What does Iran think about ongoing protests in Iraq?

It goes without saying that the regime in Iran is deeply concerned over the events unfolding in Iraq. This massive popular uprising has not been quelled despite a deadly crackdown that has rendered an overall death toll of nearly 250 in the past month along with several thousands injured.

The Iraqi people, however, are setting fire to offices and headquarters of groups and other entities affiliated to Iran. This includes centers involved in plundering the Iraqi people and corrupt ministries, all leading to calls for the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdil al-Mahdi to resign. Iran’s state TV is running various shows providing the regime’s analysis on Iraq. “The scope of this conspiracy is quite enormous,” one state-linked analyst said.

“The volume of these protests and the expansion of this movement, parallel to the behaviors witnessed in attacks targeting government centers, senior officials, private property, assassinating certain individuals, torching banks, storming and torching governors’ offices, provincial headquarters, ministries, stealing from banks and chants calling for the government to resign, the constitution to be revoked and the government to be annulled… What next? I believe these are far beyond legitimate demands… All these events are taking place between Baghdad and Basra (southern Iraq). All these events, deaths and injuries are between Baghdad and Basra. This means nine Shiite provinces. Do they want to launch a Shiite-Shiite war? It appears the scope of this conspiracy is massive,” the report said.

On Sunday, October 27, in another state TV program focusing on Iraq, concerns were voiced over the protesters’ targeting Iran-backed militia groups. “There are now voices heard among the people calling for the official Iraqi government to resign.

“Iraqi protesters initially called for improvements in public services, employment and a concentrated effort against corruption. As footage was posted online showing direct fire from unknown areas targeting the people, these mercenaries recently assassinated two senior members of the Asaeb movement… In this attack, after unidentified men shot Osam al-Aliyawi, they followed him and his brother, martyring them in a hospital,” the report adds.

It is worth noting that none of the claims raised by the Iranian regime state TV program have been proven and the very tone used is quite obvious. Phrases such as “mercenaries,” “movement” and “martyring” all indicate a certain language aiming to place the blame on demonstrators, while relieving the Iran-backed government and militia units involved in the crackdown of any responsibility.

Sa’dollah Zarei, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and a figure close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, shed further light on Tehran’s concerns over its affiliated sites and groups being targeted central and southern Iraq. This clearly indicates the Iraqi people’s utter hatred of the IRGC Quds Force and its malign role in Iraq.

“Any event taking place anywhere can be inspirational for another area. It would be quite natural for us to say that Lebanon was inspired by Iraq, and Iraq can be inspired from another location. In Lebanon, we are witnessing a number of irregular signs. All in all, we may be witnessing this story for weeks and months to come,” he added.

“The situation in Iraq is very similar to the society in Lebanon. In these demonstrations we are witnessing attacks on various Shiite groups, meaning attacks on Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, their members being killed. Around 10 to 15 of them have been martyred. In recent development there was an attack targeting the al-Hekma party, their offices and various centers. They attacked Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) offices and all of a sudden we witness attacks targeting Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, and ten individuals being viciously murdered,” Zarei continued.

Interesting that Asaeb Ahl al-Haq, the al-Hekma and Hashd al-Shaabi groups are all funded, armed, trained and fully supported by Iran’s regime.

It is worth noting that the number provided by Zarei and the descriptions of these deaths cannot be confirmed. All in all, these remarks made by an IRGC member and heard from reports aired on state TV resemble the general state of escalating concern for Iran’s mullahs.

After years of investing billions in Iraq, the mullahs in Tehran are witnessing a loss of vital influence in this country. Iraq has for years been a significant route to bypass U.S. sanctions and losing influence in this country has the potential of having deep impact inside Iran, and especially Tehran.

The meaning of sanctioning Iran’s Central Bank

On Friday, September 20, the U.S. Treasury Department upgraded the Trump administration’s maximum pressure policy targeting the regime in Iran by sanctioning the mullahs’ Central Bank. The regime’s National Development Fund and the Etemad Tejarate Pars, also sanctioned recently, have been used to cloak financial transfers for Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics’ military purchases.

These new measures are the U.S.’ first response to attacks targeting Saudi oil facilities on September 14. Despite the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen claiming responsibility, all signs and evidence indicate Iran’s regime playing a direct role in this attack and the use of Iranian weaponry, including cruise missiles and drones.

The latest sanctions are a continuation of a focus shift by the Treasury and State departments from the diplomatic quarrel over the 2015 nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and nuclear sanctions, to a policy pinpointing on the regime’s official entities, support for global terrorism and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

Back in April, the State Department designated the IRGC as “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” making any and all economic and logistical transactions with the IRGC sanctionable.

As Washington focuses on drying up Iran’s resources used to fund terrorism, the three latest entities slapped with sanctions provides a new stigma deterring any future financing initiatives with the Iranian regime.

Iran will most definitely use hidden overseas accounts to access newly sanctioned international accounts, allowing intelligence communities to gain more knowledge and render future actions to further deny Tehran of terror-supporting funds.

Furthermore, even though former Obama officials advise Iran’s regime to wait out U.S. President Donald Trump in hopes of a Democrat winning the 2020 elections, the latest round of sanctions will make reversing Trump’s Iran policy and returning to Obama-style engagement with Iran far more difficult, if not impossible.

In response to Washington’s new measures, Iran apologists and lobbyists, and those favoring Obama-style appeasement vis-à-vis Iran’s regime already have and will continue to argue that the U.S. administration has exhausted all sanctions options when it comes to Tehran’s regime. Experts on the other side of the aisle in this argument say there remains a long slate of measures available for the U.S. government to deny the mullahs’ regime the ability to overtly and covertly fund terrorist groups.

Those countries and voices claiming Iran was not behind the attacks on Saudi oil fields and new sanctions being meaningless are either unwilling to accept responsibility of any action, or merely apologist/lobbyists pushing Tehran’s narrative in mainstream media.

