Fake news MSM supporting the regime in Iran

By Heshmat Alavi

March 26, 2020—You know the regime in Iran is desperate when a variety of MSM outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today rush to the mullahs’ support with articles by their editorial boards calling on the Trump administration to lift sanctions. USA TODAY falls as low as providing a platform for Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, while describing him as an “Opinion contributor.”

Let’s begin by taking a look at The New York Times piece.

“Demonstrating compassion in times of crisis is good foreign policy,” NYT argues. When correctly translated into plain English, this means let’s return to the Obama-style full-throttle appeasement of this regime and provide it with financial incentives with the knowledge that the money will never be used to support the Iranian people.

NYT says: “Iran has appealed to the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion in emergency funding and a long list of essential equipment…”

Of course, NYT will not tell its readers that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sits on a vast economic empire worth at least $95 billion dollars, according to Reuters. Back in April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad estimated that Khamenei owns assets worth about $200 billion.

If Iran needs “emergency funding” to provide for “a long list of essential equipment,” why does it not simply tap into Khamenei’s own billions? And where is the guarantee that Tehran will not be spending this money to fuel its malign purposes?

FDD
Iran’s regime has been known to prop the murders Assad killing machine in Syria along with numerous other terrorist militia extremist groups checkered across the Middle East (Credit: FDD)

Back in 2016 former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said they realized after the 2015 nuclear deal that some of the generated money would be used by Iran’s mullahs to fuel their terrorist groups. Of course, if Kerry were to honest, he would have said all of that money would be used to fuel Iran’s malign objectives, such as boosting its domestic crackdown machine, supporting terrorism, further developing ballistic missiles, and continuing its clandestine drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, back in July 2019, the chief of staff of Iran’s president himself wrote a letter saying that one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in hard currency allocated for importing medicines and essential goods “has disappeared.” And NYT expect us to trust this regime with a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund?

It is also worth noting that Iranian regime officials stole more than $1 billion in humanitarian funds meant to be used to help the country’s people fight the spread of coronavirus, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Furthermore, despite the coronavirus crisis in Iran, Tehran-backed militia groups in Iraq are continuing their attacks against U.S. forces. Of course, NYT would never mention that and would never call on the mullahs’ regime to allocate the funds used by these terrorist groups to provide for the Iranian people.

NYT goes on to cite an October 2019 report by the Human Rights Watch to further its argument about U.S. sanctions constraining the Iranian regime’s ability “to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines.” What NYT will not tell you is that the HRW report was a parroting of Tehran’s lies and talking points already easily debunked.

Furthermore, the report was compiled by Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, who has recently joined the Quincy Institute, a think tank co-founded by Trita Parsi, the founder of NIAC, Iran’s DC-based lobby group. Parsi has always been fond of Whitson’s work as she runs Tehran’s talking points and diverts attention away from the mullahs’ atrocious human rights violations. Whitson’s recent controversial remarks also caused quite a stir that forced her into an embarrassing apology.

NYT argues that “the United States should be at the forefront of offering what help it can.” What NYT will not tell its readers that the U.S. did offer help and Tehran has ruled out help from “foreign forces” in dealing with the coronavirus epidemic. Tehran even kicked out a team of Médecins Sans Frontières, but NYT won’t tell you that either.

Why would Tehran kick out a team of foreign doctors seeking to provide help to its COVID-19 crisis?

Simple. The mullahs cannot risk foreign doctors inside Iran seeing the truth of the Iranian people left without adequate support and realizing the astronomical death toll and number of cases. It would reveal to the world that Tehran is lying about its death toll, the number of cases and how it is not providing any decent support for the 80+ millions of Iranians during this crisis.

NYT further argues “American generosity might be the best way of persuading Iran to release American and other foreign detainees.” Such a measure would justify Iran’s illegal apprehension and hostage taking of American and other foreign nationals, encouraging the mullahs to continue with this practice to gain further incentives in the future.

