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AMIA a Case of Unresolved Terror by Iran’s Regime

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On Sunday, May 18, family members of the bombing victims of the Argentina-AMIA Jewish Center building which happened 27 years ago, a terror attack which was decided at a meeting of the Iranian regime’s Supreme National Security Council, commemorated their loved ones and demanded that the case be pursued.

On July 18, 1994, a car bomb with a powerful explosive turned the Jewish charity building in Buenos Aires into a pile of debris. The blast killed 85 innocent people and more than 300 were wounded. The operation was designed such that no one could easily find the perpetrators.

Survivors of the harrowing terror act said they were “outraged” that as the years passed, Argentina’s judiciary has yet to put anyone behind bars.

A ceremony to commemorate the victims of the AMIA building explosion was held virtually this year under the slogan “27 years without justice, but full of memories.”

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez also tweeted a tribute to the families of the victims, saying, ” In memory of every one of (the victims) and in honor of those that lost their loved ones, we must unite against impunity.”

The terrorist blast, which targeted the Jewish central building in Buenos Aires, remains the most dramatic and bloody terrorist incident in Argentina’s history.

It should be noted that a lengthy investigation by Argentina’s investigators, judiciary, and police about the terrorist blast was quickly tied up with financial corruption and complex jobbery, and even moved away from its original targets, which is finding the wrongdoers so that there are not spared from the right punishment.

Three weeks after this terrorist adventure, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) made a major revelation, capturing the attention of news agencies.

According to information leaked by the Iranian Resistance, the decision to carry out the bombing was made at a meeting of the Iranian regime’s Supreme National Security Council, headed by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on Saturday, August 14, 1993, in the presence of military advisers and fixed members, and after final approval by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader ordered that Brig. General Ahmad Vahidi, then commander of the IRGC-Quds Force, should carry out this terror.

In a meeting of the Quds Force’s Command Council, Vahidi assigned the implementation of this mission to the regime’s terrorist diplomats, Ahmad Reza’eh Asghari, and Mohsen Rabbani, as well as Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, an element of the Hezbollah.

Morteza Reza’i (IRGC Intelligence Protection), Tehrani (Commander of the Quds Force Support), and Ahmad Salek (Khamenei’s representative in the Quds Force) also attended this meeting.

How were the bloody hands of Iran’s clerical regime covered up in the AMIA explosion?

The Iranian regime paid $10 million in bribes to the then President of Argentina Carlos Saúl Menem to cover up the regime’s bloody hands.

The Washington Post unveiled the dirty deal in January 2007. Carlos Menem lost credibility. Juan Jose Galeano, the investigating judge in the case, was also arrested for derailing the judicial process.

After the incident, Alberto Nisman headed an investigative team. Finally, on October 26, 2006, Argentina’s federal prosecutors formally charged Rafsanjani and seven of his government ministers and demanded that they be arrested.

Ali Akbar Velayati was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the attack and, as mentioned above, was actively involved in the decision and the subsequent coordination of this terror attack.

On 12 January 2015, the blood-stained body of Alberto Nisman was found at his home, next to a 22mm caliber colt. His murder occurred just as he wanted to testify behind closed doors the same day by attending a congressional hearing, unveiling a deal with bloody dollars between Cristina Fernandez Kirchner’s government and the Iranian regime.

Iran: “Do Not Maneuver So Much on This Money”

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Recently the US government issued a license allowing South Korea and Japan to repay their debts to Iran in a non-cash form but in the form of goods from these countries or third countries.

On this subject, the state-run daily Jahan-e-Sanat on July 15 wrote: “(Washington) Free Beacon reported that the US State Department informed Congress late Tuesday that it would lift some of the trade sanctions to gain access to Iran.

The purpose of this waiver, signed by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, means the transfer of Iranian funds in limited accounts to exporters in Japan and the Republic of Korea. The State Department, meanwhile, has said it will not allow funds to be transferred to Iran and will only allow repayments of Japanese and Korean companies that exported non-sanctioned goods and services before the US administration tightened US sanctions.”

And the media affiliated with the faction of the regime’s President Hassan Rouhani reacted in two different ways to the action of the US government.

Some of them called it the revival of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) and a positive sign from the US government, and some of them watched this event with skepticism and even concern.

Because what has raised the concern of even state media is not the release of these funds, but the corruption that has penetrated in the entire regime’s government, and the fate of any fund and money coming into the country is ambiguous.

Regarding the ambiguity of this issue, Aftab-e-Yazd newspaper in an article titled ‘These should be told to the people’ wrote:

“What is the exact story of this blocked money and why people and society should not rely too much on it!” (Aftab-e-Yazd daily, July 15, 2021)

This short expression is a clear statement about corruption and that the people will not gain anything from this money.

Regarding the maneuvers of the government with this fund, this media added: “We wished that the gentlemen of the new and old governments do not maneuver so much on this money. This is the unreasonable provocation of society. If the JCPOA is revived, no money will run into the country, but the doors may be opened for investment to some extent. With optimism maybe tomorrow Biden will have a stroke and Trump will come again and say I do not accept the JCPOA.

“The JCPOA, Trump, internal barriers in Iran, etc. are bitter experiences that no powerful foreign investor is willing to repeat. These must be told to the people. Is this right?” (Aftab-e-Yazd daily, July 15, 2021)

Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper quoted a government expert named Ali Bigdeli as saying that he is less hopeful about allowing Iran access to its money. “He said: ‘What has been said in the news about the exchange of blocked Iranian money is actually about the joy they show, but it cannot be very pleased. Let us not forget that the recent orientation of the Americans shows that they are frustrated with the negotiations with Iran and are likely to take other paths.

“They seem to be forming a new front in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. This front consists of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, and if it is formed, it will be very dangerous for us because it will put us in political and economic isolation in the region.”

Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper, while calling the American action insignificant and calling it a ‘gleam of hope’, considered it unnecessary to show this action as a big deal and wrote in this regard:

“As some people think, the dollars are not on the way for Iran to spend it for its wishes and its daily needs.”

Then this media about the expectations of the US government contrary to this action said: “As in the old times said, what goes around comes around. If the US has opened the pocket for us and with a little flexibility, it allows us to use our money, it has definitely expectations, expectations that must have a positive answer, to lead to the settlement of cases and the agreement in Vienna.”

Although this media has not given a clear explanation about these expectations, the US officials have made it clear since the start of the JCPOA talks that the 2015 JCPOA alone is not enough for them and that the regime must negotiate its missile program, regional policy, and human rights.

Destroyed Capacities of Iran’s Economy

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Iran’s economy is grappling with several crises due to structural corruption. Crises that result in negative growth, inflation, liquidity, declining people’s baskets, poverty, and misery for at least 60 million people.

A part of this critical situation is clearly seen in the pouring of thousands of liters of milk by deprived ranchers in front of the regime’s administrative centers or dumping agricultural products in front of the regime’s Agricultural Jihad offices. It is also seen in the protests of farmers and ranchers against water scarcity, high costs, and shortage of livestock inputs.

The situation is so grim that the regime’s experts, not out of pity for the people who are crushed under the burden of a shattered economy, but in fear of the uprising of the deprived, warn each other of a devastating flood that will sweep everyone away.

“Now, Iran’s economy is held hostage because of the interests of the mafias, and the blow of this mafia is enduring the people. We are facing the phenomenon of the conquest of the power structure by greedy people, brokers, and corrupt people. The main issue is that Iran’s economy is in the hands of the unproductive. Rent-seekers and speculators are occupying the economy.” (State-run daily Etemad, July 14, 2021)

These freeloaders and mafia gangs have also made every effort to isolate and imprison Iran in the name of independence from other countries especially the West so that they could plunder Iran’s reserves and wealth safely and, destroy national assets.