As a reminder, the Central Bank of Iran has been sanctioned especially for its role in financing terrorist groups, i.e. Hezbollah in Lebanon. Back in 2011, when Congress slapped sanctions on this bank, the multiple grounds stated were terrorism, money laundering and financing nuclear/missile development.

Parallel to his appeasement of Tehran’s regime, Obama classified these measures as a “nuclear sanction” to lift all sanctions from the Central Bank of Iran under the JCPOA framework. The latest measures, based specifically on terrorism, would make any decision to removing such sanctions as bending over backwards in the face of Iran’s unbridled and inarguable support for terrorism.

Alongside the Central Bank, these new sanctions also target Iran’s NDF, an entity Tehran has repeatedly diverted money from to specifically finance military operations.

In January 2018, media reports showed the regime authorizing $4 billion withdrawal from the NDF, allocating $2.5 billion to its defense sector, and the remainder to Iran’s state-run broadcaster – used to spread the regime’s propaganda – and various development projects. In January 2019, the Iranian regime authorized another $1.5 billion withdrawal to finance their military ambitions.

Senior Iranian officials are directing NDF’s decision, with a ten-member board of trustees including Iran’s president, attorney general and oil minister, along with the Central Bank governor. The Trump administration should make it crystal clear that their apparatus will target any entity in Iran involved in funding the mullahs’ bellicosity. The NDF board trustees and the executive board should also be sanctioned to cut off a vital regime lifeline.

Another talking point used by Iran pundits and apologists/lobbyists is the accusation of anyone supporting sanctions against Iran’s regime is “defending Saudi Arabia.” The new U.S. sanctions are, in fact, a clear response to a brash attack by the Iranian regime endangering global energy supplies.

Those sitting on the throne in Tehran and the IRGC only understand the language of force and firmness. Iran is carefully weighing the international community’s measures in response to its latest episode of malevolence and terrorism.

The facts are clear. Iran’s Central Bank and such entities fuel the regime’s terrorism using money that belongs to the Iranian people. As mentioned before, there is a wide range of measures that can add to the crippling effect of Trump’s maximum pressure. The more the mullahs are disabled, the more the Iranian people will be able to escalate their protests and ultimately bring an end to this ruthless regime.

Attacks targeting Iran’s IRGC and Quds Force proxies in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon

Israeli warplanes are targeting sites in Syria on a weekly basis, including last Saturday. Israel is saying these attacks are aimed at preventing Iran’s blueprints of using drones to launch attacks into Israeli territory.

On Sunday, August 25, the Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah said Tehran’s Shiite proxy groups in Iraq, known as the Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF/PMU), were targeted in airstrikes that left at least one commander killed and another severely injured.

Following the United States’ exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the rate of these attacks and threats, especially this last weekend from unmanned aircrafts, have increased by Tehran and U.S. allies across the region.

According to an Israeli military spokesperson, airstrikes by Israeli warplanes targeting Iran-backed forces near Damascus took place while these units were preparing armed to target areas inside Israel.

Operatives of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force and Tehran-backed Shiite militias were targeted in this strike. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this country’s military neutralized Iran’s plots, adding the Iranian regime has no impunity anywhere and Israeli forces will take action against Iran’s aggressions everywhere.

Although the Syrian military claims many of the missiles and rockets fired by Israel were destroyed prior to impact, Israel says it has carried out hundreds of attacks inside Syria, targeting sites associated to the regime in Iran.

The objectives include preventing the transfer of advanced Iranian weaponry to the Lebanese Hezbollah. On Thursday, August 22, Netanyahu said his country played a role in a series of recent explosions targeting weapons depots linked to the Iran-backed proxy forces in Iraq. On Wednesday, August 21, a group of Shiite militias in Iraq accused the U.S. of permitting these attacks. The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, however, denies these claims.

Following an escalation of airstrikes through warplanes, missiles and drones targeting positions of Iran’s IRGC and Quds Force-linked forces in Syria and Iraq, the regime in Iran has remained silent or flatly denied such attacks. Tehran is extremely concerned about such attacks impacting its forces’ already low morale. In parallel fashion, however, the regime’s state-TV broadcast threatening remarks made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrollah, IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani and officials of Iran-backed terrorist groups in Iraq.

Iran’s state TV – August 26, 2019

“The Zionist regime, following its failure in Sunday nights’ attacks in Lebanon and Syria, launched new raids early this morning targeting border areas of these two countries. Hezbollah’s Secretary General, in response to these attacks, warned that the era of hit-and-run attacks have come to an end and the Israelis should await our answer. If Israel kills our Lebanese Hezbollah brothers, we will respond to them in Lebanon, and not in the Shebaa Farms. (Also spelled Sheba’a Farms, this is a small strip of disputed land at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights. The territory is about 11 kilometers long and 2.5 kilometers wide.)

Anchorman: “IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani issued a strong warning in Twitter responding to the Zionist regime’s latest attacks in Syria and Lebanon. Soleimani referred to Israel’s latest airstrikes in Syria and Lebanon and wrote, ‘Most certainly, these crazy operations will be the last efforts of the Zionist regime.’”

“The largest faction in the Iraqi Parliament issued a statement describing the Zionist regime’s attacks against the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) as a declaration of war against the Iraq’s nation and sovereignty.

“The al-Fath faction considers it its right to respond to these insults to Iraq’s dignity. We call on the Iraqi government and Parliament to end the U.S. presence in Iraqi airspace. The Americans, who claim to protect Iraq’s airspace, have become a cover for airstrikes against Iraqi sovereignty.”

IRGC in Lebanon

Following these series of attacks against Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, Orient Net, associated to the Syrian opposition cited a Lebanese security source saying Soleimani and IRGC chief Hossein Salami entered Lebanon on Saturday, August 23. Both senior IRGC officials were escorted by a large IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah security convoy, according to Orient’s source.