But of course, there is nothing wrong with that the in the eyes of the NYT editorial board. Iran should be held accountable for taking American and other foreign nationals as hostages and using them as foreign policy bargaining chips. The NYT editorial board should be ashamed of such hideous remarks.

In its argument, NYT cites a Foreign Policy magazine piece by Robert Malley and Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group. Malley is a former Obama administration official pushing for a return to appeasing the mullahs’ regime. Vaez is a known Iranian regime apologist parroting Tehran’s talking points whenever possible.

NYT will not tell you that Vaez has very close ties to senior Iranian regime leadership. This is him with former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who was very close to the mullahs’ regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ali Vaez with Rafsanjani
Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group with former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (now dead)

There is good reason why NYT will continue pushing the Iranian regime’s talking points. This thread sheds light on NYT’s direct ties to Tehran and a state-run outlet of the mullahs.

WaPo

The Washington Post also published an editorial piece calling on the U.S. to lift its sanctions on Iran. The post claims the United States is being blamed by ordinary Iranians for making it more difficult for authorities to combat the epidemic. Yet the Post provides no source for such a claim.

The Post goes on to cite an NYT piece written by Narges Bajoghli of Johns Hopkins University and Mahsa Rouhi of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, two known Iran apologists/lobbyists that have been criticized for pushing Tehran’s talking points. Of course, WaPo will not mention anything about Bajoghli and Rouhi’s ties to Tehran’s lobby.

WaPo argues for the U.S. to greenlight the IMF providing a $5 billion loan to Iran, citing the fact that the “regime has already paroled one of the U.S. citizens it had been holding in its prisons.” Following NYT’s footsteps, WaPo is also justifying Tehran’s practice of taking American and foreign nationals hostage. This is truly shameful for any media outlet.

In another low even for WaPo, the article claims U.S. President Trump launched a confrontation with the Iranian regime, and never mentions the fact that Tehran declared war on the U.S. over 40 years ago, ever since its paramilitary forces climbed up the U.S. Embassy walls in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days back in 1979.

USA TODAY

As mentioned before, the USA TODAY actually provided a platform for Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, while describing him as an “Opinion contributor.” Ravanchi used this opportunity to push Tehran’s lies, claiming “Iran’s ability to deal with [coronavirus] in an effective manner is limited due to the unjust U.S. sanctions imposed on the Iranian people.”

Ravanchi also claims: “The U.S. maintains that humanitarian goods are exempt from its extra-territorial sanctions. However, that is not the reality. The financial channel required for facilitating transactions, even for humanitarian commodities, is not available…”

This is a lie. The U.S. Treasury Department specifically indicates: “The United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran by U.S. and non-U.S. persons, provided such transactions do not involve persons designated in connection with Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or Iran’s support for international terrorism.”

Ravanchi claims Iran “is actually less equipped to contain Covid-19 than others.”

This is also a lie. Iran’s own state-run English media outlets are claiming “Iran exports medical equipment to Europe” and “Iran exports medical equipment to 55 countries worldwide.”

Some 105 medical equipment produced by 23 Iranian companies are exported to 55 countries across the world, Reza Masaeli, an advisor to the health minister said.

“Currently, a total of 280,000 medical equipment is produced in the country,” Fars quoted Masaeli as saying.

While the pro-appeasement MSM outlets seek a soft approach vis-à-vis Tehran and a return to the Obama years of full-throttle appeasement of the mullahs, this is exactly the time to further pressures on the regime and break its back for good. As an Iranian, I know for certain that such a policy would weaken the mullahs’ regime and be in favor of the Iranian people.

Iran’s mullahs are obviously desperate. The very fact that such a choir of MSM articles are calling for sanctions to be lifted under the bogus pretexts of providing medical supplies is a clear sign that Mr. Trump’s maximum pressure campaign is working. Even a small fracture in this initiative, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said three years of hard work have gone into, would be a desperately needed propaganda victory for Tehran. And as always, MSM is ready to pounce on anything anti-Trump and willing to publish anything of any nature, without providing their readers the truth.

