Category: Shahriar Kia

Is the Argument for Regime Change in Iran Well Founded?


During his first address to the UN General Assembly in September, President Donald Trump offered a perspective on the people and the regime of Iran that starkly differed from that of his predecessors. He accurately attested that “The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want to change.” He described the Iran nuclear deal as “an embarrassment,” called off the Iranian regime for its export of “violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” and underlined that “Iran’s people are what their leaders fear most.”

These remarks from the president of the United States are a positive signal after three decades of failed appeasement toward the mullahs ruling Iran. And the testament to the fact are the reactions of Iranian officials, which betray their fear and consternation.

In a meeting with the Assembly of Experts, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime called Trump’s speech “foolish, extremely ugly and hideous” and “gangster and cowboy language fraught with sheer lies.”

“Mr. Trump said the wrong things in the wrong place to the wrong people,” Rouhani said to the state television.

The question that remains is whether President Trump’s remarks at the UNGA were simply a reaction to the failure of the appeasement policy, or was it the result of the natural course of events and the geopolitical dynamics governing the Middle East? Has the explosion in connectivity and social media services been effective in conveying the message of the Iranian people, who want the world to know about their desire for freedom and human rights?

Without a doubt, all of these parameters have been effective. But what are the real foundations of Washington’s new approach to the desires of the Iranian people for regime change?

Uprisings

The first factor that challenges the power of the ruling regime is the looming threat of uprisings. From an economic and social perspective, there has always been a potential for nationwide uprisings in Iran.

The first big occurrence of widespread protests was in 1981 when more than 500,000 people took to the streets of Tehran and demanded the overthrow of the theocratic regime. The protest was brutally suppressed and ruthless executions of protestors and dissidents ensued.

In the summer of 1988 alone, 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were executed in the span of a few months and were buried in secret graves.

In 1999 and 2009, uprisings erupted again. While the regime smothered both instances with a brutal crackdown, yet the potential for another uprising remains, and the ashes wait to be stirred once again.

Presently, sporadic protests are slowly building up across the country and gaining momentum. An example is the staged protests against the Arman and Caspian foundations, two financial organizations run by the Revolutionary Guards, which have been plundering the people’s wealth at an unprecedented scale. Following the start of Rouhani’s second term as president, social dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs has increased.

Infighting

The second factor that is weakening the regime is the ongoing power struggle between the Supreme Leader and other factions within the regime. So long as the country’s constitution is based on the “guardianship of the jurist,” every key decision will be made by the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader is also the commander in chief, which leaves the president with no substantial power.

This religious dictatorship is founded on fundamentalist interpretations of Islam and sees its survival as bound to domestic suppression and foreign terrorism. However, the mullahs’ crimes in the past four decades have intensified the hatred of the Iranian people toward them.

Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation revisited the mass execution of 30,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988 in her report to the Secretary-General. Moreover, activists and international human rights organizations have called for an independent investigation into this crime against humanity, placing the Iranian regime in another political and social dead end.

A War of Attrition in the Middle East

The Iranian regime is stuck in three long regional wars, involving Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Some analysts and politicians perceive the Iranian regime’s meddling in these three countries as a sign of power and stability. However, contrary to what Khamenei and other regime officials have insisted on time and again, if they abandon their intervention in the countries of the Middle East, they’ll be fighting their wars in the streets of Tehran. Therefore, the sole purpose of the Iranian regime’s regional forays is to avoid its collapse. The regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile project is for the same purpose.

The Coalition of Arab Countries and U.S. Against Iran’s Regional Ambitions

The coalition of Arab countries and the U.S., the imposition of further sanctions against the Iranian regime’s regional meddling, and the end of the golden era of the Obama administration have faced the regime of Tehran with further challenges. Officials in the new U.S. administration rightly insist that the real threat of Iran comes not only from its nuclear ambitions but also from its ballistic missile program, its chaos mongering in the region and its human rights abuses. The only durable solution to those collective threats is regime change in Iran.

The Existence of a Reliable Alternative to Replace the Regime in Iran

What makes the replacement of a tyrannical regime viable is the presence of a recognized alternative that has a distinct political, social and economic platform for the future, which enjoys the support of the international community. The existence of such a resistance and its international recognition is one of the main parameters that will pave the way for uprisings against the ruling dictatorship.

Iran currently has a democratic alternative, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, a Muslim woman who opposes fundamentalism and bases her faith on tolerance. Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan has been praised and acknowledged by many political personalities, jurists, parliamentarians, and human rights activists across the world.

Three decades of appeasement toward Tehran has not moderated the behavior of the Iranian regime — it has made it worse. However, the foundations for change in Iran exist. What makes regime change in Iran unique is the fact that it requires no foreign intervention. The people of Iran and their organized resistance have the potential to bring about change from Inside Iran.

During his first address to the UN General Assembly in September, President Donald Trump offered a perspective on the people and the regime of Iran that starkly differed from that of his predecessors. He accurately attested that “The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want to change.” He described the Iran nuclear deal as “an embarrassment,” called off the Iranian regime for its export of “violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” and underlined that “Iran’s people are what their leaders fear most.”

These remarks from the president of the United States are a positive signal after three decades of failed appeasement toward the mullahs ruling Iran. And the testament to the fact are the reactions of Iranian officials, which betray their fear and consternation.

In a meeting with the Assembly of Experts, Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime called Trump’s speech “foolish, extremely ugly and hideous” and “gangster and cowboy language fraught with sheer lies.”

“Mr. Trump said the wrong things in the wrong place to the wrong people,” Rouhani said to the state television.

The question that remains is whether President Trump’s remarks at the UNGA were simply a reaction to the failure of the appeasement policy, or was it the result of the natural course of events and the geopolitical dynamics governing the Middle East? Has the explosion in connectivity and social media services been effective in conveying the message of the Iranian people, who want the world to know about their desire for freedom and human rights?

Without a doubt, all of these parameters have been effective. But what are the real foundations of Washington’s new approach to the desires of the Iranian people for regime change?

Uprisings

The first factor that challenges the power of the ruling regime is the looming threat of uprisings. From an economic and social perspective, there has always been a potential for nationwide uprisings in Iran.