“In recent decades, Iran’s economy has moved away from development. Political tensions and the escalation of sanctions, along with mismanagement and inefficiency of managers in various governments, have exacerbated this issue and prevented the Iranian economy from achieving growth and development, and led to the spread of poverty as much as possible. Today, Iran’s economy is like an island far removed from the world economy.” (Akhbar Sanat, July 14, 2021)

“Today, we do not have stable exports and imports from neighboring countries and the world, and in trade agreements, we have not defined a reciprocal flow for any of the countries and international unions,’ said a spokesman for the country’s merchants and traders.” (Donya-e-Eghtesad, July 10, 2021)

In the Presidential election, each of the candidates made a series of bogus promises, none of which are practical. But suppose their fantasies become real, and we can see it four years later. For example, a subsidy of 450,000 Tomans should be paid to 40 million Iranians. A marriage loan of 500 million Tomans has been given and two million houses are under construction.

This situation can be considered almost similar to the time of Ahmadinejad, of course minus the legendary income of oil. Such money-wasting has no other benefit than causing more severe inflation and a major mess in the financial and budgetary system.

Even now, the crushing budget deficit has flattened the Rouhani government. So higher costs mean higher inflation and more severe economic and social crises.

Mohammad Tabibian, an economist described this tumultuous and dangerous situation as follows: “If these slogans are implemented in the coming 2025, they will not achieve much other than creating a new turmoil in the budget, banking, financial, social, and economic systems. The country’s economic problems cannot be solved by paying more subsidies and loans.” (Tejarat News, July 14, 2021)

This expert pointed to the economic crisis and summarized:

“If they think that the government can solve the housing problem by building houses. It is not bad to study the hundred-year history of governments trying to solve the housing problem.

“Now see what has happened to Tehran. All the gardens and green spaces around Tehran have been turned into residential lands and there is still not enough housing in this city.

“See what a disaster has happened in this city and the cities that have grown too big. The degree of the plainness of the minds of some officials is astonishing, they imagine that young people do not get married because they are waiting for their marriage loan to be approved so that they can get married.

“Young people avoid marriage because they do not have a job and their future and that of their children are unclear. Were they lending money to someone in the pre-revolutionary period and throughout history?

“These gentlemen think that money should be paid to solve the problems of all fields. For a nation to have a better life, real commodities are needed, and money does not work.

“Money only creates inflation. Regarding the fact that 70% of the production capacity is empty, does it mean that the current government did not know how to deal with and use the out-of-work production capacities and Mr. Candidate does?

“This view is not right. This is the entire performance of our economy, and its potential capacity is this situation which you can see. As long as there is no investment, there is no potential to take advantage of it.” (Tejarat News, July 14, 2021)

While the Ayatollahs Hold Power, No Journalist Is Safe

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On Wednesday, July 14, the U.S. Justice Department charged four Iranians for an abduction plot against Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad. Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, also known as Vezerat Salimi and Haj Ali, 50; Mahmoud Khazein, 42; Kiya Sadeghi, 35; and Omid Noori, 45, was involved in the plot, according to a DoJ indictment.

Furthermore, the indictment revealed that a resident of California, Niloufar Bahadorifar, also known as Nellie Bahadorifar, 46, is alleged to have provided financial services that supported the plot.

The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran strongly condemned Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security’s plot against Ms. Masih Alinejad and four other Iranians in Canada and the United Kingdom, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice and the media.

“For the past four decades, in addition to torturing, executing, and massacring political prisoners, Iran’s ruling religious fascism has always made the most of terrorism, kidnapping, and hostage-taking as well as all political, diplomatic, and economic resources as a tool against the opposition and to advance its criminal policies,” the NCRI statement read. “This regime must be shunned by the international community, and its leaders must be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity.”

Tehran orchestrated the plot while Iranian negotiators have already expressed their enthusiasm for prison swamp with the U.S. “Negotiations are underway on the exchange of prisoners between Iran and America, and we will issue more information if Iranian prisoners are released and the country’s interests are secured and the talks reach a conclusion,” said Ali Rabiei, the spokesman of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, on April 27.

Iran’s Terror Attempts in the U.S. and Europe

However, the recent foiled kidnapping operation was neither the first nor the last of Tehran’s terrorist attempt in the U.S. or Europe. Back in August 2018, Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 38, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 59, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, were arrested in accordance with a DoJ indictment. They were charged with conducting surveillance and gathering information on behalf of Iran on the NCRI–U.S. Representative Office.

“Ghorbani attended a MEK rally in New York on Sept. 20, 2017, to protest the current Iranian government, taking photographs of the participants, which he later passed on to Doostdar and was paid about $2,000,” the indictment read. “The photos, many with handwritten notes about the participants, were found in Ghorbani’s luggage at a U.S. airport as he was returning to Iran in December 2017.”

During the investigations, Doostdar admitted under oath that he traveled from Iran to the US three times to give Ghorbani directions from the Iranian government. Ghorbani then attended two MEK rallies, in New York City and Washington, D.C. in September 2017 and May 2018, respectively.

Read More:

Two Iranians Indicted for Spying on the US for Iran

Earlier, in October 2011, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration agents disrupted a plot to commit a ‘significant terrorist act in the United States’ tied to Iran, ABC News reported.

“The officials said the plot included the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, with a bomb and subsequent bomb attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C.,” U.S. federal officials said.

“The plan was ‘conceived, sponsored, and was directed from Iran’ by a faction of the government and called it a ‘flagrant’ violation of U.S. and international law,” said then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. “The U.S. is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions.”

Furthermore, the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Quds Force (IRGC-QF) masterminded several terror attempts against the NCRI and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) on European soil. In March 2018, Albanian authorities foiled a bomb plot attempt against MEK members in the capital Tirana.

They later exposed that the terror plot was backed and supervised by the Iranian embassy. Later, in December 2018, the Albanian government expelled Tehran’s ambassador Gholam-Hossein Mohammad-Nia and his first deputy Mostafa Rudaki—the head of Tehran’s intelligence station in Albania—from its territory for involving in the attempt and disturbing the country’s national security. Authorities also expelled several other ‘diplomats’ and ‘agents’ in this regard.

In June 2018, in a joint counterterrorism operation, Belgian, German, and French authorities foiled a bomb plot against the NCRI annual gathering Free Iran 2018 in Villepinte, a suburb of Paris. Prosecutors detained Tehran’s third counselor in Vienna Assadollah Assadi, as the plot’s architect in the German state of Bayern. They also arrested Assadi’s three accomplices.

In February, a Belgian court convicted Assadi to 20 years in prison for transporting 1lb explosive material TATP on a civil flight with diplomatic coverage, hiring an Iranian-Belgian couple, and delivering the bomb to them in Luxembourg. The further investigation exposed that Assadi was the chief of Tehran’s intelligence station in Europe. He had derived the post from Roudaki in 2013.

Moreover, MOIS agents freely conducted several terror plots on Turkish soil. They abducted NCRI member Abolhassan Mojtahedzadeh in 1989; assassinated NCRI member Zahra Rajabi and her assistance Ali Moradi in 1996; and abducted and awkwardly tortured and killed Ali-Akbar Ghorbani in 1992. All plots were masterminded and backed by Tehran’s embassy and consulate in Ankara and Istanbul, respectively.

Read More:

Tehran Exploits Diplomatic Privileges to Strike Dissidents

More recently, Tehran’s intelligence officers assassinated television executive Saeed Karimian and social media activist Massoud Molavi Vardanjani in April 2017 and November 2019, respectively. They also lured social media activist Habib Chaab to Istanbul and abducted and transferred him into Iran in October 2020. MOIS agents had lured social media activist Ruhollah Zam to the Iraqi holy state of Najaf, then abducted and transferred him into Iran. Zam was later convicted to ‘Moharebeh’—waging war against God—and was hanged in December 2020.