Nasrollah held a large secret meeting with Salami and Suleimani to coordinate security matters, the source said. The two senior IRGC officials also paid visits to warehouses and factories of heavy weaponry that Iran has launched for Hezbollah in the town of Naameh south of Beirut.

Naameh, Lebanon

How Iran’s mullahs facilitated the 1953 coup d’état

Let’s talk some history and how the regime ruling Iran manipulates facts. 66 years ago today, a coup d’état brought an end to Iran’s first democratically elected government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh. All “elections” since have been nothing but a farce and should actually be described as “selections.”

Why do I say the mullahs’ regime “manipulates” history? This is what Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted last year on this day.

“65 years ago today, the US overthrew the popularly elected democrat government of Dr. Mossadegh, restoring the dictatorship & subjugating Iranians for the next 25 years. Now an ‘Action Group’ dreams of doing the same through pressure, misinformation & demagoguery. Never again.”

Zarif sought to portray an image of Iran’s mullahs (currently ruling the country) as a party opposing the 1953 coup d’état backed by foreign intelligence services who actually enjoyed support from Iran’s then mullahs.

Here are a few facts. The first coup attempt failed on August 16 of 1953. On August 19, a second attempt was launched by a number of influential mullahs and corrupt army officers.

Scenes of the 1953 coup d’état in Iran

At 9:30 am of August 19, club-wielders supporting the ruling Shah began chanting slogans against Mosaddegh. At 10 am, the mob enjoyed the support of army tanks. This shows the role of the Shah’s corrupt army in the coup.

Simultaneously, the mob of club-wielders began attacking newspapers in support of Mosaddegh’s government. The “Bakhtar” newspaper belonged to Dr. Hossein Fatemi, Mosaddegh’s Foreign Minister.

Iran - August 19, 1953
The “Bakhtar” daily office attacked by a mob of club-wielders supporting the Shah and backed by the country’s mullahs – Iran – August 19, 1953

The mob went on to take over Tehran’s state radio building at 1:30 pm. The bloodiest attack targeted Mosaddegh’s home one hour later. The Shah’s supporters were seen parading dead bodies around the complex to instigate those inside the house. With bullets and tank shells barraging his home, Mosaddegh’s advisors begged him to leave the complex. Shortly afterwards, he was arrested by the mob.

The mob seen taking over Tehran’s state radio building (L) and parading dead bodies around Mosaddegh’s house – Iran – August 19, 1953

Abol-Ghasem Kashani, an influential mullah in Iran at the time who helped topple Mosaddegh and facilitated the Shah’s return to power.

Others have also been very suspicious of the mullahs’ role in the 1953 coup.

“The clergy had always been averse to the modernizing penchants of secular politicians such as Mossadeq and their quests for republican rule and liberalization. The mullahs much preferred the deference of the conservative, if vacillating, shah to the secular enterprise of Mossadeq. After the attempted coup, the esteemed men of religion in Qom gave their tacit endorsement to the speaker of Parliament, Ayatollah Kashani. Through their connections with the bazaar and their ability to galvanize the populace, they were instrumental in orchestrating the demonstrations that engulfed Tehran. Mossadeq was already isolated. As the street protests tilted toward the shah, the military stepped in and displaced Mossadeq,” according to an article written by Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Iran - Shah - Abol-Ghasem Kashani
An image said to be the Shah of Iran kissing Abol-Ghasem Kashani, an influential mullah, for facilitating his return to power following the 1953 coup

Unveiled document shows how the Shah of Iran paid a senior mullah and other operatives who carried out the coup against Mosaddegh’s government.

Among the documents provided by Ardeshir Zahedi, the Shah’s last Ambassador to the U.S., we see a hand-written note reading:

“800,000 rial to Kashani”

“200,000 rial to Shaban & his group”

(Note: This might have been written by Ardeshir’s father, Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi.)

Iran - Zahedi notes - Kashani - 1953 coup
Hand-written note reading: “800,000 rial to Kashani” and “200,000 rial to Shaban & his group”

There is more.

“[Kashani] then met several times with Fazlollah Zahedi, who had been approached by the British as a possiblecandidate for anti-Mosaddeq activity, and encouraged Zahedi to work against Mosaddeq.  U.S. officials received reports in this period that Kashani also met with Tudeh leaders, who agreed to help him replace Mosaddeq and work against U.S. influence in Iran.  Several other key members of the coalition also turned against Mosaddeq, including Hossein Makki, Abol Hassan Haerizadeh, and Mozaffar Baqa’i, who headed the pro-labor, anti-communist Toilers (Zahmatkeshan) Party.  U.S. officials were very alarmed by these events, viewing them as evidence that Mosaddeq was losing control over the situation.  They were especially concerned about the growing strength and independence of Kashani, who they believed was hostile to Western interests and more willing than Mosaddeq to tolerate the Tudeh,” wrote Mark J. Gasiorowski in his book, “The 1953 Coup d’État Against Mosaddeq.” Tudeh was a communist party in Iran supported by the then Soviet Union.

These facts prove Zarif’s hypocrisy of claiming to defend Mosaddegh while accusing the U.S. of misinformation and demagoguery. These are the same accusations raised by Iranians against the mullahs’ regime for 40 years now.

In conclusion, the 1953 coup d’état in Iran – facilitated by the mullahs in Iran – paved the path for another 25 years of dictatorship for the Iranian people under the Shah’s rule. In 1979, in another blow to the Iranian people, the mullahs hijacked the nation’s revolution, allowing the emergence of religious tyranny and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism that has been wreaking havoc in Iran and across the Middle East for the past four decades.