The first big occurrence of widespread protests was in 1981 when more than 500,000 people took to the streets of Tehran and demanded the overthrow of the theocratic regime. The protest was brutally suppressed and ruthless executions of protestors and dissidents ensued.

In the summer of 1988 alone, 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were executed in the span of a few months and were buried in secret graves.

In 1999 and 2009, uprisings erupted again. While the regime smothered both instances with a brutal crackdown, yet the potential for another uprising remains, and the ashes wait to be stirred once again.

Presently, sporadic protests are slowly building up across the country and gaining momentum. An example is the staged protests against the Arman and Caspian foundations, two financial organizations run by the Revolutionary Guards, which have been plundering the people’s wealth at an unprecedented scale. Following the start of Rouhani’s second term as president, social dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs has increased.

Infighting

The second factor that is weakening the regime is the ongoing power struggle between the Supreme Leader and other factions within the regime. So long as the country’s constitution is based on the “guardianship of the jurist,” every key decision will be made by the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader is also the commander in chief, which leaves the president with no substantial power.

This religious dictatorship is founded on fundamentalist interpretations of Islam and sees its survival as bound to domestic suppression and foreign terrorism. However, the mullahs’ crimes in the past four decades have intensified the hatred of the Iranian people toward them.

Earlier this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation revisited the mass execution of 30,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988 in her report to the Secretary-General. Moreover, activists and international human rights organizations have called for an independent investigation into this crime against humanity, placing the Iranian regime in another political and social dead end.

A War of Attrition in the Middle East

The Iranian regime is stuck in three long regional wars, involving Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Some analysts and politicians perceive the Iranian regime’s meddling in these three countries as a sign of power and stability. However, contrary to what Khamenei and other regime officials have insisted on time and again, if they abandon their intervention in the countries of the Middle East, they’ll be fighting their wars in the streets of Tehran. Therefore, the sole purpose of the Iranian regime’s regional forays is to avoid its collapse. The regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile project is for the same purpose.

The Coalition of Arab Countries and U.S. Against Iran’s Regional Ambitions

The coalition of Arab countries and the U.S., the imposition of further sanctions against the Iranian regime’s regional meddling, and the end of the golden era of the Obama administration have faced the regime of Tehran with further challenges. Officials in the new U.S. administration rightly insist that the real threat of Iran comes not only from its nuclear ambitions but also from its ballistic missile program, its chaos mongering in the region and its human rights abuses. The only durable solution to those collective threats is regime change in Iran.

The Existence of a Reliable Alternative to Replace the Regime in Iran

What makes the replacement of a tyrannical regime viable is the presence of a recognized alternative that has a distinct political, social and economic platform for the future, which enjoys the support of the international community. The existence of such a resistance and its international recognition is one of the main parameters that will pave the way for uprisings against the ruling dictatorship.

Iran currently has a democratic alternative, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, a Muslim woman who opposes fundamentalism and bases her faith on tolerance. Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan has been praised and acknowledged by many political personalities, jurists, parliamentarians, and human rights activists across the world.

Three decades of appeasement toward Tehran has not moderated the behavior of the Iranian regime — it has made it worse. However, the foundations for change in Iran exist. What makes regime change in Iran unique is the fact that it requires no foreign intervention. The people of Iran and their organized resistance have the potential to bring about change from Inside Iran.



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Middle East peace hinges on regime change in Iran


As the Trump administration continues to overhaul and codify a  comprehensive new Iran strategy, the opposition coalition to the mullahs in Tehran held a massive rally on Saturday in the French capital calling for regime change.

An enormous crowd of participants joined hundreds of prominent dignitaries from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. The entire convention voiced exuberant support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its President Maryam Rajavi as the sole viable alternative for the Iranian regime.

Rajavi emphasized how her movement welcomed statements made during a recent U.S.-Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh.

“The ultimate solutions to the crisis in the region is the overthrow of the Iranian regime by the Iranian people,” she explained. “With [the recent presidential] election, the mullahs had intended to improve the regime’s situation. But they divided and destabilized the regime. Now, they are planning and threatening to oust Rouhani,” she added.

The NCRI President then emphasized on how her people continue to suffer from the mullahs’ regime, highlighting their main demand for an end to the mullahs’ rule. “Regime change is possible and within reach,” Rajavi said. “The Iranian society is simmering.”

The Iranian opposition leader’s call for the international to once and for all designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity received echoes by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and even elevated by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“We have a different administration in Washington that has a different set of principles and a different way of looking at the world,” Giuliani said, considered by many as a Trump envoy. “And under the leadership of President Trump, I believe he can help us rid the Iranian people of the oppression that has subjected them for so long.”

Mr. Gingrich further energized the crowd by highlighting, “Iran must be free!” and condemning the mullahs’ atrocious record of human rights violations.

“And I believe that the commitment to take steps to help you help all free people everywhere will be clear in this administration, and the pressures will grow every single year in the direction of supporting 1,000 Ashraf so that we have a network of freedom prepared to take over from a dictatorship of death,” Gingrich emphasized.

In a reference to the American Revolution and independence on July 4th, Gingrich said, “In history, the name of your president elect, Maryam Rajavi, will go down in the same tradition of fighters for freedom as Washington, Lafayette and Garibaldi… This movement is going to be a movement that goes down in history as one of the great examples of human spirit defeating the evils of dictatorship.”

Former and current members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in the U.S., along with a very prominent Arab world figure, were among the many others also seeking regime change in Tehran.

“The Iranian people are the first victims of Khomeini’s dictatorship,” said former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal Faisal, also a former Saudi ambassador in the United States and the United Kingdom. “Your effort in challenging this regime is legitimate and your resistance for the liberation of the Iranian people of all ethnicities, including Arabs, Kurds, Baluchis, Turks and Fars of the mullahs’ evil, as Mrs. Rajavi said, is a legitimate struggle.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman reiterated Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

“I want to share with you a dream I have for the Middle East,” he said. “I have a dream paraphrasing Dr. King that all the people of that region, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Shiite and Sunnis, Israelis and Palestinians, will sit down together at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood and peace and freedom,” the senator said.

Those gathered in Paris shared that dream, Lieberman added, and regime change in Tehran is the sole method of realizing that dream.

