Blog Why Khamenei Finally Broke His Deadly Silence Against the...

Why Khamenei Finally Broke His Deadly Silence Against the Mek/ Pmoi and Ncri?

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by Jubin Katiraie

After a fatal and long-lasting muteness, Khamenei spoke on the thirteenth day of the uprising and showed his panic and fear over the people’s fury, with an inverse tone, he reiterated the fact that the Iranian Resistance and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) are the alternative to his regime.

Khamenei stated: the MEK “had been ready since months ago … since several months ago (they were ready) to organize, and meet this person and that one; and to select some people inside the country, find them and help them, so they would come and call on the people. They (MEK) announced their call, and made the slogan “No to high prices”. Well, this is a slogan that everyone likes. They (MEKO managed to attract some people with this slogan. And then, they(MEK) could come to the scene and pursue their goals, and make the people follow them”.

However, Khamenei while admitting to the critical situation in the country, the widespread uprising in 142 cities and all provinces in the country as “fireworks and devious work” after a deadly and lengthy silence, showed up on the thirteenth day of the uprising.

He inevitably had to acknowledge the continuation of the uprising. Referring to the protesters, he said, “The enemies’ agents will not give up”. This is at a time when Jafari, the IRGC commander, had announced a week earlier that the uprising had ended, and Rouhani had told the Turkish president that the unrest would end in two days.

Khamenei again, underscored the fact that the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI / MEK are the alternative to his regime. And thus tried to portray them as insignificant.

Scared of the people’s anger over the corrupt ruling system that has plundered tens of billions of the people’s assets, he, who is the greatest thief in Iran’s history, said: “Troublesome funds or some of the troublesome financial institutions, some of the troublesome organs” have dissatisfied some people. “Those popular demands or popular appeals or popular protests have always existed in this country, and they exist now too. … Nobody opposes them either. These words should be taken into consideration and should be heard, and they should be responded to as much as possible. “

The AFP citing Iran’s “state television”, reported that while making a clear allusion to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, Or the MEK, Rouhani told President Macron, “We criticize the fact that a terrorist group has a base in France and acts against the Iranian people and encourages violence. We expect the French government to act against this terrorist group “.

These remarks reflect above all the distress of the mullahs’ regime in the face of the expansion of the uprising against the religious dictatorship and the growing popularity of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) and the Iranian Resistance. Rouhani accused the MEK of violence, while the European Union, its member countries, as well as the United States, strongly criticized the Iranian regime for the repression of demonstrations, killing and seriously injuring many people and President Macron has expressed concern on the death of the protestors. To date, 55 unarmed protesters have been killed by Revolutionary Guards and thousands more arrested.

However, Rouhani and the mullahs’ regime have preferred to also censor the French President’s remarks. Rouhani has tried, with clumsiness, to gain credibility from the contact of the French President, at this critical period that the death knell for the regime is ringing.

Interestingly for the first time the United States representative to the United Nations called for a Security Council session to address the crackdown on the uprising of the Iranian people, regardless of the outcome this is significant as for the first time the issue of human rights has been discussed at the Security Council Session. For years, the Iranian Resistance NCRI and the MEK have been demanding that crimes against humanity committed by the mullahs’ regime, in particular the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, be investigated.

On 10th of Jan 2018 in an article by Jubin Katiraie published in Iran focus said that the regime of Iran Blames Maryam Rajavi and MEK/ PMOI for the Uprising thus clearly express its fear to their alternative.

However, as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the president of NCRI outlined in an article on WSJ “The current uprising is not tied to any of the regime’s internal factions or groupings, “There are no illusions about reform or gradual change from within. A popular slogan in Tehran is “Hard-liners, reformers, the game is now over.”

What surprised many was how quickly the protesters’ slogans shifted from economic woes to rejection of the entire regime. The establishment was caught off guard, and while the IRGC declared victory over the protests on Sunday, Maryam Rajavi reiterates that this reflects their hopes rather than the reality on the ground.

In fact, the regime has now issued strong warnings against joining the leading opposition group, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK / PMOI). Regime officials, Friday prayer leaders, and others across the country who ally with the regime are attempting to blame the MEK for the protests. The uprising and the rising popularity of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran are a major threat to the religious dictatorship.