Iran’s IRGC deliberately shot down the Ukraine airliner

On January 8, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 took from Khomeini International Airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. Just minutes later the plane crashed, leaving all 176 onboard dead as a result.

This tragedy took place on the same night that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) was launching ballistic missiles targeting military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops in response to the killing of IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. military in Baghdad.

During the three days of Tehran’s denial of any wrongdoing, various video footage and images posted on social media raised questions about the plane being shot down and how regime authorities dealt with the issue afterwards, all escalating suspicions of deliberate actions taken to shoot the plane down.

Initial reports from Tehran claimed engine failure. However, “Ukraine’s embassy in Iran dropped an initial reference to engine failure as the cause of a Ukrainian plane crash outside Tehran,” according to Reuters.

Ukraine Int’l Airlines said a Boeing 737-800 involved in a fatal crash in Iran was one of the best planes in its fleet and its pilots were very experienced. No sign anything was wrong before the plane took off, last routinely serviced on January 6, another report adds.

If there was an engine fire the plane would have slowed down and the pilots would have made it back to the airport. The plane kept climbing. Fire suppression systems would have prevented the plane from turning into a ball of fire.

Remember when Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists accidentally shot down MH17 in 2014? The investigation took almost two years to complete, even with a Dutch-led international task force. How can the Iranians claim to have figured out it was engine failure in five minutes?

The plane was flying at 8,000 feet and up 14,000 feet is considered safe altitude. If any incident is to occur, such as decompression inside the plane or anything else, the plane comes to 14,000 feet as it is considered the safest altitude for passenger flights. PS752 was flying at 8,000 feet, making it even safer and easier for the pilots to land the plane in case of an emergency.

It is worth noting that when the plane seeks to land at Khomeini Int’l Airport, when it is in park position, when the plane doors open and even when the stairs are connected to the plane, all these phases are controlled by IRGC units stationed at Khomeini International Airport.

As a result, any claim of the IRGC mistaking the PS752 for a fighter jet or a warplane is ridiculous. Through the entire process the plane is on the flight radars and the IRGC cannot claim human error.

The IRGC claims its units mistook the PS752 for a cruise missile or an American warplane. This is quite impossible as a Boeing 737-800 differs extensively in comparison. And this question comes to mind that how did an American warplane enter Iranian airspace and from what border, decreased its altitude to 8,000 feet above Tehran and the IRGC radar and air defense system suddenly detects it?

A video of two missile launches show the first missile hitting the plane’s wings where the fuel is stored, resulting in a massive fire and explosion. The captain was even able to change direction in an attempt to land the plane when the second missile was fired. This could not have been a human error.

Images from the crash site show shrapnel damage on the wings and fuselage.

Surface to air missiles explode near their target to spray it with shrapnel. This increases the impact ratio significantly. Images from PS752 shows clear signs of shrapnel.

More signs of shrapnel on a motor of the PS752. Notice how the piercing is towards the inner part of the fuselage. The first motor did not explode into pieces, further debunking the engine failure theory.

The second motor of PS752 is also fairly intact. More proof discrediting the engine failure claims.

In February 2019, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 suffered engine failures, yet the pilots were able to land the plane with support from safety standards procedures.

For those unfamiliar with the SA-11 or Buk missile system, it detonates in midair in proximity of the target plane, floods the cockpit with shrapnel and kills the pilots. Passengers die from depressurization and extreme cold as the plane crashes, usually in one piece.

Just think of the SA-11 as a missile system that tracks its target plane and then fires a shotgun blast of shrapnel to the cockpit upon reaching its range. It is not a high-explosive warhead.

The Dutch Safety Board produced this video to explain how the Buk missile system works, and how it crashed flight MH17 in July 2014.

A local took this image near the PS752 crash site clearly shows the control segment of a TOR M1 missile.

In Iran, the IRGC – designated as a “terrorist organization” by the U.S. State Department – has such TOR M1 units at its disposal. (Image from a parade in Iran back in September 2013.)