All await the results of the Trump administration’s review of its all-out Iran policy as more voices make a strong appeal for regime change in Tehran.

Iran continues its flagrant human rights violations at home, fuels sectarian wars and terrorism across the region, and pursues a highly dangerous nuclear weapons/ballistic missile program. Recent revelations of extensive collaboration between Tehran and Pyongyang are adding to the growing list of international community concerns.

As Maryam Rajavi has emphasized time and again through her ongoing struggle, this solution requires not a new war in the already flashpoint Middle East. The Iranian people and their organized opposition movement are more than capable of ridding the world of Tehran’s criminal mullahs.

Such an objective would have been realized long ago if the West had not adopted a disastrous policy of appeasement vis-à-vis Iran. The end of the mullahs’ rule will be the prelude to a Middle East enjoying peace and security.

​Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK).  He graduated from North Texas University.

As the Trump administration continues to overhaul and codify a  comprehensive new Iran strategy, the opposition coalition to the mullahs in Tehran held a massive rally on Saturday in the French capital calling for regime change.

An enormous crowd of participants joined hundreds of prominent dignitaries from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. The entire convention voiced exuberant support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its President Maryam Rajavi as the sole viable alternative for the Iranian regime.

Rajavi emphasized how her movement welcomed statements made during a recent U.S.-Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh.

“The ultimate solutions to the crisis in the region is the overthrow of the Iranian regime by the Iranian people,” she explained. “With [the recent presidential] election, the mullahs had intended to improve the regime’s situation. But they divided and destabilized the regime. Now, they are planning and threatening to oust Rouhani,” she added.

The NCRI President then emphasized on how her people continue to suffer from the mullahs’ regime, highlighting their main demand for an end to the mullahs’ rule. “Regime change is possible and within reach,” Rajavi said. “The Iranian society is simmering.”

The Iranian opposition leader’s call for the international to once and for all designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity received echoes by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and even elevated by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“We have a different administration in Washington that has a different set of principles and a different way of looking at the world,” Giuliani said, considered by many as a Trump envoy. “And under the leadership of President Trump, I believe he can help us rid the Iranian people of the oppression that has subjected them for so long.”

Mr. Gingrich further energized the crowd by highlighting, “Iran must be free!” and condemning the mullahs’ atrocious record of human rights violations.

“And I believe that the commitment to take steps to help you help all free people everywhere will be clear in this administration, and the pressures will grow every single year in the direction of supporting 1,000 Ashraf so that we have a network of freedom prepared to take over from a dictatorship of death,” Gingrich emphasized.

In a reference to the American Revolution and independence on July 4th, Gingrich said, “In history, the name of your president elect, Maryam Rajavi, will go down in the same tradition of fighters for freedom as Washington, Lafayette and Garibaldi… This movement is going to be a movement that goes down in history as one of the great examples of human spirit defeating the evils of dictatorship.”

Former and current members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in the U.S., along with a very prominent Arab world figure, were among the many others also seeking regime change in Tehran.

“The Iranian people are the first victims of Khomeini’s dictatorship,” said former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal Faisal, also a former Saudi ambassador in the United States and the United Kingdom. “Your effort in challenging this regime is legitimate and your resistance for the liberation of the Iranian people of all ethnicities, including Arabs, Kurds, Baluchis, Turks and Fars of the mullahs’ evil, as Mrs. Rajavi said, is a legitimate struggle.”

Senator Joseph Lieberman reiterated Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

“I want to share with you a dream I have for the Middle East,” he said. “I have a dream paraphrasing Dr. King that all the people of that region, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Shiite and Sunnis, Israelis and Palestinians, will sit down together at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood and peace and freedom,” the senator said.

Those gathered in Paris shared that dream, Lieberman added, and regime change in Tehran is the sole method of realizing that dream.

All await the results of the Trump administration’s review of its all-out Iran policy as more voices make a strong appeal for regime change in Tehran.

Iran continues its flagrant human rights violations at home, fuels sectarian wars and terrorism across the region, and pursues a highly dangerous nuclear weapons/ballistic missile program. Recent revelations of extensive collaboration between Tehran and Pyongyang are adding to the growing list of international community concerns.

As Maryam Rajavi has emphasized time and again through her ongoing struggle, this solution requires not a new war in the already flashpoint Middle East. The Iranian people and their organized opposition movement are more than capable of ridding the world of Tehran’s criminal mullahs.

Such an objective would have been realized long ago if the West had not adopted a disastrous policy of appeasement vis-à-vis Iran. The end of the mullahs’ rule will be the prelude to a Middle East enjoying peace and security.

​Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK).  He graduated from North Texas University.



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Iran and Middle East Instability


The end result of Iran’s presidential election has created further rifts and launched a more intense power struggle amongst the regime’s senior ranks. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, fearing a repeat of the 2009 scenario of nationwide uprisings, failed to “engineer” the election results with the aim of unifying his regime apparatus. Khamenei sought to prepare conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi as his heir by first placing him in the presidency, similar to the process he himself went through.

The elections, however, failed to provide such a finale and in fact prompted all candidates to unveil corruption in the most senior ranks. This has prompted the general public to increase their demands. Protests and demonstrations are witnessed these days in more than 30 cities and towns across Iran, with sporadic reports of clashes, following the bankruptcy of two state-run financial firms, Caspian and Arman.

Iran is also facing major foreign dilemmas, with a new international coalition shaping and targeting Tehran’s interests. The Arab-Islamic-American alliance, with the presence of 55 States, and Iran’s absence, delivered a major blow to the mullahs’ objectives in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), transferring all its members from Iraq to a number of European countries, has become ever more powerful. Through a vast network of supporters inside Iran, the PMOI/MEK was able to significantly influence the recent elections and place the regime in a quagmire like never before.

A major rally is scheduled for July 1st by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political umbrella group of Iranian dissidents, including the PMOI/MEK. Policymakers and influential figures from across the globe will be gathering to provide a concrete plan to evict the mullahs’ presence from the region, how to establish freedom and democracy in Iran, and thus result in peace and stability in the Middle East. Last year more than 100,000 people took part in this convention.

