavaran

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Khavaran

    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Shaykh Fazl  Allah

      TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Shaykh Fazl Allah

     Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement activities

    TehranThe Justice Seeking Movement activities

    Shiraz -The Justice Seeking Movement activities
        Shiraz After the terrorist designation of the IRGC, comes the justice for  victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran
       Shahr-e ray-The Justice Seeking Movement activities

     Shahr-e rayDown with the regime of the mullahs

    Hamedan -The Justice Seeking Movement  activities

    Hamedan –Onward for the overthrow of the mullahs regime in Iran

    Hamedan    The Justice Seeking Movement  activities in the  Luna Park

    Hamedan –   The Justice Seeking Movement  activities in the  Luna Park

    Maragheh The Justice Seeking Movement  activities   in the  Luna Park

     Maragheh- The Justice Seeking Movement activities in the Luna Park

    Yazd  - The Justice Seeking Movement  activities

     Yazd   Perpetrators of the 1988 massacre of pol. prisoners in Iran must be prosecuted  

    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement  activities
        TehranMaryam Rajavi holds the book of the names of 20,000 martyrs in Iran 
    Yazd  – The Justice Seeking Movement  activities  in the   Mother Park

     Arak   The Justice Seeking Movement  activities in the Mother Park

      Eelam  - The Justice Seeking Movement  activities
        Ilam   Perpetrators of the 1988 massacre of pol. prisoners in Iran must be prosecuted
    Tehran-The Justice Seeking Movement  activities
        Tehran– Down with the murderous regime of the mullahs in Iran   

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:03 am on August 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Free Iran, , , , ,   

    Those who met their appointment with Freedom 

    30,000 red roses

    On the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran

    The 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in Iran

    has been described as the worst crime against humanity since World War II. [1]

    28 years after this genocide, the Iranian regime still refuses to acknowledge the executions, or provide any information as to how many prisoners were killed.

    Based on eyewitness accounts of survivors, the massacre had been prepared for from at least a year before. The order for the massacre came from Khomeini directly in the form of a religious decree (fatwa), calling for the execution of all who remained steadfast in their support for the opposition People’s Mojahedin of Iran.[2]

    A so-called Amnesty Commission (better known among prisoners as the Death Commission) asked a simple question from every prisoner: do you still support the PMOI/MEK? Those who answered yes were executed, even if they had already finished serving their original sentence.[3] None of the victims had any new activities while in detention and many of them were 15 or 16 years of age at the time of original arrest and prosecution.

    The executions started in the last week of July, peaking on July 28 until August 14, and continuing onto autumn and even the following year in some places.

    Naturally, the vast majority of the victims were members and supporters of the PMOI/MEK, but the order extended to other groups in later stages.

    Prisoners were hanged in groups, sometimes 10 to 15 at a time, and later transported out of prison by dump trucks, and buried in unmarked mass graves. There was no mercy on anyone, even young girls and pregnant women.

    Khomeini’s haste to execute was so abhorrent many of his closest confidantes had doubts about it. Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s heir apparent and the country’s second highest authority at the time, urged for leniency and a slowdown.[4]

    In a book of memoirs published in December 2000, Montazeri pointed out the vicious tortures practiced especially against young girls and women before execution during the 1988 massacre.

    In a famous letter to Khomeini which led to his ouster, Montazeri wrote, “If you probably insist on your decision, at least order (the three-man Death Commission) to base their rulings on unanimous vote not that of the majority. And women should also be made exceptions, especially women who have children. And finally, the execution of several thousand people in several days will backfire.”

    From this letter we can understand the role and impact of women in the prisons of those days. They were firm and resilient and inspired resistance despite knowing the fact that they would have to go through the horrifying experience rape before being hanged. But they said NO to the executioners.