If the mullahs had not facilitated the 1953 coup d’état and the Shah’s return to power, democracy would have had the chance to flourish in Iran. This was never in the mullahs’ interest as they sought grounds to establish their own reign in Iran.

Therefore, the solution lies in the mullahs’ rule coming to an end through a democratic revolution. There is no need for a repeat of Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. Iranians just ask the international community, especially Europe, to not support Iran’s mullahs in any way and we will take care of the rest.

There’s no need for a single soldier to be sent to Iran, not a single bullet fired, nor a single dollar spent. The world should stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people in this struggle by ending all political and economic relations with the mullahs’ regime.

The deep impact of Zarif’s sanctioning

Remarks made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a press conference on August 5, followed by remarks by the regime’s government spokesman Ali Rabie shed interesting light into the mullahs’ inner apparatus. Their words also raise interesting questions:

-Why are Iranian officials and state media going the distance in praising Zarif these days?

-What role does Zarif play in the mullahs’ regime?

-And why are Iranian officials making such a fuss about Zarif’s sanctioning?

Zarif’s main argument

Zarif is accusing the U.S. of not being honest: Washington claims to seek negotiations while they sanction both Zarif – the regime’s main negotiator – and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the figure who calls all the shots in Tehran.

On August 6, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the Foreign Ministry and meets with senior officials, he refers to this very issue. “You say you want to negotiate. You know our constitution. We cannot enter negotiations without the Supreme Leader’s notice. Then why did you sanction Khamenei?”

In other words, both Zarif and Rouhani attempted to portray the U.S. as the party to blame for closing the path to talks.

Expiration date

It is interesting that on the one hand Khamenei describes any talks and negotiations as a “deadly poison,” while Rouhani uses the word “negotiations” a whopping 40 times in his recent remarks.

Of course, Rouhani does understand that any negotiations in the current circumstances, with the U.S. placing 12 conditions before Tehran, are tantamount to the mullahs’ digging their own graves. In fact, despite using the word negotiations 40 times in his remarks, Rouhani does not forget to emphasize to the U.S., “We have no negotiations with you!”

“You are aware of our constitution. You know that fundamental decisions are made by [Khamenei], including the subject of negotiations. You know that the Foreign Minister is the administrative arm in such talks. Therefore, when you sanction both figures, there’s no longer any room for negotiations,” he continued.

This praising of Zarif, alongside Zarif’s own remarks, are aimed at cloaking the undeniable reality that following Zarif’s sanctioning, the entire Iranian regime has received a significant blow and suffered an unprecedented setback. Not only is it now revealed that the U.S. has no hopes in this or that faction of the regime, sanctioning the foreign minister discredits the regime’s diplomatic apparatus across the globe.

As a result, Zarif’s expiration date has expired and if Khamenei has it in his power, he should think about replacing him as he is no longer useful for the regime. One can also argue Zarif could be counterproductive, a constantly being a reminder of sanctioned figure representing the mullahs’ regime.

The main crisis now engulfing the regime, however, is crippling economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. that are targeting the regime and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). What Tehran needs now is a lifeline from this economic suffocation and Zarif can no longer be of any use in this regard.

Internal turmoil

U.S. sanctions against the regime in Iran were reinstated in November of last year. Tehran was counting on eight oil sanctions exemptions and exporting 1.1 million barrels of oil per day to remain intact. This loophole was plugged in May of this year when all oil waivers were brought to an end. A short while later Iran’s exports dropped to 500,000 bpd, then to 300,000 bpd, and now reports indicate Iran’s vital oil exports have dwindled down to 100,000 bpd.

The status quo, parallel to a highly restive society, poses a very lethal threat to the mullahs’ regime. There is a high potential of a new uprising mirroring that of December 2017 / January 2018, when people in over 140 cities across Iran rose up against the entire regime apparatus. Experts inside Iran have said time and again that a repeat of such a scenario would be far more devastating for the ruling elite and the IRGC.

A short while ago Rouhani said the government employs around five million people. The country has 15 million workers and the government can only provide for a 20 percent raise in wages, he added. All the while, inflation at its lowest is calculated to be over 40 percent and food prices are witnessing an inflation of over 80 percent!

In such circumstances, the mullahs’ regime is facing an army of ordinary people suffering from poverty resulting from destructive policies implemented by the mullahs’ regime. To say it mildly, the Iranian society can be described as a powder keg with a very short and lighted fuse.

Dark shadow

While all media coverage maybe focused on Iran’s malign activities across the region, the main concern for the regime is none other than the Iranian people themselves. This is a force to be reckoned with and the mullahs understand very well the dark shadow of this ever-growing threat.

Zarif, with his smiles and devious language, is a pawn constantly used to gain time in the face of such escalating turmoil. The West had provided a desperately needed lifeline to the regime vis-à-vis their appeasement approach. This left the Iranian people, and Middle East nations, at the mullahs’ mercy for far too long.

The Trump administration, however, has set aside this harmful mentality and weak set of policies. The latest of such measures is sanctioning Zarif as the regime’s “chief apologist” and “terrorist enabler.”

At a first glance this maybe a hit at Zarif. Looking deeper, we realize the regime as a whole is in the cross hairs, leaving the mullahs extremely weakened. And the Iranian people posing a deadly threat to the entire regime apparatus.

Iran, fake news and U.S. sanctions – The truth of “medicine shortages”

A very common talking point parroted repeatedly by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif and his network of apologists/lobbyists across the United Sanctions and Europe is that U.S. sanctions are to blame for a shortage of medicine in Iran.

Mohammad Nasiri of the Associated Press has recently published a piece in this regard, joining Tehran’s chorus of running fake news in mainstream media.

Nasiri claims, “… many are blaming President Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign for the staggering prices and shortages.” Of course, as common practice by all Tehran apologists/lobbyist, he fails to provide any source to back his usage of the word “many.”