During President Donald Trump’s trip to the region and beyond Iran was strongly condemned by the American leader and senior Saudi officials for its support for terrorism, destructive role across the Middle East, and meddling in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Tehran is most specifically concerned with world leaders denouncing Iran’s human rights violations and acknowledging how the Iranian people are the main victims of the mullahs’ atrocities.

Despite the heavy blows and new sanctions against Tehran, Khamenei has chosen to remain completely silent. This is in complete contrast to the Obama era, where the mullahs’ leader resorted to harsh outbursts in response to even the slightest hint of threats by U.S. officials.

To this end, adopting a strong approach against Tehran has proven to be correct, parallel to the weakness seen in Tehran following the presidential election.

To add insult to injury for Iran, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on dozens of Iran’s companies, sending a highly important message.

Sanctions have now expanded from ballistic missiles and reached the human rights perspective, and specifically targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) with the objective of designating this entity as a foreign terrorist organization

The IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency described a new U.S. Senate bill as an “effort to bring Europe aboard in nuclear sanctions.”

“Foreign investment in Iran during the past four years has halved during the past four years, lowering from $4.6 billion to $2.05 billion,” according to Naseem Online citing a UN report.

The Arabs, as the flagbearers of implementing U.S. sanctions, have launched the domino of freezing Iran’s money abroad. Iranian bank accounts in countries such as Turkey, Oman, and the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are being blocked one after another. This can be considered the prelude to comprehensive sanctions on Iran’s banking network.

Is Rouhani able, or even willing?

Rouhani is neither willing nor able to carry out any measures outside of Khamenei’s framework. The entire apparatus and power structure is controlled by the Supreme Leader. As long as Iran remains under the mullahs’ regime structure, one should set aside all expectations of change emanating from within Iran. A look at Mohammad Khatami’s tenure is president from 1997 to 2005, and Rouhani’s first term, are undeniable proof to this reality.

“They want to change our behavior, but changing it means changing our regime,” Khamenei said recently, signaling his red line.

Rouhani defending Iran’s missiles

The regime’s president recently said that Tehran would continue its ballistic missile program.

“… US officials should know whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission,” he said in a news conference.

The Iranian regime reported recently the construction of a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program.

This came in the same week when Trump in his foreign visit described Iran as a supporter of militia groups and a threat to all Middle East countries.

Rouhani is an “utterly ruthless operator,” who had presided since 2013 over a collapsing economy and what Amnesty International called “a staggering execution spree,” murdering and imprisoning so many dissidents that Iran has per capita the highest execution rate in the world, according to Christopher Booker in a recent Telegraph article.

Obama’s departure ended the period of appeasement and golden opportunities for Tehran’s mullahs. The road ahead promises to be very difficult, to say the least.

The past four decades have proven that only regime change will bring about what the Iranian people desire and deserve. This is something that is supported by the NCRI and Rajavi’s ten-point plan, calling for a free and democratic Iran where equal opportunities are provided to all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, and religion. During the short campaigning season, Iranians manifested their support for Rajavi’s plan by putting up posters reading “Maryam Rajavi is our president.”

The end result of Iran’s presidential election has created further rifts and launched a more intense power struggle amongst the regime’s senior ranks. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, fearing a repeat of the 2009 scenario of nationwide uprisings, failed to “engineer” the election results with the aim of unifying his regime apparatus. Khamenei sought to prepare conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi as his heir by first placing him in the presidency, similar to the process he himself went through.

The elections, however, failed to provide such a finale and in fact prompted all candidates to unveil corruption in the most senior ranks. This has prompted the general public to increase their demands. Protests and demonstrations are witnessed these days in more than 30 cities and towns across Iran, with sporadic reports of clashes, following the bankruptcy of two state-run financial firms, Caspian and Arman.

Iran is also facing major foreign dilemmas, with a new international coalition shaping and targeting Tehran’s interests. The Arab-Islamic-American alliance, with the presence of 55 States, and Iran’s absence, delivered a major blow to the mullahs’ objectives in the Middle East.

On the other hand, Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), transferring all its members from Iraq to a number of European countries, has become ever more powerful. Through a vast network of supporters inside Iran, the PMOI/MEK was able to significantly influence the recent elections and place the regime in a quagmire like never before.

A major rally is scheduled for July 1st by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political umbrella group of Iranian dissidents, including the PMOI/MEK. Policymakers and influential figures from across the globe will be gathering to provide a concrete plan to evict the mullahs’ presence from the region, how to establish freedom and democracy in Iran, and thus result in peace and stability in the Middle East. Last year more than 100,000 people took part in this convention.

During President Donald Trump’s trip to the region and beyond Iran was strongly condemned by the American leader and senior Saudi officials for its support for terrorism, destructive role across the Middle East, and meddling in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Tehran is most specifically concerned with world leaders denouncing Iran’s human rights violations and acknowledging how the Iranian people are the main victims of the mullahs’ atrocities.

Despite the heavy blows and new sanctions against Tehran, Khamenei has chosen to remain completely silent. This is in complete contrast to the Obama era, where the mullahs’ leader resorted to harsh outbursts in response to even the slightest hint of threats by U.S. officials.

To this end, adopting a strong approach against Tehran has proven to be correct, parallel to the weakness seen in Tehran following the presidential election.

To add insult to injury for Iran, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on dozens of Iran’s companies, sending a highly important message.

Sanctions have now expanded from ballistic missiles and reached the human rights perspective, and specifically targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) with the objective of designating this entity as a foreign terrorist organization

The IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency described a new U.S. Senate bill as an “effort to bring Europe aboard in nuclear sanctions.”

“Foreign investment in Iran during the past four years has halved during the past four years, lowering from $4.6 billion to $2.05 billion,” according to Naseem Online citing a UN report.

The Arabs, as the flagbearers of implementing U.S. sanctions, have launched the domino of freezing Iran’s money abroad. Iranian bank accounts in countries such as Turkey, Oman, and the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are being blocked one after another. This can be considered the prelude to comprehensive sanctions on Iran’s banking network.

Is Rouhani able, or even willing?

Rouhani is neither willing nor able to carry out any measures outside of Khamenei’s framework. The entire apparatus and power structure is controlled by the Supreme Leader. As long as Iran remains under the mullahs’ regime structure, one should set aside all expectations of change emanating from within Iran. A look at Mohammad Khatami’s tenure is president from 1997 to 2005, and Rouhani’s first term, are undeniable proof to this reality.