In a nutshell, as several politicians recently mentioned in the Free Iran 2021 virtual rally hosted by the NCRI, today, the Islamic Republic of Iran has turned from a state-sponsor of terrorism to a terrorist state. Indeed, not only did Tehran support and fuel terror activities across the Middle East and the globe but also directly use its diplomats and embassy agents to conduct terror plots.

“We must not repeat the mistakes of 2015 when the regime was handed billions and billions of dollars which were then used to support terrorist proxies to commit acts of state terrorism, to kill hundreds of thousands in Syria and around the region, and to expand the arsenal of missiles and other weapons,” said Robert Joseph, former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security on July 11.

“Assadi was an Iranian diplomat convicted of using his diplomatic cover to fly a bomb from Iran to Europe. It was to be exploded at a Free Iran rally. This was state terrorism, not just state-sponsored terrorism, but at a direct act of the regime to commit a terrorist attack outside Iran,” said Michael Mukasey, U.S. Attorney General (2007-2009) at the same conference.

“We have seen in the past couple of years in Europe and elsewhere increasing evidence that it is indeed the government of Iran itself, their diplomats, and their officials who are directing and aiding terrorist activities,” said John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor (2018 -2019).

On the other hand, the West’s acquiesce versus the ayatollahs ruling Iran only encourage them to continue their oppressive measures inside and aggressive policies abroad. In the past 42 years, they had proven that they only understand the language of power and firmness. The people of Iran have well grasped this reality and find protests as the main instrument to obtain their demands.

Officials in the U.S. and the European States must recognize this reality and adopt a powerful and firm approach toward Iran. Not only cannot concessions and sanction reliefs stop Tehran’s malign and provocative behavior but also aid them to expand their outlaw activities. “The 2015 Iran nuclear deal leaves the mullahs closer to a nuclear weapons capability than ever before,” said Stephen Harper, Prime minister of Canada (2006-2015) at the Free Iran 2021 World Summit.

Already former hostage Xiyue Wang had warned about giving ransom to the Iranian government for releasing hostages. “Foreign hostages in Iran MUST be released, but NOT through paying the terrorist regime ransom. If team Biden releases any fund to IRI for the release of hostages, it practically flushes morality and American interest down to the toilet,” he tweeted on May 2.

Iran: “Do You Not Believe That Society Is Exploding?”

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Esahq Jahangiri, the vice president of Iran, in a gathering of officials of the regime, referring to the crises such as poverty, coronavirus, water scarcity, power outages, and other disasters, acknowledged the dangers and their destructive consequences and said:

“If we cannot deal with the problems and challenges in time, they become complex issues.” (State-run daily Jahan-e-Sanat, July 11, 2021)

This speech is a security alarm because the regime has no solution for these problems. And at the same time, the problems of the people with this regime are far beyond these challenges.

The truth is that besides all the economic, social, and environmental challenges, the problem of the people with this regime is political.

And the other problems are because of the political corruption of this regime. Therefore, the people have boycotted the regime’s election and every protest is becoming a scene against the regime, like the protests of the people because of the power outages which were along with slogans against the regime like ‘Down with Khamenei’.

In such a government, the people have no kind of security. The state-run daily Jahan-e-Sanat in an article entitled “The cost of Iran’s security” wrote:

“The fact is that in Iran, for various reasons, this feeling and the need for internal security is not high. The shortcomings of the government decision-making system in all post-war (Iran-Iraq war) governments and the numerous violations that governments have had and continue to have against citizens have led to mistrust, and Iranian citizens do not have peace of mind and feel that they are provided with sufficient security.

“It can be mentioned that in the last few months, numerous violations of the vaccination by the National Coronavirus Taskforce Headquarters have occurred despite their duty and the citizens do not feel safe. Iranian citizens willing to incur higher costs and more suffering and move to Armenia to feel more secure.” (Jahan-e-Sanat, July 11, 2021)

The same newspaper in an article titled ‘People do not believe in the officials’ while acknowledging that due to the actions of the regime, people’s security in society is declining day by day and the consequences that have appeared in the form of adverse economic, political, psychological, and cultural effects in society, is considered to cause distrust among the people, so that:

“Officials are seen as liars in the eyes of the people. The trust between the people and the government is so shabby that if one day the officials tell the whole truth, many people will still not believe it.”

The state-run Arman newspaper considered the distrust and anger of the people as the base for a ‘social explosion’ and wrote with the headline ‘You do not believe society is exploding’:

“The reason why the situation in the country has reached this point is that the officials do not do anything with a plan and are just talking. This has been happening in the country for almost a year.

“The power outage in the country is happening at a time when there have been various criticisms and protests in recent days. What is your assessment of the sociological dimensions of this event?

“Power outages are an excuse. The high-voltage electricity are unemployment, poverty, and inflation. People are exploding based on this high-voltage electricity.” (Arman daily, July 11, 2021)

“Warning for a dangerous gap” is the title of the editorial of the state-run daily Ebtekar, which mentioned: “According to statistics and objective observations, the class gap is in a deplorable state.”

“It is better to fill the class gap with a series of effective actions of decision-makers else it will be filled with the anger of the lower classes without any political support and will reach the boiling point because of poverty.” (Ebtekar, July 11, 2021)

About the Iranian society’s situation, this daily added: “The people of our society are very angry and these days the volume of bad news is so great that it has put everyone’s tolerance threshold at risk. Instability, uncertainty, and economic pressures are feelings of discrimination and inequality. Ignoring the demands of society and ignoring its growing expectations is the cause of this anger, our society is an angry society, and this is a great warning to the officials who are causing a considerable amount of this social anger.

“High anger in society has many destructive effects. An angry society becomes a destructive society if these negative energies want to be concentrated because there is a possibility of its eruption. In an angry society, there is nothing, but destruction and the officials must be afraid that this anger will burst. The eruption of angry is something normal when people cannot access their rights.” (Aftab-e-Yazd, July 11, 2021)

The repeated warning of the regime’s officials about the explosive situation is a confession to the readiness of the society for regime change.

Economic Ways Ahead Iran’s Government

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Iran’s economy is worrying. The government’s severe budget deficit, heavy current government spending, rising unemployment, impending droughts, sanctions, and dozens of other problems have made Iran’s economic situation difficult and overwhelming for a large population.

The regime’s new president needs financial resources for productive and employment-generating investments to save the country’s economy from these crises.

Iran needs hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in key areas such as rail, air and road transport, power plants, oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, and other important economic infrastructure.

Iran’s private sector has not been strengthened enough to take on an important part of the economic development burden.

Therefore, considering all the conditions prevailing in Iran, the main burden of the country’s economic development will be on the government. The most important sources of income for the country are:

  1. Taxes
  2. Oil and gas revenues
  3. Proceeds from the sale and transfer of property
  4. Revenue from government ownership

The total revenue sources of the government in 2021 are estimated at 420 trillion tomans. And such revenue will not cover government spending, and the government will face a significant budget deficit in 2021.

Which of the above sources of income will the new government be able to increase in the short term?

Due to the problems of various occupations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a significant increase in tax revenues is not possible.

A significant increase in revenues from the sale and transfer of property is also not conceivable due to the problems in the stock market during 2020 and the prevailing atmosphere in the country’s economy.

Revenues from government ownership in 2020 were about 30 trillion tomans and include a small percentage of government revenues for which there is no significant increase.

Revenues from the sale of oil and gas in the budget of 2020 were about 50 trillion tomans. Iran can produce and export 3 million barrels of crude oil per day, which in terms of $ 70 value will be worth more than 75 billion dollars. This amount is about 4 times the total government revenues in 2020.

