Archive for the ‘Iranian elections’ category

Iran and Middle East Instability

June 3, 2017

Iran and Middle East Instability, American ThinkerShahriar Kia, June 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Rouhani able, or even willing?

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

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

Rouhani defending Iran’s missiles

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

“… US officials should know whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission,” he said in a news conference.
The Iranian regime reported recently the construction of a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program.

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

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

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

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

 

The Revolutionary Guard’s long shadow over Iran’s presidential election

May 19, 2017

The Revolutionary Guard’s long shadow over Iran’s presidential election, Long War Journal, May 19, 2017

Iranians head to the polls today to choose between “bad and worse” in yet another unfair-and-unfree presidential election. The primary challenger, Ebrahim Raisi – who is considered a frontrunner to succeed Khamenei – has received the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the protector of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution who have long cast a dark shadow over the country.

The Guard’s political interference has at times been so blatant that incumbent President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday publicly called on it not to meddle. During the final debate last week, Rouhani criticized the Guards for mobilizing support for Raisi.

Some in the West point to this as proof that Rouhani is the “lesser of two evils,” yet the political effect of this difference is minimal:  Rouhani cannot overcome the Guards and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on matters of foreign and security policy—to the extent that he even has differences with them. Rouhani’s feud with the corps goes back to the Iran-Iraq War and is less politically convulsive than can sometimes appear to outside observers.

Since 1989, the Revolutionary Guards’ intervention in Iranian politics and commerce has expanded dramatically under the watch of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has relied on the corps to consolidate his power.

While Rouhani has installed more intelligence ministry than Guard veterans in his cabinet, the corps overshadows all other security and military institutions.

Khamenei and the Guards exercise formal and informal means to check the elected branches. The corps’ decision-making hierarchy is dominated by a tightly-knit network of Iran-Iraq War (1980 – 1988) veterans loyal to the supreme leader. During the reform era (1997 – 2005), Khamenei and the Guards curtailed the agenda of former President Mohammad Khatami and purged reformists from the parliament.

As a partly conscript military organization, however, the 150,000-strong Guard Corps somewhat mirrors society, though more so the pro-regime base since Iranians who don’t support the regime often prefer to enlist in the regular army.  The Revolutionary Guards purged their ranks after the massive demonstrations following the 2009 presidential election: many officers and the rank-and-file refused to attack protesters.  Senior commanders have become more careful about vetting officers.  Khamenei-picked clerical commissars enforce ideological conformity and the corps’ Counter Intelligence Organization, souped up after 2009, roots out dissent.

Factionalism among the Guards, however, remains. For instance, former senior commander and parliamentarian, Mansour Haghighatpour, told a pro-reform newspaper the Guards foiled his re-election bid in the northwestern district of Ardebil last year because he voted for the 2015 nuclear accord.

The Revolutionary Guard has promoted Raisi before he announced his presidential run. Raisi, who owes his power to the supreme leader, has long been close to Iran’s security services. After Khamenei last year appointed Raisi the trustee of Iran’s wealthiest endowment, the Reza Holy Precinct, top Guard commanders visited him in Mashhad.  Media affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard then began promoting Raisi with the senior title of “Ayatollah.” That indicated Raisi was being groomed for the higher office of supreme leader, which nominally requires the senior clerical rank (the media has now returned to calling Raisi a mid-ranking cleric).

Even before the withdrawal of Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran and a former senior Guard commander, from the presidential campaign, Raisi generated the most buzz in hardline circles. Prominent Guard theoretician Hassan Abbasi even claims there’s a “strange” aura to Raisi’s campaign rallies. Photos of guardsmen in Syria declaring their support for Raisi are now commonplace in Iranian social media.  The corps’ weekly Sobh-e Sadegh’s latest edition all but endorses Raisi without naming him directly.

Some in Khamenei’s close circle successfully pushed Raisi to run for president even though he’d initially refused. Cleric Ali Panahian, head of the pro-Khamenei think tank Ammar Base, told a militant seminary audience in Qom this month that Raisi consented to run with reservations.  Panahian viewed Raisi as “one of the sources of support” for the Islamic Republic regardless of “the result of the election.”  Panahian has dubbed Raisi the “seyyed of the dispossessed” (“seyyed” is an honorific given to descendants of the Prophet Muhammad).