“They want to change our behavior, but changing it means changing our regime,” Khamenei said recently, signaling his red line.

Rouhani defending Iran’s missiles

The regime’s president recently said that Tehran would continue its ballistic missile program.

“… US officials should know whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission,” he said in a news conference.

The Iranian regime reported recently the construction of a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program.

This came in the same week when Trump in his foreign visit described Iran as a supporter of militia groups and a threat to all Middle East countries.

Rouhani is an “utterly ruthless operator,” who had presided since 2013 over a collapsing economy and what Amnesty International called “a staggering execution spree,” murdering and imprisoning so many dissidents that Iran has per capita the highest execution rate in the world, according to Christopher Booker in a recent Telegraph article.

Obama’s departure ended the period of appeasement and golden opportunities for Tehran’s mullahs. The road ahead promises to be very difficult, to say the least.

The past four decades have proven that only regime change will bring about what the Iranian people desire and deserve. This is something that is supported by the NCRI and Rajavi’s ten-point plan, calling for a free and democratic Iran where equal opportunities are provided to all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, and religion. During the short campaigning season, Iranians manifested their support for Rajavi’s plan by putting up posters reading “Maryam Rajavi is our president.”



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Exploiting Tehran’s Anxiety over Increasingly Powerful Iranian Opposition


Last  week, Senator John McCain paid a visit to newly established centers of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, where he met Maryam Rajavi, President of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and Iranian exiles who until recently were living in concentration camp conditions at the former U.S. military base of Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Dozens of members of the exile community died in Iraq in recent years, as a result of Western failure to live up to promises of protection at a time when Tehran’s influence over the Iraqi government and military grew steadily more entrenched and violent. Although the Obama administration was slow in responding to the situation, it deserves credit for helping to secure the removal of the exiles abroad.

That relocation has empowered the Iranian opposition, providing some of its senior most officials with stable bases of operations, where they can freely join with fellow activists and continue their advocacy for the cause of regime change in Tehran. McCain’s visit not only signals collaboration between Iranian opposition and the West, but serves to underscore the fact that these activists enjoy a large and growing collection of allies in Western democracies who recognize the potential for transformative change in the region spearheaded by native Iranians and their families in exile.

It is absolutely unsurprising, therefore, that the Iranian regime was quick to issue a hysterical response to McCain’s visit, levying long-debunked accusations of terrorism against the PMOI/MEK, as well as accusing the U.S. of pursuing “obscene” policies in the Middle East and declaring Washington would “pay” both for McCain’s visit and for “other mistakes.”

As baseless and inexcusable as Tehran’s aggressive rhetoric is, there is good reason for the regime to be concerned about the current trajectory of U.S. policy. McCain’s visit followed several moves by both the White House and Congress to institute a more assertive U.S. policy vis-a-vis Iran. The Trump administration placed Iran “on notice” over its ballistic missile tests and ordered a review of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

More recently, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee each put forward bills set to expand sanctions on the Islamic Republic and perhaps specifically target the IRGC, which currently faces few constraints while playing a leading role in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars, and also in the domestic affairs of a variety of regional countries.

At the start of a week-long tour of the Middle East, Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to cooperation with allies like Saudi Arabia, who feel increasingly threatened by Iranian imperialism and the proliferation of IRGC-linked militant proxies. Mattis explicitly declared an Iranian hand can be seen at work in every Middle East crisis and he specifically called for the U.S. to counteract Iranian influence in Yemen, where Tehran backs Houthi rebels against the country’s recognized government.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed Washington longstanding criticism of the Iran nuclear deal. Although recent reports indicate Iran generally abiding by the agreement, the White House remains worried about the possibility of cheating but is also more directly focused that even a fully enforced agreement will cause sanctions relief to be channeled into the hands of Iran-backed terrorist groups. In his remarks the past Wednesday, Tillerson focused not only on the nuclear deal, but also on what he called Iran’s “alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence.”

The Trump administration acting against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would be positively disastrous for the Iranian regime. The loss of modest but hard-earned economic gains would reinvigorate the dissident sentiments of the Iranian people and create a serious opening for the Iranian opposition to drive out the theocracy.

But the recent economic gains are not alone sufficient to stave off the simmering bitterness of a pro-democratic people whose uprising was quelled by the regime in 2009. Coordinated opposition to Iran’s foreign interventions could have an effect similar to the collapse of the JCPOA, especially if coupled with targeted sanctions against repressive hardline entities like the IRGC. This alone would expose Tehran’s underlying weakness.

This provides good reason for Tehran to worry, first about the recent empowerment of the Iranian opposition and second, the end of the failed engagement policy with Tehran. And of course, Tehran should be particularly worried when these two trends overlap, as they did with McCain’s visit and as they very likely will throughout the Trump presidency.

Such an overlap should be consciously and eagerly embraced by U.S. policymakers and the American people. Iran’s anger over the contact between lawmakers and Iranian activists is indicative of an anxiety that can be exploited for the benefit of Western interests and the improvement of the lives of people living under the thumb of Iran’s religious dictatorship.

The U.S. is trekking the right path by reviewing the JCPOA, moving to blacklist the IRGC, and making Tehran comprehend its ongoing support of terrorism and repression of its own people will not be tolerated.

Once those measures reach their conclusion, Iran’s most hardline political elements will lose their influence, and its most repressive institutions will lack the resources needed to keep a restive population in check. Once these changes give rise to even greater anxieties among Iran’s mullahs, the international community will be able to bring effective political pressure to bear on the regime, so as to convince it to finally listen to the demands of its people and allow true reformists to enter the political process, including officials affiliated with the Iranian opposition.

​Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.

Last  week, Senator John McCain paid a visit to newly established centers of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, where he met Maryam Rajavi, President of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and Iranian exiles who until recently were living in concentration camp conditions at the former U.S. military base of Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Dozens of members of the exile community died in Iraq in recent years, as a result of Western failure to live up to promises of protection at a time when Tehran’s influence over the Iraqi government and military grew steadily more entrenched and violent. Although the Obama administration was slow in responding to the situation, it deserves credit for helping to secure the removal of the exiles abroad.