Nasiri writes, “The nuclear deal had raised expectations of a better life for many Iranians, free of the chokehold of international sanctions.” And yet, one wonders why he refuses to explain the reasons behind Iran’s regime being the target of international sanctions. The same regime that is known as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism – and suffering from sanctions as a result – is also the main enemy of the Iranian people themselves. Nevertheless, Nasiri could care less and his main objective is to portray a dove image of Tehran’s mullahs.

Nasiri goes on to quote an Iranian minister (very reliable source!).

“Last week, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said budget cuts because of the drop in crude exports have dramatically affected his department. The U.S. sanctions have targeted all classes of Iranians, he added.”

What Nasiri refuses to report are interesting comments made recently by a senior Hamas official visiting Iran, emphasizing how Iran’s regime, despite the sanctions, is ready to provide any aid to this terrorist group. Saleh al-Aruri described the recent Hamas delegation’s visit to Tehran as strategic and historic.

As Nasiri continues to parrot Zarif’s talking points, he also refuses to address the subject of vast and institutionalized corruption in Iran’s regime.

Just recently, the chief of staff of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in letter that one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in hard currency, allocated for importing medicines & essential goods, is unaccounted for, or has literally “disappeared.”

Again, Nasiri could care less.

The writer of this Associated Press piece further shows his loyalty to Zarif’s talking points by saying “the state provides health care for all.” If that is actually the case, why don’t Nasiri and AP address the subject of so many signs across the walls of Iran’s major cities put up by people offering to sell their kidneys and other body parts to pay off debts, many being medical debts?

iran-offers to sell kidneys and other body parts
Signs of people offering to sell their kidneys and other body parts are becoming quite normal in cities across Iran

Medicine is “out of reach for many in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to about $450,” Nasiri writes. Of course, the issue that he refuses to touch on is the question that why should a country of 80 million, with the world’s second largest natural gas and fourth largest crude oil reserves, be doing so poorly?

The answer is simple and Nasiri will not elaborate at all. Iran’s regime is known to spend billions of dollars propping the Assad war machine in Syria, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, extremist militia groups in Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and the Houthis proxy forces in Yemen, among other such bad actors across the region and beyond.

FDD
Iran’s regime is known as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and described as the international central bank of terrorism.

Furthermore, Iran has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in pursuit of a completely unnecessary nuclear program – claiming to be civilian in nature – and constantly developing and proliferating ballistic missiles. Again, why would Iran’s mullahs, while rich in such vast amounts of energy deposits, go through all this hardship of international isolation for a “civilian” nuclear program? And leave the Iranian people deprived and now in lack of medicine, as Nasiri claims?

The answer again is simple. The regime ruling Iran cares nothing about the Iranian people and it is clearly seeking to obtain nuclear weapons. It is absolutely childish to claim Tehran’s regime does not seek nuclear weapons based on the a supposed fatwa (decree) issued by the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banning nuclear weapons. This regime has lied for forty years and not seeking nuclear weapons is among its utmost preposterous claims to this day.

Nasiri’s claims are pushed further by Iran’s main lobbyists in the U.S. This specifically includes Trita Parsi, founder of NIAC, the disgraced Tehran lobby group based in Washington, DC, and current NIAC President Jamal Abdi.

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Saman Tabasinejad of the Iranian Canadian Congress, NIAC’s sister lobby group in Canada, is another Tehran lobbyist retweeting Abdi’s tweet in this regard.

While Iran’s regime and its apologists/lobbyists claim US sanctions prevent the import of medicine into Iran, the mullahs’ own state-run outlets boast about the regime’s readiness to send medicine/medical equipment to Venezuela.

“The head of Food and Drug Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FDA) says that Iran is ready to export medicine to Venezuela… Mehdi Pirsali expressed Iran’s readiness to export medicine, medical equipment, and transfer knowledge and technology to Venezuela within the framework of the previously signed memorandum of understanding,” according to Mehr news agency, known to be affiliated to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

In October, an Iranian official said, “200 tons of medicine & medical supplies will be sent to [Iraq], including 400 types of medicine and 80 types of medical equipment,” according to the regime’s officials IRNA news agency.

In August 2018, three months after the U.S. exited the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran’s apologists/lobbyists claim now prevents the import of medicine into Iran, the regime’s state-run ILNA news agency reported, “Iran exports $25 million of medicine & equipment to Iraq each year and has the capacity of up to $200 million.”

Iran’s Red Crescent has also it is “necessary” to provide Iranian Red Crescent aid to the people in Yemen. Therefore, Iran does have enough money for its own people’s medical needs. It just chooses to spend it elsewhere.

To make things even more interesting, Iran’s regime is allowing Shabnam Nematzadeh, the daughter of a regime insider, run an import/export pharmaceutical company. One report says, “… Shabnam Nematzadeh, the daughter of the former Mines and Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, was found to be hoarding a stock of medication worth 50 billion rials (approx. $500,000).”

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Iran’s regime is also ready and quite capable in providing medicine to Hezbollah terrorists.

“Let me be clear. For years, all of our necessities, from medicine to our missiles, all have been provided by Iran. Iran helps Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, resistance groups. Iran helped in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain …,” says Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

To conclude, such lies that U.S. sanctions are depriving the Iranian people access to medicine is nothing but fabrications of Tehran’s fake news/propaganda apparatus.

Moreover, why do reporters such as Mohammad Nasiri of AP resort to printing such lies? The answer is quite simple. If AP fails to publish such reports favorable of the mullahs ruling Iran, their man in Tehran, Nasiri, will be kicked out.

This is another reason why Fake News is the enemy of the people. The Associated Press is willing to publish lies and fake news to please the murderous mullahs’ regime in Tehran in order to have their “reporter” remain in Tehran.

Shame.