For the reasons stated here and here and other analyzes, the price of oil will gradually decrease in the coming years to about $ 30 a barrel, and in the next two decades there will be no idea of ​​$ 70 oil, so if the Iranian government cannot produce and export oil with all its might and capacity, in concept it will waste billions of dollars of income for the country and the future generations.

Therefore, the most logical, fastest, and most practical solution for the government to save the country from various economic crises and negative growth of the national economy and attract resources to develop important economic infrastructure, is focusing on increasing oil exports to more than 3 million barrels in the day and restoring Iran’s lost share in the OPEC oil export basket over the past years.

But this has become an unobtainable issue for the Iranian government because of the sanctions, which are the results of its behavior such as its nuclear program and global terrorism support threatening the global community. Therefore, best said with this behavior the country’s economy has no solution and will face a harder situation in the coming months and years.

Bahman Eshghi, Secretary-General of Tehran Chamber of Commerce in an interview with the state-run website Gostaresh on July 11, 2021, about the regime government’s situation said:

“The Iranian government cannot provide the means for development with this current mechanism. Let us be. Therefore, who is the president does not affect the general situation in the country, because, with this mechanism, the current vision, and the model of interaction with the world, we should not expect an efficient and advanced government. The situation will be the same as long as we form a base to manage the chicken price.”

Free Iran 2021 World Summit: Day Three

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The third and last day of the “Free Iran World Summit” was held today, with this section of the conference entitled “End Iran’s Regime Systematic Human Rights Violations”. All participants in the Summit, organized annually by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), promised to increase their efforts to help the Iranian people to overthrow the brutal and theocratic regime that crushes them.

The main topics of discussion at the conference were:

  • systematic human rights abuses by the regime
  • the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
  • the immediate need to bring senior regime figures, especially Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, and Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’I, to justice for the above topics

The first speaker was NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, who explained that Raisi is “the henchman of the 1988 massacre” and his appointment as president indicates that the regime is about to collapse under the weight of the people’s protests. She advised that this showed, once and for all, that there are no moderates in the regime and that appeasement with the “genocidal regime” has not worked.

She said: “As far as the international community is concerned, this is a test of whether it will engage and deal with this or whether it will stand with the Iranian people. We say to the world community, especially to Western governments, that Mullah Raisi is a criminal guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in 1988. He is guilty because as one of the regime’s highest Judiciary officials during the last 40 years, he played a decisive role in the execution and murder of the Iranian people’s children.”

Rajavi noted that as Raisi has reported being proud of his crimes, it indicates that he will only continue his crimes and that they may get worse as his position in the regime rises. (He’s believed to be the next in line for Supreme Leader.)

She said: “On behalf of the Iranian people and their Resistance, I emphasize that the United Nations and the international community should recognize the 1988 massacre in Iran as genocide and a crime against humanity. I call on the UN Security Council to take action to hold the leaders of the mullahs’ regime, especially Ali Khamenei, Raisi, and Ejeii, accountable for committing genocide and crimes against humanity. The United Nations must not allow Raisi to participate in the next session of the General Assembly. This would be an unforgivable insult to the peoples of all countries who send their representatives to the United Nations.”

Following Rajavi is a long-time supporter of the NCRI and former Colombian Senator Ingrid Betancourt, who doubled down on cracking the myth of moderation in the regime, explaining that all mullahs are “part of this blood-thirsty monster” no matter what they say.

However, Betancourt vowed that the regime isn’t going to survive and that is because of the hard work of Rajavi and the rest of the Resistance, whom Betancourt praised for their consistent effort to free Iran.

She said: “It is because young Iranians know this that they are following you. It is because there is the face of a woman that has suffered and doesn’t give up that represents the strength and the good in sheer contrast to the evil faces of the mullahs that Iranians are envisioning today the end of their nightmare.”

Another friend of the NCRI, who has spent years advocating for them, is former US Senator Robert Torricelli, who spoke about the massacre, which he described as a  “war on [the regime’s] own people”, and advised that any mullah who protested the crime against humanity – no matter how small the rebuke – was removed from power. This is a reference to the then-second-in-command who privately criticized the Death Commissions and was removed from power and put under house arrest.

He said: “We may have our differences on many issues in America, but when it comes to ending this regime and standing alongside the Iranian people, you cannot get a thin piece of paper between us on our resolve. It builds by the year. One voice, one policy, from one country.”

Torricelli called on the rest of the world to “take a stand”, saying that if the United Nation welcomed Raisi at the next General Assembly, “then the United Nations does not belong in New York”, because how could the Land of the Free host “terrorists, despots, and mass murderers”?

Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi then insisted that the global community, especially the European Union, must stop appeasing the regime and start supporting the people and Resistance if they want to continue claiming that they value freedom

Fredrik Reinfeldt, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, explained that some 100,000 Iranian ex-pats now live in Sweden because they’d fled the regime, but highlighted that the majority able to get out of Iran are the academics, the highly-skilled, and the creatives, who can get hired elsewhere. He said that this had contributed to the country’s collapse, which is the direct result of the regime’s suppression.

He said: “The autocrats, the people with absolute power, are always afraid of their own population. They are always controlling their own people because that is the kind of paranoia that always evolves in this kind of country. We also see that where there is absolute power, we have seen that they want to show themselves as being more democratic.”

Reinfeldt then called on the rest of the world to stand up and support the Resistance in order to bring democratic elections to the country because “no one should have absolute power”.

The former Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, then urged the UN and European Council to do more to confront the regime on human rights at every opportunity, citing gross abuses like floggings, disappearances, and executions.

Another former Italian Prime Minister and Director of the International Monetary Fund Carlo Cottarelli said: “Iran’s poor economic performance points at mistakes in domestic policies, lack of economic reform, and severe shortcomings in the economic governance framework. Over the last decades in the post-revolution era, the Iranian economy suffered from severe economic mismanagement, which added to the economic consequences of the political mismanagement.”

Then, former Belgium Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt explained that the regime will never transform into a democracy, no matter how much the West harps on about “hardliners and moderates”, which he described as a “hoax”.

He spoke about the “farce” elections that made Raisi president last month, advising that Raisi would not accept any of the needed reforms inside Iran, like nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, because he hates democratic values and is under US sanctions for the killing of political prisoners.

Verhofstadt said: “I believe we should strive to revive the deal but not at any cost. I think it would be a fatal mistake to only focus on the nuclear threat and regard human rights violations as a secondary issue. We must pursue a dual strategy in which we put human rights higher on the agenda while trying to establish a safer environment in the Middle East.”

The next speaker was former Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman said that the Iranian people and their Resistance give the world hope “for a peaceful and prosperous Iran”, especially now that the new Iranian president is someone known for “perpetrating crimes against humanity”. Roman called for UN investigations into these atrocities to support the people’s fight for freedom.

Then, it was time to turn to the live videos from Resistance members in Iran, who risked their lives to send out these messages because of the regime’s violent crackdowns on dissent.

One speaker from Ahvaz explained the problems that the people are facing because of the regime, including a lack of drinking water despite living near one of the biggest rivers in the country, while a caller from Tehran shared their hopes that next year Rajavi will make her address from Tehran’s Freedom Square.

Another speaker said: “During the past 40 years, the Iranian people have endured great pain and agony, and they are subject to brutal oppression by the rule of despotic models who have tried to silence our voices… your struggle is for their liberty and equality in a free Iran, and it has given us hope.”

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman then spoke about regime change as the only solution to the crisis in Iran, as everything else has failed and it’s “obvious” that the regime won’t change and the people of Iran, with help from the rest of the world, must change it.

He said: “I have never been more optimistic, my friends, that the regime in Iran is rotting at its core and is ready to fall. In August of this year, instead of entering the presidential office in Tehran, Ebrahim Raisi should be led to the docket at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and charged with crimes against humanity.”