    It has been reported that 80 percent of PMOI women detained in the Women’s Ward 3 of Evin Prison had been massacred by September 1988. They included Monireh Rajavi, who had two small daughters and was executed only because she was the sister of the Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi. There was also Ashraf Ahmadi, a political prisoner from the Shah’s time, with four children. The victims also included a wide range of people from various professions, including PMOI’s female candidates for parliamentary elections Fatemeh Zare’ii from Shiraz, and Zohreh Ainol-Yagheen from Isfahan. Dr. Hamideh Sayyahi and Dr. Shourangiz Karimian, along with her sister, and National Volleyball Team player Forouzan Abdi were among those executed in the 1988 massacre.

    An audio clip just recently released by Montazeri’s family on his website, also reveals dreadful details about the massacre of women. The tape recording from Mr. Montazeri’s meeting with members of the Death Commission, includes an example about the execution of a 15-year-old girl who had been taken to prison only two days before to break her resistant brother but since she did not denounce her executed brother, she was executed, as well.

    The tape also includes reference to the execution of a pregnant woman in Isfahan.

    The overall picture of the 1988 massacre is totally inadequate because the massacre was extensive, carried out in prisons all across the country. In some instances, there was not any survivor. The clerical regime dealt with every information regarding the massacre as top secret, not allowing any leaks.

    So, what is known about the massacre has been extracted and pieced together from the limited number of reports by survivors and families who were called to collect the bodies of their loved ones,[5] as well as from scattered acknowledgments made by the regime’s former officials as noted in this article.

    The other side of this crime against humanity is of course, the steadfastness of a generation of prisoners who did not buckle under the threat of death and defended their identity which was akin to their nation’s freedom. They thus sealed their nation’s right to freedom of choice and thought, and turned this great crime against humanity into an epical humane epitome of human grace and grit which makes every conscientious human being humble before its magnificence.

    The Iranian Resistance has renewed its call for the international prosecution of all perpetrators of the 1988 massacre and crime against humanity in Iran, who are still in power and hold important positions of authority. They include Khamenei (then President under Khomeini), Rafsanjani (then acting Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces), Rouhani (then assistant to the acting Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces), and members of the death commission, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi (Minister of Justice under Hassan Rouhani), Hossein-Ali Nayyeri (head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges under Rouhani), Morteza Eshraqi (then Prosecutor), and Ebrahim Raeesi (one of the top clerics, member of the Assembly of Experts, and Khamenei’s appointed head of Astan Qods-e Razavi foundation, which is an important political and economic powerhouses funding the regime’s war efforts).

    [1] A former Intelligence Ministry deputy recorded a video clip in 2008, in which he revealed that the clerical regime had massacred some 33,700 political prisoners and buried them in mass graves. According to Reza Malek, there are between 170 to 190 mass graves across the country.

    [2] “Whoever at any stage continues to belong to the (PMOI/MEK) must be executed,” Khomeini’s fatwa read.

    [3] Khomeini assigned a three-member so-called “Amnesty Commission”, who held summary trials and actually interrogated prisoners to determine their fate.

    The questions were focused on whether the inmate continued to have any allegiances to the PMOI/MEK. If the prisoners were not willing to fully collaborate with the regime against the PMOI/MEK, it was viewed as a sign of sympathy to the organization and the sentence was immediate execution.

    [4] Montazeri was ousted and placed under house arrest until his death in 2009, for his protests against the massacre.   

    [5] A report from Shiraz indicated: “When we the rumors of the massacres spread among the public, we referred to the prison. Executioners told us, ‘What did you expect, that we serve you sweets and candies? We killed 860 people at once in one day! Now, if you hold a funeral, we will raze down your house as well.’ “

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

  • Masoud Dalvand 6:09 pm on July 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Free Iran, , ,   

    Why Iran Apologists Demonize the MEK? 

    Free Iran Rally in Paris 1 July 2017

    By Jubin Katiraie

    The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously on Thursday to pass new sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran.