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“Satellite imagery of the Ukrainian Airways crash site. The site appears to be being cleared by Iranian authorities using bulldozers. Lots of areas have been cleared of debris.”

Why did Iran raze/tamper the evidence? What are they hiding?

Read the words of a Ukrainian inspector at the site of the plane crash.

Pictures-7-8

Iran’s Armed Forces claimed they plane was “unintentionally” hit by a military unit and based on “human error” and that the plane was heading toward a sensitive IRGC site at a dangerous altitude and in the shape of a hostile aircraft.

While Iran’s regime claims the PS752’s flight path was heading toward a sensitive IRGC site, it is worth noting that four other flights had taken the same path from midnight local time prior to PS752’s departure at 6:12am local time.

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On January 8, The New York Times and Reuters quickly cited a “Canadian security source” claiming the plane was “not brought down by a missile” and crashed due to “technical malfunction”, and that “one of the plane’s engines had overheated”.

And pro-Iran regime media outlets quickly picked up the fake news reports.

All signs indicate the IRGC deliberately shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. Ukrainian officials have indicated that they are not ruling out such a scenario. The motive remains a mystery. All the more reason an international investigation is needed on this very sensitive subject.

(Various videos are included below for you to judge for yourself.)

Iran’s back-to-back defeats in Iraq

Following the continuous and escalating uprising by the Iraqi people against the corrupt political apparatus linked to the mullahs’ regime in Iran, Tehran suffered yet another decisive blow recently.

Based on the Iranian regime’s blueprints prepared by none other than Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, Asaad Al-Eidani, the governor of Basrah Province in southern Iraq was designated as the candidate for the prime ministry post. He enjoyed the support of Iran-linked figures such as Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri, former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Hashd al-Shaabi chief Falih Fayyadh.

Eidani himself is loathed in Basrah Province for ordering security forces to open fire on demonstrators in the unrest that has engulfed Iraq in the past few months. Al-Ameri, Al-Maliki and Fayyadh are all known for their loyalty to Iran and very close association to Soleimani.

Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri and IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in Iraq
Badr Corps chief Hadi Al-Ameri and IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani in Iraq

In response, the Iraqi people refused to back down and launched a new wave protests in cities checkered across southern Iraq. In Nasiriyah, youths were seen torching the governorate office. In Diwaniyah, protesters targeted sites affiliated to groups affiliated to the mullahs’ regime. In Kut, demonstrators were heard chanting, “We don’t want the Iranian Asaad!”

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n the cities of Baghdad, Basrah, Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Karbala and Um Al Qasr, protesting youth took the streets and blocked major pathways in a sign of their protests. All protests and demonstrations were specifically describing Asaad as a corrupt and murderous candidate of the mullahs’ regime in Iraq.

As Iraqi demonstrators indicated their resilience and refusal to back down, Tehran’s plot to impose Al-Eidani, their preferred candidate, to the Iraqi people failed miserably. This new development became yet another victory for the Iraqi people’s uprising that has continued since October 25 to this day.

Such a significant setback for Iran in Iraq comes at a time that Tehran’s regime has been going the distance in its efforts seeking to silence the Iraqi people’s uprising and pursuing its own interests. This is especially important for Iran as U.S. sanctions and the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy is drying their resources and Tehran needs Iraq as a bridge to decrease these hardships to some extent.

For example, director of customs in Kermanshah Province, in western Iran bordering Iraq, says exports to their western neighbor have decreased 20 to 30 percent during the past nine months alone.

Strategic setbacks

The Iraqi people and especially the courageous youth who refuse to evacuate the protest squares, have delivered six strategic setbacks for the mullahs’ regime in Iraq.

1) Forcing the resignation of Adel Abdul-Mahdi from the prime ministry post despite Iran’s support.

2) Continuing the uprising and launching general strikes resulting in the support of Iraq’s senior religious figures.

3) Defeating all of Tehran’s measures seeking religious legitimacy through the official position of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani against Abdul-Mahdi’s government.