Iran: Secret execution of senior IRGC member

Reports are circulating in Iran, especially in Farsi-language social media posts, citing sources close to the members of Tehran’s City Council claiming Isa Sharifi, deputy mayor during the tenure of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, was secretly executed by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) intelligence on charges of “espionage for an enemy state.” Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran from 2005 to 2017, is a former ranking member of the IRGC command.

Sharifi was a senior military officer during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and Ghalibaf’s deputy in the IRGC Air Force. He also led the department in charge of reconstructing the IRGC Air Force.

His report card includes serving in the IRGC’s 14th Division, IRGC Department of Logistics and Ordnance, and State Police Department of Logistics.

As reports leaked of a massive case of embezzlement involving the Tehran Municipality, Sharifi – known as the “Tehran Municipality Black Box” – fled to Sweden under the pretext of seeking treatment for his daughter’s illness. Reports indicate he sought asylum in the Nordic country.

Back in September 2017, the IRGC Intelligence Organization, in cooperation with the regime’s State Police, carried out a plot luring Sharifi to Armenia where he was arrested and transferred back to Tehran.

In December 2017, mediation by Ghalibaf himself and the influence of Seyed Massoud Khamenei, the son of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, led to the release of Sharifi on a massive bail. The money was provided by a group of influential regime insiders called the “Isfahanis Group,” reports indicate.

All press and media outlets inside Iran described Sharifi’s crime as a major case of embezzlement. With a very suspicious dossier and after fleeing abroad, Sharifi was reportedly hired by a foreign intelligence agency as a spy.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, deputy chair for Iran’s judiciary, made these remarks in a September 2017 press conference in regards to Sharifi’s apprehension.

“I have no details yet and if I did have any details I would not be able to provide any,” he said, raising even more suspicions on this entire portfolio.

On April 22 of this year, Gholam-Hossein Esmaeeli, spokesperson for Iran’s judiciary, added further controversy when asked about Sharifi. “Unfortunately, I don’t recall!” he replied.

IRGC intelligence had realized Sharif’s suspicious communications from back in February 2018. Using advanced surveillance technologies, they obtained information indicating Sharifi was exchanging intelligence about the IRGC missile and air force capabilities with his contacts. Sharifi was arrested immediately and held in a secret IRGC site. During his detention, three of his Sharifi’s contacts in the cities of Tehran, Bushehr and Jask were arrested.

In March 2019, following execution orders specifically issued for Sharifi, Tehran City Council member Mahmoud Mirlohi, informed of details regarding Sharifi’s dossier, made interesting remarks in an interview.

“Despite being a representative of the people, I have been banned from making certain remarks. Should we not be asking where is Isa Sharifi today?” he said.

Finally, this noticeable IRGC figure and former deputy mayor of Tehran, who served alongside a senior IRGC commander for 12 years and was described as the “Tehran Municipality Black Box,” was secretly sent to the gallows in the early morning hours of June 21.

A long list of Iranian state media have denied any reports of Sharifi’s secret execution. For Iranians, this only adds to their conviction of such an individual actually being secretly executed by the mullahs’ regime.

Reports over the secret execution of a senior IRGC member follows reports of an brigadier general and 122 other Guards members being arrested by the Intelligence Ministry on espionage charges.

As the United States continues its maximum pressure policy targeting the core of the mullahs’ regime and the IRGC, rifts are running deep in the mullahs’ apparatus. What makes Tehran utterly concerned is the undeniable reality that such circumstances leave the regime utterly vulnerable in the face of a new round of nationwide protests and uprisings similar to the December 2017/January 2018 scenario that engulfed over 140 cities throughout the country.

Time will tell us more.

Iran’s regime & its lobbies are terrified of even a single Twitter account

On June 9, The Intercept published an article by Murtaza Mohammad Hussain in which he claimed I, being an Iranian dissident/activist, am a “persona” and my Twitter account is managed by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main Iranian opposition group.

Following the publication, Iranian regime lobbyists abroad and Tehran’s trolls launched an orchestrated attack against me.

Although Iranians in exile and foreign dignitaries strongly supported me, Twitter temporarily suspended my account and reopened after gaining reassurance. As a result, the Iranian regime failed on an international stage in silencing my voice of exposing the mullahs’ crimes.

More than all parties and in an unbelievable capacity, Iranian regime officials – from its UK ambassador to its oppressive entities inside Iran – were cheering The Intercept article and the suspension of my Twitter account.

The Fars news agency, associated to Tehran’s terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), praised The Intercept as an “investigative platform.”

“This outlet unveiled a famous account and revealed it to be an anti-Iranian project run by the [MEK]. Twitter suspended this account.”

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Fars news agency covering The Intercept hit piece on Heshmat Alavi

Prior to this, Twitter had deleted a network of 2,800 Iran-linked fake accounts on May 28.

Two weeks later, nearly another 4,800 Tehran-associated accounts were also deleted, according to Reuters.

In the span of just two weeks, Twitter deleted more than 7,500 Iran-linked accounts. Some of these accounts played an active role in the campaign against me and other Iranian dissident activists.

However, the question is that why did this “investigative platform” (according to the IRGC’s Fars news agency) not write a single word about the 7,500 fake accounts, yet went the distance through a 3,000-word hit piece to claim my account is fake?

The disgraced Iran lobby group, NIAC, and its operative supporting Murtaza Hussain’s Intercept article is yet further proof of its fake nature and direct association to Tehran. The Intercept article provoked NIAC founder Trita Parsi to such an extent that he threatened to hold accountable credible U.S. outlets, that unlike The Intercept, are not in warm waters with Iran’s regime. Trita Parsi intends to silence the voice of all Iranian dissidents.

Who should be associated to this utter shame? Murtaza Hussain or Trita Parsi?