The Guard Corps has also directly mobilized supporters for Raisi’s campaign rallies.  A reporter who attended Raisi’s Tehran campaign rally this week said the vast majority of attendees were members of the Basij – an all-volunteer, paramilitary organization that falls under the corps’ command. Eyewitnesses outside the campaign rally videotaped men on motorcycles and more than a dozen buses – hallmarks of the Guard’s mobilization.

The Revolutionary Guards might try to tip the results in Raisi’s favor. Polls by their media seem to predict a Raisi victory. The Guard Corps has attempted to station forces at Tehran’s ballot stations on election day, drawing a protest of a senior official from the interior ministry, which counts the votes and is under the control of Rouhani.  Iranian parliamentarian Mahmoud Sadeghi this week warned about the spread of undercover security agents in Tehran, some of whom vowed to crush the “green sedition,” referring to the 2009 Green Movement. The Guard may want to rig the results by a few points to avoid the mistake of declaring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner by a large margin, which instantly led to widespread suspicions of fraud and massive demonstrations.

Rouhani’s supporters may well accuse the corps and the supreme leader of fraud if Raisi wins. Rouhani has been leading the polls and the public expects high turnout of the reformist base, which could only benefit Rouhani. The president has loudly and repeatedly warned against the Guards’ meddling in this election.

For his part, Khamenei has not overtly expressed his preference for president but has criticized Rouhani throughout the campaign, and has vowed to “slap in the face” anyone who “wishes to disrupt security.” He obviously fears a repetition of 2009 that rocked the regime to its core.

Whatever the result of the election, the Guard Corps will remain the most powerful network in the country.   A Raisi presidency would be beholden.  A Rouhani victory, however, cannot roll back the Guards’ influence.  The Islamic Republic’s history leaves no doubt that republican institutions are incapable of overcoming the unelected powers of the supreme leader and his praetorians, who perceive reform as an existential threat.  The prospect for gradual, peaceful reform within the Islamic Republic is bleak.

Prosecutor General Warns against Attempts to Upset Election Security in Iran

May 14, 2017

Prosecutor General Warns against Attempts to Upset Election Security in Iran, Tasnim News Agency, May 14, 2017

(Please see also, How to Secure and Stabilize the Middle East. Are the mad mullahs worried? — DM)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Judiciary has obtained information about hostile schemes to create insecurity as the country is gearing up for presidential election, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri warned, stressing that any move to disrupt security will receive a harsh response.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Montazeri said reports suggest that “ill-wishers and enemies are seeking to upset security with any means” as election day is nearing.

Giving an assurance that hostile attempts at causing insecurity will get nowhere, the prosecutor general warned that the Iranian Establishment’s response to anyone wanting to upset the security of the country or the election will be severe.

In comments on May 10, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned that the enemies’ short-term purpose is to upset Iran’s security and foment chaos.

The Leader also cautioned the six candidates running for presidency against moves or comments that may upset the country’s security and serve the interests of the enemy unintentionally.

“Anybody wanting to take any measure against the country’s security in the election will certainly receive a hard reaction and slap in the face,” Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.

“(The issue of) security is of great significance for the country, for the people, and consequently for me, and security must be fully maintained in the election,” the Leader added.

The 12th presidential election will be held in Iran on May 19.

Six candidates, Hassan Rouhani, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Eshaq Jahangiri, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, and Mostafa Hashemitaba are running in the race.

How to Secure and Stabilize the Middle East

May 14, 2017

How to Secure and Stabilize the Middle East, Clarion ProjectShahriar Kia, May 14, 2017

An Iranian protester during the Green Revolution (Photo: Reuters)

The opinions below are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Clarion Project.

In contrast to other countries that lack a opposition that can be trusted, Iran enjoys an internationally-recognized alternative based on democratic values acknowledged across the globe.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its pivotal member, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), is the largest and most organized opposition in the face of the Iranian regime. The NCRI enjoys widespread support inside Iran and throughout the world, with the ability to organize an uprising against the regime in Tehran. Senior Iranian regime officials have acknowledged the time and again that the main threat compromising Iran’s entire regime apparatus is none other than the PMOI/MEK. To this end, they have focused their entire efforts on physically obliterating this Iranian opposition group.