4) Armed tribes entering the city of Nasiriyah and taking control over sites of Iran-backed groups. This defeated the bloody crackdown launched in this city and catapulted the Iraqi uprising into a new phase.

5) The failure of security forces in launching a bloody attack targeting Baghdad’s squares and Sinak Bridge. This plot backfired and resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqis rushing to the protest sites and joining the uprising.

6) Iran-linked candidates for the prime ministry post being turned down by the Iraqi people one after another. Asaad Al-Eidani is the latest example.

Iran and the point of no return

These setbacks for Iran’s strategic interests in Iran highlight the following:

  1. a) The Iraqi people have learned that their first and foremost enemy is the regime ruling Iran. This is especially significant as Tehran loses its claimed “support” among Shiites of southern Iraq.
  2. b) The Iraqi people have drawn a line in the sand and refuse to cooperate with any entity linked to Iran’s regime.
  3. c) The demands raised by the Iraqi people are very principled: evicting the Iranian regime from their country and toppling the entire political establishment installed in Iraq by Tehran’s mullahs.
  4. d) The Iranian regime has weakened more than ever before in Iraq, especially with protests flaring in Lebanon, Iraq and the November uprising delivering a major blow to its already weak core inside Iran.

In a retaliation very common from Iran’s regime when cornered, Tehran-backed militia groups in Iraq stand accused of launching a rocket attack on December 27 targeting the K1 military base in northern Iraq. This latest provocative measure left one American civilian contractor dead and several U.S. and Iraqi soldiers wounded.

On December 11, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned America would respond decisively if such attacks led to the loss of American lives. What the future holds will be interesting.

Final thoughts

It is also worth noting that the basis of all these setbacks for the mullahs’ regime is the fact that the Iraqi people have come to realize Tehran’s malign plots. During the past 16 years the Iraqi people have witnessed the Iranian regime’s crimes and plundering across their country.

Iran’s regime is now witnessing with its very eyes how its “strategic depth” in Iraq is falling apart. These back to back defeats for its various plots are a signal that measures inside Iran against a very turbulent nation, described as a powder keg, will also end in failure.

Parallel to crippling U.S. sanctions, crises simmering against the mullahs’ interests in Lebanon, Iraq and most importantly inside Iran are all signs of a regime realizing the end is very near.

During this holiday season, please don’t forget Iran’s Christian community

The regime in Iran is known for its gross human rights violations, including a fierce crackdown on Christians that goes unabated as we speak, according to human rights monitoring organizations.

The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported on Wednesday, December 11, citing Iran’s state media saying regime authorities arrested an unnamed Christian near the country’s border with Azerbaijan.

The ICC wrote that “very little information about the arrested individual is shared. However, the report does cite some of the so-called justifications of arrest including [its attempts to] ‘publicize evangelical Christianity,’ ‘establish house churches’ and ‘destroy Abrahamic religions [by] disturbing public opinion in the public and virtual spheres.’ A number of items related to this individual were confiscated.”

It is a known fact that the regime in Iran has a long history of imposing harsh crackdown on the minority Christian community.

Last year the regime arrested more than 100 Christians in December, charities reported, amid a growing crackdown by the Islamic Republic. Many of the 114 detained were converts to Christianity from a Muslim background, accused of “proselytizing.”

In Iran, conversion to Christianity can be a crime meriting a sentence of more than 10 years imprisonment. Christian advocacy groups have in the past reported a growing underground evangelical movement in Iran, where they say increasing numbers of people who have become curious about the minority religion are arrested.

While Christianity is officially tolerated in Iran, reports indicate the regime’s so-called courts benefit themselves of several criminal provisions to persecute Christians, including “propagating against the Islamic Republic in favor of Christianity” and “orienting toward the land of Christianity,” or more ominously, “enmity against God” and “insulting the Prophet,” crimes that can even carry the death sentence.

Christian leaders in Iran constantly say pressure on Christians increases every year around Christmas. 2018 and 2019 have proven to be particularly severe.