That relocation has empowered the Iranian opposition, providing some of its senior most officials with stable bases of operations, where they can freely join with fellow activists and continue their advocacy for the cause of regime change in Tehran. McCain’s visit not only signals collaboration between Iranian opposition and the West, but serves to underscore the fact that these activists enjoy a large and growing collection of allies in Western democracies who recognize the potential for transformative change in the region spearheaded by native Iranians and their families in exile.

It is absolutely unsurprising, therefore, that the Iranian regime was quick to issue a hysterical response to McCain’s visit, levying long-debunked accusations of terrorism against the PMOI/MEK, as well as accusing the U.S. of pursuing “obscene” policies in the Middle East and declaring Washington would “pay” both for McCain’s visit and for “other mistakes.”

As baseless and inexcusable as Tehran’s aggressive rhetoric is, there is good reason for the regime to be concerned about the current trajectory of U.S. policy. McCain’s visit followed several moves by both the White House and Congress to institute a more assertive U.S. policy vis-a-vis Iran. The Trump administration placed Iran “on notice” over its ballistic missile tests and ordered a review of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

More recently, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee each put forward bills set to expand sanctions on the Islamic Republic and perhaps specifically target the IRGC, which currently faces few constraints while playing a leading role in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars, and also in the domestic affairs of a variety of regional countries.

At the start of a week-long tour of the Middle East, Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to cooperation with allies like Saudi Arabia, who feel increasingly threatened by Iranian imperialism and the proliferation of IRGC-linked militant proxies. Mattis explicitly declared an Iranian hand can be seen at work in every Middle East crisis and he specifically called for the U.S. to counteract Iranian influence in Yemen, where Tehran backs Houthi rebels against the country’s recognized government.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed Washington longstanding criticism of the Iran nuclear deal. Although recent reports indicate Iran generally abiding by the agreement, the White House remains worried about the possibility of cheating but is also more directly focused that even a fully enforced agreement will cause sanctions relief to be channeled into the hands of Iran-backed terrorist groups. In his remarks the past Wednesday, Tillerson focused not only on the nuclear deal, but also on what he called Iran’s “alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence.”

The Trump administration acting against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would be positively disastrous for the Iranian regime. The loss of modest but hard-earned economic gains would reinvigorate the dissident sentiments of the Iranian people and create a serious opening for the Iranian opposition to drive out the theocracy.

But the recent economic gains are not alone sufficient to stave off the simmering bitterness of a pro-democratic people whose uprising was quelled by the regime in 2009. Coordinated opposition to Iran’s foreign interventions could have an effect similar to the collapse of the JCPOA, especially if coupled with targeted sanctions against repressive hardline entities like the IRGC. This alone would expose Tehran’s underlying weakness.

This provides good reason for Tehran to worry, first about the recent empowerment of the Iranian opposition and second, the end of the failed engagement policy with Tehran. And of course, Tehran should be particularly worried when these two trends overlap, as they did with McCain’s visit and as they very likely will throughout the Trump presidency.

Such an overlap should be consciously and eagerly embraced by U.S. policymakers and the American people. Iran’s anger over the contact between lawmakers and Iranian activists is indicative of an anxiety that can be exploited for the benefit of Western interests and the improvement of the lives of people living under the thumb of Iran’s religious dictatorship.

The U.S. is trekking the right path by reviewing the JCPOA, moving to blacklist the IRGC, and making Tehran comprehend its ongoing support of terrorism and repression of its own people will not be tolerated.

Once those measures reach their conclusion, Iran’s most hardline political elements will lose their influence, and its most repressive institutions will lack the resources needed to keep a restive population in check. Once these changes give rise to even greater anxieties among Iran’s mullahs, the international community will be able to bring effective political pressure to bear on the regime, so as to convince it to finally listen to the demands of its people and allow true reformists to enter the political process, including officials affiliated with the Iranian opposition.

​Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.



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Iran’s Presidential Candidates: Two of the Same


The presidential election in Iran, scheduled for May 19th, witnessed a major development last Thursday when Ebrahim Raisi, of the “principalists” faction and considered a close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, announced his candidacy. A few weeks ago, 50 members of the all-clerics Assembly of Experts, the body in charge of appointing the next supreme leader, issued a letter to Khamenei calling for Raisi to become the regime’s next president. Raisi himself had informed the regime’s various factions he will participate only if he enjoys Khamenei’s blessing.

The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, the so-called “reformist” seeking a second term, had coincidently made it clear to his inner circle of gaining Khamenei’s approval to take part in the election. Up to now, we can reach an initial conclusion that the charade Tehran is dubbing an election is more a selection, as both the main candidates are first seeking the approval of one individual before they ever begin campaigning among the general public.

<iframe width=”731″ height=”408″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/EpSCYn9ZqVE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Other candidates currently in the race include Hamid Baqai, a former vice president during the administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has recently opted out.

For the Iranian people, however, they are generally faced with one highly deceptive figure, that being Rouhani, who is known as the “Purple Fox”, and Raisi, an utterly brutal individual, known for his decades of service to the regime’s judiciary in sending thousands of people to the gallows.

Rouhani’s report card as a security official, who, in his own words, has been involved in all of the Iranian regime’s important decisions, shows an active role in repressive measures against women in the early days after the 1979 revolution, sending children and juveniles onto minefields during the Iran-Iraq War, quelling the 1999 student uprising, advancing Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program and deceiving the international community, and over 3,000 executions during his four years as president. We have also witnessed general poverty skyrocketing, a large swathe of Iran’s economy coming to a halt, and much of the country’s assets being allocated to foreign meddling in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and beyond.

Raisi has been climbing the regime ladder through the judiciary, proving his loyalty to the establishment as Tehran’s deputy public prosecutor, issuing death sentences easily at a strike of a pen, and known for his support of atrocious mass executions. Most horrifying of all is Raisi’s membership in the notorious “Death Commission” behind the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), to the gallows.