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NIAC founder Trita Parsi threatening to hold U.S. media accountable on Heshmat Alavi

For those not informed, recently Iranians on Twitter once again voiced their widespread hatred vis-à-vis NIAC. In the past, there was the “#Shut_Up_NIAC” hashtag and now the “#NIACLobbies4Mullahs” was trending in powerful manner.

I have asked myself repeatedly about the objective of The Intercept article that is full of obvious lies, and how it was a completely orchestrated effort with the Iranian regime’s troll cyber army and known Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) agents.

Did they seek to force me to come forward and reveal my true name to have the Iranian regime target me, and my family and friends (especially in Iran)? Or was Tehran and The Intercept thinking Heshmat Alavi is an easy tool to target and victimize in order to deliver a blow to the PMOI/MEK? Maybe both.

It is interesting that neither the Iranian regime, nor its lobbyists in the West, nor The Intercept article, were ever able to debunk the facts and revelations placed forward by me through my Twitter account. Instead, they put all journalism standards aside and attempted to portray me as a “persona.”

If we take a close look at The Intercept’s sources, we realize that Murtaza Hussain “coincidentally” interviewed three known Iranian regime operatives: Hassan Heyrani, Reza Sadeghi and Massoud Khodabandeh!

A simple Google reveals that Hassan Heyrani – cited by The Intercept as a high-ranking MEK defector – actually requested MEK membership and was expelled by this organization on April 10, 2018, “due to intelligence and security concerns.”

A German court also rejected claims placed forward by Der Spiegel – citing Hassan Heyrani as their source – as baseless and lies.

An Iranian proverb goes, “Asked for an eye-witness, the fox offered his tail.”

“Collusion is suspected; or, one witness for his own benefit.”

Murtaza Hussain “coincidentally” cites two other Iranian regime operatives.

Reza Sadeghi was an MOIS operative who joined the PMOI/MEK from Canada and relocated to Camp Ashraf, the organization’s former main base in Iraq. Following his expulsion from the PMOI/MEK in 2005, he returned to Iran.

In March 2008, he received a passport from the MOIS and ordered to begin his anti-MEK activities. He returned to Iraq and was arrested by Iraqi police near Camp Ashraf.

Being expelled from the MEK back in 2005, how could Sadeghi have information about an issue relating to the years between 2014 – when I launched my Twitter account – and 2019?

The Intercept says Jebeli lives in Canada. Iranians in Canada have informed me he is so utterly disgraced that years ago he was accused of child abduction.

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Reza Sadeghi (Jebeli) accused of child abduction in Canada

Massoud Khodabandeh is the third source cited by The Intercept. This individual is a known MOIS operative with a history of cooperating with Tehran going back to more than 20 years.

The Library of Congress issued a Pentagon-requested report describing Khodabandeh and his wife, Ann Singleton, as figures recruited by the MOIS in the 1990s who are now and have been involved in publishing fake news about the MEK.

Veteran Col. Wesley Martin, former Anti-terrorism/Force Protection Officer of all Coalition forces in Iraq, writes this about Khodabandeh – who describes himself as “director of Middle East Strategy Consultants,” which is nothing but a cloak:

“The Middle East Strategy Consultants seemed bogus from the onset and an investigation of its public records reveals it existed for a very short time before dissolving in 2013. The Huffington Post continues to name Masoud Khodabandeh as the entity’s director.

“It is worth noting that all websites used by Khodabandeh, such as mesconult.com, Iran-Interlink and khodabandeh.org are hosted by Ravand Cybertech, an entity run by the Iranian regime, as reported by Stand for Peace, a Jewish-Muslim interfaith organization.”

Due to Murtaza Hussain’s pro-Iranian regime approach, of course using historically disgraced “sources” with known pasts linked to Iran’s MOIS against Tehran’s dissidents is probably very satisfying and not shameful at all.

Especially since the Iranian regime used these very individuals to justify its foiled terrorist plots in 2018 in Albania and France against the MEK.

Murtaza Hussain is also active in Twitter promoting the Iranian regime’s talking points. He specifically describes Hassan Rouhani, the regime’s president, as a “moderate.”

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Murtaza Mohammad Hussain is quite fond of Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani

Interesting how Murtaza Hussain never refers to this horrific reality that over 3,800 individuals have been executed to this day during the tenure of the “moderate” Rouhani.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rightfully said:

“Here in the West, President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif are often held apart from the regime’s unwise terrorist and malign behavior. They are treated somehow differently… The West says: ‘Boy, if only [Rouhani and Zarif] could control Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani, then things would be great.’”

Iranians are very familiar with such methods. When dictators reach the end of their lifespan and become desperate, they always demonize their dissidents as fake or unreal. And there are always “reporters” who presell their dignity to repeat such ridiculous claims.

During the 2009 uprising in Iran, former Iranian regime president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the millions of protesters pouring into the streets as mere “riff-raff.”

People were heard chanting the next day in their demonstrations:

“Doktor-e Kapshen pareh, khashak ke pa nadare!”

(Doctor with a torn overcoat, riff-raff doesn’t walk!)

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Iranians to former regime president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Doktor-e Kapshen pareh, khashak ke pa nadare!” (Doctor with a torn overcoat, riff-raff doesn’t walk!)

Forty years ago, during the last days of the Shah’s dictatorship, due to the imposed martial law people would go to their rooftops at nights to chant anti-regime slogans.

General Azhari, the Shah’s last prime minister, referred to these chants as cassette tapes and not real protesters.

In response, people demonstrating in the streets chanted:

“Azhari Goosaleh, Bazam migi navare? Navar ke pa nadareh!”

(Azhari, you [idiot], still think it’s tape? Tapes don’t walk!”)

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Iranians to the Shah’s last prime minister who accused them of being fake: “Azhari Goosaleh, Bazam migi navare? Navar ke pa nadareh!” (Azhari, you [idiot], still think it’s tape? Tapes don’t walk!”)