In August 2018, Fox News reported the plight of Iran’s persecuted Christian community has significantly worsened over the past few weeks, with the mullahs’ regime ramping up prison terms and other judicial actions.

In the same month, Amnesty International called on Iran to immediately release four Iranian Christians, including pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz and his wife Shamiram Issavi.

statement from Amnesty International said: “They have been targeted solely for peacefully practicing their Christian faith.”

Amnesty and Human Rights Watch blasted the mullahs’ regime for its sweeping violent crackdown targeting Christians and Dervishes, including imposing lengthy prison terms on the members of the religious minority groups, according to August 2018 reports.

“… a large number of those who have converted to Christianity were arrested in Fars, Isfahan and Azerbaijan provinces. On August 1, 2013, in an assault on a home-church in Isfahan, a number of the participants were apprehended,” according to a 2013 report posted by the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

In March 2017, a report shed light on even small cases gaining the attention of Iran’s ruthless Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps late last month arrested two Iranian Catholics in northwestern Iran and seized their Bibles and prayer books,” according to a Wall Street Journal report.

In 2014, three Christian pastors were charged with “acting against state security and organizing the overthrow of the regime.” They were accused of “acting against the state security and organizing the overthrow of the regime’ which if proved is punishable by death.”

Way back in 1994, Reverend Dibaj, Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr and Bishop Tateos Michaelian were brutally murdered by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security agents. This dreadful act came after the murder of Bishop Tateos Michaelian, whose body was found two days prior to that.

These news reports began opening the eyes of all observers across the globe to the viciousness of the mullahs’ regime in regard to members of religious minority communities inside Iran.

During this holiday season, our prayers should also include those who are detained and under torture in Iran for their religious beliefs, from Christians to Baha’is, Sufis (Gonabadi Dervishes) and Sunnis, and Shia Muslims, as the mullahs’ regime in Iran cannot tolerate anyone who is not aligned with them.

All the while, the November uprising in Iran provide assurance that the Iranian people are determined to rid this wonderful country of the evil mullahs’ rule.

Iran’s internet clampdown

During the unprecedented November uprising that spread to over 190 cities checkered throughout Iran, the ruling mullahs’ regime was terrified of this fire expanding. One major source of concern was the constant uploading of footage vividly depicting the regime’s horrific crackdown and killing spree against Iranian demonstrators.

Desperate to prevent such a flow, the regime quickly ordered a massive internet shutdown on November 16. Nearly a month after the uprising, conditions have yet to return to pre-protests status.

As we look back, no regime official has been able to deny the fact that the reasoning behind this decision was none other than “national security.” With internet connection restored at a very controlled rate, recently obtained video shed light on the scope of the mullahs’ vicious and bloody crackdown that followed the protests sparked by a gasoline price hike that saw costs soaring up to 300 percent.

This internet clampdown was ordered by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Rouhani, the “moderate,” issues final orders

While Iranian regime apologists/lobbyists and pro-appeasement voices describe Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “moderate,” it is worth noting that Rouhani chairs the regime’s Supreme National Security Council and signed on the internet shutdown move. Iranian officials describe Rouhani as the “most security-minded” president in the regime’s history.

All the while, dubbed by Iranian media as a “fox,” Rouhani is very careful to depict himself as an advocate of civil rights and against such hardline policies. Yet when push came to shove during the November uprising and the regime’s entire apparatus was facing a massive national movement, Rouhani showed his true colors, calling for a massive crackdown and broadcasting coerced confessions from arrested protesters on state TV (a known tactic of the mullahs’ regime and dictators throughout history).

Rouhani went even further and during his presentation of the 2020 fiscal budget plan to the regime’s parliament, he shed light on the internet shutdown by announcing plans to launch the “National Information Network” (NIN). Of course, his remarks forced various cabinet officials and apologists/lobbyists across the board to quickly interpret his words as not an internet shutdown.