In 2009, when the Iranian people took to the streets and demanded fundamental change, their efforts went unsupported due to Obama’s appeasement policy that sought to sign the nuclear deal with Tehran at all costs. This was an opportunity that enjoyed the potential of significantly decreasing existing Middle East crises. Today, the regime in Tehran is facing crises far more dangerous than 2009.

The correct Iran policy is supporting regime change by the Iranian people and their organized and legitimate resistance. By adopting such a stance, the international community can begin to confront Iran’s notorious influence in the region and its nuclear ambitions in order to spread security in a non-nuclear Middle East free of terrorism.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced at a press conference on April 19 that the White House is evaluating its policy on Iran. This policy overview will not merely cover the Iran nuclear deal, but will be a comprehensive look at all Iran-related issues.

At a press conference, Tillerson formalized Iran’s provocative and destructive measures in different fields.

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel … An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea, and take the world along with it … Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region, and the world …” he said.

“Iran continues to have one of the world’s worst human rights records,” Tillerson added.

Defense Secretary James Mattis adopted a similar approach on April 22 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, saying, “But we’re talking about the Mideast at an inflection point. And I would just point out right now that among the many challenges the Mideast faces, I think Iran is actually foremost … The Iranian regime, in my mind, is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

Iran’s meddling has neutralized all efforts to resolve the region’s crises, said Bahrain Interior Minister Rashed bin Abdullah at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) session, adding the region faces threats that demand cooperation to confront. He emphasized the need for unity in Gulf positions regarding strategic matters.

What is the right Iran policy?

Supporters of the Iran appeasement approach believe the correct policy is to engage the mullahs’ regime and continue dialogue. They justify this approach for two reasons: first, to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions and second, to attempt to establish change from within by supporting so-called “moderates” inside the regime apparatus.

This is the policy pursued during the Obama years without any political or strategic reservation, and also that of previous administrations throughout the past few decades.

However, rapprochement with Tehran not only failed to contain the mullahs’ ambitions and terrorism; in fact, it further encouraged the regime and plunged the entire Middle East into insecurity and instability.

The Wall Street Journal wrote in a recent piece, “President Donald Trump’s hard-line view on Iran was at odds with State Department diplomats.”

Yet, the solution placed forward by Obama and the State Department’s experienced diplomats resulted in Iran escalating its flagrant human rights violations and expanding its devious influence throughout the Middle East.

Others believe the right Iran policy is a military solution and the U.S. must launch airstrikes targeting Iran’s nuclear sites. Although this can deliver significant blows to Iran’s ambitions and disrupt the mullahs’ efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, the consequences on regional security and stability are controversial, placing the U.S. and its allies in yet another Middle East war.

What is the durable solution? Can we avoid war while bringing an end to the spread of extremism and terrorism across the globe?

Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in today’s world. Since the appeasement policy adopted by previous U.S. administrations has been fruitless in containing Iran and actually led to the current dangerous circumstances, the only viable long-term solution is to adopt a firm policy that hinges on regime change.

In contrast to other countries that lack a opposition that can be trusted, Iran enjoys an internationally-recognized alternative based on democratic values acknowledged across the globe.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its pivotal member, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), is the largest and most organized opposition in the face of the Iranian regime. The NCRI enjoys widespread support inside Iran and throughout the world, with the ability to organize an uprising against the regime in Tehran. Senior Iranian regime officials have acknowledged the time and again that the main threat compromising Iran’s entire regime apparatus is none other than the PMOI/MEK. To this end, they have focused their entire efforts on physically obliterating this Iranian opposition group.

Following a visit paid by Senator John McCain to Albania and his meeting with Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, an analysis posted on April 27 in Iran Dideban, a state-sponsored outlet, made vivid the regime’s concern that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) failed to quell and destroy the PMOI/MEK.

“The IRGC’s involvement in Syria led to serious neglect. This inattention has surfaced, resulting in this group [MEK] gaining a more open hand to play a role in on-the-ground developments … It is worth noting this group has significant experience in organizing campaigns and can pose a potential security threat for the country. The use of social domestic networks inside the country and influencing grayscale correspondents are among the efforts of this group. This has launched a wave of disappointment among forces loyal to the establishment and state.”

In 2009, when the Iranian people took to the streets and demanded fundamental change, their efforts went unsupported due to Obama’s appeasement policy that sought to sign the nuclear deal with Tehran at all costs. This was an opportunity that enjoyed the potential of significantly decreasing existing Middle East crises. Today, the regime in Tehran is facing crises far more dangerous than 2009.