    The officials of Iranian regime are already afraid of the consequences of the new sanctions. In addition to economic implications of the sanctions, what worries them the most is the actions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Designating and imposing sanctions on the IRGC was long overdue because the IRGC serves as the guarantee to preserve the entirety of the regime ruling Iran and is the main entity responsible for domestic suppression, the export of terrorism and extremism, and obtaining weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

    The new bill has added to already shaky regime’s fears. Janati, the head of the Guardian Council announced on Thursday that the main issue which has preoccupied the Supreme leader is his concern over regime change.

    Regime change was the main topic of the July 1, 2017 annual gathering of Iranian resistance (The Mujahedin-e-Khalq or MEK) in Paris. Many speakers talked about the regime change and their support for the MEK.

    “I’m happiest to be here because I can say, can probably say this with a good deal of authority, that the government of the United States supports you” Rudy Giuliani former mayor of New York City said referring to MEK supporters in the gathering.

    “we’re behind you, we agree with your values. The government of the United States understands the danger of Iran. The government of the United States will not allow Iran to become an empire in the Middle East.” Added Giuliani addressing the MEK supporters in the meeting.

    “I have come to bring you a simple message. Iran must be free. The only practical goal is to support a movement that could free Iran, and that’s you.” Former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich addressing MEK supporters in the gathering.

    “The presence of 3000 MEK in Albania is a decisive defeat for dictatorship in Tehran. the name of your president will stand the same as George Washington and Lafayette in the United States” Added Gingrich addressing the MEK supporters.

    “The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday.” Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said addressing the MEK supporters in the meeting.

    It is over thirty years since Iranian people and their just resistance (MEK) have been seeking for a regime change, but the brutal internal suppression, and international and especially US policy of appeasement towards Iran have been the main obstacles to reach this goal.

    Now the time has come for a regime change, and Iranian regime understands this more than anyone else, and that is why their lobbies and apologists are spreading this fake news that regime change in Iran means another war in the Middle East and the war in Iraq will be repeated in Iran and US will get stuck in another war.

    Iran lobbies also have started a widespread campaign against the MEK to demonize the MEK. Their goal from demonizing the MEK is to say that this regime does not have any alternative so for any possible change, the solution is within the regime and the West must try to find “moderates” inside the regime, and they should not support the MEK.

    Contrary to many countries including Iraq, in Iran a democratic and organized opposition exists. The Mujahedin-e-Khalq or the MEK has been fighting with this regime for over thirty-eight years.

    Since June 20, 1981 Iranian regime has executed over 120,000, mostly members and supporters of the MEK. Only in summer of 1988 over 30,000 political prisoners, majority of them from the MEK, were massacred.

    In addition to the massacre of MEK members and supports, Iranian regime created an atmosphere of fear and terror in the society. The terror atmosphere was such that whoever had any connection of any kind with the MEK they would be arrested and tortured. Even using the name of MEK was prohibited. Any call or communication with MEK members in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq by their family members was considered a crime and many MEK family members were arrested and tortured just because they called to talk to their loved ones.

    Despite all the carnage, pressures, suppression, and demonizing campaigns the MEK continued its fight against the regime. After transfer of MEK members to Albania, they focused on activities inside Iran. In the past nine months, the MEK supports have staged a campaign regarding the 1988 massacre in Iran, revealing many atrocities of the regime. The campaign has been so wide spread and extensive that the supreme leader of the regime, Ali Khamenei, was forced to react against the MEK, by defending the massacre of MEK members and supporters in the prisons.

    The adoption of the bill by the US House of Representatives, imposing new sanctions on the regime for violating human rights and pursuing ballistic missiles, and designating the IRGC as a terrorist entity is an essential step in rectifying the damaging policy of appeasement that needs to be completed by other measures including the eviction of the IRGC and its affiliated militia particularly from Syria and Iraq as well as the recognition of the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the clerical regime.

    *******

    More 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 with 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 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.

    Originally published at http://www.iranfocus.com.

     
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