Lieberman spoke about the fact that the regime has long tried to smear the “competent and capable” Resistance, which has always sought to reveal the regime’s crimes (i.e., nuclear weapons and terrorist actions).

He said: “How can world leaders, including America’s leaders, rationally negotiate with the regime that has killed thousands of American citizens and citizens of our allies and citizens, of course, of Iran itself? How could we negotiate with a nation that has constantly proven itself incapable of keeping its diplomatic promises, and how could we now possibly negotiate with a regime that has handpicked as its next president a mass murderer?”

Lieberman noted, as many others did, that Raisi’s presidency smashes the moderation myth, which is something that the Resistance and the people have been loudly saying is not true for many years now as they called for regime change.

He said: “Each of us who live outside Iran must now decide and plan what will we do to support the Iranian Resistance as it rises up in revolution. Here in America, we should work to convince the Biden administration that its own policies and values, which the President has said are to put human rights and democracy promotion at the heart of our foreign policy once again, must lead the administration to stop trying to negotiate with the evil government in Tehran and start supporting the people of Iran who want to overthrow it.”

Then, Robert Joseph, the former US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, explained that the regime is now increasingly desperate in the face of increased calls for regime change.

He said: “The people of Iran are rising up. They have simply had enough. They have seen their beloved country become a prison to those on the inside and a pariah to those on the outside. The selection of Raisi as president is a reflection of the moral bankruptcy of the mullahs. Raisi is a documented mass murderer.”

Joseph called on the world not to do anything to extend the regime’s time in power as they would go down as “pure evil” in the history books. He said that the international community must support human rights, rather than repeat the mistake of negotiating with the regime as in 2015.

He said: “It is a common but false argument that stopping the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon by re-joining the JCPOA must be the first priority. In fact, the resources that would flow to the regime would prolong the regime. It would prolong the repression of the Iranian people and it would also prolong the nuclear threat itself.”

Joseph further advised that there’s no point agreeing to a deal with the regime as they’ve reneged on every agreement they’ve ever made.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh then spoke about how Raisi is “a documented suspect in war crimes”, as well as crimes against humanity. He called for the legal community and heads of states to push for the mullahs to be held to account for this.

He said: “Our government should keep [the regime’s criminal record] in mind as it tries to renegotiate a new pact [with the regime]. We will keep in mind this perspective which is a long view but a critical accountability issue that has to be addressed, and we will have the means and the will to do it and it will be the final act of justice against the regime that has abandoned any notion of justice.”

Then, former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, a long-time Resistance supporter, explained that it was obvious that Raisi would be the next president because the need to suppress protests was more important than the façade of a moderate wing in the regime.

He said: “I fear even an increase in internal repression since the people of Iran, and a continuation and even increase in belligerence internationally, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. The real objectives of the regime in Tehran are not peace and security in the region. It is hegemony.”

Bolton explained that concessions towards the regime won’t improve the situation as they’re seen as a “sign of [the West’s] weakness”, which is why he said the US should not re-enter the nuclear deal.

He said: “The United States should not lift its economic sanctions. They should continue in place and we should aid the people of Iran who are legitimate opponents of the regime who seek nothing more than freedom and the opportunity to pick their own government. Our declared policy and its declared objective should be to overthrow the regime of the mullahs and replace it with a popularly elected government of the Iranian people.”

Then, it was the turn of several former political prisoners to describe the horrific conditions inside Iran’s prisons, especially focused on the 1988 massacre and Raisi’s role.

Matin Karim, who was just 15 at the time, described her first-hand experience of how Raisi treated political prisoners, which included torture and mock executions. While Saleh Kohandel, who spent 12 years in prison for supporting the Resistance, explained that he knew several people executed and advised that political prisoners were tortured and denied medical treatment.

Majed Karim described Raisi’s actions in Karaj prison, particularly those against students involved in the Resistance movement, describing the torture and execution of his friends on Raisi’s orders. Mohammad Farmani, who was arrested in 1981, further described how Raisi was involved in his arrest and the issuing of fake charges against him, as well as having to watch several executions.

The first two days of the Summit were the largest online event echoing the Iranian people’s call for regime overthrow and the establishment of a democracy in Iran. It connected 50,000 locations and featured over 1,000 politicians plus many more Resistance activists.

Free Iran Summit 2021: Day 2

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July 11, 2021, was the second day of the Free Iran World Summit 2021, which the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) holds every year to promote democratic regime change in the country as the Iranian people have made very clear that they want. This is especially important considering the volatile state of the country right now.

The main focus of the Sunday event was for dozens of global dignitaries from all over Europe and the Arab world to show their support for regime change by and for the Iranian people. We will look at their speeches here.

The first person to speak was Maryam Rajavi, President of the NCRI, who said that the international community must end its support of the “nuclear-armed butcher” that is the regime, saying that it’s “on the brink of collapse” as the crises (water shortage, food insecurity, economic collapse) increase across the country.

She said that appeasement was only enriching the regime and allowing them to increase their nuclear activity, terrorism, warmongering, and domestic repression, which is counter to the international community’s intention.

Rajavi said that any deals with the regime must ensure the withdrawal of “the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon”, as well as the end to the torture and execution of Iranians.

She said: “Anything less, in any wrapping, is tantamount to caving into the mullahs’ nuclear catastrophe [which is] an important part of Khamenei’s strategy to escape his overthrow… Despite all these sufferings, the Iranian people and their Resistance are determined to overthrow the religious dictatorship. And it will not matter if the regime is nuclear-armed or not, we will overthrow it.”

The British delegation then took the virtual stage, with former House of Commons Speaker Baroness Betty Boothroyd speaking about the recent presidential elections and the people’s boycott after the Resistance’s campaign. She advised that the Iranian people had made their feelings very clear when they didn’t come out to vote, showing that they want “genuine change”.

Boothroyd said: “After Raisi emerged as president in Iran the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States of America must unite behind the NCRI, its president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, and the people of Iran because they are our best allies to secure a free Iran.”

She called for the UK government and the West to take a firm policy on Iran over its abuse of Iranians, terrorism, regional interference, and hostage-taking. She laid out the need for “tougher sanctions” because the regime has “contempt” for positive talks or change.

Baroness Sandy Verma also supported the need to do more to hold the regime to account for “crimes against humanity”, particularly Raisi. She further advised that Iran, unlike many other states under a regime, has a “democratic alternative”  that can provide “a viable roadmap to establish a free and democratic and secular” country.

She said: “The future of Iran is determined by its people, and they have risen under the leadership of women to secure a free and democratic Iran. The UK and the West and the rest of the world should stand by you, recognizing and backing the popular struggle for democratic change in Iran led by NCRI.”

Then, MP Steve McCabe agreed with the need to support the Resistance, saying that if the West had listened to them years ago, then we might be in a very different state right now about the regime.

He said: “We have a second chance. We’ve seen the farce of the latest presidential election in Iran. We’ve witnessed the treachery over the nuclear deal. Now is the time to stand with the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.”

Next up was MP Bob Blackman, who advised that there is major support for bringing the Iranian regime to justice for their crimes, particularly the 1988 massacre, and said that the United Nations Security Council must refer Raisi to the International Criminal Court and try him for his roles in the execution of thousands of political prisoners, particularly in 1988 and 2019.

Then, it was the turn of the French delegation, beginning with MP Philippe Gosselin, who promised that French parliamentarians supported the Resistance and called on the French Foreign Ministry and Foreign Minister to encourage the international community to enact a firm policy on Iran and support the Resistance.

MP Michèle de Vaucouleurs said: “We are in solidarity with the cause of freedom of Iran and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. We support the fight against terrorism. We are proud to call on our authorities to take action on Iran’s terrorist activities and its repression of its people. The recent election in Iran has confirmed there are no moderates in Iran.”