Khamenei rewarded Raisi by appointing him Tehran’s prosecutor, head of the country’s Inspector Organization, judiciary deputy, the public prosecutor of the Special Clerics Court, and the regime’s leading public prosecutor. Most recently Khamenei trusted Raisi by placing him in charge of the Astan Quds Razavi, a so-called foundation considered to be one of Iran’s most powerful political and economic entities. A large percentage of this regime’s budget used to export terrorism and fundamentalism through the Revolutionary Guards abroad is provided by this very institution.

Reports from inside Iran indicate a sense of escalating public hatred amongst the Iranian people regarding the regime’s sham presidential election. People do not trust any of the regime’s factions or their candidates. Iranians inside the country and abroad have taken to social media to say “My vote is regime change”.

The MEK has recently posted a statement on its website, widely viewed inside Iran, calling on people from all walks of life under this regime’s repression to boycott the elections. “Freedom and free elections based on the people’s right to sovereignty,” the statement reads in part, inviting the entire nation to “nationwide campaign” aimed at shunning the elections through a variety of protests.

The power struggle between the Iranian regime’s factions and their representatives, such as Rouhani and Raisi, is merely a dispute over usurping a larger share of plundering the Iranian people’s resources. A further inner struggle in Tehran is a clear indication of this regime’s failure in facing escalating domestic and international crises. This includes the recent U.S. airstrikes against an Assad military airfield in Syria, sending a strong message of shifting tides to Iran.

The regime in Tehran is terrified of all this turmoil spilling into a powder keg society with the potential of repeating the 2009 uprisings. Only this time around at a much larger scale.

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.

The presidential election in Iran, scheduled for May 19th, witnessed a major development last Thursday when Ebrahim Raisi, of the “principalists” faction and considered a close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, announced his candidacy. A few weeks ago, 50 members of the all-clerics Assembly of Experts, the body in charge of appointing the next supreme leader, issued a letter to Khamenei calling for Raisi to become the regime’s next president. Raisi himself had informed the regime’s various factions he will participate only if he enjoys Khamenei’s blessing.

The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, the so-called “reformist” seeking a second term, had coincidently made it clear to his inner circle of gaining Khamenei’s approval to take part in the election. Up to now, we can reach an initial conclusion that the charade Tehran is dubbing an election is more a selection, as both the main candidates are first seeking the approval of one individual before they ever begin campaigning among the general public.

<iframe width=”731″ height=”408″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/EpSCYn9ZqVE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Other candidates currently in the race include Hamid Baqai, a former vice president during the administration of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has recently opted out.

For the Iranian people, however, they are generally faced with one highly deceptive figure, that being Rouhani, who is known as the “Purple Fox”, and Raisi, an utterly brutal individual, known for his decades of service to the regime’s judiciary in sending thousands of people to the gallows.

Rouhani’s report card as a security official, who, in his own words, has been involved in all of the Iranian regime’s important decisions, shows an active role in repressive measures against women in the early days after the 1979 revolution, sending children and juveniles onto minefields during the Iran-Iraq War, quelling the 1999 student uprising, advancing Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program and deceiving the international community, and over 3,000 executions during his four years as president. We have also witnessed general poverty skyrocketing, a large swathe of Iran’s economy coming to a halt, and much of the country’s assets being allocated to foreign meddling in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and beyond.

Raisi has been climbing the regime ladder through the judiciary, proving his loyalty to the establishment as Tehran’s deputy public prosecutor, issuing death sentences easily at a strike of a pen, and known for his support of atrocious mass executions. Most horrifying of all is Raisi’s membership in the notorious “Death Commission” behind the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), to the gallows.

Khamenei rewarded Raisi by appointing him Tehran’s prosecutor, head of the country’s Inspector Organization, judiciary deputy, the public prosecutor of the Special Clerics Court, and the regime’s leading public prosecutor. Most recently Khamenei trusted Raisi by placing him in charge of the Astan Quds Razavi, a so-called foundation considered to be one of Iran’s most powerful political and economic entities. A large percentage of this regime’s budget used to export terrorism and fundamentalism through the Revolutionary Guards abroad is provided by this very institution.

Reports from inside Iran indicate a sense of escalating public hatred amongst the Iranian people regarding the regime’s sham presidential election. People do not trust any of the regime’s factions or their candidates. Iranians inside the country and abroad have taken to social media to say “My vote is regime change”.

The MEK has recently posted a statement on its website, widely viewed inside Iran, calling on people from all walks of life under this regime’s repression to boycott the elections. “Freedom and free elections based on the people’s right to sovereignty,” the statement reads in part, inviting the entire nation to “nationwide campaign” aimed at shunning the elections through a variety of protests.

The power struggle between the Iranian regime’s factions and their representatives, such as Rouhani and Raisi, is merely a dispute over usurping a larger share of plundering the Iranian people’s resources. A further inner struggle in Tehran is a clear indication of this regime’s failure in facing escalating domestic and international crises. This includes the recent U.S. airstrikes against an Assad military airfield in Syria, sending a strong message of shifting tides to Iran.

The regime in Tehran is terrified of all this turmoil spilling into a powder keg society with the potential of repeating the 2009 uprisings. Only this time around at a much larger scale.

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.



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Iran's Elections: A Breaking Crisis?



The Ayatollah Khamanei and his allies are seriously concerned that a repeat of the 2009 Green Revolution could be triggered by the upcoming presidential election. 



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Iran: A Leading State in Women’s Oppression


All dictators are known to oppress their opponents, lie to society about their policies, and resort to any crime necessary to remain in power. Hitler believed a lie should be preposterous to make it believable.

As the world marks International Women’s Day on March 8th, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani has recently been making remarks about women’s rights (!) in an attempt to cloak his portion of the Iranian regime’s misogynist report card.

In his own memoirs, from page 571 to 573, Rouhani explains in detail how in 1980 he began enforcing mandatory hijab regulations as the mullahs began their historical campaign against Iranian women.

On a more general scale, Rouhani is known for his preposterous remarks. During the 2013 presidential campaign he once said, “Not only do I believe we should not have any political prisoners, but I believe we shouldn’t have any prisoners at all.”

This same Rouhani, in 1980 when he was a member of parliament, provided a theory on how to establish security across the country: “Conspirators must be hanged in public before the people during Friday prayers to have more influence,” he said, according to the official Sharq website.