It was also interesting to see Kayhan daily, a known Khamenei mouthpiece, place its weight behind the regime’s plans to shut down the internet and launch NIN. This made it crystal clear that both the regime’s hardliners and “reformists” are behind the NIN initiative to keep a major lid on the Iranian people.

It is a known fact that the true meaning of NIN is none other than censorship and a highly restricted/controlled network for the Iranian nation while the regime enjoys access to the internet for its needs. Similar measures have been imposed on social media platforms. As the Iranian people are banned from access to Twitter, Facebook and other such apps, Iranian regime officials are tweeting and posting on a daily basis.

Why is the mullahs’ regime so utterly concerned, and terrified, of the Iranian people enjoying access to the world wide web alongside billions of other people across the globe?

Dictators fear the internet

A state unable to adapt itself to a society’s needs and the daily transformation of life in today’s world, while responding to major societal management challenges, has no choice but imposing a closed and isolated way of life. Why? People gaining more knowledge is a nightmare for such a state.

Dictatorships are utterly terrified of different nations joining force in solidarity and they seek to place “walls” preventing such relationships. In Iran, the mullahs’ regime intends to keep the Iranian people separated from the outside world as much as possible. This is especially important when political, economic and social dissent reach boiling points across the country. In such circumstances, keeping a lid on the people is of the utmost essence for the mullahs’ regime. If possible, the rulers in Tehran would impose North Korea-style conditions on the Iranian society.

The problem, which the mullahs realize all too well, is that shutting down the internet in Iran – being a society with a long history of freedom-loving resistance, and its powder keg society in this day and age – will have major consequences for Tehran. For this very reason, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabie had no choice but clarify and interpret Rouhani’s NIN remarks in the Majlis, emphasizing there is no intention to shut down the internet.

Such concern is also quite visible inside the mullahs’ regime. The Jahan-e Sanat daily published an article on December 9 titled “Living in the Stone Age!” The piece emphasizes an intranet system implemented by various countries is not possible in today’s Iran.

Wishful thinking

We do need to remind ourselves that the mullahs’ main objective is to block the Iranian people’s open access to a free flow of information and news from the outside world, and restricting Iran’s population to the mullahs’ filtered network. However, aware of the public backlash, the regime intends to cloak its plans under the “National Information Network” pretext.

Meaning: maintaining the country’s administrative apparatus linked to the internet network, while filtering the population from the world wide web. There are voices inside the regime describing such plans as wishful thinking, knowing these measures would fuel further backlashes far more aggressive than the November gasoline price hike protests.

There is no doubt that Khamenei yearns the control enjoyed by Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini back in the 1980s where there was no internet. This allowed Khomeini carry out any and all atrocities across the country, including the summer 1988 massacre that left over 30,000 political prisoners executed, while the world was kept in the dark.

Today, as we head into the third decade of the 21st century, circumstances have changed in favor of the people. Each and every individual killed by dictators quickly become martyrs and national heroes, inspiring millions and sparking a wave of global condemnations parallel to escalating political isolation.

The current conditions of the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran indicate that their end is very near. Shutting down the internet, with the objective of preventing the free flow of information and secretly killing protests and activists will no longer cure this regime’s lethal viruses.

The end of the mullahs’ regime is not a matter of if, but when.

Iran: How the regime miscalculated the November uprising

Following the December 2017/January 2018 uprising in Iran, the issue of another nationwide protest being in the making has been a constant talking point of senior Iranian officials. Faces from across the regime spectrum have been warning and calling for preparatory measures for some time. And yet the November uprising caught their entire apparatus off guard, signaling the Iranian people’s desire to overthrow the mullahs.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself had time and again warned about a new uprising in 2019, describing the new “sedition” as far more significant. The plot aiming to overthrow the mullahs’ regime in the 2019 uprising was very deep, broad and dangerous in comparison to the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 episode, according to Khamenei.

He was right. The people of Iran, fed up with the mullahs, took to the streets following the November 15 gasoline price hike, challenging the mullahs’ rule in a new round of nationwide protests rocking the very pillars of Khamenei’s regime.