The correct Iran policy is supporting regime change by the Iranian people and their organized and legitimate resistance. By adopting such a stance, the international community can begin to confront Iran’s notorious influence in the region and its nuclear ambitions in order to spread security in a non-nuclear Middle East free of terrorism.

Iran Regime Fears Recurrence of the 2009 Uprising After Its May Elections

April 25, 2017

Iran Regime Fears Recurrence of the 2009 Uprising After Its May Elections, Iran Focus, April 24, 2017

The Iranian Regime is scared of civilian protests because they know that their grip on power is waning; the international community must stand with the Resistance and support the NCRI if they ever want to see democratic elections in Iran.

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London, 24 Apr – As their sham Presidential Elections draw ever closer, it becomes clearer and clear that the Iranian Regime is worried about potential uprisings from its oppressed people; similar to the Green revolution which followed the 2009 election.

The Supreme Leader of the Iranian Regime, Ali Khamenei, recently met with military commanders to express his security concerns.

He said: “The security is very important for a country. The Armed Forces play a significant role in this as well, they provide the security of the country with their power. This is one of the important issues.”

He released a statement on his website in which he accused any potential protesters of being enemies of the state.

However, he failed to note that these potential uprisings will be the result of growing inequality between Regime leaders and the Iranian people and the Regime’s brutal treatment of the oppressed and underprivileged.

Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, the Attorney-General of the regime, expressed his fears of an uprising and stated that the Regime couldn’t allow anything like the 2009 uprising to happen again.

He said: “It is our responsibility to ensure the security of [the] election and deal with criminals and those who intend to disrupt the elections, and we will not abandon any effort.”

Democratic governments are not afraid of protests; they understand that political opponents should be allowed to field candidates in elections and protest against decisions by that government.

The Iranian Regime is not just undemocratic; it is terrified of its own people and their democratic party, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which serves as a government in exile. That’s why it cracks down so severely on any opposition movement.

Hossein Zolfaghari, the Chairman of the Security Committee, has threatened that those who protest the results of the sham election will be dealt with firmly, but given the Regime’s record on dealing with political opponents, this could well mean torture or executions.

The Regime is so scared of their own people, that they have even produced a security handbook specifically to deal with any uprisings that may occur.

Zolfaghari said: “The handbook consists of the necessary precautions for areas prone to security risks. Additionally, the instructions related to security issues have been sent to all provinces. 40 helicopters support the provincial election staffs and all security institutions of the country including the Ministry of Intelligence, the Intelligence Protection Organization of the IRGC, and the Intelligence Organization of the Disciplinary Force are also active.”

The Iranian Regime is scared of civilian protests because they know that their grip on power is waning; the international community must stand with the Resistance and support the NCRI if they ever want to see democratic elections in Iran.

Khamenei ally is accusing ‘Iran’s liberal enemies of delaying the Mahdi’s appearance’

April 21, 2017

Khamenei ally is accusing ‘Iran’s liberal enemies of delaying the Mahdi’s appearance’, Alarabiya, Saleh Hamid, April 21, 2017

(Please see also, Iran: Possible US and Iranian Opposition Cooperation to Counter the Threat of Mullahs’ Rule. — DM)

Saidi is known for making controversial statements about the sanctification of Khamenei’s regime. (Archives)

“[T]he Guardianship of the Islamist Jurist does not require legitimacy from the people, since it represents the divine judgement, and the people must accept the orders of the Islamic Jurist, as they accept the orders of the infallible Imam”.

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A representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the Revolutionary Guard, Ali Saidi, said in a speech that the Khomeini revolution in Iran paved the way for the emergence of Imam Mahdi, which is the last stage before his appearance, but that “there are enemies delaying his arrival.”

According to Islamic theology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for a number of years before the Day of Judgement.

Saidi has accused secularist and liberal front in Iran, of delaying the emergence of the Mahdi.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Saidi as saying at a meeting of the Revolutionary Guards clerics’ last Wednesday. Saidi recognized two “specific enemies one being an external enemy embodied in the United States of America and the others being internal enemies represented by the liberals and seculars in Iran.”