Iran oppressing dissident voice

The signs of a campaign that resulted in my Twitter account being suspended shows the organized and coordinated nature of an effort by the regime in Iran, its apologists/lobbyists in the West and supporters of the Tehran appeasement policy.

This, first and foremost, makes it clear that the Iranian regime – relying on execution, torture and crackdown to oppress the Iranian nation – is resorting to assassinations and political terror to silence all dissident voices abroad, especially on social media. This is parallel to the regime’s filtering of the internet and social media platforms inside Iran.

Many Iranians have contacted me, supporting my efforts and posted many tweets calling on Twitter to open my account and also shed light on the Iranian regime’s malign measures. These Iranians consider my voice as a source revealing the truth about Iran’s regime.

In these circumstances, revealing Tehran’s crackdown of its dissidents is of the utmost importance. That is exactly why I am continuing my efforts and will not back down or be silenced. I ask everyone in support of free speech and democracy to support the cause  of the oppressed people of Iran.

#WeAreAllHeshmat

#FreeAlavi

#HeshmatAlavi

My Twitter account has been suspended

You know you’re doing something right when Iran’s regime launches an army of apologists/lobbyists and fake accounts/bots against you. Twitter has suspended my account after a highly biased article in The Intercept against me that raised false allegations.

I was not provided any explanation by Twitter on why my account is being suspended and not provided the chance to reply to this article and the accounts raising allegations against me.

I kindly ask you to raise your voice and have @Twitter and @jack open my account so I can reply and debunk this article.

The mullahs are so utterly terrified of being exposed that they are accusing me of being fake.

Firstly:

No, I will never reveal my real identity or photograph. Not as long as the mullahs’ regime is in power. No activist in his/her right mind would do so. That would place all of my family, friends and myself, both inside & outside of Iran, in complete danger.

Secondly:

I will not reply to any emails or messages of any kind from The Intercept because their intentions are obvious as a biased, left-wing outlet.

They don’t deserve my reply.

Let’s begin with a claim made by the Intercept citing The Washington Post.

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-No one can prove WaPo’s claim of a White House official actually sending them my Forbes article.

-The notion is actually quite flattering. And also, considering the fact that I have cited Iran’s own state outlets, I am right about the IRGC. Another reason why Tehran is after me.

The Intercept’s next claim:

“Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” said Hassan Heyrani, a high-ranking defector from the MEK who said he had direct knowledge of the operation.

The source:

Heyrani claims to be a “high-ranking defector.” A simple Google search reveals how he is parroting Tehran’s talking points to known Tehran apologists writing in a variety of left-wing propaganda outlets, including the Independent, The Guardian & Al Jazeera English.

This I am damn proud of:

“The body of work published under Alavi’s name takes a consistently hawkish line toward the Iranian government and President Hassan Rouhani.”

The Intercept cites “Reza Sadeghi” who is said to have left the MEK back in 2008, but claims to know who launched the “Heshmat Alavi” account. Interesting how The Intercept itself cites the fact that my Twitter account was launched in 2014.

So how could have Sadeghi known about Alavi back in 2008?

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Looking deeper into The Intercept article citing an unnamed “source.”

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The article then cites Massoud Khodabandeh.

FYI:

UK MP Sir David Amess: “Mr Khodabandeh and his wife, Ann Singleton, have long engaged in attacks and defamation campaigns against the PMOI.”

https://t.co/p2AExfQvAW

“The Pentagon-commissioned report claims that Mrs. Singleton and her Iranian husband, Massoud Khodabandeh, 56, agreed to work for the regime in return for saving the life of his jailed brother…” https://fas.org/irp/world/iran/mois-loc.pdf …

“Anne Singleton, a British citizen, and Mr Massoud Khodabandeh, have been denounced for their activities in support of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence & Security (MOIS), especially via their http://Iran-interlink.org  website.”

https://t.co/geFguoKEBS

This thread about a @tparsi article sheds more light on Massoud Khodabandeh.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1042360480327716864

Now let’s look at some of the people (Iran regime apologists/lobbyists) running The Intercept’s talking points.

 

Why is @Sanam24 angry at me?

I’ve debunked her pro-Iran work.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1062435408376676353 

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Why is @_merat angry at me?

I’ve debunked his pro-Iran work.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1060982493392920576

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Why is @Cirincione angry at me?

I’ve debunked his pro-Iran work.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1048256959500242944

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Why is @Azodiac83 angry at me?

I’ve debunked his pro-Iran work.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1079829052414984192

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Why is @asiehnamdar angry at me?

I’ve debunked her pro-Iran work.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1123688787496849411

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1121844211719049219

 

Why is @Ali7azdeh (@Jedaaal) angry at me?

I’ve revealed his true nature.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1100089780405178370

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1115337914915991553

 

Why is @tarakangarlou angry at me?

I’ve promoted a thread by @RJBrodsky debunking her.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1130815954965979138

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Here’s another reason why this group are angry at me.

I’ve exposed how @YasmineTaeb, a member of @NIACouncil, a pro-Iran lobby group in DC, is seeking election in the Virginia Senate.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1137407953861062658

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The Intercept also cites @geoffgolberg.

His work on the MEK was easily debunked by

https://twitter.com/anakin_ww/status/1086679212885532672

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The list goes on.

The target of this article is not me. It’s the Iranian opposition group MEK.

Why do I support the MEK?

1) They have an organization.

2) They have an agenda.

3) They are serious and dedicated.

That’s another reason why Iran’s regime wants me dead.

 

While The Intercept accuses me of being fake and Twitter has wrongfully suspended my account, here’s a look at some of the bots trolling me.

 

 

Thank you!

I will.

 

My request is for everyone who can to raise their voice to Twitter. They have wrongfully suspended my account without providing any explanation and after a highly biased article full of lies and allegations against me.

Twitter should open my account and allow me to reply.