MP Yannick Favennec, who is on the Parliament’s Defense Committee, gave a frank assessment of the situation saying that there are two sides; one is “increased poverty and misery”, with money wasted on the regime’s military and nuclear ambitions, while the other side is a “growing resistance movement” made up of the people who want freedom.

Jean-François Legaret, the co-president of the Committee of French Representatives for a Democratic Iran,  spoke about the “outrageous” election, calling it “an insult to democracy” and saying that there’s “no room for freedom” under the mullahs, especially now that Raisi, who “oversaw repression and executions”, is president.

Then, Jean-Pierre Muller, a member of the Departmental Council of Val d’Oise, said: “This regime does not respect human rights. Raisi was responsible for the massacre of prisoners in 1988. The Iranians are going through an economic crisis and a health crisis. The people are revolting. They organized an uprising in 2019. The regime can’t escape its fate.”

The delegation from the European parliament was the next group to speak. MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White was first to speak, saying that the pandemic has “wreaked havoc” on Iranians and the fact that they boycotted the presidential election proves that the people don’t trust the regime, so the international community needs to bring Raisi to justice for his crimes using the European Union’s existing tools because the regime is incapable of internal reform.

He said: “The right policy should not just focus on the regime’s nuclear weapons program but also its ballistic missile program, its sponsoring of terrorism, its regional malign influence, and its human rights violations. All these elements should be part of a coherent and comprehensive policy towards the regime. The European Union and the international community should stand with the people of Iran in their quest for freedom.”

Francisco Javier Zarzalejos Nieto, an MEP from Spain, said that it’s appalling that Raisi not only was involved in the 1988 massacre but also that he expressed pride in the murder of protesters.

He said: “We cannot have business as usual. We cannot close our eyes to human rights violations and the repression of women. We cannot ignore the Iranian regime of terrorism. We have to show our commitment to democracy and human rights and our support for the Iranian people.”

Then, Slovenia MEP Milan Zver expressed support for the Iranian people’s right to “to live in a free, stable, inclusive, and democratic country” and condemned the arrest of protesters and torture and execution of prisoners, saying that the international community must do everything in their power to end these human rights violations.

Zver said: “I have continuously appealed to the European Commission and Council to raise human rights violation as a core component of the bilateral relation with Iran and to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses.”

Another Slovenian MEP, Franc Bogovič, explained that the Iranian people are demanding democratic change and hoped that those in the West who kept trying to moderates in this regime can see that there’s “no moderate within murderous dictatorships”.

Former Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat also spoke at this point, saying that Iran should be free from the regime, which is waging “destructive wars in the Gulf” through religious sedition, as well as the support of terrorists, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

He said: “We must refuse the mullahs’ rule. We must promote peace and collaboration. We must pressure Europe and the US to avoid the trap of the nuclear deal. Some European countries are giving concessions to the regime even if it comes at the cost to the people of Iran and the region.”

At this point, the conference featured videos from inside Iran, with people from all sectors of society expressing their support for the NCRI and their hope for a free Iran.

Following the videos, former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali said: “The NCRI is not only serving its own people, but it is serving stability and peace across the region and the world. Standing with this resistance against the regime is our duty. Long live the [NCRI]. We stand with you.”

Then,  the Yemeni Ambassador to France Dr. Riyadh Yassin spoke about how the regime is supporting the Houthi militias who are currently destroying Yemen through civil war but noted that he is confident of victory because there is “no other path than the restoration of peace and stability”.

Afterward, the Albanian delegation addressed the conference, which is especially notable because thousands of Resistance members have been granted refuge in the country to save them from the attacks that they were being subjected to by the regime.

Democratic Party leader Edmond Spaho spoke first, saying that Albania supports all people oppressed by the regime and that he is concerned by ongoing human rights abuses.

He said: “Our government expelled the Iranian ambassador in Albania as well as three diplomats of the Iranian embassy for their engagements in terrorist plots against the [Resistance] in Tirana. Members of the Albanian Parliament from the Democratic Party of Albania support the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the legitimate alternative to bring about peace and freedom in Iran.”

Then, Foreign Affairs Committee Secretary Elona Gjebrea said that the regime’s installation of Raisi shows how desperate the regime is and stressed that Raisi must be brought to justice.

Former MP Namik Koplikut explained that the world has the “moral obligation” to support the Resistance and the people against the “evil” regime, while another former MP, Klevis Balliu, stressed that Rajavi’s alternative of democracy and freedom is “amazing” and “inspiring”.

After that, MP Orjola Pampuri advised that “dictators are not forever” and that she was happy to see change coming to Iran, but stressed that the country will not advance under the regime, which is why she supports the Resistance.

The German delegation then made their statements. Former German Bundestag Speaker Prof Dr. Rita Süssmuth spoke about how the regime is incapable of change and that the alternative is “the great organization of President Maryam Rajavi”.

She said: “Maryam Rajavi fights with a whole series of emancipated women. Women are not only the force of change but also the force that is building the future. Women are strong and live responsibly, and this belongs to the future of Iran.”

Bundestag Member Martin Patzelt explained that Europe has spent so long looking for moderates in the regime and this was a mistake because this idea was an illusion and it ignored the NCRI. He explained that the Iranian people’s protests and election boycott show that the regime has “completely lost [the] trust of the people”, while the Resistance has widespread support.

Kees de Vries, another Bundestag Member, said: “The fact that the majority of the Iranian friends has certified the illegitimacy of this regime by abstaining from the election is important. I stand by the Iranian people on the path to freedom and democracy.”

Next came the Italian delegation, with Senator Lucio Malan being foreright about what needs to be done.

He said: “Enough with appeasement. We must acknowledge that in Tehran there is a clerical regime whose only principle is to increase its power. The western world must stop pretending to think that Iran is a real democracy, and it must acknowledge the real situation. It must recognize the resistance in Iran led by Maryam Rajavi.”

MP Antonio Tasso advised that this is the “final stage” of the “cruel regime” and that the western world must support the people and the Resistance in the fight for “human dignity, honesty, courage, rights, and freedom”.

MP Stefania Pezzopane said: “We will continue to insist on the fact that our relations with Iran must be conditioned to the improvement of human rights. This is a priority. We should not give up our convictions and the EU must not accept to have someone like the current president as a reference point for Iran.”

The next delegation was from Scandanavia. Kimmo Sasi, a former Finnish Minister, advised that “Iran is, unfortunately, a dictatorship”, which means that appeasement won’t work and the only way to ensure change is through “popular revolution”.

Sasi said: “It’s very important that the EU brings all the crimes of the Iranian regime to the International Court of Law to guarantee that these people cannot escape the proceedings of the court of law. It’s time for the European Union to cooperate with Iranian people and give all the resources to the people in Iran to use to make a better world.”

Former Iceland Environment Minister Edvard Júlíus Sólnes then spoke about the elections, which proved that internal reform is “impossible”, as the Resistance has consistently said. He advised western democracies that the regime only has contempt for them and that they should not be negotiating with “criminals”.

Then, former Denmark Culture Minister Uffe Elbaek said: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Iran. You deserve to live in a democratic republic. Iran’s election was not free and the man who became president is a criminal. I support Mrs. Rajavi and her plan for human rights and a democratic Iran.”

The next to speak was former Norwegian MP Lars Rise who stressed that the  “overthrowing of the regime” by the Resistance was not far away and that Raisi “should be in the International Criminal Court in The Hague”.

The President of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian Parliament, Azzam al-Ahmad, explained that the “brotherhood” between  Palestine and the Resistance went back “more than half a century” to stand up against injustice and that he believed that victory is coming.