The MEK reports extensive suppression to confront protesters, stating that the IRCG has killed at least 50 people and wounded hundreds. According to the MEK’s network across the country, at least up to now over 8,000 people are arrested. Security forces knock on people’s doors and warn them against attending demonstrations, according to MEK reports. “

As the protests in Iran began, some compared them to those that occurred in 2009. However, these protests differ in in their message. The cause for the 2009 protests was a rift within the regime. Now, the people are demanding an end to the regime. On the streets this week slogans against velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule) and against the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as President, Hassan Rouhani were heard.

In her article for the Wall Street Journal, Maryam Rajavi also reiterated that Iran’s economy is in trouble, and many of its people live in poverty. Meanwhile, according to reports obtained by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Tehran spends upwards of $100 billion on the war in Syria. The people made their feelings clear about the regime spending this astronomical sum on regional meddling with chants of “Death to Hezbollah” and “Leave Syria, think about us instead.”

It has been reported that Iran’s official budget for this year allocates more than $26.8 billion to military and security affairs, in addition to the $27.5 billion in military spending from institutions controlled by Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Meanwhile, the budget for health care is $16.3 billion. Some speculate that the spontaneous outbreak of the protests began with the announcement of this budget. What is certain is that they were motivated by rising prices, economic ruin, widespread corruption and resentment toward the regime. Maryam Rajavi writes, “This systemic economic mismanagement has its roots in the political system, and it grows worse every day. That is why the demand for regime change surfaced almost immediately. It seems to be the only conceivable outcome.”

Nearly all of society has been represented in these current protests, including the middle class, the underprivileged, workers, students, women and young people, a contrast to the 2009 uprising that was led by the upper middle class, with university students at its core and Tehran as its center.

What surprised many was how quickly the protesters’ slogans shifted from economic woes to rejection of the entire regime. The establishment was caught off guard, and while the IRGC declared victory over the protests on Sunday, Maryam Rajavi reiterates that this reflects their hopes rather than the reality on the ground.

What goes neglected to this day is the main source of the Iranian regime’s fear. Yes, this regime has a history of quelling small protests and major uprising, especially thanks to the world’s deafening silence.
And yet all the while, Iran has been vividly pinpointing the very source of its main concerns, being the existence of an organized opposition movement navigating and providing political depth to such a nationwide uprising. Tehran understands these concepts, considering how it unfortunately took advantage of such a void in the Arab Spring.

As the world strives to determine if these protests enjoy an organized nature, debating which party – if any – is behind this seemingly spontaneous movement, state-backed media in Iran are claiming that the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been shaping the ongoing protests from their very beginning.

However, protesters are in the streets night after night in cities checkered across the country. The regime’s provincial forces are literally unable to respond to each and every city, town and village. As demonstrations expand, people are overcoming their fears, realizing how they can force the regime to retreat and how the international scene is far different from 2009.

The bravery shown by the Iranian people in their continuing protests is being heard and there are signs of movement in support for their cause. US senators and Trump administration officials met at the White House on Thursday, according to Reuters, seeking to hammer out new legislation to stiffen restrictions on Iran.

Four senior Senators, Bob Corker, Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, representing a bipartisan approach, placed forward a Senate resolution “expressing support for the rights of the Iranian people to have their voices heard and condemning the Iranian regime for its long history of human rights abuses.”

In the House of Representatives, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, are introducing a resolution supporting the Iranian people and condemning Tehran following street protests that state authorities have replied by killing more than 50 and arresting more than 2,000, according to reports.

Vote on the measure is set for Tuesday, coming as the Trump White House seeks to increase international pressure on Tehran over its handling of the demonstrations. To raise the stakes even further for Tehran, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the Trump administration supports the aspirations of Iranian protesters, including calls for a “peaceful transition of government.”

As the Iranian regime at its top leader the supreme leader signals the main source of its concerns, the international community is also more than ever coming to realize the path forward.

Ali Safavi, also an official with the Washington office of NCRI, which acts as a parliament in exile, said, “even we are surprised by the pace and scope of the uprising,” and adds, “The army of the unemployed, hungry, shantytown and grave dwellers, the futureless youths, and the impoverished, who have been stripped of all their rights and liberties, have now risen up to take back their nation from the corrupt and criminal mullahs.”

Thus one can clearly see the need for Khamenei to break it silence and try to keep his forces and stooges together and could not wait no longer than 13 days.

The day of reckoning is fast approaching.

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: an 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.

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