Saidi is known for making controversial statements about the sanctification of Khamenei’s regime. Last June, at a sermon in the province of Gilan northern of Iran, Saidi claimed that Khamenei “communicates with a divine source through revelation, occultism and diligence”.

FILE – In this June 15, 2009 file photo, a demonstrator wears a mask in the party’s color of green, due to fears of being identified, as hundreds of thousands of supporters of leading opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims there was voting fraud in election, turn out to protest the result of the election at a mass rally in Azadi (Freedom) square in Tehran, Iran. ( AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

He also said that “the Guardianship of the Islamist Jurist does not require legitimacy from the people, since it represents the divine judgement, and the people must accept the orders of the Islamic Jurist, as they accept the orders of the infallible Imam”.

Saidi also courted criticism for another controversial statement about Iranian influence and expansion in the region, when he said in a speech that “Iran’s strategic influence extends from Bahrain to Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, the shores of the Mediterranean and even Latin America”.

On Tuesday, the European Union extended sanctions for another year against 82 Iranian figures, including Saidi, for serious human rights violations.

Saidi played a key role in suppressing the green movement protests following Iran’s presidential elections in 2009. The oppositional director Mohamed Nouri Zad broadcasted a tape in which guard leaders spoke, including Saidi, about details of the suppressing the protests that began in June 2009 against the presumed manipulation of the votes that led Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to win a second term.

Iran: Possible US and Iranian Opposition Cooperation to Counter the Threat of Mullahs’ Rule

April 21, 2017

Iran: Possible US and Iranian Opposition Cooperation to Counter the Threat of Mullahs’ Rule, Iran Focus, April 20, 2017

(Please see also, Iran’s Top Judge Warns of Enemy Schemes for Election. Might the “enemy schemes” of the Iranian dissidents who met with Sen. McCain be among those referenced there? — DM)

Senator McCain’s visit to Albania to visit dissidents and Maryam Rajavi could perhaps be a step in the direction of cooperation between the US government and the main Iranian opposition. It is true that the NCRI is receiving more and more support from lawmakers in the West, and from all over the world, and it is making the Iranian regime nervous. Cooperation between the US and the Iranian opposition, which has large networks of people all over Iran, will be a positive move for the people of Iran. No one knows more about the Iranian regime and its activities than the main opposition group and it will help the US get foreign policy to counter the regime’s threat right.

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London, 20 Apr – Last week, Senator John McCain went to Albania where he met a number of the former residents of the Camp Liberty base. The dissidents were finally released from the former US military base last year and many of them have now made Albania their permanent residence. The dissidents at Camp Liberty had been victim to numerous attacks planned by the Iranian regime.

However, they have now all finally been released from Camp Liberty and have the freedom to continue their activism, must to the dismay of the Iranian regime.

Senator McCain also met with the leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi.

It was no surprise that the mullahs were unhappy about this encounter and claimed it was part of a conspiracy against the Islamic Republic. There were also threats that the US would be made to “pay” for the “mistakes” it has made. This predictable anger is nothing but proof that the Iranian regime is extremely weak and terrified of opposition.

For years, the Iranian regime has attempted to destroy the opposition via various methods including force, violence, false allegations and slander. It is clear that the opposition groups, especially the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), pose a very real threat to the mullahs’ rule.

The threat has got even more real now that the Trump administration is in place. While President Obama was in office, the Iranian regime enjoyed free reign over the Middle East. Obama did not dare call the regime out on its malign activities, let alone sanction it.

In his presidency so far, Trump has put Iran “on notice” after it conducted testing of ballistic missiles and has issued numerous sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities. The Trump administration is also weighing up whether or not to designate the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation). However, the biggest message was sent to Iran when it launched a strike on its ally in Syria. As well as saying that the United States will not put up with such evil acts (the chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians), it was a challenge to Iran’s position as the main backer of the Syrian regime.

Senator McCain’s visit to Albania to visit dissidents and Maryam Rajavi could perhaps be a step in the direction of cooperation between the US government and the main Iranian opposition. It is true that the NCRI is receiving more and more support from lawmakers in the West, and from all over the world, and it is making the Iranian regime nervous. Cooperation between the US and the Iranian opposition, which has large networks of people all over Iran, will be a positive move for the people of Iran. No one knows more about the Iranian regime and its activities than the main opposition group and it will help the US get foreign policy to counter the regime’s threat right.