A small delegation of women’s rights advocates was the next to speak. First was Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela, who advised that women are oppressed under the regime; including restrictions on education, employment, leaving their house, and freedom of dress.

She said: “We call upon the international community to condemn and demonize such acts against them. They need to support the people of Iran against this brutal regime. We must acknowledge the brave women and men who have laid their lives and given everything against the system.”

Then, Aude de Thuin, the founder and President of the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society in France, said that the international community could not “remain silent” any longer and praised the activism of the Resistance women who risk their lives for freedom.

Valentina Leskaj, Vice-President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, said: “I have seen so many Iranian women who have bravely chosen to fight for human rights and justice against the dictatorship. But I strongly believe that the [Resistance] has given us a strong message regarding women’s rights. This resistance has shown respect for women’s rights and justice when they choose to have Madame Rajavi, a woman leader in front of the mullahs.”

Then Ranjana Kumari, the Director of Centre for Social Research in India, explained that Rajavi’s ten-point plan would guarantee women’s “fundamental freedom and rights, equality before the law, and equal participation in political leadership”.

Swiss MP Laurence Fehlmann Rielle said: “The women of Iran have stood against the misogynistic regime of Iran. The Iranian Resistance is a source of hope for the women of Iran. They deserve our support in restoring democracy in Iran. We will continue our campaign to rally Swiss parliamentarians to support the struggle of the people of Iran.”

The opening day of the Summit saw 50,000 locations in 105 countries across six continents connect virtually to urge the international community to support Iranians in their effort to overthrow the mullahs and institute a democratic government. During the largest online event ever, we saw 1,029 legislators, 11 former Prime Ministers, and 70 former ministers take part.

The event will conclude tomorrow.

Free Iran 2021 World Summit: Day One

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The three-day Free Iran 2021 World Summit, which is organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has started on July 10. The Summit, was the largest online international event ever for Iran’s liberation, connecting 50,000 locations in 102 countries across six continents, and had an audience of over one million people.

The conference, which is held annually and had to be held virtually for the second time this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is dedicated to the cause of regime overthrow in Iran to establish a democratic society that protects the rights of all people. It was attended by former senior government officials, lawmakers, non-governmental organizations, top military officials, democracy activists, and Iranian ex-pats from across the globe.

It was held less than one month after the Iranian presidential elections that saw the installation of Ebrahim Raisi, infamous as the henchman of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, due to the actions of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The election was widely boycotted across the country following a successful campaign by the Iranian Resistance group the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who had proclaimed that the people must “vote for regime change”.

The first speaker was NCRI president Maryam Rajavi, who predicted that because of all the crises facing Iran right now, the people are on the verge of an uprising like those of 2017 and 2019, but this one could well see the overthrow of the regime.

She explained that the regime knows that the uprising is coming, which is why they’ve ensured that Raisi became President last month. They need him to take his previous crackdowns on dissidents during the 1988 massacre or the 2019 uprising and intensify it to crush the coming wave of protests.

Rajavi said: “Fake notions of moderation and reformism will lose color, and the only brilliant option remaining will be a revolution and the regime’s overthrow. To achieve this glorious objective, the Iranian Resistance’s asset and greatest backing are the furious masses who are not satisfied with anything less than the overthrow of this regime.”

She explained that the MEK’s internal Resistance Units increased their activities throughout 2020 and this is helping to break the repressive atmosphere of the regime, but that the international community must end their appeasement of the regime, which has helped the mullahs to stay in power.

Rajavi asked the United Nations Security Council to bring mullahs, including Khamenei, Raisi, and Judiciary Chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejeii, to justice for the 1988 massacre, prevent Raisi from entering the next UN General Assembly session, and subject the regime to international sanctions to protect not just the Iranian people but also the rest of the world.

However, she said that the Iranian people and Resistance must be the ones to overthrow the mullahs, rather than a foreign power.

She said: “To achieve freedom, we are not betting on chance or pinning hope on a miracle that will break the spell of repression. The campaign for the overthrow is something we build with our own hands and through immense suffering. We have illuminated the path that the oppressed society is eager to follow. Yes, the army of the countless hungry and unemployed people has nothing to lose. And this will lead to the rise of the great army of freedom.”

Following Rajavi was former United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who spoke about how the US began issuing sanctions against the regime in 2018, to put pressure on the mullahs and relieve repression against the Iranian people who’ve been struggling for freedom since way before the 1979 revolution.

He said that anyone who believed that there are moderates in the regime is mistaken because the mullahs are “craven”, “brutal”, and “kleptocratic” rulers who kill Iranians in their thousands and install the murderers to leading roles.

No matter if the mullahs are being appeased by the West or under sanctions, they behave the same, so the US imposed sanctions for violations of the nuclear agreement and brought the regime to “its weakest point in decades”, which is why the mullahs needed to install Raisi as president last month. Pompeo stressed that the election was widely boycotted and that “very few people actually voted for Raisi”.

He then argued for the US to put “human rights and counter-terrorism” at the center of its Iran policy and hold Raisi accountable for his crimes against humanity, saying that interaction with him would be “tantamount to dealing with a mass murderer”. He also stressed that the Iranian people must be supported as they “fight for a freer and more democratic Iran”.

Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Janša was the next to speak. He said that the international community should support the Iranian people in their fight for “democracy, freedom, and human rights”.

Janša further stressed his support for an independent United Nations Commission inquiry into the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, saying that it’s of “crucial importance” to shed light on the gruesome genocide, especially as Raisi became president last month.

The Summit then turned its attention to speeches from inside Iran, from people expressing support for the Resistance and overthrow of the mullahs, even though they are risking their lives because of the regime’s treatment of NCRI and MEK supporters.

Next up to speak was former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who advised that the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), helped to expand the reach of Iran’s terrorist network, and the desire by some Western powers to renew it has only emboldened the regime to abandon all pretenses of moderation in the election.

He said: “Raisi is the very person whom the regime has long entrusted to jail or kill anyone who is actually moderate in 1988, as one of the four members of the prosecution committee he ordered the execution of some 30,000 political prisoners. Shame on any government in the world that would sit down and try to negotiate anything with an administration led by Ebrahim Raisi.”

The next person to speak was former Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons John Bercow,  who expressed solidarity with the Iranian people and their struggle for democracy, freedom, and rights.

He said: “I support the NCRI president’s 10-point plan for the country’s future… I assure you that you will prevail. You will succeed. You will win and the fascist bigots who oppress you will be hissed out of office.”

He further stressed that Raisi should be investigated for his crimes against humanity, saying that Raisi has a lot to answer for and “is the very embodiment of the bloodthirsty tyrant”.

Then, former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini stressed that sanctions on Iran should continue because they are not hurting the Iranian people, but weakening the regime and its ability to oppress the people.

He said: “If we fall in the trap to sit around the table and to negotiate again, we just legitimize the regime, a recognition of their role and their role is unfortunately also the one to destabilizes the entire Middle East… My colleagues in Europe should seriously consider not sitting at the same table with the Iranian regime officials whatsoever. We have to be very frank and very strict in respecting our constitution and the charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.”

Former Chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile then told the Iranian Resistance that they should never give up because they were on the right side of this fight and had the support of the US Congress.

The chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Menendez then spoke about how Iranian people are suffering under a regime with no interest in anything but self-preservation, chaos, repression, and nuclear weapons.

He said: “[The Resistance’s] continued advocacy remains absolutely vital. It is a beacon of hope that one day the people of Iran, the United States, and indeed all the world will rejoice in an Iranian government that is at peace with the international community and works to secure a better future for its people.”

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen noted that the regime “lacks legitimacy”, which is why it oppresses its people and stressed that it should not be solely up to the Iranian people to advocate for a free Iran. She further explained that the US must prioritize human rights in its Iran policy.