The November uprising reflected the Iranian people’s utter hatred of the mullahs’ rule, using the opportunity to voice their wrath, targeting Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the mullahs’ foreign policy and the very foundations that has made life a living hell for tens of millions of Iranians for 40 years and counting.

The November uprising came to life despite the fact that Khamenei had been warning of an outburst in 2019 and the Rouhani cabinet had been paving the path for the gasoline price hike for months. A number of state media outlets were announcing – and thus denying – plans for the price increase a number of times to test public opinion/outrage, and to downgrade the shock imposed on the society through this plan.

Uprising overcomes massive preparations

Following the warnings issued by Khamenei himself and various analyses carried out by the regime’s security apparatus weighing public response, the entire domestic crackdown machine was on high alert prior to the official gasoline price hike announcement. According to senior national security officials, the IRGC, state police, Basij, the intelligence apparatus and other security institutions all believed they could control the population’s outburst.

“It has been two years that we have been discussing the issue of increasing the price of gasoline. We had four scenarios. Several working groups were launched, one being the security-police working group established in the Supreme National Security Council. Another working group was the psychological operations and response committee,” said Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli in a state TV interview on November 26.

“All discussions and analysis were carried out under the supervision of the Intelligence Ministry, considering their experience in overt and covert monitoring. Officials from the IRGC, police and the judiciary were also present… the police across the country were on high alert, and specifically protecting gas stations due to security reasons… the country’s circumstances and the people’s economic conditions were analyzed… stock market officials were missioned to control the entire market. The Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade was ordered to control the prices of goods and services, and especially prevent price increases. The Central Bank was ordered to monitor currency and gold prices,” he added. These remarks by the Interior Minister sheds light on the regime’s grave concerns regarding the overall crisis engulfing their entire apparatus.

Despite all this readiness and the fact that there was no element of surprise for the regime, the Iranian people still delivered a striking blow to the mullahs, with protests reported in 189 cities, dozens of military/security bases attacked, and hundreds of banks torched. The Iranian people consider these banks as symbols of a regime that is constantly plundering their money and resulting in over 80 percent of the population living in utter poverty.

Scale of regime’s violence reflects vulnerability

Khamenei and his regime completely miscalculated the powder keg potential of the Iranian society and the Iranian people’s will to pay the ultimate price on their quest to topple the mullahs. The November uprising literally left the security forces helpless, leaving Khamenei with no choice but ordering a full and complete crackdown by his forces opening direct fire on unarmed protesters.

IRGC chief Hossein Salami compared the uprising scope to the Second World War. “We are engaged in a major global war. This war has begun in our streets,” he said on November 25. It’s quite interesting that his remarks indicate the regime is involved in an ongoing war and does not consider this a matter of the past.

IRGC deputy chief Ali Fadavi also voiced concerns on this dire subject. “During these few days we witnessed a major conspiracy. We are informed about the various aspects of this plot. Not through analysis or news reports. We have precise intelligence that a major conspiracy was in the making,” he said on the same day.

Fadavi’s boasting aside, his remarks do indicate how senior Iranian officials are concerned over the very survival of their regime. The mullahs’ political, economic and social crises are only escalating. With at least 1,029 protesters killed, over 4,000 injured and at least 12,000 behind bars, public rage can be described as a fire burning in the ashes, with enormous potential to flare once again very soon.

The uprising of the impoverished

The first uprising shook the regime in 1999, 20 years after the 1979 revolution. Ten years later, millions took to the streets again in 2009. Eight years later, the Iranian lower class, supposedly being the regime’s base, rushed to the streets and shook the mullahs’ very pillars. Less than two years later, we have witnessed the November uprising with unprecedented proportions, once again by the impoverished. Senior regime officials sounding alarm bells across the board about the nature of the latest protesters, with people rushing to the streets who literally have nothing to lose.

Rest assured the “world war” mentioned by the IRGC chief is not over and Iran will witness an uprising soon. This time, bringing an end to the mullahs’ regime.

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.