Rouhani’s tenure has also been the hallmark home of systematic oppression against women, workers, college students, writers, journalists, dissident bloggers; imposing poverty and unemployment on a majority of Iranians; continuous threats made against the media; punishment of political prisoners have increased significantly even in comparison to the years of Iran’s firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During Rouhani’s human rights violations-stained tenure, an average of two to three people have been executed on a daily basis.

Iranian women are known for their high rate of college education. But Iranian women have a lesser chance of entering the workforce in comparison to their counterparts in war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq. This despite the fact that Rouhani had pledged to set aside all barriers before women and provide them a larger share in politics and economics.

Statistics from the period of March 2015 to March 2016 show unemployment amongst young Iranians reached over 26%, and that 42% of young women were out of work.

“Based on numbers, around 300,000 women were working and enjoying social security insurance. However, these numbers have diminished to 100,000,” said Soheila Jelodarzadeh, advisor to Rouhani’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade to the official ILNA news agency.

On the salary gap between men and women working in factories, this advisor added in many cases women receive less than a third of the set minimum wage.

Rouhani had also pledged to establish a Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Not only has no such ministry ever been formed, Rouhani’s cabinet lacks even a single female minister.

During his four years in office, Rouhani has presided over the establishment of gender-segregated universities and women being restricted from many university courses. Many educational books have been changed to the detriment of women, and many fields are only allocated for men.

Perhaps the most atrocious of all crimes has been the phenomenon of regime hoodlums splashing acid on women. Not one individual was arrested after around 15 women were attacked with acid in the city of Isfahan.

Due to the nature of the mullahs’ regime, there are no specific numbers of how many women have been arrested, tortured, and executed under Rouhani’s watch. Yet rest assured, such statistics would be very troubling, to say the least.

On January 27th, 2016, coinciding with Rouhani’s visit to France, the country’s Members of the National Assembly issued an open letter to President Francoise Hollande published in Le Figaro:

“…the new version of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code continues to legalize stoning to death. Generally, women are under the pressure of legalized discrimination in regards to marriage, divorce, parenting children and inheritance. Women, continued to be considered minors, are not permitted to work and cannot travel without their husband’s consent. A 2013 bill was ratified in Iran’s parliament allowing men to marry their adopted daughters once they reach the age of 13. This is tantamount to legalizing sexual harassment of children…”

This short slate of facts shows that despite all his claims of being a “moderate” or “reformist,” Rouhani’s report card, especially on women’s rights, proves he is nothing but another mullahs’ regime loyalist striving to maintain the establishment intact.

Despite Iran being one of the most ruthless regimes in respect to women’s rights, it is believed that the women of Iran can bring about change if not suppressed.

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.

All dictators are known to oppress their opponents, lie to society about their policies, and resort to any crime necessary to remain in power. Hitler believed a lie should be preposterous to make it believable.

As the world marks International Women’s Day on March 8th, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani has recently been making remarks about women’s rights (!) in an attempt to cloak his portion of the Iranian regime’s misogynist report card.

In his own memoirs, from page 571 to 573, Rouhani explains in detail how in 1980 he began enforcing mandatory hijab regulations as the mullahs began their historical campaign against Iranian women.

On a more general scale, Rouhani is known for his preposterous remarks. During the 2013 presidential campaign he once said, “Not only do I believe we should not have any political prisoners, but I believe we shouldn’t have any prisoners at all.”

This same Rouhani, in 1980 when he was a member of parliament, provided a theory on how to establish security across the country: “Conspirators must be hanged in public before the people during Friday prayers to have more influence,” he said, according to the official Sharq website.

Rouhani’s tenure has also been the hallmark home of systematic oppression against women, workers, college students, writers, journalists, dissident bloggers; imposing poverty and unemployment on a majority of Iranians; continuous threats made against the media; punishment of political prisoners have increased significantly even in comparison to the years of Iran’s firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During Rouhani’s human rights violations-stained tenure, an average of two to three people have been executed on a daily basis.

Iranian women are known for their high rate of college education. But Iranian women have a lesser chance of entering the workforce in comparison to their counterparts in war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq. This despite the fact that Rouhani had pledged to set aside all barriers before women and provide them a larger share in politics and economics.

Statistics from the period of March 2015 to March 2016 show unemployment amongst young Iranians reached over 26%, and that 42% of young women were out of work.

“Based on numbers, around 300,000 women were working and enjoying social security insurance. However, these numbers have diminished to 100,000,” said Soheila Jelodarzadeh, advisor to Rouhani’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade to the official ILNA news agency.

On the salary gap between men and women working in factories, this advisor added in many cases women receive less than a third of the set minimum wage.

Rouhani had also pledged to establish a Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Not only has no such ministry ever been formed, Rouhani’s cabinet lacks even a single female minister.

During his four years in office, Rouhani has presided over the establishment of gender-segregated universities and women being restricted from many university courses. Many educational books have been changed to the detriment of women, and many fields are only allocated for men.

Perhaps the most atrocious of all crimes has been the phenomenon of regime hoodlums splashing acid on women. Not one individual was arrested after around 15 women were attacked with acid in the city of Isfahan.

Due to the nature of the mullahs’ regime, there are no specific numbers of how many women have been arrested, tortured, and executed under Rouhani’s watch. Yet rest assured, such statistics would be very troubling, to say the least.

On January 27th, 2016, coinciding with Rouhani’s visit to France, the country’s Members of the National Assembly issued an open letter to President Francoise Hollande published in Le Figaro:

“…the new version of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code continues to legalize stoning to death. Generally, women are under the pressure of legalized discrimination in regards to marriage, divorce, parenting children and inheritance. Women, continued to be considered minors, are not permitted to work and cannot travel without their husband’s consent. A 2013 bill was ratified in Iran’s parliament allowing men to marry their adopted daughters once they reach the age of 13. This is tantamount to legalizing sexual harassment of children…”

This short slate of facts shows that despite all his claims of being a “moderate” or “reformist,” Rouhani’s report card, especially on women’s rights, proves he is nothing but another mullahs’ regime loyalist striving to maintain the establishment intact.

Despite Iran being one of the most ruthless regimes in respect to women’s rights, it is believed that the women of Iran can bring about change if not suppressed.

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.



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