US Senator Thom Tillis said: “The new president of Iran has been involved in interrogation, murder, torture, and issuing death sentences for democratic activists and opponents for years. Sanctions should not be lifted and negotiations with state sponsors of terror should always be avoided. My colleagues and I in Congress support your calls for a free and democratic republic in Iran.”

US Senator John Cornyn said that the US stands in solidarity with Iranians in their call for freedom and expressed his support for an “effective and bipartisan approach” to the nuclear Iran threat.

Hakeem Jeffries, who is Chair of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, then spoke about how the regime “brutalizes its citizens and exports terrorism” worldwide, so he applauded the Resistance for its determination to ensure “a free, secular and non-nuclear Iran”.

Of the recent election, Patrick J. Kennedy,  former House of Representatives member, said:  “Electing a mass murderer like Raisi shows that Khamenei and his mullahs have given up any facade of moderation. There’s no excuse anymore for denying the truth. We can’t be in denial for what the mullahs’ regime represents.”

Pandeli Majko,  former Albanian Prime Minister, expressed his concerns over “human rights violations” in Iran, especially now that Raisi as president, and said that he stood with the Iranian people.

Then, Lulzim Basha, Chair of Albania’s Democratic Party,  expressed support for the Iranian people’s fight for freedom and Rajavi’s efforts to create a free, secular, and democratic country.

He said: “The recurring acts of unprovoked aggression and violence by the Iranian government against its own people, against its neighbors, and the global community of nations have hurt countless Iranians and other people in the region and around the world… We stand firmly against the Iranian regime’s illegal and terrorist practices on our soil and its structured enterprise to export fundamentalism to Albania.”

French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie also thanked Rajavi for fighting for freedom and democracy in Iran, saying that the Iranian people “should be able to choose their own destiny”.

Former British Trade Minister Liam Fox said: “We have to deal with a dangerous, draconian, destabilizing regime which suppresses its own people and exports fanaticism and instability to its own region and beyond.”

He explained that the regime oppresses the Iranian people, exports violence, provokes conflict, and poses a nuclear threat to Israel, so the world must stop appeasing it.

Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, said that the West must take heed of the regime’s appointment of Raisi, most known for “heinous and bloody repressions against any opposition”, and that if politicians continue to meet with Iranian leaders, they should remember the Iranian people’s “extreme suffering”.

He further called for a new Euro-Atlantic front to confront the threat from Iran and that the West should look to the Resistance’s strength and steadfastness.

The next speaker was human rights advocate Martin Luther King III, who is the son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King said that he was concerned about human rights and freedom in Iran, quoting his father’s famous saying “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

He said: “I wholeheartedly support legislation in the United States Congress to promote freedom and human rights in Iran. House Resolution 118, which expresses the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic of Iran also condemns violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian government.”

Congressman Joe Wilson, a co-sponsor of House Resolution 118, said that the mullahs “rely on terrorism against the [Iranian people and] the international community”.

Congressman Brad Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “The Iranian people are forced to live under an autocratic and corrupt regime that targets its own people, and is the chief state sponsor of terrorism internationally from Syria to Lebanon, Gaza, Europe, South America, and across the globe.”

He stressed that the world should not forget about the regime’s crimes and that the Iranian people are working towards “a new chapter in that great nation’s history”.

Congressman Tom McClintock, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, said that the regime must be held to account before it inflicts more violence on the people, especially the members of the Resistance who have consistently exposed the crimes of the regime, including its nuclear weapons programs

He said: “Although the Iranian regime has become more oppressive and extreme, the international resistance to them has become stronger and more resolute. The more the story of Iran is told of its proud ancient heritage of freedom and civilization, and its current curse of despotism and terror, the more the world has rallied to its cause.”

Congresswoman Judy Chu said that the Summit sends a “powerful statement” to the mullahs that their repression is unacceptable, especially now that Raisi, “one of Iran’s most brutal killers”, is president.

Former US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said that the Resistance’s “perseverance will never ever be silenced”. She then thanked Rajavi and the Resistance for sending a message to the regime through the election boycott last month that the people are “fed up with the broken promises, the economic incompetence, the systemic corruption, the disrespect for human rights, and the misogynistic treatment of the women of Iran”.

The Summit will continue through Sunday and Monday.

Land Subsidence Destroys Iran’s Society

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The Iranian plateau is sinking. According to Mostafa Fadaeifard, head of the specialized committee for flood assessment of the National Committee of Great Dams of Iran, 18 provinces are at high risk of land subsidence; subsidence that can engulf people’s vital infrastructure and homes and lands.

Water stress for large cities like Tehran means water rationing and consumption warnings, but for rural people, it means financial bankruptcy and migration, a process that has been going on for years. These people whose profession is agriculture are now forced to migrate to the outskirts of big cities and have become suburban people and day laborers. This shift, however, does not end here and has wider implications than we will discuss here.

According to statistics, 200 cities in the country are suffering from water stress this year. Perhaps it is not bad to give a definition of water tension that Iran is ranked fourth in the world; A country that has consumed more than 80% of its renewable resources. According to the ‘Falkenmark indicator’ or ‘water stress index’, when a region or country has less than a thousand cubic meters of water resources per person per year, the country suffers from water stress.

“This method defines water scarcity in terms of the total water resources that are available to the population of a region; measuring scarcity as the amount of renewable freshwater that is available for each person each year. If the amount of renewable water in a country is below 1,700 m per person per year, that country is said to be experiencing water stress; below 1,000 m it is said to be experiencing water scarcity; and below 500 m, absolute water scarcity.” (Global Water Forum, May 7, 2012)

What will this scarcity do with the country? Farmers in the east and west of Isfahan who live now for many years as farmers what will they do with their lives? The Kermanis who have no water anymore to plant pistachios what will they do? Cultivation pattern must change; True, irrigation should be change to drip irrigation, right, but in the absence of these scientific changes, people have found no way to escape their village for years.

Until now, migration from rural to urban areas has been mainly due to the repulsion of rural life; The repulsion that has occurred due to not finding a job and, in fact, a mismatch between the amount of land for the labor force; restrictive factors that have caused villagers to move from their hometowns to other cities.

Now, with water shortages, these migrations will increase. In this regard, we are witnessing migration to the north of the country. It is good if this migration is attracted by the destination and the person will find a job and is absorbed in the destination, but since such migrations are due to the repulsion of the origin, it must be said that it is a kind of migration is falling from the pit into the well.

This population is marginalized in the destination city and then suffers from a variety of social ills that challenge both themselves and the community of origin.

Iran’s cities even now cannot provide adequate urban jobs and facilities for its indigenous peoples, and if there is no culture and planning for these migrations in the cities of origin, then conflicts of interest can create new challenges for the cities, which we are seeing now.

Its manifestation can be seen in educational planning, a city must be able to calculate how many schools and teachers it needs for this population growth. But as we are witnessing due to an uncontrolled migration none of the cities are able to provide the migrated children with school and many of them are ending on the streets and being abused as workers.

Therefore, if these migrations are large and uncontrolled, changes must be made to the planning of the university, housing, roads, and urban infrastructure, as these are rapidly affected by migration and urban planning will be disrupted. Many young people in Iran who are scared because of water scarcity buys lands in the north of the country and decide to live there. Therefore, the population of the villages has shrunk by 50 percent in the last 40 years. Another effect of water scarcity in rural areas is reduced labor force and gender differences due to wider migration of men than women.

Lack of comprehensive and codified planning is one of the factors that has increased the damage to villages and cities. Especially in the long-term drought that has gripped the country for years, many agricultural products have been destroyed due to lack of water. Among the provinces where the effects of drought can be seen are Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman, where many crops have been destroyed and where we are witnessing a flood of migration to cities, which has led to an increase in marginalization in large cities and provincial capitals.